Making Combat more Tactical

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'.
Glorelendil
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Glorelendil » Mon May 01, 2017 8:17 pm

Rich H wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 7:22 pm
That's a great post, Stormcrow. Just wanted to say that.
And I'm not disagreeing with any of it. (Well, aside from the condescension and pedantry...but I tire of flogging that horse.) And I'm not saying that I want to house rule anything, or that I want TOR to change. I think it would be a mistake to try to make TOR combat more like D&D 5e.

But none of that is mutually exclusive with believing that the mechanics of D&D 5e combat are more fun.

I enjoy thinking through how many squares of movement I have, which squares I can pass through, whether I'm going to provoke opportunity attacks passing through them, etc. etc. etc. Certainly we could add more decision-making complexity to TOR (which has happened both officially and unofficially) but I don't think it's ever going to give me the same juice that D&D 5e does. Not in the combat department.
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Jon Hodgson
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Jon Hodgson » Tue May 02, 2017 8:56 am

Glorelendil wrote:
Mon May 01, 2017 8:17 pm
(Well, aside from the condescension and pedantry...but I tire of flogging that horse.)
You're across the line here, Glorenlendil. Let's stick to discussing ideas rather than people's behaviour.
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jamesrbrown
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by jamesrbrown » Tue May 02, 2017 12:47 pm

In regards to combat in TOR, I actually think it's the greatest and most fun among my games, including D&D, which I also enjoy (for those familiar with me, this isn't a revelation). There is a certain level of abstraction to the rules, but there is also some very specific structure too. In my opinion, I find that it strikes the right balance for my taste. In D&D, I'm always avoiding rules for movement and precise ranges because I feel it slows the game down too much. I think Fantasy Flight did a great job with range bands and movement in their Star Wars lines. But, if someone wanted to use tactical and precise movement rules in TOR, because they prefer it better, they would need to develop rules and stats for speed, weapon ranges, reach, and either hexes or squares, etc. A possible good place to find inspiration for rules and stats would be either The Lord of the RIngs miniatures games or the old Combat Hex game.
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Rich H
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Rich H » Thu May 04, 2017 1:46 pm

jamesrbrown wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 12:47 pm
In regards to combat in TOR, I actually think it's the greatest and most fun among my games, including D&D, which I also enjoy (for those familiar with me, this isn't a revelation). There is a certain level of abstraction to the rules, but there is also some very specific structure too. In my opinion, I find that it strikes the right balance for my taste.
I agree and, as my Battle Maps document demonstrates, you can add tactical and strategic options without the need for house rules.
jamesrbrown wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 12:47 pm
In D&D, I'm always avoiding rules for movement and precise ranges because I feel it slows the game down too much.
Yep, those don't feel like interesting combat options to me, just tedious ones. In the past I've always stripped them out except in D&D4e where they were made an (interesting) part of the game mechanics rather than feeling like an afterthought of other editions.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Falenthal » Thu May 04, 2017 2:13 pm

I side with Stormcrow, Rich and James here. TOR has the exact amount of detail and freedom I find myself comfortable with when LMing. My players don't have to think "what do the rules tell me are my options in this situation?" and then choose what their characters do based on the best perceived option, but "what do I want to do in this situation?" and then I look at how can the rules acomodate their wish.

What I'd like to know -Glor and kdresser- is how your group aproaches the game systems. I mean, do you all read the core books of each game (TOR, D&D,...)? Or only the LM/DM does?

In my group, usually only the LM does know the rules by heart. We could say that each one specializes in some system(s). In our case, having tones of options and variables doesn't help the fun, as the players don't know them and wouldn't benefit from the tinkering pleasure you explain. It would simply be an obscure part of the game or an extra amount of work for the LM who'd have to explain them once and again at each combat situation.

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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Turin » Fri May 05, 2017 11:45 pm

I am new to the board, I have owned the game since the slip cover first came out and own all the books published though I have just started playing a month ago. One of the reasons that I enjoy this game is the abstraction of combat. It evens out my players so that the characters are more or less tactical based on their composition. In most games that I play (meaning both as a player and DM/GM/LM) the combat is driven much more on how skilled the player is then the character. In many cases I like that, having played Roleplaying games since 1980 and having a wide range of experience with very different systems, but TOR's abstraction is very refreshing so I won't modify it personally. The narrative examples given are all great and fit with how I want the game to feel.

