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Yet another new topic from me (I should do more work!)

Those who play in IRC games (and especially those who run them) - what techniques do you use to make combat smoother, and not take 50 mins of real time to resolve one combat turn? (I admit that was the team's second game session, and all of the players were new to the game at that point, we are a fair bit faster now).

Things I do:

  • When players roll to attack, I request that immediately after rolling the attack, they post their modified DV and AP - ignoring successes from dodge roll (which I may not have made yet). This helps because I can just subtract [my dodge roll hits] + [my DR test hits] from their modified DV without having to ask them and wait for a reply. Also, it tells me the AP quickly, which I need to know to make the DR test in the first place.
  • If someone is going for a called shot to negate armour, remind me when stating your AP, because otherwise I may forget and roll the target's armour (forcing a rewind and reroll, which wastes time)
  • I try to make a map available on my website in advance and have a grid on it, so players can say "I want to move to somewhere near D7 and take cover behind that car" (and I can make "you sank my battleship" jokes)

But still I feel like we could be going faster. I wonder if anybody has or knows ways of:

  • Tracking initiative in a publicly-viewable way, so players can see their turn approaching and be ready for me to say "You're up"
  • Handling figure placement on the map - not like a full miniatures practice as is required in D&D, with AoOs and whatever, but some way that players can see where they are on the map, and see where the bad guys are, like how they're taking cover. What I guess I'm asking is if anyone knows any decent RPG map/minis services on the web that would work for SR?
  • Anything else that online GMs do to keep the action flowing smoothly in their games

All ideas welcome, even the crazy ones (especially the crazy ones)
SR is fairly fast, but some ideas for larger groups or slowpokes who drag the game.

Seat the players in order of initiative. Consider not rolling, just use the base number to speed stuff.

Draw out the situation on a white board in broad outline. Describe what the players see. answer questions now, if they wait until their action they need to spend an action to observe closely.

The dramatic tactical approach of giving the players 5 seconds to tell you what they are doing works. Start out and ask all the players what they are planning to do at the start of the IP. If they don't respond, the character is as indecisive and confused as the player. When it's there turn to act they can do what they said, or they can abort to run back to cover or freeze, they can't change it.

If they player can't describe their action in 5 seconds it's too complex for one IP.

(The GM needs to be just as fast too, and not cheat much)

So there is a lot of advantage to saying "I'll engage a target of opportunity", rather then "I run across the hall and through the door turn and shoot the security guard". Because the other guy in that room that you didn't see will shoot you and you can't choose to shoot him if you are already planning on shooting someone else.

When their init comes they do it. Again, they need to say exactly what they are doing. If they want to shoot two shots they need to define the targets before they shoot the first shot. If they want to delay until something happens, as in "The sniper will shoot anyone coming out the door" they need to say something (unless the GM remembers) when the triggering event happens after their init, otherwise they don't take the shoot. If they are covering let them remain ready to shoot from IP to IP and turn to turn until they take the shot.

Roll all the dice at once, GM and player. Success, drain, etc. Use different color dice with numbers or pips that have high contrast so everyone can see and count. If it falls off the table it's automatically not a success.
All very good suggestions for tabletop games ... but ...

Oops - I was talking about IRC games - "chat room games" to those that don't know IRC wink.gif
Sorry....Missed that.
Don't play them enough to say.
The biggest thing I've done is to declare all actions and then, as the GM, resolve them in order of initiative as best as possible. That way you get the dice rolling out of the way and can focus on the effects. Your team has to agree to it, though, since it certainly isn't exactly the way the rules are written.
Beat them with a stick. That always works!

Award extra Karma to the person who resolves their turns fastest!

Or, extra Karma for the runner with the best name. My money is on Dreamer. =P
QUOTE (DreadPirateKitten @ Mar 13 2008, 01:21 PM) *
Beat them with a stick. That always works!

I'll have to try that ...

For the rest who haven't guessed, DreadPirate Kittie is one of my players ...

Anyway - serious suggestions anyone?
QUOTE (ToreadorVampire @ Mar 13 2008, 09:14 AM) *
Anyway - serious suggestions anyone?

Since it is on a computer anyway, have them type out their action in a text editor then cut & paste it into the IRC window when it is their turn. They can include their die rolls this way too.

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