Author Topic: IRE - Inquisitor Revised Edition project  (Read 60101 times)

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #90 on: March 15, 2016, 02:16:14 PM »
I can get behind the idea of specifying the range between hand to hand combatants, and it certainly would add more to the usual choice of actions being "attack, attack, attack, attack".
I hope so. The fact I've heard multiple players at the table actually go "Attack, attack, attack" shows that the current system fails at making melee into an interplay of action and reaction (even though that's what its chopped up turn structure is supposed to support). Things are just so weighted in favour of attacking, with the benefits of manoeuvring being too small in comparison to incessantly wearing down an opponent's parry chance.

Specifying the range is a fairly fundamental part of changing that, I feel, as it establishes an importance on positioning that's not really there at the moment. I may have to wrangle the exact modifiers after some play-testing and there's some stuff to do with regard to the rules for how characters position themselves (as opposed to just why they would want to), but I feel the concept is coming together.

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currently combats can roll on for ages, and it's infuriating when your swordsman can't dispose of a goon.
I don't want close combats to be too decisive, as the defensive character should at least have a reasonable chance of surviving until his own turn and getting a chance to attack back, but I want to change some of the balance around WS.

For example, the current WS halving means that after a couple of parries, there's very little difference between an expert WS 80 character and a more moderately skilled WS 60 character. Also, as you can only currently parry (and thus counter-attack) attacks that hit, that WS 80 expert apparently leaves twice as many holes in their attack as a WS 40 numpty!

However, a WS 80 character is almost impervious to the first hit in a turn, regardless of how skilled their opponent is. Any attacker who rolls only one action is likely to do nothing with their turn, which is part of the problem you talk about.

I hope to address all this, shifting high WS characters towards being more dangerous, but more vulnerable. (Although I am looking at lifting the concept of "stances" from Ynek's close combat rules; not all characters will be able to use stances at all and characters will only normally be trained in specific styles, but this will allow some characters options like being more or less aggressive).
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Offline Holiad

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #91 on: March 15, 2016, 08:56:16 PM »
I've found that one of the big problems with the inq1 close combat rules is that, at +20% and no penalties, the dodge action is far too easy, particularly on the first attack.  The big problem being, it marginalises any character with a low or average speed in close combat-to be a credible threat you need to be able to inflict three or four hits. An entire character archetype of slow-but-powerful melee fighters is rendered ineffective.
The penalty on parry rolls based on the original attack roll worked well on addressing this problem in Precinctomega's original Inq2 rules, combined with reworking dodge as simply ignoring penalties, with no additional bonus.
 Another thing I liked was that reach modifiers were capped at 10%, preventing excessive bonuses, although I also like the concept of an ideal fighting distance. I think probably these two rules would work well in combination, so you got 10% for being at a favoured distance, but didn't, as you currently can, get an excessive boost like 30% for having a superior weapon. 20/30% ends up as a bit too much, especially when combined with a high basic WS.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #92 on: March 16, 2016, 12:52:45 AM »
I'd say that's all a fair assessment.

I want to keep dodge in at least some way - it gives low WS characters a chance to not get minced immediately, and having the distinction between dodging and parrying introduces some of the little variety that does show up in the current system - but I'd agree that it's too effective at the moment.
As you say, opposed rolls definitely have an effect on this, but I'll need to put together a reasonably full set of melee rules and run some sample combats to see what modifiers I think dodge should be using.

In the LRB, Dodge only ignores parry penalty, but I might also have it ignore reach and maybe some positioning modifiers in order to produce a more variable set of benefits/drawbacks compared to parrying.
(For example, the benefits of parry vs. dodge would then change depending on whether you were at a good engagement distance or a bad one, rather than just being a static difference of 20 plus whatever parry penalty).

