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 Post subject: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:04 pm 
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When I created the Arcane Combat System (ACS) I needed to change a few things in order to get arcane conflict to fit hand-in-glove with melee combat. One of those things was the duration of an Exchange. Here is an extract from the ACS:

ACS: Exchange DurationTRoS has an abstract combat environment -- it just doesn't work with minis and accurate mapping of movement. Jake intended the combat to be cinematic -- the limelight sticks with a pair of combatants until something interesting happens, and then it flick to the next pair of combatants. Having different combatants get to an interesting point in their combat in the same round/exchange is purely coincidental. All timing issues that result are resolved through the terrain roll, that abstract mechanic that determines questions of relative positioning.

The problem here is that many writers for the game have assumed that position (and thus distance) are determined accurately and that timing is also determined accurately. Neither is correct. So we end up with a magic system that talks about cast times down to the second and we end up with combat expansions that talk about ranges down to the yard.

All of these cause problems for the game as it stands now. Adding something new to it, like the ACS, has to take that abstraction into account.

The one or two second combat round (as specified in Core, p. 11) only makes sense while the combatants are actively engaged in combat. The problem is that there are many other actions that also take a round but clearly cannot occur within such a time frame -- circling, taunting, full evade, moving to the next combatant, and so on. In addition, 1 or 2 seconds is almost meaningless for any other type of action -- which implies that non-combatants can't really do anything useful while a combat is going on.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that while combatants are capable of striking at each other every other second combat scenes, whether in TRoS or in films or in books, take far longer than, say, 12 seconds. So, once again, the whole "1 or 2 second combat round" doesn't reflect the abstract nature of the combat environment. It just doesn't fit in. So in the ACS I'll define an exchange as taking up to fifteen seconds, and that any spell can be cast within that time frame.


pbj44 wrote:
As bruted about in Ian's ACS combat thread, IMO the 1-2 second exchange is a flawed mechanic that sucks the life out melee archery or spell casting. Since I adopted the house rule that an exchange is actually a variable amount of time (1-20 seconds), some powerful flaws in TROS have disappeared and now archers/missile users (as well as wizards) have an equal place at the melee table.


This mod addresses a number of issues that arise during combat scenes:

1) The players of non-combatant characters are bored.

A combat scene should resolve in around 20 minutes of real time. However, with combat Rounds being 1 - 2 seconds and each combatant participating in, say, ten rounds of combat the whole scene takes perhaps twenty or thirty seconds of game time. What can a non-combatant character achieve in that amount of game time?

2) The players of wizard characters are bored.

See point 1. Using spells in melee combat is very broken on so many levels. This was the motivator for the creation of the ACS. In this case, it takes many seconds to prepare a spell. This means many Rounds of combat. The wizard gets one action to every ten actions of each combatant player. Boring!

3) The players of archers are bored.

The irony here is that the archer character is a combatant. The player of the archer gets to fire so infrequently (due to missile weapon preparation time compared to the combatant's Rounds) that their action is close to pointless. An archer might get one shot off, perhaps two, in the time it takes a swordsman to dispatch several opponents.

4) The 1 - 2 second Round duration is predicated on the notion of two combatants engaged in melee combat. It does not accommodate melee combat actions that do not involve swinging a weapon at an already engaged opponent.

5) Non-melee characters cannot interact with melee characters.

The Exchange system is problematic for the timing of interactions with non-combatant characters. If an archer fires and the referee determines that the arrow will hit the target during the second Exchange of a Round then the target is at a great disadvantage. CP dice have already been expended in the first exchange, making Evading the arrow more difficult if it lands in the second Exchange. While it is no doubt artificial it would be better if all interactions from outside the melee with characters in the melee were deemed to occur at the start of a Round.

6) Thrown weapon preparation time.

As discussed elsewhere this mod addresses this issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Prep Time for thrown weapons is ridculous.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:46 pm 
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I love it, Ian.

PBJ, I believe you've actually used this mechanic in your games. How has it worked? Has it led to any circumstances that felt unrealistic or forced?

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:16 am 
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I think that using this mod, in my opinion fixes a lot of things that made me feel were impractical, or didn't encourage more interesting/unique actions. It looks as though it allows combat to flow better.


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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:45 am 
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Just bringing your explanation over here from the other thread, Ian.
Ian.Plumb wrote:
The ACS Exchange Duration mod does indeed resolve this issue of thrown weapon preparation time. A combat Exchange is defined as taking up to fifteen seconds. There are actions that take less than a second. There are actions that take the full fifteen seconds. All are defined as taking place within a single Exchange.

