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Reducing the number of rolls in combat


StephenMcG

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I am quite keen to reduce combat to players simply rolling dice.聽 I am wondering if anyone has done any work in doing this - I was thinking of a spreadsheet I might have open, putting in attack percentage and parrying percentage and getting a range which might show the range of outcomes in a list from critical attack, fumbled parry to fumbled attack, critical parry.

I have doubts it can be done to that resolution in a 1D100 roll but might be willing to accept that as skills increase we will not see extremes such as those.聽 I would be planning that, for contested rolls, the player either rolls the attack with the NPC skill passively changing the outcomes or rolls the parry with the NPC skill passively changing the outcome.

Anyone doen anything like that they could share?聽 Or anyone done it and can say it was a nightmare, and to leave it alone??聽 馃檪

Stephen

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i guess what you want is something like the 'combat tables' i came up with when reviewing questworlds?

Your skill on left, opposing skill on top, percentage of getting one success in the middle..

Except that you would need 5 numbers in each cell聽 (critical, special, success, failure, fumble).

Easy enough to calculate using code or a spreadsheet, but probably impractibaly big at d100 resolution.

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Yeah, I guess I am not looking at a table but four cells.聽 The first inputs the attack, the second inputs the defence, the third inputs the dice roll and the fourth outputs the result.聽 The table in the background could be any size, the working part could fit on a phone screen.

Guess I just need to sit down and work out the formulae...

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6 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

It strikes me that the single die roll +/- modifier will give you a different distribution than two due rolls.

so do I.

3 hours ago, radmonger said:

Your skill on left, opposing skill on top, percentage of getting one success in the middle..

Except that you would need 5 numbers in each cell聽 (critical, special, success, failure, fumble).

The issue I see is the resolution of critical versus special. The output is not binary. You may "offer" a critical damage but the opponent may parry a part of it, what about the damage on the weapon, etc....

so if we want to follow exactly the rules, it means about 20 numbers in each cell 馃槢

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Maybe just roll everything on the Resistance Table?
85%Attk against 75%Prry = 10%diff = 60-or-less hits, 12-or-less Specials, 3-or-less Criticals.

Thing is, instead of GM rolling NPC attacks, you just have the player roll their defense on the Resistance Table, too...
75%Prry聽against 85%Attk = 10%diff = 40-or-less Parries, etc聽

It won't have the same odds, I think.
But it will still be "reasonable."

Edited by g33k
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8 hours ago, g33k said:

Maybe just roll everything on the Resistance Table?
85%Attk against 75%Prry = 10%diff = 60-or-less hits, 12-or-less Specials, 3-or-less Criticals.

Thing is, instead of GM rolling NPC attacks, you just have the player roll their defense on the Resistance Table, too...
75%Prry聽against 85%Attk = 10%diff = 40-or-less Parries, etc聽

It won't have the same odds, I think.
But it will still be "reasonable."

That is an option.聽 Possibly easier and everything is about reasonable compromises.

Last night I sat down to begin putting it together.聽 I mean, with two 1d100 rolls there are only 10,000 possible outcomes right?聽 In each roll there are 5 outcomes, fumble, fail, success, special and critical.聽 Each outcome can face five outcomes.

If the attack roll is 60%, the chances of those are 2%, 38%, 45%, 12% and 3%.

If the parry roll is 50%, then within that 2% of critical attacks, 3% will face a fumbled parry, 47% will face a failed parry, 38% will face a successful parry, 10% a special parry and 2% a critical parry.

You cannot achieve that granularity of resolution in a single roll, so my system would have less granularity but it would instantly provide, for example, you hit and are parried, or you get a critical hit which is not parried.

I need to have three inputs: the chance to hit, the chance to parry, and the actual roll.聽 The output would be verbal.聽

I think I almost have this done, I have formulae that, for any pair of skill values provides the chances of upto 25 outcomes, I just need to refine the lookup system. It would also put the dice in the hands of the players most of the time, which, to me, is also desirable.

