[D&D 2097e] Remapping diegesis, mimesis and all kinds of sis

Rafu said:

If there’s one thing I’m not super into, it’s how - as the binary hit/miss outcome of attack rolls is now decoupled from modeling a specific fictional act - it makes the two-step process of making an attack roll followed by a separate damage roll on a hit sound even more redundant than ever.

I agree that this is a problem; it makes the difference between rolling over vs under AC almost completely meaningless in the SIS. It’s not the only problem with my proposal but that’s a big one.

Rafu said:

I’d personally be much happier houseruling all damage to flat, fixed numbers, perhaps adjusted up or down for high or low margins on attack rolls.

I can’t change that much or it’s no longer 5e; if I were to allow myself to make such changes I would’ve made them even more radical. But, as a thought experiment of doing what you propose (make a change bigger than I can do but smaller than I’d want to do) I’d rather house rule away the to-hit-roll, since that’s not really differentiated between classes, whereas damage is; fighters get more attacks, thieves get extra damage on sneak attack etc.

Like, if attacks are (unpredictably large) ticks on “death clock” until it’s time to strike, why this two-step process? Why so many zero rounds? 0, 0, 8, 0, 12, 23, 24, 0, 0, 4, 23… so weird. And, if that’s what I wanted, I could do that more easily by having a damage threshold; i.e. damage is counted as “max(0, roll-DT)”. The DT could even be different for each pair of combatants, from some formula or table of defensive power vs offensive power. I don’t know… or maybe I wouldn’t make it a “death clock” mechanic at all, I’d resolve fights in some other way completely. More akin to the War Machine system in the Rule Cyclopedia; take fortune at the end to its extreme: put a bunch a factors in (through a narrative & interesting process full of description & detail & interaction back and forth between SIS and rules) and then one roll to see who lives or dies, and if the survivor is left with any wounds.

But… back to 5e:

Sorry to be such a mindless follower / misinterpreter of @lumpley but… I think the solution might be to find out better mappings of “dice” events to “cloud” events, and I’m hopeful since I stumbled on the idea of providing a “do you kill her?” prompt outside the normal turn order.

If we could find semantics for the “hits” vs “misses” that isn’t wounding/killing; such as “staggered”, “shocked”, etc… uh… I’m not good at coming up with good things. Not to add rules consequences to those semantics beyond what’s currently there: HP loss.

Yeah, that’s what this is… me trying to keep the game’s original mechanics but changing the mapping between ‘dice’ and ‘cloud’. Not sure I’m doing a great job…

to start over; and unmap everything… here is the components we have here by the drawing board.

Dice events

  • Spending actions
  • Making attacks
  • Making many attacks (fighter)
  • Making attacks with high damage (rogue)
  • Rolling under the enemy’s AC
  • Rolling high or low damage
  • Rolling a natural 20
  • Enemy dies
  • Self dies

Cloud events

  • Time passes
  • Making attacks
  • Making many attacks (fighter)
  • Making focused and “particular” attacks (rogue)
  • Enemy is unfazed
  • Enemy is rattled
  • Enemy is wounded
  • Enemy dies
  • Self is wounded
  • Self dies

Overloaded / troublesome words

  • Hit
  • Miss
  • Damage

I haven’t pitched my “Oh, Injury!” suggestion (posted above) to the group yet; and next session is probably going to be on on Saturday (our scheduled main day is Tuesday the 14th but we were talking about putting in some extra sessions on Saturday and Monday). So we still have some time to fix this.

The introduction of a new “prompt” seems great; such prompts are great tools for more control over the granularity (whether we want to tune it to be finer or coarser) of the mapping without messing with the turn order. The equivalent of “how do you want to do this?” in Critical Role. The introduction of a wound threshold, if I end up going that direction, is a bigger intrusion, especially with the Fate inspired “one time use of advantage” idea.

We can see right away that what we have in those two lists, “Dice events” and “Cloud events”, don’t map up well;
it’s difficult to describe the dice events in a clear and interesting way and that isn’t inconsistent from player to player.

Ideally I’d want a carrot (how about a translucent dangling carrot) that affords/conveys a good mapping; the “wound” prompt bonus (adv/disadv) was my first attempt at that.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the mapping that I originally proposed, it just has to be a mapping (of the existing mechanics, we can’t stop playing D&D in the middle of the campaign) to something that does make more sense in the SIS.

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Comments

  • Here is Oh, Injury! and Rafu's response.
  • edited May 7

    Reading the relevant chapter in Anima Prime rn. I found a 2011 CC edition of the game.

    Edit: Yeah, I want a similar flow; it’s all maneuvering until the final couple of strikes.

    Their design tools aren’t the best; for example, reading the section on “Maneuver Descriptions”: rules for how you can and cannot describe. “Correct description” is something that I want the game to create rather than rely on.

    Unfortunately, we can’t be too high&mighty about that since we only have even weaker design tools available so far. We don’t even have a separate move list of maneuvering moves vs striking moves. (That kind of toolset was kind of what I wanted to build with my “aiming points” proposal.)

    So, rolling up the metaphorical sleeve here a bit… in “Oh, Injury!” every move (made within the normal action econ is a maneuvering move. The special prompts afford you wounding or killing moves.

    Obv that leaves us with a couple of problems. And now folx it’s time to drown in the sweet sorrow of me thinking as I type:

    How to build vocab

    to read the existing 5e moveset as well as the outcomes from that moveset as “maneuvering”.

    What even is the vocab?

    If I as DM don’t know what words to use when describing the various moves and outcomes, it’s hard to then convey that to the other participants in the group.

    One toolset is to reserve words like “hurt”, “wound” [unfortunately “damage” is already overloaded], “kill” etc for the wounding and the killing moves.

    But what are some ideas for the maneuvering moveset and maneuvering outcomes?

    Maneuvering moveset vocab

    • Aim
    • Look for a window
    • Start up a blast
    • Reach for the dark power
    • Parry
    • Our swords clang

    …. such paucity…. need more…?!

    Maneuvering outcome vocab

    • Staggered
    • Gasp
    • Unfazed
    • Laughs
    • Shocked
    • Worn down
    • Desperate
    • Cries out

    …kinda still need more…

    And for both of these I need both Swedish and English names because I run groups in both languages.

    How is the vocab conveyed?

    What is the avenues of imparting / conveying / affording use of this vocab?

    Here are some ideas, not sure any of them are good enough, but…

    DM describes…?

    This might work well for the outcome vocab but not sure how to apply it to the moveset vocab.

    Clear differentiation…?

    This was the idea behind the killing prompts (in starlit nights). This might be the most powerful tool.

    Rewards…?

    Cruel violent brutality is its own reward but at the wound prompt there’s also the one-time-grant of advantage or halving of speed. Not sure that’s great; there has already been concern from the players that the hobo side has become too OP (and die too seldomly) from the house rules. Otoh we had two more character deaths last Saturday so maybe it’s fine…

  • edited May 7
    I've got these stolen maneuvers and modifiers you can scavenge from :
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YWTR1SiBzYvYU5iRTXKnCo0PjNLoaw1X/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lT5vQ-aHEPJ-zI9aSO_YXjIuZ2NEmK4B/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fA2EvMVvtMsJKSf93AOjPl90UJVvHdjz/view?usp=sharing
    Also, "building momentum".

    I like the way you analyze this. The real work for me seems to lie there :
    - the words you must make do with : Hit, Miss, Damage. These can not change, it's a strain on the players to not misuse them.
    - the new system you want those to plug into : maneuver, apply effect.

    The thing I'd say is to find a nice "apply effect" vocab that sounds decisive : "the Go", "going for it" (?)

    Maneuver and outcomes will be deducted from that. All that is not "hit, miss, damage, apply effect", is bond to be maneuvering. It is fluff in a way, but no less important, because it is also fictional positioning. It is also a place for player mastery. Each table can then fix what term goes with what fictional effect, according to their tastes (disarms a plenty, realistic utilitarian feel, left for dead or dead for sure, or whatever). This seems so obvious to me I must have misunderstood your intent.

    Now personally, I feel "the window of opportunity" is close to how I would live a combat. Only I wouldn't wait for it, but rather provoke it (si vis pacem).

    If the new system has only maneuver and apply effect, it's OK. What I fear is that 5e already has a bazillion of disarms, parry, and shenaniganesque maneuvers and effects that will trouble the broth on top of it all.

  • PS before I forget, I should change the wound threshold for monsters to be half HP, for four reasons:

    • Continuity with 4E
    • Same value regardless if you count HP down (subtracting from max) or up (adding up damage taken)
    • Possible to calculate even when HD aren’t listed
    • and above all: it’s what the 5e DMG apparently does recommend. It’s on p 248. Not with a “impose advantage” option, though, that variant would still have to be “on the house”…
    DeReel said:

    the words you must make do with : Hit, Miss, Damage. These can not change, it’s a strain on the players to not misuse them.

    Yes, I certainly can’t try to overwrite or override those words. Best to just ignore them, to work around them as if they were an infected, still sore, wound♥

    DeReel said:

    The thing I’d say is to find a nice “apply effect” vocab that sounds decisive : “the Go”, “going for it” (?)

    I hope you’re right; a clear, unambiguous & evocative prompt. If killing & wounding becomes rewarding, then, as you say:

    DeReel said:

    Maneuver and outcomes will be deducted from that. All that is not “hit, miss, damage, apply effect”, is bond to be maneuvering.

    Yes, that’s the hope. Still, if I have some example vocab to crib from, both for maneuvering or outcomes, that’s a great start. I can start describing these things better.

    DeReel said:

    It is fluff in a way, but no less important, because it is also fictional positioning. It is also a place for player mastery. Each table can then fix what term goes with what fictional effect, according to their tastes (disarms a plenty, realistic utilitarian feel, left for dead or dead for sure, or whatever). […] If the new system has only maneuver and apply effect, it’s OK. What I fear is that 5e already has a bazillion of disarms, parry, and shenaniganesque maneuvers and effects that will trouble the broth on top of it all.

    It does have a handfull; which means I can’t use your lists straight up; however, those 5e maneuvers seems simple & effective when I read about them. We don’t use them much; If the maneuvering transcends fluff into full-on fictional positioning and that transcendence in turns leads to increased use of these maneuvers, that’d be an amazing serving of gravy.

    Here are some that see use in our game every night:

    • Attack
    • Dodge
    • Help
    • Equip/Unequip
    • Opportunity attack

    Here are some that see use more rarely; once a month or so (extra-diegetically)

    • Hide
    • Disengage
    • Dash
    • Grapple
    • Shove

    Here are some that see use very seldomly

    • Disarm

    Disarms are cool, if that could happen more that would be great.

    (You make an attack roll vs strexterity instead of AC. Disad if both hands or if they are larger than you; adv if you are larger. If you win, they drop their weapon.)

    Mixing these options in with the basic “maneuvering” (a.ka. trying to wound, kill or subdue the enemy) seems great.

    DeReel said:

    This seems so obvious to me I must have misunderstood your intent.

