Saturday, August 25, 2012

Updated - Mass Combat

Mass combat is conducted almost exactly the same as normal combat with the following exceptions;

Each square or hex represents 10 metres, by 10 metres, enough to fit 100 men into.

A character is replaced by units. Units have a strength of 1-100 men (as only 100 people can realistically squash into a 10m x 10m space, this is a bit abstract but whatever) but a summarised by the average statistics of the creatures in the unit, and have skills, talents and traits as if they were a character. Whilst individual members of a unit may in fact have different stats or skills to each other (and this may come into play in normal skirmish combat, or roleplay) for mass combat we essentially ‘average’ the abilities of a unit of men into composite statistics.

Each unit may have a designated leader, who should be treated as a Character or NPC. If they don’t have different out of mass combat stats already, then they have the exact same profile as the rest of the unit, except they have Command as a skill.

Units have Facings, a unit may only shoot or charge or move into the hexes/squares that are 45 degrees in front of them.

Move distances are converted into 10s of metres rather than metres.

Each unit has a single action in a turn. With which they may;

  • Move their move distance
  • Move half move distance rounding up (or change facing by 45 degrees) and then shoot or make a half  action reload.
  • Charge, moving their move distance and making an attack at +2.
  • Attack
  • Change facing by more than 45 degrees and then move half their move distance rounding up. (or vice versa)
  • Brace for Charge gaining +2 against a charging enemy.
  • Form shield wall/phalanx (if they have shields, to double their shield damage resistance) and may only move at half speed.
  • Take cover, receiving a -2 penalty to hit them with ranged attacks. A unit may then shoot, but not attack. When a unit breaks cover in a subsequent turn they may change their facing for free, they unit essentially breaks ranks and goes to ground.
  • Double time, receiving +2 to their movement, but doubling melee casualties if they are engaged.
  • A unit may elect to Flee (see the morale section)

Units do not have reactions (such as Dodge or Parry in DH/FF style).

Damage is replaced by Casualties.

When units attack they roll to hit opposed by the enemy units same check. For each degree they beat the enemy by they count as dealing an extra causality. For each degree they are beaten by the enemy they count as doing one less casualty. When a unit makes an attack action it automatically deals its weapon damage with all normal modifiers in casualties. Both units then roll damage.

Unit strength modifies the attack rolls. For every 10’s of creatures in a unit the unit gets +1. So a unit of 100 gets +10. A unit of 90-100 gets +9 etc.

Casualties are reduced by Armour Resistance but instead of armour resistance applying to single points of the body, simple add total armour Resistance of all body parts for the creatures in the unit. This is for an armour as damage reduction system, if using AC, us non dex based AC/unadjusted AC from Weird Fantasy Role Playing if you prefer that term.

Critical hits do not provide extra damage, but rather provoke a Command check for the opposed unit, and  if that unit fails they begin to flee.

Weapon profiles are the same, though instead of reach, reach weapons gain +2 damage against cavalry, and roll as many attacks as their Reach (x) number and roll damage twice.

Units may try to make special attacks, all of which do casualties as per weapon damage.

  • Break the line. Instead of extra casualties, every degree of success forces the enemy unit to make Command check at negative the amount of degrees of success.
  • Skirmish, instead of making an attack you roll opposed Dexterity attacks s and the skirmishing unit can move up to half its move distance, rounding up, the same for the pursuing unit. The enemy unit must make a Command check to refrain from pursuing if they do not want to make the opposed Dexterity check. For every degree of success the Skirmishing unit does a single casualty, and for each degree of failure they take a single casualty, this allows them to break from combat. If the skirmishing unit or pursuing unit have ranged weapons they deal their ranged weapons damage in casualties.

A unit’s strength is measured by the amount of fighters in the unit. A unit may never do more casualties than fighting creatures in its unit.

