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Draz74
2007-07-14, 07:01 PM
Hey all,

I'm trying to come up with a simple way for combat abilities to work, which makes them limited but not too limited. This is to be used in a Generic Classes-type system. And I want suggestions.

Tome of Battle is great, of course, but the whole "Maneuvers Known, Maneuvers Readied, etc." system is definitely more complication than some people are willing to deal with when they're playing a melee character. Oh, and also, the "per encounter" thing, while it's great for balance, has always bugged me a little bit too. It's better than "per day" abilities, but it bothers me how you can have a new battle start, like, 20 seconds after the previous battle, and "per encounter" abilities will have all reset. You're not tired at all from the previous battle? Breaks the 4th wall a little bit to me. Also, a few maneuvers (mostly Shadow Hand teleportation) become broken on a "per encounter" system because they can be used infinitely outside of combat.

Something that has caught my fancy is the "Battle Focus" idea. Psionic focus (abilities that work while you have it, and also abilities that work when you expend it) has been a great way to regulate some psionic abilities in a way that is neither "per day" nor "per encounter." It looks like WotC thought of that, too, with the "Combat Focus" series of feats in the PHB II, but that system never got very filled out (being in only one book, and with few abilities that let you actually expend your focus). At least I haven't heard of other books expanding it.

Stances are another great mechanic, inherently balanced by the way you can only use one at a time, and still providing a great bunch of different abilities for melee types. They give warriors good uses for their swift actions and everything.

So what I'd like to do is make a series of feats and abilities that are similar to ToB maneuvers or cool feats (or Bears With Lasers' fighter fix), which integrate the idea of a "battle focus" or "combat focus" as a way to limit their use. But I have a few questions that have me puzzled, and I'd like the help of some of the Forum's more experienced homebrewers.

(1) "Combat Focus" vs. "Battle Focus" - is one term much better than the other?

(2) Should there be a universal way of activating your battle focus, or should it vary from character to character? The PHB II and the Psionic Focus rules set a precedent for the former, while ToB's various systems for different classes (how they recover their spent maneuvers) set a precedent for the latter. I'm leaning heavily toward the latter.

(3) How should stances be integrated with a combat focus system?
(3a) Are they the same thing? (I.e., could I use the term "stance" instead of either of the other terms?) In which case there could be multiple types of combat focuses. The only thing I don't really like about this idea is that the universal mechanic for activating a stance (spend a swift action) will be gone, which will destroy some of the elegance of the stance mechanic.
(3b) If stances and combat focus aren't the same thing, should stances only be available when you are combat focused?

(4) Should characters generally be combat focused at the start of a new battle, or should they have to achieve it during a battle?

(5) I'm pretty sure I want characters to be able to recover their battle focus during combat, not have it be a once-per-battle thing. More like Psionic Focus than like the PHB II thing. Of course it will cost them an action or resources to recharge it, just like Psionic Focus. It could require anywhere from a full-round action to a free action to recover a combat focus, depending on the power level of the game (low-level, mid-level, high-level) and how martially oriented the character archetype is (rogue, paladin, fighter). Is there any reason this is a bad idea and I should stick with the PHB II style?

(6) How much should existing feats be absorbed into this combat focus system? We all know about the infamous trip-monkey builds that have come about because Improved Trip basically takes away all of the disadvantages of tripping (especially when you add Knock-Down), no matter how often you use the tripping mechanic. Is that a problem? In my system, should all feats as powerful as Improved Trip require you to expend your battle focus, and force warriors to use variety in their tactics? (I'm talking about low- to mid-levels here. I could definitely see high-level feats that let you "keep" your battle focus when you "expend" it on certain maneuvers like tripping.)
(6a) Could Rage even be absorbed into a battle focus system somehow? Would that take away its coolness?

(7) Speaking of high-level abilities that let you "keep" your combat focus when you "expend" it ... does that sound like a good idea? I was thinking it probably shouldn't be something reliable; I want high-level characters to still have to recharge their battle focus occasionally. What kinds of mechanics are good for giving characters a chance at something, without being breakable for optimized characters? Like, I'm pretty sure optimized characters could always keep their battle focus if doing so depends on a skill check or an attack roll. But a DC 20 (or 25) Strength check, for example, seems safe. What else can I use that isn't too optimizable?