    I’ve just learned the hard way that when a design seems to “obviously” have a particular outcome that is seldom the case once the actual fan hits the “play” button.

    In this case, the problem is… I want things like fireballs, archery, lightning bolts, axe chops etc to be described as “maneuvering”. That’s a pretty tall order without a drastically changed vocab.

    Like, I’d want:

    [after a fireball’s dex saves are rolled]
    “OK, you can kill three of them”
    “I unleash the burning power of…” etc etc

  • I don't know why, the spells seem to be much more "unique" in their effects, harder to align on a hit x HP grid.
  • Right? That's why this isn't that easy, and why maybe this idea isn't the right track.

    Like, Ray of Frost. OK, they are slowed right away but the ice doesn't hurt them? Or it does, later? uh
  • edited May 7
    Maybe there is a way of converting a spell in HP currency ("threat level" or something), so that the Ice ray could be used to frame an opponent the same way a martial maneuver would (substracting HP). That is totally what a "generic system" would do. That means one more number prepared on the sheet.
    With this abstraction in place, only in applying the effect would the nature of the attack matter. So that naming the proper effect (I chop him with my axe, pound her with my club, freeze it with my ray, etc.) could be enough to communicate the time when the player wishes to apply the effect.

    I don't know about D&D mechanics, maneuvering may not be as straight forward as piling up attacks. I suspect you need it because HP can go obscenely high. Maybe find a precedent in D&D literature, maybe try with finer increments, maybe tolerate 3 misses before the player can't add anymore to the attack - so that missed rolls add to the dramaturgy of the fight. By all means, make the maneuvers benefit from teamwork. Maybe have a different system for ordinary skirmish and for boss fight.
  • D&D has always had this weird confusion/duality about what hit points mean: on one hand, it's an abstract "death clock", but, at the same time, it's supposed to represent physical toughness (e.g. wizards and small creatures have fewer hit points). This means that hitting someone with a bigger knife causes more "damage", but hitting someone with a poisoned knife means they make a saving throw or suffer a condition.

    That's always going to cause problems, in my opinion, when aiming for a consistent handling of how this maps to the fiction. (As you point out yourself, the to-hit roll doesn't necessarily mean that anyone was hit or missed - a "miss" could be a strike that "didn't matter", especially when it missed because of heavy armour being worn, and a "hit" could be a missed blow that caused them to lose their balance... and the same goes for a damage roll - it could mean anything, with a rolled "1" killing your opponent and a rolled "32" just rattling them for a moment.)

    One issue with your approach here is that there are, quite simply, fewer "blows landing" in this new revised vision of D&D combat. Most D&D groups take the opposite approach, where each successful attack roll IS some kind of strike that lands, making D&D combat much more like a superhero fight than like a lightsaber duel. It seems that you're going for the latter, instead.

    That means that all your enemies will feel like swift, skilled, hard-to-hit combatants, instead of like "tanks", and that doesn't always match what the game is trying to represent or recreate. That could be bad for drama, as well - I think of Boromir's death scene in The Lord of the Rings, for example: that kind of moment would never happen under this interpretation of the rules.

    Since I know you watch Critical Role, I think it's a good example of what a "every blow lands" interpretation of D&D looks like. Sometimes the mounting injuries can get a little unrealistic, but it's dramatic and memorable, as well.

    What, in your mind, is the main drawback of this more "typical" interpretation of "mounting injuries"?

    Another potential issue is a stance mismatch - for me, for instance, I wouldn't enjoy casting fireball and then choosing which three enemies die. It's anti-gloracular (to use your favourite term ;) ), choosing instead of finding out.

    I really like the "wound threshold + temporary condition" effect; that's nice. It will give the players another advantage in fights, though, as you suggest. But that's a nice effect, and gives some depth to gameplay and the imagined fiction, which I dig.
  • Paul_T said:

    What, in your mind, is the main drawback of this more “typical” interpretation of “mounting injuries”?

    I don’t like that specific kind of violence; the bloody stab after bloody stab kind. I like the swashbuckler “clang-clang-clang-touché” style or the chambara “stare-stare-stare-chop” style.

    It may also be the case that I hadn’t really understood it. I haven’t watched Critical Role that carefully, I kinda have a hard time paying attention #adhd2097 I knew that they had a “how do you want to do this?” prompt which kind of inspired me here. But I’ve missed that they did the “every hit is bloody” interpretation. Does that apply to the player character’s as well? Every hit a roll on the lingering injuries table… I could be convinced #cruella

    Where HDYWTDT promotes “overkill” and gore, since it’s the culmination of blow after bloody blow, I’d want something that just promotes “kill”.

    Instead of describing the monster’s brutal demise I’ve been saying “OK, that’s enough” or “OK, she goes down” or “OK, that’s 0 hp” or (most often) “OK, that’s… 233 xp each”; our fights have been very veiled. I want to pull that veil back juuuuust enough.

    Paul_T said:

    Another potential issue is a stance mismatch - for me, for instance, I wouldn’t enjoy casting fireball and then choosing which three enemies die. It’s anti-gloracular (to use your favourite term ;) ), choosing instead of finding out.

    There might’ve been a misunderstanding. You can’t choose to kill whenever. You can choose to kill at specific prompts. In the Fireball example, three of the enemies would have (determined by the gloracle) gone to 0 hp. That triggers the prompt so that you may kill them. Or am I misunderstanding you?

    Paul_T said:

    I really like the “wound threshold + temporary condition” effect; that’s nice. It will give the players another advantage in fights, though, as you suggest. But that’s a nice effect, and gives some depth to gameplay and the imagined fiction, which I dig.

    Yes, it’s an affordance mechanic first of all. Instead of going “guys, please describe your fights like so and so”, I want to create a new mechanic. Over at Giant ITP I got lots of good advice but I disagreed with their overall sentiment, which was “You can’t change player behavior through mechanics”. I have the complete opposite philosophy; “You can’t blame player behavior when it has emerged from engaging with the mechanics”.

    And I’ve had some success and some failures with that, notable successes include our mechanics for scheduling games or our inventory sheets, and failures include our insp hacks, which is what I’m going to back to the drawing board to work some more on today.

  • edited May 10
    2097 said:

    Paul_T said:

    What, in your mind, is the main drawback of this more “typical” interpretation of “mounting injuries”?

    I don’t like that specific kind of violence; the bloody stab after bloody stab kind. I like the swashbuckler “clang-clang-clang-touché” style or the chambara “stare-stare-stare-chop” style.

    It may also be the case that I hadn’t really understood it. I haven’t watched Critical Role that carefully

    Indeed, in Critical Role (as in most D&D games I've seen), every "hit" is considered a "hit" in the fiction, as well. Mercer tends to grimance and grunt when portraying the monsters, adding sound effects, describing gruesome wounds, and so forth. You would get the sense of it after 5-10 mins of watching a combat, if you want to see what I mean.

    That works well for most people, but it's quite different stylistically from what you're describing. Not an obvious puzzle!
    2097 said:

    Paul_T said:

    Another potential issue is a stance mismatch - for me, for instance, I wouldn’t enjoy casting fireball and then choosing which three enemies die. It’s anti-gloracular (to use your favourite term ;) ), choosing instead of finding out.

    There might’ve been a misunderstanding. You can’t choose to kill whenever. You can choose to kill at specific prompts. In the Fireball example, three of the enemies would have (determined by the gloracle) gone to 0 hp. That triggers the prompt so that you may kill them. Or am I misunderstanding you?

    True - that's why I said it's only a "potential" issue. It might not come up very often, depending on how you want to handle it!

    (In other words, I understand your intent in outlining the rules, it just runs the risk of feeling different in play, especially if I'm imagining swinging my sword at the monster's neck, then roll well enough to wound it, and my friend says, "Hey, it would be great to halve its movement rate right now...", so I end up trying to re-envision the whole scene so that I'm swinging at its leg. It's a subtle effect, though, maybe not bothersome for you.)
    2097 said:

    Paul_T said:

    I really like the “wound threshold + temporary condition” effect; that’s nice. It will give the players another advantage in fights, though, as you suggest. But that’s a nice effect, and gives some depth to gameplay and the imagined fiction, which I dig.

    Yes, it’s an affordance mechanic first of all. Instead of going “guys, please describe your fights like so and so”, I want to create a new mechanic. Over at Giant ITP I got lots of good advice but I disagreed with their overall sentiment, which was “You can’t change player behavior through mechanics”. I have the complete opposite philosophy; “You can’t blame player behavior when it has emerged from engaging with the mechanics”.

    And I’ve had some success and some failures with that, notable successes include our mechanics for scheduling games or our inventory sheets, and failures include our insp hacks, which is what I’m going to back to the drawing board to work some more on today.

    First of all, have you written about your mechanics for scheduling games? I'd love to see that! Always a challenge to get people together. :)

    Second, you might want to reread my HP rule in your "fainting buffer" thread; they handle the specifics of HP and injury - exactly the way you suggest, with mostly misses and parries until the target gets down to their last quarter or so hit points - quite nicely, I think, and the fiction is always crystal clear.
  • edited May 8

    (Some misformated quotes there, Paul!)

    Paul_T said:

    Indeed, in Critical Role (as in most D&D games I’ve seen), every “hit” is considered a “hit” in the fiction, as well. Mercer tends to grimance and grunt when portraying the monsters, adding sound effects, describing gruesome wounds, and so forth. You would get the sense of it after 5-10 mins of watching a combat, if you want to see what I mean.

    That works well for most people, but it’s quite different stylistically from what you’re describing. Not an obvious puzzle!

    Maybe that’s better. Although, in the other thread, Rafu pointed me towards Anima Prime and that was exactly what I had been trying for. Now, whether that is good or bad, or whether that style of fighting actually works or is satisfying, I don’t know. Both the rewriting of the Inspiration rules and the Oh, Injury! subsystem are untested!

    Paul_T said:

    In other words, I understand your intent in outlining the rules, it just runs the risk of feeling different in play, especially if I’m imagining swinging my sword at the monster’s neck, then roll well enough to wound it, and my friend says, “Hey, it would be great to halve its movement rate right now…”, so I end up trying to re-envision the whole scene so that I’m swinging at its leg. It’s a subtle effect, though, maybe not bothersome for you.

    If that was your take away from the rules I need to do some rewriting because that was not the intended flow.

    Step one: you are maneuvering. parrying, shield bashing, clang clang clang, stare stare stare. swings at necks if that’s what you wish but those are getting parried.

    Step two: AND THEN! The life-changing magic of reaching the wound threshold!

    Step three: Let’s say you want to halve the movement rate! Time for a new swing, at leg this time!

    So let’s go through your example again, step by step:

    Paul_T said:

    I’m imagining swinging my sword at the monster’s neck,

    All well and good, maneuvering away! This part is still in within the normal “action econ” of the game.

    Paul_T said:

    then roll well enough to wound it,

    TUTTURU-RU-RURU-RU!!! Fanfares! Jouez hautbois, résonnez musettes!

