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 Post subject: Need a little help implementing my initiative system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:54 am 
I looked at the documentation, and have played around with the program a bit. As a long time MT user, I've never used IT, because I use DM Genie to run my 3.5 games. But I've recently started designing a FUDGE-based sword & sorcery game. I was hoping I could detail the system here, and maybe get a little help in setting IT up correctly.

Basically, CinEpic uses simultaneous rounds that represent 3 seconds in game time. Simultaneous rounds use a single roll to determine who gets an action in the round, and the relative success of their action. It basically happens in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Combatants declare actions from lowest Reflexes to highest.

Phase 2: Everyone rolls 4dF. Dice are used along with relevant skills to determine who gets to act for the round. Characters take their actions from best roll to worst.

Phase 3
: Damage is calculated and appropriate conditions are applied.

So I think I only need to have 2 phases, even though our combat is technically 3. I need a pre-roll phase, and a post roll phase. The pre-roll phase is the declaration phase. Then we roll the dice, and the first interpretation of the roll determines who gets an action in the resolution phase. So what I'd like to do is put all of the combatants in the first phase, and use the green checkmark to go through everyone's declaration of action. Then everyone rolls, and those who win their opposed rolls would be moved into the Action phase of combat. So I would just want to drag them from the Declaration Phase to the Action Phase.

One other thing I was thinking about. It would also be good for me to have a Stunned section, because that can happen very easily in CinEpic.

I am going to try and figure all of this out, but if there are any IT experts out there, I'd love some help on streamlining and customizing it.

One quick question, is there a way to alter the initiative roll? CinEpic uses the 4dF FUDGE dice mechanic. They are 4d6 with 2 pluses, 2 blanks, and 2 minuses, which give a bell curve range of -4 to +4. There are two different modifiers added to the single roll, at each phase of combat. The first modifiers added to the roll are the combat skills. The second set of modifiers added to the 4dF roll are the total ODF (Offensive Damage Factor).

This sounds a lot more confusing on paper than it plays. But if I'm going to start using IT, I want to make it as compatible with CinEpic as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Need a little help implementing my initiative system
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:59 am 
thelevitator wrote:
I looked at the documentation, and have played around with the program a bit.
The documentation is way out of data. The only stuff I have is for version 1.0 and it doesn't cover any of then new scripting support.

thelevitator wrote:
Basically, CinEpic uses simultaneous rounds that represent 3 seconds in game time. Simultaneous rounds use a single roll to determine who gets an action in the round, and the relative success of their action. It basically happens in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Combatants declare actions from lowest Reflexes to highest.

Phase 2: Everyone rolls 4dF. Dice are used along with relevant skills to determine who gets to act for the round. Characters take their actions from best roll to worst.

Phase 3
: Damage is calculated and appropriate conditions are applied.

So I think I only need to have 2 phases, even though our combat is technically 3. I need a pre-roll phase, and a post roll phase. The pre-roll phase is the declaration phase. Then we roll the dice, and the first interpretation of the roll determines who gets an action in the resolution phase. So what I'd like to do is put all of the combatants in the first phase, and use the green checkmark to go through everyone's declaration of action. Then everyone rolls, and those who win their opposed rolls would be moved into the Action phase of combat. So I would just want to drag them from the Declaration Phase to the Action Phase.
I have a couple of questions:
  1. When you declare actions are you planning to enter the actions into IT or do you and the players just remember your choice? If you don't that is OK, but you can't do as much automation without the data. So your choice depends on which is faster and interrupts the game the least.
  2. How do you determine who gets to go? Is it the opposed roll you mention below? IT can do opposed rolls if you wish, but it would need to know both combatants. I'm also guessing that the PC's would like to make their own rolls?
  3. Init Tool already supports phases, but you can't have different sort criteria for each phase. So this would require an upgrade which I would be happy to make. IT is already able to execute a script between the phases so that we can make the new rolls if you wish.
  4. If you aren't going to have IT do the opposed rolls and determine the order automatically then dragging and dropping the combatants between phases is already supported. You should be able to drag to the proper order as well.

thelevitator wrote:
One other thing I was thinking about. It would also be good for me to have a Stunned section, because that can happen very easily in CinEpic.
Would a stunned state work better? The phased initiative support already has an area where you can put combatants that aren't in any other phase. You would have to move them back when they became unstunned.

