A closer look at the Dynamic Roleplaying System: An Introduction to the Combat System
January 22, 2014
For our midweek post we decided to let people have a sneak peak of the combat system in order to get peoples first impressions ahead of the systems first major update to version 2.0.
The combat system in a roleplaying game is one of the central mechanics in the game due to fact that at some point someone is going to draw a sword or pull the trigger on their gun.
When we sat down to discuss the combat system we decided that our focus would be on three key factors.
The combat should be fast and involving with decisions and resolutions being quick and easy to reach without the need of overly complicated maths or referring to tables.
It was vital that the players would be free to emulate the cinematic fights and battles from the players favourite TV show, film or book.
And finally the combat system needed to have a brutal and real feel to it, where the players would consider the risk of starting a fight rather than charging in and using the encounter mechanic to look for alternatives to win the encounter without feeling they have to fight to win.
To help us implement this we decided that we would need to build the core mechanics of the game around a skill based system. With that in mind we then decided to move onto how the combat skills would work themselves. We decided that the player would have a selection of core combat skills that would unlock more powerful skill as he progressed, this idea eventually led to the skill tree concept that applies to all skill in the game.
Once we had the foundation of the combat system we then decided to look at how we were going to keep the fights quick and exciting, while incorporating the brutal feel we were looking for. We decided at this point that we would allow each character at character generation to generate an amount of actions based upon their speed. The amount of actions could be later improved with magic or other abilities.
Once we had decided this we looked deeper into how the fights would work which led us to the conclusion that we would need to split the actions into two categories, proactive actions and reactive actions.
Proactive Actions: Are where the player performs an action on his combat turn, an example of this would be attacking with your weapon, stunning your opponent or striking your foe with two fatal blows.
Reactive Actions: Where the player can perform the action on another players action regardless of whether they were friend or foe. Examples of these actions would be dodging a blow, catching an arrow or grabbing an opponent’s weapon mid swing and killing them with it.
With this in place we were able to arrange a set of rough fights to gather how players would move, attack and defend themselves in combat as well as identifying key components that were missing from the game such as how armour would work and initiatives.
With our first draft of the combat system completed we decided that we now needed to incorporate how the player’s actions would work in combat and how the characters agility and armour would affect this. This led us to the creation of the defence score bonus that would incorporate their armour and other bonuses and let to the creation of a system for determining who would strike first.
The below section is an example combat that outlines the basics of how the combat will work.
Storyteller: Whilst you are traveling through the woodland you are suddenly ambushed by a trio of bandits who are just as started to see you as you are. The leader of the bandits shouts “kill him and attacks”
Roll your initiative.
Khellus (Swordsman): I’ve rolled 22
Storyteller: ok and the bandits have 12, 18 and 25 for the bandit leader. So the bandit leader acts first
Storyteller: Ok the bandit leader goes to attack you, He uses his first action to get to you and his second to attack you, what’s your defence score?
Khellus (Swordsman): Its now 42.
Storyteller: Right he attacks you with his long sword.
The bandit rolls his attack and passes by 51.
Storyteller: He’s managed to hit you and beat your armour are you going to take the blow or use a reaction?
Khellus (Swordsman): I’ll counter attack his blow
Storyteller: You need to beat 51 to dodge it.
Khellus rolls his Dodge and passes by 62.
Storyteller: Ok you dodge the blow and land a return blow on him, the bandit leader tries to dodge and needs a pass of 62 or more.
The Storyteller rolls the bandits dodge and passes by 35 and fails to dodge the counter blow causing him to take damage.
Khellus rolls his damage
Storyteller: Ok Khellus it’s your initiative next
Khellus (Swordsman): I’m going to attack the bandit leader again.
Storyteller: Ok roll your attacks.
Khellus (Swordsman): rolls his attack and pass 57.
Storyteller: Ok you hit and bypass his armour, roll your damage.
Khellus (Swordsman): rolls his damage.
Storyteller: Ok the bandit leader goes down you have two actions left what do you do next?
Khellus (Swordsman): I’ll use intimidate on the other two and say “Do you really want to join him?”
Storyteller: Ok roll your skill.
Khellus rolls his intimidate skill and passes by 74
The storyteller rolls a check for the bandits resolve.
Storyteller: Both of the remaining bandit’s looks at their fallen leader turn and flee.
The above is only a taster of what the players can accomplish, with the player gaining access to more powerful skills and abilities the more he focuses on a specific skill.
I hope you found this section interesting and we look forward to hearing your feedback on this as always, but please remember this was intended as only an introduction to what we are planning and we will be publishing a more detailed development journal as the playtests and developments take effect.
As with all the posts this week these announcements are merely to demonstrate the mechanics we are looking to incorporate into the finished system and to collect feedback for when we move onto the next stage of the games development.