    Paul_T said:

    and my friend says, “Hey, it would be great to halve its movement rate right now…”,

    All well and good rn!

    Paul_T said:

    so I end up trying to re-envision the whole scene so that

    I’m swinging at its leg.

    No need to re-envision! Instead, make a new chop! THIS IS YOUR TIME TO CHOP! it doesn’t cost any extra actions, reactions, bonus actions etc. Hurting and killing is beyond time and space; You’ve already paid the actions through your maneuvering and thus have created a window of opportunity which you can then seize.

    Paul_T said:

    It’s a subtle effect, though, maybe not bothersome for you.

    Oh, it’s super bothersome; solving kind of issue is the entire raison d’être for this subsystem. If it doesn’t address these problems then there’s no point to it.

    Paul_T said:

    you might want to reread my HP rule in your “fainting buffer” thread; they handle the specifics of HP and injury - exactly the way you suggest, with mostly misses and parries until the target gets down to their last quarter or so hit points - quite nicely, I think, and the fiction is always crystal clear.

    Huh, I now realize that I had it backwards. In your system, you spend HP to “parry” things. I thought you were proposing something similar to Fate (or for that matter, the “shields shall be splintered” rule (which we don’t use)); where you take consequences in order to avoid taking HP loss. (Which does feel off to me and is one of the bigger flaws of Fate; you take diegetic injuries in the cloud / SIS in order to avoid lowering an abstract number on your character sheet.)

    My apologies, Paul; I think your idea has real merit, much more than I thought when I had it backwards.

  • edited May 8
    Ah, great! Yeah, we’re on the same page. (And I’ll come back to fix those quotes, thanks and sorry!) In the case of my suggested rule, not spending HP means you’re hit and you die, so you’d never WANT to do that; it happens only once you’re outmaneuvered.

    The tiny tiny tiny issue I’m describing with these rules here is just what they used to call an IIEE thing back at the Forge - where does the dice roll happen relative to narration?

    I’d have to train myself not to fully imagine the action my character is taking until after I’ve rolled to hit and damage, right? Not a huge deal at all, but just slightly different than all the more “Fortune at the End” rules in D&D.

    Or am I misunderstanding? It seems to me that I go “I roll to hit”, then roll damage, and the GM informs me that I hit well enough to wound, so NOW I decide that I’m chopping its leg.

    D&D has other rules that work this way, too, and sometimes I might have been imagining the swing just the way I wanted before I rolled, anyway. So it’s not a big deal at all. However, all of these rules for ammo expenditure and such tend to shift this dynamic in this very subtle way.

    In comparison, other games with the “maneuver-maneuver-maneuver-strike” tend to have you decide WHEN you want to go for the strike before rolling the dice. That feels more like the character’s perspective to me, although admittedly it’s hardly that different. The other approach is to have the defender tell you whether you hit them or not (like in Dogs in the Vineyard), which is smooth and cool, and that’s what I was borrowing for my optional rule. (In this case I ALWAYS imagine my character swinging to kill, and the defender tells me if my blow lands or not, based on their remaining ability to get out of the way.)

    I very much agree with your critique of FATE; it’s a similar subtle thing which might not matter to some people but could make a difference to others. This thread has made me realize why I also feel a little funny about the “shields be splintered” rules sometimes, so thank you for that!
  • Or am I misunderstanding? It seems to me that I go “I roll to hit”, then roll damage, and the GM informs me that I hit well enough to wound, so NOW I decide that I’m chopping its leg.
    As I understand it... not quite like that. It's "Yes, And". You bludgeon your enemy "rolling to-hit", you do damage, the GM informs you that you hit well enough to wound so you get a free new extra bonus-plus action right now which you spend to do one of several things, so now you follow up your bludgeoning with chopping its leg while it's off balance so that it becomes slowed.
  • Ah, yeah. That’s a good way to reconceptualize it - a sort of extra bonus action. It still “feels” funny to me, in a D&D context, but that’s better. It might feel more in line with the other rules, perhaps, if it was written to be similar to the “coup de grace” rules:

    “When you have an enemy at your mercy for a moment, you can choose to wound them for free. When you have an enemy completely at your mercy, you can deal a deadly blow, making them suffer a missed death check automatically.”

    “An enemy who drops below their wound threshold is temporarily at the mercy of their attacker, due to being forced back or being thrown off guard.”

    Or something with better wording, but bundled like that for consistency.

    I kind of like the implication that you could let a teammate take the free action, instead, perhaps.
  • Yes, please use IIEE terms to discuss this, that’s what I was using to design it.

    In the more formal write-up I wrote for my home group I wrote “While you can grapple and shove and disarm and dodge and disengage the enemies to your heart’s content, there is no way to hurt or harm or kill them within the normal action economy system. Instead, there are two specific windows or prompts to do so.”

    I liked Anima’s division of maneuvering & striking, thank you Rafu, they were a big help, but I didn’t like their phrasing “you cannot describe whether you injure the individual with your action”, I instead wanted to use a more intradiegetic wording: “you can’t harm them”. The monsters are wiley pretties, they are hard to harm unless you manage to get in place . That’s when you can strike!

    Paul_T said:

    I’d have to train myself not to fully imagine the action my character is taking until after I’ve rolled to hit and damage, right?

    I’m not sure if you’re getting it or not; and if you are misunderstanding, how I should edit the rules to make them clearer.

    When you are fighting you should imagine things. If you wish. Maneuvering attacks. Chops, parries, clang-clang-clang or stare-stare-stare. You are rolling, sometimes HP goes down, sometimes not.

    Then sometimes you have an opportunity to strike! Then you imagine a NEW swing. This time, there definitely is a window!

    I mean, maybe this is stupid; I feel so dumb; I already posted and then retracted the “aim points” rules on our website and I held off on posting these but now I have and if they end up not being good either I’m like… uh… I suck as a designer :bawling: otoh, abt

    Paul_T said:

    Not a huge deal at all, but just slightly different than all the more “Fortune at the End” rules in D&D.

    Yeah. I think maybe that’s the big “unselling” point here. I go so much against the grain of how D&D sometimes has been interpreted. My short-lived “aim point” rules from the other day at least had that going for it; they were more compatible with the “meat point” take on D&D.

    Paul_T said:

    Or am I misunderstanding? It seems to me that I go “I roll to hit”, then roll damage, and the GM informs me that I hit well enough to wound, so NOW I decide that I’m chopping its leg.

    Is the word “roll to hit” tripping you up?

    Paul_T said:

    In comparison, other games with the “maneuver-maneuver-maneuver-strike” tend to have you decide WHEN you want to go for the strike before rolling the dice.

    You’re right, that’d be more Fortune at the End; I really really love Fortune at the End so this is an uphill battle for me rn.

    That was something I really loved with the “aim points”, it was really push your luck in that regard.

    Here, it’s… you can decide to hurt or not hurt, if you manage to get to the wound threshold window, and you can decide to kill or not, if you manage to get to the zero hp window.

    You get one chance at each (or less)… I can argue for that but I’m doing my design a disservice if I’m arguing for it instead of listening to criticism and fixing it.

    Paul_T said:

    That feels more like the character’s perspective to me, although admittedly it’s hardly that different. The other approach is to have the defender tell you whether you hit them or not (like in Dogs in the Vineyard), which is smooth and cool, and that’s what I was borrowing for my optional rule.

    In this case I ALWAYS imagine my character swinging to kill, and the defender tells me if my blow lands or not, based on their remaining ability to get out of the way.

    Maybe that’s more in line with how it works. You don’t murder them once, you murder them 30 times, it’s just that it doesn’t stick the first 29 times because they block or parry or dodge.

    Otoh… we are imagining a kind of a special case right now. If you were imagining chopping at neck, why did you have to switch to chopping at legs? You can chop at the neck and hurt the monster there and choose an effect that’s appropriate for it. Adv attacking it again as it’s so scared, adv defending against it since it strikes more weakly b/c bleeding from the neck, halved speed as it staggers from the blood loss, or the fourth option I added when I did the formal write up for my group, trigger a morale roll for the creature (unless undead, contruct or similar).

    There’s nothing saying you HAVE to switch, it’s just that you CAN switch. If it’s easier to see it as a new chop.

  • Yes, I can see making a "new bonus attack" is a way to reframe this. That might get weird with one-shot attacks (e.g. spells and missile weapons), although your "hold your aim" rules solve that somewhat.

    Anyway, it makes sense. It requires some really intense "re-training" for anyone familiar with D&D ("rolling to hit" is now "maneuvering for a death blow" and "when they reach 0 hit points, you get to make a free attack against them which automatically succeeds, but we DON'T roll for damage on this one", and so forth), but it's something I could imagine using. My guess is that people will be resistant to it, but who knows! ABT, as you like to say. ;)
  • For me it leads right into these other options from Torch Bearer : Capture, Drive Off.
  • Paul_T said:

    It requires some really intense “re-training” for anyone familiar with D&D (“rolling to hit” is now “maneuvering for a death blow” and “when they reach 0 hit points, you get to make a free attack against them which automatically succeeds, but we DON’T roll for damage on this one”, and so forth), but it’s something I could imagine using. My guess is that people will be resistant to it, but who knows! ABT, as you like to say. ;)

    I fear you’re right, I don’t have high hopes for this one (but ABT).

    I like the underlying idea of the “spend HP (or ‘parry points’) to parry” idea, but I haven’t understood it completely yet.

    Do you determine the desired, uh, target-area before you swing, then swing against it, then you either whiff or ping with the roll vs AC, and then if you do connect they can still parry/dodge by paying HP?

    There’s still some weird tautology in there that I haven’t really sorted out.

    In “Oh, Injury!”, you may still be CLANG CLANG CLANG hard, killing hits. They’re just parried [just as in the pay HP system!] until the window, which you can describe as the follow-through of the hit that created the window, or a new separate blow.

    The words HP (“hit point” is fine, but in some game it means “health point” and that can be confusing), “hit”, “miss” and “damage” are problems here. They are pre-existing mappings (hey, I accidentally back to the topic of the thread, not that I don’t love thread drift), weak & veiled & diegetically confusing & bad & vestigial mappings, but existing mappings none-the-less. “Oh, Injury!” has to not use those words.

    On the third hand, do I really need to make this kinda change? Our super-veiled, described-in-terms-of-numbers-and-actions combat have worked fine. A fight takes around four to ten minutes usually. Just because I’m so enamored with Silmenume’s style (and/or I feel threatened by Cary for the position of “world’s best DM”. I mean, a distant second is still a threat), does that mean I have to throw out all the brevity we’ve been enjoying?

    (Honestly, if I were to make a system from scratch I’d throw out HP or ticks in BitD or dispo in Torchbearer. I don’t really see the point of empty “pacing” rounds. I’d do something like you roll 4dF too see if you hit. If you did and rolled a ++++ you kill them, otherwise you inflict one wound for each blank (meaning that the fewer plusses you need to hit the higher the chance to succeed with blanks) and wounds are always both diegetic&mechanic with a list of wound options for specific weapons. But then I remember the point of HP in D&D, which is that fate (we have no fate but the fate is given us), verily, sheer legend protects you. (The figher → hero → superhero progression in D&D’s predecessors.) If I remove HP you can just get ganked out of the blue and that’s not good!

