Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat chars?

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Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat chars?

Postby danskmacabre » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:35 pm

I've recently started looking at Legend again top run it using Roll20.
I'm intending to use just the Core Legend (MRQ2) rules, rather than the usual Elric system I use.

On this revisit to Legend, I feel like having 3 combat actions at base is the be all and end all of all combat characters.
It's such a HUGE disadvantage to be stuck with 2 CAs for a character that will see combat.

I know you can add a CA if you use 2 weapons or a shield with a weapon, but then so could a character with 3 CAs.

What are people's views on this?

Are there ways to mitigate this?
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby strega » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:15 pm

You could move the cutoff for 2 actions to a higher value or move it down to give virtually everyone three actions.

I suppose it's done to differentiate combat specialist characters from non-combat specialist characters to allow heroes to have the advantage most of the time.

Legend has DEX + INT = 7-12 for 2CA's and 13-18 for three making 13 the sweet spot or perhaps the minimum for a combat character.

RQ6 has DEX + INT = 1-12 for 2AP's and 13-24 for 2AP's suggesting that three CA's/AP's was felt to be too many, especially as the extra CA for an off-hand weapon/shield disappeared as well.

It might be a suitable house rule to skip the extra CA for off-hand stuff and reduce the CA's by one or perhaps give everyone only two CA's.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby DamonJynx » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:31 pm

IMO it doesn't become that much of an issue if opponents are comparable.

In my Elric game, a Pan Tangian death cultist character - don't ask, only had 2 CA and he did quite well in melee, mind you he used a 2H greataxe to devastating effect, hewing limbs and heads from bodies with gleeful abandon.

Perhaps if the ability scores justify it (i.e. high STR & SIZ, and possibly CON) adventurers with lower INT & DEX scores and therefore 2 CA may be better served wielding a Huge 2H weapon with Very long reach, as was the case with the Pan Tangian above. At least this way opponents with medium reach or less weapons will need to expend a CA to close if using the optional closing & disengaging rules.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Tias » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:00 pm

Wait, am I reading this right? Do you get extra CA in Legend if you dual wield og wield shield with another weapon?

If so, where in the book is this described?
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby DamonJynx » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:17 pm

Tias wrote:Wait, am I reading this right? Do you get extra CA in Legend if you dual wield og wield shield with another weapon?

If so, where in the book is this described?
Core Rule book pg 124 wrote: • Shields allow the user an extra Combat Action per round, as well as protecting against missile attacks – which most other weapons cannot parry.
• Using two weapons simultaneously also permits the wielder an extra Combat Action per round and maintains their effectiveness if one weapon is pinned, entangled or dropped. Secondary off hand weapons must be one size category smaller than the main weapon, unless both are small.
• One handed weapon styles do not give an extra Combat Action, but allows one hand free for casting Sorcery spells and touch-range spells.
There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding whether or not the additional CA must be used with the off hand weapon/shield. The RAW do not offer any guidance in this respect but I believe it is a common house rule (it is in our games) that this is the case.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:19 am

I wonder if it might be possible to develop an alternative point-based system that adds some detail at the expense of some additional complexity. Such an approach might be interesting in games that emphasize detailed tactical combat.

Here are some initial thoughts on how such a system might work. These notes are very rough and haven't been playtested at all, but might spark some ideas about how to improve the current system...
  • The number of times that an Adventurer can act in a single round to either attack an enemy, defend himself from attack or perform some other action during battle is determined by the number of Combat Action Points they possess.
  • To determine the number of Combat Action Points that an adventurer receives, simply add together the character's DEX and INT. For example, a character with DEX 12 and INT 11 would receive 23 Combat Action Points.
  • Each action costs a certain number of Combat Action Points to perform. For example, it might cost 1 AP to move 1 meter at a normal pace. Likewise, changing facing or dropping prone might cost 1-2 Combat Action Points.
  • Drawing a weapon might cost 5 Combat Action Points, while making a melee attack or attempting to parry an enemy attack might cost 10 Combat Action Points.
  • Casting a Common Magic spell might cost 10 Combat Action Points PLUS the Magnitude of the spell.
  • Characters using a one handed weapon style can cast Sorcery spells without sheathing their weapon - normally drawing or sheathing a weapon should cost 5 Combat Action Points.
  • When a character runs out of Combat Action Points, they cannot perform any further actions in the current round.
  • In desperate situations, you might allow characters to push themselves for 10 extra Combat Action Points at the cost of a Hero Point or a level of fatigue.
  • Perhaps characters can "burn" Combat Action Points to activate certain combat maneuvers.
  • An adventurer carrying a shield or offhand parrying weapon might receive a number of bonus Combat Action Points that can only be spent to block enemy attacks.
  • The number of additional Combat Action Points granted should depend upon the size of the defensive item - a offhand parrying weapon might provide a bonus of +5 Combat Action Points, a small shield might provide a bonus of +10 Combat Action Points, and a large shield might provide +15 or even +20 Combat Action Points.
  • As an optional rule for cinematic campaigns, I'd be tempted to make dodging cheap. Under the standard rules, the Evade skill isn't very useful in combat (except as a desperate option of last resort), so it might be worth charging only only five Combat Action Points for each attempt to dodge an enemy attack. Suddenly you can make two evasion attempts for the cost of a single parry attempt - something that is not realistic, but that reflects the kind of thing that cinematic action heroes do...
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:19 am

