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  #31  
Old March 6th, 2013, 02:55 AM
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I'm warming to the first edition combat sequence. It reminds me of first edition AD&D and the combat segments it used. Both of those systems play out in more simultaneous style than typical I-do-all-of-my-actions-and-movement then you-do-all-of-your-actions-and-movement by initiative style games (as I was suggesting in the OP!).

I also realized that you don't have to roll every character's first action in each segement--that would be unwieldy. Just take the combat in portions--you're only rolling if a character's action affects another character.

I'm really starting to like the idea of not using a grid, too. I have a big cork board that I lay on the gaming table when we play our Conan campaign. I draw on these big graph paper sheets with a dark marker. Characters are represented by stick pins. It does a great job of mapping combat, but it is a pain in the butt to clear all the food and drinks and paper and dice from the table in order to lay this thing down.

Just playing out the combat scenario in the imagination, with maybe just using a sketch, not to scale, to aid player visualization, sounds like something I'd like to try.





I've been reading the Rules Companion. This is the second rules adjustment for first edition. First, there was the Rules Upgrade--that's only 4 pages. Then, WEG expanded and updated the rules in the Rules Upgrade in a rules supplement called the Rules Companion.

I do like a lot of the new rule adjustments, but it does make the game more complex. Part of the charm of first edition is the rules-lite, speed-o-light system that fits the fast fun of the Star Wars genre so well.

There is a major rule change that I don't like, though. That's the RC version of the combat round sequence. It has been changed from the above to this....

1. Declare Actions and Full Reactions: Both PCs and NPCs, with lowest DEX score declaring first.

2. Declare Combat Reaction Skills: Both PCx and NPCx, with highest DEX score declaring first. Character actions can account properly for Reaction skills. You'll find out your being shot at in the first phase, then in this phase, decide if you want to Dodge.

3. Roll Actions and Reactions: First roll non-movement actions, then roll movement actions.

4. Calculate Damage: Damage is done at the end of the round, after everybody has acted (like Classic Traveller), unlike first edition Star Wars.



I liked the character's skill roll determining initiative in the example above from first edition SW. Here, with the RC, that's thrown out the window, and a new concept called Haste is used. I don't like it. The benefit of declaring Haste is that the hasted action is done before any other actions. The penality is that declaring Haste penalizes all die codes by -1D, just like taking another action.

Thus, if Fred declares that he will fire his blaster twice, he'll do so at -1D each shot. If Barnaby declares that he will also fire his blaster twice, but one shot is hasted, then he fires both shots as if he was performing 3 actions. Both shots would be at -2D. The benefit of doing this is that hasted actions are performed first. Thus Barnaby's hasted shot would happen first, then Barnaby's second shot and Fred's two shots would happen (what is considered) simultaneously.

Unless I'm reading something wrong, I don't really see the benefit of hasting combat actions. A player might want to get a door sealed before the enemy can catch up to him--I can see that action being hasted. But, with combat, all damage is done at the end of the round--so, there's no real reason to shoot first. You will still get your shot.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Just playing out the combat scenario in the imagination, with maybe just using a sketch, not to scale, to aid player visualization, sounds like something I'd like to try.
Early RPGing in school - during recesses with no table, or covertly during class - translated to combat without miniatures and minimal record keeping. Dice were 'played as they lay' given the propensity of falling off slick books held single handed! Dungeon mapping was very abstract - with pencil tips holes and tears often causing some angst and misdirection. Extremely high humidity didn't help matters. But it was fun - and we made it work.

Quote:
... new concept called Haste ... don't really see the benefit of hasting combat actions.
Symptomatic of trying to mechanize roleplay options. Most combat systems (collection of combat mechanics which include not just roll mechanics) essentially attempt to replace the GM with rules. Despite the ubiquity of this, fundamentally its an RPG fail.

Several years before ever playing a dice based RPG many young children (used to) played 'toy soldier'. Fundamentally this was nothing less than a roleplaying game without the name - with miniatures combat and adhoc 'rules'. As 'realistic' or 'fantastic' as the players want it, or are capable of imagining it, to be.

The origins of commercial RPGs involved enthusiasts of historical table-top war gaming - who were probably also experienced 'toy soldier' players. 'Toy soldier' was generally 'referee-free' and prone to escalating to meta-game disagreements, especially between competitive siblings, while war gaming was formalized and tactical rules heavy with a need for 'balance' (and also prone to meta-game disagreements ). I think these skewed the emphasis towards referee-independent combat systems in RPGs.

