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Rosekitten

Character limiting and combat systems

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Ok .. so as my fc has grown over the months and it's been a blast the whole time. I also feel like I have to take some extra dm'ing to certain characters... like literal baby sitting certain characters to ensure they are not becoming over powered gods.. Maybe I'm just a bit too relaxed and people aren't scared enough yet that they can be wounded or even die while I am dm'ing a mission.

 

My officers and I have been trying to hash out a way to keep everyone in check without me having to micro manage certain players as much or often (it just turns any combat or situation into a major headache for me..). I have sat down and tried to be as lore friend and open as possible as most of our rp'ers are new or out of practice..|

But I feel like something has to be done moving forward for any in fc events. SO figured I would come here to seek out advice if there was any. Even if it's drop the character sheet and do something else. I'm willing to hear things and ideas out. ^^ thank you for your time.. ❤️

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Unfortunately, this is a never-ending problem.  Because once you implement a combat system, you run into one of two problems (there are literally millions more, but there are two major ones).  Either you allow advancement, or you don't.  If you do?  Then there comes a point where new players and characters can never catch up, and always feel like they are supporting players to the main PC's in a combat.  Sure they can contribute, but that player over there, who has been in the game/system/FC/etc since Day 1 will always have more experience than them.  

OR.  You don't have advancement, and everyone is equal.  But, why would that person who has been doing this since Day 1 be equal to the person who just signed up?  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

And concerning death or major wounds, in the end we are all here to have some sort of fantasy.  Be it a fantasy of romance, power, adventure, or whatever.  We are all here to play a game and have fun.  To some, having their character die or majorly injured is just not fun!  So, of course they want to come out the victor and avoid that.

 

I truly do wish I had an answer to help, I really do.  However, I just don't.  I'm just pointing out some issues that crop up whenever combat rolls around.

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18 minutes ago, Yandros said:

Unfortunately, this is a never-ending problem.  Because once you implement a combat system, you run into one of two problems (there are literally millions more, but there are two major ones).  Either you allow advancement, or you don't.  If you do?  Then there comes a point where new players and characters can never catch up, and always feel like they are supporting players to the main PC's in a combat.  Sure they can contribute, but that player over there, who has been in the game/system/FC/etc since Day 1 will always have more experience than them.  

OR.  You don't have advancement, and everyone is equal.  But, why would that person who has been doing this since Day 1 be equal to the person who just signed up?  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

And concerning death or major wounds, in the end we are all here to have some sort of fantasy.  Be it a fantasy of romance, power, adventure, or whatever.  We are all here to play a game and have fun.  To some, having their character die or majorly injured is just not fun!  So, of course they want to come out the victor and avoid that.

 

I truly do wish I had an answer to help, I really do.  However, I just don't.  I'm just pointing out some issues that crop up whenever combat rolls around.


I do like the concept you presented in the first part.. I'm going to copy that over to my officers for food for thought as far as advancement or not. We were working on a no real advancement system. Like characters can be adjusted based on experiences but it shouldn't have any jump leaps and bounds ahead. 

The death/wounds.. i leave that semi in the player's hands. I warn most if they do a mission and their character isn't ready... they could be hurt. I won't kill a character off but they may very well have to play out being unable to attend the next mission if it's close enough time frame wise. 

Still thank you for the thoughts.. anything is a huge help in trying to sort out all of this craziness... Dx When there was just 4-5 of us it wasn't bad but now we have people testing limits so ... it's becoming almost a chore to keep up.

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Haha, yeah I understand testing limits.  I do tabletop gaming myself (which thankfully other people go through the work of making the rules, I just get to run games and play!), so it's always a situation where people are trying to push the boundaries of the system.  And honestly, that needs to happen!  Systems don't get better without that.  Anyways, I digress there.

 

I am glad my meandering ramblings were at least of some form of help!  And I really do wish there was a clear cut answer to the problem, as I would love to know it as well.

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Its unfortunately the territory that comes with leading or being an officer of an FC/guild/clan/whatever. Save for those few that you know and trust enough to promote to officership along with you (and even then... sometimes... yeesh) you are always going to have to hand hold.

 

Regarding event systems: what has worked best for me in the past is literally keeping it all as simple as possible. The more layers you add to it (character sheets, stats, special skills, etc.) the more convoluted it gets and the more often you will have to hand hold.

 

My biggest and best advice, imo, is to include your entire company in the creation of the system. Have a discussion thread on your forum/discord/whatever that allows people to give feedback and suggestions. You may be surprised what your non-officer members can come up with or even what they actually want out of a system.

 

The best system my past companies came up with was one of experience that allowed character growth, but over a fairly long amount of time. In other words, characters that showed up to just three events or something wouldn't immediately bump up to the next power level. Beyond that, each bump in power was more expensive than the last, meaning that even if "that player over there" has a +1 to their power level, it's going to take a long time for them to get to +2.

 

The system rewarded players for showing up to the event, completing the event, and best of all... leading the event. As such, their "exp" they would gain would be 2 or 3 so long as they stayed to the conclusion of the event (whatever the DM deems as the conclusion such as the fight being won or whatever). That experience would then be spent to buy power levels -if- they wanted to and -when- they wanted to... the first of which cost 15 iirc. So they would at minimum have to lead 5 events, and at maximum attend to the end 8. Once they bought that power level they would bump back 15 exp and have to start collecting again... the next power level costing 30 exp or something. Then we would cap the power level at 3 just to avoid there being no point to rolls and the like.

 

Tl;dr: keep it simple. Add too many layers and players will end up being turned off by the system or needing even more handholding than if you didnt have a system at all.

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Yeah Dacien, we've been including the members. WE're a pretty open fc as far as leadership. the leader/officers are there if a issue actually comes up but we're pretty drama free. :3

 

I figure no matter what i will always have some hand holding.. but I was trying to see if there was a system to make events at the very least smoother on my end to Dm to make interesting stories without having to stress (as much haha).

Hrm.. I rather like the over time power idea.. but some people just can't commonly make the events but I think Ill pass the info on though .. : o mybe we can work with it or figure something that works for the group ^^

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I know the struggle, and as others have said wether there's a system in place or not some hands-on monitoring is always going to be required unfortunately.

 

That said, recently I came up with a simple system based on character life experience with as little rolls as possible and encouraging creative emoting (either in combat or problem solution situations). Basically, what a character can do depends mainly on how old they are and on their background, so you don't necessarily end up with the issue of "never catching up" Yandros mentioned, because someone just joining could have a character as experienced as a long time member if they make them old enough and the background makes sense. The longer someone is in the guild/group/clan and the more active they are, they can unlock some perks giving them a small edge over others when it comes to perform certain actions. So far it has worked well enough to ground characters and avoiding power playing while at the same time leaving everyone enough freedom to depict their character as they envision them.

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