That being said I don't feel those are really suggestions to make the combat more tactical, they actually seem more like they are telling someone else that what they are looking for is wrong. If you are like me you prefer the rules as they are written, for any number of reasons, that is great, but let's help where we can.

My first suggestion to make combat more tactical is to use miniatures, with our without a grid as long as you have a measurement for distance, 1" = 5' (yes I am an American :) ) Along with that you would have to calculate how far people can move in a round, means you would adjust the length of time for a round that fits to your expectation of more "tactical". ROS was always too short for my personal liking, but everyone has their own tastes.

Second list advantages and disadvantages of situations,there are many that fit this, you could grab them and use them almost strait as the are listed in 3.5/Pathfinder, +2 for flank for example translates well into this system. For certain "tactical" advantages and disadvantages you could have them roll the feat die twice, keeping the better if it is an advantage or lower if it is a disadvantage. I feel like being prone would be a start.

Third add a rule for how "tactical" bonuses add up, you can either apply them as positive or negative numbers to the roll result or I think it would be better to augment bonus dice. Positive numbers would be added up to 3, after 3 you would add an additional die to the bonus pool. So if the sum of "tactical" modifiers equals 4 they would add one bonus die.

Bonus and dice conversion
+1 = +1 to roll result
+2 = +2 to roll result
+3 = +3 to roll result
+4 = +1 bonus die
+5 = +1 to roll result and +1 bonus die
+6 = +2 to roll result and +1 bonus die
+7 = +7 to roll result and +1 bonus die
+8 = +2 bonus dice

You would do just the opposite for disadvantages

Penalty and dice conversion
-1 = -1 to roll result
-2 = -2 to roll result
-3 = -3 to roll result
-4 = -1 bonus die
-5 = -1 to roll result and -1 bonus die
-6 = -2 to roll result and -1 bonus die
-7 = -7 to roll result and -1 bonus die
-8 = -2 bonus dice

This is just off the top of my head as I really like the abstract nature of the rules as written.

-edited for auto correct correction.
Last edited by Turin on Sun May 07, 2017 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Glorelendil
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Glorelendil » Sat May 06, 2017 1:13 pm

Turin wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 11:45 pm
That being said I don't feel those are really suggestions to make the combat more tactical, they actually seem more like they are telling someone else that what they are looking for is wrong.
Probably why I get snarky in return. IMO it's pretty cheeky to, in effect, tell people interested in crunch that they should learn to roleplay. The two are not mutually exclusive. (Although I won't deny that the crunchiness of a game tends to also sway gameplay in that direction.)

Look, I don't want TOR to be different. It's really great at what it is. It doesn't give me the exhilaration of rock climbing, the buzz of tequila shots, or the crunchy intricacy* of 5e, but that doesn't mean I think it should.

*That said, one thing I love about 5e is that combat is greatly streamlined compared to other editions or games. It's right in my sweet spot.
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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Stormcrow » Sat May 06, 2017 10:37 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 1:13 pm
IMO it's pretty cheeky to, in effect, tell people interested in crunch that they should learn to roleplay. The two are not mutually exclusive.
This is obviously directed at me, and it's a gross mischaracterization of what I posted.

I wrote a long summary of the back-and-forth in the thread, but I've just deleted it, because anyone can go back and reread it. It's not long. I didn't tell people to forget about crunch and learn to role-play. I supported the idea of choosing your own level of crunch, but warned that TOR isn't set up to easily modify the crunch. Others in this thread have offered possible rules-changes; I didn't feel the need to duplicate their work. The original poster seemed to confuse detail and tactics; I spent a great deal of time distinguishing the two so the original poster would be better able to recognize what it is they're looking for.

I have spent a great deal of time trying to set the stage for the original poster to have the tools they need to add the level of crunch to TOR that they want. I have never said or even implied that they don't know how to role-play or that they're doing badwrongfun. Please stop trying to use reductio ad absurdum on my arguments because you don't like my posting style.

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Re: Making Combat more Tactical

Post by Glorelendil » Mon May 08, 2017 1:40 pm

Stormcrow wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 10:37 pm
Please stop trying to use reductio ad absurdum on my arguments because you don't like my posting style.
Ok, mea culpa. I'm sure I'm reading things in the worst light possible, due to long-ish history, and I certainly have a tendency (which, on the positive side, may qualify me for the job of President) to fire off poorly considered off-hand remarks on the internet. I'm going to try (partly for Jon's sake) to be more zen (or Zed) about these things.
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