Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chi Questions

With a cut of the GAT rules off to some review (and posted here--feel free to review) I'm turning back to Chi: mystical martial arts moves. The idea is to be able to play Mortal Kombat / Street Fighter type guys while amping up to the Hero-style Kung Fu army-fighters (at higher power levels).

Mechanically we want:

  • A rich variety of fighting styles and strategies available
  • Rules that ensure you don't just do one thing (throw a Chi Fireball) all the time over and over
  • Encourage strategies that carry over from Round to Round rather than having very little bearing from Round to Round
  • Don't get bogged down with complex rules or "Chi Points" or other Chi-only mechanics.
As expected, we learned a lot from the GAT creation--and I'm now applying that learning to the Chi rules. Here's the outstanding issues and questions for now:

  1. We presently don't simulate "unlocks"--that is powers that can only be used when some event has passed (such as "I took a lot of damage" or "I successfully blocked six strikes" or "I knocked out one opponent" or whatever). As such we either have to change the simulator (and that would be a pretty big change) or estimate. We also don't simulate large battles so the "I knocked someone out" unlock would only apply in a minority of the fights in our line-up and thus wouldn't tell us everything we'd probably want to know.
  2. We don't do strategy around fire decisions. A Chi Bolt or Chi Punch can be "charged" by not using it each Round of a fight. If you unleash it on Round 1 it doesn't hit that hard. Wait for Round 2 and you get your money's worth. Wait for Round 3? It hits pretty darn hard. Round 4? I'm not sure we're going to track that far--but still: we can simulate each attack but not the decision making as to whether the combatant holds off or not. I'm not sure we need to--but it factors into the costs.
  3. Use Only If Last Attack Hit. Combos and certain other attacks are slated to be useful only if each attack in a chain hits--so I declare "Three Chain Punches for 12 REA!" If the first two hit (and are not blocked/dodged) I get to throw the third one--but if the first two miss or get blocked the rest of the REA is wasted--so it's a risk. We don't simulate that. We could--but it's a bit complex. Some moves, likewise, will only work after another attack has hit ("Finishing Move") but don't need to be declared up front. Is this really a defect? I'm not sure.
  4. Charge-Up-Armor: We can allow characters to pay REA for defenses (to keep a Force Field up or to have Armor so long as they pay REA for a step--but don't really move). The simulator doesn't track that. If they lose the REA the armor won't go away. It also will never make a decision to dump the armor (represented as a 0-damage attack that costs REA) and go for extra attacks--something a character might well do.
So we need to decide what to do about these things ... and a few others.



  1. Hey, I'd hate to sound naggy but are there any updates on when the downloads archive will be back up? A friend of mine is about to start up a JAGS campaign on my recommendation but neither of us have found comprehensive rules on magic, or most of the other PDFs you commonly refer to in your posts for that matter.

    Thanks for making such a great system and continuing to update it, as a DM that can't afford the never ending piles of sourcebooks and guides commonly associated with other mainstream systems, my players and I greatly appreciate your efforts!

  2. I'm not sure when the site will be fully operational. Here's a couple of links:

    Making Magicians

    I'll see what else I can dig up.

  3. Just a passing comment; be aware that the magic material Marco links to is pretty old; they never got around to magic in the Revised Archetypes project before they decided they didn't like the way it was going, so it predates even that.