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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Oct 2006
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    confused BRAINSTORMING-- Narrative combat idea

    Just a random mechanical idea I had bouncing around my head. The hope was to wind up with a very narrative, description-heavy form of combat-- sort of constant stunting. So...

    Characters
    Characters in this system would have three components:
    • The first would be a set of descriptors-- sort of freely-chosen terms that define what they can do. Things like "super strength," "hacker," "master archer," stuff like that. If you don't have an appropriate descriptor, you can only do normal human-level stuff. (Ie, you could try random passwords without a "hacker" descriptor, but you couldn't, you know, hack)
    • The second would be a set of Fate Accelerate Edition-style Approaches. (For those who don't know, they're sort of like abilities, but for, well, general approaches to things-- examples include "Forcefully" or "Cunningly," stuff like that). Those would be numbers, and would determine... something, I'm not quite sure what yet. I'm thinking either a flat bonus to rolls, bonus dice when rolling, or perhaps a limit to how many dice you can bid at once.
    • The third would be a per-scene dice pool-- a measure of power and health and so on.


    Conflict
    • The active character describes what he wants to do ("I'll swing across on the chandelier and kick the sword out of his hand") and sets aside some number of dice-- how many he'll roll to succeed. (This may be limited by their Approaches, or maybe not)
    • The defending character can either:
    • Yield, allowing the action to happen but gaining back dice. (With some sort of limit on how much disadvantage they could take)
    • Contest, describing their response and setting aside some number of dice.
    • All other characters vote on whose described action was better-- either more useful or cooler, as they see fit. The winner gets to roll an extra die.
    • Both characters roll all their dice (possibly adding dice/flat values for their Approaches). Whoever's roll was higher succeeds, with degrees of success determining how much of a penalty they can extract from the defending character. They then narrate the action for their turn.
    • Afterwards, both characters discard all dice they rolled that turn.


    If you run out of dice, you can only resist with your base Approach, which would presumably make it easy for enemies to beat your rolls by a lot and extract high penalties. I'm not quite sure what those penalties would be, though... a separate damage track, probably. Or maybe damage should be in the form of discarded dice, and when you run out of dice opponents can narrate whatever happens to you however they want?

    As I see it, the element of skill in a system like this would be coming up with good actions-- things that use your better Approaches while forcing a foe to rely on their weak ones, as well as winning the stunting-vote thingie.

    I dunno. What do you guys think?

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Mar 2010

    Default Re: BRAINSTORMING-- Narrative combat idea

    Having voting as the basis for any aspect of combat is a very strong turn off for me.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Mar 2013

    Default Re: BRAINSTORMING-- Narrative combat idea

    Yeah, voting for combat doesn't work particularly well, although it is a small boost if you go with a dice pool. Definitely would suggest the game leaning more towards PvP, simply to make the voting less Players vs NPCs.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: BRAINSTORMING-- Narrative combat idea

    I would definitely like there to be some sort of bonus to the character with the cooler/more logical course of action, play up the whole imagination side of things... I guess I could give responsibility back to the GM, and trust him to be impartial towards his own characters, but I feel like it should be someone without a horse in the fight. Maybe have the decider change each round?

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Octopusapult's Avatar

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    Default Re: BRAINSTORMING-- Narrative combat idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I would definitely like there to be some sort of bonus to the character with the cooler/more logical course of action, play up the whole imagination side of things... I guess I could give responsibility back to the GM, and trust him to be impartial towards his own characters, but I feel like it should be someone without a horse in the fight. Maybe have the decider change each round?
    If the game is more PC vs. NPC then you can give the players the ability to "Flair" or "Calculate" attacks / actions. Actions with Flair would be the "cooler" abilities and if they succeed are more effective, the drawback being a loss penalizes the player just as much making it a very risky, but very rewarding act. Calculated actions would be the opposite, maybe slowing the PC or costing them a full turn to perform. A guaranteed draw for a guaranteed success.

    In PVP, rather than voting you could have a track for each character depicting their Style. When an action with flair is performed the player highest on the Style track not involved in the fight would determine which action was cooler.

    Hopefully this is helpful, but maybe I didn't understand the intention.
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