[LWMPG] Clarified Combat Rules

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hal
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[LWMPG] Clarified Combat Rules

Postby hal » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:21 pm

This revision is clarified and reorganised version of how I intepret the LW Combat Rules. If you interpret them differently, that's cool.

If anyone has any thoughts on the following text including questions or errata, please fire away.
BATTLES for Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook
(a revision replacing the Battles, Ganging Up, Engage Many Enemies and In Battles sections of Chapter Three; Defeating Enemies)

The previous section deals with how combat is worked out when it is just you and one enemy going toe-to-toe. More often, you will have several friends on your side and your enemies are likely to have allies as well! If you have several characters fighting at once, the following rules apply.

Terms
Attack – The opportunity to do damage in combat by a character or an enemy
Character – A player character
Combat – Where a player makes a picks a number from the Random Number Table for the Combat Results Table; it simultaneously involves an attack by a character and an attack by an enemy
Combat round– A segment of time in which each character and enemy has the opportunity to fight at least one combat
Enemy – A non-player character
Engage – Participating in melee Combat
Order of Battle – The order in which characters and enemies engage each other or take other actions

Order of Battle, Engagement and Combat Rounds
Characters and enemies engage each other or take other actions in the order of COMBAT SKILL, with the highest COMBAT SKILL going first.

If the character or enemy is not engaged then the character or enemy is free to engage anyone he wishes, even if the target is already engaged.

If the character or enemy is engaged then the character or enemy, he may only fight a combat with the character or enemies he is engaged with. However, if he is engaged with multiple opponents, the character or enemy may decide to engage any number of those he is engaged with.

A character or enemy does not get to engage others or take another action if they have already fought a combat this combat round. In effect they have acted in this combat round already. This usually means the characters and enemies with low COMBAT SKILL will rarely get a chance to choose who they will fight, unless their side outnumbers the other.

Once all characters and enemies have fought a combat, the combat round ends. Characters and enemies that are still engaged at the end of the combat round, remain so at the start of the next.

Combat
When a character or enemy is engaged and the bonuses to COMBAT SKILLS have been worked out, combat takes place as normal i.e. the player pick a number from the Random Number Table and turns to the Combat Results Table to determine the result.

Engage Many Enemies
A character (but not an enemy) may choose to engage up to four multiple opponents, diving forward into their midst. This is dangerous but very heroic!

All of the enemies will count as being engaged by the character and they will immediately receive a +2 Bonus to their COMBAT SKILL for every enemy present after the first.

The player then picks a number from the Random Number Table for each enemy and turns to the Combat Results Table to determine the results.

Ganging Up
It is quite possible for multiple enemies to gang up on a single character, or vice versa. So long as the Kai Lords stick together, most combats should be like this.

The character or enemy gains a temporary +2 Bonus to his COMBAT SKILL if their opponent has already fought one attacker, +4 if the opponent has already fought two and +6 if the opponent has already fought three.

A maximum of four characters or enemies can engage one opponent at any one time.

The player then picks a number from the Random Number Table for their character or each enemy that is ganging up and turns to the Combat Results Table to determine the result.

Evading Engagement
Engagement is ended in three ways. The first is to defeat all the opponents in the engagement.

The second is to Evade Engagement. This is worked out as Evasion of Combat and, once done, the character or enemy is free to flee or to engage others in the next combat round as normal. When attacked by an enemy, a character may forgo their own attack and instead Evade Engagement..

The third is where a character or enemy in an engagement does not fight a combat with any of his opponents in a combat round. At the end of the combat round, the character or enemy may decide to leave the engagement with all such opponents.

Ranged Weapons
Ranged weapons are quite often used right at the start of a battle as combatants rush towards one another. However, once a character or enemy is engaged, he may not use ranged weapons at all. He must switch to a normal weapon.

It is possible for you to use a ranged weapon throughout a battle, so long as you are not engaged. You may use your ranged weapon against an opponent already engaged by one of your allies but your COMBAT SKILL will temporarily drop by 6 points during the attack, as you will be trying very hard not to hit your friend!
Last edited by hal on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Or, how about this

Postby Keystonegamingsociety » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:30 am

Now, I'll say this about the following combat rules:

1) I do NOT believe this was how the combat rules system was originally suppose to be written. I do, however, feel that it balances out the game and makes some corrections to oversights by treating ALL characters (player characters, NPC allies, and NPC enemies) the same.
2) To use these rules, you need to use a modified combat results table. An example is available at www.keystonegamingsociety.com.