thelevitator wrote:
I am going to try and figure all of this out, but if there are any IT experts out there, I'd love some help on streamlining and customizing it.
I can help! :)

thelevitator wrote:
One quick question, is there a way to alter the initiative roll? CinEpic uses the 4dF FUDGE dice mechanic. They are 4d6 with 2 pluses, 2 blanks, and 2 minuses, which give a bell curve range of -4 to +4. There are two different modifiers added to the single roll, at each phase of combat. The first modifiers added to the roll are the combat skills. The second set of modifiers added to the 4dF roll are the total ODF (Offensive Damage Factor).
All of the initiative rolling is scripted so you can do pretty much whatever you need. IT also has the same dice support that MT has, and I believe FUDGE dice are in there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:28 am 
Hi Jay!

Ok, I think I can answer these. I'm playing around a little bit with exactly what phases I need and what to call them. I think I need a Declare Action phase, a Make Roll Phase, and a Resolve Action phase. The thing that makes this a little tricky is that everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase, but not everyone move into the Resolve Action phase. Only those who win their opposed rolls get an action. One thing that would really rock would be the ability to create sub-groups within the same encounter. In FUDGE, you kind of create "zones", and the whole group is divided up into smaller groups.

A really simple example would be 2 PC's fighting 3 bandits. PC 1 and Bandits 1 & 2 may be one group, and PC 2 and Bandit 2 would be the other. It would be great to be able to differentiate who is combating whom within the encounter window.


1. Since the system is more loose and less defined than say, 3.5, I just need the first part to keep track of who has declared. I won't need to enter anything in at this point. What I was hoping for was to put all of the combatants into the Declare Action phase, and once they declare, I can click on them and they would move to the Make Roll phase. Everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase.

2. The Declare Action phase is determined bythe Reflex Attribute, and the combatants declare in order from slowest to fastest. A roll isn't used for this. Since there aren't that many degrees of difference in FUDGE, this is where it would be nice to be able to differentiate the different subgroups (maybe by color coding them or something). In my PC's VS Bandit example, the first group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action, and the 2nd group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action. There are other factors that can contribute to Reflexes, like the Quick Reflexes Gift, so those might be all combined in a separate field to give the character an "initiative" score for the declaration phase. Basically, this first phase is just to help me make sure I don't miss anyone's actions. For large combats it might be nice to have a notes section where I could just jot down a quick note, like "attacking wolf 4" or something.

3. For now, I can sort all of the combatants by their base "initiative" score manually for the Declare Action phase, since no rolling is involved. The main thing that would be helpful for this phase would be a way to group combatants within the same phase, so it's easier to remember who is fighting whom.

4. Dragging and dropping is fine for what we need. It would be nice if in the first phase (Declare Action) that the combatants moved into the Make Roll phase once I clicked through them. I would still need to move whomever wins their opposed rolls into the Resolve Action phase manually. One thing that would be great though, will be when MT's chat and IT are linked together. That way, when the players make their rolls in MT, IT would take the rolls and apply the modifiers. What makes FUDGE a little tricky is that a character's ODF (Offensive Damage Factor) has several variables in it, namely which weapon they are using and the combat stance they are taking. Scale is also a factor as well. At some point it would be awesome to have IT figure all of this out and determine who moves to the Resolve Action phase automatically.

While this would speed things up, combat is already much faster than 3.5, so automation isn't quite as necessary. It would be great, but as I'm just learning this tool and tweaking my system, I'd rather take it slow for now and just develop my IT setup on the assumption that I'm entering all the information manually. IT will basically be just helping to keep the phases organized for now. Then I can worry about scripting and implementing automation and modifiers.