I don't think ignoring more modifiers would be complicated to handle, but it does add a variety that would encourage characters to not always react in exactly the same ways.

~~~~~

When it comes to reach bonuses, that's largely what I have in mind: +10 for being at optimum distance (rounding to the nearest yard), +0 for being a yard from optimum, -10 for being two yards from optimum, and -20 for being three yards or more from optimum.
That said, I may scrap the last one, depending on how it looks like all the possible modifiers stack up.

Even if it does stretch to -20, the modifiers still measure up at essentially half what they'd be than in the original rules. At 4 yards, a reach 4 spear versus a reach 1 knife would be +10 for the spear and -20 for the knife (a total difference of 30), rather than the +30 and -30 (a total difference of 60) the LRB would inflict.
(And, the knife has an opportunity to turn it around by getting closer in, so it's no longer a clear-cut advantage for the spear).

I'll have to look at the positioning rules to make sure it's neither too easy or too hard to out-manoeuvre your opponent, but I think those modifiers sound about right to be a reasonable (but not dominating) incentive to vie for good positioning.
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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #93 on: March 16, 2016, 04:06:50 AM »
I really like where you're heading with this. I will definitely try out the distance modifier rules.

This may be a bit much, but I'm wondering if you don't want to set some limits on effective distances. For instance, at 3 meters inside the optimal distance a weapon must be used as improvised (a reach 4 weapon at 1 or 0) and at 3 meters outside the effective distance you can only dodge (reach 0 weapon at 3, reach 1 weapon at 4). This also opens the door for some interesting special abilities (the fighter is always considered at their optimal distance w/ hand to hand combat). Possibly over-complicating things, but the idea just struck me.

For the stacking penalties, I love applying the margin of success against the defender's roll. Taking that into account, should it be a flat -10% to the defender for each subsequent roll as opposed to halving every time? Halving is a strange mechanic, and makes almost any sane player opt to dodge after a couple tries.

Also, as far as movement goes, are you proposing to keep that as-is? I think it would be interesting to play around with that a bit. Perhaps a successful hit allows the attacker an inch of free movement, whereas a successful parry allows the defender the same privilege. My thinking on this is very preliminary, I'm trying to think of ideas that would give fighting a bit more motion to it without making a player seem foolish for opting to move rather than attack. Your proposal in regards to reach bonuses is getting there, I just wanted to see your thoughts on this. 

A comment on the Parry Penalty proposal (having it count against both attacking and defending). I like the idea of it but I'm definitely intrigued at the idea of having a Parry Penalty and Attack Penalty separately. I picture a chainsword being heavy and cumbersome, but it may react quite differently in terms of ease of attack versus ease of parrying a blow. While it's definitely more difficult than a regular sword in either situation, but I'd imagine the parry penalty would be higher than the attack penalty. More something to think about for the future, I'm in no rush to make a change that would necessitate a change to the current rule sheet. 

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #94 on: March 16, 2016, 04:45:21 PM »
This may be a bit much, but I'm wondering if you don't want to set some limits on effective distances.
I don't know that it needs hard limits.

I'm currently thinking about allowing most weapons to be used as improvised should the character wish (as earlier suggested, bashing someone with a sword pommel if they get too close) and making Dodge ignore reach modifiers; Under more extreme reach circumstances, these options are likely to become more reliable.

At 1 yard, a Power Halberd would be at -40 (-20 for being three yards from optimum and -20 PP). In comparison, using it as an improvised weapon would be at -10 (+10 for optimum range, plus -20 PP*), or dodging (assuming it ignores all these modifiers) would be at +0.
*Depending on which version of the PP given in the rules you believe. In some places it's quoted as -20, others at -30.

This could be interesting in combat, making a character choose between trying to whack his opponent with the haft of his halberd, or somehow contort so that he can attack with the energised blade.
(And it's not an easy decision. A -40 penalty is quite significant when you also have to beat your opponent's roll).

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This also opens the door for some interesting special abilities (the fighter is always considered at their optimal distance w/ hand to hand combat).
Something like this could work well for a "Weaponmaster" special ability. Usually, that kind of rule has usually gone for a +/- 1 reach approach, but either what you've said or ignoring any reach penalties (penalties specifically, they could still benefit from the bonus) with their chosen weapon.

Blademaster could be similar, but with a few knife specific bonuses.

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Taking that into account, should it be a flat -10% to the defender for each subsequent roll as opposed to halving every time?
Other than that IRE avoids the % convention for modifiers (due to it being potentially confusing), that's pretty much what I already have.
(The main exception is that characters can still spend any conventional Reserved reactions independently of this penalty).

This does however assume I keep subsequent parry modifiers at all, which I'm currently in two minds about.

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Also, as far as movement goes, are you proposing to keep that as-is? I think it would be interesting to play around with that a bit. Perhaps a successful hit allows the attacker an inch of free movement, whereas a successful parry allows the defender the same privilege.
A similar suggestion came up before (possibly from Adeptus Noob?) about successful attacks allowing the character to manoeuvre the combat.

Your version might be simpler to implement. Any success (perhaps regardless of whether or not the opponent beats it) on an attack or parry could allow the character a yard of movement.
It might have to be ignored occasionally; one of the actions I've got in mind is specific "manoeuvre" option (where, for example, a character tries to back his opponent into a corner**, off the edge of a roof or the like) which doesn't really want more movement stacked on top, but we'll see.

**As I'm currently writing it, an opponent who can't make a full dodge move will take a penalty to his attempt. I want melee to interact with the terrain a lot more. A fight in a tunnel should be different to one in an open courtyard.
(I also expect to see cover taking a role in melee - characters to trying to hide behind stone columns and the like).

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I'm definitely intrigued at the idea of having a Parry Penalty and Attack Penalty separately.
Well, as said, it's certainly possible. Having thought it over, I'm seeing more arguments for it, so I may go with the idea and drop in a footnote to use the Parry Penalty instead if that's all the weapon has.

Something like the difference between an armoured gauntlet and a knuckleduster probably merits the difference. They'll probably be similarly accurate at hitting things (both being for punching!), but the armoured gauntlet should clearly be much more effective at fending off blows.

There could also be some mechanics regarding counter-attacking, if the counter-attack depended on beating your weapon's attack penalty. Weapons that are very good at parrying, but not so good at exploiting an opponent's openings. (For example, shields already have a penalty to counter-attacking).
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 09:02:25 PM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline Drubbels

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #95 on: March 18, 2016, 10:21:49 AM »
(possibly from Adeptus Noob?)

Yup, that was me.


I actually like the 'any success, regardless of whether or not the opponent beats it' idea. Characters in movie swordfights spend a lot of time moving around even without hitting anything but each others' swords.

Otherwise, I don't think I have much to offer on the subject of close combat - I have little experience with it that I can remember*, and thus hold no strong opinions on it.

*Which is a very bad sign - either close combat has rarely been worth getting into for my characters (thus causing there to be few combats to remember), or all combats have been bland, unmemorable affairs (thus causing me to not remember them.)
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #96 on: March 20, 2016, 02:19:20 AM »
*Which is a very bad sign - either close combat has rarely been worth getting into for my characters (thus causing there to be few combats to remember), or all combats have been bland, unmemorable affairs (thus causing me to not remember them.)
I have certain combats that do come to mind, but they usually involve either fights finished with brutal critical hits or extenuating circumstances that had little to do with the combat system, such as duelling under the wing of a Valkyrie or actually playing both characters in the combat (the GM gave me control of an NPC and made it clear he was a conniving little turd; after I'd had him causing various carnage, Silva decided she'd had enough and kicked the snot out of him).

