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  • Rules Questions About Combat

    I have a bunch of combat related questions. If you have answers, please reference the page and paragraph in the TC Core book so I can take a look.


    Is it me or is unarmed combat too deadly? In fact, aside from some weapons that have the Deadly and Aggravated tags that affect healing and first aid, it seems that any weapon or 'weapon' can cause an injury condition every time it connects as long as it can trigger the Inflict Damage stunt (essentially free on unarmored targets, which is most of the time). So it seems like no matter the weapon, it's the same. A simple punch hurts just as much as taking a bullet from a 9mm, and the same number of hits from both can leave a target taken out with broken bones and bleeding in their gut.

    Am I missing something or does this seem ... off? Please tell me I'm missing something. It really doesn't make sense in my head. I've been reading and rereading the combat section and am struggling to find special rules concerning unarmed strikes.

    Concerning extra actions, the way I'm reading it is you can declare any number of actions up to your Cunning score, but can then split the successes between those actions, and can exclude those actions you don't want to devote successes to if you don't have them to spare. So for example, let's say you want to shoot three unarmored mooks, each with Defense 1, but only roll two successes (including Enhancements) total. Does this mean you can shoot two of the mooks and miss the third? Or is this an all or nothing situation where you either hit all three or miss all three? I'm pretty confident it's the former, but I want to be certain.

    Defending is confusing.Standard Defense is 1. But it also says a character can choose to defend by rolling a resilience attribute (how does one determine which one is appropriate?). So is defending a reflexive action? It so, I imagine that means you can defend from attacks as many times per round as your Cunning minus actions already taken that round? And by round, this means from top to bottom of initiative order and not until start of your next turn? Am I interpreting this correctly? Mind you, it also says that the defensive Stunt lasts until the end of the round ... so does this instead mean that she only needs to use one of her actions once and then applies to every single attack levied against her for the rest of the round? That whole paragraph is a mess.

    First Aid is confusing me as well. It says you can downgrade a condition to a lower level one once per scene. First off, it's safe to assume that someone would always take a lower level condition, if available, when taking an injury. So someone in good health and taking an injury would pretty much defacto take a Bruised one, because voluntarily taking a worse injury would be stupid unless forced into it. So the only situation where this would make sense is if during one scene, a doc patches up a Bruised injury, and then the following scene would try and downgrade an Injured condition to bring it down to Bruised. Am I reading this right? This also implies that a medic can patch up a broken leg so that it heals on its own in two days? This seems more pulp than real, but maybe that's the idea here? Also, it says each injury can be downgraded once ... but what happens if you fail the First Aid roll? Can you keep trying again in subsequent scenes or is the character forced to keep that injury condition until it heals on it's own?

    Thanks, everyone! I have no doubt I'll have further questions down the line as Storypath, while certainly cinematic, is pretty damn complex ... and this is coming from someone with decades of experience with both WOD and COD Storyteller system games.

  • #2
    Your questions are very good and common to be honest. It’s a new system with a different approach on the way combat works. The idea is to simulate action movies, where a hero can put down a bully with a single good punch as well as would with a weapon, it’s cinematic, it’s not trying to be realistic.

    On the punch lethality, yes and no. The same way a good punch can be as lethal as a shot, a leather jacket is an armor that works against punches. The idea is that a punch would cause damage but would not kill the target, just knock out, while a shot would kill if it’s what the GM wants. You can add some tags that are particularly legal specially when combined, Quality 3 and Brutal gives you a free second injury, for example, same for Two handed + Heavy + Brutal (it’s 3 injury per hit).

    Defending is confusing because we are expecting to use dexterity to dodge, while they use Stamina (or other more relevant Resilience attribute). The sequence is: the first time you are targeted in a round you roll defense as a reflexive action (Core page 105 for the stunts), your defense becomes 1 + the number of times the Dodge stunt was bought until the end of the round. You could also dive for cover or try to get away from the weapon reach, for example, instead of dodging. You roll defense only once per round and as all reflexive actions you have no real limit of how many you can do in a round and it don’t affect the other actions in the round. EXCEPT IF you go full defensive, in this case you double the defense dice but give up on your actions.

