Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Feedback on turn-based combat system

This topic is 2010 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts



I'm thinking a bit about a simple turn-based combat system, nothing fancy but at least something out of the ordinary. It's planned to be implemented in a roguelike game. The game is based around a lower health means greater power mechanic, so the lower your health, the better your character performs. Health can never be recovered, only temporarily fortified.


First of all, there is no character stats. You do not have strength, agility or anything that really changes the combat. All weapons inflict the same amount of damage, but they work in different ways. There's four types of weapons; Short weapons, medium weapons, long weapons and ranged weapons.


Short weapons can attack any adjacent cell.



Medium weapons can attack any adjacent cell and the two cells next to it. It can hit up to 3 opponents.



Long weapons can attack any adjacent cell and the next cell behind it. It can hit up to 2 opponents.



Ranged weapons can attack any cell in the field of view. The first enemy on the projectiles path is hit and does not continue.




When you attack something, a random number is generated with normal distribution, with the mean at the base damage for all weapons. The two red lines indicate that everything between them is a hit and everything outside is a miss. These lines depends on the opponents armour class. The lower the armour class, the closer the red lines are to the mean and the harder the opponent is to hit. If the attack is considered a hit, the random number generated is the damage output.




The higher the amour class though, the more damage is reduced from the incoming damage.


Lets set up a scenario:


The character is using a medium weapon and there's two enemies adjacent to her. She attacks them and one roll is made for each opponent. She hits one but misses the other. Since there was two potential targets, the damage done is halved.


Lets say the damage output for the opponent we hit was 10. The damage is halved, so there's 5 damage sent to the opponent. That opponent has a high armour class so the damage is reduced by 3, the damage inflicted on the opponents health is 2.



Instead of having a lot of different weapons with different damage and magic attributes, the game features power-ups instead. A power-up might heighten the players damage in different ways (changing the mean and standard deviation in the damage roll), or increase the players effective health. You can increase your armour class by using heavier armour, this will of course make you easier to hit but the incoming damage is reduced more. 


I'd love to hear your opinions on this idea, does it sound anything like fun? Will the lack or different weapons become dull and boring?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have hardly said anything about the game itself that you're designing, so it 's hard to say anything about the system.
(although, maybe i should ask: Why do you want this system, what purpose does it fulfill?)

anyway, a lower health means greater power mechanic isn't for most RPG's, since leveling up feels better for a player(only getting advantages instead of taking a disadvantage for an advantage) for PvP it usually works quite well, realy depends on what kind of game you're making.


what are they tied to ?

(because usually a power-up is tied to an item, which can be replaced by another item whenever the player has the money to buy it,

and he can equip X items at the same time.

often the items are also tied to level, this mainly to prevent players buying things for their lower-level friends, and also for keeping the playing-field even. )

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so the game is more of an arcade dungeon crawler than a traditional RPG. All the levels are randomly generated and your goal is to make it down to the last level and defeat an end boss. As usual with roguelikes, the game features permanent death, so if you die you have to start from the beginning.


Leveling up and character progression doesn't exist, the lower health means greater power is there to replace the traditional experience and levels. Since the game is arcady and really meant to be played is shorter amounts of time I wanted something other that's interesting than long character progression and story that you have to spend lots of time on.


The power-ups are consumables found in the randomly generated world and increase your character relative to her current powers. There's not many of them in order to keep the game simple and arcady. I'm still trying to keep some depth via the combat system.


I hope that clears up a little about the game and my intentions. The game is in quite a niche genre and a hobby project, so having to attract a large audience is not a primary goal.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That normal distribution use appears weird to me. In engineering one branch from midle means below average and the second branch above average, so for the lower class armour (guess it is meant the character is free to move and thus more dificult to hit) only one red bar moves above the average and the second line should not exist, if it does that would mean that nearly perfect hit (one of the thousands) is unable to hit while the average hit can.


As for the system I can say this has been working (amour makes you worse to evade but it can absorb damage). (against reality there is one flaw that even heavy armour can make you to be more dificult to hit because the area where impact pierce is decreased due to skewed /inclined surfaces).


