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Non-Boffer Combat System idea

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Joined: 21 Mar 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Non-Boffer Combat System idea Reply with quote

In designing the cyberpunk-themed larp I'm currently working on, I realise a (simple) combat system is needed because there will be conflict if everything goes according to plan. As the emphasis on this larp is the socialising and the roleplaying itself rather than immersive combat, I have chosen to go with a non-boffer system. After all, this isn't a beat-each-other-up camping trip in the woods. This, however, is not a discussion on the pros and cons of boffer and non-boffer conflict resolution systems.

I realise that a lot of the time an easy way out of using a complicated system is to use Rock, Paper, Scissors, to resolve physical conflict. I, however, feel that this simple system, despite whatever augmentation is done to it, doesn't give the player the full abilities of their character. For instance, a person who knows how to win a game of RPS can defeat someone who is supposed to be above them in combat skill. While this is still a much smaller advantage than, say, someone who has boffer combat experience has over a newbie, it is still an OOC advantage none-the-less.

My aim is to have a system that has less OOC bias than RPS. To that end, I have drafted the following basic system;

  • For each catagory of combat/conflict (in this case digital and physical), a character will have a stat of 1 - 5, 1 being useless and 5 being super-human (3 being fit/competent).
  • Players are given cards that have their combat stat(s) on them and are easily identified as belonging to the specific catagory and character that they belong to.
  • To engage in combat/conflict, a player challenges another and declares the catagory of combat as well as their objective (whether that be capture, kill, incapacitate, etc.).
  • Players can call on others to aid them in combat. An ally who agrees to help adds +1 to the declared combat catagory of the player involved in combat. However, a player with '1' in the declared catagory can not be an ally in the combat.
  • Plot items could potentially add +half to a catagory stat (I feel that +1 would be too advantageous considering that an inanimate object doesn't need to be convinced to help).
  • Once willing allies have been established the combatants reveal their relevant catagory stats to each other and the winner is decided by simple arithmetic.
  • Highest number wins. Draws result in a mexican standoff.
  • All players involved in the combat then act out their part in it to the effect of the mathmatical conclusion.

Characters' stats in each catagory will be based on their knowledge of conflict in the catagory as well as their physical ability (i.e. how suitable their body/soul/whatever is to the catagory). For instance, a fit human with little to no knowledge of self defence would get a 3 in the physical catagory. A trained full-body cyborg soldier would get 5 in the physical catagory. A full or partial cyborg with no self defence training would get a 4 in the physical catagory. A weak old human would get a 1 in the physical catagory.

Similarly, a hacker with a cybernetically enhanced brain would get a 4 in the digital catagory. A simple computer user who knows about firewalls and anti-virus programs would get a 3 in the digital catagory. An A.I. built for espionage would get a 5 in the digital catagory.

I realise a players ability to call on allies in combat can easily be influenced by the relationship two players have in the real world, but I feel that this is an acceptible OOC influence.

I'd really appreciate some constructive criticism on this proposed system from you all and perhaps some predictions on its pros and cons in a larp.
Playing: None
Running: None
Planning: Sci-fi LARP Campaign
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