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Old 08-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #1
rerednaw
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sin City
Default Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Or in my experience, skipping the “Strike, Parry, Strike, Parry” UNTIL critical hit cycle?

What do you do as a player to mitigate this?
What do you do as a GM?
As a player, I tried different tactics, disarm, reduce my attack to drop their active defense (aka deceptive), etc...try to flank and get behind them...but this isn’t always viable. Sometimes my tactices made the situation worse because if I had just swung (w/o the penalties I took for a maneuver) I would have gotten a critical hit.

Thanks!

Aha! I had forgotten about the Feint maneuver...this will help a lot, thanks!
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

What sorts of skill levels are you playing with to run into this problem? And is nobody using Feints, or even just going the real-world route of grapple, then murder?
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

In our campaign, cannon fodders are 1HP each. If they miss a defense, they're out. Some more tough guy are KO after 2 hits.

Random encounter in the jungle (most wild animal) run away if they are hit.

Boss and epic fight, we go through all combats rules.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:22 AM   #4
Bruno
 
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

I do wonder what your opponent defenses are like if you can only hit them on a critical.

1) Use Deceptive Attacks. It's an excellent way to turn "extra" skill into penalties on the opponents defenses.
2) Use Feints. Same idea.
3) Stop standing around whacking each other like that's the only thing to do in a fight. Move! try to get a better position, gang up on people, take advantage of terrain to get a height advantage or force your opponent onto bad footing...
4) Take advantage of options like Rapid Strikes or the occasional All Out Attack to press an advantage or just "crit fish" - force more dice rolls, which in turn increases the odds of someone cirtting (whether success or failure).
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
rerednaw
 
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I do wonder what your opponent defenses are like if you can only hit them on a critical.

1) Use Deceptive Attacks. It's an excellent way to turn "extra" skill into penalties on the opponents defenses.
2) Use Feints. Same idea.
3) Stop standing around whacking each other like that's the only thing to do in a fight. Move! try to get a better position, gang up on people, take advantage of terrain to get a height advantage or force your opponent onto bad footing...
4) Take advantage of options like Rapid Strikes or the occasional All Out Attack to press an advantage or just "crit fish" - force more dice rolls, which in turn increases the odds of someone cirtting (whether success or failure).
Outnumbered PCs (2 of us) only 1 is armed other fights unarmed with non-lethal vs. fatigue attacks only vs. 4 ogres, in melee. IDK know their stats, but they were on par with a very skilled warrior given how often they easily parried even after I threw in the -2 with deceptive attacks. And the other PC did hit one foe 3 times for 16 fatigue total and he was still fully up and fighting...

All-out was considered by me, but after finding out that they hit for 14 on average (dropped other PC quick only took 2 blows because she was immune to pain)...I decided to not give up my active defenses. :). and humans are capped with 14 max stats....but monsters that we fight are not.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:07 PM   #6
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rerednaw View Post
Outnumbered PCs (2 of us) only 1 is armed other fights unarmed with non-lethal vs. fatigue attacks only vs. 4 ogres, in melee. IDK know their stats, but they were on par with a very skilled warrior given how often they easily parried even after I threw in the -2 with deceptive attacks. And the other PC did hit one foe 3 times for 16 fatigue total and he was still fully up and fighting...

All-out was considered by me, but after finding out that they hit for 14 on average (dropped other PC quick only took 2 blows because she was immune to pain)...I decided to not give up my active defenses. :). and humans are capped with 14 max stats....but monsters that we fight are not.
That just sounds like your GM is a jerk, and the best advice we can give you is to ask him/her why they want you to suffer.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:18 PM   #7
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rerednaw View Post
And the other PC did hit one foe 3 times for 16 fatigue total and he was still fully up and fighting...

... humans are capped with 14 max stats....but monsters that we fight are not.
This may have been a 'one-off' because "Ogres are tough" but I think I've spotted the problem.

Your foes have both good defenses and are mountains of meat/DR. This is usually not something put together... but then I don't know what your GM was intending. Was this a Boss Fight?

And it might be not so bad when fighting 'lesser' foes like goblins, orcs, other humans.



But like Bruno said, trying moving around. If you can attack from the side or rear you can reduce their defenses or even make them unable to defend (try looking up "run around attack" and "attack from the rear").

Also try double or triple teaming one foe, if you take one guy out fast(er), then you can continue doing the same on the next and so on, instead of spreading the damage around and doing it slowly.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:29 PM   #8
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Do what Bruno said. Furthermore, do not give your NPCs more armor or defenses than they need. The higher everyone's defenses, the more misses everyone makes. GMs often overestimate what kind of protection people are willing to walk around in.

Also, give the NPCs interests other than just killing the PCs. What about morale? What about achieving their goals and then leaving? What about NPCs with mental disadvantages making tactical errors, like someone with Bad Temper making an enraged and poorly timed All-Out Attack?

Are your battles taking place on infinite, empty planes? Throw in furniture, ledges, walls, mazes, slopes, hazards, and so on that the characters can/must deal with during the fight. Put in noncombatants that the PCs have to protect. Give the players something to do other than just to hack and slash.

Are all your fights with opponents equally matched to the PCs? Try throwing them against some foes that completely outclass them or some that the PCs can handle easily. See if the players catch on to the fact that they need to run away, or that they can move more quickly through this part of the adventure because the opposition isn't able to stop them.

Are you sure you really need to fight whenever you do? If combat is dragging, maybe just have less of it and focus on other endeavors in your adventures.

P.S.: I addressed this as if you're a GM, but I looked again at your post and you're coming at this as a player. In that case, talk to the GM and ask these very questions. If the combats he or she is setting up are simply uninteresting, there's not much you can do. If your GM puts in more interesting elements, or removes the uninteresting ones, there you go.

Last edited by Stormcrow; 08-16-2018 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:28 PM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Defenses are relatively easy to circumvent. For example, a character with Technique Mastery (Spinning Kick), Karate-20, and Spinning Kick-24 should almost never have to worry about the defenses of normal opponents because they will inflict an average of -8 to the defenses of any normal opponent (combat skill-16). Of course, what is good for the goose is good for the gander, so beware of your GMs using similar tactics.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:56 PM   #10
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Default Re: Speeding up melee combat? No surprise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rerednaw View Post
Outnumbered PCs (2 of us) only 1 is armed other fights unarmed with non-lethal vs. fatigue attacks only vs. 4 ogres, in melee. IDK know their stats, but they were on par with a very skilled warrior given how often they easily parried even after I threw in the -2 with deceptive attacks. And the other PC did hit one foe 3 times for 16 fatigue total and he was still fully up and fighting...

All-out was considered by me, but after finding out that they hit for 14 on average (dropped other PC quick only took 2 blows because she was immune to pain)...I decided to not give up my active defenses. :). and humans are capped with 14 max stats....but monsters that we fight are not.

Sounds like a bad game


There's your problem.
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