An interesting post Prime_Evil. Personally, the extra book-keeping from such a system would do my head in; keeping track of what cost what, how many points have I left and all that but there are some intriguing ideas none the less.

I particularly like re-instating some form of the old Dodge skill from previous editions/BRP. I think that there needs to be another option other than Evade for those that can't parry for whatever reason. Perhaps if you succeed on a Difficult or Hard Evade test, you are able to avoid the attack without the standard penalties?
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:58 am

Or perhaps you can use Evade to dodge attacks without the normal penalties at the cost of a level of Fatigue - this would allow characters to dodge the occasional dodge attack without automatically suffering a disadvantage, but adventurers who try to evade multiple attacks will quickly succumb to exhaustion.....
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby superc0ntra » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:01 am

I have some vague recollection of a game that used that system although I can't remember which it was. (Maybe Phoenix Command)
Basically you counted down AP by AP so in Prime_Evil's example you'd start counting down from 23 and if drawing a weapon took 5 AP you'd have it drawn and ready by 18.
If an attack took for example 3 AP (or counts) you'd attack at the end of that, i.e at count 15.
As far as I remember it worked OK
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby danskmacabre » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:44 am

Thanks for all the views and suggestions everyone.
I'll probably stick with RAW, as the other side of the coin is the character has better other stats as well, so he's probably better than a combat character in non-combat situations.

So is he as good as the other guy who has 3 CAs? Well no.
But can he talk his way out of getting beaten up in a bar better than the other guy with 3 CAs? (who might get ganged up on and his 3 CAs won't help much anyway).
Yes, as I didn't use Charisma as a dump stat.
In addition to that he learns faster than other people and get more chances to increase skills due to his Improvement roll bonus.

He's also RP'd in a way that in combat he's aware of his limited CAs and tries not to put himself in a situation where it's a CA critical place.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Carew » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:17 pm

I think primeevil's suggestion is making things way way more complicated than they need be. I mean point costs for every thing you can do on combat? That just makes a combat into an accounting procedure and bookepping nightmare. No thanks. :)

As for 3 CA being the be and end all? Not so really. It can be a big deal but we found (and my players are massive rules lawyering minimaxer types brought up on Pathfinder and 3e) that you just gotta be cunning with your options and Combat Maneuvers so the other guy with 3 CA can't use everything for attack. Looks to me like if you just read how combat is on the page you're always gonna say 'Oh yeah, Choose Location Head' and 'Damn, I only get 2 CA man I am Screwed!' Well that's all true unless you start reading the rules properly and using them like they're meant to be used and then you see all these angles and strategies that you can used to get round what looks like a closed deal on the page.

Guys, I don't think you need rewrite the rules. I dont think you need everything balanced up and equal. You need to read between the lines and look at the whole toolkit, not just that badass wrench and the chainsaw.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:48 pm

Carew wrote:As for 3 CA being the be and end all? Not so really. It can be a big deal but we found (and my players are massive rules lawyering minimaxer types brought up on Pathfinder and 3e) that you just gotta be cunning with your options and Combat Maneuvers so the other guy with 3 CA can't use everything for attack. Looks to me like if you just read how combat is on the page you're always gonna say 'Oh yeah, Choose Location Head' and 'Damn, I only get 2 CA man I am Screwed!' Well that's all true unless you start reading the rules properly and using them like they're meant to be used and then you see all these angles and strategies that you can used to get round what looks like a closed deal on the page.

Guys, I don't think you need rewrite the rules. I dont think you need everything balanced up and equal. You need to read between the lines and look at the whole toolkit, not just that badass wrench and the chainsaw.
+1
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Prime_Evil » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:55 am

Carew wrote:I think primeevil's suggestion is making things way way more complicated than they need be. I mean point costs for every thing you can do on combat? That just makes a combat into an accounting procedure and bookepping nightmare. No thanks. :)
Well, I did say that this approach is most likely to appeal to those who want a detailed tactical combat system - I never said that it would be appropriate for to everyone. :)

My own philosophy is that having options to tailor the game to your tastes is usually a good thing...
Carew wrote:Guys, I don't think you need rewrite the rules. I dont think you need everything balanced up and equal. You need to read between the lines and look at the whole toolkit, not just that badass wrench and the chainsaw.
That might be true - but the rules are modular and it's always fun to tinker...

