Combat Thoughts

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
apoc527
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby apoc527 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:35 am

I want to keep Initiative to 2d6 or 3d6 max (there is a "trait" in the Strontium Dog book that I might start using that makes it 3d6--plus I wrote up some Wired Reflexes that also gives 3d6). I think rolling 1d6 per DM is taking it outside the standard game system a bit too much.

I would generate Initiative using the normal rules. I might consider adding the Int DM as well as the Dex DM, but personally I feel that Tactics and Leadership skill rolls take care of the "mental component" of acting quickly in combat conditions.

My goal is to make going twice extremely rare and going more than twice impossible (I run into reality here--6 seconds just isn't that much time and Traveller is meant to be more realistic and less cinematic than other systems).

One can reliably go twice only with lots of ambushes (automatic 12+DMs), good Tactics and Leadership rolls, and/or a high Dex DM. One can also go twice virtually all the time by hitting up with Combat Drug (+4 DM) or Slow (+8 DM).
-Apoc527
SnowDog
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 887
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:17 pm
Location: Finland

Postby SnowDog » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:46 am

I don't know how well this would work in practice but maybe in some situations it would be possible to use effect to get multiple actions? I think this would work best in a situation where you have one opponent and want to pump some lead to him as fast as possible.

So, you roll the attack normally and determine the effect as usual. Then get to roll new attack rolls for each effect thus you might get effect + 1 hits to the target! I know that this is bloody murder but that's what you want to do, right? ;)

Obviously damage of the hits doesn't benefit from effects in this case.
"This is my way to run games. There are many ways to run games but this is mine."
Egil Skallagrimsson
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:59 pm

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:10 am

Like Apoc527s initiative solution, have always thought that more could be made of leadership and tactics, and it will make a successful ambush much more effective, though perhaps the ambushers initiative should be rerolled after the first round.

The burst fire seems to be a big leap in leathality (remember, at some point your carefully developed character might be on the receiving end of this), as does, to a lesser extent, autofire (whoa Rambo!). On rapid fire semi-automatic looks fine, though I feel that range deductions, especially with pistols, should be severe.

Still think we might be over complicating things.

Egil
Alles fur Gram - Official motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
Wein, Weib und Gesang - Unofficial motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
Egil Skallagrimsson
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:59 pm

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:20 am

Another thought about the rapid single shot problem, allow an extra round fired at same target for each skill level, up to slug weapon 4 anyway, but, if a hit is scored, this is added to the damage, as in burst fire. No need for any other modifications as these are covered by the higher skill level.

May not please some of the more bloodthirsty!

Egil
Alles fur Gram - Official motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
Wein, Weib und Gesang - Unofficial motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:27 pm

Well, all these posts go to confirm that the examples I provided are as I stated them - they are cases were MGT Combat is a bit lacking in direct support. The combat poll indicates half the folks using MGT combat feel the need to use house rules.

All games - from boardgames, cards, dice, sports, to RPGs typically evoke house rules being developed for handling the desires and perceived needs of their players (as well as mis-interpretations of the rules). Unfortunately, the more house rules in an RPG, the harder it becomes to reconcile everything with other unique situations and overall balance (not to mention roleplay distracting complexity).

My attempts at house ruling MGT Combat for more flexible and believable gun combat (including duels), and more melee options (along with handling underwater, low-g and skiing combat) - were becoming self-defeating, overshadowing and over-complicating to such an extent that roleplay would suffer. So I'm creating my own rules which are quite different in many key respects. (Thus, I have no 'problems' with MGT Combat - and no need of 'fixes' - as I have already addressed my own needs.)

The poll was just curiosity to see to what degree others have gone down this route. :)
Egil Skallagrimsson
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:59 pm

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:29 pm

Actually, BP, your poll shows that a game system cannot cover everything (surprised?), and that creative players take a flexible approach to the rules, which leads to a better game, if we wanted tablets of stone we would be playing chess. Your, examples, though rather extreme, are the kind of things that crop up from time to time, and this thread has certainly shown good ideas (there are one or two mods I will take away)

Having played, and written, a lot of wargames in the past, I am a great fan of local variations, so long as consistency is maintained within each game, then I see it as a strength. (And one group might easily run a combat heavy game with lots to clever firefight related rules, and another focussing on politics that adopts a very simplistic variation, which is all to the good). Narrative, playability and a sufficient level of realism (if that is part of the narrative!)

Good luck with your low-g underwater skiing supplement.

Egil
Alles fur Gram - Official motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
Wein, Weib und Gesang - Unofficial motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
apoc527
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby apoc527 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:32 pm

I think my players would agree that every game gets house ruled when I'm GMing! I think that the core rules are pretty solid, but they do have the same general issues as all RPG combat systems.

BP, are you willing to share your rules? I'm always curious about other people's take on combat rules.
-Apoc527
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:36 am

apoc527 wrote:BP, are you willing to share your rules? I'm always curious about other people's take on combat rules.
:D Yes - just not yet...