Thanks so much for helping me add this tool to our game! :lol:

One quick question, you mentioned that FUDGE dice are in IT, but I don't know how to find them? If they aren't it would be great if they were added. Phergus helped me create a table to simulate a 4dF roll. At some point, it would be great to have MT and IT make actual 4dF rolls. There are also some cases in FUDGE where you might want to make a *dF.1 roll, which is basically an open-ended single die roll. The way that roll works is: You roll a single dF. If a + or - comes up, you roll again (if you foll a blank, it's considered a Fair result and you stop rolling). If you match your first roll, you roll again. You keep rolling until your rolls stop matching. So a roll of ++-, would be a Great (+2) result. A roll of blank would be a Fair Result. I would like to implement this type of roll for certain situations, so it would be great if that type of roll could be automated. For now, I can do it manually in MT.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:11 am 
thelevitator wrote:
Ok, I think I can answer these. I'm playing around a little bit with exactly what phases I need and what to call them. I think I need a Declare Action phase, a Make Roll Phase, and a Resolve Action phase. The thing that makes this a little tricky is that everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase, but not everyone move into the Resolve Action phase. Only those who win their opposed rolls get an action.
I'd like to make a suggestion to do this a different way, but since I'm not familiar with the game I might be way off. If so, feel free to ignore me :) I was thinking that there might be a way to reduce it to two phases, like you had mentioned earlier. In the first phase the combatants declare their action and you add them to the appropriate groupings. Then I can write a script that will collect all of the dice rolls from the different combatants so that when you proceed to the next phase it will show a dialog like the manual initiative dialog that allows you to either enter the rolls by manually or to have IT roll them automatically. Once the rolls are entered IT should be able to determine who goes into the determine action phase. Of course keeping the three phases also works and is a good start on seeing what should be done as a next step.

thelevitator wrote:
One thing that would really rock would be the ability to create sub-groups within the same encounter. In FUDGE, you kind of create "zones", and the whole group is divided up into smaller groups.

A really simple example would be 2 PC's fighting 3 bandits. PC 1 and Bandits 1 & 2 may be one group, and PC 2 and Bandit 2 would be the other. It would be great to be able to differentiate who is combating whom within the encounter window.
Phergus was playing a game called Dragon Quest(I think) that had a similar mechanic. He tried to keep the combatant groups in their own phases, but I don't know if that worked very well for him. A simpler way to do this might be to define wait states that number the groups then assign each combatant to the proper group. (I know, it's a bit of a hack). The advantage of this is that it is very easy to set the value. It is just an Alt-group-number key press or a simple click on the wait state toolbar. It will also make it very easy to tell which combatants are in which group. You can use icons and/or background colors to keep them separate. This won't interfere with your stunned state either since it can be made to look different as well, or you can remove those combatants from the action phase by dragging it out.

thelevitator wrote:
1. Since the system is more loose and less defined than say, 3.5, I just need the first part to keep track of who has declared. I won't need to enter anything in at this point. What I was hoping for was to put all of the combatants into the Declare Action phase, and once they declare, I can click on them and they would move to the Make Roll phase. Everyone moves from the Declare Action phase to the Make Roll phase.
Instead of moving them between the phases, which can get a bit tedious you could just leave all of the combatants in both phases and then only remove the combatants from the third. It will save you a repetitive step which would probably just slow you down.

thelevitator wrote:
2. The Declare Action phase is determined bythe Reflex Attribute, and the combatants declare in order from slowest to fastest. A roll isn't used for this. Since there aren't that many degrees of difference in FUDGE, this is where it would be nice to be able to differentiate the different subgroups (maybe by color coding them or something). In my PC's VS Bandit example, the first group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action, and the 2nd group compares their Reflexes to determine their order for declaring action. There are other factors that can contribute to Reflexes, like the Quick Reflexes Gift, so those might be all combined in a separate field to give the character an "initiative" score for the declaration phase. Basically, this first phase is just to help me make sure I don't miss anyone's actions. For large combats it might be nice to have a notes section where I could just jot down a quick note, like "attacking wolf 4" or something.
Do you need the combatants sorted by group and then by reflex (all of group on in reflex order then all of group 2 in reflex order) or just by reflex (all combatants in reflex order)? How do you resolve ties in reflex? It is possible to have the modifiers to reflex automatically added in by defining your gifts with the proper modifiers.

thelevitator wrote:
3. For now, I can sort all of the combatants by their base "initiative" score manually for the Declare Action phase, since no rolling is involved. The main thing that would be helpful for this phase would be a way to group combatants within the same phase, so it's easier to remember who is fighting whom.
See my comments above about groupings.

