Jump to content

Combat Phase Clarification


Recommended Posts

I'm trying to make sure I understand the combat rules here, and the only way I can explain my confusion is by illustrating my understanding through examples, so... apologies for a long-winded post.
 
Note: I know Strike Ranks change the flow of combat... I'm more concerned with trying to understand the basic rules first.
 
Combat phases in the big gold book are broken down by:
 
Phase 1: Statement of Intent
Phase 2: Powers (which is basically the same phase as actions, they just happen sooner because spells happen at the "speed of thought")
Phase 3: Actions (as mentioned, casting a spell is an action)
Phase 4: Resolution
 
Ok, so... let's assume we have 2 people fighting each other: Dave and Bob.  Is this how it's supposed to work?
 
Scenario A:
 
Phase 1: Statement of intent
Dave announces his intention to attack Bob with his sword.
Bob announces his intention to attack Dave with his axe.
 
Phase 2: Powers
... no spells cast, moving on
 
Phase 3: Actions
Dave attacks Bob with his sword.
Bob attacks Dave with his axe.
... just like they said they were going to do in the announcement phase.
no rolls are made yet.
The point of this step, I guess, is to illustrate precisely when everything happens, but without a resolution happening here at this point, it effectively just becomes a retread of Phase 1 doesn't it?
 
Phase 4: Resolution
Dave rolls sword skill.  success.
Bob rolls to parry.  success.
Bob rolls axe skill.  success.
Bob rolls damage.  
 
Scenario ends.
 
Here's another scenario...
 
Scenario B: Dave, Bob, Skeleton A, Skeleton B.
 
Phase 1: Statement of Intent
Dave announces his intention to attack Skeleton A with his sword.
Bob announces his intention to attack Skeleton A with his axe. (focus fire!)
Skeleton A announces his intention to attack Dave with a rock.
Skeleton B announces his intention to attack Dave with his own arm that he's ripped off.
 
Phase 2: Powers
...
 
Phase 3: Actions
Dave attacks Skeleton A.
Bob attacks Skeleton A.
Skeleton A attacks Dave.
Skeleton B attacks Dave.
everything happens in the order it was announced, for simplicity's sake.
 
Phase 4: Resolution
Dave rolls.  He hits.  Dave does X damage and kills Skeleton A.
Bob rolls. (But the skeleton is dead dude).  He hits? (hits a dead thing?) He does X damage. (to the already dead skeleton...?)
Skeleton B rolls... he misses. (boy it sure would've been nice if Bob could've attacked Skeleton B upon seeing Skeleton A fall in battle...)
 
Scenario ends.
 
This is not how the quick play rules illustrates combat in their "combat example", nor is it illustrated this way in the big gold book's "combat example"...
 
If I could describe the way they illustrate it, they do away with phases altogether:

Player with high dex announces what they're doing... if the action doesn't fire off on a lower dex, they get to act on it and resolve it right then and there.
Next player in the list does the same thing.
NPC had low dex, so they do the same thing last...
 
Almost as if the "Actions" phase contains within it a resolution phase of its own for each action, rather than splitting everything into one big "resolution" catch-all phase...
 
This certainly makes sense to me, as now scenario A would play out as:
 
Dave attacks bob with his sword.  he rolls to hit.  success.  
Bob reacts: rolls to parry.  success.  no damage.
Bob attacks Dave with his axe.  he rolls to hit.  success.  
Dave reacts: fails to parry.  Bob rolls damage.
 
End scenario.
 
The rolls here all happen within the same area they're being announced... we never got to hear what Bob was going to do because it wasn't his turn yet, and Dave got to just attack and finish all four phases of his turn before Bob could take his turn.  This is how the examples illustrate it, specifically in the quickstart rules - a direct contradiction to the rules as written.
 
Scenario B would also change:
 
Dave attacks skeleton A with his sword.  he rolls to hit.  success.  rolls damage.  Skeleton A is killed.
Bob, seeing skeleton A is dead, attacks skeleton B.  he rolls to hit.  success.  rolls damage.  Skeleton B is hurt (or killed or whatever).
 
End scenario.
 
Once again, this makes way more sense to me... and surely I can change it to that, but I'm just trying to make sure that I'm understanding the rules as written... And yes, I can fix this with homebrew rules, but I want to make sure it's not broken first.
 
Is this the same understanding you all have of the phases, or did I misread somewhere?  Is there a rule clarification somewhere later or earlier in the book that sheds more light on this?
Edited by Edge Case Doomvortecco
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typically, and no doubt a lot of this is due to the influence of D&D, I would resolve the rolls as they come up, with the possibility of players altering their actions depending on the result of the roll, and I imagine this is how most people play. However, there's something to the idea of forcing people to commit to a statement of intent. 

Realistically most people's reaction time would force them to 'follow through' even if the situation changed. Perhaps you have to have a certain Dexterity minimum to 'improvise' in combat.

