RE: Any combat rules variants?

From: COPPEAU, Jean-Christophe <Jean-Christophe.COPPEAU_at_...>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 13:26:13 +0200

        From Aron:

> One I'm considering (being a bloody minded sort myself) is
inflicting

> hurts when a threshold AP are lost in a given exchange (10 or a %
> perhaps). I find persistent wounds to be an interesting plot
device,

> forcing the other characters to help out the poor sod.

I do not agree.
The actual system is perfect if you want the other characters to help out a falling comrade.
Example:
Big Bruno has fallen to -25 and is out of the way, without any defense. His four comrades know that at the end of the fight he will be badly injured if they do not help him, even if no enemy give the coup de grace. If their situation as a group is not a mess, there will be one of them to divert from his courant task ( smashing this trollkin bastard ), put himself into danger ( Lower his APs and doing an unrelated task ) to help his comrade ( lenting him some APs ) and perhaps even putting him back in fight. If Big Bruno receives 13 APs, ending at -12, at the end of the fight he will be less badly injured.

More, the combat is always a mess, and should a character be careful enough to follow the hurts he is getting, he will be less focused on the tasks at hand.
Instead, he is an heroic guy, so he jumps into the melee, oblivious of his own safety. Once the fight his over, that's to say, when one side has 'accepted' the superiority of the other time, then the character looks down at himself and grins ( Dear, dear, that's pretty bad isn't it ). In in mid fight he thinks 'Oh my god, this really hurts', well he is already dead, or it just means that his moral is falling and that the hurt disturb him. Maybe that at the end of the fight he will realise it was no more than a little bruise.

Still I agree that hurts are important; if the characters always go out of a fight with quite nothing when they win, it's to easy. The point is if it's a little tavern fight with nothing serious, ok, it's fair; but if it's an epic confrontation central to the plot, you should use the trade 7 APs for a hurt rule ( You will see that your characters will be eager to give them the money back ) or the optionnal rule which says that in an important fight, 15 APs lost = 15 APs lost + a hurt. That's plenty enough, and you will be surprised to see the players bid more APs in important fights.

> Another I'm considering is dropping the reverse transfer on
failures

> or fumbles by half or so. Especially in extended group contests
I've

> had individual minor villans turn into accidental sources of AP
for

> the characters rather than the other baddies. Of course you can
run

> them as one, but in some cases that doesn't make sense.

	Once again, I do not agree.
	If the minor vilains end being a source of APs for the players you
have two point of view:
*	The bad boy was really and rather stupidly hoping that his men would
stop the characters, they didn't, so he is losing confidence, and the characters begin to fight him with pore APs ( same contest ) * He knew his men would be a mere annoyance to the characters, but hoped for a lucky shot, or wanted to check if his men were ready to die for him, then you can consider that the fight against the boss is a new contest, and you refresh the characters APs, but if one of them has been injured, he has a malus.
		Again the characters' feeling could be imporatant also: did
they gain confidence because they wiped out the first 	opposition, or did
they felt submerged by a never ending attack that was disturbing them from
their main goal ? ( if 	the first they could keep APs, stay in the same
contest, and the bad guy should begin to understand that he did 	some
sort of a mistake by allowing them to have a little practice )

        More, as discussed in the forum ( do a search with 'examples' or 'group contest', lots of interesting things ), you can manage your minor vilains in several ways.

        Followers for the Big Bad Guy ( He is in from the beginnig of the fight, his followers are here to help him concentrate on one character, the others are stoped to approach )

        Treat minor villains individually, as explained in this forum, they are easily defeated on a single basis, but the characters are confronted with the multiple attackers/defenders rules and may have a hard time, receiving countless minions.

        Put them in groups which gives them more APs, that's good if you want an heroic scene where the heroes are leaving a path of blood behind them as nothing can stop them.

        Treat them as one opponent, and even use a simple contest if you want.

        I think you have a sufficient number of solutions to taylor the opposition to the narrative effect you want to create, and that's the main point, isn't it?

> Finally, I have no ideas on this, but how have people been
handling

> missle fire? I've run it as one or more simple exchanges
detracting

> from the initial AP numbers on the first subsequent melee/exchange

> (which then reverted to the appropriate skills).

        This one has been given an example previously, and I think you make it right.

        The archers are initiating the extended contest, and choose Archery, so they have several advantages:

	They choose the initial ablities in the contest, so the APs,
	They lower the APs of their opponents while they are trying to come
to close combat or to flee,
	They have a chance to injure their opponents, giving them malus.

	If the characters make it to close combat, the archers have
suficient time to change weapons, the contest is the same, so everybody keeps his APs.
	The point is:
*	If the Archers have better archery than close combat ability, they
will have a better number of APs when it comes to that.The characters have been approaching under a rain of arrows which is quite frightening.So the APs represent the tactical advantage of the archers, the lack of confidence of the characters who have faced death.
* If the archers are better in close combat, they will take any chance to injure the characters, trading the initial lose of APS ( with archery 17 and sword 5w, they have 17 APs against 25 if they had begin in close combat ), for malus to their opponents for the rest of the contest. If they score a critical success, they may regain back there initial APs lost from chosing archery
* If the characters gain APs while approaching, it reflects (just an example) that they have stunned their opponents with their brave charge, that the opponents hoped to stay at far range, that they weren't ready to close range so fast, ...

        You may search for the words 'Skirmish' and 'tactic' in the archive, many interesting things.

        Hope it will help, any comment will be gladly welcomed

        The Frenchy ;-)

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