I was lucky that friend of mine invented such ruleset for pen and paper gaming and it felt very naturally and allowed interesting builds even for fighters and for example fighters was the most popular chacters to choose there. Maybe it was also thank to juicy setting Martin have based on Terry Prachett and Joe Dever books , limbs were flying, magic was unbounded but not common there :-)


I think that classical attack rating vs defence that allows  damage to score- system is quite flawed in order to simulate reality and will try to explain why: there are two extremities to solve if you would like to have rich encounters


1. Giant with tree - his attacks are telegrafic and thank to long distance the club flies slow however if it impacts it crushes anything menlike. As a GM your natural imagination for such a fight would be that even heaviest armour cannot save you from impact of tons and the only amour that counts should come from agility.


defence in this classical approach comes like : armour + dexterity (agility) bonus

so to have your system tunned for this situation dexterity bonus must be much higher (so where is the space for improvement thank to the armour?)


from the offence point of view you need tree or club to "penetrate" the armour as it is ultimate weight right no matter it poorly controled and has low chance to touch/ hit?


so you need to adjust attack rating to overcome armour but at the same time you are increasing chance to hit (touch) the oponent which makes the fight generic as it would be with combination acurate fencer with lighter weapon and deadly damage weapon.


2. Extremity is to deal with whip or projectile. As a GM  your imagination about the fight would be that it is wery dificult to evade (use agility) against it, time from release allows to move like 3-4 inches however whip can write 3 feets of space in the air easily. Armour makes a big difference as the whip cannot penetrate it (special ability to catch still works :-)).


so to tune up system against this the bonus from armour to defense should be more significant than

from dexterity (agility).


and now lets imagine you would like to solve catch with whip: so the only defence against it is agility right? But in the system we already have that the contribution of Dex on defence is low. I understand you would like to ask why this action should be solved by defence and not a special action my answer is elegance of the system. Is it cool to catch someone with whip even thought I am unable to hit him?



I wanted to show here why I think that mixing ability to hit(touch) and penetrate is bad to stuck for the the evaluation. Even if tunned right than the fight of thief and warrior appears quite the same (same evasibility) and therefore additional "evade" skills are added to make it look different. Hope I managed to give the point.

Edited by Osidlus

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me start by saying variety is a good thing. I looked at the 4 weapon set up and I have a few concerns just from a lack of information. I’d like to know what kind of Movement system you have set up, do you have like 5 action points and moving a square is 1 point and attacking is a point. Can you move and then attack, and vice versa? Is there a guaranteed move/attack phase? Can you switch weapons?

If every weapon does the same amount of damage then I think your short weapons and long weapons might be in trouble.

  1. Short weapon – why would I use a short weapon instead of a medium which can threaten 2 more squares? Alternatively why risk getting into range of enemies at all with a short weapon that only threatens 1 square when I can shoot from range which only threatens 1 square but keeps melee enemies from reaching me for a turn, or several if my FOV is extremely large.


  1. Long weapon seems situational to me, in that I could only see players using it if they got forced in a 1 square wide hallway or path, with a few enemies back to back, or just being out of melee range for 1 enemy movement round if they moved max distance and ended up in the second threatened square. I only say this because with a traditional square grid most enemies AI will be set to surround a player so they can all get their attacks in, not stand in line and take damage.


Like I said variety is nice but I think players will need added incentive to use short/long weapons over ranged and medium, maybe short/long are less hard to use and give you a lower armour ratting making it harder to hit you. Or a long weapon user gets more movement so they can set up their attacks better.

It just seems that people that use ranged until they get surrounded and then switch to medium get the most reward do to the low health higher damage mechanic. If I start a battle low health with ranged I’m doing max damage (causes all damage is the same) from a potentially safe distance from the enemy, while a melee class has to run up and start dealing damage at the same time an enemy would.


Example: You are fighting 1 enemy at a range of 12 squares, the enemy moves 3 squares a turn and oyu can move 3 squares a turn, and let’s say damage for both is set to 5 and we have 50 health.


Ranged set

Turn 1: I hit enemy for 5 He moves 3 closer

Turn 2: I hit enemy for 5 He moves 3 closer

Turn 3: I hit enemy for 5 He moves 3 closer

Turn 4: I hit enemy for 5 He moves 3 closer


Melee set

Turn 1: I move 3 enemy moves 3

Turn 2: I move 3 enemy moves 3

Turn 3: we start dealing damage to each other.


The ranged has dealt 20 points of damage before he is even in range to be hit. (Granted there is miss chance)


Other than this I like the system, it’s different and would be fun to try. I hope I didn’t come off mean I’m not trying to be. There might also be some concepts of the game you know of already or have in your mindset that you didn’t share with us so the majority of my theories are extrapolated from what is here and some assumptions on my part. Still hope it goes well and if you share some more information on movement and such I’d be happy to amend my post and theories accordingly. CHEERS!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!