Consider this scenario:

The beast-man swings at the hero. The hero states he'll attempt to dodge. The beast-man misses, but the hero fumbles his dodge, 'he slips on some offal on the cave-floor and falls'.

Ultimately it is your game,  and I don't think either way is 'wrong'. I suspect forcing  people to commit to a Statement of Intent is  probably more in line with what the game designers intended.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly not applicable to BRP...

When I was an active player (days of RQ2), the group made one modification to the order of declaration of intent. We started with the player/NPC having the worst DEX strike rank (highest) (and for ties then by worst actual DEX (lowest) ).

We presumed that statement of intent committed that character to an action from which subsequent characters could react. Hence the quicker characters were basing their statements upon having some inkling of what is going to take place in the round.

There was no changing intent after a character had declared.

THEN the strike ranks start counting. Any character whose strike rank is "now" (current count) would roll their action (attack&damage, maybe dodge though I'd treat dodge similar to parry -- not tied to SR but applied when the opponent attacks [RQ2 didn't have dodge -- it had Defense which wasn't something declared unless splitting between multiple opponents, otherwise it was an inherent ability reducing the attacker's %. I don't recall if we even bothered with it). Think RQ3 introduced dodge, but again, it was seldom used: Attack&Parry vs Attack&Dodge? Especially as most characters had much better parry %ages.

Damage would be applied at the SR it was inflicted and could take the opponent down. If they hadn't had their attack yet, they might get to attack later (on their SR) taking into account any side effects of the damage taken. If their weapon arm was taken out of action, well...

 

Edited by Baron Wulfraed
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my own system (not BRP, but working on similar premises when it comes to declaration and resolution phases) the declaration phase gives the "quickest" characters the ability to force the encounter in certain ways. If they declare that they want to attack someone, the slower character has to parry or dodge (or fight back) even if they want to flee (assuming they are "in measure" - i.e., at a fighting distance). If the faster character says that they want to flee, they can do so unless the slower (initiative) character has higher movement and can catch up.

Similarly, the decralation phase makes evident how many characters are facing each other - one character might face two enemies while another might face three. A low-ini character can then change their mind (choose to dodge or full parry (no attacks) at -20% and flee instead of trying to fight back against overwhelming odds). A higher initiative character has a chance to flee without having to dodge or parry (assuming the enemies are not yet in-measure). In roleplay terms, this would be a situation where someone sees several enemies approach oneself and decides to leg it before they get too close.

Edited by Susimetsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I'm gathering about BRP in general, it looks like to better understand these rules, I'd need to also read the rules on RuneQuest... A lot of things seem to be holdovers from those systems, so that's likely where I'll get some added context to my confusion.

In a game I'd run using this system, I like the idea of declaring your actions, but I think I'll fudge the rules on the resolution phase.  Even then: declaring your action can be intentionally vague to allow for reactions to situations, so that sounds like the loophole.  I don't really see the point of having a "resolution phase" at this moment (as opposed to just resolving each action individually before the next action, in sequence), but maybe it'll make sense with more playtesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/29/2022 at 2:11 PM, Edge Case Doomvortecco said:
...
Scenario A:
...
Phase 3: Actions
Dave attacks Bob with his sword.
Bob attacks Dave with his axe.
... just like they said they were going to do in the announcement phase.
no rolls are made yet.
The point of this step, I guess, is to illustrate precisely when everything happens, but without a resolution happening here at this point, it effectively just becomes a retread of Phase 1 doesn't it?
 
Phase 4: Resolution
Dave rolls sword skill.  success.
Bob rolls to parry.  success.
Bob rolls axe skill.  success.
Bob rolls damage.  
 
Scenario ends.
...

This has never been how I play any version of BRP (by which I include specific games like RQ & CoC).

Phase 3 is all actions, rolled.  That is to say, the "Action" phase is where the "action" happens.

Attacks are rolled.  Parties, dodges.  Damage.  (n.b. MP or PP are expended in the prior phase, if "Magic" or "Powers" are in play; also damage from spells/powers, if they do damage)

 

 

"4. Resolution" is where the consequences happen.

Zero HP's?  They fall from their injuries.

Zero MP's / PP's?  They pass out from the psychic strain.

Etc.

###

A common variant I have seen (I think some version is in BRP/BGB, but am unsure of that:  the BRP versions/editions/variants all interplay well together, and tend to blend together) is to allow someone to alter their SOI at a substantive SR penalty.

(Edit:  I am considering a House Rule to that "alter SOI", whereby you calculate the SR-penalty from

  • DEX-based SR mod
  • "INT-based" SR mod (figured same as DEX-based) -- because the "quick-witted" are quick to adapt/adjust)
  • +1 because it still takes physical time to physically adjust to a new action

)

Edited by g33k
HR
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...