RPG combat is essentially nothing more, in true need, than a string of task checks. Think about this. There really is nothing unique about combat that necessitates a separate game system within an RPG. PCs can die or cause death outside of combat. Situations, timing, skill, gear, etc. all normally factor into good mechanics that support the creative 'tactics' of RP. Having a separate combat system is really more about 'how its been done' than what is needed for a fun RPG...
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  #33  
Old March 6th, 2013, 06:00 PM
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S4: you've made one error - damage is at end of a given action round, not at end of turn. Thus a hasted shot does damage before non-hasted shots occur.

so it's really...
1 Declare actions
2 declare reactions
3.1 Resolve actions for this pulse in any logical order
3.2 resolve damage from actions this pulse

Also note that a hasted shot requires a hasted defense... which makes reaction dodges by highly active characters far less likely to replace the range worthily.

Further still, a movement action after an attack doesn't affect the attack. It's often to the advantage to haste twice and move (h2), then attack(h1), then move again to cover (5 actions, for -4 dice) by high skill PC's against low-skill mook-types.

Think of Haste as pushing you up one action pulse each, then your actions fall normally from there.

EG: both are doing a move and then shoot... but harry hastes.
Joe NormalHarry Hasty
Move
MoveShoot
Shoots
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  #34  
Old March 6th, 2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
S4: you've made one error - damage is at end of a given action round, not at end of turn.
Gotcha. I see that now. I still don't like the round structure, preferring the one from first edition, or second edtion, or even my house rule.



EDIT: I'm not sure I see how the RC version of the combat round is any better than the one shown in the first edition. Am I missing something else?

Last edited by Supplement Four; March 6th, 2013 at 07:24 PM..
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  #35  
Old March 6th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Gotcha. I see that now. I still don't like the round structure, preferring the one from first edition, or second edtion, or even my house rule.



EDIT: I'm not sure I see how the RC version of the combat round is any better than the one shown in the first edition. Am I missing something else?
The only difference is in the use of Haste, really, and in non-simultaneous declarations. It's better for larger groups, but only a bit.

In 1.0, everyone's declarations are, essentially, simultaneous, and reactions are ONLY when attacked. Sequence cannot be resolved until action is rolled.

in 1.5 (1.0+RC), the sequence is pretty much "everyone declares, but the fast guys can opt to wait to hear what the slow guys do", then except for haste, it works just like 1.0. Those who do not haste don't go in the haste phases. If the action in a phase would preclude someone else's action in that same phase, high roller still "acts first"... but you can't shoot someone to prevent them shooting you, because all damage in a phase takes effect at the end of the phase.

So, and shame on you for buying into revisionism...
Harry as HAN: "Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?"

Harry: Han slowly reaches for his gun under the table. Rolling Con at -1D to try to keep Greedo from noticing my gun....

GM as GREEDO: "You can tell that to Jabba. He may only take your ship."

Harry as HAN: "Over my dead body."

GREEDO: "That's the idea. I've been looking forward to killing you for
a long time."

GM: Hasted shot, because he knows you can fast draw... but doesn't know you're drawn, and won't hit you if he loses more than 1D...

Harry: Hasted shot! I can hack it, that leaves me with, what, 6D+2?, then a dodge

GM: Not dodging, because at -3D, I'd get +2... He's hoping you don't kill Greedo.... (he'd need to haste that dodge, too... )
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  #36  
Old March 7th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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I do like most of what the Rules Companion brings to the game. The Haste thing is personal taste. With first edition, it was a character's skill roll that allowed him to go first in a segment. With the RC, it's which every player is willing to take the most Haste penalties.

So, in first edition, going first meant a higher dice throw. With the RC, skill still does influence order of action, because a character with high skill can accept more Haste penalties.

I still like the first edition method better, but I can see where some would rather not leave it up to chance and have more control of acting first.





There are a lot of little rules, here and there, that the RC brings to the game. I like the range of target numbers for a given difficulty, and I like that a medpac can be used more than once on an indivdual in a given day at a higher difficulty.

You can see the beginnings of the Movement system presented in second edition in the movement changes brought by the RC. I think second edition R&E does a better job at the movement rules, but there's got to be something said for the pure simplicity of Speed die codes and two character movement modes of first edition.