thelevitator wrote:
4. Dragging and dropping is fine for what we need. It would be nice if in the first phase (Declare Action) that the combatants moved into the Make Roll phase once I clicked through them. I would still need to move whomever wins their opposed rolls into the Resolve Action phase manually. One thing that would be great though, will be when MT's chat and IT are linked together. That way, when the players make their rolls in MT, IT would take the rolls and apply the modifiers. What makes FUDGE a little tricky is that a character's ODF (Offensive Damage Factor) has several variables in it, namely which weapon they are using and the combat stance they are taking. Scale is also a factor as well. At some point it would be awesome to have IT figure all of this out and determine who moves to the Resolve Action phase automatically.
Init tool can do all of this, but it might take awhile to get all of the scripts working.

thelevitator wrote:
While this would speed things up, combat is already much faster than 3.5, so automation isn't quite as necessary. It would be great, but as I'm just learning this tool and tweaking my system, I'd rather take it slow for now and just develop my IT setup on the assumption that I'm entering all the information manually. IT will basically be just helping to keep the phases organized for now. Then I can worry about scripting and implementing automation and modifiers.
That is always a good approach. It lets you get something working and then try it out to figure what feature you need next.

thelevitator wrote:
One quick question, you mentioned that FUDGE dice are in IT, but I don't know how to find them? If they aren't it would be great if they were added. Phergus helped me create a table to simulate a 4dF roll. At some point, it would be great to have MT and IT make actual 4dF rolls. There are also some cases in FUDGE where you might want to make a *dF.1 roll, which is basically an open-ended single die roll. The way that roll works is: You roll a single dF. If a + or - comes up, you roll again (if you foll a blank, it's considered a Fair result and you stop rolling). If you match your first roll, you roll again. You keep rolling until your rolls stop matching. So a roll of ++-, would be a Great (+2) result. A roll of blank would be a Fair Result. I would like to implement this type of roll for certain situations, so it would be great if that type of roll could be automated. For now, I can do it manually in MT.
They are accessed the same way you would access them in a MT macro; #df where the # is the number of times to roll the dice. The result is calculated to be rollDice(times, 3) - (2 * times) Which gives you the -2 to +2 range you were requesting. I don't think the second one is available, but it should be easy to write a JavaScript function that does that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:33 am 
OK, I suck at the multi-quote thing, so I'll just copy/paste your responses so that I can address everything and keep it all straight. I put all of your responses in blue.

I'd like to make a suggestion to do this a different way, but since I'm not familiar with the game I might be way off. If so, feel free to ignore me Smile I was thinking that there might be a way to reduce it to two phases, like you had mentioned earlier. In the first phase the combatants declare their action and you add them to the appropriate groupings. Then I can write a script that will collect all of the dice rolls from the different combatants so that when you proceed to the next phase it will show a dialog like the manual initiative dialog that allows you to either enter the rolls by manually or to have IT roll them automatically. Once the rolls are entered IT should be able to determine who goes into the determine action phase. Of course keeping the three phases also works and is a good start on seeing what should be done as a next step.

I think the 2 phase method will work great if I have a way to differentiate the combat groups, using your Wait states idea. By having the ability to just drop everyone in and sort them at the beginning, this should eliminate the need for a middle phase. So, in the first phase, I just put all the combatants into one group, and then separate them using the Wait states. Then I can take note of who is taking what actions. Then we roll, and the winners of each opposed combat roll move into the Resolve Action phase. I'm starting to be able to visualize this.

Phergus was playing a game called Dragon Quest(I think) that had a similar mechanic. He tried to keep the combatant groups in their own phases, but I don't know if that worked very well for him. A simpler way to do this might be to define wait states that number the groups then assign each combatant to the proper group. (I know, it's a bit of a hack). The advantage of this is that it is very easy to set the value. It is just an Alt-group-number key press or a simple click on the wait state toolbar. It will also make it very easy to tell which combatants are in which group. You can use icons and/or background colors to keep them separate. This won't interfere with your stunned state either since it can be made to look different as well, or you can remove those combatants from the action phase by dragging it out.

Man, I LOVED playing Dragonquest when I was in high school. I played that more than I played D&D for a couple of years. Like I mentioned in the earlier quote, with a little help in defining the Wait states, I think I can make that work. Technically, each group is waiting to declare until the previous group is finished, so it's easy to keep track in my mind. Color-coding the different wait state groups will be an easy way to remember who is fighting whom. My question is how this is all set up at the start. Do I drop them into the Declare Action phase and then move them separately into the Wait states? Or do I put them into the Wait states and then move them into the Declare Action phase? Or do I use the Wait states as the initial phase, and just have IT move the winners of the opposed rolls into the Resolve Action phase?

