SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

A What-If Star Wars universe where the Empire is ruled by the Jedi Council, and the Rebellion is fronted by the Sith. Everything is familiar, yet totally different, as the Sith-led Rebellion battles the Jedi Order for the fate of the Empire.

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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Serest Riet » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:08 am

I think I misunderstood the convo we had here when I rolled last round. I took away that we should only roll our own attacks, since non-minion enemies could possibly use other skills or special abilities to dodge our attacks somehow. But then I re-read this convo, and I think I was wrong, and you did want us to roll the enemies' Agility, Herzog? So I rolled it this time. I hope that is right.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby PMiller » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:16 pm

What he was saying was that until he rolls defense, you don't know if you hit or miss. Taanoas wrote he missed before Herzog rolled defense.

In First Run, I have been using player's agility rolls for foes, but it really doesn't matter since you cannot write results without armor and health. Minions are the exception since they are one hit and kill.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Taanoas » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:08 am

Ok, sorry about that. I thought TN to hit was 6, so an 8 meant a miss. Is 6 used for grenades because they're AoE or just for get the 6 for now?

I'll try and post tonight. Slammed at work, so doing some work this weekend and a full plate of family stuff.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby PMiller » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:33 am

Taanoas wrote:Is 6 used for grenades because they're AoE or just for get the 6 for now?
Yes, I used TN6 to see if the grenade landed to catch them all in the AoE... But I suppose that was still not exactly necessary since they all still get to dodge against the Agility roll I made.

The thing about The Window is the dice rolling are really just to help you craft the outcomes so it is not completely freeform. The concept of damage is nebulous, so even if one hits the Storyteller could adjust the TNs for damage resistance to help keep things interesting. I think we are doing things fine in the Shadowrun game and I have not exactly been the most consistent from combat to combat.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Herzog » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:49 am

Taanaos is up to finish the round. I took his post as only reacting to the his incoming attacks. So he has yet to act. Unless he is not...
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Taanoas » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:27 pm

@Herzog: You noted combat was over, are we hitting scene change or just go back to the scene post combat?
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Herzog » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:17 pm

Back to the scene post combat. I am going to write some observations when I get a chance.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Herzog » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:30 am

Now that Combat is over, and I've had some time to think about it, I like to ask if there is anything outstanding that needs to be addressed.

I have the following:
1.) Power and Talents such as Dark Presence. No one rolled for the Dark Presence bonus. It might be due to the OOC comments of flat out adding a run to defense as being too OPed. PMiller's suggesting of capping the bonus to the competency rung of the power itself makes sense to me, and can apply to many other talents and powers. I just don't want it to be an issue as this is suppose to be rules lite and we seem to adding complexity.

2.) Attack resolution. I think unless otherwise stated, I am going to have you guys resolve attacks vs your targets. I felt that some of posts were left hanging, waiting for me to simply roll the dice. In this combat, the deathclaws had nothing special like block or the like that could be activated at will and effect the outcome of an attack. Unless I state otherwise, there should be enough info provided to resolve such attacks on your own. The only thing we would have to do is SWAG estimates of weapon damage. I pretty much did 2 rungs for the rifle blaster, lightsabers, and grenade. The blaster pistol would have been 1 rung of damage.


Any other feedback?
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Serest Riet » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:16 am

Oh okay. I did misunderstand, based on the OOC convo that happened at the same time. But now I understand and I'll resolve the attacks fully in the future.

I get the point about capping the bonus to the competency rung of the power. Sounds good.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Herzog » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:41 am

ran out of time today, and i have busy work week. so pardon my lack of posting.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby PMiller » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:48 am

Re: Power and Talents: Those just need to be defined on the character sheet and the complication is removed. When I looked, it did not actually have it defined, so I asked. Since Mara’s Agility was too good to benefit, I did not take it into account. When I looked it was only Taanoas that has a Agility that can be improved to d10.

Re: Resolution during combat. When we started playing PbP, we did not have self-resolving in combat during other games either. Since we are looking at opposed rolls and variables it can be tricky to allow players to resolve themselves. The GM actually has to post a bunch of meta-game information.

So I chose to have the players resolve damage on their end instead since they actually have mechanical choices to make (which differs from games that use AC & HP). This balances out the resolutions between PCs and GM evenly.

Letting the players roll the foe Agility only lets them know if they miss which doesn’t really help that much. Having minions sort of allows for PC resolution, but that actually ends up complicating things if you start mixing up what players can resolve. I would remove the concept from the players’ view. This allows the GM to kill them easier or not as the situation dictates.

Other thoughts:
1. There is no initiative and The Window is not meant to be tactical board game style.
2. In real-life combat is chaotic and things happen simultaneously. Bullets fly and no one knows how wounded anyone is.
3. Mid-round resolution is a philosophy based upon structured combat like d20 rule sets so players don’t waste actions.

You said the combat was too easy and did not test things out. I think I know why.

Tracking exact health and armor for the foes can in effect paint the GM into a corner when they let the players resolve things. As a result, there is less opportunity to liberally use GM fiat to adjust things on the fly. This is why damage dealt is intentionally nebulous.

However, the idea for The Window is actually to tell a story and make the scene feel tense.