Let me know what you think.


COMBAT
To fight in combat, follow this procedure:
• Determine the order of battle. Arrange all combatants (both player characters and non-player characters) in descending order from highest combat skill to lowest combat skill
• Starting at the top of the order, each character…
o May engage in combat with one or more opponents, make a ranged attack, or take another non-combative action (healing, moving, etc.).
o Once you are engaged in melee combat with an enemy, you remain locked in melee combat until your opponent dies, you die, or you evade.
o Once engaged, on your turn you decide if you wish to make a melee attack or evade. Evading breaks your engagement with your opponents and it may not always be an option. Evading removes you from combat completely – you may no longer attack any enemy in this combat or be attacked.
o If you decide to make a melee or ranged attack, determine your current combat skill as modified by the specific conditions of your attack (adding and subtracting any modifiers).
 Common modifiers include:
• -4 for going into combat without a weapon
• -2 for going into battle with an improvised weapon
• -8 for fighting in the dark with no light source
• +2 if two characters simultaneously engage one opponent
• +4 if three characters simultaneously engage one opponent
• +6 if four characters simultaneously engage one opponent (maximum)
• -6 for firing a ranged weapon into combat when your opponent is engaged in melee with one of your allies.
o NOTE: Ranged attacks do not “engage” an opponent and thus may not be used to “gang up” on an opponent.
o Compare your combat skill to your target’s combat skill.
This determines your Combat Ratio.
o Roll a d10 or pick a random number from the Random Number Table.
o Use the Combat Results Table to determine how much endurance is lost by both your opponent and yourself.
 NOTE: When making a ranged attack (bow, lightning bolt, etc.) you do not lose endurance when you attack.
 NOTE: If you elected to evade combat, you receive damage but your opponent does not.
o Record any endurance losses.
o Combat continues to the next player.
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hal
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Postby hal » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:31 am

I think its also pretty easy to create a visual aid to help combat management if that is desired, such as this quick mock up:

Image

1. Use some form of token, counter or mini. I think D&D 4e counters would be cool.

2. Designate each segment to a PC by placing the PC counter outside the outer edge.

3. Place all the monster counters in the centre.

4. When a PC engages a monster(s) or vice versa, place the monster counter in the PC's segment.

5. If a monster is engaged by two PCs, move the tokens so that the two PCs are adjacent and place the monster on the dividing line. This is a rare occurrence and the visual aid may break down if matters get too complex.

6. When a player picks a number from the Random Number Table and turns to the Combat Results Table, place the PC counter on the inside line. This shows that the PC has fought this round.
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Re: Or, how about this

Postby hal » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:39 am

Keystonegamingsociety wrote:Now, I'll say this about the following combat rules:

1) I do NOT believe this was how the combat rules system was originally suppose to be written. I do, however, feel that it balances out the game and makes some corrections to oversights by treating ALL characters (player characters, NPC allies, and NPC enemies) the same.
2) To use these rules, you need to use a modified combat results table. An example is available at www.keystonegamingsociety.com.

Let me know what you think.
That looks fine. Its sort of a riff of intepretation 1 from earlier which returns to a more typical RPG set up, except you have also balanced out the Character and Enemies.

It has the same issue of interpretation 1 though with essentially a one on one melee becoming 2 rolls and 4 lots of damage. I really don't like this echo as it fails to take advantage of the one roll combat system or mirror the gamebooks. My intepretation still has that to some extent, but it is reduced and does mirror the gamebooks in a one on one situation.

I can't say that I am not a fan of restoring the balance. The LW monster stats tend to bias the Enemies as the damage in the CRT is in the PCs favour. To do this properly I would also need to effectively half the Endurance value of the monsters.

I personally found the imbalance was beneficial in making battles seem more terrifying than they often were and also supporting the spotlight of the heroes. YMMV
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In response to Hal

Postby Keystonegamingsociety » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:50 am

HAL -

I think you have a first good try and clarifying the rules system as they were intended to be written. Really good effort. My comments below will be on where I still see room for improvement but I think what you've done is excellent so far.