Instead of moving them between the phases, which can get a bit tedious you could just leave all of the combatants in both phases and then only remove the combatants from the third. It will save you a repetitive step which would probably just slow you down.

I played around with that idea, just copying/pasting multiples into all the phases. One thing that would be nice though, can you turn off the renaming feature, where it adds the numbers after pasted entries? I definitely like the idea of having them initially go into both phases, and then have it remove the losers of the opposed rolls from the Resolve Action phase. Now you just have to help me figure out how to do that! :wink:

Do you need the combatants sorted by group and then by reflex (all of group on in reflex order then all of group 2 in reflex order) or just by reflex (all combatants in reflex order)? How do you resolve ties in reflex? It is possible to have the modifiers to reflex automatically added in by defining your gifts with the proper modifiers.

Initially, the combatants are sorted into groups of engagement. So if you have 3 PC's fighing 4 NPC's, you might have group 1 consisting of PC's 1&2 fighting NPC's 1 & 2, and Group 2 consisting of PC 3 fighting NPC 3 & 4. The groups are handled individually in regards to their Reflexes and determining who declares in what order. CinEpic is not a precision-necessary system, so I would have ties always favor the PC's, and declare the NPC's actions first. I could easily drop in a tie-breaker mechanic, but that would sort of detract from the quick-play feel of CinEpic.

It's totally possible to have IT calculate the Declaration order, because it's basically just a Reflex save that can be modified by a few Gifts, like Quick Reflexes or Quick Draw. I am thinking of using a slightly more advanced mechanic of (Reflexes + Perception) because it makes more sense logically and it might also reduce the number of ties. And Reasoning could be a logical tie-breaker.

Init tool can do all of this, but it might take awhile to get all of the scripts working.
I'm really in no hurry for automation. My primary goal is to establish a system that I can run manually that is easy to follow and get through rounds efficiently. :)

They are accessed the same way you would access them in a MT macro; #df where the # is the number of times to roll the dice. The result is calculated to be rollDice(times, 3) - (2 * times) Which gives you the -2 to +2 range you were requesting. I don't think the second one is available, but it should be easy to write a JavaScript function that does that.

I tried entering 4df as the roll, but I got an exception. (The string entered is not in a valid die roll format)

The actual range of a 4dF roll is -4 to +4. It's essentially a 4d3 roll, because there are only 3 values on each d6; 2 pluses, 2 0's, an two minuses. The dice are rolled and you just total up any pluses, blanks and minuses. If you can find a way to make that an actual roll, I'd love to add it to both IT and MT. Right now, I'm using a simulated roller using a table that Phergus created for me. It's statistically accurate, but it would probably be more aesthetically pleasing to see a greater variety of die rolls by having the results rolled as separate dice.

I still think the two tricky parts are going to be stances and weapon ODF's, because they can vary every round. Well, a weapon's ODF doesn't change, but a character can change weapons, which in turn, can change the character's ODF. Stances can change however. Here are the stances:

Berserker: +2 to hit, -2 to damage
Aggressive: +1 to hit, +1 to damage
Normal: +0 to hit, +0 to damge
Cautious: -1 to hit, -1 to damage
Defensive: -2 to hit, -2 to damage

What would rock would be a little pop up window with a pulldown for each of these. Like a pulldown asking for ODF1, ODF2, ODF3 or ODF4. Then a 2nd popup for Stances. These variables would be entered in the Declare Action phase, since the declaration of the attack includes the stance and the weapon being used.

I'm going to play around with the Wait States, but will likely need help in getting this all set up initially.

