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> Abstraction, Fun rules! Details are for roleplaying
mintcar
post Mar 29 2005, 10:31 PM
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This is the topic version of a few of my recent posts in other threads. I realized they were on the 10th-somthing page and wouldnīt be noticed by many.

This is what I think:

They should keep the amount of rolls per test, and the modifiers, and the combat pool in the new edition. Because itīs a fun system that allows for tactics and gives everybody a fighting chance, given you have resitance rolls and karma pool. The way it works in combat should be the core of the system everything revolves around. In order to limit the amount of rolls you make you could let every roll signify more than one thing. I for one would like to see an even more abstract system, were every "shoot" action could result in a few missed shots as well as a hit and every "dodge" action could mean sitting behind cover for a few seconds, cathing your breath. Make every roll account for more in-game action, so that you can resolve longer fights in a shorter time. This could solve the problem with every second being utilized with optimal efficiency by everyone in a combat situation. You need time to think and plan too, people. Does it sit well with you that a fire-fight almost never takes more than 10 to 15 seconds to complete in game-time?

Wired reflexes could mean you can make more choices in a combat round, that is change your actions, instead of it meaning you are given more actions. A gun has a rate of fire depending on mode, period. The reason you want more actions is that you want to be able to change your target or throw yourself in cover when itīs called for. The skill roll could determine how many rounds have hit and how many are wasted. There could be an action called "planning" or "focus" in which you take time to evaluate the combat situation when itīs in progress, and then get a few extra actions when you finaly take action. These ideas are only examples of what I would like to see. My main point is that they should focus on making every dice roll something fun and meaningful. There could be actions that donīt require dice rolls themselves, but modifies the actuall attack roll. You should be encouraged to plan your actions in battle, and be cautious. Having very fast reflexes should allow you to skip that part to some degree. You should be able to resolve battles fast, with a limited amount of rolls. Because this would mean that you would not feel compeled to finnish a combat before time just because everybody is bored to hell. I donīt like to sit for hours on end grinding the same battle that just wont end, feeling my headache getting stronger.

What I want is a system that is fun and tactical with a lot of choices and rolls being made. But were you donīt go into details about every single bullet, so the total amount of rolls can be lowered. You have a gaming part of the round, were things are resolved with rules that simulates the different participants choices and abilities in an abstract but statisticly viable and highly entertaining way. Then you have the discription part, where the players and GM discribe in detail what has been simulated. I donīt like the thought of making the rolls a simple question of luck and stats, just so you can roll for every single bullet fired. No. More abstraction I say. Leave the details to roleplaying!
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 29 2005, 10:37 PM
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(Transferred over form the other thread)
mintcar makes an interesting point. Combat would probably be most elegent to handle via an interrupt system, something that would work like this:

-Combat is resolved in 5-second turns (yes I know this is alot, but keep reading.)
-Initiative is rolled, as a Reaction test vs. TN 4. Count the number of successes for each person; these are the number of Interrupts you get for that turn. Also add up each open-ended die roll together; this sum is your initiative score and determines turn order.
-Actions are declared for the 5-second turn in reverse order; lowest initiative score to highest.
-Action types are split up by the amount of time it takes to do them; typical Simple actions would take 2 seconds, Complex actions 4 seconds, "Free" actions 1 second, etc.
-There are no "passes"; everyone gets the same amount of time worth of actions (High-level Move-by-Wire might get "virtual seconds" to add in with interrupts or something; see below.)
-The GM orchestrates the combat turn, counting through the seconds, calling for and making rolls as needed, and generally having the bullets/spells fly in the most cinematic way possible. :) Of course it's suggested that those with the higher initiative score get preference in terms of what they do, but there are exceptions to everything.
-Now for the Interrupts. Any time during the turn, a player may interrupt the action and change what he's doing. Depending on what action he's doing this may or may not cause the current action to fail; jumping out of the way of bullets, for example, will probably cause you to fail the spell you're casting, or at least up the TN considerably for violent motion.
-Interrupting the action for any reason requires using an Interrupt. If a previously-declared action becomes meaningless for whatever reason, the player must still use an Interrupt to do anything differently. In extreme cases, the character will just stand there looking like an idiot if he has no Interrupts and his declared action is completely inappropriate (shooting full-auto when his gun is out of bullets, etc).
-All use of Combat (or any other) Pool for dodging requires use of an Interrupt.

Unfortunately this kinda think would require an insane amount of bookkeepping, with everyone declaring their actions beforehand, but then that's sorta how it's supposed to work now, isn't it?

