Friday, November 26, 2010

Combat Sequence and Time Management

The other big impact that getting rid of successes as a concept has is on combat sequence. The current game breaks down scenes into rounds, and each round you roll for sequence, taking a number of turns based on your successes on a sequence roll. Again, this is more trouble than it’s worth, and causes you to do constant number conversions.

This rule is here for the supers game. The Flash needs to get more actions each round than other heroes- that’s one of the things that makes him the Flash. However, I shouldn’t build an entire system around the fact that I need Flash-level heroes to have a perk. Later in the process, I know that one of the attributes of Hyperspeed (or whatever it’s called) is the ability to take multiple bonus turns each scene. That seems reasonable enough. If you have Hyperspeed +8, you get two perks: you can travel up to 8 bonus units on a turn, and you have a pool of 8 bonus actions that you can take along with other turns you take that scene. I’d think you could only take one additional turn at a time, but Hyperspeed +8 would allow you to take 2 actions on each turn you take, for the first 8 turns each scene. That’s pretty cool, and seems to fit with how the Flash operates. He does a lot of stuff at once.

This means that when you roll sequence, you only roll once for the whole scene; you then act in order of sequence rolls for the remainder of the scene… this means that everyone gets to act on every rotation, and no one at the table will be sitting there for that long. It also means less rolling in general; you don’t have to roll for sequence every 3-5 rolls; after the initial sequence roll, everything you do is to either attack, defend, roll damage, soak damage, or take a non-combat action.

This also means that the distinction between preparation and resolution phases is a dinosaur. In truth, this was almost a dinosaur with the release of 2.0, but it managed to hang on into the next edition of the game. I originally added this to give heroes with things like force fields a reason to activate them. Combats went so quickly in the first version of the game that a character with a force field who was slow to act often got dropped or taken out of combat before even having a chance to put up the force field. The last edition of the game had managed to partially fix that, and this revised approach to time and combat sequencing makes the need for the preparation phase obsolete. By my later game sessions of Resolute, almost all preparation phases were used to get the +3 attack bonus going into the round; I can always put up my force field later! If the vast majority of players end up taking the +3 bonus, then either it’s too good, or the alternate options are too weak. This gets rid of that problem altogether.