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Combat: using opposed rolls for parries instead of differential rolls

posted Jan 07, 2013 23:58:50 by Afon y Bydysawd
Just avoiding work and thinking about stuff. I'm not suggesting this is a good idea or not as I haven't tried it out.

Has anyone used opposed rolls for parries instead of differential rolls? What are the consequences of this? Special effects would still be based on differential results, but...

A has combat style 60%
B has combat style 60%

A attacks - rolls 36
B parries - rolls 43 - successful parry, no damage
or
B parries - rolls 22 - unsuccessful parry (didn't beat A's 36), regular damage.

The most obvious thing is that it removes weapon size as a factor, but what else happens?
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19 replies
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bluefenix42 said Jan 08, 2013 00:09:51
Roughly 50% of parries that would have been successful before this rule change will now be unsuccessful, so everyone will be dealing and taking damage more often. Fights will end up being noticeably shorter
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jackpersona42 said Jan 08, 2013 01:48:16
I think I'd want it to be more subtle. Maybe a higher differential roll (the 43 in your example) increases the effective size of the weapon by one, while a lower differential roll (the 22) decreases the effective size by one, with small weapons becoming entirely ineffective at reducing damage.
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bluefenix42 said Jan 08, 2013 01:53:29
I think I'd want it to be more subtle. Maybe a higher differential roll (the 43 in your example) increases the effective size of the weapon by one, while a lower differential roll (the 22) decreases the effective size by one, with small weapons becoming entirely ineffective at reducing damage.


Ooh, now that's interesting. It means that sometimes a Medium weapon will fully block a Large or half-block a Huge, but other times it will fail to do anything at all.

It'd make the rate of damage more variable, without actually increasing damage outputs on average.
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jackpersona42 said Jan 08, 2013 02:15:59
It makes a more skilled combatant more likely to be able to better counter, without resorting to Bypass Parry, the efforts of an unskilled opponent, as well as being better able to counter blows from the same opponent with a normally outclassed weapon. It does step on Enhance Parry a little, but not entirely. Even with a success in this contest of skills, you can't fully parry a longsword wielded two-handed with a dagger, but you can mitigate it some.
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Dreameister said Jan 08, 2013 07:27:59
Bear in mind that introducing opposed rolls into combat significantly affects the distribution of special effects. Differential rolls allow a tie that yields no special effect. In both cases above, one would always receive at least one special effect. To my mind, that would shorten the length of combat even more.

You could mitigate this in two ways: 1) allow special effects only on two degrees of difference or more - failure/critical success, fumble/ordinary success and fumble/critical or 2) the roll is still a differential roll for the purposes of special effects.

Both are poor choices, IMO though, as the first would yield too few SE and the second defeats the purpose of introducing the opposed roll. Maybe you can think of something better.

Cheers,
Marko
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Afon y Bydysawd said Jan 08, 2013 08:28:59
Bear in mind that introducing opposed rolls into combat significantly affects the distribution of special effects

I mentioned in the original post that special effects would still be governed by differential rolls.

We tried out a system whereby: if both parties succeed (i.e. successful parry and successful attack):
* if the parry was the better roll, no damage
* if the attack was the better roll, half damage.

Again, this removes weapon size from the equation, but I like jackpersona's take on it with reducing weapon size.
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PeteNash said Jan 08, 2013 09:37:33
Its an interesting suggestion, but after playtesting the same tweaks prior to MRQII being written, I found it makes combat more of a gamble. Against great weapons or lacking armour, it made combat calculated suicide.

The other aspect I discovered was that you couldn't emulate the BBEG fight at the climax of a story or movie, a lightsabre fight for example, since every other blow of competent protagonists ends up wounding their opponent.

Its a good way of making combat more frightening to PCs, but it doesn't help much in campaigns or settings where combat is a fundamental part of adventuring.
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AlbanDeRostolan said Jan 08, 2013 10:36:54
One of the playtest rules for MRQ1 introduced the idea that parried damage should be based on opposed rolls.