OK, I'll probably think of more questions later, but if I can get some good advice or opinions on these, I'll be happy. :smallsmile: Thanks in advance!

Draz74
2007-07-14, 07:11 PM
For reference:

Combat Focus (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Focus,PH2)
Combat Awareness (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Awareness,PH2)
Combat Defense (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Defense,PH2)
Combat Stability (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Stability,PH2)
Combat Strike (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Strike,PH2)
Combat Vigor (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Combat_Vigor,PH2)

Fax Celestis
2007-07-14, 08:03 PM
(1) Battle Focus sounds better.

(2) Since it sounds like you want this to be accessible to existing classes, I would say that one specific method would do. Variance from class to class means you have to actually have to determine how each class works with it.

(3) They are not the same thing, and should be available whenever. However, battle focus should augment their effects.

(4) Activate it.

(5) Psionic focus is an excellent starting point in this case.

(6) Leave Rage alone, but abolish the "improved" feats and require them to have active Battle Focus.

(7) Don't use Strength, for starters. Use something that isn't a prime stat for warriors already, or something that's Tier 2. Like Con, for instance.

Draz74
2007-07-14, 10:45 PM
Thank you much ...


(1) Battle Focus sounds better.

(2) Since it sounds like you want this to be accessible to existing classes, I would say that one specific method would do. Variance from class to class means you have to actually have to determine how each class works with it.

Well, since I'm already combining this with a Generic Classes system, I don't necessarily care about it being accessible to existing classes. I see your point, but in this game, "classes" or archetypes will be more like special feats anyway.


(3) They are not the same thing, and should be available whenever. However, battle focus should augment their effects.

(4) Activate it.

Any reason why? Not that I disagree.


(5) Psionic focus is an excellent starting point in this case.

(6) Leave Rage alone, but abolish the "improved" feats and require them to have active Battle Focus.

(7) Don't use Strength, for starters. Use something that isn't a prime stat for warriors already, or something that's Tier 2. Like Con, for instance.

Well, I figured that part would vary, depending on what stance or feat was granting you the ability to preserve your focus. A high-level Monk-friendly stance could make it a Wisdom check, for example. But anyway ...

(8) Does this, overall, sound like a good way to run the combat system, to give warrior-type characters good options?

Joltz
2007-07-14, 11:58 PM
My thoughts on a system that I got the idea for a little while ago
This reminds me of a system I started thinking about yesterday after I watched the end of a really cool anime (specifically this one ( http://anidb.info/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=1332))

The final battle made me think about making something like a martial version of haste. Itíd have very different mechanics though (Iím just comparing it for the fluff similarity). I have some basic ideas for it planned, but I donít have a complete workable version figured out. Just some things Iíve decided about it.

-All classes get it, itís a normal combat mechanic thatís BAB based

-It would probably give the user more turns per round. They can interact freely with anyone in the same state (I havenít named it yet, but ďbattle focusĒ would be appropriate) but attacks (and some other interactions) against people in normal time would cause the status to end, probably after the first attack.

-The drawback is some form of use limit and definitely something like fatigue or exhaustion afterward. Creatures immune to fatigue/exhaustion would have alternative penalties.

-It would have to be activated, and Iím thinking about a method of reactive activation that allows people who canít normally use the ability to match their opponent to a degree (if someone steps it up a notch, you can generally keep up if youíre nearly as powerful as them). I also want it to be reactively activatable so you can have everyone start at the same time instead of doing funky stuff with turns.

-It would become accessible at the middle power levels (BAB 10 or so), but it wouldnít be really strong and it would have massive drawbacks. Higher levels (and BAB) would make it more powerful and negate some of the drawbacks (maybe) but it would always have to have something to discourage abuse.

The system would let high BAB classes do some pretty cool stuff and it would also give some interesting combat options due to modified combat physics (especially with really high level charactersómidair battle while falling from a 2000 foot cliff anyone?).

I can think of several animes that have the characters doing something like this. DBZ is a good example. There are several instances of the weaker characters being unable to follow a battle between more powerful characters because theyíre moving too fast to see.

