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Old August 31, 2012, 11:55   #1
Mikko Lehtinen
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Halls of Mist: super-simple skills?

I have fallen in love with simple, unmodified percentage checks. They make understanding the game so much easier.

I started thinking how to make all the skills use the d100 < Skill mechanic.

Each of the fighting skills is actually two skills: Finesse and Penetration. Finesse is almost always the higher of the two by a large margin.

Fighting 66%/30%
Shooting 70%/35%
Throwing 68%/33%

Normally you'd roll 1d100 < Finesse. Against heavily armored opponents you would roll 1d100 < Penetration.

Range would not affect hit chance anymore. Range is already interesting enough since ranged weapons have widely different maximum ranges.

Fighting skills would not necessarily need to increase with levels; maybe only the warrior classes would train them, or perhaps only one of them.

Dexterity would affect Finesse, and Strength Penetration. Weapon bonuses would perhaps apply to both.

Another skill would need to be added, Ambush. The skill score functions as your critical chance against distracted opponents (sleeping, scared, confused, blind). There would be no other way to score critical hits.

There could also be a Parry skill for defending against melee attacks. Jumping would still be used to dodge missiles. All monsters would have the same hit chances.

Magic Device. Would something break if every magic device activation used the unmodified skill percentage? Maybe some devices could have dangerous side-effects for failing to make them unattractive to characters with bad Device skill.

Only Stealth left. I still don't understand how it works, so no comments yet.
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Old August 31, 2012, 12:48   #2
Mikko Lehtinen
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Combat skills got streamlined in the shower.

Fighting, Piercing, Missile
Ambush, Parry, Jumping

Against lightly armored opponents, use Fighting with melee and thrown weapons, Missile with bows and powder vials.

Against heavily armored opponents, use Piercing with melee and thrown weapons, Missile with bows and powder vials.

Ambush check for critical hits against distracted opponents that you hit, Parry to block melee attacks, Jumping to dodge missiles.

It is assumed that bows are very good at penetrating armor. Would this be a realistic assumption in any historical time period? I haven't really determined what my world's level of technology is.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; August 31, 2012 at 12:56.
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Old August 31, 2012, 13:04   #3
Philip
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Well, longbows could drive into a horsemans armor pretty well, and crossbows would probably had the power too.
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Old August 31, 2012, 13:17   #4
LostTemplar
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While longbow can cut through armor, its effectiveness is greatly reduced. I would better asume, that blunt hits ignore armor, then that arrows do. Also shields are super effectve versus archery.
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Old August 31, 2012, 14:54   #5
Mikko Lehtinen
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Okay, let's try to make my super-simple, skills based combat system also realistic. How about this?

Fighting (DEX)
  • melee and thrown weapons against light armor

Piercing (STR)
  • melee and thrown weapons against heavy armor
  • bow against heavy armor at long range

Missile (DEX)
  • powder vials
  • bow against light armor
  • bow against heavy armor at short range (half your maximum range or less)

Bows are only assumed to penetrate armor at short range, with direct hits. At longer range you need to aim indirectly. Note that bow ranges are pretty short in Halls of Mist. Imagine 10th century longbows before armor technology got better; that's when longbow was at best against armor.

I'm thinking that player's armor bonuses are simple added to the Parry skill. It only helps against melee attacks. That's the case with AC in Angband also.

Unfortunately I can't make blunt weapons better against armor in an elegant way... That's alright with me since neither does Angband.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; August 31, 2012 at 15:02.
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Old August 31, 2012, 16:04   #6
Mikko Lehtinen
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One more try. Four attack skills with flavourful names, and simple d100 under skill attack rolls with no modifiers.

Slash (DEX): melee and thrown weapons against light armor
Pierce (STR): melee and thrown weapons against heavy armor
Snapshot (DEX): thrown powder vials, archery against easy targets
Forceful Shot (STR): archery at long range or against heavy armor

The STR-based skills would always have lower scores than the DEX-based skills.

Forceful Shot seems realistic enough. You use it when you either need to shoot far, to shoot at weak spots in an armor, or both at once. In all cases you would probably need more STR than DEX.

Rogue would be good at Snapshot but pretty average at Forceful Shot. Ranger's Forceful Shot would be almost as good as her Snapshot. Fighter's Pierce would be almost as good as his Slash. With this simplified system the classes could actually be more distinctive than before.

Ambush (no stat bonus) skill score functions as your critical chance against distracted opponents (sleeping, scared, confused, blind). There is no other way to score critical hits.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; September 15, 2012 at 12:27.
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Old August 31, 2012, 17:44   #7
LostTemplar
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Quite good and simple.

Btw I like combat system, where chances are ratios of some characteristics of attacker and target e.g. hit chance can be
(weapon_hit_chance*attacker_dexterity) / (target_dexterity * armor_class)
Simple, realistic, easy to balance.
However it requires that monsters have same stats as player, so not possible in your case.
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Old September 1, 2012, 07:25   #8
saarn
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Is it a problem that (if I'm understanding correctly) a strong but clumsy fighter would be much better against heavy armor than light? I guess you could imagine that the enemy wearing light armor is harder to hit?

I think you'd want to have both kinds of melee/missile checks always though (a contact and penetration check), otherwise you would see weird discontinuities as you balanced mobs where they would suddenly change from a pure strength check to a pure dex check.
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Old September 1, 2012, 07:57   #9
Mikko Lehtinen
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The armor piercing skills advance at a much slower pace. Slash would always be better than Pierce. For strong and clumsy fighters the difference would be very small.

I would try to make it obvious which monsters are heavily armored. It might lead to interesting combat tactics: kill lightly armored foes with a sword, heavily armored foes with spells.

For the combat skills training would probably matter much more than stats.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; September 1, 2012 at 08:05.
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Old September 1, 2012, 08:20   #10
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I agree that it seems better to have both a chance-to-hit and a degree-of-damage skill check, instead of a binary "monsters with more than this much armor use a different skill check for hitting". Among other things, that means you can scale armor sensibly throughout the game so that the basic mechanics of combat remain consistent early and late.
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