2014-01-21 : Some Basic Rules (vi)

Fight Challenges (redesigned)

To bring fighting in line with races and flinch challenges.

You and your opponent both roll. The GM tells you which stat to roll, and whether to modify your roll with a tag.

Whichever of you rolls higher, you land the first blow. The effect of the blow depends on weapon and armor (if any).

Whichever rolls lower, you receive the first blow. After you suffer the effect of the blow, your roll stands and you have a choice:
- Abandon the fight.
- Stay in the fight.

If you decide to abandon the fight, this means submitting, fleeing, diving for cover, or otherwise disengaging. Declare your intentions. If your opponent isn't willing to let you go, successfully breaking off might require you to make a save, a test, or another challenge. Check with the GM.

If you decide to stay in the fight, your low roll stands. Your opponent rerolls against it.

If your opponent beats your standing roll again, she lands the next blow too. You suffer the effects and choose again whether to stay in the fight or break off.

If your opponent ties or loses to your standing roll, you land the next blow. Your opponent suffers the effects, and it becomes your opponent's turn to choose whether to stay in or break off.

The fight continues until:
- Someone breaks off;
- The effect of a blow incapacitates or kills someone.

Your modules, equipment, and tags will specify the effects of the blows you land and suffer, and may specify further outcomes or give you additional options to choose from.

More to come. All subject to change.

Some Basic Rules (i)
Some Basic Rules (ii)
Some Basic Rules (iii)
Some Basic Rules (iv)
Some Basic Rules (v)
Some Basic Rules (vii)

1. On 2014-01-22, Jeremy L. said:

What happens if the opening roll is a tie?

I like the gamble the defender has to make. I wonder if someone good at math can show what the probabilities look like?


2. On 2014-01-22, JMendes said:

Interesting. The standing roll keeps getting lower and lower, until someone is bound to be overwhelmed. At some point, it's just going to be silly to stay in the fight.

Makes for very unlikely reversals of fortune...


3. On 2014-01-22, Vincent said:

Jeremy: Ah yes. On an initial tie, both blows land. Both of you have the chance to disengage. If both of you want to keep fighting, both reroll.

The math, all else being equal, is just:
If your losing roll is a 1, you win the reroll 1 time in 6.
If your losing roll is a 2, you win the reroll 1 time in 3.
If your losing roll is a 3, you win the reroll 1 time in 2.
If your losing roll is a 4, you win the reroll 2 times in 3.
If your losing roll is a 5, you win the reroll 5 times in 6.

Basically you'll be able to tell at once whether your opponent landed that first blow because she got lucky, or because you're in a bad position, and decide what to do next accordingly.

JMendes: Yes! I'd expect pretty much every fight to be over in 1-3 rolls.


4. On 2014-01-23, Jeremy L. said:

What kinds of changes do you envision tags, gear, and modules making? I'd love to hear more about those in general.


5. On 2014-01-23, Jasin said:

It seems odd that the person with the upper hand doesn't have the option to break off.


6. On 2014-01-23, Vincent said:

Jeremy: Oh sure.

A module is a body of interrelated rules. A playable edition of this game would consist of the basic rules plus a set of modules.

You can imagine different modules for different genres, different settings, or even different approaches to the same genre and setting.

The module specifies how to use the rules, when the module applies. For instance, "casting a spell is a flinch challenge, your fearlessness against the spell's level, but the spell can't back down."

Tags are things like "exhausted" or "unstoppable" or whatever. An "exhausted" tag's rules might be that if you do something exhausting you have to make an endurance save, missing the save means that you get the tag, and having the tag gives you -1 to your perception & attention stat.

You can see an example in the "self-motivity" tag down in the abandoned plasmic spellcasting module, where certain rules apply differently whether you have the tag or don't have it.

And equipment's easiest. You might have cyber-boots that give you +1 to race challenges when it's a footrace, for instance. In the case of fights, you'll always get your damage effects from your weapon, or from whatever unarmed combat module you're playing with.


7. On 2014-01-23, Vincent said:

Jasin: Maybe!

If the person with the upper hand could break off, then I could get lucky, land a punch, and then deny you the opportunity to punch back. This may be suitable for some genres, and thus might appear in some modules, but I'm not inclined to write it into the basic rules.


8. On 2014-01-28, E. Torner said:

I'm going to hack this to fix another person's combat system right now.
K bye


9. On 2014-01-28, Vincent said:



10. On 2014-02-10, Vincent said:

Oh I've been meaning to add this for a week now:

Most everybody has 4 hit points.

In unarmed fights, the effect of a blow is 1 lost hp.

In armed fights, the effect of a blow is usually 1d6 lost hp.

At 0 hp, you have to choose:
- You've taken life-threatening wounds, but you're still capable of action.
- You're out of action, but your wounds aren't life-threatening.

At negative hp, you're dead.

This means that unarmed fights will usually end when somebody's roll is so low they admit defeat and ditch out, but armed fights will usually end bloodily.


11. On 2014-02-16, Josh W said:

You could make it so that armour is in the 1-3 region and reduces damage to a minimum of 1. That way someone in full armour will be able to take 1 hit guaranteed, but depending on how that goes, may quickly change their mind.


12. On 2014-02-16, Vincent said:

Oh, yes. The 1d6 assumes weapon/armor parity. Modify it up or down if your weapon outclasses your opponent's armor and/or your armor outclasses your opponent's weapon.


13. On 2014-02-27, Josh W said:

I've had a niggle that's stayed with me about the damage scaling here. I had to get a similar combat system of my own out of my head to work out what it was but I had this nagging feeling that (assuming you do the armour and weapons thing a similar way to the other stuff, bonus-bonus) d6+1 or higher against 4hp would be bad.

Basically there's a nice back and forth to this system, with rolls getting lower and things getting more deadly. But if you can only take a maximum of two hits, whatever the dice rolls, you don't really get involved with that. You don't really get to see the system in action.

(By the way, my system was absurdly similar to this in feel; mine had successive rerolls with the higher dice staying, similar to dogs' turning the blow or trollbabe, which ended up with mostly the same result, except that your system focuses on taking more damage as the risk, rather than taking damage at all.)


14. On 2014-03-01, Vincent said:

Josh W Yes! d6+1 damage will short-circuit the back and forth. It'll be reserved for when you have a sword and I'm unarmored, or you have an assault rifle and I have chain mail.


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