    DeReel said:

    For me it leads right into these other options from Torch Bearer : Capture, Drive Off.

    Yes; capture is an explicit option here at the “You can kill it” prompt and “Drive off” is what will happen if the monster fails it’s morale roll at the “Do you wound it?” step. I should change it so that the monster has to make that roll at disad. The average chance of a non-undead/non-construct monster in the 5e SRD to make its morale roll (which means it keeps fighting) is 64% (I.e. selecting the “drive off” reward whiffs most of the time). With disadv, it’s 41%; still not great… but maybe making it easier than that to drive them off would leave 5e RAW too much. This is an additional morale roll outside the normal one.

    Maybe I should add “drive off” as an option at the “You can kill it” prompt. Not sure what that might mean.

    The difference in Torchbearer between “Drive Off” and “Kill” is more metanarrative than what I’m going for. You use the same dispo, attack, and feint for both types of conflicts, it’s just the defend & maneuver are different and ofc the outcome is way different. It’s that weird hybrid of task- & conflict- resolution that Torchbearer has. Not into it! (I use the “clarity” time scale zooming model instead. We look at things in the timescale that’s necessary in order to Find Out.)

  • 2097 said:

    I like the underlying idea of the “spend HP (or ‘parry points’) to parry” idea, but I haven’t understood it completely yet.

    The basic idea is simple:

    The attacker makes a threatening move against the defender. The damage (measured in points) tells us how hard it is to avoid.

    The defender now must decide what to do. They have to spend hit points if they don't want to die.

    The way they spend them determines what happens in the fiction - they get hit but avoid most of the damage, they block/parry, or they daintily step out of the way.

    This is my favourite part: tremendous clarity! We know exactly what to imagine and how that impacts the strategy and the fiction for the next move.

    You say, "I swing at your head! 2 damage!". I say, "Ha! Easy. I spend 4 points, ducking and stepping to the side - I have advantage on my next attack now."

    But later in the fight, , you roll better (and I have few hit points left), so you say, "I swing at your head again, but this time I've got the measure of you! 12 damage!"

    That's bad for me - I only have 8 hit points left, so I can't block or avoid. But I can say, "I'll spend half that to take a minor injury - you leave a bleeding gash across my neck that will need tending later, and now I'm off-balance, at disadvantage, as I give ground." (All those things get interesting - if I'm at the edge of a cliff, maybe it means I fall off, hoping the fall won't kill me as surely as your sword. Or if your sword had some magic ability or poison, that would have been the wrong choice - it's a "soul stealing" sword, so it touching me activates that power, for instance.)

    But even if I don't fall off a cliff or have my soul sucked out, I'm in trouble - I only have 4 points left, so the next time you attack me for 8 or more points, I'm dead. This time you'll chop my head off (or whatever 0 hp means at our particular table).

    Does that help?
    2097 said:

    Do you determine the desired, uh, target-area before you swing, then swing against it, then you either whiff or ping with the roll vs AC, and then if you do connect they can still parry/dodge by paying HP?

    There’s still some weird tautology in there that I haven’t really sorted out.

    Oh, I think you have - it's right here, below. (But the target area doesn't matter - it's just colour, since this is D&D. But we can chat about for fun fight choreography - "I swing at you, for 8 points!" - "Ooh, I think I can block that. Are you swinging down low, or coming down from above, like this?")

    Anyway, the weirdness:
    2097 said:

    I don’t really see the point of empty “pacing” rounds.

    D&D has this weird thing built-in where rolling to hit and rolling to damage is pretty redundant. So when you and I try to monkey with the process, it comes to the forefront: why are we bothering with a procedure which tends to create pointless/eventless empty "pacing" rounds?

    It has to do with hit points serving double duty as a pacing mechanic and as "meat points" (representing physical injury). Ugh.

    I think a good modern game shouldn't have that issue, but if we're working with D&D, we have to grapple with that. In both mine and your alternate suggested rules, we get this redundancy and some pointless rolling, because of the underlying D&D chassis.

    You remember my "resist harm" move for Dungeon World? The idea was to have the same dynamic but without needing damage numbers for the attack - the idea is that it would be a similar dynamic, but with just a declaration of the attack/damage and then the roll/spend. (I never got to try it in a real game, though.)
    2097 said:

    I’d do something like you roll 4dF too see if you hit. If you did and rolled a ++++ you kill them, otherwise you inflict one wound for each blank (meaning that the fewer plusses you need to hit the higher the chance to succeed with blanks) and wounds are always both diegetic&mechanic with a list of wound options for specific weapons. But then I remember the point of HP in D&D, which is that fate (we have no fate but the fate is given us), verily, sheer legend protects you. (The figher → hero → superhero progression in D&D’s predecessors.) If I remove HP you can just get ganked out of the blue and that’s not good!

    Yeah! I like that with the Fudge dice - elegant. But you'd still have pacing rounds when you missed, wouldn't you? Probably best in an opposed-roll-winner-hits-loser kind of setup.

    As for HP preventing you from being immediately ganked, that's true, but there are many other ways to do it! I got into a discussion with Vincent Baker once about how Apocalypse World needed to have hit points to give the PCs a "free hit" before they went down. So I designed a hit point-less system which still preserves that effect:

    http://ihousenews.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/63408904/Apocalypse harm.pdf
    2097 said:

    I feel threatened by Cary for the position of “world’s best DM”. I mean, a distant second is still a threat

    You are just on fire lately! Thanks for making me laugh. :D


  • So one of my design observations that I need to re-remember, maybe it’s not a big problem re this or maybe it needs some adjustment, but it’s the “clarity” principle: we tend to zoom in / out to whatever timescale, level of detail, level of description that’s the necessary to give us the answer strictly need. That’s also why combat sometimes isn’t descriptive and instead is just numbers talk and rolling. (Which isn’t wholly a bad thing; it’s much faster & less gruesome.)

    (I realize that you also used the word “clarity” below for something else, that’s not tripping me up though, I can keep it sorted.)

    Paul_T said:

    The basic idea is simple:

    The attacker makes a threatening move against the defender. The damage (measured in points) tells us how hard it is to avoid.

    The defender now must decide what to do. They have to spend hit points if they don’t want to die.

    I also realize that even with the system I proposed (“Oh, Injury!”), spending hit points" can be a good way to sometimes phrase it. In case the player slips away from the “aim” talk. “I shoot the vampire, 4 damage!” “She has resistance to your arrows; so she only has to spends two hit points to grab that arrow and snap it in half.”

    (The fact that I accidentally chose a monster with a resistance makes me realize that this is a good way to explain resistances, immunities, vulnerabilities. “He is immune to your sword so he doesn’t even blink as it claaangs against his metal body.”)

    Paul_T said:

    This is my favourite part: tremendous clarity! We know exactly what to imagine and how that impacts the strategy and the fiction for the next move.

    OK; so some good things with your proposal:

    • defender need to hear the description of the attack in order to be able to choose their response (this could be jacked up by the attacks having slightly different effect)
    • obv I’m really into the idea of HP being described as a resource. very similar to the Magic cardgame which our group also plays a lot. In it, you start with 20 life; just like D&D it’s a mix of meat point & mind points & maneuverability; in fact, spending HP is one of the only ways you yourself physically can fight. “I attack with four 3/3 mammoths” “I have a 4/4 boar… so you must have a trick up your sleeve, I’ll rather spend 12 to take the mammoths on myself, than risk my precious boar”
    • what I really love with this take is that high HP is another vector for competence, just like high AC is. Instead of “OK, you are staggered for 15 hp”, you can pay 15 hp to parry/avoid/clang etc.

    Some bad things:

    • I don’t like the “haha you miss easily” double point spend; I want heroes and monsters to be competent; I want them to be able to feint & be patient & perceptive & then… STRIKE!
    • one of the things you’re saying, Paul, is “You can choose to take an injury to halve the amount of HP you lose that round”, this bings us back to splintered shields & stress-track consequences, which we didn’t really want, remember? (and yes, just like in those games, I get that you’d only do this when you more or less have to [if the injuries are harsh enough])
    • unless we have a co-DM, there’s no way to find out what the monsters would choose
    • the “spend various amounts of points” moves pretty far from the RAW / “balance”
    • when they have 4 and you deal 8, they go to zero; they’re not really spending anything; I get that in your game “they died with 4hp remaining” which isn’t wrong but requires a lot of tweaks to dying&deathsaving rules over here [not unpossible, but listed among the cons]
    Paul_T said:

    All those things get interesting - if I’m at the edge of a cliff, maybe it means I fall off, hoping the fall won’t kill me as surely as your sword. Or if your sword had some magic ability or poison, that would have been the wrong choice

    So two comments here:

    We don’t want this decision (“cliff or sword”? or “there is no cliff here… what can I come up with to justify getting injured w/o taking a sword hit…”) to be a point of freezing you up, analysing your best options a la fitm; you are chopped so get chopped! overall we want speed, speed, speed! Any system that increases the amount of descriptive detail is necessarily going to add minutes to the fight; but we’d rather those minutes were spent talking action than hemming&hawing&thinking&choosing.

    That is a very different take on poison;
    in my current system the poison adds to the HP cost of avoiding those attacks. (And a con save can get you out of that payment.)

    Paul_T said:

    it’s a “soul stealing” sword, so it touching me activates that power, for instance.

    Normal soul stealing swords in 5e worx like this:

    if they crit against someone with 100 hp or less, they have to con save (dc 15) or die (unless they are construct or undead)

    Paul_T said:

    Does that help?

    Thank you.

    OK, so one of my orig purps with this was that

    The heroes look dorky going for the lethal swing and the monster just laughs it off.

    Therefore I wanted to give them the option to maneuver/aim etc at their enemies at least some of the time.

    “I feint, and circle the skeleton, looking for an opening; hit for 14 damage!” ← [ideally the words “hit” and “damage” would both be different]
    “Oh you can kill it!”
    “OK I smash it to bits with my mace and roar ‘Anyone else in this Tymora-forsaken mudhole want to take on Threegar the conqueror?!’”

    Paul_T said:

    But the target area doesn’t matter - it’s just colour, since this is D&D.

    But we can make it matter to give the IIEE some teeth. Hence “the apply one of these four effects” thing.

    (I’m gonna remove the morale choice and bring it back to three; it doesn’t make sense that players choose how the monsters react.)

    Paul_T said:

    Yeah! I like that with the Fudge dice - elegant. But you’d still have pacing rounds when you missed, wouldn’t you? Probably best in an opposed-roll-winner-hits-loser kind of setup.

    You’re right, that system fails in that regard.

