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RPG Combat System

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I like rpgs for many reasons but the combat, which should be the most important part of the game is boring and repetitive. I want to try to make an rpg with interesting combat to go with the coolness in designing a character and playing through the story. There are two basic things that should are necessary to make combat fun: skill and strategy. There are already some rpgs that focus on skill in combat and are like a fighting games so I will focus on strategy. It should be easier to code that way too. What I have observed trying to think of a combat system is that games of strategy make something more important than the ultimate objective. In chess players tend to focus on taking their opponents pieces, not checking the king. In Magic: the Gathering card advantage is far more important than life, necropotence is proof of that. In Starcraft if you attack an enemies buildings and ignore their units, yours wont be their very long. In any of these games if you just go straight for the objective, against a skilled player you will lose. I want to achieve this in my game. Attacking your opponent for the most damage possible shouldnt be the best strategy. I cant think of a good system to achieve this though. A player should have the option of being a caster or fighter in this system. The simpler the system the better. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Why does combat have to be the most important part of an RPG? The best RPG''s I''ve played have had alot more then just combat going for them thats what made them good games.

If your looking for strategy how about a martial arts themed game with a fixed amount of 100 life for all characters and enemies? At each combat round you can choose a diffrent stance or style to change to, and your opponet would do the same. The idea being to anticpate your opponets move and shift into a stance that expolites the weakeness of the others stance. player focuses on dodging and issuing a well timed attack and just like in the movies and animes if they are good they defeat can lesser opponets with out taking a hit.

An example Combat would be:

Player is attacked by the Green Monk.

The green monk enters Tiger style.
Player counters with onkey style.
GM: Unleashes Tiger claw attack.
P: Sways left then pivots right and comes down with the hard elbow to the back of GM neck.

GM: collapases to the ground uncosious.


You could include as part of the game seeking out new moves, styles and stances. Either learning them through combat or having them taught to you by a master.

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If you haven't played the Baldur's Gate games, play them. If you have, play them again. There is a ton of strategy involved in those games. It usually takes the form of striking the right balance between offense and defense given your enemy's strengths and weaknesses. If you just charge in with your fighters, you'll get waxed in some of the tougher encounters. But if you hang back with your fighters, use your archers wisely, and cast the right spells in the right order with your mages, you will win. Also, since many of the hardest encounters have groups of NPCs with widely varying abilities, you have to make sure you target the right guy at the right time, similar to your chess analogy. You should definitely take some influence from the BG games.

[edited by - ggoodwin37 on July 6, 2003 1:45:21 AM]

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Baldur''s Gate gives me hives... in any case, I recommend playing Fallout. The combat is more "traditional" than Baldur''s Gate, but it''s infinitely entertaining. (I never get tired of seeing the message "Raider was shot in the groin for 30 points of damage. His eyes roll up in his head and he collapses, unconscious." Teehee.)

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