I reckon, with the right front end, it could be on my phone and would be a quick and easy thing to use.

Stephen

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22 hours ago, StephenMcG said:

I have doubts it can be done to that resolution in a 1D100 roll

It can be!

First, there's some low-hanging fruit - always let the players roll the resistance table roll, for instance.

After that, it gets a lot trickier. One way you could make a BRP system player facing is by doing what聽Symbaroum聽does - translated to RuneQuest, this means that players roll their attacks and their defence, the GM rolls neither, and that the roll is their skill modified by the opponent's skill (Player skill + 50% - Opponent skill). This will also make combats聽a lot聽quicker as defence becomes a lot more unreliable. This can be applied to ranged combat as well (and will help to make shields a lot better if Shield or Dodge are the only ways you get a defence at all versus arrows). You will have to decide how to interpret results - a Fumbled defence rolls probably means you eat a critical hit, but how does an opponent get in a Special? Perhaps it will be worth tracking "special failure" where the player fails at the highest 1/5th (the same way special successes are the lowest 1/5th)

For damage, tell the players to roll the damage against themselves when opponents hit.

You will still have to decide on some things - for instance, how do you treat opponents casting Spirit Magic or Rune Magic in combat? Letting them auto-succeed probably isn't particularly unbalancing, though.

Edited by Akh么rahil
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I think that it is too complex to try, with 1 roll to have the same outputs than the actual rules.

for example @g33k option (which is what I would prefer by the way = opposition table = simple ) doesn't simulate the level of success of the parry.

Prety sure @StephenMcG you will succeed (maybe with 1d1000 however, as you say聽 25 possibilities - in fact a little less as different results have the same outcome - are hard to simulate when % skills are low)

The point then is the complexity/ergonomy of the play.聽 A table with hundreds rows ? mmm. Maybe a computer/phone then. But in that case why not let the computer roll the npc dices and the players their own ?

In fact the most important question, in my opinion, is do we need ~20 outcomes. Could we simplify ? Less simulation, quick resolution

If I had to change something, I would use the opposition matrix. And add some tactics choices. That's just ideas I haven't test it (or even tried to modelize it )

for each decile you gain 1 point.

for example

A = 60% skill, D = 80% skill so success =<40%

d100 roll

01-10 = 4 points for A

11-20 = 3 points for A

21-30 = 2 points for A

31-40 = 1 point for A

41-50 = 1 point for D = parry success: roll damage, reduce weapon armor, reduce armor => reduce D's hp

51-60 = 2 points for D. may choose

聽聽 - parry success + get +20%bonus next time OR

聽聽 - parry success + reduce A's weapon HP (-1d6 ?)

聽聽 - parry special success : roll damage, reduce 2x weapon armor,聽 etc... OR

61-70 = 3 points for D (critical parry = no roll damage)

71-80 = 4 points for D

81-90 = 5 points for D

91-00 = 6 points for D

a potential list of actions for attacker success

- roll damage, reduce armor => reduce D's hp. (1 point)

- roll a second attack (1point)聽 (of course it is usefull only if you have 2 points, or if you like to roll, again and again)

- roll double damage, reduce armore => reduce D's hp (3 points)

- max double damage, ignore armor => reduce D's hp (4 points)

- A聽gains a 20% bonus聽 for the聽 next attack (1point)

- A gains a 20% bonus for the next defense (1point)

- choose full damage on D's weapon聽 (1point)

- disarm D (2points)

- choose to damage D's armor (3point) (opposition roll between damage and armor's AP , 1 localization of course)

a potential list of actions for聽 defender success

- roll damage, reduce armor weapon*, reduce armor => reduce D's hp. (1 point)

- roll damage, reduce armor weapon* x2, reduce armore => reduce D's hp (2 points)

- block all damages (3points)

- D gains a 20% bonus for the next attack (1point)

- D gains a 20% bonus聽 for the next defense (1point)

- D disarms A (3points)

- D counter attacks A (free attack let's roll) (3 points)

*defenser weapon may lose 1hp if not able to block all the damages, like the rule.

again many weak opponents, you may choose to have a lot of attacks. Against one powerfull opponent, you may look for the bonus and hope a roll for 4 or more points (full damage, ignore armor).