    First aid is confusing too due to the way injuries work, and yes, you CAN chose to take a worse damage, but I never see it happening. The limit of removed is 1, but you could remove 1 and downgrade another, so if you have 2 bruises and 1 injured, you would remove 1 bruised and reduce 1, but you would need 5 successes (2 to remove one and 3 more to reduce the other). That is the way I read it, not official.
    About multiple tries, yes, you can try again until you finally remove that single condition, as long it’s in the same scene the injury happened. Tracking the original condition of each injury is annoying if you want to reduce multiple times in multiple scenes, so I just forbid it to happen, you can only treat new injuries.

    The system is new and it has enough differences to WoD and CoD to make it new, mainly in the way injuries are handled (at least that’s the one that pops up in every game).
    I made a set of house rules that make combat a bit less narrative. You may like. The book in in my signature, but you can find most of the material in old posts in the forum.


    House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
    Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
    Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

    Comment


    • #3
      Taken Out doesn't necessarily mean your body is close to death. It means you can't fight any more. Being knocked out by a punch is just as Taken Out as being shot in the face as far as combat is concerned. Yes, one results in a possible concussion, and the other results in probable death, but both mean you can't fight, so you're Taken Out.

      Your read of the multiple action rules is correct.

      For the resilience stat, you roll the most narratively appropriate stat. Is the character attempting to rely their physical toughness to not let the attack bother them (Stamina,) are they going to hold their ground until the last second and then dodge out of the way once their opponent is committed (Composure,) or are they going to ignore the pain from their wounds and continue on (Resolve?) It makes little sense to describe your Defense roll in any way other than to use your highest resilience stat; so I just tell my players to roll their highest for Defense.

      Here's how Defense works:
      1. Someone attacks the character.
      2. The player rolls Defense.
      3. They spend successes from that roll however they want. Any successes spent on the Dodge stunt increase their Defense for the round.
      4. Outcome of attack is applied.
      5. Any other attacks are against the Defense calculated in step 3. Outcomes applied as normal.
      6. Round ends, and Defense resets.

      As for armor, I actually find it very odd to not have armor involved in combats. Even a leather jacket counts as armor. Bulletproof clothing is not out of style for a TC modern game. Also, there is an edge (Tough Cookie) which gives you a constant point of soft armor.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, folks.

        Even if taken out doesn't mean dead, how do you deal with the consequences? Someone will most certainly fill up all their injury conditions before being taken out, which means being knocked unconscious in a fist fight means *weeks* of recovery from the Maimed and Injured conditions. This is the part that doesn't make sense to me.

        Regarding Defense, is the reference to burning an action to reroll your resilience stat on a subsequent attack just there to allow you to reroll in case you got a poor defense roll originally? Also, given that the second defense roll explicitly talks about using an action, does that mean the original defense roll (the first in the round) also needs to burn one of your actions (based on Cunning) that round? This is the part that's confusing to me because of how that whole paragraph is worded.

        Comment


        • #5
          On the recovering time, I suggest you use the idea from WoD, the same way some injuries takes longer and more successes to recover, Some may take shorter and requires less successes. You would have Bashing, Lethal, Deadly and Aggravated injuries. Bashing damage is caused by fists and non lethal weapons, maybe worth a negative tag to the weapon. It would take less time to recover and less successes to heal.

          A character may want to spend her action in the round to take a full Defense. To do this, roll the char- acter’s (Defense pool x 2). Each success increases the Difficulty required to inflict Injury, or may be split among other Defensive Stunts (including any Defensive Stunts granted by Edges). This is an ordinary action, and may not be part of a mixed action.
          If you burn your action you roll the double of dice (not roll again) and it’s a ordinary action that can’t be mixed with other actions. If it’s not the part you are talking about, just point me and maybe I can help better.


          House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
          Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
          Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KarlB View Post

            Even if taken out doesn't mean dead, how do you deal with the consequences? Someone will most certainly fill up all their injury conditions before being taken out, which means being knocked unconscious in a fist fight means *weeks* of recovery from the Maimed and Injured conditions. This is the part that doesn't make sense to me.
            I look at it two ways. First, if you are beaten into to the point all of your injury conditions are filled, you've taken a hell of a beating. You're not just knocked out. You've probably gotten broken ribs, a broken nose or wrist, and possibly a concussion. That's going to take a lot of time to heal. Second, if the player chooses to fill all of their injury conditions, they're making the choice for a potentially lengthy recovery. Skipping one or two conditions would speed up their recovery significantly. That's the trade-off they're making if they want to keep fighting. Sometimes it is advantageous to get Taken Out quickly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, but it still feels off that taking a few punches causes as much damage as taking a few bullets, know what I mean? That's the part I find beyond odd. I mean, boxers are hard hitting as hell, but knocked out opponents don't typically leave a match with severe long lasting damage like they would if they'd taken several bullets to the gut. I feel I might need to house rule recovery times here.

