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Coronoides

Cave trolls are bad neighbours. (Play report)

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Trying out MW combat for the first time. Hazmak the cave troll tracker is stealing from his goblin neighbours. The goblins beg thier shaman Yark to put an end to the crime spree. 

Afraid of fighting the troll Yark puts a Flames of the Sun at the trolls front door then runs. The thatch roof catches fire and the burned Hazmak runs out of his side door to look for the arsonist. The two see each other on the beach. The troll throws three spears, each capable of killing the goblin but misses. The goblin uses bounty of the sea to put out the thatch roof and the lures the troll into the water. Hazmak charges forward into the surf to strangle the goblin but Yark finishes his next spell transforms into a large shark and bites the troll burglar in two. 

I was pretty happy with how closely matched two very different PCs were. The combat was one of the fastest and satisfying combat systems I’ve played in 36 years in the hobby.

 

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I understand the feeling. Having missed Stormbringer/D100 the first go 'round in the late 80s and early 90s, it was quite the revelation stumbling on to Magic World a few years back.

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I “like” the way combat and magic is handled in MW but we streamline it. First we don’t require a statement of what a character is going to do up front. Second we don’t have a separate magic phase, rather magic and melee occur together based on initiative. Finally we define initiative as a character’s dex plus a d10. Otherwise it gets old when the same character always goes first.

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6 hours ago, rsanford said:

I “like” the way combat and magic is handled in MW but we streamline it. First we don’t require a statement of what a character is going to do up front. Second we don’t have a separate magic phase, rather magic and melee occur together based on initiative. Finally we define initiative as a character’s dex plus a d10. Otherwise it gets old when the same character always goes first.

Yes we found the statements section of the combat round superfluous, there is no penalty for changing your mind as far as I can see and soon dropped it. I’ll keep the magic phase separate. I liked the way it clearly defined spellcasters starting to cast a spell and fighters having an opportunity to stop them before the spell goes off, just like many fantasy films and novels. We also put environmental effects, such as fire spreading, at the end of the magic phase.

I like the d10 to vary initiative idea. Do you roll each round or at the start of each combat?

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I know it's pretty accepted on the boards to bag on statements-of-intent.

I get it. They can be unwieldy and interrupt the flow of combat. I still call for at least one however, at the beginning of the first melee round. It's a given that no battle-plan survives the first shot, and players are going to change their minds as circumstances on the ground develop, but I like melee to have an agreed starting point wherein, within reason, each player knows what they plan to do and how they (hopefully) plan to handle the initial situation at hand.

In the excitement of melee, I always have those players who will do their damndest to be everywhere and do everything at once, but with an initial statement of intent to anchor things, the melee can develop an a linear fashion with a clear agreed starting point. I know where the PCs are; the players know where their PCs are, and everyone has had a chance, subject to circumstances, to "get ready."  After the fur-ball plays itself out and if things went to hell-in-a-hand-basket turning ugly, players have a ground-zero point to reference, helping them to more readily accept the outcome.

No:

"I lost my arm?! But I was over on the left attacking the troll!"

"How could the spell have hit me if I was behind the magic shield?!"

"But I'm using my magic X on Z, not my Y!"

"I said I was running!"

"I'm going to A with my B, or no, Y with my Z, okay...that's what I'm doing. Huh? What do you mean I already used the Z?! I just pulled it out."

"No! No! I was in front of the wagon, so I know I had line-of-sight on the sorcerer!"

"But I thought I was over on A...under B... fighting with my C...casting an X...talking to Y...listening to Z...etc."

For me, in my game, an initial statement of intent gives me a handle on where my players are, and they feel they've had their moment to consider the circumstances and employ their PCs in a way that seems acceptable and advantageous to them. I feel such a moment can forestall much misunderstanding and butt-hurt.

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