Sequence roll

Anything related to personal combat and archaic weapons
User avatar
Marras
Grizzled Veteran
Posts: 856
Joined: 22 Apr 2014, 03:19

Sequence roll

Post by Marras » 17 Mar 2015, 06:28

I browsed the news section of your site and found the teaser of sequence roll (still under name of Song of Steel). I was wondering if that way is still how it will be handled. If so, why have two different coloured d6s if only number matters? Otherwise I like the idea...

higgins says: edited a total of two words, so that the title and post would use the correct terminology
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1116
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Agamemnon » 17 Mar 2015, 14:06

That's definitely still in. It plays out wonderfully at the table.

There are three different dice that can be thrown when you roll sequence: red d6, white d6, and a d10 (color is irrelevant). At it's simplest, a red d6 indicates that you're going to be making an attack action, a white d6 is a movement action, and a d10 is a miscellaneous action. The die you throw "locks in" the kind of action you will be taking in the round, which means you must make that decision before you have the benefit of knowing what the enemies will be doing or when your action will take place compared to everyone else.

It adds a lot of tension to combat and helps simulate the chaos you would actually expect in a skirmish. More importantly, it prevents a fight scene from becoming a chess board situation in which I move, then you make a move to counter my move, and the next person in our group makes a move based on what we did, each piece positioning around a board. That situation is fine if that's what you're interested in, but it wasn't what we wanted in 'Bastards.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
higgins
Heresiarch
Posts: 1186
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 08:00

Re: Sequence roll

Post by higgins » 17 Mar 2015, 14:37

With this setup, planning your actions before the dice drop becomes way more important. If someone needs to cross the field and others need to give them cover, mucking up one's action type can mess the situation up real fast.

As such, keeping the actions separate simulates the characters communicating in a flash and then committing to an action, instead of gradually forming the strategy though the "player hivemind" as the situation develops.

If everyone has committed themselves into doing X and want to readjust themselves into doing Y, the situation has to run through their OODA loops first.
"You can never have too many knives."
- Logen Ninefingers, The Blade Itself
User avatar
Marras
Grizzled Veteran
Posts: 856
Joined: 22 Apr 2014, 03:19

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Marras » 17 Mar 2015, 14:41

So, everyone first just picks the die and then all roll simultaneously. Then you actually specify what you are going to do? As otherwise the colour of the dice doesn't really matter, if you remember what kind of action everyone declared. Right?

I'm not questioning if that works or not, I believe so, I just wonder if I need different colour of d6s or not.
User avatar
higgins
Heresiarch
Posts: 1186
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 08:00

Re: Sequence roll

Post by higgins » 17 Mar 2015, 15:01

Marras wrote:So, everyone first just picks the die and then all roll simultaneously. Then you actually specify what you are going to do? As otherwise the colour of the dice doesn't really matter, if you remember what kind of action everyone declared. Right?
As we've played it, everyone secretly hides a die into their palm and then everyone lets their dice drop at once. So, the player never really says what their action type is... The action type is revealed by the type (and color) of the die that they drop.
"You can never have too many knives."
- Logen Ninefingers, The Blade Itself
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1116
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Agamemnon » 17 Mar 2015, 15:04

Because you lock yourself into the kind of action you're taking by the choice of die rolled, you make it so that the GM and all of the player are choosing and rolling simultaneously without anyone getting to base their decision on what someone else declared or rolled.

I as the GM can't wait until the players have chosen their actions and then decide "since they are all rolling movement actions, I can move my NPCs without worrying about getting shot at" and base my roll on that decision. So having the multiple die colors here is extremely helpful simply because no one has to verbalize what they are doing. Like Rock, Paper, Scissors, the action speaks for itself.

The red/white d6 also comes up in melee duels, if initiative isn't established by some other means (read: the combat starts because I threw the first punch or got the jump on you).

And having two different colored d6 means if you need to roll completely random wound results, you can roll both at once by simply declaring that red means wheel, white means result.

It's handy in a lot of ways.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
Marras
Grizzled Veteran
Posts: 856
Joined: 22 Apr 2014, 03:19

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Marras » 17 Mar 2015, 15:56

OK, I got it now. I used to think of using cards with some basic actions written to them that is revealed simultaneously. I never got around to implement that but I think this die mechanic is far simpler and more elegant. Good job!

By the way, how precisely you handle NPCs in this case? Do you have cards/places or something similar where you place the dice before reveal? I know this must be a bit annoying but all clever and new ways to handle things affect GM a lot more than how it affects players, so I tend to wonder how it will affect me :)
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1116
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Agamemnon » 17 Mar 2015, 19:05

You've basically got two options there.

The first is that you can pick a die for each NPC present and participating in the fight, roll the group of them and then assign them to each NPC as they were chosen. This is easiest if you're using minis for reference, or you just have a list of the NPCs involved off to the side, as you can put each die with its result facing up next to the name/mini.

For smaller fights, that's often what I will do.