    I just realized that that’s why conflict-level resolutions have explicit intent; you need to say beforehand “this fight is gonna be until one of us is dead” or w/e and then roll off to see what happens. In other words, in a task-level resolution system, which we want since we want to avoid having to have intent stated, we need to accept “empty rounds”.

    Paul_T said:

    You are just on fire lately! Thanks for making me laugh. :D

    Hey, up at 5 every morning to spend hours and hours to read & write & run sims, all to improve rules & procedures isn’t nothing.
    And at this level it’s suuuper tiny gains for a lot of work b/c diminishing returns.

    (Work that other DMs can benefit from, if I, uh, if ever make something readable & usable. Which I have, sometimes; like the character sheets that ended up pretty good.)

  • I still have two days to tinker & tweak until next playtest, Tuesday, but just as a snapshot of where the work-in-progress stands this second:

    • No spending double or half as per Paul’s system.
    • HP is lost/spent according to the normal resistances & vulnerabilities in 5e
    • As per “Oh, Injury!”, but HP-loss can be described as spending HP to negate the attack
    • If being able to inflict wound effects is the carrot,
    • having the HP spend negation reflect the attack in the SIS is the stick.

    Maneuver, be careful, aim, look for or create openings, and then you are rewarded with opportunities to bring the ever-lovin’ ruckus. Chop wildly & prematurely and the monsters will spend HP to counter.

    uh
    I just thought of something.

    This is something I can start doing:

    “Alice, the four tomb dwarves has their crossbows aimed right at you, what do you do?”
    “I shoot one of them!”
    “You don’t try to defend yourself? Roll a lingering injury as the arrows fly toward you.”

    I can’t believe I never realized this before in my past attempts to look at AW/DW. Inflict harm! #cruella

    “Alice, the four tomb dwarves has their crossbows aimed right at you, what do you do?”
    “Oh, I hold up my shield!”
    “Make eight defense rolls DC 14, six damage each”
    “I made three of the rolls, but I can afford six”
    “You see that the arrows glisten of poison; there’s also a con save DC 10 for 1d4.”
    “I made the save”
    “OK, they’re holding steady but they don’t see a window past your shield, what do you do?”

    “Alice, the tomb dwarves has that crossbow aimed right at you, what do you do?”
    “Oh, I hold up my shield!”
    “Make eight defense rolls DC 14, six damage”
    “Eight? They have multiattack? I’m definitely dodging.” [taking the Dodge action]
    “They see that they can’t get a clear shot in and shift their bows over to you, Bob. What do you do?” [DM turned to Bob]

    Also, when the players prematurely attack someone that has “first strike” on them, I need to start going:

    “I attack the Full Metal Frankenstein with my short sword!”
    “Oh, he’s definitely ready for you, Alice, swiping your sword to the side and pulling his fist back; you’re staring right into his white knucks, what do you do?”

    (without the player even getting to make an attack roll, don’t worry, my “keeping track of the action econ” system will ensure that the player will get to make all the attacks [and other actions] that are due to them.)

    Cary my hero♥♥♥

    This is gonna be awesome

    And all of this makes “maneuvering” and “aiming” super valuable in the SIS. Uh, as “super” valuable as something can be while having zero mechanical impact or zero impact on the outcome of the conflict as a whole. Only how it’s colored. Which, uh… bringing it back to the first paragraph of this post might mean that it starts to fall away :bawling:
    We’ll see!

    Btw here is the “maneuvering” take on the exact same action exchange:

    “I’m eying that Full Metal Frankenstein, trying to circle him”
    “In the flickering light of Bob’s lantern it’s pretty clear to you, Alice, that he’ll smash you to bits if you even come close; what do you do?”

    Exact same mechanical outcome: the player will have to defend before attacking [at the same numbers&consequences]; but the second hobo comes across as as cool, calculating, controlled, where the first hobo came across as making a mistake.

    Hold on, it’s not the exact same mechanical outcome; it’s better; because if Bob joins up and they go over there together and Bob has control over where the lantern shines, they can get in the first swing! (It’s possible that they come up with that plan in either scenario #playerskill or it’s possible that they even with the second narration don’t come up with the plan, but the second narration makes it slightly more likely, rewarding them for “maneuvering”.

    That wasn’t even me trying for that intentionally. That’s just the life-changing magic of fictional positioning in the sis.

    I really haven’t been taking advantage of the “action counting” to the extent that I could!

  • edited May 12
    What if you get defeated on 0 hp instead of getting killed and you can avoid defeat by opting for wounds / disadvantages?
  • Going over some of Sil's logs again and a lot of the description is coming from the DM. "You do this, you do that — roll a 20 sided" "10 natural" "OK, this and that happens and then you do this, you do that"

    The cave wall ideal would be the player saying "I do this, I do that" "roll a 20 sided" "10 natural" ok, this and that happens, what do you do?" "I do this, I do that"
  • edited May 12
    hamnacb said:

    What if you get defeated on 0 hp instead of getting killed and you can avoid defeat by opting for wounds / disadvantages

    avoid defeat? What kind of fitmery is this…? hamnacb darl they need to be defeated!
    w/ my system they get defeated and get wounds!
  • "bringing it back to the first paragraph of this post might mean that it starts to fall away"
    Or maybe it's just that it's wriggling into place.
  • Yeah, testing will tell which
  • 2097 said:

    Going over some of Sil's logs again and a lot of the description is coming from the DM. "You do this, you do that — roll a 20 sided" "10 natural" "OK, this and that happens and then you do this, you do that"

    I’m not sure why this is in this thread, but I just want to chime in to say that I agree with this observation 100%.

  • It's in this thread because the point of the remapping is to make fighting more narrative. Felt like I had a super breakthrough this morning with the "uh, I just thought of something"

    I must've spent 3½ hours on that one post, this one: part one part two
    (writing, deleting, writing, deleting etc) my mind was all over the place but I've gone from "yeah I've got a bad feeling about this one" to "I can't wait for game night!!!"
  • I think Sil's threads are about talking about Sil's game more respectfully and here I'm like… me, yes me, do I want to burn? Is there really something that I can learn?
  • Not that I want to talk about Sil's game disrespecfully here or anywhere, I don't!

    Just that I'm in my watchmaker's workshop, having all the gears spread out on the dark navy velvet cloth, trying to see if I can put my old watch together in a way that makes it at least 20% cooler. I hear something; and look out the window, and it's this hot rod car driving past. I look at it and go "hmm…"
    that's the extent to which Sil's game is on topic in this particular thread: a lot. There's a lot of things about the hot rod car where the watch could take some ideas and get jazzed up.
  • edited May 12
    Hi Sandra,
    2097 said:

    I think Sil's threads are about talking about Sil's game more respectfully and here I'm like… me, yes me, do I want to burn? Is there really something that I can learn?

    My posts are attempts at strong arguments for discovering what and how Mythic Bricolage/Semiotic Jazz works in role-play and while attempting to legitimizing said modes of play as a legitimate CA.

    That you want to take it apart and find what works or doesn't work for you is totally awesome! Our game got to where it is doing the same thing. To be honest it's still under "development" right now. FREX - as the west coast group has played long enough that a fair number of players have a fair number of high level characters in our folders the DM is concerned that these high level characters have it too easy. He didn't have any data points before, but now...

    The one thing he doesn't seem to take into account, because he hasn't played in about 20 or so years, is that when a high level character commits to combat the stakes for the player are way higher than with a low level character. It can take a decade or more or play to get to 10th level. That's a lot of emotional investment. My high level character might be more effective in combat on the whole but there are always those lurking "1's" and arrows are the great levelers. Arrows (and knives) by pass stamina and do straight PBP which means a high level character is just as vulnerable as a low level character when hit by such weapons. Granted a high level character is harder to hit but being hit by such a weapon is just as deadly to either high or low level character - except with the high level character we as players have 10+ years of real world time riding on the line. So the discussion goes on.

    Apologies if I derailed your thread.

    Best,

    Jay
  • PBP = physical body points?
  • edited May 12
    Pretty much. Our exact term of art is "Personal Body Points" but I find your phrasing closer to the actual idea. The idea is that while Stamina goes up with level PBP is the character's physicality which does not change.

    If I recall the story properly the DM wanted to make certain events deadly and scary for the players no matter how good their character is. Arrows are LETHAL. Knife fights are LETHAL. Fall off a cliff, don't care if you are 1st or 20th level those rocks below are going to be LETHAL.

    EDIT - The cliff example was so that high level characters couldn't exploit the HP system and jump off a cliff, take a 100 HP's, dust themselves off and walk away thus avoiding something worse or just getting around an obstacle (the cliff) in a manner that clashed with how the Setting worked.

    That kind of stuff.

    Best,

    Jay
  • edited May 12
    Ah, I see! I read your double post, and bits of it make total sense (for instance, removing half and double HP spend, if speed is the goal), and others confuse me. (I can go through them, if you want!) Mostly, I agree, though, if I'm understanding you correctly.

    I'll throw out a few examples, anyway:
    2097 said:

    Some bad things:

    • I don’t like the “haha you miss easily” double point spend; I want heroes and monsters to be competent; I want them to be able to feint & be patient & perceptive & then… STRIKE!
    Most of your issues and points here (both good and bad) really come down to how you narrate the actions, not the mechanics themselves. For instance, in this case it's not a problem if you simply describe it differently. It's not "haha you miss easily", it's "you do your best, but you just can't get past his guard. Moments later, the tempo has shifted, he's forcing you back on your heels, and you can tell you're now on the defensive. What are you going to do now?"

    This can work the same way regardless of whether you're describing actual attacks or maneuvering, as I'll describe below.

    When you say "I want heroes and monsters to be competent", unless you're talking about literally describing things that happen as being stupid or mistakes (which, you know - just don't do that!), I think you're making a logical error. There's no way to make both sides seem cool and competent at all times - one contradicts the other. Someone has to be better now and then, which makes their opponent seem less competent. This shows up in many of your examples, by the way!

    For instance:
    2097 said:

    Also, when the players prematurely attack someone that has “first strike” on them, I need to start going:

    “I attack the Full Metal Frankenstein with my short sword!”
    “Oh, he’s definitely ready for you, Alice, swiping your sword to the side and pulling his fist back; you’re staring right into his white knucks, what do you do?”

    (without the player even getting to make an attack roll, don’t worry, my “keeping track of the action econ” system will ensure that the player will get to make all the attacks [and other actions] that are due to them.)

    Cary my hero♥♥♥

    This is gonna be awesome

    That's a cool narration, but definitely makes the PC look less-than-competent, right (at least by your definition)?

    I've never had a problem with this, because it's the monster's competence which is highlighted, not the PC's incompetence. It's narrations like "you go to strike the beast, swing, and stick your sword into the ground" which make you feel like an idiot (and a lot of people do this when they play D&D). On the other hand, "you come in swinging, quick as lightning, but the monster's even faster than you are!" just makes me feel like, "wow, this enemy is badass! Better rethink my strategy". I don't think that makes the "hobo" (your vocabulary is catchy!) look like a fool at all.