The capital combat system is neat. I like how it draws on the Command skill of the ship's commander, the use of the tactics skill, and such.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 03:51 PM
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Looking at the various combat round procedures in the editions of D6 Star Wars, what changes is how initiative is determined.

In first edition, which character acts first is determined organically, logically, and by skill throws. If two characters fire blasters at each other, both players pick up dice and make their attack throws. The higher attack throw happens first. Reaction skills thrown only if needed.

First Edition Combat Round Procedure

1. Decision/Declaration - organically during the process of the game.

2. First Actions performed - organically. Skill checks used if initiative needs to be performed.

3. Second Actions performed - and so on.





With the edition of the Rules Companion, initiative becomes a bidding war. The player that has a character with the need and can take the penalties declares higher Haste than anyone else.

Rules Companion Combat Round Procedure

1. Declare Actions - In order of lowest DEX to highest DEX, all characters.

2. Declare Reaction Skills - You know who's shooting at you, so you can declare your Dodge now.

3. Roll Actions - Those who have declared Haste go first, followed by everybody else, who are considered simultaneous.





In second edition, Initiative is figured with a Perception check, and all actions are performed on one side first, then the other (say...first all the PCs, then all the bad guys, for one action, then repeat).

Second Edition Combat Round Procedure

1. Initiative - Combatants are divided into sides, usually the PCs and the bad guys. The character with the highest Perception score on each side rolls initiative. Winner decides which side declares first.

2. Delcaration - As determined by Initiative, one side declares, then the other.

3. Roll Defensive Skills - If you want to use Dodge or Melee Parry, then you roll it now.

4. Roll Actions - Side One does all their first actions, then Side Two does theirs. Then, Side One does all second actions followed by Side Two's second actions, and so on.





Second edition, R&E, got rid of the pre-rolling of the Reaction skills introduced with the RC, going back to the way it was done in first edition. Initiative uses the "side" concept used in second edition. And, there is no longer a Declaration phase.

Second Edition Revised & Expanded Combat Round Procedure

1. Initiative - Combatants are divided into sides, and the character with the highest Perception score on each side rolls initiative. Winner of the toss decides which side acts first.

2. Roll Actions - All characters on Side One perform first actions, then all characters on Side Two performs first actions. Then, second and third actions are performed the same way--and so on. When a side acts, the character with the highest Perception score acts first followed by the character with the second highest score, and so on.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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For those of you interested in the D6 Star Wars game, you can download the official D6 rules from DriveThruRPG for FREE! In fact, you'll find lots of low cost and FREE D6 items there, like the D6 Space Ships supplement that you can use as a guide to make your own Star Wars vessels.

The core rule book will give the Star Wars GM different options to bring into his game. For example, D6 Star Wars uses the Wound Level system for character damage. If you prefer hit points, you can use the alternate Body Points method detailed in the generic D6 rules.

If you don't like the Star Wars template method of character generation, the D6 Space book also introduces a point-buy type system. The GM can use the guidelines in D6 space to take the broad Star Wars skills and make the more narrow in scope. An advantages/disadvantages system is introduced. There's rules for alien species creation, cybernetics (fairly ignored in Star Wars, yet Luke and Vader obviously get a lot of use out of cybernetics), and if you don't like rolling a lot of dice, a method is presented to lower the number thrown.

It's interesting to note that the Initiative methods akin to first edition and second edition R&E are both used as options in the D6 Space core rules. And, the one-action-per-segment thing, that was a part of all the D6 Star Wars rules, is gone. Now, when a character acts, he performes all of his actions--just like the house rule I used to use with my old D6 Star Wars game (in the OP).

Mentioned in the Star Wars game, but more formalized in the D6 rules, is a system for measuring the result of a skill throw is needed--when more than just a pass/fail answere is needed (how well did the character suceed?).

Combat is easy and summed up in a few pages, and there are options for adjusting the deadlieness of a game to suit player and GM tastes. Plus, there are combat options that never made it into the Star Wars rules, like Disarming a foe or fighting with unweildy weapons.

One neat chapter of the generic D6 rules covers making skill attempts. The chapter is loaded with details and sample tasks to give GMs a good feel of the game.

