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Author Topic: CALL FOR PROPOSAL: Action Points  (Read 14891 times)
zenbitz
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« on: April 09, 2009, 05:23:37 PM »

So, I am working on the combat system... other than the wiki, it's currently a half-dozen pages scrawed on my (paper) notebook).  When it gets more coherent I will post it.  My version does not use action points (see the wiki), but I think that an alternate "action point" based system should be considered.

However, since I don't really LIKE action points, I am probably not the best person for the job.  The only games I played that used them were FO 1/2... and I thought it had rather poor simulation value and mediocre game value.

Here is my summary of what an AP system for actions in a turn-based game would look like:

1) All Characters are ordered by some "speed" stat, fastest moves first in a turn.  One turn per character
2) There are no "compound" actions; all actions are atomic and use up "N" action points.
3) All characters have a pool of "M" action points, and they do things which subtract from this pool.  The pool *may* be expanded by certain external resources (e.g., drugs, perks).  When character is out of action points, his turn ends and the next characters' begins.
4) Left over action points act as some kind of passive "dodge bonus" defense
5) Each AP can be used to move ~1 square, movement and fighting actions can be freely mixed.

What is missing: 
Can APs be saved from turn to turn? (Fallout did not allow this).
Some sort of "interrupt" or "overwatch" mechanism whereby someone who acts early  in the turn can reserve his action to act in the middle of someone elses' turn.  Someone said JA did this, but I never played it.


So, if you like this type of system, please flesh out - or at least sign off on the above as what you think it means.

 
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Sirren
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2009, 04:07:05 PM »

Yep JA2 did this (based upon experience level and agility I think) , along with X-com: Apocalypse (based upon speed attribute. I don't know about other chapters of the X-Com series). It's kinda interesting imho... It makes combat more tactical by adding a touch of unpredictability. It does not make combat easier. I remeber a kind of snake-worm in Apocalypse which was fast enough to seek and take shelter AFTER a high velocity bullet was fired...
Anyway, the point is this mechanics brakes the "My turn-Your turn" rule. You can overcome overpowered foes and at the same time it forces you to improvise becouse your long-planned action went in pieces out of the blue.
This is also something to be carefully balanced becouse the "trap in a foe's turn" trick can be abused.
As far as I'm concerned it's a classy touch anyway.
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shevegen
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 02:34:42 AM »

Quote
Can APs be saved from turn to turn? (Fallout did not allow this).

I think this should be possible. But capped. Lets just pull out a number.

Say a character has 16 Action Points / turn. He can store 4 action points at max for next
round if he does NOTHING, so next turn he has 20 action points. If he still does nothing, he will again have 20 action points.

Perhaps this is too much, could be toned down to 18 action points.

APs could be saved from turn to turn, but with big restriction and to only a small effect. This could "simulate" that the actor patiently waited before he starts to do something specifically.

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zenbitz
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 06:23:49 AM »

I still think action points are stupid and of little use.  Unless you are trying to simulate a world where some people are 2-3 or more times faster than a normal person (superheroes, magic creatures)
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 09:54:26 PM »

There has to be some kind of time quantization IMO.
So one way is to have AP,
another way is to have timed events and "Initiative" or "speed" based order (like in ADOM - all things takes one action, very few takes more - eating is a common example),
you can divide actions into smaller time "atoms" or "quants", even have real value for it, and have things more like realtime, when aiming a crossbow takes 20 "time atoms" minus 2 x speed.
one more way you will see in Scorched Earth - all actions within one turn are made in the same moment. Shooting with crossbow, pistol, shotgun, stabbing with knife - all takes roughly the same time. So it might be as well.
Anyone remembers Shadowrun RPG? Can we make "homage" to their idea?

I'm also not so well with AP system - like it is in Fallout. Probably deadly hard to implement, never liked it - when you're fast, your're much too deadly. It looks reliable, but it don't tastes good. Shadowrun mechanics are not so holywood-ish, but implementing it in reasonable way may be fresh idea in cRPG.