With the duration of an Exchange being a variable, to align the timing of one character's action with that of another within the combat environment -- with the exception of those that are engaged in direct melee combat -- requires a Timing roll. The Timing roll is a type of Terrain Roll -- the mechanics are identical. The name is changed to avoid confusion over the purpose of the roll.

So if a character is in melee combat with two other opponents nobody makes a Timing roll while they fight. They are in direct melee combat and their Exchange duration is identical. When the hero dispatches his two opponents and seeks to interact in some way with someone else then a Timing roll is required to align their timelines.

In the above example lets say that the hero wants to draw an axe and throw it at someone. Preparing and throwing the axe can easily be accomplished within "up to 15 seconds". However, our hero must make a Timing roll to align himself with the Exchanges/Rounds of his target. The player selects the target, the referee determines the difficulty of aligning the timelines, the player allocates dice from the CP to the Timing roll, the roll is made and the timing of the actions is resolved -- when the axe will hit (or miss) the target is now known. Then the player rolls their attack with their remaining CP -- whether the axe hits or misses is now known.

In the case where Quickdraw is available, the successes from the Quickdraw action become extra dice for the Timing roll (not the CP/Attack roll).
Okay, before I comment anything, I'd like to see a TFOB-style mechanical example on how the timing roll works, since I'm not sure I get it. However, from what it seems, I must state that I have my fears that this could introduce the "after evading a mighty blow from the berserking huscarl, I take a 5-foot step back from him, calmly reloading my crossbow as my opponent unable to interfere with all this, and I bolt him in the gut"-mechanic into TROS.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Higgins, I had a similar fear about an archer being able to take out every combatant on the field due to an excellent timing roll. I think the solution to these problems is that the GM sets the difficulty of the timing roll. Loading a crossbow while standing in front of an enemy would be well-nigh impossible. The GM just has to set an appropriate difficulty level.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:52 pm 
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higgins wrote:
Okay, before I comment anything, I'd like to see a TFOB-style mechanical example on how the timing roll works, since I'm not sure I get it. However, from what it seems, I must state that I have my fears that this could introduce the "after evading a mighty blow from the berserking huscarl, I take a 5-foot step back from him, calmly reloading my crossbow as my opponent unable to interfere with all this, and I bolt him in the gut"-mechanic into TROS.


There are two points here:

Quote:
With the duration of an Exchange being a variable, to align the timing of one character's action with that of another within the combat environment -- with the exception of those that are engaged in direct melee combat -- requires a Timing roll.


This means that an archer that is outside the melee environment -- the traditional "archer finds a place of cover and tries to shoot someone that is in the melee environment" -- must expend dice from their MP on a Timing roll before shooting at the target. This is the price they pay for being in the limelight as often as the melee combatants. And keep that in mind -- they're in the limelight for one shot, while the melee combatants are in the limelight "until something interesting happens." In Core, they're in the limelight for one shot for the entire combat as most combats don't last the time needed to reload.

In the case where an archer is engaged in melee combat, the archer is simply screwed. An Exchange is not 15 seconds. It is up to 15 seconds. The duration of the Exchange is set by the faster weapon when combatants are actively engaged in melee combat, as in the above example.

Secondly, as with any Terrain roll the referee controls the TN and the number of successes required for the roll to be deemed successful. In the case where the barbarian is charging towards the archer's out-of-melee cover position, the referee determines the TN required for the roll and the number of successes required. The archer knows those Timing roll dice come from their MP -- and so can determine the chances of the shot being effective even if the Timing roll is successful. Whether it is time to take the shot, hold ground and draw a melee weapon, or simply run for it is a tactical decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Quote:
Whether it is time to take the shot, hold ground and draw a melee weapon, or simply run for it is a tactical decision.


Exactly! With both the Archer and Sorcerer now able to participate fully in the exchange, the seeds of squad tactics begin to develop. When what Ian was driving at "hit" me, I was anxious to at least try the change out with my group. After running through a few playtest battles, we have never looked back as the adjustment simply fixed so many things.

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:17 pm 
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An example of combat under this mod:

Firstly, keep in mind that people have implemented the Terrain roll differently. In my group, combat is cinematic. The limelight stays with one player until something interesting happens to that character. Inherent to this style of play is the fact that, logically, different characters within the combat environment are on different timelines. Some characters have done more than others while in the limelight, and so different amounts of game time have been consumed. When it is necessary to align the timelines -- when two characters want to operate together in some way -- we use a Terrain roll to determine when those characters can be together.

