Author Topic: Combat Action Points  (Read 2993 times)

Thanuir

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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2006, 10:47:41 AM »
A homebrew or two I did used AP. Here are some practical experiences:
They are extremely valuable. As in, the most valuable resource there is. In each and every game where there has been the ability to get more actions (of which I have heard), it has been the best option, rules-wise.
If you don't want this to happen you should be really careful.

10 APs per foe are far too much for the GM to handle. Seriously. Been there, given up doing that. You need either smaller numbers or a simplified rules-set for NPCs, or both. Writing numbers to paper in combat could make it possible to handle even the large numbers of AP, but I don't think they are worth the trouble.

beejazz

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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2006, 12:10:11 PM »
NPCs could just get fewer AP.
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snakefing

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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2006, 01:29:32 PM »
When dealing with creatures and NPC's, and actually with PC's as well, the easiest thing is usually just to set up a basic attack profile, with some amount of AP left over for generic actions.

When I was playtesting Ysgarth, a typical character had 25-35 AP depending on characteristics. Then you had to allocate AP for attack, dodge/parry defenses, spell casting, etc. The book-keeping was generally immense, but you avoided it my figuring your basic attack profile, and using that 95% of the time. Then if you wanted to reallocate AP to increase your damage or chance to hit, you could adjust from there. Even so, those adjustments where a serious interruption in game flow.

For an example, using CYMRO's numbers from the original post, a typical character uses 7 AP for a regular attack, with 3 AP left over for move, 5' step, drawing a weapon, drinking a potion, etc. Unused AP are just wasted...or perhaps there could be a rule to spend AP on AoO-type actions.

Even this can get a little hairy at times: So you are going up against a war dog (12 AP), with a bite/claw attack routine (2 unarmed/natural weapon attacks = 8 AP) and 4 AP left over for moving, etc. This works okay once engaged - just roll the two attacks and forget about AP. But if the dog has to chase someone down, move to engage, or anything else, then you have to account for the extra AP, what happens if it has to move more than 4 squares, etc. That's when it gets to be a pain for the DM (having to figure this out and adjust attacks on the fly).
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CYMRO

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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2006, 11:07:07 PM »
I like beejazz's 1 AP per square.
As far as size goes, in the short time span of a combat round, a halfling and a human can, in my view of fantasy pseudo-physiology, move at reasonably equal speed.  Now that dragon that was mentioned probably has a great wealth of experience, some of which the GM is sure to spend on increasing the APB.

Since I playtested using AP with only a few basic actions,I did not experience any difficulty running multiple encounters as regards bookkeeping.  For spells I have just used generic combat and heal and a few utility spells.  No difficulty with the bookkeeping there either.
The 10 AP limit gives early characters a slight disadvantage, since NPCs are on par, likely a bit better than they are, but that disadvantage can disappear quickly.

[blockquote=snakefing]When dealing with creatures and NPC's, and actually with PC's as well, the easiest thing is usually just to set up a basic attack profile, with some amount of AP left over for generic actions.[/blockquote]

That is how I did so many of our simulations.  We came up with a stable of characters with varying builds and reasonably (for many) rigid focus.  Then characters were thrown against random and not so random combos of baddies.  The first few rounds without healing skills were BRUTAL.

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For an example, using CYMRO's numbers from the original post, a typical character uses 7 AP for a regular attack, with 3 AP left over for move, 5' step, drawing a weapon, drinking a potion, etc. Unused AP are just wasted...or perhaps there could be a rule to spend AP on AoO-type actions.


I had pondered a roll-over plan.  Can you hear me now?


snakefing

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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2006, 09:40:35 AM »
1 AP per square seems nice but it is a bit problematic in some cases. Mostly, it doesn't scale well for creatures that are faster or slower. Adjusting AP to account for that would have the side effect of giving them more or fewer attacks.

One possibility is 1 AP cost per square up to your base move, then 2 AP per square. Maybe 1 AP per 2 squares for flying. That might work, although it still might not work well for particularly quick creatures.

Another possibility is to have AP cost vary by creature size: 3/2 for small, 1 for medium, 2 for large, etc. Half cost for flying, double for swimming (unless they have a natural swim speed, in which case normal).

