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 Proposed Continuity Creation Guide and Combat System

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Thanatos
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PostSubject: Proposed Continuity Creation Guide and Combat System   Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:45 am

Roleplaying Standards

There are several things that must be considered when you start a roleplaying thread, you have to make important decisions about the tone of the continuity you will be running. Here, I will discuss some of the most important decisions a GM must make.

  • Continuity
  • Consent Status
  • Character limitations
  • Violence detail
  • Dice?
  • No Dice combat system


Continuity

A continuity is, put simply, the reality in which a roleplay takes place. It should be the first thing you think about, as defining your reality will do the most important thing in the creative process – it will set the limitations. There are two general types of continuities, “Hard”, and “Soft”. Soft continuities have very few limits, they let the players make almost any assumption they like about the game world. Hard continuities allow few, if any, assumptions unless they are deemed acceptable by the GM. They have set limits on things like technology, magic, historical or scientific accuracy, and so forth. If you're making a sci-fi continuity, is it possible to travel faster than the speed of light? Are there energy based weapons, or are people still using conventional modern firearms? So, the first thing you need to do is decide whether your RP will be Hard or Soft, and then, set the limits. That is when your world-building can begin. Make sure that everyone knows what the limits are, what needs permission, and what doesn't.

Consent Status

Consent is the level of control a player has over their character. This is split into three basic categories; Consent, No-consent, and M/D. In Consent continuities, the player has the right, at any point, to say “I don't want that to happen to my character”. Be aware that this power can only be invoked if the situation does directly affect the player's character. In No-consent continuities, that power is completely revoked. Put basically, consent characters are owned by the player, and no-consent characters are owned by the continuity. M/D is a mix of the two, it stands for Mutilation/Death. In this form of the consent rule, a character may chose not to consent to permanently debilitating injuries or death, but only those two circumstances, everything else is fair game. Setting your consent status is the second thing you should do.

Character Limitations

This goes hand in hand with continuity status. In Hard continuities, every character must be 'Canon'. Canon is a word used to describe the widely accepted norms of a continuity. What races can be played? What kinds of powers or abilities do you consider to be too powerful, or too ridiculous? If you're making a Hard continuity, you should have a list of canon races, classes, skills, weapons, and places. You can of course take more of a middle road, and only restrict the very outlandish characters and ideas. You could of course, have no character limitations at all, and should note this.

Violence Detail

Give your RP thread a movie rating. That's a nice, quick, easy way for people to work out how detailed they should be about their gore.

Dice?

I'm not going to get into this too heavily, except to say that if you are going to use a dice system – mean it. Develop, or use a preexisting system of dice that accounts for the entire continuity: class creation, combat, skill use, encounter generation. Go all or nothing – either you're running an equivalent of D&D or you don't use dice.

No Dice Combat System

If you don't want to bother with dice, I offer this as a forum standard. You by no means have to use it, but it will make dealing with combat situations without dice easier.

Establish a formal posting order – for this to work people can not post out of turn.

Every character involved in an RP gets three action points in one post, that includes NPCs. These action points can be spent on combat actions. More difficult actions take more action points. Here are some examples.

1 action point: A single attack, an off the hip ranged attack, “spray 'n' pray”, moving a short distance, reloading small arms, drawing a weapon, jumping, Kirk rolling, light first aid

2 action points: A fast heavy attack, a fast aim ranged attack, multiple inaccurate attacks, a single accurate close range attack, reloading heavy weapons (machine guns, etc), running up to 30ft, climbing large objects, initiating a grapple, attempting to disarm someone, moderate first aid (heavy but not fatal bleeding, breaks of small bones – wrist, ankle, dislocated joints), breaking down a door, dragging someone

3 action points: Heavy attack, charging an opponent, lining up a very accurate shot (snipers, pistoleers), multiple accurate attacks, sprinting up to 60 ft, serious first aid for life threatening injuries, CPR, restraining a struggling opponent

Defending and counter attacks:

In order to dodge or block an incoming attack, the spent action points must be equal to those spent on the attack. If your character is attacked with an attack that used two action points, they must expend two action points in order to escape damage. In order to counter attack, your character must spend at least one action point on TOP of that, so defending, followed by a counter attack, would take three action points. A defender can chose not to use as many action points on the defense, but in this case they must take some (thought not all) of the damage. It is possible to to counter-attack without defending, but your character must take significant damage in order to do this.