I know other groups play combat D&D-style, with each player taking turns to play out a single action. Time differences between the duration of those actions are ignored under the premise that everyone in the melee is operating simultaneously and those outside are largely ignored. In this style of play Terrain rolls are only used for terrain-related activity. This style of play doesn't need this mod unless there is a desire to allow those outside the melee to potentially interact with those inside the melee.

The scene:
The players have been tasked with escorting a young noblewoman from the families' country estate to an abbey within the city. Delays on the way saw them enter the city as the gates were being closed. A writ from the Watch has been issued allowing them to travel the short distance to the abbey after the curfew. As they enter the plaza in front of the abbey it becomes clear that the day's delays were part of someone else's nefarious scheme...

The Cast:

Catherine, the young noblewoman entering the abbey.
Jacquemets, a knight and good friend of Catherine's father.
Agnes, Catherine's servant.
Maria, Catherine's Aunt by marriage and close friend.

The scene unfolds...

On entering the plaza Catherine is hailed by a man she knows all too well, Jean-Pierre, a nobleman who entreated her father to allow him to marry Catherine. As he approaches he begs her to reconsider entering the abbey. Catherine is polite at first, simply stating her desire to enter the abbey is a conviction long held. When Jean-Pierre lunges forward and tries to grasp her wrist -- which Jacquemets neatly blocks -- Catherine screams and vents her true feelings for Jean-Pierre. She finds him truly repugnant.

At this point Jean-Pierre and Jacquemets are in melee combat range. They draw short blades and, being unarmoured, this will be a short fight one way or the other. As they are in melee combat, no Timing roll is required. They simply conduct their combat.

Catherine grabs Agnes and yells at her to run back to the gatehouse and fetch the Watchmen. Agnes, in effect, seeks to exit the combat environment. Jacquemets cries out to the ladies to run across the plaza to the Abbey, to seek shelter and the Abbey's sergeants. The ladies do so. They are still within the combat environment but are not actively engaged in melee.

At this point Jean-Pierre's accomplices make their presence known. An archer, crossbow cocked and loaded, takes aim from the balcony of Jean-Pierre's townhouse. He wants to pick off Agnes before she exits the plaza. He has been specifically tasked with stopping anyone from reaching the Watchmen. However, the group were not far into the plaza before Jean-Pierre approached them -- so Agnes does not have far to run before she will be out of the archer's field of view. The referee sets the TN of the Timing roll at 5 -- but requires two successes as there is a fountain that will obscure the archer's view momentarily as he tracks the fleeing Agnes. The archer allocates four dice to the Timing roll and gets three successes. He will easily get his shot off before Agnes reaches the safety of cover. His attack on Agnes is then resolved with his remaining MP.

Catherine and Maria race towards the doors of the Abbey -- as two people step out of the shadows of the abbey. One runs towards the pair with a loping gate and soon drops to all fours, bounding towards them. The other makes a gesture towards the heavens. Maria grabs Catherine, draws her close. The werewolf knows that Maria is a sorceress and wants to reach her before she can raise a Sphere of Protection (SoP). The referee determines that this will be very hard as there is a lot of ground to cover. The TN is set at 9 and two successes are required. The werewolf allocates 6 of his 9 dice to the Timing roll -- and gains two successes! The werewolf will reach the ladies on this Exchange. Catherine screams at the wolf's rapid approach.

Jacquemets and Jean-Pierre are fighting. Several rounds of combat ensue before Jacquemets grapples Jean-Pierre and throws him to the ground. On hearing Catherine's scream he turns and sees the wolf crouch to leap. His blade in hand he determines to throw it at the wolf. A Timing roll is required to align the timelines. The referee sets the TN at 7 and requires 1 success. Jacquemets allocates three dice to the roll and gains three successes. He goes all in on the throw with his remaining CP. The werewolf opts to Evade with his remaining 3 CP and leaps. Jacquemet's strike is successful, taking the werewolf in the throat. The werewolf lands at the ladies feet with 0 CP. Maria draws a stiletto and dispatches the creature with an attack of half of her CP, no Timing roll required as the werewolf had already aligned their timelines and they were effectively in melee combat.

