06 March, 2013

Degree of success on the Combat Wheel

The core system of Voidstone Chronicles is based on the core system of Tooth and Claw.

The combat system is a complication on that basic die rolling mechanism, with the hope to give more of a video game style of vibe. The combat wheel is the main modification here, but I'm still toying with ways to make things run smoothly while adding some more strategic elements into play.

One of the things that I've recently been considering is the notion of variable predefined successes based on the actions chosen. For example, combat with a sword might be split into thrusts or slashes...if you get extra degrees of success on a thrust it might do more damage, while if you earn more successes with a slash it might take less time to accomplish this action. The mechanism can be found in the Cadwallon RPG from Rackham, and it seems to be a nice way to differentiate weaponry without getting into lots of nuanced technicality that really slows down a game.

A couple of the ideas I've had include:

Weapons that slash - extra successes cause the action to take less time (if in air stance)
Weapons that thrust - extra successes cause more damage (if in fire stance)
Weapons that crush - extra successes cause lingering damage effects (if in earth stance)
Chain weapons - extra success entangles opponent or their weapon (if in water stance)
Unwieldy weapons - not getting an extra success takes more time
Crude weapons - not getting an extra success risks weapon breakage

Light Armour - extra success means a block/dodge takes less time
Heavy Armour - extra success means that a block absorbs more damage

I'm not sure if this is a good direction for the game to take, it's feeling right, but some playtesting should show whether this works.

EDIT: Even though this combat cycle could be seen as an indirect progression of elements from the roller derby boardgame (and therefore I've been playing with these concepts for years)...as a follow up it's interesting to note that other people seem to be working on similar concepts.Like this one.
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