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Systems Where You Dread Running Combat

Retreater

Legend
Perhaps I am alone in this, but there are systems I otherwise enjoy with the exception of an important portion of the game - such as combat.
For me, some of these systems include Warhammer Fantasy 4e and Savage Worlds.
Both systems include pretty easy task resolution systems outside of combat. In fact, I would say that they're mostly more straightforward and easy-to-grasp than d20 systems like Pathfinder or D&D.
IMO, where the simplicity of the systems falter are in combat, which should be the most exciting and engaging segment of the game.
You roll to hit, you judge the number of "raises" (or success levels) over the target number, which is usually in flux due to dodge actions. Then that number is subtracted from a toughness and armor number, but then that total is modified by the attack's potency against armor (Armor Piercing). Then you figure out where the attack landed, roll on a chart to see if there's lingering injuries, which must be accounted for in subsequent fights as additional modifiers. Et cetera.
Then you have metacurrency that can impact your rolls, from Bennies to Fortune/Fate points. Strange systems for determining Initiative order (in the case of Savage Worlds at least). Complex healing rules that take days to enact. Death spirals to keep up with. Specialized critical hit and fumble charts.
Are there any systems that you find yourself dreading combat (or other significant portions of the game)? How do you get past it in your GM brain? Do you just avoid those rules sets altogether?
 

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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
If there's any part of a system I dread, I'm not running it. I'm probably not even playing it.

And it's why, now having experienced it, I'm not interested in playing Torg anymore. Fortunately, I'm not the guy who ran it - he actually likes the system.
 


TheSword

Legend
Perhaps I am alone in this, but there are systems I otherwise enjoy with the exception of an important portion of the game - such as combat.
For me, some of these systems include Warhammer Fantasy 4e and Savage Worlds.
Both systems include pretty easy task resolution systems outside of combat. In fact, I would say that they're mostly more straightforward and easy-to-grasp than d20 systems like Pathfinder or D&D.
IMO, where the simplicity of the systems falter are in combat, which should be the most exciting and engaging segment of the game.
You roll to hit, you judge the number of "raises" (or success levels) over the target number, which is usually in flux due to dodge actions. Then that number is subtracted from a toughness and armor number, but then that total is modified by the attack's potency against armor (Armor Piercing). Then you figure out where the attack landed, roll on a chart to see if there's lingering injuries, which must be accounted for in subsequent fights as additional modifiers. Et cetera.
Then you have metacurrency that can impact your rolls, from Bennies to Fortune/Fate points. Strange systems for determining Initiative order (in the case of Savage Worlds at least). Complex healing rules that take days to enact. Death spirals to keep up with. Specialized critical hit and fumble charts.
Are there any systems that you find yourself dreading combat (or other significant portions of the game)? How do you get past it in your GM brain? Do you just avoid those rules sets altogether?
I think I’ve mentioned before, using VTT has been a revolution for me with WFRP.

Roll20 allowing advantage to be clean and plain and updatable on a token has made that a blast to use. Combined with auto rolling doing the maths for me has made combat a simple thing.

Combat with this is the high stakes, high drama affair it should be, rather than the maths nightmare it was in face to face play.

Ive since introduced 2 new players to the system using VTT and Night of Blood and they’ve picked it up really quickly!
 

niklinna

Explorer
If there's any part of a system I dread, I'm not running it. I'm probably not even playing it.

And it's why, now having experienced it, I'm not interested in playing Torg anymore. Fortunately, I'm not the guy who ran it - he actually likes the system.
Speaking as a player, there are things about combat in Torg (Eternity) I love, like possibilities and the cards as a resource you can spend to push yourself (usable outside of combat, too). With roll20, it's pretty fun. In person, rolling the d20 and looking up the result on a chart, is pretty sad. Plus I'm always adding bonuses to the d20 roll instead of the total result. It's just a confusing system, and I don't think it was worth holding over from original Torg.

There are other things about Torg that frustrate me too, but I do enjoy the classless system that lets you build a huge variety of concepts in mechanically viable ways.

I've had poor experience (as a player) with combat in D&D 4E and 5E both. I just don't get much out of whittling down hit points, and actions that simply fail. After playing a number of systems with ways to push yourself, a single inspiration die just doesn't cut it any more.
 

Retreater

Legend
I think I’ve mentioned before, using VTT has been a revolution for me with WFRP.

Roll20 allowing advantage to be clean and plain and updatable on a token has made that a blast to use. Combined with auto rolling doing the maths for me has made combat a simple thing.

Combat with this is the high stakes, high drama affair it should be, rather than the maths nightmare it was in face to face play.