The point here is not realy to roll less (well there is one roll not 2 to identify the success) but to propose tactical options, each combat may be different (so more interesting, with decision between each roll). The issue I have with the official system is that you have few decisions, and in fact the decision is before any roll. And then you roll, roll, and roll before next round and next decision

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Just now, French Desperate WindChild said:

In fact the most important question, in my opinion, is do we need ~20 outcomes. Could we simplify ? Less simulation, quick resolution

I started my post to say let's simplify, and I finish with something maybe with more simulation (or at least choice of outcomes)

Eurmal ! leave my soul please !

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3 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

...

Eurmal ! leave my soul please !

Ya know how Eurmal's "Hallucinate" is self-only Illusion (aka "temporary reality") magic?

What if you just prayed for a Self-Only "Sever Spirit" ?


That's very, very on-brand for Eurmal...聽 Just sayin'

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19 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I started my post to say let's simplify, and I finish with something maybe with more simulation (or at least choice of outcomes)

It is surprising how often this happens.聽 Gives you a bit on insight into the problems game designers face.聽 馃檪

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If the point is to roll fewer dice 鈥 but to roll dice, rather than write an app to keep the current odds 鈥 and I appreciate that for some people it will not be, then isn鈥檛 the way to go to be more like a wargamer and embrace the CRT? The resistance table suggestion is good, but to make combats quicker/bloodier, consider dividing the defence/parry value by 2鈥4, so evenly matched foes (with equal attack and parry values) hit each other more than 50% of the time. You can roll once for player and NPC: PC needs to roll 鈮 target number, m; NPC needs to roll 鈮 target number, n; quite likely m+1 != n. (For mooks, maybe allow them to add their attack values together but only have one hit the PC on a success. More mooks connect on a special?)

I attach an example, but it is just that 鈥 it is not a recommendation. If you like special effects beyond extra damage, roll a special effect die (of appropriate size) with the d20 and look up on a supplementary table. For example, and YGWV:

  • d6
    1聽聽聽 A does double damage to D, ignoring D鈥檚 armour
    2鈥4聽 A does double damage to D
    5聽聽聽 A鈥檚 weapon stuck in D鈥檚 shield,
    聽聽聽聽 else D drops weapon,
    聽聽聽聽 else A does double damage to D
    6:聽聽 D鈥檚 weapon breaks,
    聽聽聽聽 else D鈥檚 shield breaks,
    聽聽聽聽 else A does double damage to D

In my CRT, I have somewhat Fibonacci-wise made it harder and harder to get that next 5% advantage, but you don鈥檛 have to. You could make it linear. You could have linear steps in A 鈥 (D/2) but roll 3d20 and pick the middle one. Or use % dice. Or whatever. Note that the special ranges for PC and NPC do not overlap, so you don鈥檛 need separate critical and fumble tables (the one who gets the special is A). It is symmetrical, so it will work for PvP duels, too 鈥 the player rolling the dice wants to roll low? Take turns? Smart tactics would get you a small bump to your attack or defence value.

In use it might be more practical to put the die roll values down the left and have the results in the cells, but this is more compact 鈥 and better when deciding on values.

This is just an example: I have given no thought to how this rebalances combat in RQ2, RQ3, or RQG. Clearly, high values are still better. Finally, this is just a thinking out loud forum post, not a candidate drop-in combat system! 馃槈

ResistanceTableRedux5.thumb.png.311f708fa98b6c009937651c46994ee7.png

Resistance Table Redux 5.pdf

Edited by mfbrandi
updated graphic of PDF

Young Glorantha creationist and notorious void cultist

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In my group, to reduce rolls when we attack, we include the damage and location dice as well. If it's a hit, you don't need to then roll for location and damage because it's already rolled. If you fail the attack, just ignore those dice. And the same for spirit combat. We find it does move things along and we like it.