I don't know. 1 AP per square is probably good enough for playtesting, but you'd really have to think about how to apply this to creatures like wolves, griffins, or dragons.
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Thanuir

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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2006, 01:49:20 PM »
Quote from: CYMRO ARBITER BRASSICI
Since I playtested using AP with only a few basic actions,I did not experience any difficulty running multiple encounters as regards bookkeeping.  For spells I have just used generic combat and heal and a few utility spells.  No difficulty with the bookkeeping there either.
The 10 AP limit gives early characters a slight disadvantage, since NPCs are on par, likely a bit better than they are, but that disadvantage can disappear quickly.
Fascinating.
Could you write a playtesting document, including the situations you used and the number of players involved, the characters involved, etc.?

beejazz

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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2006, 02:51:46 PM »
snake, You bring up a very very 1337 idea. 1/square up to base speed. Then 2/square.
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snakefing

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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2006, 03:07:51 PM »
Quote from: CYMRO ARBITER BRASSICI

I had pondered a roll-over plan.  Can you hear me now?


Ponder all you like. If you come up with something interesting, I'd love to see it. The problem with rollover is that it applies to pretty much everybody, and if you don't use it you'll put yourself at a disadvantage. As a result, it tends to really take over the process. But maybe there is a more creative approach that isn't too heavy on the bookkeeping.

But I was wondering if you were planning to use anything like attack of opportunity concept, and how that would play with AP? I'm not 100% sure that AoO adds a lot, but it can affect the tactics.
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beejazz

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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2006, 03:22:40 PM »
For "roll overs" I say points should last all round. You can use certain actions (parry. AoO) before or after your turn but never more than x per round.
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CYMRO

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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2006, 03:52:11 PM »
Quote from: snakefing

Quote from: CYMRO ARBITER BRASSICI

I had pondered a roll-over plan.  Can you hear me now?


Ponder all you like. If you come up with something interesting, I'd love to see it. The problem with rollover is that it applies to pretty much everybody, and if you don't use it you'll put yourself at a disadvantage. As a result, it tends to really take over the process. But maybe there is a more creative approach that isn't too heavy on the bookkeeping.

But I was wondering if you were planning to use anything like attack of opportunity concept, and how that would play with AP? I'm not 100% sure that AoO adds a lot, but it can affect the tactics.



In pondering roll-over, I thought it best to leave it as a PC only thing.  That would give the party an edge, actually being a balancing factor early when beginning characters are at  a disadvantage.
There is a bokkeeping factor, but any advantage in combat is worth that extra little bit, I think.  We shall see how it plays.


AoO are only available, so far, in a couple of different feats.  

CYMRO

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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2006, 04:01:27 PM »
Quote from: snakefing

1 AP per square seems nice but it is a bit problematic in some cases. Mostly, it doesn't scale well for creatures that are faster or slower. Adjusting AP to account for that would have the side effect of giving them more or fewer attacks.

One possibility is 1 AP cost per square up to your base move, then 2 AP per square. Maybe 1 AP per 2 squares for flying. That might work, although it still might not work well for particularly quick creatures.

Another possibility is to have AP cost vary by creature size: 3/2 for small, 1 for medium, 2 for large, etc. Half cost for flying, double for swimming (unless they have a natural swim speed, in which case normal).

I don't know. 1 AP per square is probably good enough for playtesting, but you'd really have to think about how to apply this to creatures like wolves, griffins, or dragons.



It seems 3 APs for your base speed, then 1AP for every five feet after that, is the most reasonable.

snakefing

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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2006, 10:43:31 PM »
Nothing much left to say, except I think that will work out pretty well overall. Makes base speed mean something, but allows extra AP to be useful. Let me know how it works out in playtesting.
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CYMRO

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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2006, 01:12:43 AM »
Quote from: Thanuir

Quote from: CYMRO ARBITER BRASSICI
Since I playtested using AP with only a few basic actions,I did not experience any difficulty running multiple encounters as regards bookkeeping.  For spells I have just used generic combat and heal and a few utility spells.  No difficulty with the bookkeeping there either.
The 10 AP limit gives early characters a slight disadvantage, since NPCs are on par, likely a bit better than they are, but that disadvantage can disappear quickly.
Fascinating.
Could you write a playtesting document, including the situations you used and the number of players involved, the characters involved, etc.?


Can do.