    There is no way to make a monster seem really scary and intimidating without making the hobos seem a little less competent.

    Another example:
    2097 said:

    “I’m eying that Full Metal Frankenstein, trying to circle him”
    “In the flickering light of Bob’s lantern it’s pretty clear to you, Alice, that he’ll smash you to bits if you even come close; what do you do?”

    Exact same mechanical outcome: the player will have to defend before attacking [at the same numbers&consequences]; but the second hobo comes across as as cool, calculating, controlled, where the first hobo came across as making a mistake.

    Hold on, it’s not the exact same mechanical outcome; it’s better; because if Bob joins up and they go over there together and Bob has control over where the lantern shines, they can get in the first swing! (It’s possible that they come up with that plan in either scenario #playerskill or it’s possible that they even with the second narration don’t come up with the plan, but the second narration makes it slightly more likely, rewarding them for “maneuvering”.

    That wasn’t even me trying for that intentionally. That’s just the life-changing magic of fictional positioning in the sis.

    It's definitely better, agreed. The difference, though, has nothing to do with "attacking vs. maneuvering". It's two entirely unrelated things:

    1. It's simple IIEE. In the first example, the player is forced to commit to their action before they know about the "first strike". In this second example, you tell her (I think you're talking to Alice!) about the "first strike" and only then ask her if she wants to reconsider her action. That's why she comes across like she's making a mistake in the first example, but not the second example - you're given her more information before she makes the decision (after the first "I" instead of the second "I", in other words).

    It's kind of weird, because you're also then going to be giving them another action later (and the dice don't get rolled just yet), but either way, the fictional description has them committing to something while being unaware of an important piece of information.

    2. The thing about the lantern light, similarly, has nothing to do with maneuvering vs. attacking. In the first example, you don't mention it at all. In the second, you explicitly say that it's the reason for the "first strike", giving the players a chance to attempt a strategy in reaction.

    If I rewrite your example like so, you can see that it's your GMing that makes the difference, not what the rules are doing or how the player is announcing her action:
    “I attack the Full Metal Frankenstein with my short sword!”
    “In the flickering light of Bob’s lantern it’s pretty clear to you, Alice, that he’ll smash you to bits if you even come close; are you sure that's what you want to do?”
    Same thing - the player isn't making a mistake, and they can strategize about the lantern now, if they want.

    Similarly:
    “I’m eying that Full Metal Frankenstein, trying to circle him”
    “Oh, you circle him but he’s definitely ready for you, Alice, swiping your sword to the side and pulling his fist back; you’re staring right into his white knucks, what do you do?”
    The player is caught off-guard, their character made an error, and they know nothing about the lantern. :)

    In AW terms, you're making different MC moves. In the first case, it's all "tell them the consequences and ask", and in the second it's "announce future badness".
  • edited May 12
    2097 said:


    unless we have a co-DM, there’s no way to find out what the monsters would choose
    You're absolutely right! That's a challenge. I guess you could simplify the system for them (they always "choose" the same thing), and leave the choices to the players. But it sounds like you're going to leave the choices out altogether , so it's probably not an issue. I support that, for speed and simplicity! Good idea, most likely.
    2097 said:

    Normal soul stealing swords in 5e worx like this:

    if they crit against someone with 100 hp or less, they have to con save (dc 15) or die (unless they are construct or undead)

    That's exactly the sort of contrived rule D&D needs to have to get around the nature of abstract hit points (it's basically mandating that yes, you do get hit any time there's a critical, so long as you have fewer than 100 HP, which means the hit points no longer work as "death clock" under those exceptional circumstances, breaking down their purpose - and does this generalize to other attacks? No idea... no clarity).

    Having a system like I'm describing, though, obviates the need for such complex rules! Now "I don't have enough hit points left to avoid the attack" is the only way you get soul-drained, and we no longer need a special case of a rule about critical rolls and how many HP you have left - it's a natural outcome of the basic system, instead.

    What's even better is that it becomes a tactical consideration, making the game more interesting for the players: now it makes a big difference whether you know about the sword's abilities or not! You have to decide whether to risk having it touch you. In regular D&D, you have no choice to make; it's just about the d20 roll, which decides for you. You knowing that it exists or not basically doesn't change your combat options at all.

    Under something like these rules, though, being more scared of the sword makes a dramatic difference, which I think is really cool. (Because I'll want to spend more HP to stay safe from it.) I benefit from my improved knowledge in a clearer and easier way.

    Now you don't need any special rules for poison or soul-stealing any more: it's reflected in the way players spend their HP to avoid that attack! Very elegant. Much more elegant than "if they crit against someone with 100 hp or less, they have to con save (dc 15) or die (unless they are construct or undead)" - instead, it's "if the thing touches you, make a Con save (DC 15) or die", which is both more intuitive and more interesting, as well as easier to remember and adjudicate. (In "normal" D&D, what the hell happens if you just let the attacker stab you with the soul-stealing sword, but they don't get to roll at all, or they roll but don't roll a crit, or a rule indicates that they hit automatically, for instance? Not obvious.)

    (I mentioned this in the other thread, but in case it's been forgotten: I don't think the numbers I came up with, especially the 1/2 and x2, are actually right for this. It was just a proof of concept. Realistically it should be something more like [damage -1 per die to take a minor flesh wound/graze], [straight damage to block or parry], and [damage +1 per die to avoid the attack altogether]. But even that isn't right, because D&D isn't consistent with how it determines damage - similar weapons could be rated 1d10+1 or 2d6, for example - and it depends on the edition being used. It would take some thinking. The idea is just that you spend more HP to avoid attacks you're particularly scared of - that's the basic principle - and can try to spend less when you're confident you're going to win, but you risk being overconfident and falling prey to poison, magical effects, losing ground or position, suffering disadvantage, or whatever else we want to highlight tactically.
    2097 said:

    • one of the things you’re saying, Paul, is “You can choose to take an injury to halve the amount of HP you lose that round”, this bings us back to splintered shields & stress-track consequences, which we didn’t really want, remember? (and yes, just like in those games, I get that you’d only do this when you more or less have to [if the injuries are harsh enough])
    • the “spend various amounts of points” moves pretty far from the RAW / “balance”
    • when they have 4 and you deal 8, they go to zero; they’re not really spending anything; I get that in your game “they died with 4hp remaining” which isn’t wrong but requires a lot of tweaks to dying&deathsaving rules over here [not unpossible, but listed among the cons]
    An idea: you could fix all three things easily. Here's a good "middle ground" between your rules and my proto-idea:

    You no longer choose. Instead, if just happens when you go below your "wound limit" (or "fainting limit", or whatever you were calling it). You take a wound and if there was poison or soul-stealing or whatever, that's when it happens!

    So:

    * Someone attacks you or maneuvers for an opening (again, it doesn't matter). Describe the attack/maneuver and the amount of damage/threat points.
    * If you can spend that number of points, you've avoided the attack. You're safe, but you're getting tired/worn down (or whatever you think HP loss represents, if anything).
    * If you can spend that number of points, but it takes you below your "wound limit", you've been physically hit by the attack, but it's nothing too serious. It's a light wound/flesh wound/scratch/graze/minor non-lethal injury. [Apply poison/magical effects here, collect Inspiration, etc - and you could remove your "lingering injuries" rule here, since activating those effects could be sufficiently bad to encourage people to keep their "limit" low. But I like the idea that someone who often gets "bloodied" in combat and risks getting poisoned gets Inspiration!]
    * If you can't spend that many points, it's a mortal/lethal wound (use normal rules here).
    * A mortally wounded character has 0 HP, by definition (since they can't defend themselves).

    That's pretty elegant, I think! And it gives us that clarity I like.

    Some fun stuff with this ruleset:

    We can now have a "to first blood" duel in D&D! That's nifty. (And risky, because, just like in real life, you can try all you want, but it's still possible you'll kill your opponent by accident.)

    If you like the idea of being Wolverine - the guy who ends the battle with five arrows sticking out of him - you can give yourself a high wound limit and rake in the Inspiration!

    If you want to incentivize high "wound limits" further: when a character with 0 HP is revived, wakes up, comes to consciousness, or whatever, they immediately go to their "wound limit". So, if my "wound limit" is 4 and yours is 1, if we both fall, wounded, but make our death saves and get back up, I get up with 4 HP and you get up with 1 HP. I kinda like that distinction!


    What this really does is move the decision point for when you get hit from the moment of combat all the way back to character creation. (But gives us the advantage of simplicity and speed, in return.)
  • 2097 said:

    Paul_T said:

    Yeah! I like that with the Fudge dice - elegant. But you’d still have pacing rounds when you missed, wouldn’t you? Probably best in an opposed-roll-winner-hits-loser kind of setup.

    You’re right, that system fails in that regard.

    I just realized that that’s why conflict-level resolutions have explicit intent; you need to say beforehand “this fight is gonna be until one of us is dead” or w/e and then roll off to see what happens. In other words, in a task-level resolution system, which we want since we want to avoid having to have intent stated, we need to accept “empty rounds”.

    I'm not sure I understand! Why are "empty rounds" necessary in task resolution? Something like "both sides roll to hit, winner hits loser" is task resolution but doesn't have any empty rounds.
  • Paul_T said:

    I'm not sure I understand! Why are "empty rounds" necessary in task resolution? Something like "both sides roll to hit, winner hits loser" is task resolution but doesn't have any empty rounds.

    Ah, I forgot to write that I meant for volley fire!
  • (Uh, CW violence! for this whole thread, it’s about fighting)

    Double spend

    Paul_T said:

    removing half and double HP spend, if speed is the goal

    Not just for speed but for the “deciding how to get hurt” stance mismatch + monster decision point.

    I like the much more simple “to prevent this attack you need to make the roll or spend the points”. It turns it from a shopping list of options into one action (avoiding badness) that happens to cost a variable amount of points depending on the level of that badness.

    Poison

    Like it or not (and if not, we have 0e where it’s all 1d6 all the time [before supplements], which was great but too big of a change for what I can do rn), a longbow arrow costs 1d8+3 points to “avoid” and a sling bullet costs 1d4+3 points to avoid; and the different damage types means that your resistances or vulnerabilities matter; a sling bullet is much more dangerous to a skeleton (b/c bludg vuln) than a longbow arrow is!. Sling bullets certainly aren’t any easier to avoid than arrows (the ease of avoidance being based, instead, on both your armor and your dexterity, both of which combine into the defense roll we use); it’s just that it costs more to avoid more dangerous things!

    Hit points being some kind of, uh, divine luck points or, well, “death clock”. You hang around arrows & poisons & flame and stuff, well, death clock gonna tick faster than if you lead a quiet life only having to dodge the occasional sling bullet.

    Therefore, a poison arrow costs 1d8+3+1d4 HP to avoid; the poison 1d4 you can ignore if you are good enough at making DC 10 con saves so that the poison wouldn’t be dangerous to you anyway.

    IIEE

    Paul_T said:

    It’s simple IIEE.

