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Pyronnic

Suggestions for the equivalent of MRQII combat manoeuvres in spirit combat?

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Although my preferred base system is BRP, I really like the combat manoeuvres (CMs) in MRQII because they make physical combat more dynamic and interesting by giving the player tactical decisions and choices. I'm going to import CMs into a BRP game I'm planning, but I want to give shamanic characters a way to make spirit combat just as interesting as physical combat. So, what might serve as the equivalent of CMs in spirit combat? How else can we make spirit combat more interesting?

Possible spirit combat maneuvers might include:

  1. Steal power points from foe
  2. Disorient/stun/confuse foe (who then loses some actions)
  3. Trap/bind foe in into an object or place (may require having a prepared enchantment or POW sacrifice, plus some sort of resistance roll)
  4. Trick foe into changing targets (e.g., redirect foe to attack one of its allies)

Some other ideas I've been contemplating for spirit combat include:

  1. Making new skills for spirit combat attack (base damage 1d3) and defense (might work like dodge or parry)
  2. Creating a spiritual damage bonus based on POW+INT (using same progression as normal damage bonus)
  3. Option to create enchanted items that have uses in spirit combat (weapons, armor, etc.). For example, that silly-looking chicken bone hanging on the shaman's belt may actually work as a club in spirit combat!

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I've been thinking about this for a while, but abstractly. Thanks for beginning the conversation.

How far are you thinking about moving Spirit Combat to mirror Physical Combat? E.g. is there such thing as Spirit Armor? Is there an opposed Parry to each Spirit Attack?

One CM idea: Restrain spirit from getting away (unless it focuses on breaking the restraint, during which time it cannot attack).

Steve

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I'm not sure how far the mirroring should go. I don't want it to feel exactly like physical combat, but I do want some parallels between physical and spiritual combat. For example, having some tactical choices to make and a variety of strategies that may be useful sounds fun. The Spirit Screen, Spirit Block, and Spirit Resistance spells in RQ3 were essentially a form of spiritual armor, so I can certainly see wanting to have similar spells as one option. Similarly, some kind of active defense would make sense as well. That way, you'd see why there's a real difference between a shaman and a normal warrior type character once they're on the spirit plane because the shaman would have more skills (and at higher percentages). The shaman is trained to engage in spirit combat, so he or she ought to be comparatively much more effective there than someone who has the same POW score but who hasn't been trained.

Maybe the thing to focus on is making spirit combat more distinct from physical combat by defining CMs that may not have clear physical analogs. One source of inspiration could be novels that have touched on things like psychic or psionic combat and see what ideas I can pick out of them. Mythological sources may also offer some good concepts.

I like the idea that some spirit combat CMs might allow you to end a fight faster without having the whole thing just be a matter of grinding down the opponent's power points. So, the idea of one CM that allows you to trap a spirit could be narrated as having tricked the foe into entering a container that it can't easily escape. The notion that shamans are sly and tricky appeals to me, so having a variety of CMs reflecting that would be fun.

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...I like the idea that some spirit combat CMs might allow you to end a fight faster without having the whole thing just be a matter of grinding down the opponent's power points. So, the idea of one CM that allows you to trap a spirit could be narrated as having tricked the foe into entering a container that it can't easily escape. The notion that shamans are sly and tricky appeals to me, so having a variety of CMs reflecting that would be fun.
I was thinking more of preventing escape (for a period) rather than necessarily imprisoning: I envision a spirit who wanted to escape from the Shaman being prevented from leaving the battleground, but still fully capable of attacking and taking other action. So I think of 'Restrain' as closing all the exit doors, but not binding the spirit. The spirit is still potent.

Steve

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I was thinking more of preventing escape (for a period) rather than necessarily imprisoning: I envision a spirit who wanted to escape from the Shaman being prevented from leaving the battleground, but still fully capable of attacking and taking other action. So I think of 'Restrain' as closing all the exit doors, but not binding the spirit. The spirit is still potent.

Steve

Oh certainly. I understood that from your previous post. Restraining a spirit from escape is certainly a useful addition to the list I had started in my initial post. Binding into an object (or place) would be a different CM, but perhaps one that is harder to pull off, or riskier for the shaman.

I hope to put some more thought into this over the next couple weeks (assuming work slows down and I get more time to do fun stuff).

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