~~~~~

Anyway, a couple more thoughts I've been playing around with:

- More potential to use guns in close combat. If a character gets charged while holding a lasgun, is his only thought really going to be to try and club his attacker with it?

That's not to say they should be particularly good, but I don't see why a character can't try blasting his opponent at point blank. The possibility of an Attack Penalty potentially opens this up quite well, the attack modifier for a gun could start with an idea as simple as the weight of the weapon, inherently making pistols easier to use in melee than assault rifles.

- Height modifiers. They are at present fairly simple, but not necessarily accurate. A higher position, while quite good offensively, is harder to defend from. (Your legs are harder to defend than your torso, given they're more out of the way. On even terrain, this isn't normally a concern, as your opponent also finds them harder to strike, but when you're at a higher level, that changes).

Whether or not I change things to reflect this... I don't know. I want characters to be fighting for position, and I'll need to think about whether the various incentive options are going to make them do that or just result in one character hogging a position for the whole fight.


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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #97 on: March 22, 2016, 02:42:34 AM »

- More potential to use guns in close combat. If a character gets charged while holding a lasgun, is his only thought really going to be to try and club his attacker with it?

Yes please, I totally agree with this.

- Height modifiers. They are at present fairly simple, but not necessarily accurate.

It's granular, but makes sense. Attacking from high ground offers some potentially huge advantages (given how much more likely you are to get a head shot) but acknowledging the fact that it's much harder to dodge the counter makes a lot of sense.

Whether or not I change things to reflect this... I don't know. I want characters to be fighting for position, and I'll need to think about whether the various incentive options are going to make them do that or just result in one character hogging a position for the whole fight.

So I'm just gonna go ahead and take your quote slightly out of context (but within the frame of its spirit) to get your thoughts on an idea I've been toying with (can't remember if I posted it recently or not). What do you think about having movement coupled with attack actions? It keeps things flowing and allows for more drama, especially among equally talented fighters. At the moment if two high WS fighters go at it there's a decent chance of one attacking, one blocking, and that being it (or if they're both talented enough, parries and counter-parries are made). What if the high-scorer got to dictate some of the movement within the close combat, even if no damage was dealt? So the attacker succeeds by a margin of 50 whereas the defender succeeds by a margin of 40. So the attacker gets to move two inches (or perhaps they have a choice of moving themselves one inch and their opponent one inch?). The idea would be that even if no one is getting hit there will be lots of motion and someone will be holding the advantage.

This could potentially be too powerful under the current "defender halves WS every attack" dynamic, but if that is tweaked it could work. I'm aware that the mechanics of what I'm proposing aren't perfect but I wanted to get feedback on the spirit of what I'm suggesting and whether you think there's a way to implement it. Rather than trying to get players to opt to move rather than attack this provides some drama even when attacks aren't successful. 

Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #98 on: March 24, 2016, 02:01:53 AM »
You know, I just had this thought. If dodging (IE jumping straight back 2 inches) takes you beyond the 4 inch combat range, should that then mean the your opponent's next action is by definition a charge? Maybe this has always been implied and everyone has been playing this way except me, but it strikes me that opening yourself up to a charge makes dodging a much riskier proposition. That may make it the favorite choice of cowards as a final action though (I mean it's the smart thing to do), though I suppose that isn't really a departure from the current situation.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #99 on: March 24, 2016, 04:10:06 AM »
So I'm just gonna go ahead and take your quote slightly out of context (but within the frame of its spirit) to get your thoughts on an idea I've been toying with (can't remember if I posted it recently or not).
 What do you think about having movement coupled with attack actions?
You did make a similar suggestion in your previous post.

I've currently adapted that into the idea that a successful attack or defence allows the the character some movement. That'd be even if the roll was beaten in an opposed roll, but the winner of the roll would get to decide who moves first.

Exactly how much movement that would be is something I'd need to balance. I had originally thought one yard moves, but I think then a short weapon would have too hard a time of actually closing in.

For example, if a sword wielder and knife wielder character both had a 50% chance of succeeding on their roll (for this, we'll assume the modifiers aren't changing), we have four 25% chances:
- Both pass: Knife tries to close, sword backs off to maintain distance. No change.
- Both fail: No change
- Knife passes, sword fails: Knife gets to close in.
- Sword passes, Knife fails: Sword moves to optimum distance (if not already at it).

It's an example of a mathematical random walk; If considered independently of other factors (like the fight ending, either character getting injured or someone running out of space to back into) it can be modelled as a Markov chain, and show that if the knife wielder needed to close in twice to get to optimum range, it'd take him about eight and a half actions on average. (Or a little over six if we consider his chances improving at 2 yards).
This is all assuming I haven't messed up the sums. Matrices are not my favourite maths.

That seems too much, so one yard seems a bit too stingy, although two yards might potentially lead to a fight moving too much. (And one and a half just messes with the distance system!)

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Rather than trying to get players to opt to move rather than attack this provides some drama even when attacks aren't successful.
Balancing the manoeuvres (a word I seem to be getting slightly better at spelling) is going to be interesting, but I think part of it will be allowing a character to negate his opponent's chance to react to the movement - that is, the opposed rolls will cancel here.

If dodging (IE jumping straight back 2 inches) takes you beyond the 4 inch combat range, should that then mean the your opponent's next action is by definition a charge?
At present, when at arm's length, you dodge side-to-side, and I'm currently working on the same assumption that dodges won't let a character move beyond combat range. I'm taking combat range to be slightly abstract,

Charging is however proving a challenging question. As positioning is becoming more important, I've got to nail down ways to stop a knife wielder just charging straight in to one yard and bypassing that mechanic entirely.
Currently, I'm looking at providing either an attack penalty or a defensive bonus for pushing past your opponent's optimum range. (Much like charging a wall of pikemen is a good way to get impaled).