Anyway, how's that sound, at least for a proposal? This almost certainly won't be in SR4, but it's a good idea, yes?
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mintcar
post Mar 29 2005, 10:42 PM
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I donīt know. Allthough it is interesting, I donīt really want this thread to be about different rules suggestions (even though I gave some myself). This is because Iīm sure there are plenty of people out there that would not like to go the way of abstraction at all. Iīm just trying to get it out there that there are people who like it that way.

Having said that. I have some trubble adjusting to systems like the one you discribe. I would like to move from the first to the last. But with some kind of interupt mechanic in there. I canīt really see what would be best myself. But I think the key is elegance and entertainment. And squeezing the most out of every roll.
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Vuron
post Mar 29 2005, 10:47 PM
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While they work in theory interrupt style systems tend to break down when the number of combatants gets too high. Second you can get some dubious metagaming in which the plunkers try to wear down the opposition with a variety of actions in order to burn the interrupts for a heavy hitter to come in and slaughter the opponent.

For instance
Party facing ultraheavy critter like a dragon (ignore the whole hardened armor problem for a second) the shooters proceed to plunk the dragon with small arms fire in order to force the dragon to burn it's actions of be whittled to death finally after the dragon burns it's last interrupt the insane melee combat physad cyclops with some crazy weapon focus runs in a beats the hell out of the dragon.

Granted this can be solved by a ruleset and juidicious GMing but it rapidly becomes a game of hold actions until the last split second. Simply put it tends to be extremely cumbersome and diminishes gameplay rather than enhancing it.

Further you'll get huge numbers of people saying do you know how many clips you can go through in a 5 second period?

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mintcar
post Mar 29 2005, 10:57 PM
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Your right. I want no such thing. The interupts in my system would only be allowed were the actions should be in the current system. The difference being that only one roll is needed if all the character does is shoot the whole round. A combat were a few guys stand and shoot at eachother should be resolved with a roll each. The long battles should involve a lot of taking cover, giving supressive fire and trying to get an edge. And this stuff should be easy to do within the rules. It should be the natural thing to do.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 29 2005, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (Vuron)
While they work in theory interrupt style systems tend to break down when the number of combatants gets too high. Second you can get some dubious metagaming in which the plunkers try to wear down the opposition with a variety of actions in order to burn the interrupts for a heavy hitter to come in and slaughter the opponent.

This is what you'd commonly call a "distraction". :D And keep in mind that the number of interrupts an enemy gets is a result of a test, and thus something you wouldn't know, so it's not really metagamming so much as, "You guys cover me/distract him and I'll go in for the kill." This is really something you can't model with the current rules, which I think should be.

But yeah, as the number of combatants gets high things get bogged down, but that's kinda true no matter what. What bugs me is the bookkeepping and creative control required by the GM for something like this; everyone needs their actions recorded and blended together, which requires alot of headwork.

Anyway, back to abstraction. I guess I kinda got carried away there; I was reading abstraction in terms of getting rid of sequential turns and nitiative passes, but I guess that wasn't really the point. As for abstracting die rolls, I'm really not sure *how* you can do that, unless you want to have one die roll correspond to several passes' worth of actions, which could stand to be unfair if a guy gets a lucky roll and decides he wants that to apply to his next 10-15 rounds of combat.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 29 2005, 11:10 PM
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QUOTE (mintcar)
Your right. I want no such thing. The interupts in my system would only be allowed were the actions should be in the current system. The difference being that only one roll is needed if all the character does is shoot the whole round. A combat were a few guys stand and shoot at eachother should be resolved with a roll each. The long battles should involve a lot of taking cover, giving supressive fire and trying to get an edge. And this stuff should be easy to do within the rules. It should be the natural thing to do.

Well if that's all you want to do, then the autofire rules are what you want already; they work as complex actions so it's abstracted over the whole pass. Abstracting a roll past a single pass just doesn't work under the current system; you'd have to rework how initiative works IMO for it to be possible.
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mintcar
post Mar 29 2005, 11:23 PM
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Well. It would require that you dump simple action shots. You would roll when you start shooting, and depending on how long you keep shooting and how good you did it and the firing mode of your weapon, there would be different results resolved at the end of the turn. You could easily have a more cinematic ammo waste, and it would save time. To replace the fiddling with shots back and forth, there would be an emphasis on tactics. Setting your enemy up for a higher targetnumber when the roll is made.

The damage modifiers would loose some of their great significance. But maybe that would be ok if there were more things factoring in with these rolls, like modifiers for being under heavy fire. The damage modifiers would come into effect the next round.
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