I feel that the combat in my campaigns are to mechanic and drawn out. I want a more abstract but still involving and realistic. I want to get away from the blow by blow count that has become the standard.
But my players range a big spectrum from the rules illiterate to the rules lawyer and I want to make them all comfortable.
So here is a sketch using a dice pool to simulate a exchange, a combat round in the time range of minutes rather than seconds. After a exchange there is a short pause in thein the fighting, time to make some decisions before join into the melee again. Time for check morale and poisons to take effects.
There are two topics still to address before I feel it can be tested for real, namely ranged weapons and helping each other (in the melee).
But here is the skeleton of the system:
Dice Feast Combat System
An abstract combat system summarising a multi-round melee.
A normal combat round
- Decide up on weapon
- Mark combat style choice/mandatory move.
- Roll to check style success
- Sum up number of dice from style and weapon, equals Combat Pool.
- Roll dice and line them up versus opponent.
- Start with highest die result to left go down to the right.
- If weapon die is equal to other die, put it in rightmost position.
- If unequal number of dice, start shorter line with lowest die versus opponents highest die.
- Apply eventual strike rank bonus (default is to remove one of opponents unpaired die, i.e. Speedy Defence Advantage).
- Apply eventual bonus result of weapon max or min roll.
- Apply shield.
- Apply eventual Combat Style effects.
- Calculate strikes (i.e. higher die minus lower die) and mark on the losers side.
- Calculate wounds i.e. how many strikes are higher than targets DR
- Check for Critical strike i.e. sum of Strikes are higher than targets total remaining Wounds.
- Narrate the result!
Common Combat situations
Usually a combat occurs between two forces, the Players side and a group of The Game-masters minions. The GMs pool can be divided into two types, a pool of mob dice that are divided equally between the Player Characters entering the Melee (symbolising the low level mob, Goblins, zombies etc) and a Boss Pool that can only be divided between a limited number of player characters (not uncommonly only focusing on one PC at a time).
Each weapon used is represented by a card placed at the appropriate place in the combat board. On the card there are instructions for any special effects of the weapons, in general there is at least two: effects of 1s and a Lucky Number. In addition to this is also a die noted, this is the die added to the combat pool, this die should stand apart from all other dice as this is the die which the Lucky Number is generated by (I plan to use a Barrel die for this).
Effects of 1s
Almost all weapons has a drawback and that is resolved as is instructed under this heading. One of the more common instruction is to remove every other dice showing 1s, but it can be much more severe than this.
This is what number at the Weapon die that causes the weapons special effect to trigger, sometimes this effect may affect other dice in the pool and not just the weapon die.. This special effect may also be triggered by using special combat manoeuvres.