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Old 09-14-2017, 11:39 AM   #1
Antiquation!
 
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Default Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

Hello fellow forum-goers,

I was curious as to whether or not it would be possible or desirable to implement a "telescoping" turn mechanic ala EABA v2 in GURPS without breaking the current combat system in two.

For those unaware of what I mean by "telescoping turns", the quick-and-dirty description is thus:
Combat starts out on a 1-second timescale, where every action is minute, immediate and important. Each turn afterwards, the time represented roughly doubles (at, say, turn 5 a combat action represents 15 seconds worth of time; at turn 7, a minute). This continues up to a maximum limit (one minute actions in EABA), where turn time "stabilizes" and simply continues normally from there without further telescoping (it could also be "reset" back to a one-second timer to repeat the whole process, if desired for some reason).

Mechanically in EABA v2, this time extension simply functions like an increasing generic action bonus, split and applied to any actions performed in that turn (with penalties for multi-actions, etc). Effects are multiplied via a table similar to GURPS' speed/range table (but with different scaling) for the purposes of figuring ammo expenditure or distance moved during that turn and etc. depending on how much of the "turn mod" was spent on the individual action, giving you a concrete number of what can be accomplished with the action depending on how much "turn mod" was spent on it.

Essentially, this begins to abstract factors more and more and allow "cinematic" turn lengths where things like hacking can be attempted in a single turn (offsetting time penalties using some or all of the turn mod bonus), in-game time limits can easily be played to full duration without dropping out of combat time (say it's 15 minutes until the cops arrive to break things up, then that's a tangibly short number of turns using telescoping time; if using default 1-second time scale the entire time, that's a LOT of GURPS turns spent in combat without dropping out of combat time for lulls and positioning).

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Obviously GURPS has some ingrained mechanical assumptions stemming from the default combat turn length, which has been making me wonder how much retooling would be necessary to make a system like this work. I think it would be interesting to explore as an option, even if not necessarily used for every combat.

Anyone else thought about something like this? Any good ideas on how to implement something like this, or any fundamental blocks to a concept like this functioning?
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:42 AM   #2
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

I've done something like this successfully with "Cautious Advance" time in a high-tech game.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I've done something like this successfully with "Cautious Advance" time in a high-tech game.
Neat and useful article, thanks!
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:42 PM   #4
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

Why would you want decreasing resolution as a fight develops? Wouldn't a system that put the highest resolution on the actual kinetic contact be preferable? The first few turns of movement to contact are the part you want to accelerate.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Why would you want decreasing resolution as a fight develops? Wouldn't a system that put the highest resolution on the actual kinetic contact be preferable? The first few turns of movement to contact are the part you want to accelerate.
I think the motivation is that you can still do things like take out guards and other low-level threats quickly in game time, but bigger fights take on a more epic time scale, and allow heroic holding actions or coordinating with non-combat actions like hacking, lock-picking, magic rituals, etc. that don't scale well with one second combat. I've never tried it though, so I could be wrong.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Telescoping combat turns, ala EABA v2

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Originally Posted by Mr_Sandman View Post
I think the motivation is that you can still do things like take out guards and other low-level threats quickly in game time, but bigger fights take on a more epic time scale, and allow heroic holding actions or coordinating with non-combat actions like hacking, lock-picking, magic rituals, etc. that don't scale well with one second combat. I've never tried it though, so I could be wrong.
This is the right idea; to allow some fights to end quickly and brutally, make room for those all-important quick-draws or panic shots in the opening seconds etc., and as you shift into more extended combat things get a bit "fuzzier" placing more importance on economizing your actions with the available time and options, making room for cinematic film-like action scenes (where one person might be hacking a door in "realtime" while the rest hold off the merc forces, someone trying to mix an impromptu explosive from cleaning supplies during a firefight, keeping enemy forces busy until help arrives, trying to hotwire a car so you can escape the rampaging monster, whatever) and lowering the resolution of individual second-to-second actions to keep things moving quickly and provide room for everyone to "do their thing" without feeling sidelined for the combat duration.
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Last edited by Antiquation!; 09-14-2017 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Clarity
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