Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,
Rowyn
rowyn

Diceless Combat

Greywolf was talking about combat systems on FOD, and the topic reminded me of an old idea for a combat system that I never did anything with.

My starting premise was that I wanted to eliminate dice and other random value generators (like, say, dealt cards) from the system. I wanted a system which could be used for roleplay, and therefore account for differing skill levels on the part of each combatant. Being an expert fighter should give one an advantage over an amateur, but the expert should not win in every circumstance. The system should be objective, requiring no referee calls over whether a described manuever is practical or merits bonuses. Finally, it should involve some thinking on the part of the participants, more than just "I try to kill him before he kills me."

I had the kernel of an idea employing these factors, but I never got around to developing it beyond "this is an idea I had." I'm going to set it down here, using arbitarty values because, without play-testing, I can't say what the "right" values would be.

The rules go like this.

(Rule of thumb: high numbers are always better than low numbers in this system).

Each combatant has a numerical value representing their level of expertise, from, say, 10 to 100. A rank beginner is a 10, the ancient kung-fu master is a 100. This number will henceforth be called "Skill."

Each combatant gets a number of "Bonks", representing their durability. This number would probably fall between 5 and 15, and again, high is better than low.

In each round, each combatant picks simultaneously from the "Manuever" list below. They then tally their respective "Attack" and "Defend" values, and compare their results. If neither combatant is incapacitated, play proceeds to the next round. [Note: If I were doing this game in person, I would make up a set of cards for each player, with a card for each manuever, so that players could see the pertinent details of each manuever, and use the cards to do simultaneous manuever selection.)

I'm giving the Manuevers descriptive names, but they could as easily be called A, B, C, D. This combat system is intended more for fun than strict versimilitude, and is generic enough that you might as well be dueling with mages, pistols, or ships as with fists.

Manuevers fall into three categories: Offensive, Defensive, and Special

Jab
Offensive
Cautious assault, intended to probe and allow for significant defence
Attack score: Skill * 1.0
Defense score: Skill * 1
Resolution:
If your Attack is equal to or lower than your Opponent's Defense, you do no damage.
If your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense, Opponent sustains one bonk.
Follow-up
Unless your Opponent used Riposte, if your next manuever is Offensive, your Skill is increased by 10 points.

Examples:
Your Attack is 45 to Opponent's Defense is 40: Oppenent loses one Bonk. Your Skill if your next attack is Offensive will be increased by 10.
Your Attack is 45 to Opponent's Defense of 50, and Opponent did not use Riposte: You do no damage. Your Skill if your next Manuever is Offensive will be increased by 10.
Your attack if 45 to Oppeonent's defense of 30, and Opponent used Riposte: Opponent loses one Bonk. Your next manuever has no bonuses.

Punch
Offensive
Assault, intended to strike and deal damage, light on defense
Attack score: Skill * 2.0
Defense score: Skill * .5
Resolution:
If your Attack is equal to or lower than your Opponent's Defense, you do no damage.
If your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense, Opponent loses one bonk.
Follow-up
No modifiers.

Examples:
Your Attack is 45 to Opponent's Defense is 40: Opponent loses one Bonk.
Your attack if 90 to Oppeonent's defense of 30: Opponent loses one Bonk.
Your Attack is 45 to Opponent's Defense of 50,: You do no damage.

Haymaker
Offensive
All-out assault, intended for maximum damage, with little effort for precision and none for defense.
Attack score: Skill * 1.5
Defense score: Skill * 0.25
Resolution:
If your Attack is equal to or lower than your Opponent's Defense, or your Opponent used Dodge, your Skill value is halved until you use Recover, and you may not use Haymaker or Thrust until you use Recover.
Otherwise, if your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense, Opponent sustains two bonks. For every additional multiple by which attack exceeds Defense, opponent sustains two additional bonks.
Additonally, if your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense by 50% or more, Opponent's Skill is halved until Opponent uses Recover.

Thrust
Offensive
All-out assault, intended for precision, little interest in defense.
Attack score: Skill * 3.0
Defense score: Skill * 0.25
Resolution:
If your Attack is equal to or lower than your Opponent's Defense, or your Opponent used Block, your Skill value is halved until you use Recover, and you may not use Haymaker or Thrust until you use Recover.
Otherwise, if your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense, Opponent sustains one bonks. For every additional multiple by which attack exceeds Defense, opponent sustains one additional bonks.
Examples:
Your Attack is 45 to Opponent's Defense is 40: Oppenent takes one bonks.
Your Attack is 120 to Opponent's 40: Opponent takes 3 bonks,
Your Attack is 45 and Opponent's Defense is 45: Your Skill value is halved until you use Recover, and you may not use Haymaker or Thrust again until after you use Recover.

Dodge
Defensive
All-out defense, no attack made
Attack score: Skill * 0
Defense score: Skill * 4
Resolution
See Offensive card (if any) played by Opponentl

Block
Defensive
Intended to defend and set up for next Manuever, no attack made
Attack score: Skill * 0
Defense score: Skill * 2
Resolution
See Offensive card (if any) played by Opponentl
Follow-up
If Opponent used an Offensive Manuever, and you sustained no damage from it, your Skill is increased by 10 if your next Manuever is Offensive.

Riposte
Special
Intended to take advantage of weakness in Opponent's attack
Attack score: If Opponent used Jab, Thrust, or Punch, your Attack score is Skill * 2. Otherwise, your Attack score is Skill * 0.
Defense score: Skill * 1.5
Resolution
If your Attack is equal to or lower than your Opponent's Defense, you do no damage.
If your Attack score exceeds Opponent's Defense, Opponent loses one bonk
Follow-up
If Opponent used an Offensive Manuever, and you sustained no damage from it, your Skill is increased by 10 if your next Manuever is Offensive.

Recover
Special
Recover from penalties
Attack score is Skill * 0.
Defense score: Skill * 0.75
Resolution
See Opponent's Offensive (if any) manuever.
Follow-up
If you lose no more than one Bonk in the round in which you play "Recover", any penalties to your Skill or restrictions on Manuevers are removed. If you lose more than one Bonk in this round, however, such penalties and restrictions will remain.




That's probably enough to give a decent feel for my idea. My values for Skill, number of Bonks, and attack/defense modifiers doubtless need a LOT of tweaking, and it would probablly benefit from a bunch more manuevers and more follow-up restrictions as to what one can and cannot do after using a certain manuever. But this should give all of you an idea of what I had in mind, and it would be enough to play-test the system and see what the worst kinks are. Assuming I ever find anyone willng to give it a try. :)
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