Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

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jabbasaccount
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Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby jabbasaccount » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:06 am

Hello,

I have been working on a Mod to the combat system in TDE. For one, I believe that sticking to a limited list of combat special abilities (no matter how long that list is) doesn't exactly allow for freedom of player creativity. Additionally, I don't think that one needs to invest AP into a Maneuver such as Feint to be able to do it; some may be better at it than others, but anyone should be able to do a feint. Of course, one can simply allow players to describe their actions in combat freely and ask for appropriate checks, but that would be unfair to those who invest in combat S.A.'s and preclude specializing in certain combat maneuvers that might not be on the list.

In a nutshell, my custom combat maneuvers mod is supposed to allow for players and GM to create any combat maneuver imaginable and improve on them over time if desired.

The general idea: (This list might evolve over time)
  1. The player describes what he/she wants to do.
  2. If the GM thinks that it is possible for the player to do so, he/she must decide on the specifics:
    1. required check(s) (AT/PA/RC/DO and/or some Attribute or Skill)
    2. check(s) penalties/boni (if any)
    3. defense or prevention (if any)
    4. target(s) category(ies)
    5. # of actions required
    6. Combat Technique restrictions (if any)
    7. Effect(s); decide for each affected individual/entity:
      1. penalty/bonus to AT/PA/RC/DO/Attr./Skill/DP/PRO/TOU/SPI/MOV/INI
      2. conditions/states induced
      3. other effects
      4. duration
    8. Duration
    9. Improvement:
      1. # levels possible
      2. what can be improved, by how much, and at what cost
      3. practice number (see below)
  3. Whenever a player successfully used a combat maneuver (succeeds check(s) and is not prevented/defended) against a number of different opponents equal to the practice number, the player may decide to spend the improvement cost in AP to advance one level, but must decide that moment what part to improve if there are choices.

For less complexity, one can:
  1. require to only consider maneuvers that take 1 action
  2. only allow effects that can be measured in stats (penalty/bonus to AT/PA/RC/DO/Attr./Skill/DP/PRO/TOU/SPI/MOV/INI, or in induced states/conditions
  3. determine duration to be one of: immediate, target's next turn, or until beginning of players next turn
  4. always improve by one step when leveling up (for example reduce an AT penalty by one or add one more to damage)
  5. leave out the practice number and just level up a maneuver whenever AP are available and invested

For more complexity, one can:
  1. allow for modifiers similar to spell/chant casting modifiers
  2. level up each effect separately

From the responses to this post:
  1. These optional rules create an advantage for fighter-characters over casters.
  2. These rules create a potential for a mushed-up uniform fighter class instead of the specialized fighters with their individual fighting styles.

What do others think about this approach? Any ideas/suggestions/comments?

I decided to post this to see the general reaction as well as receive suggestions, ideas and comments to improve or add to the mod.

Thanks,
Jasper
Last edited by jabbasaccount on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:28 pm, edited 7 times in total.

tempest13
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby tempest13 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:29 am

Since the Spellcasters, and Priests also have special abilities are you going to let them do the same? I understand that you feel that the system is artificially restrictive, however no one ever said that non skilled people are not using charge and feint or even grapple attacks. Non skilled individuals just do not use them effectively and thus do not receive any sort of bonus for their use. Anyone can charge, but only those who take the time to train get any advantage out of it. Using your method gives a unfair advantage to fighters over casters.

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jabbasaccount
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby jabbasaccount » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:55 pm

Since the Spellcasters, and Priests also have special abilities are you going to let them do the same? I understand that you feel that the system is artificially restrictive, however no one ever said that non skilled people are not using charge and feint or even grapple attacks. Non skilled individuals just do not use them effectively and thus do not receive any sort of bonus for their use. Anyone can charge, but only those who take the time to train get any advantage out of it. Using your method gives a unfair advantage to fighters over casters.


Thanks for your input.

I agree that this gives advantages to fighters over casters, and in fact I had tried to work out a way of giving casters an advantage as well, but that's not part of the combat maneuvers, so I won't be going into detail unless you want me to. I found it much more difficult to tamper in anything that has to do with magic and am not 100% happy yet with what I tried to come up with for casters. Hopefully it's enough to say that implementing these optional rules for custom combat maneuvers would require to also do something for casters.

