Thursday, September 1, 2011


What I Am Working On Right Now
We are reviewing the first chapter. There's a lot that we have to get right. I am also working on filling out the combat GAT chapter. This, too, is crucial for the foundation of the rest of the book. Not everything will be represented there--but these two chapters are sort of "holographic" to the whole: they are a condensed version of the concepts that are used throughout the entire design (and re-design) of the game.

One of the kinds of GATs--which, honestly, may go more heavily into the Chi Martial Arts chapter--but is exposed in the GAT chapter as well--are combat modifiers that hinge on what has taken place in combat. An example is Executioner. When you kill something in combat you get X-number of ADP (up to a maximum). This replenishes as you kill more things.

There are also effects that kick in, for example, after six blocks--or when you get hit several times. Maybe some that activate "when you are stunned or dazed."

Exactly what these are worth is difficult to figure out: how often will a character block six times in combat? What if it unlocks a big, powerful, pool of SP's that can be used in combat? Would they then block-block-block-block-block-block-win? Maybe. Or maybe they'd buy it and use it only when combats go for a while--or when there are multiple opponents so there are more incoming attacks than normal?

We can't say for sure.

What We Do Know
We know what the effect is worth when you have it from the start. We can presume that things that dictate a more defensive fighting style or require actual kills (or combatant-removed-from-the-fight results, actually) are worth a certain reduction. While we can't identify every game we know a few things are general:

  • Many fights will be against greater numbers of lesser opponents. In our experience nail-biting even-odds 1-on-1 fights are rare compared to fights against either a bunch of light-troops or a few heavier units but not usually heavier than the PCs ... or bosses (with some combination of support troops). There is also the case where, for example, three 24 AP PCs fight two 36 AP "bug bears." In any event it's still many-vs-many rather than a straight up 1-to-1 fight. This means that in more cases there are more kills and more incoming attacks than we see in the simulator (Which has more "balanced 1:1 fights" than anything else)
  • The PCs will win most of the time in 2 to 4 rounds. We've tried to engineer this as a generality. Fights more than 6 rounds are a bit long. At 2 rounds it's still pretty bloody. So we can say that a power that kicks in around Rnd 3 (six blocks if you're not dedicated) is useful in about half the fights. Furthermore, since we expect the PCs to be statistical winners in at least 60% of the fights (and really more like 75-80% unless it's a very gritty/grim game) then we can expect a distribution of kills from Round 2 to Round 4, weighted towards 3 or 4. This means that if the effect relies on a kill--or a wound for the PC it's still likely to kick in more towards the end than the beginning.
From this we can estimate that these "charge up" or "combat-bonus" effects are approximately the equivalent of 1.5 round Charge-Up (which we know is about a 55% cost reduction).

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