Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-24-2017, 07:27 AM   #31
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I know cinematic games are all the rage nowadays, and the archer-in-a-melee conceit is highly cinematic. But consider that, realistically, archers are only for support; they're not the main action. Maybe players who want more to do should simply not be archers.
Certainly you can reply to any player who says "I want to play a cool archer" with "That's too bad, in reality that's not an exciting role, you should play something else". Of course you can do that for every other possible job too, because in reality everything you could possibly do is unexciting most of the time. Don't expect anybody to play in your campaign though.

The trick here is to figure out what bits of reality you need to ignore or alter to make the game interesting. It's not like realistic melee fighters average more than a few minutes of exciting combat per lifetime either. GURPS archers already do get a few of those too (bows in GURPS, and pretty much all other RPGs hit more often, and do more damage than in reality), but maybe not enough of them.

I do think rate of fire is a lot of it, melee fighters get to do something interesting every turn, archers spend half their turns doing boring Ready actions. And the range penalties mean often when they do get to do something, it turns out to be miss for no effect, so something for reducing or ignoring range penalties at short ranges is helpful too. For more detailed combat the lack of cool techniques is something of a problem too, adapting stuff from Gun Fu has some potential to compensate for that. The interesting variety of melee weapons can somewhat be offset by offering specialty arrows (and no, most of them aren't realistic either), or a broader range of quality options for bows, if you can come up with any bonuses for them you are willing to suspend disbelief in.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 08:04 AM   #32
Maz
 
Maz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Denmark
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

A few things to consider regarding ranged attacks:

* You can't parry an arrow. (Unless using cinematic rules). Parry if often the main defense for melee fighters. Having to rely on Dodge is a big penalty.
* You can't make a retreating dodge against a ranged attack. The only way to boost your dodge is by making dodge and drop, and that just gives the archer more time to shoot you.
* If you can move to shoot someone in the side, they get -2 penalty to defense.

*If a large group of enemies storm at you close together (like in a corridor), it's not unreasonable to treat them as one big target giving a bonus to hit if you don't care who you hit. I add the number of targets and add a bonus equal to the speed range penalty. So 7 zombies coming at you down a corridor gives a +3 bonus to hit. (This is instead of the very cumbersome rules for stray shots).



I also allow All out Ready for two actions of ready in a turn.

Last edited by Maz; 04-24-2017 at 08:10 AM.
Maz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 08:49 AM   #33
Donny Brook
 
Donny Brook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Snoopy's basement
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

A pretty good idea for constructing a Move and Ready manoeuvre was suggested by Hellboy here.
Donny Brook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 09:18 AM   #34
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

The observation that the problem might be the players keep on getting ambushed or starting fights in the middle of conversations is a good one. Gurps heavily rewards good tactical setups, and your players aren't getting these.

You may want to suggest that your players invest more heavily in Perception. You may also want to suggest that the ranged characters hang back during encounters that may go south.
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 09:36 AM   #35
Stormcrow
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Certainly you can reply to any player who says "I want to play a cool archer" with "That's too bad, in reality that's not an exciting role, you should play something else".
"Cool" is just a euphemism for "cinematic." But the original poster said his game is mostly not cinematic. This seems to me to be a fundamental conflict between the GM's preferences and the players' preferences.

Sure, you can stage combats wherein the archers are featured, but in any instance that isn't staged they'll go right back to being support. I don't see how you can really change this without going cinematic.
Stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 10:37 AM   #36
Dustin
 
Dustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: The former Chochenyo territory
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Combat pace can be an issue too. If the turns are happening more frequently, the archer PCs may feel less left out. Make the melee guys roll faster :)
__________________
My gaming blog: Thor's Grumblings
Keep your friends close, and your enemies in Close Combat.
Dustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 01:15 PM   #37
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Sure, you can stage combats wherein the archers are featured, but in any instance that isn't staged they'll go right back to being support. I don't see how you can really change this without going cinematic.
Part of my point though is that melee combat is [already] cinematic, and we just accept that - fighters do something every single second and have situational awareness of the fight that nobody in reality possibly could, they take injuries that would leave most people on the ground screaming and shrug them off with a 1 second shock penalty.... If you want missile combat to be as cool as those "realistic" melee fights, it isn't exactly amazing you need a similar degree of departure from realism.