I do think that if a GM allows untrained characters to perform any of the combat maneuvers then as you said he/she would have to adjust the quality of that maneuver to make it fair to those who spent AP to train these S.A.'s. That is pretty much what the custom combat maneuvers do, but they'll stay consistent once the GM sets the parameters. Also, I was hoping that custom combat maneuvers would add to the game by allowing any player to come up with their own maneuver and then maybe even train it to become more efficient with it. That way, players are not restricted to any list of combat maneuvers.

The TDE rules do not preclude players from doing whatever they want, but in my opinion combat S.A.'s allow for advancement of a PC in mundane combat skills, which is important for the gaming experience, in particular, for mundane fighter characters. The custom combat maneuvers just expand on that aspect.

To clarify, I don't want to completely take away the combat S.A.'s. Some of them, in particular the passive one's, cannot really be modeled by these custom combat maneuvers.

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Bosper
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby Bosper » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:09 pm

"penalty/bonus to AT/PA/RC/DO/Attr./Skill/DP/PRO/TOU/SPI/MOV/INI"

there are SAs for more or less all of this. It just seems like a massive amount of time and work if you can just look up examples that are more or less balanced and tested.

Plus. You would instantly destroy the Fighting Style ruleset of the compendiums and other supplements, which more or less lives off the idea that certain abilities should be exclusive for fighters specialising in one style. Taking away the necessity to focus on certain abilities for fighters, while casters still have it in place. By removing their necessity to focus on certain types of spells/chants to balance it, you would again destroy the flavour and fluff of casters and blessed ones as specialists in their fields, leaving a grey mush of "fighter" and "caster" without any differences except looks.

A Knight and a Sabredancer will be able to do the same. As will a Necromancer and an Illusionist. They will wield different weapons/spells but arent hindered to learn whatever they want to outshine the supposed expert in his/her field.Which in the end will lead to THE optimized fighter/caster that will look always the same.
Thats the problem TDE4 mages and fighters had. 95% of Characters chose the "most useful" spells and maneuvers that got them the most bang for the buck, completely annihilating the diverse and colourful range of traditions that the setting implemented.
TDE5 tries to support the notion that spending your whole youth learning a certain way of doing things will enable you to do things that people without that professional training just cant achieve in their free time.
Getting more experienced doesnt replace academic education or drill and instruction by a master of the field. While other techniques just are secrets that arent shared with anyone and not easy to reproduce.

It takes dedication to change the ways a spell works. Thats what for example an academy of illusion developed for centuries. Giving all the tools to everyone who has a few month or years of practical experience, who just happens to have a few AP to spend, doesnt seem benefitial to the mood of the game.

Same goes for certain fighting styles. Fencing Manuals are a thing for a reason, they are rare, expensive and encoded. Some developed over generations, like the Adersin style. Just immitating their secrets because you got 15 AP from your last adventure kills the purpose of different professions and Traditions.

Being a Jack of all trades seems just way more boring than having an iconic , unique style to do things.

Plus you cant estimate the abilities of enemies any more. If you know your stuff (Warfare) you will be able to anticipate what kind of maneuvers a fighter from Thorwal, Winhall or Gareth will most likely use. With your rule thats all gone as well, because they can just all do whatever they like.

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jabbasaccount
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby jabbasaccount » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:09 pm

Great response Bosper.

"penalty/bonus to AT/PA/RC/DO/Attr./Skill/DP/PRO/TOU/SPI/MOV/INI"
there are SAs for more or less all of this. It just seems like a massive amount of time and work if you can just look up examples that are more or less balanced and tested.


I agree, but not all of them fit in their description of what the character is actually doing. There are sometimes even multiple SAs with the same effect, but a different context/description, but a player may come up with something completely new, which may however end up having the same effect. Also, I feel that Conditions and States are not used particularly often, but maybe that's just because it is not that easy to come up with a maneuver that would make sense to have such an effect.
Since there are SAs for all of this, the GM could use those as a comparison to make sure things are balanced. As for the amount of time it takes, it certainly is a tradeoff and would depend on the GM's preferences. Some GM's and player groups, may not care to dwell too much on keeping everything balanced and perfect, but quickly come up with something that fits the situation, while others want everything to be balanced. I think it's a matter of playstyle and some playstyles would certainly not work out with this.