  • Swift attack doubles the maximum casualties a unit could do instead of make two attacks.
  • Lightning Attack triples the maximum amount of casualties. (Both of these are multiple attack talents, if using standard D20 attack progression, more than one attack doubles or triples the maximum number of casualties, etc)

Each unit has Morale. Morale is check in certain circumstances. Morale is a Command check by the leader of a unit.
  • Each turn a unit that is reduced to below 50% strength takes casualties it makes a Command check. For each 10% it is lower than 50% it suffers an additional -1 to the check.
  • If this check fails then the unit flees.
  • Fleeing counts as a Double Time move, and the unit makes its way to the nearest Cover/Terrain or back to friendly units not engaged in combat. When it reaches cover or friendly lines it may attempt a command check to rally. If a unit breaks from combat in this way the enemy engaging them unit must make a command check or pursue the enemy unit. If they pursue they must have equal to or greater move distance than the fleeing unit (not including the fleeing units double time). They make a dexterity check against the Fleeing unit. If they beat the fleeing unit then they catch the fleeing unit, dealing twice weapon damage in casualties, and both move double time from their original positions. If they fail the dexterity check then they move half their movement, rounding up.
  • If a unit begins to flee within sight (next to, or in front of) an friendly unit, the friendly unit must make a command check (with penalties for not being at full strength) or also begin to flee. These units receive a +1 bonus on their command check for every friendly unit within sight that is above half strength.

Ranged attacks and other miscellany; 

Ranged attacks still reload normally. A half action reload can be accomplished with an attack action but incurs a -2 penalty to the attack roll. Full action reload is a full action as normal.

If the overall army general can be seen or heard by any unit that has to attempt a Command check then they may use his command instead of their leaders.

Mages convert their damage based on the total dice they roll. If a mage is rolling 4d6 for damage, he instead rolls d4 against a unit. Etc. The same for single attacks, except generally these ignore armour.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grim Dark Cleric Casting

Now I haven't posted in a while, and there is a good reason for this.

In between working and life I have been working on a HUGE homebrew system that isn't ready yet for public dissemination. Suffice to say its like if D&D in all its tropey iterations, with old school ethos had beautiful beautiful sex with Dark Heresy.

I will post it when its public ready and not a hybrid of copy and pasted good things from different systems. However I can say that it works on a 2d10 system trying to roll under your statistic. Beautiful beautiful normal distribution gameplay. 

One concept that it will be using will be rolls to cast, with doubles being miscasts, a mechanic ported over from fantasy flight games. This means that magic users can cast as much as they want, whenever they want, the only problem being that they risk horrible horrible effects. Go read the Dark Heresy phenomena and perils of the warp tables if you are not familiar with this.

For clerics however this is a little harsh, as I essentially want them to be hybrid casters. They get to wear armour and such so their magic should be a little weaker and more 'themed' than a generalist arcanist. It would seem a bit rough if they could randomly turn into a daemon.  Furthermore it just doesn't follow the fluff my system is trying to evoke.

Thus I propose a mechanic, that I will label, Divine Favour and this can be ported to any d20 system (or non d20 system, just convert the maths). Also someone somewhere has probably come up with this already and I just don't know it. But I think this is awesome so I am going to post anyway, and kudos to whoever they are.

Clerics get Divine Favour for doing things that honour their deity. Saving children for good deities, killing folks for evil ones.  Generally +1 at a time, and the clerics keep track of this on their sheet.  GM's should also penalise clerics who go against the tenets of their deity by reducing their Favour. -1 for not praying at a holy site etc.

Clerics have a number of spells that they can cast whenever. To cast a spell they have to succeed on a Spellcraft/Cleric check. This is either d20+wisdom+cleric level trying to beat 10+the spell level (for DC systems) or roll under the Cleric's Wisdom/Charisma stat (whichever you might use) +their level or relevant modifier. You include your Divine Favour modifier on all these rolls, whether it be positive or negative.

A success on this roll and the spell is cast at the Cleric's caster level. HOWEVER. Because they successfully cast the spell they reduce their Divine Favour, by the spell level.  Thus from casting they lose a store of their Divine Favour by invoking their deity to help them.

If a Cleric fails a spell casting roll, it indicates that they have momentarily fallen into disgrace with their deity and cannot cast until the next day or until they gain at least one more point of Divine Favour.

This is awesome because it combines the cleric's roleplay requirements with their class abilities, which means in order to get the bonuses of being a cleric, they HAVE to follow their deity, or they will lose spells, and this mechanic does it without requiring as much GM's fiat.

Sound epic? I think so.