Although to be honest, the limitations on the Evade skill are more of a concern to me than the number of CA's each adventurer receives
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby GamingGlen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:49 pm

strega wrote:You could move the cutoff for 2 actions to a higher value or move it down to give virtually everyone three actions.

I suppose it's done to differentiate combat specialist characters from non-combat specialist characters to allow heroes to have the advantage most of the time.

Legend has DEX + INT = 7-12 for 2CA's and 13-18 for three making 13 the sweet spot or perhaps the minimum for a combat character.

RQ6 has DEX + INT = 1-12 for 2AP's and 13-24 for 2AP's suggesting that three CA's/AP's was felt to be too many, especially as the extra CA for an off-hand weapon/shield disappeared as well.
Unless Legend changed from MRQ2, it's the AVERAGE of INT+DEX.

The end result of RQ6's CAs is the same as MRQ2/Legend.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby strega » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:41 am

GamingGlen wrote:
strega wrote:You could move the cutoff for 2 actions to a higher value or move it down to give virtually everyone three actions.

I suppose it's done to differentiate combat specialist characters from non-combat specialist characters to allow heroes to have the advantage most of the time.

Legend has DEX + INT = 7-12 for 2CA's and 13-18 for three making 13 the sweet spot or perhaps the minimum for a combat character.

RQ6 has DEX + INT = 1-12 for 2AP's and 13-24 for 3AP's suggesting that three CA's/AP's was felt to be too many, especially as the extra CA for an off-hand weapon/shield disappeared as well.
Unless Legend changed from MRQ2, it's the AVERAGE of INT+DEX.

The end result of RQ6's CAs is the same as MRQ2/Legend.
You're correct of course as I was looking at the spread rather than the method. However with Legend having an average of 7-12 DEX + INT for 2CA's that makes a total of around 14-24 in attribute scores which is higher than the limit suggested for RQ6 2 AP's of 12. So the results are that I was out by 180 degrees.

RQ6 thinks you should have 3AP's as base with combat specialists rating maybe 4AP's the very antithesis of what I originally supposed.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:04 am

Sorry, but I must be missing something, aren't they identical just worded differently? At the end of the day for every 6 points or part thereof of average INT+DEX you get an AP. There is no difference I can see.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby strega » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:41 pm

Legend averages INT + DEX to see how many CA's you get giving 1 CA for each 6 points of averaged INT + DEX (rounding up).

6 or less 1
7–12 2
13–18 3
For every additional 6 points +1

RQ6 does not average INT + DEX to see how many AP's you get, giving 1 AP for each 12 points of total INT + DEX.

12 or Less 1
13–24 2
25–36 3
For every additional 12 points +1

Shows I should read the rules very carefully before posting :-(
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Carew » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:33 pm

RQ6 thinks you should have 3AP's as base with combat specialists rating maybe 4AP's the very antithesis of what I originally supposed.
Where's this said in the rulebook? To get 4 AP in RQ you need INT+DEX 37 or higher which you only get if you have stats ranging outside of the 18 cap for human characters. With an average INT and DEX (13+11) you will get 2 AP and so need to have a slightly higher INT or DEX (but only by 1 to get 3 AP) but I don't recall seeing the rules saying anything about combat specialists.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby strega » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:06 pm

Try reading to the end of the thread before commenting Carew, you'll see that I realised that I had not completely read the differences between RQ6 and Legend correctly. I never said that RQ said what you think I said.
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Re: Combat actions: the Be all and end all of all combat cha

Postby Carew » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:23 pm

strega wrote:Try reading to the end of the thread before commenting Carew, you'll see that I realised that I had not completely read the differences between RQ6 and Legend correctly. I never said that RQ said what you think I said.
You got me baffled. Stumped. Confused.

I was querying the whole "RQ6 thinks you should have 3AP's as base with combat specialists rating maybe 4AP's the very antithesis of what I originally supposed." How you can say "I never said that RQ said what you think I said" when you actually did say it (and I asked for a reference in the RQ rules, cuz I dont recall it). Its the 'RQ6 thinks' part that I query because that imparts that there's a some sort of statement or implication in the RQ6 rules.

Unless your saying something else entirely and I just lost the ability to read English. Which has happened before after a few too many brewskies. :)

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