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Thread: Member Mechanics

  1. #1

    Member Mechanics

    This post is an overview on how we're going to handle the individual members in a military unit in WoM. Some of it will stick very much to D20, some of it will be simplified as WoM is a strategy game, not a role playing game.

    To start with, every individual member will have all the D20 stats one would expect: Str, Dex, Etc. along with Armor Class, Attack Bonus, Saving Throw and what have you. In some ways we'll treat a unit as a number of individuals working together as a team. So, when a unit attacks it will make one attack roll for each member of the unit and then make a separate damage roll for each successful attack. That means a unit of four will have more chances to hit (and miss) and that Damage Resistance for a defender will apply to each of those separate attacks. As you can imagine this will make a huge difference in some cases.

    Now, for simplification other elements of the game will treat the unit as a single piece. For instance when damage is actually applied to the unit it effects the entire unit. So, if a unit of four looses one forth of it's hit points one of it's members will die. This is much more in line with the way MoM did things than the way D20 handles them. Units will have a single saving throw to avoid spells like charm, but may have individual saving throws to avoid a fireball.

    The entire system is going to be refined around what is the easiest to understand and the most fun to play with. It will make the number of members in a unit really matter. They won't just be a flat stat bonus. When you loose one of a four member squad your next attack will only make three attack rolls. A giant only has a single attack, but a lot of that attack may make it through damage resistance.

    We're attempting to make a system that is in-depth, but simple to understand and enjoyable to use.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Moderator Aldaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    This post is an overview on how we're going to handle the individual members in a military unit in WoM. Some of it will stick very much to D20, some of it will be simplified as WoM is a strategy game, not a role playing game.

    To start with, every individual member will have all the D20 stats one would expect: Str, Dex, Etc. along with Armor Class, Attack Bonus, Saving Throw and what have you. In some ways we'll treat a unit as a number of individuals working together as a team. So, when a unit attacks it will make one attack roll for each member of the unit and then make a separate damage roll for each successful attack. That means a unit of four will have more chances to hit (and miss) and that Damage Resistance for a defender will apply to each of those separate attacks. As you can imagine this will make a huge difference in some cases.

    Now, for simplification other elements of the game will treat the unit as a single piece. For instance when damage is actually applied to the unit it effects the entire unit. So, if a unit of four looses one forth of it's hit points one of it's members will die. This is much more in line with the way MoM did things than the way D20 handles them. Units will have a single saving throw to avoid spells like charm, but may have individual saving throws to avoid a fireball.

    The entire system is going to be refined around what is the easiest to understand and the most fun to play with. It will make the number of members in a unit really matter. They won't just be a flat stat bonus. When you loose one of a four member squad your next attack will only make three attack rolls. A giant only has a single attack, but a lot of that attack may make it through damage resistance.

    We're attempting to make a system that is in-depth, but simple to understand and enjoyable to use.

    Thoughts?
    I'm wondering about the armor system, is it going to work like in d&d with armor giving a higher AC or are you using the alternative rules that makes armor give DR? Is DR common in the game?

    Other than that, I really like the approach you are taking.
    Last edited by Aldaron; 03-20-2013 at 02:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    I'm not even sure separate to hit rolls and damage are necessary.

    I'd assume that all members of a unit have similar stats (attributes, health, saving throws, etc.) and equipment to keep things simple.
    That means things like armor class and saving throws have just one value that's shared by all in the unit and doesn't change during combat.
    Health is shared in the sense that when full healed all characters in a unit have the same health (so all 4 characters in a 4 man unit might have 8 hit points when fully healed for a total unit health of 32)
    I really like the MoM way of applying damage to one character in a unit at a time so if lets say the unit mentioned above took a hit for 10 points of damage it would kill one character (8 hit points) and the remaining 2 damage is taken from a second. (the two other characters remain unharmed even if the 10 damage was from an area of effect attack.)
    The damage a unit does is per character so as characters in a unit die the damage is reduced. For example if the above unit example did 1d8 points of damage per character a full unit would do 4d8. When a character in the unit dies it drops to 3d8 damage.

    As I started with though I don't even think you need to roll these each one at a time either as I think it would be fine instead to roll one to hit for the unit (so the whole unit hits or misses as a group) and then roll damage as 1d8 x number of characters in the unit. So instead of 4d8 it's 1d8x4, instead of 3d8 it's 1d8x3. Likewise as you pointed out damage resistance would similarly scale so while maybe a giant has an attack that does 4d8 damage if fighting something with damage resistance of 3/- it would do 1-29 damage whereas a unit of 4 that does 1d8x4 would have the DR taken off BEFORE the multiplication by the member number so would do 0-20 (with 1-3 on the d8 resulting in no damage.)

    I realize it won't make a noticeable performance difference to roll the extra rolls for individual to-hits and damage but it just seems unnecessary and doing everything as one roll multiplied by the number of characters in a unit instead of individual rolls seems to push forward in my mind the idea of a single cohesive unit more.

  4. #4
    We are using the standard D20 armor class. Damage Reduction won't be "common" but you will run into it.

    Damage is going to work much like it did in MoM. In my mind that justifies the separate attack rolls. When you loose a member you loose an attack roll, not just damage, if you see what I mean. Plus, of course, it's easy to implement either way. So, we can have separate attacks with very little work.