Iím really thinking about this nowÖ I think Iím gonna brainstorm on it more and see if I can come up with a version for the nice experienced people here to critique.

Anyway, my humble thoughts on the questions you asked.

1) I like the sound of ďcombat focusĒ better, but thatís taken. Battle focus works well enough. Of course, I you want to integrate it with the combat focus feats you can steal the name. I think Iíd make it a separate system though.

2) Universal activation method for reasons already stated

3) Stances and ďcombat focusĒ are separate. Fax_Celestis said it well.

4) I also agree that stuff like this should be activated

5) I like the idea of a recovery method, but it depends on how powerful the ability is and the duration. Since youíre making it expendable I think it shouldnít be particularly powerful while itís active and it should be recoverable without too much hassle. (psionic focus sounds like a good base to me, but I never did a lot with psionics)

6) The way you mess with feats is up to you and generally depends on how much you feel like monkeying with the system. If you do sweeping changes to the mechanics, think about how itíll effect anyone who uses the mechanic (optimized characters, and un-optimized)

6a) I think rage would stay the same. If you feel really strongly about it you could mess with it, but I donít think itís necessary.

7) The keeping it when you wouldíve expended it thing could work. I donít think an ability check is the best option though. I kinda like level checks. Maybe just using an action w/o a check would work also. Iím not too sure on this one

8) I like new mechanics that let physical combat classes do stuff. If you can get it worked out well it should be at least worth testing.

CervantesTheDefenestrator
2007-07-15, 12:39 AM
I like this system as well. I like ToB, but it didn't really meet my expectations. I was hoping for something like what you are trying to do, but instead I got fighting spells. The biggest offender is Desert Wind, which has only four maneuvers that don't magically produce fire in some way. Iron Heart comes the closest to delivering what they promised, with Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw, and Setting Sun coming close. As much as I like Shadow Hand, it's the second biggest offender.
Anyways, I like what you are doing here. I think you may find this
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47016
to be helpful.

I think that your system should work something like this, setting up the maneuvers. In order to pull off a move, you have to be in a certain stance, or have or be pulling off a certain combat move like Trip or Bullrush, or catch you opponant flat-footed, or any number of things. It should have one or more classes built around it, but be accessable to anyone who takes the right feats or skill tricks. Don't completely disreguard ToB, it's got some good stuff. I especially like the contest of wills. It provides a new use for a skill, provides a good bonus, but not one that is overpowered.

As for the battle focus, it shouldn't work exaclty like Psionic focus. I thought of something called Combat Rythem. You have a certain number of points, I can't think of a good name for them, so I'll just call them combat points, action points is already taken. You start out with none, or a few, and you have a maximum amount. Doing certain things gives you combat points, like scoring a critical, disarming an opponant, etc. Being disarmed etc. causes you to lose them. Having more points allows you to pull off more moves, either just by having that many or spending them. The way I figure, static effects like stances only require you to have a certain amount, while one time things like strikes causes you to lose a certain amount. You lose more if the effect you were trying to pull off failed. And the best moves can be pulled off if you have maximum combat points, or have maximum when you spend them. I'll come up with a better system later. And before anyone says anything, I am sure that something somewhere has used a similar system. Nothing comes to mind, but I know it's out there somewhere, so don't give me any grief if you know where.

CervantesTheDefenestrator
2007-07-15, 12:51 AM
The reason the Psionic focus mechanic doesn't work for fighting is that it doesn't make sence for someone to have to stop fighting for a moment to become better at fighting. It may help with clearing the head and reconsidering actions, but pressing the advantage and getting into a rythem is better.

Joltz
2007-07-15, 01:10 AM
The reason the Psionic focus mechanic doesn't work for fighting is that it doesn't make sence for someone to have to stop fighting for a moment to become better at fighting. It may help with clearing the head and reconsidering actions, but pressing the advantage and getting into a rythem is better.That's a good point. I didn't think of that but it's completely true. The best thing to do in combat is to get on the offensive and not stop till your opponent forces you to (or you win). Spending actions to "refocus" would really disrupt combat flow and be less realistic.