A bolt of lightning arcs towards the ladies. Maria wants to invoke her Sphere of Protection. The referee determines that a Timing roll is required, sets the TN at 8 and requires 4 successes. Maria allocates 6 dice from her SP, gains two successes, and use two Luck points to flip two other dice to successes. With her remaining SP she casts the SoP successfully. The lightning impacts the SoP, it holds, and the lightning arcs around the SoP before passing harmlessly to the ground. The mutually opposing wizards are now in arcane combat and the ACS is used to resolve the conflict.

Meanwhile Jean-Pierre has recovered from being thrown and stands. Jacquemets turns to face him -- without a blade. The referee rules that no timing roll is required -- the time it took to throw his blade at the werewolf is the same amount of time it takes Jean-Pierre to recover from the throw.

And so the scene continues to resolution. Will Agnes return with the Watchmen in time? Will the archer fire at Jacquemets or the ladies on his next turn? Nobody knows or cares -- but hopefully I've been able to clarify the intent of the mod.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:01 am 
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Very good example! This is how we play as well, except for specific occasions when the players want to use miniatures and we shift gears to old school style combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:42 am 
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Excellent example, Ian! It demonstrates clearly how variable temporal exchange lengths and timing rolls to find out how much time has actually passed -- aligning the timelines, as you call it -- brings action scenes in gaming much closer to action scenes in movies. Without being silly.

Jacquemets' (successful) attempt to rescue the ladies from the werewolf made for a dramatic scene. If the above combat was played round for round, going round the table, he would most likely still have been in combat with Jean-Pierre, and the chance for drama would have been missed.

There is of course the posibility that powergamers will endeavour to abuse such a rule to interfere in all combats everywhere -- but powergamers will try to abuse almost every rule. We cannot allow concerns of eventualities in groups struggling with immature players to shackle game design, we must much rather tell people concerned with such matters to reform or else get rid of the tiresome players.

Personally, though, I think that "up to 15 seconds" is a bit long and I would rather go with somewhere near "up to 10 seconds". True, one can resort to very difficult timing TNs if one asks to bring actions that the referee judges to have taken quite long in line with actions that he deems to haven taken less time, but fifteen seconds still appears to make allowance for a bit too large a variance to be believably brought back in line.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:22 am 
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When we played TRoS we played 1 second Exchanges and went turn by turn around the table.

I must say we never encountered any problems, tho some prep times on weapons seemed too high.

That said, this Mod actually does seem interesting, as Grettir said it makes for great movie style fighting.

My only concern is that some of the Time Rolls seem to bite into Combat Pools alot, andwhen you take a step back from the game it seems strange that the skilled warrior (who usually has 2 more dice than his opponent) all of a sudden has 2 Dice less than his opponent simply because they exist during the same time frame. Do I make sense?

Anyway, what I'd really like to see is a Chart of Recommened TN's and Required Successes, atleast enough to give everyone a good estimate to work from.

Cheers & God Bless!

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:31 am 
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Grettir wrote:
Excellent example, Ian! It demonstrates clearly how variable temporal exchange lengths and the use of timing rolls to find out how much time has actually passed -- aligning the timelines, as you call it -- brings action scenes in gaming much closer to action scenes in movies. Without being silly.


With just about any rule we can make there will be the trade-off between realism/accuracy on the one hand and playability on the other. Having a rule where blocking an opponent's thrust and then riposting takes a couple of seconds creates a real sense of urgency and highlights the speed of the fight -- but it makes the fight scene one that is exclusive to melee-combat characters. So playability has been sacrificed for accuracy (though I would argue that many melee actions that the game encourages cannot be performed within this timeframe).

I would suggest that many gamers struggle to make the leap from turn-based combat (I have my go then the next player has a go and so on) to cinematic combat (it's my turn until something interesting happens and then it is your turn) due to the belief that it is unmanageable.

Grettir wrote:
Jacquemets' (successful) attempt to rescue the ladies from the werewolf made for a dramatic scene. If the above combat was played round for round, going round the table, he would most likely still have been in combat with Jean-Pierre, and the chance for drama would have been missed.


Absolutely. Drama in turn-based combat is a matter of coincidence. I happen to dispatch my opponent just as you happen to stumble and so I have an opportunity to save your character. That is a coincidence -- another round either way and the opportunity for drama is lost.

Grettir wrote:
Personally, though, I think that "up to 15 seconds" is a bit long and I would rather go with somewhere near "up to 10 seconds". True, one can resort to very difficult timing TNs if one asks to bring actions that the referee judges to have taken quite long in line with actions that he deems to haven taken less time, but fifteen seconds still appears to make allowance for a bit too large a variance to be believably brought back in line.