I am in no way a game designer (at best, a marginally experienced GM/player) and just making something specifically geared for my players. My notes right now are incomplete and (like my posts) not concise - and won't be playtested for several weeks. I will, however, for my players and to share, eventually provide my rules in PDF format.

BTW: Thanks for sharing yours. Just for the record - I consider the MGT Combat rules no worse - and in many ways better - than any other system I have played or research. It is also similar to other systems re: the 6 second rounds, one time initiative roll, turn breakdowns, delays and free actions (though the unlimited reactions is new to me) - hence the common issues.
rinku
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:16 am
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Postby rinku » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:01 am

I'm with The Chef as far as formal duelling is concerned. That is NOT a normal combat situation but more akin to a sporting contest with deadly results.

In regard to the guy standing out fiddling with his comm unit:

p.60 (Setup) "If some of the combatants are ready for combat and some are not, such as in an ambush, the prepared characters are considered to get an automatic 12 on their roll..."

Note that it's not just ambushes where this occurs - if you have a group where only one character is expecting trouble and has his gun out while the others are chatting amongst themselves and deriding his paranoia, and they stuble across enemies who *also* were not expecting any trouble, the guy with the gun should get that auto 12 roll.

Characters who are truly unready and out in the open are also going to have to spend actions drawing weapons, running for cover, dodging, etc, so are probably going to have more than one free shot against them.
rinku
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:09 pm

rinku wrote:...I'm with The Chef as far as formal duelling is concerned. That is NOT a normal combat situation but more akin to a sporting contest with deadly results.
It is only an optimal example of what doesn't work (and more obvious for that fact) - not the norm. It is still combat and the failures are still valid, just less extreme.
rinku wrote:...
In regard to the guy standing out fiddling with his comm unit:

p.60 (Setup) "If some of the combatants are ready for combat and some are not, such as in an ambush, the prepared characters are considered to get an automatic 12 on their roll..."
The important part being - setup. My example did not state that this happens at the beginning of combat. When this happens during combat - the rules fail.
Characters who are truly unready and out in the open are also going to have to spend actions drawing weapons, running for cover, dodging, etc, so are probably going to have more than one free shot against them.
A high skilled fighter can often likely draw and shoot a lot faster than run for cover. His opponent may get a lucky first shot - but the follow on will be a combat of skill - where accuracy (and speed) can overcome cover. That is where the rules fail.
apoc527
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby apoc527 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:22 pm

BP wrote:
rinku wrote:...
In regard to the guy standing out fiddling with his comm unit:

p.60 (Setup) "If some of the combatants are ready for combat and some are not, such as in an ambush, the prepared characters are considered to get an automatic 12 on their roll..."
The important part being - setup. My example did not state that this happens at the beginning of combat. When this happens during combat - the rules fail.
Characters who are truly unready and out in the open are also going to have to spend actions drawing weapons, running for cover, dodging, etc, so are probably going to have more than one free shot against them.
A high skilled fighter can often likely draw and shoot a lot faster than run for cover. His opponent may get a lucky first shot - but the follow on will be a combat of skill - where accuracy (and speed) can overcome cover. That is where the rules fail.
Help me out here, BP. Why do the rules fail in these two situations? For the first situation, I recall you saying that there is a problem when someone is standing in the middle of a corridor fiddling with comm systems and someone else wants to shoot at him. The shooter gets to shoot once while the comm operator continues to fiddle. If the comm operator wants to get out of the way, he better use his turn to stop fiddling and move. What's the problem there? Is it that the shooter can only get one shot off? If so, then I agree it's a small problem, but one fixed by allowing a "full attack" a la d20. If not, then I'm not sure what the issue is.

For the second situation above, seems to me that the rules won't fail at all, but I'm probably missing something.
-Apoc527
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:47 pm

The original example was:
Myself! wrote:...
I stand out in the open, fixing my comm gear, for about 6 seconds. You shoot at me. Once. (My turn... I go first since I had the 'initiative'...)
Not sure why you would need 'help' with understanding this! ;)

Obviously 6 seconds is a long time for one shot (especially at an exposed, fairly stationary target) - hence you recommend 'fixing' the problem (#1).

Secondly, the example was set in which I already had the initiative and MGT rules I don't lose that initiative (#2), even though I was pre-occupied the round before with something that prevented me from firing (why? one can fire a gun while doing other technical tasks if the trigger can be pulled! - call that #3).

So 3, 'believability' failures - not taking into account anything more exotic than what could be acted out (go ahead - try it).
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:58 pm

As to the second scenario - see the very first post again (esp. the extreme you-tube, which is just to make the discrepancies more obvious).

MGT handles skill as increased 'accuracy' (Attack DMs) - but makes no provision for increased speed. Further, this is exaggerated by the fixed initiative system - which means that the more experienced fighter gets set to the same level of response timing throughout the combat...

Ex: Two people, given plenty of time to setup, might both equally hit the bulls eye at a game of darts. But, one of those might be able to hit it with the same accuracy several times in 6 seconds, while the other might miss every time if forced into such a timed situation. The latter represents a higher level of skill.
Egil Skallagrimsson
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:59 pm

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:05 pm

BP, IMHO you are overanalysing some of this.

