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Old 03-15-2018, 02:03 PM   #1
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

As a GM it's not unusual for me to have fairly large battles involving multiple players and allies and even larger numbers of monsters/adversaries. One of the slightly annoying things about this is the bookkeeping involved.

I've experimented with the idea of doing away with attritional wound points and replacing them with several altered states of performance: stunned, knocked down, wounded, incapacitated and dead. These more or less already exist in Melee/TFT but I'd thought of treating them differently.

I took a standard ST12 character and made the following assumptions;

One third of total ST taken as a hit (4) is a Stun (-2DEX for one round)
One Half of total ST taken as a hit (6) is a knockdown
Two thirds of total ST taken as a hit (8) is a wound (-3 DEX)

More than two thirds of total ST taken as a hit is incapacitated.
More than Total ST taken as a hit is dead.

I use coloured cubes to mark the various states during the game.

I've only tried this once but enjoyed the faster, less pencil intensive play. I can see various problems, one of which is having to reign in high ST monsters or they become unbeatable. For instance, you can no longer wear the giant down with arrows in the previous attritional way.

I'm probably the only one daft enough to try this, or even think about it, but if anyone else has gone down this route I'd be interested in your ideas.
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Old 03-15-2018, 03:30 PM   #2
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
As a GM it's not unusual for me to have fairly large battles involving multiple players and allies and even larger numbers of monsters/adversaries. One of the slightly annoying things about this is the bookkeeping involved.

I've experimented with the idea of doing away with attritional wound points and replacing them with several altered states of performance: stunned, knocked down, wounded, incapacitated and dead. These more or less already exist in Melee/TFT but I'd thought of treating them differently.

I took a standard ST12 character and made the following assumptions;

One third of total ST taken as a hit (4) is a Stun (-2DEX for one round)
One Half of total ST taken as a hit (6) is a knockdown
Two thirds of total ST taken as a hit (8) is a wound (-3 DEX)

More than two thirds of total ST taken as a hit is incapacitated.
More than Total ST taken as a hit is dead.

I use coloured cubes to mark the various states during the game.

I've only tried this once but enjoyed the faster, less pencil intensive play. I can see various problems, one of which is having to reign in high ST monsters or they become unbeatable. For instance, you can no longer wear the giant down with arrows in the previous attritional way.

I'm probably the only one daft enough to try this, or even think about it, but if anyone else has gone down this route I'd be interested in your ideas.
Be at peace...you are not alone. I've long used such a system for less powerful adversaries. My system was binary though - an opponent is either fine, or out of action. If you take X hits, you're out of action. If it mattered, I'd roll to see if the target was dead or wounded. I honestly never thought about expanding it to a more comprehensive system.

The system you describe is similar to the system in Azhanti High Lightning and Striker (both Traveller games). You rolled 2d, added weapon penetration and subtracted armor rating. 8-9 was a light wound, 10-11 was a serious wound and 12+ was dead. I used it - or some variant thereof - a lot in my campaigns and it was pretty awesome for shooting at NPCs and monsters/creatures. Caveats about wearing down large opponents acknowledged.

But it wasn't a great system for players because you lost the resource management aspect of the game.

So...if your system is limited to NPCs and monsters, I think it probably works pretty well. Especially if you like large battles (which I do).

What I like about it is that there's no change to how players attack and inflict damage. So, you can use it for NPCs and Monsters only. And you can simply use the normal rules for really big stuff. I don't think I'd care to use it with PCs for the reasons above.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:18 PM   #3
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
... states of performance of... stun ... One third of total ST taken as a hit (4) is a Stun (-2DEX for one round)
Chris -

How are you defining: STUN ?

I ask as the generally accepted definition of Stun is: "to knock unconscious or into a dazed or semiconscious state, so they are temporally unable to react."

Perhaps you simply mean that the figure will incur these DX penalties under the conditions you are specifying as a: REACTION TO INJURY (i.e. temporary reduction in combat skillfulness) as simulated by the imposed DX penalty?

After all, a figure which was STUNNED (can not act on their next turn) would not be affected by a DX penalty,... which only lasted one turn; being the turn they cannot act on anyway.

Therefore, as a reaction to being STUNNED (as opposed to a REACTION TO INJURY as a DX penalty) if a figure is "temporally unable to react" (i.e. loses next turn; or cannot attack this turn if he has not attacked already) due to being "stunned", wouldn't that enough of a penalty on it's own?

Can you clarify?

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-15-2018 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:31 PM   #4
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Chris -

How are you defining: STUN ?
I'll let Chris speak for himself, but I assume he's defining "stunned" as what happens in normal TFT when a figure takes 5 points of damage (i.e., a -2 DX). "Staggered" would be an alternative term, I suppose.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:44 PM   #5
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I'll let Chris speak for himself, but I assume he's defining "stunned" as what happens in normal TFT when a figure takes 5 points of damage (i.e., a -2 DX). "Staggered" would be an alternative term, I suppose.
That's exactly what I meant. Thank you.
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Old 03-15-2018, 05:52 PM   #6
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
That's exactly what I meant. Thank you.
Youíre welcome. I meant to add that I think your damage system is a keeper, especially for harried GMs that like to run lots of combat. Which I am. TFT GMs should take a look at it and if nothing else, keep it as a backup option. The GM can activate it without even notifying the players (assuming itís limited Cs and Monsters.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:57 PM   #7
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I'll let Chris speak for himself, but I assume he's defining "stunned" as what happens in normal TFT when a figure takes 5 points of damage (i.e., a -2 DX). "Staggered" would be an alternative term, I suppose.
Yes, of course I assumed that too; however, If you go back and re-read the rule entitled: REACTION TO INJURIES, in Advanced Melee, page 18, I believe you will find that not only is the word: stun, NOT present, there is the distinct absence of even any such reference, nor inference, to any such state-of-being.

What IS present however, are the assigned DX penalties as the reactions to injuries, as they manifest as a reduction of Dexterity; where Dexterity enjoys the generally accepted definition of: "skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands."

Dexterity: "skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands."; hence, the reduction of DX via penalty.

Stun: "knock unconscious or into a dazed or semiconscious state, so that they are temporarily unable to react."; hence, my suggestion to consider measuring the stun effect in loss of turns; and not as reduction to DX on the next turn while in action.

So I hope you and Chris can both see exactly why I point this out, as the premise as presented addresses the temporary reduction of skillfulness at the task of combat (DX) while IN ACTION, while employing a term which is generally accepted as relating to a figure in a state of INACTION.


What do you both think about measuring stun in loss of turns, if one wanted to simulate a STUN effect in game-terms?
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:02 AM   #8
ecz
 
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Default Re: Eliminating bookkeeping in Combat

some visual aids ( classic wargame-counters put aside the cardboard hero with -2DX, stunned/incapacited/shocked, Defend1, Defend2 written ) make the job in my games. Also I use mini 0.4 cm X side dice to record the hits taken by the NPCs. tipically they are put adjacent to the figure. white die hits X1, yellow hits X2, red hits X3.

Finally any carboard figure on the board has its unique ID, so I can keep track on any rilevant info (spells, special tactis, weapon/armor items).

These aids are a must, but only when there are 10+ fighters at once.
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