Richer combat

The unique One Ring rules set invites tinkering and secondary creation. Whilst The One Ring works brilliantly as written, we provide this forum for those who want to make their own home-brewed versions of the rules. Note that none of these should be taken as 'official'.
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Glorelendil
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Richer combat

Post by Glorelendil » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:27 pm

Over at Enworld I found 5e Roshambo-Style Theater of the Mind Combat and bought it from DMs Guild to check it out. It's a really interesting, creating approach to gridless combat that still allows tactical decision-making.

So of course I immediately thought about how to adapt it to TOR. As much as I love TOR, I've always wanted just a bit more complexity/richness from combat. In particular I'd like to see more options for protecting other players other than spending all your Hope on Protect Companion, and introduce some more incentives to use stances other than Defensive.

Here are my initial thoughts about how to make it work (the author of the original gave me his blessing to lift as much as I wanted). It also requires a few concepts from 5e.

Terms
Engagement:
This has pretty much the current meaning and is reciprocal. If A engages with B, B is engaged with A.

Attack of Opportunity:
If you are engaged with an enemy (or enemies) and break off the engagement to do something else, the enemy gets a free bonus attack against you.

Disengage:
You can give up your attack for this turn in order to break off an engagement without provoking an Attack of Opportunity.

Reaction:
Once per round you may take a Reaction, on somebody else's turn, in response to something they do. Once you take a Reaction you won't be able to take another until after your next turn. (In these rules there are basically two reactions: Intercept and Attack of Opportunity)

Range:
There are two ranges: "Near" and "Far". Anything Near is close enough that you can move to it, engage with it, and attack it in one turn. Anything Far can be attacked with a bow, but to engage with it in close combat you will have to Dash.

Rules
When you Engage an enemy it means you move to it, engage it in close combat, and make an attack. This breaks off current engagements (see Attacks of Opportunity below).

If an enemy tries to Engage somebody, you may use your Reaction to Intercept them. This prevents them from engaging their target and engages them with you instead. This also breaks off current engagements.

When an enemy with whom you are engaged tries to either Engage or Intercept somebody else, you get an Attack of Opportunity.


Stances
Forward: allows you to engage a Far enemy (although you can't attack this turn), or allows you to engage a Near enemy without being Intercepted.

Open: required to Intercept normally.

Defensive: You can Engage one new target per turn without breaking off current engagements (or provoking Attacks of Opportunity), however you can only Intercept by spending a point of Hope.

Rearward: this is unchanged, although it should be noted whether Rearward companions are Near or Far relative to Adversaries.

Adversaries
Although Adversaries don't formally have stances, they are considered "Open" in terms of using Intercept. Abilities like Great Leap and Fell Speed give Adversaries a benefit similar to Forward stance: they can either Engage without being Intercepted, or Engage Far opponents.


I'm sure this first pass has holes and contradictions. Please point them out! And give other feedback...
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Elmoth
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Re: Richer combat

Post by Elmoth » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:44 pm

A good way to ensure use of stances other than defensive is to put a limit on the turns you have to WIN the fight. You have to kill all the orcs/wargs/spiderstrolls whatever or you DIE, the enemy captures the target, the village is overrun, or whatever. makes forward stances much more appealing when you have to guarantee hits.


The proposed system introduces attacks of opportunity to TOR. I do not find this specially compelling or attractive, but to each one his own. Apart from that, it seems fairly similar to the current system.

Glorelendil
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Re: Richer combat

Post by Glorelendil » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:13 pm

Elmoth wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:44 pm
The proposed system introduces attacks of opportunity to TOR. I do not find this specially compelling or attractive, but to each one his own. Apart from that, it seems fairly similar to the current system.
I think a week ago I would have completely agreed with you about AoO's, but a couple things to consider:
1) The name sucks. No argument there. Try to overlook that for now.
2) It was originally a grid-based concept, but here it only applies to one situation, when you are engaged with one or more enemies, and you try to engage a different one. It both makes some amount of sense narratively, and provides an important counterweight to decision-making.

One thing I like about this general idea (not that my first pass is polished) is that TOR fights tend to be pretty static: you pair off (or group off) at the start of a combat, and those groupings tend not to change. I think that introducing some options for changing targets, potentially with unpredictable consequences, could make combat more exciting.
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Falenthal
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Re: Richer combat

Post by Falenthal » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:46 pm

Why don't you think that adding some more Combat Actions wouldn't solve the problem? And it wouldn't mess with the normal rules.

I have some inspired by some ideas by you and Rich some time ago that look to me like they could represent what you are proposing here.

A "Taunt Enemy" for Forward, that forces an enemy to attack you instead of the companion he has engaged for a number of rounds (1 for each level of success).
"Hinder Enemy" for Open, that increases the TN to hit from an Enemy, at the cost of your own attack.

This way you can still help a companions, without the need to spend Hope, but need to be in more vulnerable positions.

Glorelendil
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Re: Richer combat

Post by Glorelendil » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:25 pm

Oh, I like combat actions. But I think this adds a different dimension. For me anyway it helps create a visual scene.

This may not work for TOR, but it seems brilliant for D&D and I wanted to start at least exploring.
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Hamarr
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Re: Richer combat

Post by Hamarr » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:21 am

I like this a lot. Along with the added called shots and maneuvers from the Adventure's Companion it could add a lot to Combat.

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