    It’s IIEE. This entire thread or project is about me working with my game’s IIEE, pulling it apart, putting it together. Reading & rereading Torchbearer, various retroclones (including some weird French ones), AW/DW, looking at actual play, reading logs, scrubbing through AP videos and recordings etc. Nothing about this is simple.

    Yesterday I started writing up, in the AW format of principles and moves. (Of course, having something very different from AW; but it’d be a way for you to understand what I’m trying for better.) But I fell asleep before I got very far.

    DM Principles

    • Obey action costs
    • Follow the rules
    • Reward&respect competence
    • Brash actions get brash results

    DM Moves

    • Threaten a combat action
    • Inflict lingering injuries + DSFs if the players don’t defend
    • Negate/block their action for free if made out of order

    I didn’t really get to the, uh, full point of what I was trying for, maybe I should make like a flowchart or something instead.

    Paul_T said:

    That’s a cool narration [an FMF swiping away the sword of someone who attacked prematurely], but definitely makes the PC look less-than-competent, right (at least by your definition)?

    Right… I was working on that post for 3.5 hours and my thinking def shifted over those hours.

    The idea is that the less-than-competent SIS is the punishment for the brash action. Brash actions can still pay off if the dice are hot.

    Paul_T said:

    It’s narrations like “you go to strike the beast, swing, and stick your sword into the ground” which make you feel like an idiot (and a lot of people do this when they play D&D). On the other hand, “you come in swinging, quick as lightning, but the monster’s even faster than you are!” just makes me feel like, “wow, this enemy is badass! Better rethink my strategy”. I don’t think that makes the “hobo” (your vocabulary is catchy!) look like a fool at all.

    That’s what I’ve been saying for years, but the new idea is that to earn the cool/unfoolish narration you use maneuvering/aiming.

    If you just “attack” and the monsters have the tally marks [for action econ] and/or HP to spare, they’re gonna be brutal.

    Paul_T said:

    It’s definitely better [circling the FMF and checking out the light sitch], agreed. The difference, though, has nothing to do with “attacking vs. maneuvering”. It’s two entirely unrelated things:

    I tried to say that it was a deliberate result of applying the DM principle to use different moves to respond to attacking out of order vs maneuvering out of order. I see now that I didn’t state that explicitly.

    In AW, read a person or read a situation are different moves even though they both use a 2d6+Sharp roll.

    In “Oh, Injury!”, maneuver vs an enemy and attack the enemy are different moves even though they both use the 5e “attack” combat action. They have the same result over in “dice” land but very different results here in Cloud city which could, as the example showed, lead the players to be reminded of different options.

    The “dice” outcomes don’t have to be that different for it to be an effective affordance marker.

    • “I attack Frankie Boy” “You’re getting SMASHED! What do you do?”
    • “I maneuver around Frankie Boy” “You haven’t found a window yet, darling, and you need to be on your guard. What do you do?”

    These responses are different by design. I’m trying to find a good way to codify that.

    Paul_T said:

    In the first example, the player is forced to commit to their action before they know about the “first strike”.

    Alice attempted an attack into first strike.

    Paul_T said:

    In this second example, you tell her (I think you’re talking to Alice!) about the “first strike” and only then ask her if she wants to reconsider her action.

    Alice maneuvered around someone with first strike.

    In “Oh, Injury!” there is the killing prompt and the hurting prompt. That’s when you can strike! “Attacks” outside of those prompts are translated into very brash, straightforward, choppy&sloppy maneuvers, easily feinted, parried, blocked, dodged or even “missing by a mile”. They can still work as maneuvers but they sure as heckfire aren’t particularly cool/collected/competent ones.

    image
  • Paul_T said:

    That’s why she comes across like she’s making a mistake in the first example, but not the second example - you’re given her more information before she makes the decision (after the first “I” instead of the second “I”, in other words).

    It’s not before she makes the decision. First Alice was rushing in with swords held high. Second Alice was eying him. Different SIS actions.

    Paul_T said:

    It’s kind of weird, because you’re also then going to be giving them another action later (and the dice don’t get rolled just yet)

    The innovation is separating narrative beats from action-econ “actions”, which are being treated more as a currency than as ticks in a schedule. Defense rolls are weird, btw, because they don’t cost the defending hobo an action, they do cost the monster an action.

    First Alice

    First Alice used a narrative beat rushing in like a brash young fool. First Frankie used a narrative beat wiping the sword aside and pulling back his knucks telegraphing a punch. Then presumably first Alice is going to use a narrative beat trying to avoid getting knucked; which then triggers her getting to make a defense roll, this will cause an action “tally mark” to be recorded on Frankie’s action tracker.

    Second Alice

    Second Alice used a narrative beat checking out the sitch. Second Frankie used a narrative beat being dangerous, owning his space.

    Paul_T said:

    “I attack the Full Metal Frankenstein with my short sword!”
    “In the flickering light of Bob’s lantern it’s pretty clear to you, Alice, that he’ll smash you to bits if you even come close; are you sure that’s what you want to do?”

    “Are you su…” She already tried it!

    We’re past the “initation” part of IIEE at that point.

    Paul_T said:

    “I’m eying that Full Metal Frankenstein, trying to circle him” “Oh, you circle him but he’s definitely ready for you, Alice, swiping your sword to the side and pulling his fist back; you’re staring right into his white knucks, what do you do?”

    True, this could’ve happened if it weren’t for the DM principles/moves that I should’ve been more explicit about.
    It’s just that I haven’t finished writing them up myself yet either!

    I guess the idea is: answer maneuvering with maneuvering, answer brash attacks with threats of injury.

    Paul_T said:

    In AW terms, you’re making different MC moves.

    Yes! Great minds think alike!

    But I want to set it up so that different actions allow different DM moves.

    “Threaten injury” is the move that happens to my first Alice (the white knucks); “Threaten maneuver” is the move that happens to my second Alice.

    The idea is that players trigger rolls whether it’s their attacks or their defenses, through action.

    “You hear the click of a Tomb Dwarve’s crossbow and you can tell that it’s trained straight at you”
    “I hold up my shield”
    “Make a defense roll, DC 14”

  • Ok. I think I followed about half of that. Part of the problem is that I don’t know if you’re describing “they way things are” or “the way I want/plan to do things” (like with that diagram, which I’m tempted to say I disagree with entirely). I seem to be assuming one, and then you respond that it’s the other. That makes this tricky.

    What I *did* get is that you want to formalize responding to a maneuver with “here’s some more description and maybe an opportunity or a question” and a “brash” “attack” with “the monster strikes back”.

    (I pointed out that you don’t have to do it that way, and you responded with, “yeah, but that’s how I want to do it.” Ok! Why not.)

    If that’s what you’re doing, why would I ever describe making an attack? Mechanically they’re identical, if I understand correctly, but one gets a much nicer response from the GM and no danger to me.

    I could see it working, perhaps, if I had to *save up* all that damage and it only got applied when I made an actual attack. (So if I spend three rounds maneuvering and then I get knocked unconscious, the monster is still at full HP.) but I’m pretty sure that’s not at all what you’re suggesting.
  • BTW I got to say that I really really appreciate this thread, the interaction & feedback.

    I’ve been AFK all day because I was at work; I haven’t had a job in a while so I want to take it really seriously. (Getting paychecks as a game designer! Not on these D&D fighting rules, they’re still a labor of love.)

    I get the vibe that you’re annoyed because I’m hard to follow & that I didn’t respond to everything you wrote but I’ll try to amend those things rn! (Paradoxically one problem is that I write too much and the other is that I don’t write enough but hey! I can’t be anyone else but me:bawling:)

    The system right now only exists as like a bunch of bumblebees that I’m tryna catch & sort! There are these five things…

    These two things are the actual danger:

    • Wounds (represented by lingering injuries)
    • Dying (represented by DSFs or rolling death saves)

    These three things are the gateway between “healthy&safe” vs “here sits a bloody mess”:

    • HP (“death clock” a.k.a. “maneuver points”; spend these to negate attacks or survive manuvers)
    • AC/DC (succeed on rolls and you might not even have to spend points)
    • action econ (act out of turn and you might not even get to roll)
    Paul_T said:

    What I did get is that you want to formalize responding to a maneuver with “here’s some more description and maybe an opportunity or a question” and a “brash” “attack” with “the monster strikes back”.

    If that’s what you’re doing, why would I ever describe making an attack? Mechanically they’re identical, if I understand correctly, but one gets a much nicer response from the GM and no danger to me.

    Yes, you should be making maneuvers.

    The intended flow is monster & hero maneuvering which ticks down HP (which stands for… uh…. “maneuver points”!) until there’s a golden opportunity to strike.

    But I’m trying to codify a diegetic response rather than an extradiegetic response to brash hobos who break that that flow.

    Instead of extradiegetically saying “it’s not your ‘turn’ yet” board game style, responding diegetically with “you don’t even have time to react, Alice, as it pushes you aside and brings it sword down on Bob. Bob, what do you do?”

    The rule is:

    While you can grapple and shove and disarm and dodge and disengage the enemies to your heart’s content, there is no way to hurt or harm or kill them within the normal action economy system. Instead, there are two specific windows or prompts to do so.

    If people break that rule and go “I go up to the town sheriff and kill him and after I’ve killed him I start counting up the coins in his pouch”—hold on, there is a rule saying there is no way to hurt or harm or kill the monsters outside of the specific prompt. That’s a power the monsters have; to be able to dodge/block/fight or whatever as long as they have HP.

    Paul_T said:

    So if I spend three rounds maneuvering and then I get knocked unconscious, the monster is still at full HP.

    If you spend three turns maneuvering without being able to inflict any wounds and then get knocked unconscious, the monster does not have any wounds. If you manage to inflict wounds the monster still has wounds when you go down.

    HP isn’t wounds.

    If you were alone fighting the monster and then get knocked unconscious, the monster will go and rest up it’s HP.

    Paul_T said:

    I could see it working, perhaps, if I had to save up all that damage and it only got applied when I made an actual attack. but I’m pretty sure that’s not at all what you’re suggesting.

    Right. The “aim point” / “charge point” system from a few weeks ago did work more similar to that, but this system doesn’t.
    That system was cool but created more conflation between “death clock points” and “meat points”.

    It also had another big problem:

    Since some battles in D&D are team affairs, you’d want to be able to team up several people to make maneuver vs an enemy until it could be wounded and killed!

    Maybe Alice, Bob and Carol harry the monster from the the front making it so that Ted stab its legs from the back, wounding it!

    (Some monsters could have the keyword “Behemoth” [this isn’t a RAW 5e thing, just an idea] where they had several wound thresholds so they could be hurt many times. Sure, having to take the wound-disadvantage is sort of a drawback mechanic in the “dice” [a drawback more than compensated for with its large size and hitpoint pool] but a benefit in the fiction; so strong it doesn’t go down with a single wound.)

    About this:

    Paul_T said:

    I pointed out that you don’t have to do it that way, and you responded with, “yeah, but that’s how I want to do it.” Ok! Why not.