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shevegen
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 10:35:10 PM »

I actually liked the Fallout AP, even though I agree that speed was a lot more important than i.e. strength, which was kinda bad (especially with the boost in strength because of the power suit)
But I dont mind either way. If there is an initiative-based combat round sequence, then it should be slightly random (as in shadowrun) - there is NOTHING worse than knowing for 100% certain that you will be the guy who always acts first in a round.

Thought actually we could try out both AP and initiative/speed approaches and look from there on. We need stats and skills first IMHO before a combat round can happen at all.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 12:44:10 AM »

This may shock you, but I have thought of this:

http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposals:Combat_System#Turn_Sequencing

My argument is essentially:  Why bother with action points, just give each actor 1 action/per round.  Most 'combat' actions take roughly the same amount of time - 1/2 to 1s (except: multi-turn actions, which you should be able to be interrupted in anyway).
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2009, 09:43:34 AM »

Shadowrun proposes in fact little bit different mechanics:
You in fact have "1 action per turn".
You have the pool of dices - quantity depends of your skill (shooting, speed), maybe also gun you use. So this is rather like shooting 6 bullets in one moment.
You divide the pool between active attack (quantity of bullets) and active defense (how much attention you put into hiding and paring).
Attack threshold (did you hit your enemy?) depends of obstacles.
Defense threshold (dodge?) depends of eg. armor you have.
Damage depends of weapon you use x success with attack dices.

There are also two kinds of damage - one related to be pierced with bullets or slashed, other - to be hit with a bat or crushed.

I was playing in the Shadowrun something like 10 years ago, I don't remember exactly what goes where, so its rather like an overview of how "one AP" mechanics may evolve. The Shadowrun mechanics were developed with fast, gang-like shooting & magic fights in mind. Maybe there will be some person more with more detail memorized.

It may be implemented similar to what you refer as the Plotted Actions.
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shevegen
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 05:57:49 PM »

Strange, I remember shadowrun differently.

You had that iniative roll. If you scored for example 31, you could act at round 31, 21, 11 and 1, thus had 4 actions in one combat round. I think a combat round took 3 seconds, so guys with high speed had clearly a huge advantage.

I am unawared of any attack or defence splitup though.
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 06:55:09 PM »

I have really foggy and selective memory, so I might be wrong. And with fourth edition there was some major change in mechanics so we can remember two slightly different games in fact.

I'm pretty sure however there was two kind of damage done - and two different armor characteristics to protect from it, so you can eg. easily harm guy in kevlar suit using club.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 08:12:35 PM »

I don't think a dice pool mechanic makes much sense for a computer game.
I don't remember Shadowrun rules, although I remember kind of hating the game.

The concept of splitting attack and defense effort might be useful... but it's hard to reconcile with a turn-based cRPG where each action is sort of "atomic" (i.e,. not representing an abstract sequence of attacks/defense, but rather each action is a single and defined action (shoot a bullet, throw a punch, move to X, duck behind thing)

As I have said many times....adapting PnP RPG mechanics to computers makes no sense at all...they are just NOT trying to solve the same kind of game play issues and have totally different parameters.   although the concepts involved might be equally valid.
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laclongquan
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 01:50:12 PM »

Combat is serious buzinezz. Dont let realism prevent you in the way of a fun combat.

That said, a JA2 system is workable. It's fun, it's been used many times before, People know how it works,  it got a huge fanbase. Those are very good points to consider using them.

What is the objections from what people posted above? Realism, that's what, and only that. Nothing concrete.

If it work, why fix it?
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 02:37:07 PM »

There  are two good reasons: we only clone things when necessary, and we can make it better (plus we will have fun doing it)
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dracre
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 06:30:19 PM »

There  are two good reasons: we only clone things when necessary, and we can make it better (plus we will have fun doing it)

I seriously doubt that. Didn't you suggest that we shouldn't even have lighting ?
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Gaspard
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 07:13:05 PM »

There  are two good reasons: we only clone things when necessary, and we can make it better (plus we will have fun doing it)

I seriously doubt that. Didn't you suggest that we shouldn't even have lighting ?

how is lighting related to action points, or combat ?
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