For larger fights, it's often easier to abstract this a bit, by separating your NPCs into "teams" based on what they plan to do and who they plan on targeting.

If we're talking about a full Musketeers style scene, I may have 4 players, a major rival NPC in the form of a guard captain, his named henchman, and a half-dozen mook guards with them. Eight dice is a bit more than I really want to roll for them just for speed of resolution, so it's easy enough for me to say "The captain and one of the mooks will take on PC A, the henchman and another mook will take on PC B, and the remaining are going to fire muskets into PCs C and D."

I've taken 8 rolls and condensed it down to 4. Or even 3, if I didn't want to be bothered differentiating between when the muskets go off between C and D.

One might argue that this can be slightly unfair - you could roll really well and get five musket-wielding NPCs to fire on a really low roll before anyone can act - but it's just as likely you're risking those same 5 shots to go off after everyone has acted and behind cover or whatever else, so grouping large number of NPCs together can actually bite a GM in the butt.

Use the level of abstraction you are most comfortable with, and keep the risk-reward above in mind as you do.

In general, I try not to be rolling more dice than I have players for sequence. If my players are so outnumbered that each roll winds up being three or five people, then they have bigger problems than "when does it go off" anyway.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
higgins
Heresiarch
Posts: 1186
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 08:00

Re: Sequence roll

Post by higgins » 18 Mar 2015, 03:23

The only thing that I'd add to that is that if you have a friendly NPC in the combat, try delegating them to a player to handle... The GM rolling against himself sucks regardless of what the game system is.
"You can never have too many knives."
- Logen Ninefingers, The Blade Itself
User avatar
Arrow Odd
Novice
Posts: 40
Joined: 04 Oct 2013, 05:14

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Arrow Odd » 18 Mar 2015, 07:01

Marras wrote:So, everyone first just picks the die and then all roll simultaneously. Then you actually specify what you are going to do? As otherwise the colour of the dice doesn't really matter, if you remember what kind of action everyone declared. Right?
I could we be wrong but:

The way I read it was as being a balance between having to commit to an exact action and having total freedom of choice when your moment of action arrives. For example Angus might pick up a red dice intending to engage the Duke. Before Angus gets to act, the Duke's nephew arrives on the scene to defend his uncle. When Angus does get to act, he might use his red dice to attack the nephew. As his dice is red, he doesn't get the option to turn and flee.
Marras wrote: I'm not questioning if that works or not, I believe so, I just wonder if I need different colour of d6s or not.
I suppose that if you wanted stricter pre-determination of actions, you could add more colours to the mix. [white: move defensively, grey: fight defensively, red: attack with a melee weapon, orange: attack with a ranged weapon &c &c]

[I'm unlikely to run out of colours of d6 and d10]
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1116
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Agamemnon » 18 Mar 2015, 11:48

Arrow Odd wrote:
Marras wrote:So, everyone first just picks the die and then all roll simultaneously. Then you actually specify what you are going to do? As otherwise the colour of the dice doesn't really matter, if you remember what kind of action everyone declared. Right?
I could we be wrong but:

The way I read it was as being a balance between having to commit to an exact action and having total freedom of choice when your moment of action arrives. For example Angus might pick up a red dice intending to engage the Duke. Before Angus gets to act, the Duke's nephew arrives on the scene to defend his uncle. When Angus does get to act, he might use his red dice to attack the nephew. As his dice is red, he doesn't get the option to turn and flee.
Bingo. The idea being that by committing to a category of action when selecting the die to roll, we create a situation that allows you some flexibility still but locks you in enough that we still create the kind of tension-building mismatched timings, missteps, and "oh crap" moments that come from the chaos of an actual fight without having to make you script your actions in some fashion ahead of time.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
Marras
Grizzled Veteran
Posts: 856
Joined: 22 Apr 2014, 03:19

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Marras » 19 Mar 2015, 08:30

Okay, it makes sense now. Thanks for the explanations and tips!
User avatar
Daeruin
Initiate
Posts: 99
Joined: 15 Jan 2013, 19:13

Re: Sequence roll

Post by Daeruin » 09 Apr 2015, 23:48

I love this idea so much and can't wait to play it!
PsiPhire
Initiate
Posts: 53
Joined: 10 Sep 2015, 05:01

Re: Sequence roll

Post by PsiPhire » 12 Sep 2015, 17:43

How does something like intercepting an enemy work with the sequence roll? Say for example that an enemy wants to charge at a friendly archer near me, but I want to intercept the enemy to prevent him from attacking the archer, how would this work? If the enemy rolls a lower number on his die, will he get to attack the archer while I simply stand there and watch?
User avatar
higgins
Heresiarch
Posts: 1186
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 08:00

Re: Sequence roll

Post by higgins » 14 Sep 2015, 01:46

I don't think we've mentioned this yet, but you can always burn an SA point to interrupt the Sequence and act immediately.

And welcome to the boards, btw. ;)
"You can never have too many knives."
- Logen Ninefingers, The Blade Itself
Post Reply