Friday, March 07, 2008

[IF-RPG] Fast-paced Combat

Another design goal for a tactical combat system is that combat always keeps a certain pace. What you want to avoid are situations where both sides have better defence than attack, that is, situations where damage is done only rarely and in small quantities. Once you've got that, you've a protracted and boring combat.

To solve this design problem, I have introduced something called deadly combat. It works as follows:

  • There is a global variable called the deadly combat number. This is 0 at the beginning of each combat.
  • Every round that no damage is done, the deadly combat number increases by 1. (To a maximum of 5.)
  • All combatants get the deadly combat number as a bonus to both to-hit rolls and damage rolls. Thus, if nobody has been hit for 2 rounds, everybody gets a +2 to-hit bonus and deals 2 extra damage.
  • If damage is dealt, the deadly combat number is reduced by 2 at the end of the turn. (To a minimum of 0.)
As far as I can judge now, this works quite well; it injects a natural tension mechanic into the fights, since they become more and more dangerous the longer nothing happens. (And it leads to new tactics as well, since you can attempt to get the deadly combat modifier up before you attack.)

There is also a skill called "deadlier combat" which, when activated, doubles all deadly combat damage bonuses.

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