And I really do think that first one is the biggest problem - letting the melee fighters do something every turn but making the archers spend half of them reloading automatically makes the archers feel less useful. I think it's a large part of why starting the fight at longer ranges helps, the archers get to do something while the melee fighters are taking uninteresting "Move and Nothing" maneuvers to close the range.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 01:30 PM   #38
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Make the melee guys roll faster
As clarified, the main thrust of the problem seemed to be the down time from the fact that archers attack at best on every other round, and often longer (without Fast-Draw or Aiming). So I agree: one partial remedy is to make sure the combat turns flow quickly. If your melee players are the sort that feel compelled to carefully count every movement point, checking and rechecking their path on the hex grid to squeeze out one hex closer or just skirt range that one attacker, then you'll have to convince them not to do so. One thing that might help is just setting a time limit, pointing out that even 15 seconds to finish your move is still fifteen times faster than the turn length.

Ultimately, though, there's no realistic fix for that problem other than to make melee slower (perhaps by making Evaluates or Feints something that have to get used in most melee situations). Or you can speed up archery (by doing away with the reloading and aiming delays). Heroic Archer helps some with the second point.

If the players really expect to lay down impenetrable withering arcs of fire with their bow, perhaps you should switch to modern equipment and let them find full-auto weapons. (Or just make low-tech ranged weapons cheesier so bows can do the equivalent, in the best tradition of Diablo. Rapid-fire options like that video that was running around a while back, or multi-shot tricks, and so on, just so the players get to roll an attack every turn.)
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 01:51 PM   #39
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
....

Ultimately, though, there's no realistic fix for that problem other than to make melee slower (perhaps by making Evaluates or Feints something that have to get used in most melee situations). ...
"Last Gasp" can work for this

Also to refer back to a point I made earlier, having over watching archers will make it a bit easier for melee fighters to take a breather.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-24-2017 at 02:18 PM.
Tomsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2017, 09:57 PM   #40
lordabdul
 
lordabdul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
OK if you not going to go cinematic with bows, I agree with the others you are going need to tailor your encounters to reward good archer tactics.
Great tactical suggestions there, thank you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Maybe the problem is not that archers are uninteresting, but rather that players have internalized an uninteresting option as a core concept.
I don't necessarily agree exactly with you, but yes, I agree that there might be (like in many, many things in RPGs) a disconnect between what some players expect, and what I give them with my game. I'll have to double check what my archer players had in mind when they chose that weapon as their main one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
* You can't parry an arrow. (Unless using cinematic rules). Parry if often the main defense for melee fighters. Having to rely on Dodge is a big penalty.
At our table, Dodge with Retreat is always the most used defense. That's because generally there's no need to "hold a line" or something. Parrying is only ever used as an alternative when there's no room to retreat... that's probably mainly because the characters don't have very high skills (yet) so their Dodge score is pretty much the same as their Parry score. I expect that to change as they spend XP.

But otherwise yes, good points about arrows having clear advantages over melee attacks once they hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
*If a large group of enemies storm at you close together (like in a corridor), it's not unreasonable to treat them as one big target giving a bonus to hit if you don't care who you hit. I add the number of targets and add a bonus equal to the speed range penalty. So 7 zombies coming at you down a corridor gives a +3 bonus to hit. (This is instead of the very cumbersome rules for stray shots).
Interesting, I'll definitely steal that! I imagine you then roll randomly to know which exact zombie was hit... and you revert back to actual single hits if the player wants to hit the same zombie as last round, or otherwise specifically hit one of the zombies for some other reason?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
I also allow All out Ready for two actions of ready in a turn.
Cool, glad to know I'm not the only one having, or considering having, house rules for this kind of stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
A pretty good idea for constructing a Move and Ready manoeuvre was suggested by Hellboy here.
Nice, thanks for the link! I think I'll go post on that thread for all the All-Out Ready stuff, so we can keep this thread about combat tactics related to archers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
Combat pace can be an issue too. If the turns are happening more frequently, the archer PCs may feel less left out. Make the melee guys roll faster :)
Yeah, I usually have a "rule of 3" at my table (i.e. "if you can't tell me what you're doing in 3 seconds, you're spending your turn thinking about it, and if you ask me more than 3 situational awareness questions, you're spending your turn looking around to know all this").

However I have a few GURPS newbies at the table so I'm giving everyone some extra time these days, and I'll reintroduce the rule of 3 in a couple sessions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
If you want missile combat to be as cool as those "realistic" melee fights, it isn't exactly amazing you need a similar degree of departure from realism.
I'm maybe thinking of doing it the other way, actually, i.e. make melee fighting more realistic (in addition to improving my combat situations by making more interesting environments/NPCs/tactics, of course). This would mean nerfing melee fighters a bit by introducing optional rules like Situational Awareness or Fatigue Spending... this would remove the ability for them to attack every turn in combat, making it both less frustrating for archers, and adding a new tactical dimension.

Last edited by lordabdul; 04-24-2017 at 11:54 PM.
lordabdul is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.