Thanks for the very detailed response Jay! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:46 am 
I figured out the Wait States pretty quickly, and color coding them works awesome. The different groups are instantly distinguishable. This is a great start in the right direction! :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:06 am 
For the sorting within the Wait States, I think I've come up with something simple but kinda neat. I can add a static trait, called Combat Reflexes (working title). This number would be: Reflexes + Reasoning + Perception + appropriate Skills (like Combat Tactics or Profession: Soldier) and/or Gifts (like Quick Reflexes). This would be a static number, so no roll is ever needed, and it is only used for the Declaration phase. All IT would have to do is sort combatants within the same Wait State by their Combat Reflexes stat, from lowest to highest (since lowest declares first). Would this be simple to implement?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:27 am 
Well, too much caffeine is keeping me up late, but I also came up with a better name for my new stat. I think I'm going to go with Combat Savvy, so that I can have Combat Reflexes as a Gift in my game. I think it does a better job of describing what the trait is, as it's a combination of Reflexes, Reasoning and Perception. And by having the ability to add Gifts like Profession: Soldier, or skills like Combat Reflexes, it gives an edge to more seasoned combatants. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:13 pm 
I've been play testing some mock combats and honestly, the only thing that would help me in the manual mode would be for pop-up style prompts to appear to input the character's current ODF and DDF for the round. I was thinking I would need one for Combat Stances, but they are factored into the ODF and DDF each round. Calculating it is pretty easy, as you take the weapon ODF (which also includes the character's relevant skills and gifts) + Combat Stance. Character DDF is also modified by Combat Stance. So it would be cool if, as you click on each character after the Declare Action phase, a pop-up window appears where you can enter the character's current ODF and DDF for the round, before the rolls are made. Then the only automation that would be nice would be for IT to take the FUDGE rolls and add them to the character's ODF's and DDF's to derived the Relative Degree.


The only tricky part would be having IT be able to compare rolls to combatants in the same Wait States, because only the combatant with the highest total gets an action for the round. It would be great if IT could determine the winner of each group (using the Wait States to groups), and move them to the Resolve Action phase.

Then, of course, it would be nice if IT cleaned up the round by putting all of the combatants that can still fight (those not in the stunned, dying, or dead phases) back into the Declare Action phase for the beginning of the next round. I can move stunned, dying or dead combatants manually before signifying the end of the round.

How much of a PitA is this going to be? :oops:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:27 pm 
It won't be too bad. I suggest that you just have a place on the index card for you to select stances and weapons instead of a popup, those get to be a pain to the user. If that is done then IT has no problem making all of the rolls, adding modifiers and comparing them however is needed. That is what it does for all the different initiative systems.

Combatants can be in more than one phase at a time. So you won't have to move them from one phase to another and back. So the first phase will allow you to go through each combatant in Reflexes calculation order. You'll be able to change the stance, weapons, and groupings of each. Then when you switch from phase 1 to phase 2 IT will:
  1. Remove all combatants from phase 2
  2. Make all of the rolls adding each combatant's Combat Savvy
  3. Copy the highest combatant in each group to phase 2.
  4. Give 'initiative' to the first combatant in phase 2.

Then you would go through each combatant in phase 2 and have them resolver their actions.

Does that sound correct?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:04 pm 
I think so. Here's how I have it set up so far.

I have the following phases set up:

Declare Action
Resolve Action
Stunned
Dying
Dead

I have the following Wait States defined:

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6


The Wait State Groups are all color coded.

Here is how I'm proposing to run Combat.

Step1: Declare Action (using a phase)

In this step, I first put the combatants into their prospective groups. So if Kruug the Warrior is fighting Guard 3, they would go into Group 1, for example. Once the combatants are separated into each group, Combat Savvy stats are compared to each other. The combatants Declare their actions from lowest Combat Savvy score to highest. In this phase, combatants also declare their Combat Stances, before rolling

Step 2: All combatants roll 4dF and add relevant skills.

Right now I'm just doing this manually. Each combatant rolls 4dF and adds any relevant modifiers, like weapon skills, or environmental modifiers. This number is listed as an ODF on the character sheet, and includes the character's base ODF. The combatants totals are compared, and the one with the highest total in each group moves to Step 3.

Step 3: Resolve Actions.

In this phase, the combatants who won in step two take their actions. Their result is based on their original roll in Step 2. Essentially, their ODF is compared to their opponent's DDF. This number is called the Relative Degree. A minimum result of Poor (-1) is needed to successfully strike an opponent. If the number is positive, that number is used on the Non-linear Wound scale to determine the type of wound the opponent received.