If the defender wins the contest, twice the weapon's Armor Points (that is, approximately 4 for a normal weapon in this ruleset) are substracted from the attack.
If the attacker wins, only 1x AP are substracted.

An option would be to allow the winner to get one special effect from a very limited list. Doing so, you would be able to drop the weapon's size by one, which means a sword (Size M) would block only half the damage of another sword (Size M), but a shield (Size L) would still block all damage.
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BruceMason said Jan 08, 2013 10:42:02
Jackperson's idea is similar to my house ruled combat system for MRQ1. if the parry beat the attack then the parrying weapon got to apply twice its APs against the attack (it would be full size in RQ6 terms) but if the attack won, the parrying weapon only applied its normal APs (one size lower in RQ6 terms).

It was pretty popular and robust but it did take longer to figure out. Then again, MRQ1 combat was so fubarred that tossing a coin was probably a better alternative.

In RQ6 it would give a minor boost to shields because they can probably still block most attacks even on a lost parry. It makes bigger weapons in general a bit scarier and makes dual-wielding (except for shields) a little weaker.

All in all, I wouldn't do it with RQ6 because it would more dice checking and calculation into more dice rolls and RQ6 is right at the limit of what I'm tolerant of in those terms as it is. Other people have different preferences though.
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Dreameister said Jan 08, 2013 10:48:39
I mentioned in the original post that special effects would still be governed by differential rolls.


Ahh, sorry, didn't see it. Serves me right for replying before the morning coffee.
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Afon y Bydysawd said Jan 08, 2013 18:59:06
I’m seeing that this would bring more chance and less player- and character-skill to combat. And that’s not a good thing.

If both attacker and defender succeed, might there be a way to reward the attacker if they got the better roll? The reason I ask, during a RQII campaign, there was some frustration when...

Player Character: HA! HA! A successful hit, I raise my hammer to the sky and bring it down to crush the skull of the evildoer and....

DM: Hold on... Oh, OK, successful parry. We both spend one CA. Next attacker?

Player Character: of the evildoer and... and... and... crap.

Some of the players didn’t mind the attack-parry system, but some felt that a successful attack ought to do _something_.

I think part of it was the habit of narrating the drama of the attack before dice resolution, whereas I found it better to narrate after the dice have determined success, otherwise you waste a lot of your best moves against a parry.
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JayVerkuilen said Jan 09, 2013 17:37:50
One reason I might want to HR things is to cut down on rolls. Active defense is all well and good but it's very time consuming in my experience. (Not with RQ active defense as I haven't played it yet, but other games I've played.)

I tried this running Stormbringer some years back:

Passive defense = half the defender's skill. The attacker needs to exceed the defenders passive defense or the attack misses. Every time PD is used it decreases by 20. I'm not sure if the math works out with current RQ and it definitely messes with the special effects, but it cuts down on a bunch of rolls. I was also using critical success based on doubles that succeed and critical failure based on doubles that failed.

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PatHenry said Jan 09, 2013 22:21:30
One reason I might want to HR things is to cut down on rolls. Active defense is all well and good but it's very time consuming in my experience. (Not with RQ active defense as I haven't played it yet, but other games I've played.)


You might want to try running a game RAW before HRing it. The Special Effects make combat pretty quick and deadly, and you basically gain them automatically when you carry more AP than your opponent (or find ways to strip AP from your opponent). Also, consider that not every combat has to lead to death. I've found that, yes, when every combat has to be rolled down to the very last hit point it can get tedious.
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bluefenix42 said Jan 09, 2013 22:27:10
In my experience, RQ6 combat goes pretty quick as is. A lot of turns go "Roll attack, <roll>, success. Roll parry, <roll>, success. Compare sizes - no damage. Next turn." Turns only take a long time when one character succeeds and the other fails, because that's when you have to choose special effects, roll damage and location, and possibly have additional rolls to determine the outcome of special effects. Also, the player often only needs to know if his roll was good or bad, and same for the GM, so there's no time spent on comparing the GM's roll to the player's roll.
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JayVerkuilen said Jan 09, 2013 22:36:18
Oh yeah, I'd run the game RAW before doing any HR, just figured I'd throw out an idea.

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