A couple of thoughts....

I like that you tried to define the terms. However, some of them are a little unclear.
ATTACK - from your definition it sounds like an enemy gets their own attack independent of the hero. I might define "attack" as, "attempting to harm an opponent." You may want to define MELEE attack and RANGED attack seperately because melee attacks are more of an EXCHANGE between opponents.
CHARACTER - I think the rules need to clearly use the terms PC, ALLIED NPC, NEUTRAL NPC, and ENEMY NPC. After all, if I have NPC allies in combat how is that handled? Do they get their own combat roll or are they "passive" like the enemies?
ENEMY - Perhaps this term should be changed to COMBAT OPPONENT. Not all Enemies may be NPCs (what about a brawl between to PCs?) and not all NPCs are enemies.
ENGAGE - I think "engage" means more than to simply "initiate." In my interpretation, you're locked into battle when you're engaged. I base this on the solo books.
EVADE - No definition given - you probably want to give one. My interpretation, once again based on the solo game books, is that evasion is not always an option and it removes the character from combat 100% - they can no longer attack or be attacked in that combat at all.

Under Order of Battle, etc. it is unclear if enemies can initiate combat. The character with the highest CS go first even if it is an enemy?
You say, "If the character or enemy is engaged then the character or enemy, he has to attack the character or enemies he is engaged with." but then you say if they've already fought they don't get to go again. If you're engaged you have already been involved in an "exchange" in combat.

Engage Many Enemies - Why can't a enemy do this, say, if they go first and have the highest CS?

Ganging Up - It is unclear how many times the character being ganged up on rolls. Is it different if a PC is being ganged up on and if a NPC is being ganged up on? For example, four giaks attacking one Kai Lord. How many die rolls? Now for Kai Lords attacking one giak. How many die rolls?

BREAKING ENGAGEMENT - What does "This is worked out as normal" mean? Once again, it is my believe that evading combat removes you completely from combat. I do believe that their should be another action called "Breaking engagement" in which you can leave one opponent, take damage but not deal it, and engage another opponent. I have had a player do this at the table to assist a ally in trouble.

RANGED WEAPONS - You should clarify about not receiving damage and that a ranged weapon doesn't count toward the "ganging up" limit of four. I would also say that the -6 penalty should increase by -2 for every ally after the first attacking the opponent but this would be a homebrew rule.




Well, there are my thoughts. Like I said, I applaud the effort and hope others share their thoughts. No homebrew rules - trying to clearly express the rules as they are strickly intended to be read. Good work, Hal!
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Postby Keystonegamingsociety » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:54 am

hal wrote:I think its also pretty easy to create a visual aid to help combat management if that is desired, such as this quick mock up:

Image

1. Use some form of token, counter or mini. I think D&D 4e counters would be cool.

2. Designate each segment to a PC by placing the PC counter outside the outer edge.

3. Place all the monster counters in the centre.

4. When a PC engages a monster(s) or vice versa, place the monster counter in the PC's segment.

5. If a monster is engaged by two PCs, move the tokens so that the two PCs are adjacent and place the monster on the dividing line. This is a rare occurrence and the visual aid may break down if matters get too complex.

6. When a player picks a number from the Random Number Table and turns to the Combat Results Table, place the PC counter on the inside line. This shows that the PC has fought this round.
Hal, I REALLY like this idea and I think it's deserving of it's own thread - plenty to talk about in this thread already!!!!

I must say that in my experience combats get messy very, very quickly. I've had scenarios when heroes are ganging up on enemies that are also ganging up on heroes. Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of. I agree that this first attempt at a visual aid may break down in a complex scenario.
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Postby hal » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:02 am

Keystonegamingsociety wrote:I must say that in my experience combats get messy very, very quickly. I've had scenarios when heroes are ganging up on enemies that are also ganging up on heroes. Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of. I agree that this first attempt at a visual aid may break down in a complex scenario.
I would probably just add a restriction that one 2 PCs could engage anyone 1 Enemy, unless it was a big solo bad guy. This would cut down the times the visual aid broke down and may just also help save my sanity.
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Re: In response to Hal

Postby hal » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:22 am

Cheers. I have tried to stay close to the terminology as used.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:ATTACK - from your definition it sounds like an enemy gets their own attack independent of the hero. I might define "attack" as, "attempting to harm an opponent." You may want to define MELEE attack and RANGED attack seperately because melee attacks are more of an EXCHANGE between opponents.
Good point. I will ponder how to clarify it.