The Non-Linear Wound scale is:

1-3 = Flesh wound
4-8 = Severe Wound
9-14 = Critical Wound
15+ = Traumatic Wound

Once the severity of the wound is determined, any additional Health checks are made (4dF + Health Attribute) to determine the exact consequences of the wound.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat.


I was thinking that it might be nice to have Stunned be a timer instead of a phase, as that would cause IT to skip those characters, right?

While I understand that each combatant could have a copy in both phases, it seems like that would be more time consuming to set up and be more confusing to look at, because everyone would be in every phase. It's pretty easy for me now to just drag and drop the winners in Step 2 down to the Resolve Actions phase.

One other thing that would be nice would be a way to check off the types of wounds received, because they each have a different effect on the combatant's actions.

Every 2 Flesh Wounds give a -1 to a combatants future actions.

A Serious Wound has a Good chance to stun the combatant, and it gives a -1 for every Serious Wound.

A Critical Wound has a Great chance to put the combatant into Dying status. Every Critical Wound is a -2 to combatants actions.

A Traumatic Wound has a Superb chance to kill the combatant instantly. A successful roll reduces the combatant to Dying status and carries a -3 for character actions.

All of these negative modifiers from wounds are cumulative.

Is there a way to include this in IT? If not, it's not really a big deal, although it would be nice if there was a way for it to automatically apply the negatives.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:02 pm 
I'm going to make some suggestions. These are just suggestions. The way you detailed will work just fine. These are just the things that I see making IT easier for you to use and less obtrusive to your game. If it doesn't pass those 2 tests then you won't want to use IT. If any of my assumptions are wrong tell me and we'll see if we can get it cleared up.

I'm assuming that the dead don't get any actions. Do the dying get them? I'm just guessing from the fact they are in their own phase that they do not. If that is true it might be best to add wait states for the dead and dying instead of phases. Then they can be skipped automatically. IT provides 2 default phases. One contains combatants who are not in any other phase called Other. This would be the perfect place to put your dead and dying since it makes sure they aren't in the Declare/Resolve phase. I might be able to make so that as soon as you set them in the dead or dying state they move directly to that phase. Of course this would only work if they are no longer considered part of a group.

If the stunned combatants aren't in a group and are not getting actions I suggest the same thing for them. This allows them to be skipped automatically. If you know how long they are stunned then you could use a timer and they could automatically become unstunned and re-enter the combat when the time expires.

The reason I suggest using the wait states for dead/dying/stunned is that is what they were designed for. You could have them automatically skipped. They would have different colors as well. But if you don't like the idea of using wait states for dead/dying/stunned and groupings I can add a new property for grouping that shows up on the index card and has a drop down to do the selection. This is almost as flexible as the wait states, but you don't get colors. If it is possible to use the wait states for dead, dying, and stunned you get the benefit of having special scripts run on each combatant for each state. This could do things like make saving throws (forgive my ignorance if your game doesn't have this concept) that make the stunned go back to ready for instance.

The reason I suggest using the IT Other phase is that a large number of phases can get confusing. It also requires a lot more work to be done by you since you have to switch the combatants around all the time. Given enough time we could automate that as well, but it would take longer.

Something that I need you to detail for me at a minimum are the attributes used to calculate Combat Savvy. I'll need to know the skills as well if there are any. Then we can work in the feats. If there is any other data that you would like on the index card you should include that as well. If you plan on using CT as a character sheet then I'll eventually need all of the character data that needs to be displayed detailed out.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:18 pm 
Yeah, I think I'm following you on this logic. That's why in my last post I mentioned the idea of using Timers for Stunned.

There isn't a hard and fast rule for the "dying" state. It basically means that the character will die if they don't get medical attention. I've been hesitant to quantify that much more because I don't want this system to get too complicated. If I find I need to quantify the Dying state, I will likely just give the character an amount of time that is relative to their Health Attribute to get medical attention or they die.

What would really help me would be if IT had a built-in way to set up combat groups. That way, I could use the Wait States for Stunned, Dying and Dead and have timers for each.

If I had a way to create combat groups, it would make the "Other" state much easier to use, as the combatants would be marked and it would be easy at a glance to tell what condition they have that put them in the Other category.

In regards to the rules of CinEpic; I'm typing up a PDF with the full rules that is pretty comprehensive, as I followed the format of the FUDGE Expanded Edition. I'm about a third of the way finished. I am also developing a digital character sheet. It's pretty simple right now, and I'm using Word because it's the only program that I know how to use well enough to design an editable character sheet.

