View Full Version : [Combat] Agility System - More Actions!

2010-04-21, 07:03 PM
While thinking of ideas for my own RPG system, a friend suggested including an "agility system." This system will be included in a normal initiative style combat system to allow characters who attack and move faster to get more actions. I need some help coming up with a structure that will be balanced and easy to implement in a tabletop game.

Every combatant will get one turn in each round, in initiative order, as normal. However, in between every round, agile characters will get extra actions. The frequency of this opportunity is determined by the characters ability score, which brings me to my first problem. How can I translate a number representing agility into the number of rounds that combatant has to wait until it can get another free action?

I also am having trouble coming up with a way to even come up with a characters agility score. Should it be based on an attribute (assuming that there are a number of attributes that function similar to the familiar Str, Con, Dex, etc.)? I want weapons and armor to have an effect on agility as well. Heavy armor and weapons should reduce agility, whereas light weapons are of course easier to attack fast with. How can I calculate agility scores?

Lastly, I want the system to be balanced. Characters with a higher agility should have a lower average damage than slower characters before the agility system is applied. The agility system balances out this difference in damage output by giving the weaker combatants more attacks. How can I make this system balanced?

So, to summarize:
* Agility sytem allows agile characters to take extra actions every few rounds.
* How to calculate combatants' agility scores, using combatant's equipment and own stats.
* How to translate that score into how many rounds the combatant has to wait before getting extra actions?
* How to make the system balanced?

I would like to hear what anyone has to say. I only have the idea for what I want the system to do, not how I want it to work, so I'm open to any ideas. The system needs to be balanced, implementable in a tabletop game, and fun! Thank you for your help!

2010-04-21, 07:27 PM
Having multiple actions in one round will never be balanced, unless those extra actions are highly limited in what they can do, i.e. iterative attacks.

Most systems I've seen which use multiple actions/round give the value its own seperate stat, and have a strict requirement on what equipment and magic can enchance it. Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase are the two I am thinking of. Note that in both, the equipment to give extra actions interferes with "magic" use, and magic which gives extra actions is for self-only.

I suppose you could play around with an initiative system which does something similar. For example, whenever you attack, you are "delayed" a set amount, with additional delay based on weapon speed and reduced delay based on agility. It lets fast, quick weapons (like the dagger) attack repeatedly while big, slow magic is only tossed around rarely.

2010-04-21, 08:48 PM
Yes, your last paragraph is exactly what I want! The balance should come from agile characters dealing less damage with each attack than non-agile characters. So, bigger weapons give a penalty to agility, as does heavier armor. In a very simple example, an agile character gets two attacks per round and deals 3 damage per attack. A not so agile character gets only one attack per round but deals 6 damage per attack. Therefore, both deal 6 damage per round and it is balanced.

Of course, in reality the system should be much more complex than that. It should average off to balanced, but allow for luck to play a part and introduce advantage. Combatants don't have a set number of attacks per round, but rather each number of rounds (depending on their agility) they get an extra action (which they can use for attack or movement or something else that only requires one action).

Also, I don't want to start talking about specifics of magic or technology. The system should be able to be applied to any sort of theme, from D&D swords and sorcery to Star Wars sci-fi to Pokemon or anything else that could be a tabletop RPG. This system is just a skeleton for the flavor. I just need to make the system first before I can drape the flavor onto it.