    Paul, I already tried to explain why that happened:

    “I tried to say that it was a deliberate result of applying the DM principle to use different moves to respond to attacking out of order vs maneuvering out of order. I see now that I didn’t state that explicitly.”

    I did write

    2097 said:

    Also, when the players prematurely attack someone that has “first strike” on them, I need to start going: [… brutal example …]

    And all of this makes “maneuvering” and “aiming” super valuable in the SIS. […]

    Btw here is the “maneuvering” take on the exact same action exchange: [… competent example …]

    And then you said that I could just as well reverse those two responses.

    And to that I had two things to say.

    One

    One is that it’s just like how in AW, there are some times the MC preferably should make a soft move and sometimes they should make a hard move.

    “Hardholder: I go have some ice cream.
    MC: Nice ice cream. You see some smoke on the horizon.”

    “Hardholder: Oh no! I flubbed my Act Under Fire roll when I got shot at!
    MC: Here, have some harm.”

    vs

    “Hardholder: I go have some ice cream.
    MC: Here, have some harm.”

    “Hardholder: Oh no! I flubbed my Act Under Fire roll when I got shot at!
    MC: Nice ice cream. You see some smoke on the horizon.”

    The moves & principles are different in Oh, Injury! than they are in a PbtA game.

    And, like, I wasn’t clear about how my intent here was that the moves available to me to respond to an attack are going to be different (by design) from the moves available to me to respond to a maneuver.

    Switching the responses is not appropriate according to the rules (can’t use “brash response move” to “competent maneuver” and vice versa).

    Two

    It’s also not appropriate to the SIS.

    You had this example:

    Paul_T said:

    You say, “I swing at your head! 2 damage!”. I say, “Ha! Easy. I spend 4 points, ducking and stepping to the side”

    This is something that I at first was against (it made the hobo look like a damn fool) but then embraced as a stick. (Except you can’t spend double; in my current WIP rules you can’t choose how much you spend. If you have resistance to the damage type you spend half, if you have vulnerability to the damage type you spend double.)

    You can avoid it by not swinging in at the head, which is what left you exposed to a duck&sidestep counter.

    “I swing at your head! 2 damage!”
    “It’s pretty clear to you, Alice, that I’ll duck&sidestep if you try to do that; are you sure that’s what you want to do?”

    That’s just not right!

  • I didn’t respond to this part!

    Paul_T said:

    An idea: you could fix all three things easily. Here’s a good “middle ground” between your rules and my proto-idea:

    Paul, this “middle ground” is exactly what I’ve already been working with for a while!

    That kinda left me speechless out of surprise (and frustration – not with you, you’ve been a sweetheart, but with myself for not being clear enough at communicating my thoughts) & I didn’t know what to write. I answered the poison/soul-stealing thing specifically but that just made you angrier.

    I’ll go through it step by step.

    Paul_T said:

    Someone attacks you or maneuvers for an opening (again, it doesn’t matter). Describe the attack/maneuver and the amount of damage/threat points.

    Yes!

    Paul_T said:

    If you can spend that number of points, you’ve avoided the attack.

    Yes!

    Paul_T said:

    You’re safe, but you’re getting tired/worn down (or whatever you think HP loss represents, if anything).

    Yes. Could be staggered, tired, could be nothing, could even be feeling cocky that you’re such a high-HP-having baller!

    Paul_T said:

    If you can spend that number of points, but it takes you below your “wound limit”, you’ve been physically hit by the attack […] collect Inspiration

    Exactly!

    Paul_T said:

    but it’s nothing too serious. It’s a light wound/flesh wound/scratch/graze/minor non-lethal injury. […] and you could remove your “lingering injuries” rule here

    Difference number one! [I mean, this is me just going through the differences between my snapshot as it was (before you proposed the middle-ground), vs your middle-ground proposal; my snapshot is a WIP so don’t take the differences as me saying “my way is good, yours is bad”]

    Most, almost all of the entries on the lingering injuries table are light & grazy.

    1 Lose an eye
    2 Lose an arm or a hand
    3 Lose a foot or a leg
    4 Limp
    5-7 Internal injury
    8-10 Broken ribs
    11-13 Horrible scar
    14-16 Festering wound
    17-20 Minor scar

    I italicized the ones that any healing magic (including level 1 spells like Healing Word) gets rid of. Festering wounds can also be treated over ten successful Wisdom checks (once chance per day). (That’s difficult, but since any healing magic also does the trick, that wound type isn’t so bad.) So it’s a 10/20 chance that your “lingering” injury won’t linger past the next healing word thrown your way.

    Scars you need level 6 or higher healing to deal with. Minor scars are only cosmetic, horrible scars only matter in our downtime rules (when carousing). So the three big ones are 1, 2 and 3. You need level 7 healing to regenerate these injuries.

    Since you get Insp that you can apply to this roll, it’s only 2.25% chance you’ll get one of the three big ones. Which isn’t zero…

    As you might imagine we have lots of rules for how to make canes & crutches. The party is… kind of beat up at this point!

    Paul_T said:

    Apply poison/magical effects here

    Difference number two!

    It’s just such an extreme nerf to poison and “Ray of Frost” etc to not apply poison & magical effects as written.

    So the idea is that the ray’s cold makes you slower, (which obv also eats up your “death clock”/“maneuver points”).

    And “damage” style poisons (like 1d4 damage) I’ve already discussed in the other post. Their diegetic effect is the internal injury or the rotted away arm or whatever you’ll get on the LI table if they manage to actually wound you

    For “effect” poisons… sure, if they have an “Injury” tag, as some of them do (5e DMG pp 257–258), I have to decide whether they have the life-changing magic to bypass the HP “barrier” or whether they work the way you propose.

    I mean, poisons such as the Thaumo-Conductor in pp 11–12 in Deep Carbon Observatory, which both has an effect and costs HP, are hard to reconcile with “Oh, Injury!”

    Paul_T said:

    If you can’t spend that many points, it’s a mortal/lethal wound (use normal rules here).

    Yes! Well, with these two clarifications (both are there only for the purp of hewing closer to the 5e RAW):

    1. You have to spend as much as you can. Like, if you have 4 and you take 8 damage, you’re now at 0 rather than 4.
    2. If you take your current + max HP in one blow, you is dead buddy! Like, if you have 4 hp remaining and 14 hp max, an 18 damage attack instakills you.
    Paul_T said:

    A mortally wounded character has 0 HP, by definition (since they can’t defend themselves).

    Yes!

    Paul_T said:

    That’s pretty elegant, I think! And it gives us that clarity I like.

    Yes, I like it! We’ve played seven sessions with these rules (they were introduced on April 4th); the new parts that I haven’t had a chance to try yet are

    • the terminology “spend” HP as opposed to “lose” HP
    • increased narration
    • increased separation of narrative beats from action econ
    • monsters having a higher wound threshold
    • monster wound effect (player chooses one of four mechanical effects to apply to monster)
    • “the killing time” & “the wounding time” prompts
    • on the SIS level: brash↔risky, compentent↔controlled
    • maybe even inflict LI & DSF as a move (if hobos decline to defend themselves)
    Paul_T said:

    Some fun stuff with this ruleset:

    We can now have a “to first blood” duel in D&D! That’s nifty. (And risky, because, just like in real life, you can try all you want, but it’s still possible you’ll kill your opponent by accident.)

    If you like the idea of being Wolverine - the guy who ends the battle with five arrows sticking out of him - you can give yourself a high wound limit and rake in the Inspiration!

    […]

    What this really does is move the decision point for when you get hit from the moment of combat all the way back to character creation. (But gives us the advantage of simplicity and speed, in return.)

    Yep! All of those things have been great! (You can also change your WT [up, down, whatever] when you level up.)

    Diegetically, your wound threshold is your, uh, pain endurance I guess. That’s why the original name was “fainting buffer”; you have so much HP left after being wounded that you can spend before you pass out!

  • edited May 14

    Clarification on the Wolverine thing:

    The trigger is when you cross the treshold, not when you move further down when already under the threshold.

    So you’re a bad-ass when having a high WT because you can stay up and fight longer after you’ve been hurt. But it’s still one arrow sticking out of you and you can’t rake in the insp.

    If you do really want multiple arrows, well, that can be arranged…

    Paul_T said:

    if you want to incentivize high “wound limits” further: when a character with 0 HP is revived, wakes up, comes to consciousness, or whatever, they immediately go to their “wound limit”. So, if my “wound limit” is 4 and yours is 1, if we both fall, wounded, but make our death saves and get back up, I get up with 4 HP and you get up with 1 HP. I kinda like that distinction!

    Interesting idea! That is something I want to seriously consider.

    Two things though:

    • A high wound limit isn’t as bad when it’s still only one wound (you just get it much sooner).
    • Another benefit (existing in my current, in-use system) of having a high wound threshold is that if you go down to 0, get up again, get down again, get up again etc… if the wound threshold is low, chances are that you might cross it several times and rack up the wounds. If the wound limit is high, chances are that you can stay under it for a while and not rack up new wounds.
  • edited May 13
    @2097 You are totally reinventing my game : fiction fiction fiction, only, at the end player dead or not. So they can take advantage of the interim to build and mold the way they're going to die or kill. Makes lots of room for aesthetic vision and "expression" (Princess playing), lots of anti-absurdum control.

    No amount of rules can prevent people from going "I kill the sheriff".

    The "Not yet !" rule in Capes prevents sudden Sherrif death. Note that you can also teach it a la Capes : the adversary seemed to hurt, but finds some energy to... or it was a feint and ... As you see, this goes into narrative territory. You'll still have to teach that. But chances are you're going to get something better than the atrocious dance of "mother may I begin to Intend ?" I see from some experitwisted players.
  • DeReel said:

    No amount of rules can prevent people from going "I kill the sheriff".

    I usually use the "When you…" key phrase. In this case, "When you get to the sheriff's office, you find that…"

    (Also I started out thinking 6s rounds was good but I'm coming around to Jeph's perspective that sometimes you want rounds to rush by much faster than that; esp for stare-stare-stare chop diegesis.)

    I'll have to check out Capes
  • Oh, you updated the post:
    DeReel said:

    Note that you can also teach it a la Capes : the adversary seemed to hurt, but finds some energy to... or it was a feint and ... As you see, this goes into narrative territory. You'll still have to teach that. But chances are you're going to get something better than the atrocious dance of "mother may I begin to Intend ?" I see from some experitwisted players.

    OK, this does look interesting! Will go read
  • edited May 13
    Did you make Capes, @DeReel? Where is it for sale…?
    I did find an excerpt of that particular page so for the purps of this discussion I can follow along.
  • On my side of the fence, I am considering players accepting a condition for not losing a conflict, which looks like this HP/wound transaction. Hence my tangent.

    Capes is a game by Tony Lower Basch edited by museoffire. You can find Capes lite for free.
  • The Capes lite didn't have the "Not Yet" rule though
  • edited May 13
    And sorry, it's a habit, I deburr all my posts.
    Here be Capes.
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