I'll try to get a little further typing the rules out and get something to you in the next couple of days, along with the character sheet.

What type of functionality is the Initiative add-on in MT going to have in comparison to the stand alone program? And will the built in Initiative tracker in MT be able to use MT's dice rolls (or more specifically for me, table rolls) to simplify game management?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:06 pm 
thelevitator wrote:
There isn't a hard and fast rule for the "dying" state. It basically means that the character will die if they don't get medical attention. I've been hesitant to quantify that much more because I don't want this system to get too complicated. If I find I need to quantify the Dying state, I will likely just give the character an amount of time that is relative to their Health Attribute to get medical attention or they die.
The only question I think that I need answered is if the dying or stunned get to declare actions.

thelevitator wrote:
What would really help me would be if IT had a built-in way to set up combat groups. That way, I could use the Wait States for Stunned, Dying and Dead and have timers for each.

If I had a way to create combat groups, it would make the "Other" state much easier to use, as the combatants would be marked and it would be easy at a glance to tell what condition they have that put them in the Other category.
I have an idea on how to implement this. Let me try it out and get back to you.

thelevitator wrote:
In regards to the rules of CinEpic; I'm typing up a PDF with the full rules that is pretty comprehensive, as I followed the format of the FUDGE Expanded Edition. I'm about a third of the way finished. I am also developing a digital character sheet. It's pretty simple right now, and I'm using Word because it's the only program that I know how to use well enough to design an editable character sheet.

I'll try to get a little further typing the rules out and get something to you in the next couple of days, along with the character sheet.
That will be great!

thelevitator wrote:
What type of functionality is the Initiative add-on in MT going to have in comparison to the stand alone program? And will the built in Initiative tracker in MT be able to use MT's dice rolls (or more specifically for me, table rolls) to simplify game management?
It will be completely manual for MT 1.3. You arrange all of the tokens by hand. The two phase approach we're thinking about here would probably be pretty painful in that panel. You might be able to do something simpler though. I just don't know for sure, I've not seen it yet. Hopefully during the MT 1.4 development you will get IT running the panel for you. That is my plan anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:51 pm 
The only question I think that I need answered is if the dying or stunned get to declare actions.

I don't want to quantify these states too much for fear of rules bloat, but basically, a Stunned creature can move at half-speed and defend themselves, but that's about it. So no attacking or casting spells. A dying creature can't do much but beg for their lives or medical attention. I was thinking of keeping things symmetrical by keeping the same conditions as Stunned, except that the creature must make a Great Health check to move or defend themselves or they fall unconscious.

But yes, even though their choices are limited, they do get to declare actions as long as they are conscious.


I have an idea on how to implement this. Let me try it out and get back to you.


Awesome! That really seems to be my biggest obstacle with managing combat right now. It's the simultaneous rounds style of combat that makes the grouping necessary. Instead of just having PC's vs NPC's, you have several mini-battles taking place, as every roll is an opposed action. So the groups differentiate who is engaged with whom.

It will be completely manual for MT 1.3. You arrange all of the tokens by hand. The two phase approach we're thinking about here would probably be pretty painful in that panel. You might be able to do something simpler though. I just don't know for sure, I've not seen it yet. Hopefully during the MT 1.4 development you will get IT running the panel for you. That is my plan anyway.

I personally don't mind running two tools at the same time. In my 3.5 game, I run Maptools, DM Genie, Skype, and several other programs at the same time, so I'm used to that. Down the road, having it all connected would be cool, but the combat is so simple that it really doesn't require automation. If nothing else, it would be nice if the 2 programs just talked to each other, so that something you do in one program is updated in the other. MT has enough windows taking up real estate when you get going as it is, so I might actually prefer having IT as a separate, but connected program.

I'm really not that concerned with automation right now. This system is very easy to run, and the modifiers are so small that the math is easily doable on the fly. The only real benefit of automation for me would be to speed things up a little. My biggest concern is creating a "system" within IT that makes managing combat fairly easy in regards to creating combat groups and moving through the phases. If you come up with a way to easily apply combat groups, that will solve most of my organizational issues.

Thanks again for such quick replies, as I know you are really busy. :)

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