Well, hopefully we'll end up with a heated debate and eventually grudging agreement that the most sensible amount of time is eleven and three-quarter seconds per Exchange. :lol:

Actually, this highlights an interesting issue. I chose 15 seconds because it is a long time in a combat sense. It is about ten times as long as the 1 - 2 second rule in Core. Actually that's not quite right because Core (page 11) describes a Round as taking 1 - 2 seconds so an Exchange would be half that. Anyway, the point was to make a dramatic change in order to highlight the issue of why the change is necessary.

I like 10 seconds per Exchange. I like 15 as well. I think that whether you go with one or the other will depend on whether you are most frequently adjusting the timelines of those within the combat environment or whether it is more common to try to align external actions with those within.

An example of the former is Jacquemet's situation -- there is a break in his melee combat and he wants to influence another melee combat. The more Rounds his combat has progressed the harder it is to accept that he could influence another combat that is only just beginning. Therefore shortening the duration of Exchanges increases that believability.

An example of the latter is Agnes' situation of fetching the Watchmen. In her case the longer the duration of an Exchange the greater the believability that she could return with the Watchmen while it is still progressing.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:54 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
When we played TRoS we played 1 second Exchanges and went turn by turn around the table.

I must say we never encountered any problems, tho some prep times on weapons seemed too high.


In your group how many players choose to play non-combatant characters?

Crow Caller wrote:
My only concern is that some of the Time Rolls seem to bite into Combat Pools alot, andwhen you take a step back from the game it seems strange that the skilled warrior (who usually has 2 more dice than his opponent) all of a sudden has 2 Dice less than his opponent simply because they exist during the same time frame. Do I make sense?


The skilled warrior is sacrificing combat capability (that is, CP) in order to perform more actions within the same amount of time as the less skilled opponent.

You can always elect not to expend the CP. In the combat example, Jacquemets -- having thrown his opponent and thus disengaged -- could have elected to run over and attack the werewolf. By the time he arrived the werewolf would have struck once or twice at the ladies -- but Jacquemets would have full CP when he arrived.

Crow Caller wrote:
Anyway, what I'd really like to see is a Chart of Recommened TN's and Required Successes, at least enough to give everyone a good estimate to work from.


Rather than a table I would prefer to suggest a rule-of-thumb:

The Timing Roll TN is 4 plus 1 for every Round of misaligned timing.

So let's say that Jacquemets has three Rounds of combat with Jean-Pierre, at the end of which he has thrown him to the ground. Catherine and Maria have had three Rounds of decision making and movement before the werewolf crouches to leap. The question in this situation is whether Jacquemets' blade will hit the werewolf before the werewolf reaches the ladies and strikes. The referee declares a Timing roll and sets the TN at 4.

If the ladies had taken only 1 Round to be under threat from the werewolf, then the TN would be 6.

The number of Successes required depends on how your group uses rolls in general. If you are a "one Success means success" kind of group then I would also leave the Successes-required at 1 and just tinker with the TN. If you are a Table 1.2 (Core page 6) kind of group then the number of Successes required for success should be aligned with that table.

So, in the example above, Jacquemets wants to hit the werewolf well before the werewolf strikes at the ladies. Getting 1 success means he will hit the werewolf just before it strikes the ladies -- the werewolf's strike will probably still land as they will be close to simultaneous. So Jacquemets really wants 2 or 3 Successes. The referee sets the Successes accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:42 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Crow Caller wrote:
When we played TRoS we played 1 second Exchanges and went turn by turn around the table.

I must say we never encountered any problems, tho some prep times on weapons seemed too high.


In your group how many players choose to play non-combatant characters?


Rather alot actually. Several Characters were Ranged Combat oriented, and were devestating opponents, and I had great fun playing a Crime Lord characer that had 0 Combat Proficiency.

We never played any Magic Users simply because I didn't feel comfortable introducing the Core Magic System to our game.

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
My only concern is that some of the Time Rolls seem to bite into Combat Pools alot, andwhen you take a step back from the game it seems strange that the skilled warrior (who usually has 2 more dice than his opponent) all of a sudden has 2 Dice less than his opponent simply because they exist during the same time frame. Do I make sense?


The skilled warrior is sacrificing combat capability (that is, CP) in order to perform more actions within the same amount of time as the less skilled opponent.