I will add that, unlike the LRB, IRE doesn't make charging a pre-requisite of starting a combat. Nor, in fact, entering IRE's Engaged state, although as the Engaged state is essentially a voluntary version of the LRB's melee structure (declare actions one at a time, react to opponent, unaware of events outside of combat), you'd be at something of a disadvantage.

~~~~~

Anyway, I'm trying to think about some of the basic combat actions I need to get in here. These are the things I've currently got on my list:

- Standard Attack. Obviously. You already get the basics of this.
There may be variants that let characters aim for weak spots in armour or otherwise try for specific damage, but they're fundamentally all about injuring your opponent.

- Disarm. Character tries to knock their opponent's weapon from their hand.

- Grapple. Character tries to grab their opponent. Exactly how complex this will be, I don't know. I'm inclined to keep it basic and let the GM adjudicate the many possibilities, because the grapple systems in some games are an entire ruleset unto themselves!

- Stagger. Character attempts to knockback or down their opponent. This may end up based or partially based around unarmed attacks, giving characters more of an excuse to throw in an occasional kick or punch into a fight.
(While not necessarily realistic, it's common enough in the action movies that Inquisitor is emulating. To quote Mystery Men: "How many weapons do you wield?" "Just one, Sphinx" "No. The fist, the knee, the elbow, the head! You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums.")

- Feint. Character tries to mislead his opponent. Depending on what I come up with, I may make this available for all characters, but those with the skill will be better at it.

- Fire weapon. Using guns in close combat. Not likely to be efficient, but it should be allowed.

- Flanking. The character tries to out-foot his opponent.

- Manoeuvre. The character tries to force his opponent to move (backing him into a corner, off a roof, into traffic).

- Combat stances. Representing different fighting techniques. (Akin to styles of Kung Fu and the like).

- Plus parrying, dodging, footwork, anything I think is needed as a reaction to the above.


If there's any other fairly fundamental combat actions anyone thinks should be part of the basic rules, tell me!
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Offline Alyster Wick

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #100 on: March 24, 2016, 01:29:50 PM »
At present, when at arm's length, you dodge side-to-side, and I'm currently working on the same assumption that dodges won't let a character move beyond combat range. I'm taking combat range to be slightly abstract,

The downside of me spending infinitely more time writing about this game than playing it is that I sometimes flub fundamental details like this :(

Charging is however proving a challenging question. As positioning is becoming more important, I've got to nail down ways to stop a knife wielder just charging straight in to one yard and bypassing that mechanic entirely.
Currently, I'm looking at providing either an attack penalty or a defensive bonus for pushing past your opponent's optimum range. (Much like charging a wall of pikemen is a good way to get impaled).

I will add that, unlike the LRB, IRE doesn't make charging a pre-requisite of starting a combat. Nor, in fact, entering IRE's Engaged state, although as the Engaged state is essentially a voluntary version of the LRB's melee structure (declare actions one at a time, react to opponent, unaware of events outside of combat), you'd be at something of a disadvantage.

As far as the flow of the charge, if the charger's optimal range is greater than or equal to the person they are charging, things proceed per the rulebook (or if they prefer to stop at a range greater than or equal to their opponent's).

If the charger opts to charge inside of their opponent's optimal range, I have two thoughts. The first is an opposed Initiative role, with the defender getting +10 per difference in Reach of their weapons (IE a reach 3 sword vs reach 1 knife means the attacker gets +20. This bonus occurs regardless of the ultimate range the person is trying to reach. So the Attacker wielding a knife could be trying to get to any range between 2 inches and base-to-base, but the +20 will still be given to the Defender). In this scenario, if the Defender wins, the Attacker must stop at the Defender's optimal range. If the Attacker wins, they close to their preferred range and combat continues.

The second option is that the Attacker automatically closes to their preferred range but the Defender's first counter attack goes off as if it were at the Defender's optimal range. This is perhaps a poor attempt to simulate the Attacker diving within the reach of a longer weapon and the Defender having a better opportunity to defend. Whoever gets the better of this first exchange dictates where the Attacker stops (with the straight line of their charge).

As I write this, I'm inclined to go with option 1. I suppose you could tweak it to be WS rather than Initiative based on taste. I really do like it though as I think it does a better job of giving a distinct advantage to Reach 4 weapons. The current rules make halbreds and spears kind of lame, whereas this would make charging a pikeman a very risky proposition if you're carrying a knife.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #101 on: March 25, 2016, 02:20:11 AM »
The downside of me spending infinitely more time writing about this game than playing it is that I sometimes flub fundamental details like this :(
... and it seems the downside of me writing at three in the morning is I don't finish all my sentences.

My point about combat range being abstract is that a defined limit to "combat distance" may sometimes mean that positioning has to be representative rather than necessarily realistic. However, it seems somewhat necessary in order to avoid the powerful "Engaged" state being exploitable at longer ranges.

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As I write this, I'm inclined to go with option 1.
My favoured option at the moment is roughly a combination of both.

The attacker automatically closes to whatever distance, but a charge allows the defender to pick any point during said move as their engagement range, and gives them a bonus if they have the longer weapon.

The specifics aren't yet nailed down, but I'd like to keep it as part of the same roll if possible, just to keep the speed of play going.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #102 on: April 21, 2016, 01:44:46 AM »
Although it's been a while since my last forum post, IRE has not at all been forgotten - I'm still trying to push towards a complete beta ruleset, in the hope that a playtest day can be held at Dark Sphere sometime in the not too distant future.

~~~~~

System Shock is something I discussed before, and I've been sitting on the IRE rules text for a while:

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System Shock
A character suffering a lot of damage at once will often pass out simply due to pain and shock. This is known as System Shock, and is one of the most common reasons a character will go out of action.

A character who takes 10 or more damage from one hit (after armour, etc) must pass a Toughness test or be taken out of action for the remainder of the game.
Characters may also be called upon to take System Shock tests or automatically suffer System Shock as a result of particularly traumatic location injury.

There are also higher levels of system shock, representing more major injuries:
Level 2 system shock is caused by taking 15 or more damage from one hit, and requires that they take an additional System Shock test (over the basic test required.)
Level 3 system shock is caused by taking 20 or more damage from one hit, adding a further System Shock test (over that for levels 1 and 2).

A character who is in good health is less likely to suffer System Shock than one who is already heavily injured. If a character's prior Injury total (i.e. before adding the current hit) is equal or less than his System Shock Value (equal to one fifth of his Toughness value - see the Characteristics section), then he gains a +20 bonus to his Toughness test.

