Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Design Journal: Combat Styles and Signature Moves

I have been working on my system for a very long time. Whenever I made a change I just wrote over what I had already written. I'm pretty sure I have lost some decent ideas this way. In the Design Journal posts, I will document the changes I am considering and any additions I make. This way I will have a log of my ideas and also gain input on the directions I take. First up, combat.
My current combat model looks a bit like this

4 Archery

3 Extended Range

Imp. Ranged Flank

Imp. Point-Blank Shot

Ranged Sneak Attack

Rapid Shot

1 Sharp Shooting


You buy ranks in a combat skill, such as archery, and that gets you a specialization point to spend on the sub-skills like rapid shot. The ranks you buy in a skill determines your BAB and the specializations are modifiers for your attacks.

I want to change over to a slightly different model. You still purchase ranks in the combat style and that determines your BAB. Instead of specializations, I want to use signature moves. It would look something like this


SM1: Sharp Shooter - negate 1 point of cover penalty
SM2: Additional Attack - make an additional primary attack with an AB of 2
SM3: Improved Aim - can shoot 15 feet beyond the range of the weapon without penalty
SM4: Tumbling Archer - can make attacks while tumbling up to 20 feet  at normal movement penalty

I like this model because it increases the character's overall effectiveness in combat and encourages customization. There is no set list to choose from, just a list of possible choices and guidelines for creating your own moves.

Moves would be bound by degree of effect, such as 1 point of penalty and 5ft for distance and movement. Moves should be about effects, not about increasing your attack bonus or damage. Negating specific types of penalties to attacks is acceptable, simply adding to your attack bonus is not. Of course, all moves are subject to GM approval.

There are multiple problems that I see with this. The first is that I will have to switch everything over to a penalty system such as:
Increased Range  -1/5ft
Rapid shot  -2/additional arrow

I do like this because I feel it is more realistic. Anybody can try anything but it is harder without training.  Unfortunately, I think it will complicate combat, which is something I do not want.

Also, in the skill system I am using, skills can get up to over 50. Having 50+ moves would be a pain to keep track of. I could say that instead of gaining a new move, you can improve the moves you already have or reduce the rate you can gain new moves to every other rank.

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