View Full Version : Combat System Help

2010-09-03, 01:51 AM
Hi all! To get straight to the point, I am in need of a combat/weapons system for a tabletop rpg I'm making. So far, I have somthing like this worked out: A character's skill in a weapon category, e.g., 'shotguns', would determine his capabilities with weapons that fall under that category. As of right now, each weapon has it's own 10 lvls, with some weapons being grouped together. To elaborate, a char with 42/100 points in 'pistol skill' would be able to use all of that weapons stats up to the fourth level, since the points/lvl ratio is 10/1. A character with 0-9 points in a weapons skill could only use that weapon's zero lvl(low damage die, negative roll mods, no beneficial effects), while a char with 100 weapons skill could use that weapons lvl 10 features(high damage die, positive roll mods, use of beneficial effects such as 'headshot', etc.). I'm planning on a d20-esqe rules/combat system, but that is not set in stone. So, what do you think of this system? What do you like? What do you HATE:smallbiggrin:? Please, be HONEST! Feel absolutely free to scrap everything all together and come up with your own system, all critiques and ideas are welcome.

Oh, and if you're interested, the setting is modern/post-modern zombie apocalypse. Thanks!

2010-09-03, 02:10 AM
Regardless of your skill level, it should be possible to attempt "called shots" such as the headshot. However, at lower levels of proficiency, the chance of success vs an opponent that is moving, aware of you and not at the optimal distance for the weapon you're using should be very slim.

2010-09-03, 09:30 AM
It seems very arbitrary, really. This isn't an MMO or the like where it makes some sense to have stat dependancies for items. In the real world you can pick up a gun and use it. You might get knocked down by the recoil if you're not expecting or, it smack yourself in the face with a desert eagle, but you can still point the shooty end at the target and make it go dead.

Also, most of the time you don't need the higher velocity rounds, since the average zombie won't have body armour. 9mm is more than enough to kill someone, and I understand .223 is pretty common in America (although I could be wrong).

If you're using the d20 combat system, why are you using a seperate skill system?

I am obliged to question using D20 for a zombie/horror game. In my opinion you'd be much better off with a different system for this sort of thing, such as:

Witchcraft (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=692&it=1), a free RPG using the Unisystem which is also used by All Flesh Must Be Eaten (my actual recomendation, but it's not free), a good Zombie RPG. You can see if the system appeals to you before buying AFMBE (and indeed can use Witchcraft to run a zombie game without too much hassle, but AFMBE is awesome).

Basic Roleplaying (http://www.chaosium.com/forms/coc_quick_start_color.pdf) which has a free test thing here. It's used for the Call of Cthulhu RPG (and others), and is also generally awesome and pretty easy to pick up.

Both of these are, in my opinion, much more suited to a horror game.

2010-09-03, 02:01 PM
Battlelords of the 23rd century had a system like that. Might be able to locate the PDF's around teh net somewhere, or if your interested i can dig up my books when i get home and post their system here. Man I miss playing that game.

2010-09-03, 02:37 PM
I posted in your other thread about this topic as well. If you want 10 "levels" of proficiency, you have to decide if there is a point where the character surpasses a modern human in possible skill. You also need to determine a mechanic resolution system for combat (since that is what we are talking about).

Try answering some of these questions:

Do you want characters to have large jumps in skill, represented by levels?
Do you want character mechanics to be represented by different archetypes?
How lethal/gritty do you want to make your game?
How realistic do you want combat to be?
How do you want to represent physical harm/damage?
Do you want to represent mental harm/damage?

2010-09-16, 11:45 PM
Players won't keep their characters for as long as they do in other ttrpgs, as opposed to creating one character and leveling him up to massive proportions, players make a starting character with a goal in mind, and are finished with that character when they accomplish their goal, or goals. Characters could be re-earthed, if players wanted to. Here are some more details, to help understand gameplay. Firstly, this is not a combat oriented game, [U]primarily[U]. Combat should be creatively avoided as often as possible, the main reason being that after one bite, your character is lost. Harsh, true, but there is supposed to be an element of "why-is-the-world-against-me", savage survival. Back to the topic of having shorter-"lived"(ha-ha) characters, it goes like this: "My char is Dave, and he lives in x, California, and is trying to get to y, New York, to get his younger brother who he last knew was in college." My job is to let him decide how he wishes to get there, if he does it alone or with other people(players), whether he travels on foot or by car or unicycle or goat, and I just fill in the blanks. Let's say Dave decides he is going to drive to NY, alone. I ask the player what are some places Dave would look for a car, what kind of car, and what route is he taking to NY. Then, I build a setup for each place he would look for a car, let's say a dealership, two random houses, and a mall parking lot. At the dealership, I would roll some dice to see if there were any cars left, and we'll say that there aren't. Now, Dave's driving, or mechanics, or something, skill is not very high, so he can't just hotwire some random vehicle off the street, he needs keys. At the first house he checks, there are zombies. Dave quickly realizes that this is not the house he wants, and leaves, although he did see an almost new sedan in the driveway. The second house and the mall are abandoned, with zombies crawling around the mall. He realizes he has to either keep searching or go to the first house, and since time is always a factor, he decides to go back. armed with a pistol, he enters the house and successfully clears it of zombies. I think I am going to make some sort of system to bring to light how horrifying it would have to be to kill humans, zombified or not, but I'll get back to Dave. In the house, Dave finds the car keys, some canned food, and a hunting rifle, with half a box of shells. He loads up the sedan, fills the tank with spare gas the family(very luckily) had in the garage, and heads out to New York, ready to save his brother. Now, along the way, Dave is going to run into all sorts of situations, and his extremely long cross-country trip is going to take quite a while. Let's compare his plight to Bruce's. Bruce is a character with no friends or family, whose goal is to find a safe place to live, and who starts his adventure in a sealed off underground bunker with a lifetime supply of food and water. Bruce wins. Simple as that, dig it? One last one. Joe(strange how normal all of these people's names are...) lives with his family in z, Minnesota. His family decided to move out west to live with close family in Washington, but Joe decides to stay. Joe lives on the outskirts of the city, his house surrounded by woods, save for the front, which faces the street. He has a lot of area on his property, but his most important goal is to make it all, especially the house, zombie safe and free. Joe's player will tell me about the house and property, and how hell be making it safe. I'll tell him that in order to qualify as "zombie safe", he'll need to meet some specifications. First, he'll need ready acess to food and water. Zombies are dangerous, but hunger'll kill you too. The other requirements are individual safety features for the house, boarded windows, etc. If Joe decides to go to, say, a Home-Depot to get materials, he'll be out of luck, since the store was raided quickly by early survivors. His adventure will entail travelling around, trying to get the materials he needs, all while trying to survive. He may have to forage from homes, but he'll get it done. Then, once he has safe shelter, he's off to do what he stayed here to do. Save his friends. Or maybe he'll decide to save his friends first, and they'll all build a safe house together, that's what I'd do. Anyway, the whole point of the game is to be super open ended, with a good amount of combat while trying to stay non-combat oriented. Thoughts, ideas? I appreciate all of the feedback from previous posters, and am anxious for more.