Ive since introduced 2 new players to the system using VTT and Night of Blood and they’ve picked it up really quickly!
I actually got WFRP set up on Foundry - which seems to do wonders for automation (compared to my f2f attempts). Still having a bit of difficulty getting the hang of the UI - and there's a lot to keep up with. And it's caused my computer to crash one time already.
 

I'm with the people who say that if I dread part of a system, I don't use the system; I might make an exception for a very peripheral specialty mechanic (though most likely I'll houserule it if that's the case) but something as central to adventure gaming as combat? Not a chance.

(Though I'm more likely to have a problem with a combat system I find dull than one that's too complicated. I'm reasonably fond of the SW combat system for example.)
 

TheSword

Legend
I actually got WFRP set up on Foundry - which seems to do wonders for automation (compared to my f2f attempts). Still having a bit of difficulty getting the hang of the UI - and there's a lot to keep up with. And it's caused my computer to crash one time already.
To be honest, while Foundry has all the bells and whistles, I just prefer the simplicity of Roll20. It calculates the rolls and the advantage and I just don’t worry about everything else.
 

Retreater

Legend
To be honest, while Foundry has all the bells and whistles, I just prefer the simplicity of Roll20. It calculates the rolls and the advantage and I just don’t worry about everything else.
Foundry also has the first two books (and companion guides) of The Enemy Within available as modules, which is a big selling point for me.
 




S'mon

Legend
For me, some of these systems include Warhammer Fantasy 4e and Savage Worlds.
Both systems include pretty easy task resolution systems outside of combat...

I'm the same with Savage Worlds - loved it when not in combat; hated the combat system. So I tend to use Mini Six (D6 System variant) for that kind of game.

4e D&D I never liked Skill Challenges, but I played 4e online with a new GM on Tuesday and he made them painless at least, quite fun at best.
 


Feepdake

Explorer
Forbidden Lands. It works best when it's played like an OSR game where there are weaknesses to exploit and combat ends in a jiffy. Otherwise it becomes a huge dice-chuck fest that seems to go on forever.
 

GreyLord

Hero
I like the Warhammer FRPG.

I don't care for Rolemaster's (also MERPs) combat in many instances though, you want a more drawn out style...that's it.

I like the original Star Frontier's type of combat.

Zebulon's Guide introduced a version I don't, so I use things like the races and lore but do combat the old fashioned way instead.
 

jdrakeh

Adventurer
The only two systems where I grew to actually dread running combat were D&D 3x and Pathfinder 1. They were fine at lower levels, but once PCs hit 10th level or so, both systems got ridiculous. I don't touch either now.

As a player, I disliked a lot of things about Savage Worlds, but combat was one of those things. If you didn't have a high Spirit score and got hit in combat, you were pretty well done for, as one of our party members was reminded of regularly.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
Like the OP I despise " wahoo look I finally managed to hit!". "Oh apparently I didn't hit", games as well
I think this a partly a matter of how you think about things. I played lots of Warhammer (as in, the wargame), long before I ever played any rpgs, so the distinction between rolling to see whether you hit and rolling to see whether your hit does any damage seems very natural to me. My main Warhammer army were elves (high accuracy, low strength), so watching all my arrows find their targets and then bounce harmlessly off adamantium armour doesn't seem strange at all!

It took me a while to adjust to the DnD abstraction where hitting and wounding are all rolled in to one and, while I definitely see the appeal of the simplicity, I still find these systems less satisfying.

To answer OP, I don't dread combat in WFRP at all (2e, never played 4e). I find it's easier to build interesting combats since there's sufficient built in complexity. I don't need to add bells and whistles to make it exciting like in DnD 5e.

One system I have never tried because the combat rules intimidate me is Hackmaster. In a way it looks like it could be really fun, but the complexity is just overwhelming.
 

John R Davis

Adventurer
Crikey Turnip. In WHFRP 2e it's even worse for whiffy dice rolls. The opening intro paragraph has a tale of a pc making lots rolls under 35% or something. Not gonna happen.
The setting should be grimdark, not the system
 

I think this a partly a matter of how you think about things. I played lots of Warhammer (as in, the wargame), long before I ever played any rpgs, so the distinction between rolling to see whether you hit and rolling to see whether your hit does any damage seems very natural to me. My main Warhammer army were elves (high accuracy, low strength), so watching all my arrows find their targets and then bounce harmlessly off adamantium armour doesn't seem strange at all!

Yeah, I pretty much grew up on the Hero System and RuneQuest as a gamer, so the idea that "if I hit I do damage" seems very D&D to me (and that's not really a compliment from where I sit).
 

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