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Gamesmaster's Note:
Some characters may have special rules that increase their System Shock values. In addition to increasing their System Shock value, this also increases the thresholds for System Shock tests.
- Characters that are noted to increase their System Shock threshold by half treat the damage thresholds as 5 points higher (meaning that L1, L2 & L3 System shock are caused at 15, 20 and 25 points respectively).
- Characters that are noted to double their System Shock threshold treat the damage thresholds as 10 points higher (meaning that L1, L2 & L3 System shock are caused at 20, 25 and 30 points respectively).
As said before, this is intended to even out System Shock a little. It should remove the near-immunity that high toughness characters have had, as almost everyone now tests at 10 points of damage (although tough characters will still be much more likely to pass the test), but also give low toughness characters at least a moderate chance of not getting knocked out by one hit.

And with levels of system shock, a serious hit is now also actually a serious hit. Staying conscious if hit with a plasma gun will be a tougher feat than if hit by a stub pistol.

Playtesting may show that the thresholds need tweaking, but we'll see.

~~~~~

I'm also looking at updating the injury charts.

First thing is that IRE plans to make injury levels cumulative. I, and quite a lot of others, already play this way (to the point it had mostly slipped my mind that he rulebook says that only the current injury level applies).

As the original rules are written, an Acute chest wound has a persistent penalty of just -1 speed and Bleeding, but a Heavy wound to both legs would be -2 speed. Now, to me, it just makes sense that "serious fractures, dislocations, vicious exit wounds and extensive muscle damage" to a character's heart, lungs and spine should probably be quite a bit nastier than cuts and sprains, even if they are to both legs.

With that change in mind, and also the fact that Speed penalties will be a bit meaner in IRE (as IRE uses 3+ action rolls), I may actually pull a few results off the injury tables.

These are the main changes I've got ear-marked:

- Exchange the -1 Speed penalty for a heavy leg injury for "Fall prone". (The speed penalty will probably be retained for higher injury levels).
- Dropping some of the "lighter" stunned results to 1 turn (or maybe D3-1 turns) rather than D3 turns. (As taking two injury levels and being stunned for 2D3 turns isn't that fun).
- Swapping some of the system shock results for different levels of System shock tests.
- Possibly injury total penalties for all levels of groin hits. (Partly because I'm considering reducing the severity of the stunning for heavy injury)

~~~~~

And here's a passage I've been writing to put into the Awareness section:

Quote
Degrees of Awareness
Awareness is not a completely binary matter, and there are a huge number of ways in which a character can be partially informed. It is easiest to explain this concept through an example:

Quote
At the start of the game, Inquisitor Shyloque has no idea that Enforcer Barbaretta is in the area, and is therefore completely unaware of her presence. While his general paranoia (an Inquisitor doesn't live long if not wary) may cause him to act cautiously at any time, he won't be able to take any action that would be intentionally be acting against her.

Later on, Shyloque hears the sound of Barbaretta's footsteps on metal decking. He now becomes aware that someone is in the area and has a reasonable idea of her location, but will not know who she is or much about what she is doing. He can reasonably infer she is probably walking around, and also that she is probably not having a chainsword duel (as he'd have heard that!), but won't know more than he could have worked out by listening. He now knows that someone else is in the area, and can act accordingly.

Shortly afterwards, Shyloque moves into an open area, where Barbaretta is standing a few yards directly in front of him. As he can clearly see her, he is now fully aware of where she is, what she is doing and "who" she is.

However, as soon as she finds an opportunity, Barbaretta runs around a corner. Now Shyloque can't see her, he is no longer aware of her exact location or actions. However, he will remain aware of anything  he has previously seen Barbaretta do. This includes which direction he saw her run off in, thus allowing him to attempt pursuit.

The rules will occasionally force a character to be or become unaware. In these circumstances, the character is unable to become aware of any new information (as limited by the given rule) but, as in the above example, will continue to remember any information he was previously aware of.

For a common example, the Engaged state forces a character to focus on their immediate surroundings. Should, before Barbaretta have run off, Shyloque have become Engaged in a melee with Sgt Stone then, with his attention fully on that fight, Shyloque would have been too busy to have seen which direction Barbaretta had departed in.

The GM should apply common sense to these cases. Shyloque may knock Sgt Stone back out of the normal Engaged area, but in this case his attention will probably remain on the Sergeant. Also, should something dramatic happen (such as someone flying/crashing a Valkyrie into a nearby building, or an entire ammo dump exploding just behind him), he will probably notice!
It's not introducing any actual change in the rules and it's the kind of thing veteran players are fluent in - but with Awareness being a very important concept in the rules, I thought the concept of how aware a character was could do with a little elaboration.

I'm quite happy with the definition of being unaware of someone as "you don't know what they're doing now"; even for me, being able to state it in clear terms is quite helpful.

Adding + and - categories to Reach.
Also, I've nicked this (or at least my version of this) from Alyster's CCW discussion. As integrated into IRE, weapons with a Plus reach double their ideal range bonus, but weapons with a Minus reach lose their ideal range bonus.

As I said over in his thread a couple of months back, I think the original close combat weapon profile is quite limiting (excluding special rules, CCWs have just three stats, one of which can only vary from 0-4); expanding the profile will hopefully make weapons play more differently, and therefore lead to more varied close combats and strategies.