The only action that wouldn't slow the flow of combat are free actions (which would be too easy) and swift actions (a better possibility). This reminds me of a fighter rewrite that has a "height of battle" class feature something like what you're talking about.
fighter rewrite link (http://dsenchuk.googlepages.com/fighter)

Draz74
2007-07-15, 01:22 AM
Well, if you read the "To ToB or not to ToB" thread, people give some excellent examples of how real combat involves just that: the combatants taking time to position themselves just right and "set up" their moves, instead of just constantly attacking and defending.

But I will try to keep what you say in mind, and make some methods of gaining Battle Focus involve a successful attack, rather than an "empty" action. Especially for more aggressive fighting styles, when they recover their Battle Focus.

I don't think I want any kind of "points" system. Too much bookkeeping. The ability to "hold onto" a Battle Focus even when you expend it is kind of like having multiple "points."

I definitely won't neglect Tome of Battle Maneuvers as a source of inspiration! But ... what is this "contest of wills"? (I don't actually have the book, I just semi-use it via the stuff WotC has posted online: the Warblade class description and the Maneuver Cards.) Any info you could explain about Contest of Wills and why it adds a new dimension to combat would be appreciated. :smallsmile:

I plan to use the Psionic Focus rules for this same campaign, too. (Though it will probably just be called a Mind Focus.) And with Generic Classes, all characters will have a Caster Level, kind of like here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/magicRating.htm). The great thing about all of that is: if I want to include abilities that are more supernatural like Desert Wind or Shadow Hand, I can; and to emphasize that they are not like the Iron Heart-esque abilities (etc.), they can require a certain minimum Caster Level Bonus or require expending your Mind Focus and Battle Focus at the same time.

Thanks again for all comments. Keep 'em coming!

Joltz
2007-07-15, 03:46 AM
Well, if you read the "To ToB or not to ToB" thread, people give some excellent examples of how real combat involves just that: the combatants taking time to position themselves just right and "set up" their moves, instead of just constantly attacking and defending...

I read that entire thread and I didn't see a word about stopping to set up maneuvers. From experience, the best way to get someone to move into position for you to hit them the way you want is to throw an attack at them. You may make it obvious and easy to dodge if you like, it's still effective. It forces your opponent to continue to work to not get hit, and it lets you limit their movement options.

One of the most effective combos I know (and simplest too) is to set someone up by throwing a jab at their face. They block, and while they're distracted with that (sometimes simultaneously) you throw a reverse punch to the body. If you do it right they're going to take a hit somewhere. That's just the setup once you're in reach. You had to get close enough to punch effectively w/o letting your opponent get offensive momentum on you (you have to dedicate both arms to the attack).

Anyway, enough with the intricacies of rl combat. The point is that setting up most attacks involves throwing other attacks to distract or occupy your opponent. If you stop attacking, that just nullifies any advantage you had due to them being on the defense. The only attacks I can think of that involve not attacking in the setup are counters (still talking rl here) and there are still counters you can use while attacking.

After a bit of thought, I've broken it down this way.

Psionic focus works because people with such talent have to focus their minds for their mystical talents to work. They gather energy and such.

A normal combatant (one without supernatural powers) can't draw energy or anything of the sort. It's been so long since I had a good sparring match that I forgot a bit, but I remember the best "focus" you get is not form sitting there concentrating. You'll just psyche yourself out like that. The best focus comes from practicing your combination skills during training then using an endless stream of attacks (which is second nature since you've practiced leading one attack into another :smallwink:) and not giving your opponent time to thing about anything other than blocking.

If you want everyone to have some kind of supernatural-ish ability to focus their strength you should make it disrupt the flow of combat (like psionic focus). If it only represents superb skill and control of the situation it should be a less disruptive action that still lets the user get his attacks in.

A system like you described works a variety of ways, they just have different flavors.

edit: oh yeah, you asked about the battle of wills skill use. Before initiative is rolled you can select an opponent and challenge them to a battle of wills. The normal method is to fix your steely gaze on them. They have several options, each with advantages and disadvantages (I believe the options are submit, ignore, and engage). If they engage you make opposed intimidate checks (concentration if you have this one feat) and the winner gets some nice bonuses against the loser. If they submit or ignore they take penalties. I don't remember what they are off the top of my head.

