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Old 10-21-2020, 09:35 PM   #1
ericthered
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Default Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

So a few weeks ago Mailanka (the Psi-wars guy) wrote a post and an experimental alternate rule for complementary rolls in combat. Instead of adding an extra roll to every attack, he suggested the following scheme:
Quote:
  • If you have Mathematics 10, you can claim a free +1 once per session on your roll, but once per session, the GM can force a -1 to your skill.
  • If you have Mathematics 11, you get 2 free +1s, and the GM still gets one free -1
  • At Mathematics 12, you get 3 free +1s, and the GM still gets one free -1
  • At Mathematics 14+, you always get a +1 to your Beam Weapon skill, except once the GM can eliminate the +1 and replace it with a -1.
  • At Mathmatics 16+, you always get the +1 to your Beam Weapon skill, and the GM can no longer give you a -1.
The system has kept coming back to me. Its fairly close to what the statistics say should happen anyways, and resource management can be fun. There are a few skills that get rolled in a similar fashion:
  • Blind Fighting. In this case its the ability to negate a huge penalty or not. This rule could really reduce the number of rolls.
  • Acrobatic Dodge. this is serious business, because its a defense, where bonuses are more significant, and the bonus granted from success or failure is +2, so acrobatic dodge can be a lot more swingy than attacks.
Would you use this rule? What other skills are candidates for it to be applied? Is this a fantastic idea or is it just meh?
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

Are Complementary rolls limited to one per session? If not, then that's an arbitrary limit that could be dropped, as long as the 1:1 ratio (for skill 10) is maintained somehow. The -1 roll would have to occur randomly or unpredictably so that the player wouldn't just burn it on dud or easy shots.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

I definitely like 10 and 16. I don't know if it needs to be once per session, it could just be a build up; With 10 you can get +1s and the GM can give -1s but will usually only give them out to keep up with yours. Although maybe I just don't know the rules for complimentary skills well.
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While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:58 AM   #4
ericthered
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Default Re: Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Are Complementary rolls limited to one per session? If not, then that's an arbitrary limit that could be dropped, as long as the 1:1 ratio (for skill 10) is maintained somehow. The -1 roll would have to occur randomly or unpredictably so that the player wouldn't just burn it on dud or easy shots.
No, Complementary rolls are usually spammed freely (though at skill level 10 they don't get used much, because they're not particularly likely to help)

My brain had parsed the rolls at "once per combat", not "once per session". That is really rare. I think I like the "per combat" number more, though a long combat could stand to have a few more rolls.

And the ability to have the penalty show up randomly or to be aimed at the player is important, I agree. Its the one thing that makes me nervous about using it with acrobatic dodge. Though if you are acrobatically dodging with acrobatics 10 you deserve what you get.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

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The -1 roll would have to occur randomly or unpredictably so that the player wouldn't just burn it on dud or easy shots.
Per the text, the -1 occurs at the GM's choice, not the player's.

If you find the mechanic balanced, there's no reason to have a "once per" limit. Players just use the ability at will, generating that many more penalty points for the GM. Obviously there's more plusses than minuses in the system -- but then, many games are skewed so the heroes can be heroes, with many a version of some sort of hero point system.

The black and white discs from Othello are pretty handy for tracking "karma" style resources where using one gives a point to the opposition. Just flip them over when they're used; add and subtract to the total pool if that changes. If you have a per-session or per-combat limit, that's the pool size in this case. Start them off white for the PC; flip them to black for the GM when the PC spends a point; the GM just removes a black one when he spends his points, and when you're done, you're done.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Complementary Rolls in Combat as Resource Mangagement

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Per the text, the -1 occurs at the GM's choice, not the player's.
Sure, but if the PC is free to use it on every shot, or every other shot, he'll know which shots will be penalised.
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