I don't think melee and ranged needs more distinction than currently given. Engaging is limited to melee combat.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:CHARACTER - I think the rules need to clearly use the terms PC, ALLIED NPC, NEUTRAL NPC, and ENEMY NPC. After all, if I have NPC allies in combat how is that handled? Do they get their own combat roll or are they "passive" like the enemies?
I think the definition is fine.

NPC allies would roll no dice but be handled narratively. LW MPG focusses on the PCs only combats involving them would be rolled.

I don't think I would ever have Neutral NPCs in a combat.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:ENEMY - Perhaps this term should be changed to COMBAT OPPONENT. Not all Enemies may be NPCs (what about a brawl between to PCs?) and not all NPCs are enemies.
I don't think I would ever see a PC v PC fight in LW MPG. As such, the definition is fine.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:ENGAGE - I think "engage" means more than to simply "initiate." In my interpretation, you're locked into battle when you're engaged. I base this on the solo books.
Good point. I will make it to initiate and sustain a combat.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:EVADE - No definition given - you probably want to give one. My interpretation, once again based on the solo game books, is that evasion is not always an option and it removes the character from combat 100% - they can no longer attack or be attacked in that combat at all.
Evasion from Combat rules are unchanged. I have simply expanded them to allow PCs to evade an engagement. I think this lesser form of evasion can be done in any situation.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:Under Order of Battle, etc. it is unclear if enemies can initiate combat. The character with the highest CS go first even if it is an enemy?
I am not sure why it is unclear. It says characters and enemies.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:You say, "If the character or enemy is engaged then the character or enemy, he has to attack the character or enemies he is engaged with." but then you say if they've already fought they don't get to go again. If you're engaged you have already been involved in an "exchange" in combat.
That is correct. A combat involves two attacks from both sides. As such, the statements are consistent with each other.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:Engage Many Enemies - Why can't a enemy do this, say, if they go first and have the highest CS?
This was a judgement call that seems consistent with how the rules are worded. It only refers to characters being able to do this. Given the way LW focusses on the PCs, this makes sense.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:Ganging Up - It is unclear how many times the character being ganged up on rolls. Is it different if a PC is being ganged up on and if a NPC is being ganged up on? For example, four giaks attacking one Kai Lord. How many die rolls? Now for Kai Lords attacking one giak. How many die rolls?
I am not sure it is unclear. Each Enemy would create a seperate combat and a seperate roll.

In the both examples, 4 rolls are made. In the first, the one player would make all four. In the second, each of the 4 players would make 1 roll.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:BREAKING ENGAGEMENT - What does "This is worked out as normal" mean? Once again, it is my believe that evading combat removes you completely from combat. I do believe that their should be another action called "Breaking engagement" in which you can leave one opponent, take damage but not deal it, and engage another opponent. I have had a player do this at the table to assist a ally in trouble.
Rules for evading combat on page 18 are unaltered. In order to keep with the spirit of the existing rules as possible, I think treating it as it is fine. To be honest, I am still in two minds as to whether to allow it as it is the one addition I have made to the existing system.
Keystonegamingsociety wrote:RANGED WEAPONS - You should clarify about not receiving damage and that a ranged weapon doesn't count toward the "ganging up" limit of four. I would also say that the -6 penalty should increase by -2 for every ally after the first attacking the opponent but this would be a homebrew rule.
The rules are clear that ganging up only results from engagement and ranged weapons don't engage.
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Postby Balgin Stondraeg » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:53 pm

A character or enemy does not get to engage others or take another action if they have already fought a combat this combat round. In effect they have acted in this combat round already. This usually means the characters and enemies with low COMBAT SKILL will rarely get a chance to choose who they will fight, unless their side outnumbers the other.
That section could've done with being in bold as it's the only part of the multiplayer rules that required some kind of clarification.

If you've already been attacked and someone's fighting you then you don't get a turn. Getting shot at does not constitute someone fighting you and preventing you from doing stuff as you could run away, dive in a river or clamber a wall etc. But if a big nasty Drakkarim is in your face slashing at you then you've already fought this turn so you don't get a go.