Draz74
2007-07-16, 03:13 PM
I read that entire thread and I didn't see a word about stopping to set up maneuvers. From experience, the best way to get someone to move into position for you to hit them the way you want is to throw an attack at them. You may make it obvious and easy to dodge if you like, it's still effective. It forces your opponent to continue to work to not get hit, and it lets you limit their movement options.

Hmmm ... I guess it was in a different thread. Dang, where was it? It was some recent ToB thread.

Anyway, I can see what you're saying about never giving up the advantage if you're trying to get more of a combat "rhythm," and it makes sense. But the counterarguments I've read made sense, too, and I don't know enough about real fighting to judge. But it seems like, at the very least, judo-like fighting styles would sometimes gain their combat advantage by pausing in their attacks and maneuvering into a better position, right?


One of the most effective combos I know (and simplest too) is to set someone up by throwing a jab at their face. They block, and while they're distracted with that (sometimes simultaneously) you throw a reverse punch to the body. If you do it right they're going to take a hit somewhere. That's just the setup once you're in reach. You had to get close enough to punch effectively w/o letting your opponent get offensive momentum on you (you have to dedicate both arms to the attack).

Sounds like a feint. Which, for some styles of melee combatants, would actually be an excellent way to require them to recharge their Battle Focus.


After a bit of thought, I've broken it down this way.

Psionic focus works because people with such talent have to focus their minds for their mystical talents to work. They gather energy and such.

If you want everyone to have some kind of supernatural-ish ability to focus their strength you should make it disrupt the flow of combat (like psionic focus). If it only represents superb skill and control of the situation it should be a less disruptive action that still lets the user get his attacks in.

No, I'm definitely not going for some supernatural "energy focusing" thing. I can't stand anime battles. :smallyuk: I mean, I might allow specific styles of warriors (Monk or Ninja types) to get benefits out of their Mind Focus and Battle Focus at the same time, and that could involve the kind of "charging up" that you're describing. But good old Barbarian/Fighter/Ranger/Swashbuckler/Knight/Warblade-esque warriors won't be doing anything like that.

So here's the question: if the ways you regain Battle Focus are the same as the things you would be doing in combat anyway, like attacking over and over again, then how do I keep characters from always having and using and re-using Battle Focus-based abilities? I mean, this whole system is supposed to put some kind of limits on how often you can do crazy cinematic things in a fight.

So, should most methods of regaining Battle Focus be some kind of attacks, but sub-optimal kinds of attacks? That could work. I mean, things like Feinting as a standard action or Bull-rushing your opponent are weak enough that they don't see much use, but they would kind of make sense as methods to regain a Battle Focus. Sound reasonable?


edit: oh yeah, you asked about the battle of wills skill use. Before initiative is rolled you can select an opponent and challenge them to a battle of wills. The normal method is to fix your steely gaze on them. They have several options, each with advantages and disadvantages (I believe the options are submit, ignore, and engage). If they engage you make opposed intimidate checks (concentration if you have this one feat) and the winner gets some nice bonuses against the loser. If they submit or ignore they take penalties. I don't remember what they are off the top of my head.

Hmmm. Kind of cool, but I'm not sure I want that level of complication. Though it would be cool in some ways if most warriors actually cared about having a good Intimidate check.

Golthur
2007-07-16, 08:34 PM
Hey all,

I'm trying to come up with a simple way for combat abilities to work, which makes them limited but not too limited. This is to be used in a Generic Classes-type system. And I want suggestions.

Tome of Battle is great, of course, but the whole "Maneuvers Known, Maneuvers Readied, etc." system is definitely more complication than some people are willing to deal with when they're playing a melee character. Oh, and also, the "per encounter" thing, while it's great for balance, has always bugged me a little bit too. It's better than "per day" abilities, but it bothers me how you can have a new battle start, like, 20 seconds after the previous battle, and "per encounter" abilities will have all reset. You're not tired at all from the previous battle? Breaks the 4th wall a little bit to me. Also, a few maneuvers (mostly Shadow Hand teleportation) become broken on a "per encounter" system because they can be used infinitely outside of combat.