What I think we can do (and I should consider for First Run as well) is remove most of that meta-game tracking on the Enemy from the IC thread (keep notes off-line or something instead) and only list which ones are injured and maybe put a qualifier like “Minor Injury” or “Severe Injury”. Realistically, that is probably all one could tell in the heat of the moment anyway.

Without any meta-game data on foes beyond that, then players focus on intentions a bit more and not the results of their actions. Without maps or exact positions, things are already vague so perhaps they don’t necessary get to clearly define who they are aiming at in their mechanics and instead post more based upon the battle’s description.

How this would go:
1. Characters resolve any attacks against them first (if applicable). GM provides Attack number, TN to resist damage, and mechanical result for damage if fail. Based upon the weapon, the TN doesn’t have to be 6 either. Then they write up their attack, leaving the post on the cliff hanger of the dice roll without any idea if they hit or not. They cannot delay to await for other results without forfeiting actions for the round.
2. GM takes the intended actions and dice rolls, then starts resolving in ANY order he wants that makes sense for the scene. He can adjust intended targets too if someone else would have realistically removed the target from combat first. In writing up the summary, he can adjust the passage of time to be 3 seconds or even 10 seconds. He can throw in extra shots or swings that miss if it helps to describe the results better. The dice roll can represent the culmination of 2-3 shots/swings from a weapon, instead of just one.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Herzog » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:08 am

Hmm..that does make a lot of sense, ie not tracking exact health. I can see it providing wiggle room for the GM to adjust things, and the like. I think it would also shift focus to the story itself. I will try that it one of the next combats.

I guess I hadn't thought that resolving the minions and your own attacks vs opponents made it complicated. I was looking more from a storytelling point of view, and having the players contribute more to writing the action of the scene. Maybe it's because i have NPC that i am also resolving, and so gives me the appearance of waiting for resolution.

I also guess i need to try a combat with your summerization of how it should go. It is perhaps that me, personally, don't have a lot experience with combat in our Window games.

Any others have any input?


Also, the current thread can be RPed out. I am working on setting up the next thread, but work is going to be busy this week.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby PMiller » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:14 am

Herzog wrote:I was looking more from a storytelling point of view, and having the players contribute more to writing the action of the scene.

I am finding that they are learning to write their half of the scene which is the misses, near misses, and hits they take. That is half of the combat and not normally something the players traditionally write.

Riet should comment as she plays in First Run as a player.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby Serest Riet » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:40 am

I do enjoy writing the dodging or taking hits in First Run, though I think it is something we usually do in all games even when the GM is the one that resolves the hits on the players.

As for the details of how we resolve combat, I am, of course, flexible and open to whatever we decide. Having been a player only, I can't comment on what tracking exact health is like from the GM's point of view, but I'm all for the GM having narrative fiat to make things more exciting. If we go by exact health, then a creature might be felled on the spot. But if it's nebulous, that allows the GM to let the creature have a tiny extra bit of strength left to lash out one more time in the next round, potentially hurting a PC and making the whole thing more exciting. Also letting the GM be able to adjust targets to have the results make sense is great.

For example, my character in First Run can shoot three times in one round. I had him shoot at a specific target to try to take it out early. If the first shot brings the target down, my character wouldn't realistically be shooting the corpse two more times. He would switch to another target. But if my first shot misses and the second is only a graze, then I do want all three shots to land on the target. The GM, understanding my intent, can adjust on the fly.

I'm totally cool with having another combat very soon to test all this out before we get back to the main storyline. Maybe mate of the deathclaw comes running up, keen on vengeance, or whatnot.

Star Wars is fundamentally different than Shadowrun in several ways, primarily because of the magic system and the tendency toward melee weapons, at least for this bunch. So tweaking things as we go along is just fine with me. We can't know what is best until we try, after all.

I hope I covered all the points.
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Re: SM: Game Discussion [OOC]

Postby PMiller » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:53 am

Re: By “we” I think you are mainly talking about you and me. ;) Delia has proved to be onboard quite well too, but that is a recent development.

Most games, the players do not mention getting hit in combat at all since it was GM resolved. They just focus on their character’s actions. But writing up combat should be fun, and all too often I see people just resort to roll-playing. I like to see character trash talk and communicate in combat just like the movies and TV shows.

Agreed that our most recent combat experience with The Window is with firearms and grenades in Shadowrun. I think magic might not throw that much more of a wrinkle. It really depends on where the PCs leave off on their IC post. Casting the spell and releasing it with general targeting is no different than firearms/grenades.

But even if the magic is Save or Die spells, the summary of the resolution still can handle the outcome when the Story Teller resolves how he wants instead of the posted order. That paradigm shift is the key. If you notice my last update in First Run, I consciously decided to resolve Daze’s grenade before Vixen’s arrows even though he posted after. I did not have to do that, but it was easier and I got to write a bad guy flying through the air in pieces.

I can see that melee combat will bring the idea of exact targeting of a particular foe, but that is no different than any combat where the PCs gang up on wounded or unique foes. With the Story Teller deciding the resolution order, only he really knows if one PC would have killed the target and allowed a shift for the second PC. Creativity can easily handle that would be second shot/swing being redirected at the next foe.
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