For example, a character might have a Reach 2 short sword. Hence, he would therefore normally prefer to fight at his optimum 2 yard range. However, unlike in the current rules, facing off against a Reach 2+ axe or a Reach 3 sword will be strategically very different for him.
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Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
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Offline Cortez

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Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
« Reply #103 on: April 21, 2016, 09:20:39 AM »
    I can get behind the idea of specifying the range between hand to hand combatants, and it certainly would add more to the usual choice of actions being "attack, attack, attack, attack".
    I hope so. The fact I've heard multiple players at the table actually go "Attack, attack, attack" shows that the current system fails at making melee into an interplay of action and reaction (even though that's what its chopped up turn structure is supposed to support). Things are just so weighted in favour of attacking, with the benefits of manoeuvring being too small in comparison to incessantly wearing down an opponent's parry chance.

    Specifying the range is a fairly fundamental part of changing that, I feel, as it establishes an importance on positioning that's not really there at the moment. I may have to wrangle the exact modifiers after some play-testing and there's some stuff to do with regard to the rules for how characters position themselves (as opposed to just why they would want to), but I feel the concept is coming together.

    Quote
    currently combats can roll on for ages, and it's infuriating when your swordsman can't dispose of a goon.
    I don't want close combats to be too decisive, as the defensive character should at least have a reasonable chance of surviving until his own turn and getting a chance to attack back, but I want to change some of the balance around WS.

    For example, the current WS halving means that after a couple of parries, there's very little difference between an expert WS 80 character and a more moderately skilled WS 60 character. Also, as you can only currently parry (and thus counter-attack) attacks that hit, that WS 80 expert apparently leaves twice as many holes in their attack as a WS 40 numpty!

    However, a WS 80 character is almost impervious to the first hit in a turn, regardless of how skilled their opponent is. Any attacker who rolls only one action is likely to do nothing with their turn, which is part of the problem you talk about.

    I hope to address all this, shifting high WS characters towards being more dangerous, but more vulnerable. (Although I am looking at lifting the concept of "stances" from Ynek's close combat rules; not all characters will be able to use stances at all and characters will only normally be trained in specific styles, but this will allow some characters options like being more or less aggressive).

    I don't seem to have posted any thoughts on this, so here we go:

    The main problem seems to be that the best thing to do in combat is just use the base attack with as many actions as possible, as this essentially gives you the best chance of success. This is because, with the current dodge rules, even low WS characters are often virtually immune to the first attack and so wasting actions circling etc. is seen as counterproductive as it only gives you -20% to the parry roll and so merely cancels out the dodge bonus.

    The second problem is the halving of WS for each subsequent dodge/parry, this means that even for a high WS character there is rarely any point to trying to parry (and thus counterattack) after the first round. It also quickly reduces said character to the lvl of an unskilled grunt. The result of this is that getting 4-5 actions in a close combat turn will probably result in your traget being killed, while just rolling one action is unlikely to even kill the weakest of grunts. This also doesn't make a lot of sense as the defender gets tired/sloppy but the attacker doesn't?

    In my opinion it needs to be made much more important to gain advantageous positioning i.e being to the side or behind the target or being higher up than the target, while also making parrying more attractive to get the more cinematic attacks and counterattacks (with even another counterattack back, which did happen to me once and was rather cool). To do this I would suggest the following:

    1.Increase the penalties for turning to parry to -30 for <90degrees and -50 for >90degrees (It's currently -20 and -40)
    2.Being on lower ground should give -10% (this seems to be an omission to me as the defender being higher gives +10) - i'd like to see people jumping onto boxes or other scenery to gain an advantage.
    3.Rework parry penalties on the various weapons, at the moment they're too punishing.
    4.Possibly decrease the dodge bonus to +10 (I still think the dodge bonus is needed to prevent insta-death for low WS characters) - I'm not sure if this needed with the other changes, it might make dodging too weak.
    5. Change the subsequent parry rules from 1/2 WS to -20% weapon skill - this would give high WS characters a greater advantage as befits their greater training.



    I like some of your additional attack suggestions, but here are a couple more based on abilities I can recall from D&D:

    Power Attack - Increased damage with a decreased chance to hit.
    Critical Strike - Can add +50 to the location roll, with a decreased chance to hit.
    Flurry - Multiple attacks on the same action, decreased chance to hit but with a decreased chance to dodge/parry as well.

    obviously these would need to carefully balanced so that atack, attack, attack ism't just replaced with Flurry, Flurry, Flurry.



    System shock.

