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Combat Critique

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To give a quick background: I’ve been working on a science fiction RPG for some time. It’s gone though several incarnations and had a lot of things ‘revised’ to keep it from being just some stupid clone of every other science fiction game out there. A lot of time has been spent on the little details of the world in order to achieve the appropriate genre, as I do not intend to create just another FPS or RPG based purely around seeing how big your body count is. I’m at a problem, however; that I need a little help on. I’ll use hypothetical examples in this since there is no common item I can use everyone would understand. We’ll start with the variables for weapons. Firearm1 is your basic handgun. Lets 9x19mm Parabellum. Since it’s standard ballistic ammo we’ll also say it has an Armor Penetration value of 0. Firearm2 we’ll say is incendiary rounds for said Firearm1, they have an Armor Penetration value of 1. Firearm3 is an armor piercing round. Since it’s specifically designed to punch though light body vests, we’ll say it has an Armor Penetration value of 2. Next we’ll go into armor variables (this list is shorter). Armor1 is a nice Kevlar vest. Since it can stop most small arms rounds, but not anything much larger, we’ll say it has an Armor Protection rating of 1. Bob and Fred get into an argument. Parental figures are mentioned, and fists are thrown. It comes then down to Bob drawing his weapon on Fred. Poor Fred. The situation can turn out very different depending on the variables above. In situation A Bob is armed with Firearm1. Fred, of course, is suited up with Armor1 that he hopes will save his life. Bob will shoot Fred and the round will splatter on Fred’s armor without dealing him any damage. Go Fred go. Situation B is Bob has Firearm2. Something a little more frightening, and Fred still has Armor1. Since the two numbers match there has to be a ‘roll’ to see if the armor is punctured. There is a 50% percent chance that Fred will take a lead bath. Situation C is that Bob shoots Fred with Firearm3 and Armor1 has a hole in it. The system presented is simple – A comparison of numbers. Further complications are added whenever you must take into account actually hitting the target, where you hit the target (continually: where the armor protects), and health and armor getting damaged by the weapon. Comments, suggestions, critiques on this particular weapon/armor system?

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Just run it like you normally would, but do a series of if then statements. Tell the program to pick a random number within a set range to give you a system of "chance" (for hit or miss) , then if the outcome is in the attacker''s favor, move on to the next if then statement involving some sort of chance, then if it falls in the attackers favor, move on to the next, and so on, until you get to the actual number comparisons like penetration values, and armor values, etc. When it comes to that, just pool the numbers, and if the value you get is positive, then program it to do nothing, but if the sum is negative, add the sum to the opponents HP. Sorry. I know this probably isn''t easy to understand (I''m crappy at giving instructions), but if you can decipher my horrible attempt at giving advice... then at least someone''s given you some help.
You can also give each character Accuracy and Agility values, and compare those too if you like, just like you would with the Armor/Penetration setup.

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Might be some misunderstandings in there. I might not have been exactly clear.
This system is simply for the armor, and armor alone. It''s not a matter of how or if, just a matter how good it is.
Let me explain the entire sequence then, leaving out the detail described above:

Lets start with character basics. Everyone has the following statistics that govern who they are: Agility, Determination, Insight, Intelligence, Personality, and Potency. Presented there they are in alphabetical order, although the general idea is two sets of stats. Mental and Physical. They are then broken down into terms of Speed, Strength, and Endurance of each one. Agility is akin to Insight, Determination to Personality, and Intelligence to Potency.
There are then three ‘special’ stats that the player has less control over (a base value modified via triggers, scripts, and variables): Faith, Fate, and Madness. This was originally a bit more complex, but was recently cut down. Faith is your faith (obviously) in some form of higher power. Fate is luck. Madness is the growing-in-number Sane-O-Meter in this game. Rather than actual mental stability it represents an alien way of thinking and altered perceptions.
The average score in any statistic is five.
Next, lets cover the basics. This is fun, isn’t it?
Vigor, health, HP. The equation: (POT) + (DET*Level). With the above statement, it could then be assumed the average (level 1) person has 10 Vigor. Unless something changes with the character’s statistic it then goes up by five each level.
A combat roll goes as such. The attacker rolls d% (for those of you who are dice-deficient, this is a d100, or one hundred sided die) + Skill. In most cases this skill is Firearms. In some cases it may be Demolitions, Melee, or Artillery. The required number to hit is 50 + Distance (in meters) + Skill. Skill in this case is most usually Dodge.

First is the determination of sequence.
The Tactics skill is used to determine who goes when. In the case of a tie it then goes to the higher root statistic, Agility + Insight.
The attacker then makes his attack roll. The (not-so-finalized) equation is located above.
If the attacker now succeeds in hitting, where the defender is hit. Think of a d12. 1-4 represents torso hits. 5-6 is left leg. 7-8 is right leg. 9 is left arm. 10 is right arm. 11 is the head. 12 provides you with the choice to choose a location. We’ll assume that Armor1 in the example above is only the torso. Now, if the round penetrates the armor, as presented in Situation C, damage needs to be finalized.
Since we’ve been using the examples above, we’ll keep with Firearm3 as armor piercing 9x19mm rounds. Damage is then done in a range. The range for this particular round is 2-5. This is done by added a d4 to the base of 1 (1 + 1d4). Armor takes half of this damage rounded down. Once armor is reduced to Vigor of 0 it’s as useless as a person at the same number.

Complications:
The target number is something that’s either too easy, or too hard, to hit. It seems to be one of the biggest problems I’ve encountered thus far.
Some types of ammo add extra dice to damage, or do extra damage specifically to armor, or to weapons – just more math.
Damage modifiers need added to locations. Twice (x2) or three times (x3) as much damage delivered for a headshot, for example.

One of my goals is to limit the randomness in things that shouldn’t be. Dungeons and Dragons is based almost entirely on random characters – something I greatly dislike. Combat is one of the only things that should actually be random.


quote:
Original post by NeoMage
Sorry. I know this probably isn''t easy to understand (I''m crappy at giving instructions), but if you can decipher my horrible attempt at giving advice... then at least someone''s given you some help.

It''s understandable enough. I''m not the best at thoughts-to-text myself.

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I think that a simple comparision is not all that good. The problem is that you get "full immunity" towards anything that''s less powerful than the armor is designed for. This leads, usually, to poor game balance.

How about, instead, you base the chance of penetration on the ratio between piercing and protection? Say that when they''re the same, you get a 50-50 chance of damage, and for each point above or below, you move that 10 percent over, never to exceed 90 or go below 10.

Or, instead of "chance of penetration" perhaps that''s how much of the original damange that''s actually dealt.

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That is getting away from the idea of this armor system, however.
Real body vests, or as close as we have, are either everything-or-nothing on the scale of things. Sure, you''re left with a black-and-blue mark, but that''s better than a sucking chest wound.

Also - yes, it is entirely possible to have a nice set of armor that you see as granting immunity, however; balance comes in other factors at that point. Where it protects, how much it costs, where you can get it. Those are all other factors to take into consideration. Likewise, consider that whenever you finally find the armor with a protection of 9, you''ll be fighting people who if it actually does breach the armor you''ll take a decent amount of damage. The scale, I intend, will only go up to 10.

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I suggest adding a stun stat, The Firearm1 hits the character the vest absorbs all the physical damage, however the character still suffers stun damage caused by the impact. Stun damage isn''t fatal instead when stun damge reaches 100% or 0 depending on the game logic the character is rendered uncious. Stun damage also heals much faster then physical injuries.

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Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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