Sunday, July 27, 2008

My modified Changeling combat system

Last week, I mentioned briefly that I had devised a system for combat that suited my idea of how combat should work. I suppose this week, it would be a good idea to share that with you. So I will.

Ok, so this is intended for use in Changeling. I'm sure it would work equally well in the other Storyteller System games, especially the 2nd edition original World of Darkness lines. But I have no doubt that it could also be adapted for other systems as well. As noted earlier, this is an amalgamation of the Storyteller System, GURPS, Exalted, and Blue Planet's Synergy System.

First step is to determine initiative. I sill like the old "Roll Wits + Alertness (difficulty 4)" idea, although you can just as easily use the Revised edition's "Add Dexterity + Wits + the result of 1d10" version. In the former situation, you'd subtract your result from 10, and in the latter, you'd subtract from 20. This gives you the number of the starting "tick." The GM will count from zero, and when he reaches your tick, your character takes his action. After you've completed your action, you add the "action speed" of the action you just took (like maybe a two for shooting a gum, or a 5 for swinging a battle-axe, or a 10 for climbing a tree, or so on... I haven't ever actually seen a list of the suggested action speeds from Exalted, so I'm just guessing here) to the tick you just acted on. This can be modified by your Wits, or Dexterity, or both, to indicate that some characters can move and react faster than others. Like maybe if you have a Wits + Dexterity of seven, you can subtract one from all Action speeds. Or something like that.By the way, I saw a suggestion that rather than counting and keeping track of numbers, you simply have a wheel drawn on a piece of paper, with a token for each character (PCs and NPCs both) on the wheel... the fastest character goes on a random spot with the other characters an appropriate number of spaces further along the wheel in a clockwise manner, and a "point marker" indicating where the current tick is. When each character completes his action, you move his token an appropriate number of spaces further along the wheel. This way, you don't have to worry about numbers, and can easily skip over ticks where no one acts. I thought it was a good idea.

Anyway, so once it gets to your turn, you have to act. With most actions (non-combat actions, such as driving a car or operating a computer), you simply roll and either succeed or fail. With combat actions (shooting a gun, swinging a sword, punching, et c.), you'll have to work out attack, dodge, and damage. Here's what I have in mind:

First, each character gets one basic action and one "defensive" action. If the basic action is a combat action (an attack of some sort) then he can use the defensive action for one of these actions:
  • A second attack
  • An active defence (dodging, parrying, blocking with a shield, et c.) against a single attack between this action and his next tick
  • Moving at half the normal movement rate
  • A +2 dice bonus to the attack
  • +4 damage if the attack is successful
Alternately, the character can use the basic action to defend (dodging, parrying, blocking, et c.) and use the defensive action to dodge, parry, or block a second incoming attack. He can also sacrifice the defensive action for a +2 bonus to the defence.

Ok, so here's how attacking works: The attacking character rolls his attack roll. The defending character rolls his defence, if he has an action available for it and chooses to use it. The defending player's successes are subtracted from the attacker's. If the attacker has successes remaining, then the attack is successful. Add the remaining successes from the attack roll to half the damage rating of the weapon being used (round up), subtract the defending player's Stamina + Armour if he has any, and that's the target number for the "damage roll." The defending player rolls 3d10, counting the above number as the difficulty.

If you get three successes, nothing happens. If there are two successes, the player suffers a point of wounding. Mark this on the character sheet's Health Level as normal (In this system, you only use this to keep track of your wound modifiers - it has nothing to do with death, crippling, et c.). On one success, you suffer a point of wounding, and the area hit by the attack is disabled (decide this however you see fit). If you get no successes, then you suffer a point of wounding AND you are knocked unconcious. If you do not receive medical attention immediately, you take one point of wounding every five ticks.

If you reach Incapacitated on the Health Level chart, you must roll Stamina (difficulty 7 + one fifth the number of ticks since you reached Incapacitated) to stay conscious. This is assuming you're not already unconscious. Once unconscious, you will die in 25 – (your Stamina ×5) ticks unless you receive medical attention.

There. That's my system. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, and until next time, I bid you a fond

Game on!

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