Combat Inconsistency

Talk about any rules that don't directly fall under personal combat
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pepe_andre
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Combat Inconsistency

Post by pepe_andre » 27 Jun 2019, 11:18

Hi,
after a quite long break I am writing to you again. I currently redesign the whole game to fit my needs and setting, and I found one thing quite peculiar. There is a rule inconsistency that only happens in combat.

On p. 13 "The Moving Parts" you say:
If you ever get confused about how to modify something or where the moving parts go, just remember: Dice are what your character brings to the table. Their skills, attributes, traits, and general resources.
TNs represent the conditions under which the character is attempting the task.
Reqs represent the objective difficulty of the thing being tried.
In combat, however, Reqs are only used in ranged combat and not in melee combat. The combat rules itself make use of a very different mechanism to resolve conflicts than the simple skill checks and I find that very irritating. Second problem I have: For me, the split of the CP in ranged combat seems very forced and I currently try hard to work around that. The Accuracy check is kind of nonsense, since you roll on the Wound Wheel chart anyway and can then see what you hit. I know the Accuracy check exists to push the damage outcome, but it just seems not right. Have tried any alternative method?

I am sure you playtested this many times, but have you ever thought about using the payment method in ranged combat aswell? I altered the ranged combat rules and made it so that you throw your whole CP at once minus the dice for complications and minus the dice for homebrew moves and it worked quite well. Another idea was to just split the ranged combat into half aswell with the option to shoot twice, but I found this not very promising.
This whole points may be not as necessary to you as it is to me, since I am rewritting the SnS rules to fit a Cyberpunk-Setting and rely heavily on guns.
Also, I do not find that the CPs get too large with the first method since I am very generous in applying consequences and encourage players to take risks and fight with style.
What do you think?
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thirtythr33
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Re: Combat Inconsistency

Post by thirtythr33 » 28 Jun 2019, 03:20

The combat rules itself make use of a very different mechanism to resolve conflicts than the simple skill checks and I find that very irritating.
There has been some experimenting with converting maneuver ACs to Reqs. I don't know whether S&S will end up going that way or not, but it would be easy for you to make that change if you are redesigning some things. Then combat would work on the same core rule as contests. The biggest problem here is that Reqs are very big penalties compared to ACs, and even AC2 is very punishing. Strong maneuvers with R1 could still be viable, but anything with R2 will probably be unusable.
For me, the split of the CP in ranged combat seems very forced and I currently try hard to work around that.
It might seem forced for now, but the in-the-works magic system is going to use the same split pool system as melee and ranged combat. There is even a possibility of a social combat system using a split pool mechanic but that likely won't be in the core rules, if at all.
The Accuracy check is kind of nonsense, since you roll on the Wound Wheel chart anyway and can then see what you hit. I know the Accuracy check exists to push the damage outcome, but it just seems not right.
For me, the issue here is more in the names of the pools (Complexity and Accuracy) and what they represent. If you reframe Complexity to cover something like "understanding the situation", looking at things like wind direction, speed of the target, how moist the bow string is etc and reframe Accuracy to cover "the physical execution of the shot", then the split pool makes a lot more sense. Then, when your taking your shot your weighting up your time (your pool) between focusing on taking in the information around you and the time and focus you spend executing the shot. There was a pretty long discussion trying to brainstorm better words for "Complexity and Accuracy" but none were great.
have you ever thought about using the payment method in ranged combat aswell? I altered the ranged combat rules and made it so that you throw your whole CP at once minus the dice for complications and minus the dice for homebrew moves and it worked quite well. Another idea was to just split the ranged combat into half aswell with the option to shoot twice, but I found this not very promising.
The problem there I see is that either the ACs become prohibitive, where an amateur will literally never be able to make a difficult shot OR the ACs remain modest and the damage of a skilled marksman will be like a cannon. If you are going to homebrew in this direction, I would suggest significantly decreasing the DR of the projectiles (Although, that might not be necessary if you are going scifi and lazers and have better AV armors).
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

- Juliet Capulet
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pepe_andre
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Re: Combat Inconsistency

Post by pepe_andre » 28 Jun 2019, 05:15

thirtythr33 wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 03:20
have you ever thought about using the payment method in ranged combat aswell? I altered the ranged combat rules and made it so that you throw your whole CP at once minus the dice for complications and minus the dice for homebrew moves and it worked quite well. Another idea was to just split the ranged combat into half aswell with the option to shoot twice, but I found this not very promising.
The problem there I see is that either the ACs become prohibitive, where an amateur will literally never be able to make a difficult shot OR the ACs remain modest and the damage of a skilled marksman will be like a cannon. If you are going to homebrew in this direction, I would suggest significantly decreasing the DR of the projectiles (Although, that might not be necessary if you are going scifi and lazers and have better AV armors).
But isn't this a problem of ranged combat itself? A specialized character with no wounds and a ranged CP of 14 would have no problem to totally destroy every other character. Even with massive reqs that force him to split his in the vanilla version of the game.
If I managed to not get hit by the first bullets (or arrows) of the ambuch and crouch behind a wall or a bush or a car and then try to shoot someone, then there is a big chance that the other character will not stand up again. Let's say it's raining, I use lean out and shoot and do this at a maximum range with my pistol. That is a req of 5. I now allocate 8 dice to my complexity check, just to make sure that I hit, and then can still allocate 6 dice to my accuracy check. The complexity check is successful and the accuracy check, too, with a MoS 5. This translates into 8 piercing damage (+3 from my gun). Even if the enemy is pretty endgame aswell (maybe brawn tap of 2 and a kevlar of 2) a shot to the chest would still inflict 4 damage. Even more to other not armored regions. I acknowledge that this is partly intended, since weapons (and especially guns) are quite lethal, but a street thug with a CP of 8 wouldn't be able to take such a difficult shot. And I haven't even implemented Burst Fire, Full-Auto and weapons like shotguns.

But I agree that a ranged action based on a single CP would be even more overpowered. I guess the whole ranged combat aspect needs a bit polishing, since to me it seems like you put a lot of effort into making a really great melee combat system that the ranged combat system just can't compete with right now.
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Re: Combat Inconsistency

Post by thorgarth » 28 Jun 2019, 06:49

As you may know I have made "some" critical analysis of the system in the past but I must say in this case I don't see what you pointed out as an issue.

Yes, system should be, as much as possible, consistent through out, but that does not mean that we need to sacrifice every aspect to retain said consistency. I much rather prefer systems with different, yet logical mechanics, which enables us to act in a credible yet flowing way, then sacrifice gameplay to fit all the pieces in a unique and beautiful package. And I am quite adverse to "streamline" systems.

Ranged as it stands can be optimized a bit here and there but I think its a good overall system, and I see no reason to make it as "complex" as melee because they are fundamentally different.
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