Re: Dropping APs

From: Graham J Robinson <gjr_at_...>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 11:34:26 +0100 (BST)

Various people in reply to me :

Micheal Cule :
> Good lad. Just what I want to see.


>You *do* know that not getting 'the
>heroes' battered about was part of Robin's Grand Design, don't you?
>(Evil Grin)

Which I do kind of agree with. Its a LONG time since I killed a PC, and that was for stupidity. Doesn't mean they can't hurt along the way though....

<snip suggestion for using a body ability>

I'd guess it wouldn't take much to add more levels of injury (maybe a progression of -1, -10%, -25%, -50%, dying...) but that would allow people to keep fighting for longer. Given the easy availability of healing, I don't think this is a major worry.

Another point, is that originally I made it less lethal, but found that was too drawn out. Basically, if minor victories don't make a significant difference to the outcome, it quickly gets frustrating.

Trotsky :

> On the face of it, I'd say that something like this is the best way to
>'fix' the system. The most obvious problem with it (at least to me) is
>that in the existing rules weapons and armour are only differentiated
>using APs. I suppose one could make them apply a penalty or bonus to the
>combat roll, but that still doesn't feel quite right to me. How (if at
>all) did you get round this?

I went with the obvious - armour applies a penalty to the other guys skill. Not perhaps perfect, but it seemed to work okay. At the end of the day, it wasn't a major worry, since most of the people involved (Orlanthi) weren't wearing armour anyway.

> I can't really think of many situations where I'd want to use the
>extended contest for non-combat actions, myself. But that is very much
>due to my style of gaming, and for that majority (I suspect) of players
>who would find it useful, I don't think the extended contest mechanism
>creates the same sort of problems out of combat as it does (for some
>people) in combat.

The main thing I'm worried about is I can see extended contests (in some form) being useful for whatever the equivalent of Spirit Combat is in hero wars. I don't really want to have too many ad hoc solutions kicking around.

> I'd likely tune down the dangerousness myself

Thats two people who think I make combat too dangerous - I think most of players would be surprised! On the other hand, I'd expect most people to keep fighting till they got to the -50% level anyway, so I kind of see this as being more of a 'how much attrition do you want' issue.

Roderick (replying to Andrew Dawson?):

>> The more I look at this, the more I wonder which way the next game
>> goes. I still think that AP/extended contests allow lucky streaks to
>have a
>> great effect.

>And this system doesn't ?!?
>*Any* rules that require you to throw dice to resolve actions allows
>"lucky streaks to have a great effect".

Of course it does. Otherwise we'd play Amber, and have no randomness at all.

> This system gives you (the player) no control on the combat after the
>decision to attack/don't attack. Might as well be playing D&D...

Given Roderick made the same point less aggressively later, I'll answer that instead.

>I'm sorry to have snapped,

Not a problem

> it just sometiomes seems like people aren't giving their imagination

Pardon? This I don't understand.

> I won't say that the AP system "allows you
>to roleplay your fights" or any nonesense like that, but I think it gives
>the players a bit more control over what their characters are doing. I
>haven't seen another game system that allows you to say *mechanically*
>"I'm going all-out" or "I'm feeling him out". Sure, in RQ you could *say*
>it, but the mechanics didn't *support* it. Rolemaster at least gave you
>the opportunity to use your skill to augment offense or defense.

But who mentioned RQ? My specific suggestion included :

  1. Allow characters to try for bonuses using whatever skills they thought they could get.
  2. Try for an all out attack by trading a bonus for a more serious defeat if they failed.

I don't think this lacks control. I had players coming out with lines like "I'll use my Sunset Leap to jump over the advancing line, turn quickly, then use flickering blade for an attack on the leader from behind." Quickly roll some dice and we see how it works out. (In this case badly... He tried too much, fluffed two of the dice rolls, and ended up sat on his butt in the mud.)

I wanted to keep the say in what happened. But I also wanted it to be more of a "I'll try to use this ability to give me an advantage" not "I'll bid 10AP, what do I have to say to get the GM to allow it."

>Personally, I think the system is good, and it appeals to my sense of
>having a say in how my characters are fighting/debating/whatever.

Fair enough - I just think my system gives as much control, but without having the extra complexity and attrition of the AP system.

This seems to have got long - apologies for that.


Graham Robinson.			Dept. Computing Science, Glasgow.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall take flack from both sides.
	Sweet Myth-tery of Life - Robert Asprin

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