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I really liked the combat pool system in previous editions of SR.
I still prefer overall the rules of the 4th edition (much smoother to deal with these)
Anyway, i'd like to add a combat pool system, but i dont want to break the game mechanics.

My idea would be to use initiative as a combat pool.
Lets say you have 10 in intiative, that makes 10 dices of combat pool.
You dont roll for initiative, you have your fixed intiative score to know when you act.
You can use combat pool dices to add to your iniative.
You can add dices to attack rolls.
You can add dices to a defensive roll.
The max number of dices you could add would depend on your skill (for reaction only rolls max dice would be your dodge skill).

What i'd really like about such a house rule is that you must choose if you want to be offensive, defensive or quick.

How could it be ran ?

The lowest initiative score would be the first to talk : he says how many dices he'll use for initiative, and how many to defense, how many to offense.
Then the next players does the same up to the highest initiative.

Another way, and it would add some tactics, would be to call for initiative at the beginning of a pass.

The GM asks who goes on 1, 2 etc ...
At any time, a players may say i'll take it.
For exemple, a player has 7 initiative. he says he'll go on 3, that means he'll have a pool of 4 dices for the round to add to his various rolls.

We could imagine leting a player go beyond his normal initiative but at a cost of penalities to all his actions.
Lets imagine two competing players one with 7 init and another with 11
We're at 7 and no one has said he'll act yet. at 11 the second players say he'll take it, he have no more dice pool, but he wont have any modifiers. The first player realy wants to go first, so he chooses to act at 12. he'll have a -5 dices modifiers to all his actions (attack and defense.) You could steal initiative like that only up to your reaction score.

You dont get any combat pool dices until its time for you to act : going on 1 in the first round isnt a good idea. You keep the dices up to your next action (so someone with 1 init pass and a low init score would be quite screwed ^^)

So any comments ? critics ? advices to improve such a house rule ?
I don't know if a Combat Pool would work that well if you tried to graft it onto SR4 rules. The trouble is that Attribute plus Skill, with modifiers, already results in huge dice pools for combat. And that's before adding in Edge.

This system would also favor mages, who could use all of their Combat Pool defensively without sacrificing any of their offensive capability. Adepts with a high level of Combat Sense could do the opposite, using all of their Combat Pool for offense since they already have plenty of defensive capability.
I think that combat pool would be a really bad idea in SR4. I understand the concept you are trying to do but the dice pools are potentially too high already in SR4. If you add combat pool back on top of that you will have a ridiculously high dice pool.

Also I always hated the combat pool mechanic. One of the rules I follow in any game system is that a rule should reflect an actual choice being made by the character as much as possible. Basically a combat pool is saying that there is a limit to the actions and defenses you can take in a round. That can be said much better other ways.

It's not needed and it would produce much too powerful versions of already over powered characters in this game.
Thorn Black
I see Edge as a combat pool and karma to buy sucesses ability all rolled into one.
I also liked the Combat Pool, but it doesn't really fit well into the SR4 system.

If you impliment the combat pool, I'd say to have it replace the attribute portion of the dice pool, so you'd roll (Skill + portion of combat pool) that way you keep the die pools reasonable or perhaps smaller than attribute+skill.
Eryk the Red
I'd be inclined to agree with Lagomorph on this one. I've thought about the idea of bringing dice pools into the game, like they used to be. The way I'd do it is only use dice pools in combat (or any other situation that calls for Initiative rolls), and not add Attributes to dice rolls in combat. So you'd still use Attribute + Skill the rest of the time.
What is the point of this? You already have better dice pools with SR4 without the ridiculous TNs. I think that combat pools would just break the system. They don't simulate anything that isn't already there. It's already covered by the basic combat system and edge.
Eryk the Red
What it would accomplish would be adding a system concept that some people, myself included, rather like. That's enough reason to try to do it, really.

And really, it's not "covered" in the system as is. We're talking about using a particular game mechanic. The system as is does not use this mechanic, thus it does not "cover" it.
The function of a game mechanic is to represent something that is happening in the game. The combat pool just acted as a booster for a limited amount of rolls in a turn. It also limited defense.

I understand that people like boosts to their pools. I understand that there is an interest in resource management.

But what does it actually represent? People don't think about only doing two things instead of three things because they might have to dodge later on in reality.
Eryk the Red
Pools represent effort. You might put more effort into one thing and less into another. When you assign dice to an action, you are focusing greater attention on it and concentrating you abilities. When you do not assign dice, you a focusing less on that action.

As for the dice pools being too high, myself and Lagomorph addressed that issue by suggesting that Attributes be removed from dice rolls in combat. Dice pools would replace them, rather than add to them.
The problem is that your going to end up with the logic that people are not as good at things at the end of a round as they are at the beginning. Basically their competence is osolating for no reason.

Extra effort is covered by edge. It is something that you choose to spend for rolls that your character is focused on.
The Entropic Wizard
*sigh* I'd have to side with Garrowolf on this one. The combat pool was nice as a little boost for your PCs, but it really didn't make any sense, reality-wise. The effort argument that Eryk puts out has some precedence, but the SR4 pools more than make up for the loss of the combat pool. Not to mention the addition of Edge is essentially a universal dice pool, much like the Karma Pool was in older SR editions. And the Edge is much, much more manageable than juggling combat pool, spell pool, astral pool, hacking pool, task pool, and so forth.
Are you sighing because you are tired of the topic or that you hate to agree with me? wink.gif
Eryk the Red
None of these arguments change the fact that some folks like combat pools and want to use them. And that's really more important. The initial question was about how to make a combat pool rule work, not about whether you like it or want to do it.
QUOTE (Eryk the Red)
None of these arguments change the fact that some folks like combat pools and want to use them. And that's really more important. The initial question was about how to make a combat pool rule work, not about whether you like it or want to do it.

so it's okay for me to get nothing but that kind of response to my house rules but not for this one?
Eryk the Red
I certainly never said that was okay.
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