By removing their necessity to focus on certain types of spells/chants to balance it, you would again destroy the flavour and fluff of casters and blessed ones as specialists in their fields, leaving a grey mush of "fighter" and "caster" without any differences except looks.


I agree that allowing everything for everyone could result into this "grey mush," and I believe that you are right that it would need to be adressed, or these optional rules would be no good unless maybe played by a group of players who end up only focusing on things that would make sense for their characters' background. I do not mean to let anyone simply pull out Adersin Fighting Style out of their hat and I would not want these optional rules to allow that. As a GM myself I would tell the player that in order to perform this Adersin Fighting Style maneuver, he would have had to learn it first and couldn't just know it because he has the AP available. I guess this doesn't exactly show in the description of these rules, except maybe at step 2 "If the GM thinks that is is possible for the player to do so...," but this is very vague and invites conflict between GM and player.

I haven't actually read through the Compendium, yet, but how do the rules keep players from just buying Fighting Styles with AP whenever they feel like it, and how do these optional rules erase that restriction? I do not mean these rules to simply replace combat SA's but only simple combat maneuvers among those SA's. There should be a way to have them go alongside each other by imposing prerequisites or making sure that those maneuvers that are part to Fighting Styles still require the character to have that focus first.

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Bosper
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby Bosper » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:36 am

"I haven't actually read through the Compendium, yet, but how do the rules keep players from just buying Fighting Styles with AP whenever they feel like it, and how do these optional rules erase that restriction?"

A Fighting/Casting style represents the 4-12 years of education a fighter/caster got at the institution he trained at, be it an academy or a private master. So its something you will take at character generation as part of your characters backround, opposed to some time along the way. And its also mostly bound to a certain style of play in and outside of combat, since you wont only adapt the way of fighting, but the philosophy of your teacher. They offer unique passive bonuses as well as a selection of 3 expanded special abilities, like a Skill Tree attached to that style.
Those expanded special abilities are only available for a character with that style.
While its always possible to reflavour a fighting style for another culture or profession, you usually dont have years of downtime to learn it later.
For example we had a novadi desert fighter who liked the mechanics of one of the fighting styles for blessed ones of rondra.
So we renamed it and made it available for Double-khunchomer instead of Rondra's Crest. But he had to take it on char-gen.

With being able to create your own SA's to do everything imaginable, including things that aren't available without a style, the choice of a fighting style
A) isnt relevant to the backround any more
B) removes the only true difference between a trained fighter and someone putting points in their weapon skills during their adventuring career.

So to be true to the Setting and Fluff of the game, the only way to learn an additional style is significant amounts of downtime as part of a big campaign.

For example Binding the opponents weapon is an expanded SA for some fencing, sword or polearm styles. In theory that should be possible for everyone, but in mechanics that usually is implemented as part of a very well or critical parry. But the mechanical maneuver that lowers your Parry to give you a big Attack Bonus the following turn on successful parrying, is something that defines certain professions that chose to specialise in defense to offense maneuvers.
To a true fighter character's player, giving that option to others would feel like allowing everyone to learn spells without a magic tradition, would feel to a mage's player.

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jabbasaccount
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby jabbasaccount » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:48 pm

Sorry for the late answer, just came back from vacation.

Thanks again Bosper, your posts are very helpful. In particular, thank you for the explanation of the fighting style system from the Compendium. I do like the system and wouldn't want any additional rules to interfere with it. I also understand your point how allowing anyone to do anything would do just that. I do believe, though, that with the right set of restrictions my suggested optional rules could be implemented without taking away from the fighting style system.

However, I think that I need to look into the Compendium some more and it is not unlikely that the additions made in there will make it unnecessary for me to modify the rules at all since it seems to offer enough possibilities for fun and customization of fighting characters. On that note, I probably won't be investing more time into these optional rules.

Thanks for the comments and advice,

Jasper

Aprewett
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Re: Custom Combat Maneuvers Mod

Postby Aprewett » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:54 am

I did this;
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2090

My rationale is that Combat Technique's are stated as skill, so makes sence to allow maneuvers. I only have one player so no need to look at magic, but if there is a similar base skill for understanding magical principles then I would use it like CT, or add such a skill. I like the idea that a magic using person would have a skill that covers the principles of there Tradition.


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