Monsters and npc's get turns too if their CS is high enough. You might want to see my whole "do monsters get a turn?" series of posts in another thread. Knew I should've staretd a separate thread for this. It still hasn't had an official answer yet that I'm aware of.

You can find my earlier thoughts in the first couple of pages of this thread entitled Is there a difference between Gang Up and Engage Many Enemy?

Here's a good example:
Balgin Stondraeg wrote:
beowuuf wrote:Maybe enemy do get a turn if they are not engaged when their combat turn comes up...though I would still assume the ratio is comparing player characters to enemy not vice versa.
That's what I'm thinking.

So if the iniative order is as follows:

True Blade
Giak 1
Swift Fox
Moon Owl
Giak 2
Wild Foal
Giak 3
Giak 4

Then it could go as follows:

True Blade engages Giak 1
Giak 1 does not get a turn because it's already fighting.
Swift Fox attacks giak 2
Moon Owl attacks giak 3
And then Wild Foal attacks Giak 4.

However, if True Blade does not attack giak 1 then things get messy.

So let's say that True Blade attacks Giak 2.

In this case Giak 1 gets a turn, and gets to pick a Kai lord to pick on. if it attacks True Blade, then it gets a ganging up bonus because True Blade has already fought giak 2 this turn.

If it attacks another kai monk (let's say it attacks Swift Fox) then they fight each other. And yes, the combat ratio is still worked out from Swift Fox's perspective. I did aplaytest working it out from the giak's eprspective and it completely broke the system as the ganging up bonuses were actualy making the giaks less effective, and die quicker, when they were the ones doing the outnumbering. The easiest way to think of the ganging up/being outnumbered bonuses is sideways shifts along the combat results table (right for the players, left for the foes). and the 0 column gets skipped over because it's the only one that's not a 2 point step away from the others on either side of it.

Now Swift Fox does not get a turn because he's already been picked on by someone higher up the initiative order.

And so the round continues.

So my thinking is that monsters get a turn, if they haven't had it denied them by players (and likewise high CS monsters will be able to pick their victims and deny a player their turn by singling them out).

Complicated or what? Hopefuly now you see why I wanted to start a thread about wether monsters got a turn or not (and why I was so grateful that someone started it so I wouldn't have to work out how to write the opening post).
And another fine example:
Balgin Stondraeg wrote:
beowuuf wrote:Does this sound about right then?
I think you're seeing it the same way as I am now. Everybody gets a turn unless it's denied them by another person's actions. if someone attacks you then you don't get to attack them back on your turn because you've already fought them.

However, I've just seen a nasty permutation.
If a character is no longer engaged .... he may move to attack another.
So let's assume that True Blade, Swift Fox and Wild Foal are fighting a Drakkarim and 3 giaks.

Initiative order:

True Blade
Drakarrim
Swift Fox
Moon Owl
3 Giaks
Wild Foal

True Blade attacks 2 of the Giaks
The Drakkarim attacks Wild Foal
Swift Fox rushes to Wild Foal's aid and sorely wounds the Drakkarim, nearly finishing him.
Rather than face the lone Giak, Moon Owl charges in and finishes off the Drakkarim.
The lone Giak can take his pick of the Kai, and, snarling, goes for Swift Fox.

Wild Foal is no longer fighting the Drakkarim. Does she get a turn?

I believe the answer is no, because the Drakkarim engaging her earlier in the round denies her her chance to act, regardless of how things later play out. However the ambiguous wording implies that she gets to mvoe to engage another foe, but that once everyone's fought at least once, the round ends (so it ends when the Lone Giak attacks Swift Fox).

So the way I see it is this: if a person becomes unengaged during a round then they may act, provided they have not fought back against an attack.

So if the Drakkarim had survived round 1 then round 2 might go something like this:

True Blade fights another 2 rounds of combat against the deadly pair of giaks that he faces (with them both getting ganging up bonuses, again).

The Drakkarim lashes out at Swift Fox in recompense for wounds suffered last round.

Swift Fox slays the Drakkarim.

At this point Wild Foal becomes unengaged and, since she has not been attacked, will get her turn at the end of the round if nobody else attacks her before then.
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