Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Thorgarth
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Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Thorgarth » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:29 am

So, this is will be the first of many such topics I will post here regarding the rules. They will be at times "challenging" the official rules, trying to add by personal intake on them (most probably trying to given them a bit more of crunch, to most players chagrin I bet), adding home rules and/or trying to clarify some mechanism or another.

To start I would like to address the new "Conditions" mechanism, on which the new Pain Level mechanic is included, Vs the older Wound mechanism.

Based on the first English edition of the TDE, and I will base it only on this since I don´t understand a word of German (well, that is a clear exaggeration. I do understand some words but not enough to understand a sentence unless such is confined to two or three words tops), Wounds, each one, would impose a -2 penalty to Attack, Parry, Ranged, Base Initiative Values and Agility. Plus Speed would also be affected, being lowered by 1. Now the new "Conditions" mechanism, which is a unified mechanism with closely related effects, which can be stacked up to 5 levels.

Taking into account specifically the condition Pain Levels, that seems to take the place of the old "wound" mechanism, it seems the scope as be reduced in a specific effect which to me does not make sense. I´m talking about Initiative. Whereas wounds applied a -2/per wound to base initiate value the new Pain Levels don´t seem to affect initiative (unlike for instance condition Encumbrance).

If this is the case (as I have yet to see any indication otherwise) it´s, personally, a wrong decision, which I will "correct" when I reformulate the Initiative mechanism on my very own House rule (yes, there will be rolls every single round AND these will be using different dice, based on how successful the last round was for the player/npc - success means higher dice like 1d10 or 1d12, while failure will result in the use of a 1d6 or 1d4, with the average being a 1d8.

What do you guys think about this?

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bern
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby bern » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:50 am

The reason for not including the Initiative (INI) was IMHO a pure practical one. They didn't want to change the INI during combat, because it can be a pain to keep track of who is next in combat when the order constantly changes. I fully support this argument, because to me as a GM it was really a pain during the 4th editon to deal with all of this. And wounds where not the only reason INI could change, this made it really confusing at times.
On the other hand I understand that including INI to the modifier makes totally sense. My problem with the pain rule is that it only gives -1, I would change it to -2. That would be my personal house rule.

Thorgarth
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Thorgarth » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:04 am

Dynamic initiative mechanisms, that is, having a random element to initiative each round by having a roll and adding base values plus modifiers, is a staple for me. I´ve used it with all the systems I´ve Game Mastered and most where I was a "simple" player, and this have not been few (I´ve been GM and studying RPG´s since 1990, more or less). For me it´s a very important aspect which does not add in terms of complexity (though here it varies with the specific mechanisms adopted) but gives us much in realism and unpredictability (combat is very dynamic).

The degree by which each Pain Level affects rolls also seemed, at first, slightly undervalued, much less relevant than the prior edition -2 BUT we have to see it in context, in a systematic way, with all the other conditions penalties, which stack up to -5. I will have to try and re-try this to see how it works in terms of balanced, but for now I would let it pass as it is. The penalty to initiative, though, WILL be added for Pain level, and probably using the -2 penalty/level, as such, each level in pain will inflict -1 to all checks and movement AND -1 or -2 to initiative, depending on the real impact it shows to have in combat.

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julianwolfe
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby julianwolfe » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:20 pm

This reminds me of 1st and 2nd edition AD&D where you go on an initiative segment, and your actions move you in the round segment.

I played using all these techniques, even the really obscure ones, and all this did was make the flow between combat and adventuring that much more disrupted, because setup requires recording and adjusting a bunch of numbers.

I'll probably start with TDE's default initiative rule, but I bet we will end up just doing 'the side with the low roll goes first' that we're doing now (except it's D&D so it's a high roll).

Flash
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Flash » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:56 pm

bern wrote:The reason for not including the Initiative (INI) was IMHO a pure practical one.


Agreement here. TDE is a rather rules heavy game and small stuff like this just makes sense to make it more manageable.They did that with a number of needlessly complex stuff from the mess that 4E TDE often was.

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Bosper
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Bosper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:28 pm

I too am very happy with the static Initiative. We didnt even use any initiative changing in 4th edition. it was just a pain in the arse to keep track. There will be a more detailed wounds rule as optional rules in the fighting/skills expansion Compendium though. Maybe you will find that more interesting. We as a group are very happy with the conditons as they are. Quick, easy, understandable. If you go back to wounds you have to differentiate between the different wounds in different zones. have to write down which wound is older than the other, which effects they seperatly have, how they interact with pain induced by other sources like burns, acid, poison or magic. Instead of 1 condition you are tracking 5 different things. Thats not the spirit of the 5th edition. But of course if you like it, houserule whatever you want.

Thorgarth
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Thorgarth » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:31 pm

Personally I think this static approach is highly detrimental to the drama factor of any encounter. Uncertainty, luck but also skill and success (this two parameters, sadly, are missing in most, though not all, initiative systems) should play a part in determining the order of actions, with momentum building or initiative lost being factored into the narrative, and spinning the glorious tales of courage and valor. Nothing or very few things in combat should be taken for granted.

I still remember an epic fight where our party was ambushed in the wrong part of town (I blamed the damned Dwarf, a drunken bastard of the worst kind :D !! Oh wait, it was me...) and as such was surprised, not acting for the 1st round, and then most of our members went to loose the initiative for the next two rounds, suffered terrible "wounds" (and lost one of our fighters) but then regained momentum, and won the following initiative rolls and managed to win the battle, striking the fatal blows right before they fell us. We were really at death´s door. If the enemies had managed to attack first in that last round things may have gone terribly bad indeed....

thebwt
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby thebwt » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:13 pm

I suspect we'll see optional rules for a more dynamic INI system in the future. But largely they have simplified the old systems to increase general approachability.

I personally love this, it's a lot like gurp's idea of "as complicated as you care to play it" but even more simple to digest.
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Flash
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Re: Conditions (pain) vs Wounds

Postby Flash » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:19 pm

thebwt wrote:I personally love this, it's a lot like gurp's idea of "as complicated as you care to play it" but even more simple to digest.


The designers seem to agree. I loved that table on page 392. A nice and practical little touch. :)


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