You can always elect not to expend the CP. In the combat example, Jacquemets -- having thrown his opponent and thus disengaged -- could have elected to run over and attack the werewolf. By the time he arrived the werewolf would have struck once or twice at the ladies -- but Jacquemets would have full CP when he arrived.


Okay, that makes more sense now.The CP loss is coming off all the previous actions he took that he "rushed" in order to be able to act in time with the current situation.

Quote:
Crow Caller wrote:
Anyway, what I'd really like to see is a Chart of Recommened TN's and Required Successes, at least enough to give everyone a good estimate to work from.


Rather than a table I would prefer to suggest a rule-of-thumb:


Even better :)

Quote:
The Timing Roll TN is 4 plus 1 for every Round of misaligned timing.

So let's say that Jacquemets has three Rounds of combat with Jean-Pierre, at the end of which he has thrown him to the ground. Catherine and Maria have had three Rounds of decision making and movement before the werewolf crouches to leap. The question in this situation is whether Jacquemets' blade will hit the werewolf before the werewolf reaches the ladies and strikes. The referee declares a Timing roll and sets the TN at 4.

If the ladies had taken only 1 Round to be under threat from the werewolf, then the TN would be 6.

The number of Successes required depends on how your group uses rolls in general. If you are a "one Success means success" kind of group then I would also leave the Successes-required at 1 and just tinker with the TN. If you are a Table 1.2 (Core page 6) kind of group then the number of Successes required for success should be aligned with that table.

So, in the example above, Jacquemets wants to hit the werewolf well before the werewolf strikes at the ladies. Getting 1 success means he will hit the werewolf just before it strikes the ladies -- the werewolf's strike will probably still land as they will be close to simultaneous. So Jacquemets really wants 2 or 3 Successes. The referee sets the Successes accordingly.

Regards,


Sweet, that makes it easier to gage the overall system.

On yours and Grettir's discussion about the actual length of the time per exchange, I wonder, what is the smallest amount of time that could be used with this system?

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds."
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:02 am 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Rather alot actually. Several Characters were Ranged Combat oriented, and were devestating opponents, and I had great fun playing a Crime Lord characer that had 0 Combat Proficiency.


OK, so did the players of archer characters find the problem described by Daeruin (I think it was) -- that once a shot was taken, the reload time was such that a good quarter an hour of real time would pass before that player got to shoot again?

Your crime lord character -- what did you as a player do while the combat scenes were transpiring? When Rounds occupy 1 - 2 seconds, what can a non-combatant achieve within 20 seconds of game time? That's the duration of an entire fight scene when Rounds occupy 1 - 2 seconds.

Crow Caller wrote:
Okay, that makes more sense now.The CP loss is coming off all the previous actions he took that he "rushed" in order to be able to act in time with the current situation.


Almost. As I see it, the character is sacrificing combat capability in the current action in order for it to transpire before someone else completes their action.

However, this is a complete furphy. There is no in-game rationalisation. The referee requires the player to sacrifice CP in order to increase the drama of the action and to provide the player with a tactical consideration.

Crow Caller wrote:
On yours and Grettir's discussion about the actual length of the time per exchange, I wonder, what is the smallest amount of time that could be used with this system?


Keep in mind that you play TRoS combats differently to Grettir and I.

Remember, it is "up to 15 seconds" and not "15 seconds". When two duelists are going toe-to-toe the Exchange duration is 1 second under this system. When one of those duelists is trying to protect a thief who is madly trying to pick a lock then the Exchange duration enters the realm of a variable and we need to align the non-combatant's timeline with those of the combatants when the lock is finally picked.

In my opinion, the smaller the amount of time the less useful this mod becomes. The primary purpose for the mod is to allow non-melee characters to perform actions -- that is, for their players to have a turn in the limelight -- as regularly as the melee combatants. The time in the spotlight may vary, but they will get the spotlight just as often. This keeps all the players in the game for the twenty minute real-time duration of the combat scene.

If, for example, the Exchange duration was "up to 4 seconds" then there is little benefit to the non-melee combatants. Reloading a crossbow will still take four Rounds, so the archer player misses their turn in the spotlight twice before getting to take a shot. Running to fetch the Watchmen will take 15 Rounds -- that player can no longer influence the outcome of events.

Does that make sense? The purpose of the rule isn't really about Jacquemets aligning with the werewolf. Core already handles that, with the Terrain roll. This is more about Agnes fetching the Watchmen, the archer firing into the melee, the mages conducting their arcane combat.

Regards,

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