A number of suggestions have been made about ways to allow characters with higher skills to fire more rapidly, any one of which will work. Allowing characters to increase initiative as they decrease accuracy (+1 intiv, -1 DM to hit) will cover most circumstances. Not sure how useful comparisons with darts really are, a character with slug pistol 2 may well be an excellent shot, but not the fastest draw in the west (which may be more Dex related).

As regards our comms operator, he wins initiative, but is trying to uplink to the the rescue boat, he is shot at, and in the split second that the firer takes to recover from his shot (wether burst, automatic or single shot) the comms op has a chance to react, i.e. it is now his turn, he should take cover, but the uplink is vital, so he may choose not to. He may attempt to draw his pistol and fire in the direction of his attacker, but to do so will incurr heafty DMs to both his slug pistol and his comms skill.

What comms op really needs, and where the combat system works well, is for his mate to shoot his assailant.

Egil
Alles fur Gram - Official motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
Wein, Weib und Gesang - Unofficial motto of Gram's 3rd Grenadier Regiment
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:17 am

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:A number of suggestions have been made...
Yep. Though, I never asked for any! ;)

This thread was simply to give some details in response to apoc527's requests for elaboration based on a Combat poll I created. I have made no comments on the house rules - nor any negative ones on the overall quality of the MGT combat system.

The fact is that any RPG combat system will have weaknesses. MGT is, as I mentioned, fine, even better than many. But, it doesn't meet the needs of my group.

I have not really done any amount of analyzing here - just provided some fairly straight forward, and simple, examples direct from our own playtesting. I have endeavored to explain them when requested or mis-interpreted. Nothing more...
CosmicGamer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:45 am
Location: Central DE

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:53 am

BP wrote:Ex: Two people, given plenty of time to setup, might both equally hit the bulls eye at a game of darts. But, one of those might be able to hit it with the same accuracy several times in 6 seconds, while the other might miss every time if forced into such a timed situation. The latter represents a higher level of skill.
I understand what you are getting at but this example is one specific controlled situation and does not reflect overall skill. Change the situation, and the other person may appear more skilled. For example the slower one might still be able to hit the bulls-eye while explosions are going off and bullets are whizzing by while the faster one falls apart under such pressure.

My point is that some supper fast and accurate showman in real life is not a perfect example of someone in the game with high guncbt skill. The real life example has the luxury of ignoring many aspects that the skill represents in the game, such as the pressure of being killed. It's similar with a real life sharpshooter who concentrates on specific aspects of the gun skill. They could be very skilled at sharpshooting at long distance but could be terrible at shooting a coin tossed up a few feet in front of them.

As people have said, the rules will never perfectly cover every possible situation. This is where a GM comes in handy.
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:37 am

CosmicGamer wrote:...I understand what you are getting at but this example is one specific controlled situation...
Exactly! It is one specific controlled situation. That is what these examples are supposed to be.
CosmicGamer wrote:...My point is that some supper fast and accurate showman in real life is not a perfect example of someone in the game with high guncbt skill. The real life example has the luxury of ignoring many aspects that the skill represents in the game, such as the pressure of being killed. It's similar with a real life sharpshooter who concentrates on specific aspects of the gun skill. They could be very skilled at sharpshooting at long distance but could be terrible at shooting a coin tossed up a few feet in front of them.
Sorry - you are missing the point - the you tube video was not the point. :roll:

MGT skill levels represent general experience in a specific skill or specialty there-of. Any combat skill is going to represent speed and accuracy.

(Irregardless, 6 seconds a shot with a weapon that can fire as fast as one can pull the trigger, especially in a combat situation, is not very believable.)
CosmicGamer wrote:As people have said, the rules will never perfectly cover every possible situation. This is where a GM comes in handy.
Never said they would - in fact this thread is about specific examples of when they do not. And, yes, the Referee comes in handy when the rules come up short!
justacaveman
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:02 pm

Postby justacaveman » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:57 pm

What are the odds of the shooter with Gun Combat (slug pistol) 4 missing the stationary and distracted target standing in the open corridor?

Lets be kind and give no bonuses to the shooter for the target just standing there. Instead we'll assume that such a good shooter has a Dex bonus of +1, and spent a minor action to aim his weapon (+1). This will give him a total attack bonus of +6. An average roll of 7 will yield an effect of 5 to the shot. If the shooter uses a Heavy Autopistol (3d6-1 damage, CSC page 65) he will do an average damage of 14 points. If the target has an Endurance of 10, this will reduce his characteristic to 0, and either Dexterity or Strength by 4 points. If the optional Knockout rule is used (Main book page 66) the target would be unconcious. If the shooter was firing a Burst from a Gauss Pistol the average damage shoots up to 19 points (Increasing the odds of a 1 shot drop). The odds of the target still standing after a second attack are very low.

I personally would give the shooter at least a +2 bonus to the attack roll, and +1 damage per die (+3) when shooting at such an idiot. I don't like it when players ignore common sense when deciding character actions. Rules are meant to express good sense, not replace it.
*****

Freedom that can be taken away, was never real in the first place.

*****

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: paltrysum and 11 guests