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1 hour ago, 10baseT said:

In my group, to reduce rolls when we attack, we include the damage and location dice as well. If it's a hit, you don't need to then roll for location and damage because it's already rolled. If you fail the attack, just ignore those dice. And the same for spirit combat. We find it does move things along and we like it.

Yup.聽 Me too!
I go a step further, not just grab&roll:聽 I "rack" the dice, in-order in my hand, and cast them attempting to preserve the order.

The "order" is both the order of relevance, and order to read aloud as a narrative sentence:聽 "27 is a hit (pause) to the 5 -- left leg -- doing 6 points of damage!"

The聽 (pause)聽 is to check with the player (or GM) of the target, to see if they got a successful Parry or Dodge.

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Check out Ray Turney's Fire and Sword rules, which you can dredge up on this site.聽 Though written for a D20, they are easily modifiable for D100.聽 In a nutshell (dropping many of the nuances that would not work for RQG)

In any battle of skills, say a melee, if there is an equal level of success, the higher successful roll wins.

e.g., if two combatants are 80%

If attacker rolls 30, and defender rolls 40, the defender's parry completely blocked all damage. Don't bother rolling damage, marking damage to the shield, rolling hit location, adding up armor and Protection, and probably coming up with "tink" anyway.聽 Saves a boatload of rolls.

If the attacker rolls 40, and the defender rolls 30, the attack hits, and ignores the parry.聽 Roll damage and hit location normally.聽 You have a large number of rolls, just like in RQG, but, since the shield or parrying weapon doesn't reduce the damage, you are likely to actually do some damage.聽 (Note: In one variant the shield provided a little protection)

Obviously, there are some issues if the attacker is a Giant, but, for most combats, this saves a lot of rolling.聽 To be honest, we haven't tried this in RQG, so there may be other bugs...

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16 hours ago, StephenMcG said:

I think, with the help of one of my friends who is an Excel guru, I have a working model.

I am going to tart it up and then I will share it.

I'd be interested to see that. I've toyed around with the idea of creating a single roll for the joint distribution as a thought experiment but have not actually committed effort to implementing it. I think you don't need the 10,000 individual outcomes but you do need to map the probability of each outcome (e.g. success vs failure, special vs fumble etc) to a distribution that you can sample with a single (d100?) roll.聽 It may be possible to simplify the inputs eg not having 100 different possible attack chances but (say) 10, or 20 (per RQ2, which had 5% increments).

For choice I'd probably go down the Pendragon opposed roll route to simplify but as I depend on VTT I'm locked into the fan-made RQG character sheet until I learn HTML/CSS.聽 That's pretty good and simplifies a lot of the die-rolling and calculation of specials, criticals etc.

Edited by RandomNumber
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I wouldn't reduce the rolls for attacking and parrying as I like the visceral nature of RQ combat.

However, I would probably not need Adventurers to roll to cast Spirit Magic or Rune Magic on themselves or their weapons, as that just slows the game down. Similarly, I wouldn't roll for Augments, instead I'd just add the skill /5 (drop the digit value and double the result with a minimum of 1, so 58% gets +10) to the skill and allow multiple augments.

Getting up from prone should take a combat action but shouldn't need a DEXx5 roll, although I'd probably allow getting up with a DEXx5% roll for getting up quickly, maybe the rules don't need it, I can't remember.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy.聽

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here.聽

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A way to reduce the number of rolls is to go Pendragon-style, where there are no Attack/Parry oppositions, but only Skill versus Skill and the best roll hits. You could also go a step further and consider a failure versus failure is not a draw, but that the best roll also wins in this situation.

It can also be done using Resistance Table, if you consider that a failure from the active character means the passive one hits him.

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