Magic:

The number of action points spent on a spell determine its complexity and power. Casters can decide to take multiple rounds casting for more powerful spells. They may also use some of their action points for other actions during a turn, however they are very limited in actions they can perform while casting. They may not perform any kind of attack, and if they take any damage, the spell is lost and must be started again.

1 AP: Cantrips that are unable to cause damage or affect characters to distracting extent. Activation of item enchantments, activation of channeled abilities.

2 AP: No serious damage. Interruptions, distractions, basic actions or minor damage. Minor teleportation.

3-4 AP: Magic that has the potential to injure on a small scale via direct damage to a single opponent. Minor summoning, illusory or more advanced teleportation. Most common range of turns for healing magic.

5-6 AP: Major direct damage to a character. Less powerful area of effect spells. More advanced spellcasting, for spells that would dramatically alter a situation into the caster's favour.

7-8 AP: Major healing for characters near death. Spells that could potentially alter another character permanently. More effective, but not 'devastating' area of effect spells. Spells that require reality to be altered. Lasting enchantments.

9+ AP: Spells that kill. Area of effect spells on a larger scale. When you get in to catastrophic spells, ask admin first! Major reality altering events. Ask admin first!

Here are some of the rules that I use in my continuities, I suggest you adopt them, but it isn't required;

  • Declare your spells when you start them!
  • While some movements and actions may merely pause spellcasting, ANY physical damage to a character or extremely distracting circumstances (convulsions, having a sensitive nerve hit, being choked, etc) WILL interrupt the spell.
  • Movements that will not interrupt spellcasting include walking, jogging short distances, minor dodges such as sidestepping, ducking, minor parries, or performing light tasks.
  • Movements that will interrupt spellcasting include sprinting, jumping, rolling, performing difficult tasks, full blocks, complex parries, or making a physical attack.
  • Some characters may be trained to perform difficult tasks such as riding or flying while casting. Some may be trained to endure damage while casting. These are trained abilities ONLY and must be approved by admin. No character may be trained to make a physical attack while casting.
  • A character who takes damage and is able to complete their spell may not cast again for a number of AP equal to those spent preparing the spell. If they try, fatigue will overcome them and they will pass out. Their next spell must be of an equal or lesser number of AP. If they try to cast a more powerful spell afterward, they will pass out. If they do not take damage during their next spell, these restrictions are lifted.
  • To defend against a spell another character is casting, your character should use an equal amount of AP preparing a magical defense.


Making changes:

Yes, feel free to make any changes you like to this system. A really good way of doing this is adding a perk system, that will let certain types of characters perform certain tasks for reduced AP costs. Another good thing to do might be assigning NPCs more or less action points depending on their difficulty.


Last edited by Thanatos on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Thanatos
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PostSubject: Re: Proposed Continuity Creation Guide and Combat System   Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:21 pm

One added note:

The number of AP is a method of keeping time. If your character is performing a multiple AP attack they will be vulnerable to attacks that take less AP until the end of the current posting round. That means someone posting AFTER you can still attempt to get in an attack BEFORE yours lands. This is why having a formal posting order is important, you need to know at what point a new round begins. Don't worry, you'll still get a chance to respond to it on your next turn, that's only fair, but that is considered to be an interrupt, and your character's attack can't be resolved until you respond to it. At that point you can either chose to have both characters take damage, and take your new turn, or spend your turn responding to the interrupt and continuing with your original attack - basically, if you get interrupted, you're either going to waste action points on your next turn, or take damage. The attacker will still deal more damage, however, so defenders should be careful about performing interrupts.

And on a final note, just because you CAN avoid an attack, by the rules, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Use a little bit of common sense, if another character has yours in a difficult position, don't use the action points as an excuse to get out of it - roleplay the situation. As a GM, I will always enforce the situational circumstances over action point costs.
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PostSubject: Re: Proposed Continuity Creation Guide and Combat System   Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:51 pm

Kitteh finds these suggestions vurry helpful. Kitteh supplies his seal of approval.

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