    The biggest problem I see with system shock is that allows no chance to recover unless you have true grit. I think rather than adding bonuses to the role it would be better to allow characters a chance to recover with a toughness test in the recovery phase. Other characters should be able to try and revive the character too. I like the idea of making it a straight 10 damage rather than based on toughness though.[/list][/list]
    « Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 09:23:50 AM by Cortez »

    Offline MarcoSkoll

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    Re: Musings on a fan made 2nd edition
    « Reply #104 on: April 21, 2016, 01:40:39 PM »
    To do this I would suggest the following:
    1.Increase the penalties for turning to parry to -30 for <90degrees and -50 for >90degrees (It's currently -20 and -40)
    2.Being on lower ground should give -10% (this seems to be an omission to me as the defender being higher gives +10) - i'd like to see people jumping onto boxes or other scenery to gain an advantage.
    3.Rework parry penalties on the various weapons, at the moment they're too punishing.
    4.Possibly decrease the dodge bonus to +10 (I still think the dodge bonus is needed to prevent insta-death for low WS characters) - I'm not sure if this needed with the other changes, it might make dodging too weak.
    5. Change the subsequent parry rules from 1/2 WS to -20% weapon skill - this would give high WS characters a greater advantage as befits their greater training.
    1) I'm going to have to re-evaluate most penalties anyway. With IRE having parrying opposed by the original to hit roll, what any given value of modifier means will be changing quite significantly.

    For example, if your parry needs to beat an opponent's hit margin of 20, that's massively harder if you're rolling under 30 than if you're rolling under 50, so even the same -20 flanking penalty would actually be "bigger" than it was before.

    2) I think the "high ground" gets taken too literally in a lot of media.

    In reality, the high ground is only a significant advantage on a large scale. You need a a lot of height, and preferably a big battle for it to prove significant.
    If you control the top of a hill, you have long lines of sight (making it easier to shoot people as they attempt to close) and the enemy usually needs to come to you - meaning that the opposing army is slowed and worn out by having to climb the slope. It's also easier to ambush from the high ground, as you're naturally difficult to see from down below and your opponent's ability to escape the ambush (or find useful cover) is usually restricted.

    In individual combat, not so much. The Mythbusters looked into it, and while they're not expert swordsmen, I would agree with their conclusions -  it's a more dominating position, but it's actually quite difficult to parry blows to your lower body (which your opponent now has easier access to).

    I may keep some kind of bonus for the high ground. It's a game; exciting action is more important than realism and that kind of bonus would encourage characters to try and compete for position, but it needs to be done cautiously, as I want to minimise equilibria in close combat.

    To explain: If jumping up on a box is an advantage for a character, I want there to also be reasons he might jump off. It's not interesting if he gets on a box and just stays there. That might just be as simple as being on a box makes him easier to outposition though (as, if he wants to stay on the box, he has a more limited range of motion).

    3 & 4) I've not finalised any bonuses or penalties yet, but presently the plan is to reduce some of the harsher parry penalties and scrap the dodge bonus. However, dodging will ignore certain modifiers. Not just parry penalty as it currently does, but also Reach (which, as originally written, it does not) and possibly some of the others.

    This will give dodging a less fixed relationship to parrying (as opposed to the currently fairly fixed difference of +20 plus whatever parry penalty) -  sometimes dodging will be massively better than parrying, but occasionally parrying may actually beat dodging.
    But a character will have to fight for good positioning to make parrying optimal, and even if it does, his opponent then has a motivation to try and outmanoeuvre him. (The thing about making positioning more important is that it's not just about what's best for you, it's about what's worst for your opponent).

    5) I'm already fairly set on a -10 penalty for successive melee reactions. Partly because of what I've already said under point #1 about the new "meaning" penalties will have under an opposed rolling system, but I also found in previous (unopposed) testing that -20 penalty was actually still pretty darn harsh! (I was looking into it as a house rule to make the maths easier).

    Quote
    Power Attack - Increased damage with a decreased chance to hit.
    Critical Strike - Can add +50 to the location roll, with a decreased chance to hit.
    Flurry - Multiple attacks on the same action, decreased chance to hit but with a decreased chance to dodge/parry as well.
    All fair ideas. As you say, they'll need some balancing, but I think they can be used.

    Quote
    The biggest problem I see with system shock is that allows no chance to recover unless you have true grit.
    I'm partially inclined to agree.

    I can see a lot of arguments for allowing characters to re-enter the game - it would help avoid a player being put completely out of the game should a couple of his characters take unlucky hits, and it has the potential to be very dramatic if a character rejoins the fray at a crucial moment. (Although not quite the same circumstances, moments like "Big damn heroes, sir" or "You're all clear kid, now let's blow this thing and go home").

    However, that's going to be a tough one to balance or avoid cluttering the gameplay. True Grit is a potentially very powerful ability. I definitely don't want all characters consistently getting up like that - firstly, it'd be kind of daft; secondly, it'd make True Grit a lot less special.

    That said, introducing a low chance of recovery for out of action characters might have its merits.
    S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
    Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
    Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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