The Metaphysics chapter is very similar to The Force chapters in the various Star Wars rulebooks. It's easy to mix-n-match stuff from the two sets of rules. In most cases, The Force descriptions are just altered with new titles. Instead of the three Force abilities being Control, Sense, and Alter, the Metaphyics chapter calls them Channel, Sense, and Transform. They mean the same thing in both rule sets.

The Equipment chapter can be used directly with Star Wars. "Robots" are "Droids", obviously. But, with the non-Star Wars rules, you'll get a lot of non-blaster type weapons, which can be good or bad, depending on if you want a bigger variety of weapons used in your Star Wars game. For example, do you want your players going to a lower tech world where shotguns are being used instead of blasters? That's a GM choice. Plus, a GM can just call the weapons "blasters" and say that the shotgun fires particles of ultra-heated tibanna gas, using the weapon's stats as-is. If you ever wanted to play Traveller using D6 rules, this section is MADE FOR YOU!

There's a basic ship design system included in the core rules (also see the D6 Space Ships book, also free on DrivethruRPG, that I mention and link at the top of this post).

And, there's nice reference sheets at the end of the book.





There's a neat Funds rule where, instead of keeping track of every credit the character has, he's assigned a die code. The Funds a character has is derived from various aspects about the character. His Knowledge stat, Perception stat, Business skill, appropriate skill specializations, and appropriate advantages and disadvantages are all considered to modify the base 3D Funds attribute where every character starts. A poor character would have Funds 1D while a rich character might have Funds 5D, 6D or more.

When a character needs to buy something, he simply rolls his Funds attribute. Whatever he's trying to buy will have a difficulty associated with it. So, it's a task to buy something. Want a new blaster? Well, on this world, that's a 10+ throw.

If you need to know the exact number of credits the character has on him, the rules even specify a method for converting the code to actual credits.

Brilliant.

Last edited by Supplement Four; March 9th, 2013 at 04:26 PM..
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  #39  
Old March 9th, 2013, 05:16 PM
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Here's a question for you Star Wars D6ers...

Dodge. Melee Parry. The Reaction Skills.

Would you allow them IF the character is unaware of the threat? Because of the Declaration phases in most Star Wars combat procedures, characters know when they are being attacked in a round before the character is actually attacked.

But, with second edition R&E, there is no declaration phase. Thus, it is truly a pure reaction when a character is shot at.

What if a character is walking through a canyon, and a stormtrooper with a sniper blaster rifle is concealed i the hills. He fires at the character. Does the character get to Dodge the shot? Or should the difficulty be tied soley to range because the target is unaware that he will be shot?

The same things goes with Melee Parry. Let's say that an NPC sneaks up on a PC successfully and attacks with a vibroaxe. Should the PC be allowed to parry?

The game rules don't address this situation, but logically, I wonder.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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The D6 Space game has a pretty neat Movement rule. I think I like it better than what I see in the Star Wars game editions. It's very simple.

Let's say a character has a rating of Move 10, which means his base move is 10 meters per round (humans). When a character needs to move, he uses an action, just like everything else he does. He must roll this move.

The base difficulty is 0 (meaning it's automatic). Thus, if a character wanted to use his first action to move 10 meters, he wouldn't have to roll--he automatically beats the target of zero.

If you've got terrain that would normally interfere with regular movement, you simply raise the movement difficulty. Characters use their base DEX code or their Running skill to make these move checks.

For subsequent movement, the difficulty is upped 5 points. Thus, if a character wanted to run 30 meters, he'd move 10 meters automatically on the first segment. On segment two, he'd have to make a 5+ on his Running check. On segment three, he'd have to make a 10+ Running check. Remember, this is three actions, so that Running check is -2D when used to make these checks.

A character can move, each segment, as long as he's got at least 1D to throw--so characters with higher Running skills can move farther than characters with lower Running skills.

That's pretty neat. And, easy.

What happens if a Running check is failed? Well, it typically means that Movement has stopped. The character was too slow to get all the planned movement accomplished within the 5 or 6 seconds in the round.

There are rules to go further than this, too, if using the Wild Die (a "1" complication could mean a trip) or by checking the degree of failure (if the Running check is failed by 5+ points, then the character trips).

This also fits well with the previous Star Wars rules. If a Move 10 character wants to move half movement and fire his blaster in the same segment, he can do that: Move 5 meters then fire is only considered one action.
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