Tactical Narrative Combat Modules in D&D Next - Page 4




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  1. #31
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    I don't understand.
    The Dwarf Fighter has a +6 to attack.
    So if I was fighting a Wizard, AC 11, with a -5, I still only have to roll a 10 or higher to hit.
    And it goes prone.

    People then complain that prone is useless because they just stand back up.
    But while prone everyone gains Advantage, even the Rogue, which deals +3d6 damage.

    In the playtest so far, our fighter and cleric have done lots of things to set up the rogue and wizard so they can do more and better damage.

    Just so you don't think I'm anti-everyone-else, -10 seems too much.
    Maybe -2/-5 would be nice.
    But is -2 enough to sacrifice for advantage and that 3d6 rogue sneak attack?

 

  • #32
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    I suggest you roll, hit and roll damage. A number of damage points can be payed to roll a second attack and if that hits too an effect is applied. Leftover damage is also applied. Different maneuvers cost different amounts of damage to attempt.

    Example: My cavalier Darius deMagna attack the party paladin in an attempt to humble him. I hit and do 12 damage. I pay 10 damage points and attack again, aiming for his pants. If I hit his pants drop and 2 damage carries over.

  • #33
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    Reposting this from Klaus' other thread on the topic:

    I am not sure why they call it narrative? It sounds more like simulationist. But maybe they're not using Forgisms, I don't know.

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter what they call it, it's not what I want for a rules module. I want something like Book of Nine Swords or D&D encounter (and maybe even daily) powers. I like the resource management aspect they add to the game, and I dislike "spamming" maneuvers over and over again, which a simple system like this encourages. (if it doesn't entirely discourage maneuvers because the penalties are too harsh.)
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  • #34
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    I also want more gamist rules, however, it's nice that they can add in narrative (or simulationist would be a better word) rules.

    Basically, we shouldn't argue about the word they use and more about the rules those words represent.
    And we shouldn't argue about those rules because everyone should get what they want so everyone can play what they want.

  • #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
    Yes, but should it not be very hard to knock someone down? On the other hand, a horse should not be that hard to knock down with a heavy weapon.

    So maybe -2/-4 would suffice. A strength check to see if you can catch yourself however would be useful. This, in a bounded accuracy enviroment, seems like a more reasonable tradeoff, as -2 just shifts the chance from 55% to 45% on average. Add in advantage, and you have a reasonable chance to trip someone.
    Well, that's already thinking very much about "simulation" issues. I am not necessarily against it, but I think on some level, what is also very important is that these options are balanced. That means, they must have a certain degree of "usefulness" - not too little that no one takes them, and not too much so you'll always take them. And this type of balance is really hard to find if you do something abstract like "take a penalty but do it as often as you like (meaning: until someone runs out of hit points)"

    Think of 3E D&D Trip and Improved Trip. Without the feat, it was way too costly. Attack of Opportunity, chance to get counter-tripped. Not worth the effort. (Also, very complex to resolve). But if you had the right feats and equipment, well, there was no reason not to use your second or third iterative attack on a trip! You would get the enemy prone giving you a +4 to attack, unless he spends a move action to stand up and takes an AoO for it (with that +4 to attack). It's a great lockdown "power".

    4E went another route - no spamming such strong maneuvers - instead, you can use such a maneuver once per encounter or combat. That made balancing it easier - it had to compete with other limited use powers and you just had to set some sensible power level for those and know that no one could do them more often than once each in a combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Connorsrpg
    I have always preferred 'extra effects' to be part of a critical hit (and they are in our rules).
    But critical hits are random. You can go an entire evening without them. There is no way for the player or the character to decide to try some combat maneuver. That doesn't really seem to make much sense, and it's also a lot less fun then when you see a situation "it would be really good if I could disarm that guy that is wielding that Vorpal Sword before anyone loses his head"

    I did not like the idea of always doing extra stuff in 4E - it then lessens the 'coolness'.
    You mean the at-will attacks? I can see what you mean, but I think it made combat more interesting (but also more complex) from round to round. If you want a simple and fast, gridless combat as core rule, it's probably not a good idea (regardless of whether you find it cool or uncool - I can only say I liked it.).
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  • #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    I am not sure why they call it narrative? It sounds more like simulationist. But maybe they're not using Forgisms, I don't know.
    I'm pretty sure they're not using Forge-isms.

    Mearls is well versed in Forge design ideas.In 2005 he said:

    The simple truth is that few in the gaming industry put any real, useful thought into their work. The Forge is really the crucible for a lot of the real examination and exploration of the underlying structure of RPGs. Outside of the Forge, there are few other designers who think of games in a useful, interesting way.

    . . .

    The Forge might be useful. It's the sort of thing that you have to go look at and judge for yourself. I find it a bit too steeped in jargon, but a lot of the end ideas are useful to think about in terms of my work.

    But whereas I think 4e reflects a lot of the Forge in its desing, I don't see any signs of Forge design influence on D&Dnext.

