TTRPGs with simultaneous instead of turn-based combat

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Regardless of the use of the word simultaneous it's simply a fact that when you have a number of players they are going to have to, some how, take turns doing things, even in combat. Frankly, I think the way combat is handled by the GM is far more important than the combat system being used.
 

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Thondor

I run Compose Dream Games RPG Marketplace
For some reason this discussion really makes me want to try and adapt some form of "real time" action like in Space Cadets https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/142079/space-cadets-dice-duel
to an RPG.

Each player rolls specialized dice at a furious pace and assigns them to parts of the ship.
Examples from that game: rolling for shields - where do you put them; assemble a torpedo -- which bay do you load it into -- ship moves as soon as you plot the course. Game pauses when the captain yells fire. This works well here because ship roles are divided well Helm, Weapons, Engineering (recycles dice back to the other players), captain.

It feels like it could thematically work well for a chase mechanic for a game where that matters a lot.
Could be interesting for a ship, tank or mecha crew.
I'll have to put this in a design space to explore bucket.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I've seen it in some board games, mostly relatively complex ones, like Adventurer, by Yaquinto (a sci-fi tavern brawl game from 1980), or the notoriously complex Magic Realm. There's a simpler form in GW's DungeonQuest, which uses tokens for Attack, Strong Attack, or Evade, in a basically rock/paper/scissors system.

Pendragon does mention using secret written declarations if you're using special combat options.
It's also present in Diplomacy.

P.S.
I loved Magic Realm, but I haven't played it in decades. I agree that it is quite complex and the rules I had (1st edition) were also (IMO) somewhat difficult to parse.
 


aramis erak

Legend
Again, I'm specifically talking about the rarity of simulataneous declaration, not resolution.
A distinction without merit. Due to the threading of conversation, simultaneous declaration absolutely requires writing in order to happen. Either by the players or by using cards with standard actions upon them.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
A distinction without merit. Due to the threading of conversation, simultaneous declaration absolutely requires writing in order to happen. Either by the players or by using cards with standard actions upon them.

It actually makes a practical difference; if you don't make declaration simultaneously, but do resolution, you can change declaration based on other declaration but not on outcome. And the latter is as far as even most of the RPGs that make the bland statement that combat as simultaneous seem to bother with, since they never discuss doing anything unusual with declaration.

I agree simultaneous resolution alone is not the same as simultaneous declaration, but its also not the same as the common turn by turn resolution.
 

aramis erak

Legend
It actually makes a practical difference; if you don't make declaration simultaneously, but do resolution, you can change declaration based on other declaration but not on outcome. And the latter is as far as even most of the RPGs that make the bland statement that combat as simultaneous seem to bother with, since they never discuss doing anything unusual with declaration.

I agree simultaneous resolution alone is not the same as simultaneous declaration, but its also not the same as the common turn by turn resolution.
Simultaneous declaration only exists in written mode. Spoken, it physically cannot.
 

kronovan

Adventurer
The Tactical Combat rules in Catalyst Game Lab's A Time of Warfare (Battletech RPG), features simultaneous damage. As opposed to the Personal Combat rules, which only feature simultaneous damage for ongoing effects like bleeding - applied at the end of a turn. The difference is because the TC rules are meant to suplant and mimick the actual Battletech (Total Warfare) tabletop miniature rules, where all damage is simultaneous and is applied during the End Phase. Why any GM would want to use the TC rules instead of the slightly more crunchier, but more lucid and feature rich TW rules (there's guidelines in AToW for doing that), or CGL's far simplers Alpha Strike rules, is beyond me. IIRC, simultaneous damage was there for personal combat in the earlier MechWarrior RPGs. I'm guessing CGL found simultanoues damage during AToW personal combat to be too much of a bother.

Having since become a Traveller and Cepheus Engine player, referee and fan, my preference now is to just use either of those rules for character level play in the Battletech Verse and CGL's Total Warfare or Alpha Strike for Mech vs Mech action.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I’d love to try a game that had simultaneous combat in the sense of Ace of Aces or Diplomacy. Not sure how that would work with movement, but if somebody pulled it off I think it could be cool.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Simultaneous declaration only exists in written mode. Spoken, it physically cannot.

Which is why most supposed simultanteous games aren't. They don't spell out written declaration, and without that, that's not what most people are going to do (its not even clear most of them expect that).
 

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