  5. #5
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    So if the attacks are separate and say a unit has 4 guys with a (throwing) spear (each) in addition to their melee weapon can you have each throw their spear on different turns instead of having to throw all 4 at once?
    If they are individuals like that can you have a unit say with one guy whose max hit points is 8 and another with 10, and another with 9? Do you store attributes per unit so one may have a higher STR and other a lower CON?
    Statistically over time rolling separate attacks for multiple entities in a unit makes no difference when compared to the all hit or all miss mechanic. You'd get something like 0 hits, 3 hits, 1 hit, 4 hits compared to 0 hits, 4 hits, 0 hits, 4 hits both averaging 8 hits over 4 attacks. I just don't think joe player would notice the subtlety in the difference and if not then why bother doing something multiple times if no one notices it over doing it just once.

  6. #6
    Spearmen are going to be using non-throw-able spears, but units with throw weapons will throw one for each member.

    We could give them a different number of HPs, but almost certainly won't. They will have the average for their class, level and modifiers.

    On average you are almost certainly correct, but with multiple attack rolls you'll have lot of "partial hits". Even though the average damage will remain the same it will be more evenly distributed over time. At least that's my theory, lol. I admit I don't have a math degree

  7. #7
    Moderator Aldaron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    On average you are almost certainly correct, but with multiple attack rolls you'll have lot of "partial hits". Even though the average damage will remain the same it will be more evenly distributed over time. At least that's my theory, lol. I admit I don't have a math degree
    I'm not a math geek ethier, but I think the the distribution over time is the same. After, say, 1.000.000d20 attacks the hit/miss distribution will be the same that 4.000.000d20 attacks. What 4 separate attacks gives you a is more even distribution from less attacks and it makes easier to calculate tactically how much damage will the unit make. The same can be said of the damage, 4d6 is not the same as 1d6x4, even if, over time, the damage average is the same.
    Last edited by Aldaron; 03-20-2013 at 05:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    On average you are almost certainly correct, but with multiple attack rolls you'll have lot of "partial hits". Even though the average damage will remain the same it will be more evenly distributed over time.
    Both the damage and the hit distribution are the same given a large enough pool. That's my point, doing the extra calculations doesn't seem to earn you anything (though admittedly it doesn't cost you much either as it's not exactly computationally intensive.) It just seems more elegant to me to treat a unit as one. They all throw their javelin together, they all have the same gear, they all have the same attributes, they all hit together, they all miss together, they all do the same damage (though they do less as members die.)
    If tactical combat was one unit vs. one unit I'd say the multiple attacks would be better because the all hit or all miss mechanic would likely be noticeable (the pool isn't large enough) but I imagine one unit vs. one unit combat will be fairly rare in WoM with combat typically involving several units every turn so it just seems like unnecessary extra work to simulate to such a fine detail. Also I imagine the more "important" units will be individuals and not multi-character units so we're really just talking about the less important units here. Again though I recognize that either way there would be no perceptible difference to the user it's really an OCD elegance thing for me, rofl.

    I'm not sure what Aldaron means by saying separate attacks "makes easier to calculate tactically how much damage will the unit make."

    4d6 is not the same as 1d6x4 but if you simulate both say 1000 times the resulting damage is effectively the same. The difference is that you and to do 4000 random number generations with 4d6 compared to 1000 random number generations plus 1000 multiplications doing 1d6x4 giving you the same result for much less work... to me that's elegant and makes the 1d6x4 the easier to calculate tactically solution.

    We're really splitting hairs here though, the game isn't going to be better or worse in any significant way based on something as small as this difference.

  9. #9
    Yes, in a large enough pool I agree. My point is that in a single battle you'll have more partial-hits and less complete misses.

    More powerful units will often have fewer members (in many cases just one). Still, many of them will have multiple attacks.

    And I certainly agree that there is some hair splitting in there somewhere, lol.

    Either way, we can try it both ways

  10. #10
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Multiple attacks for a single member is another beast.
    I'm not entirely sure how multiple attacks is going to be implemented in WoM, you mentioned before that each unit gets two actions I believe and they can attack or move on both (attack and move, move and attack, double move, double attack). I'm not sure how that works out with multiple attacks but lets say a unit is made up of 4 Warriors who through advancement have leveled up to level 6. I D20 at level 6 Warriors have two attacks (+6, +1). I assume in WoM what that means is that each action then constitutes two attacks? So the unit can do a double attack and move, move and do a double attack, double move, or do a quadruple attack (two double attacks). I would do the multi-attack separately (they have different to hit bonuses after all) so if the unit has 4 people and used one action there would be one attack roll at +6 and another at +1 for a total of two attack rolls for the unit. If both attacks hit then damage would be rolled separately for each attack then multiplied by 4 (the number of characters in the unit). So two attacks and two damage rolls instead of 8 attacks (2 for each of the 4 characters) and 8 damage rolls.

    If a unit does get multiple attacks for each attack action they initiate then there would conceivably be a large number of attacks at high levels if each character rolls independently. At level 20 in D20 a warrior for example gets 4 attacks. Now there might not be a lot (any?) of level 20 multi-character units but things like haste also add attacks so they don't HAVE to be level 20 to get 4 attacks. Furthermore I don't know how large units get so maybe spearman for kobalds or something have 8 characters in a unit. 8 characters with 4 attacks each means 32 random number generations for 1 player initiated attack action. If that unit gets two player initiated actions and used both for attacks then that's 64 attacks in one round. I assume these things go pretty quick or battles would take forever so the player isn't likely to notice the partial hits are even there compared to just calculating 4 attacks and multiplying each result by the 8 units.

    I believe I've beat this topic to death however so I'm just going to leave it there. Congrats if you managed to follow along this long without falling asleep!

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