  • #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    IBut whereas I think 4e reflects a lot of the Forge in its desing
    Yeah, I don't buy that. Obviously the feel of gameplay is subjective, but I don't see any of the hallmarks of the Forge imprinted in 4E. It's decidedly unlike Sorcerer, Trollbabe, Dogs in the Vineyard, or Apocalypse World.

    EDIT - Although I suppose if I took just the gamist aspects of the GNS theory, that would fit 4E pretty well.
    Last edited by Mercutio01; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 01:19 AM.

  • #38
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    Should I know or care what Forge is? (I just looked it up, but let's pretend I didn't have access to the internet when I was making this post, or something like that.)(In fact, I've been playing D&D for 24 years and never heard of Forge-isms until this last week.)

    If they say narrative is playing without a grid in the theatre of the mind, I understand that. I get it.
    If they say tactical is high amounts of complex rules mostly combat related, I get that too.

    Arguing over the terms is pedantic and redundant and repetitive.
    What's important are there are 3 completely different styles and infinitely more combinations of styles to choose from in this upcoming version.
    Last edited by PinkRose; Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 01:20 AM.

  • #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio01 View Post
    Yeah, I don't buy that. Obviously the feel of gameplay is subjective, but I don't see any of the hallmarks of the Forge imprinted in 4E. It's decidedly unlike Sorcerer, Trollbabe, Dogs in the Vineyard, or Apocalypse World.
    So as not to derail this thread, I'll refer you to this post in one of the current hit point threads, which sets out the ways in which 4e (in its emphasis on non-simulationist mechanics that underpin participant driven narration) closely reflects Forge design techniques.

  • #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkRose View Post
    Should I know or care what Forge is? (I just looked it up, but let's pretend I didn't have access to the internet when I was making this post, or something like that.)(In fact, I've been playing D&D for 24 years and never heard of Forge-isms until this last week.)

    If they say narrative is playing without a grid in the theatre of the mind, I understand that. I get it.
    If they say tactical is high amounts of complex rules mostly combat related, I get that too.

    Arguing over the terms is pedantic and redundant and repetitive.
    What's important are there are 3 completely different styles and infinitely more combinations of styles to choose from in this upcoming version.
    The problem is if you were already exposed to Forgisms, it's confusing. So we talk about it. And I think considering how often "GNS" or the Forge terms come up in discussions like these, it can't hurt to know them.
    (Or maybe it can hurt due the way it shapes thinking of RPGs and there can be some concern whether the models are helpful or hindering, but sometimes they'll come up and you'll have to ignore the posts since you won't make sense of them.)

    ---

    Anyway, the rules remind me of Iron Heroes attack challenges and the Book of Iron Might, both works of Mike Mearls. And while I really loved the concept of Iron Heroes, I think the actual implementation was not that good in play, and the same will likely be true for the D&D Next take on it.

    D&D Next's "bounded accuracy" has a certain advantage - it is predictable whether attack penalties are "worth" it. But this predictability is its own problem, because it will likely end up meaning that you either always better off using a maneuver, or you're always better off not using it. I figure a -5 or -10 penalty is more likely to end with the latter.

    I think a better approach would be to have a few conditions that you can impose on an enemy that you then can exploit to use a maneuver.

    We currently have only one exact condition that would fit - "Having Advantage". That's a little shallow, I think, but it can be a start. Maybe we even have a second condition with Bloodied.

    I think there may be about 4 ways to go with maneuvers

    1. The way proposed here, using attack penalties to emulate the difficulty of maneuers and make them not always desirable to use.
      The challenge in play is to decide when a maneuver can be useful.
    2. Condition Based. You need a certain pre-requisite condition to be able to start a maneuver. This will require a few more conditions probably.
      The challenge in play is to impose the conditions you "need" for your maneuvers to be executed.
    3. Resource-Gathering: You gather some resource that represent you out-maneuvering or studying your foe and eventually can spend them to execute a special maneuver.
      The challenge in play is to gather this resources quickly enough and spend them early enough to matter.
    4. Resource-Spending: You have a certain set of resources (encounter or daily powers for example) that you can spend to execute maneuvers.
      The challenge in play is finding the best use of your limited resources.

    Of course, you can combine these 4 in some manner, but there wil usually be some focus on one of the 4.



    I dislike 1 and do not believe it will work - the penalties and the benefit cannot really be balanced in a manner that will lead to varied play. It also tends to be very "math" oriented "Okay, I know I can hit on 9, so if I take a -x penalty for +y damage, it's a good deal. Despite the attempt to "simulate" things with it, you end up being more occupied with the mathematical model than with the narrative it tries to model.

    2 may be interesting, especially if the conditions are descriptive so you can imagine what's going on in play. It provides more focus on the story.

    3 and 4 are more abstract.
    3 has the problem that combat can sometimes go too fast so you'll gather a lot of tokens and use them on a foe that is about to be killed this round anyway. 4 is the D&D 4 approach, and while I think it works great in play, the abstraction has turned off many of D&D 4.
    Note that the abstraction also has a certain advantage - you are more free in how you narrate what is going on, the rules don't enforce that much.
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