              By the way, the Defense question I was asking about relates to this line: "If she is attacked again in the round, she can choose to give up her action to reset her Defense by rolling again, but she must keep the new result". This is different from the full defense part in the paragraph below it. Also, the whole 'give up her action' bit is a confusing here since that's the same cost as the full defense option below it.

              Why do I get a sense there really should be an official errata somewhere?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KarlB View Post
                Yeah, but it still feels off that taking a few punches causes as much damage as taking a few bullets, know what I mean?
                It may feel a bit backwards, but you determine the effect/power/danger of the attack when you choose the injury condition. The attack roll, other than getting enough successes to inflict an injury condition, has no effect on how much damage the attack does. The type of weapon has no effect on the damage, other than giving you enhancements to make it easier to inflict an injury condition or critical hit. So, if I punch you and cause a Bruised injury condition or shoot you and cause a Bruised injury condition, they both have the same effect. So, I punched you in the eye, causing you to take a 1 point complication to sight-based rolls. Or, I shot you and grazed your forehead, causing blood to drip into your eyes, causing you to take a +1 complication to sight-based rolls. Both of those should take about the same amount of time to heal. Both are successful attacks which caused a Bruised injury condition. It's a bit of a mental shift from other games where the roll determines the damage.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And there is a small mechanical return for taking a worse injury condition than you need to. It gives you a bigger complication, which stands a better chance of giving you momentum. So, if you're momentum starved, taking a worse injury condition can help.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That part doesn't bother me. Bruised is bruised. I'm referring more to the idea of taking Injured and Maimed conditions. Boxers typically take A LOT of hits in a bout, and only the most unlucky end up with broken bones or internal bleeding. Plus, it seems odd you can seriously mess someone up equally by taking four punches like you would taking four bullets.

                    I don't mind abstract combat systems. I'm a fan of FATE after all. But even FATE offers options for different damage levels based on weapon. Plus FATE has stress boxes to soak up damage before physical consequences become a thing. In Storypath, if you get hit and you have no armor (as most do not in a street fight), each punch that connects can and will cause potential egregious long lasting injury.

                    Here's a house rule I'd come up with: Each injury condition from unarmed attacks is healed back at the rate of an injury type one level lower. So a Maimed condition would heal up as if it were an Injured condition instead. Bruised injuries would heal up at the end of the current scene. Same action penalties still apply, so a Maimed injury would still cause a -4 penalty to any actions involving the affected body part.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KarlB View Post
                      That part doesn't bother me. Bruised is bruised. I'm referring more to the idea of taking Injured and Maimed conditions. Boxers typically take A LOT of hits in a bout, and only the most unlucky end up with broken bones or internal bleeding.
                      Because mechanically, the player chose to be Taken Out before they got much past Bruised conditions.

                      Plus, it seems odd you can seriously mess someone up equally by taking four punches like you would taking four bullets.
                      Each attack is not necessarily a single punch or single bullet. Your attack roll models a series of attacks, some of which may injure your opponent. So, it might take you three punches, two kicks, and a headbutt to give your opponent a Bruised injury condition with your attack roll, while it might take three shots to cause one Bruised injury condition by hitting them with one bullet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Also, you can use Conditions, for example, the attack can cause a stun condition or a increase in the difficulty of keeping standing.

                        Last Sunday we had a very strange event where two players (Talents) were avoiding direct attacks against a Psiad, and only one (a really capable fighter), trying to effectively hit her. The other two were trying to cause conditions to improve the fighter chances of win using Talent powers and stunts and shooting her to distract. I am now thinking about a more flexible way to deal with this situations causing conditions to the Target that may last longer or shorter depending on the situation.


                        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In my Aeon game, the players use the Feint stunt a lot to pass extra enhancements to the next character to help them out. It has let the less combat-capable character inflict injuries, and it really fits the unity theme.

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                          • #14
                            That is one of the things we used, but the other was trying to distract with the shots for example, causing conditions. They end up using the Goku Power (Damn, I respect you Gift) to create a bound, and they end up resolving the situation without a deadly end (actually she turned them against their agency... but ok).


                            House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                            Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                            Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You can also just cause straight-up complications with a complicate stunt. That's the group's third favorite use of successes after Inflict Injury and Feint.

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