Yes, I don't like that; I also don't like the pseudo-magical aspect of it. It's fine if you're playing a wuxia game, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for it.

This is the reason why I opted for a VP cost in my "not ToB" system - it makes it a finite resource, but not necessarily limited per encounter, and not arbitrarily set at x/day. In my mind, it modeled fatigue.


Something that has caught my fancy is the "Battle Focus" idea. Psionic focus (abilities that work while you have it, and also abilities that work when you expend it) has been a great way to regulate some psionic abilities in a way that is neither "per day" nor "per encounter." It looks like WotC thought of that, too, with the "Combat Focus" series of feats in the PHB II, but that system never got very filled out (being in only one book, and with few abilities that let you actually expend your focus). At least I haven't heard of other books expanding it.

I like this, and am thinking about yoinking it into "not ToB", potentially.


Stances are another great mechanic, inherently balanced by the way you can only use one at a time, and still providing a great bunch of different abilities for melee types. They give warriors good uses for their swift actions and everything.

Yes. I'm also currently leaning towards warriors having to use swift actions to get secondary attacks, a la Star Wars Saga.


So what I'd like to do is make a series of feats and abilities that are similar to ToB maneuvers or cool feats (or Bears With Lasers' fighter fix), which integrate the idea of a "battle focus" or "combat focus" as a way to limit their use. But I have a few questions that have me puzzled, and I'd like the help of some of the Forum's more experienced homebrewers.
OK :smile:


(1) "Combat Focus" vs. "Battle Focus" - is one term much better than the other?
I like Battle Focus, personally. Less generic-sounding.


(2) Should there be a universal way of activating your battle focus, or should it vary from character to character? The PHB II and the Psionic Focus rules set a precedent for the former, while ToB's various systems for different classes (how they recover their spent maneuvers) set a precedent for the latter. I'm leaning heavily toward the latter.
For rules simplicity's sake, I'd say "universal", but for flavour, I'd say "semi-individual". You could possibly divide it up by combat "style", and make each style have its own means of acquiring focus. The issue with this comes if you have a warrior who combines styles - then what?


(3) How should stances be integrated with a combat focus system?
I would say that for the most part, they shouldn't. It's possible, I suppose, to have more powerful stances that can only be activated by expending focus, but focus certainly shouldn't be required for all stances.


(3a) Are they the same thing? (I.e., could I use the term "stance" instead of either of the other terms?) In which case there could be multiple types of combat focuses. The only thing I don't really like about this idea is that the universal mechanic for activating a stance (spend a swift action) will be gone, which will destroy some of the elegance of the stance mechanic.
No, not the same thing, and stances should use the same mechanic all around.


(3b) If stances and combat focus aren't the same thing, should stances only be available when you are combat focused?
No, with the possible exception of some very powerful stances.


(4) Should characters generally be combat focused at the start of a new battle, or should they have to achieve it during a battle?
Achieve. There's no such thing as a free lunch. :amused:


(5) I'm pretty sure I want characters to be able to recover their battle focus during combat, not have it be a once-per-battle thing. More like Psionic Focus than like the PHB II thing. Of course it will cost them an action or resources to recharge it, just like Psionic Focus. It could require anywhere from a full-round action to a free action to recover a combat focus, depending on the power level of the game (low-level, mid-level, high-level) and how martially oriented the character archetype is (rogue, paladin, fighter). Is there any reason this is a bad idea and I should stick with the PHB II style?
I can't think of a good reason not to use actions to recharge. Expending an action or requiring a circumstance to acquire focus is good, IMHO. It limits the ability in a "soft" way, and gives an incentive to withdraw or fight more tactically.


(6) How much should existing feats be absorbed into this combat focus system? We all know about the infamous trip-monkey builds that have come about because Improved Trip basically takes away all of the disadvantages of tripping (especially when you add Knock-Down), no matter how often you use the tripping mechanic. Is that a problem? In my system, should all feats as powerful as Improved Trip require you to expend your battle focus, and force warriors to use variety in their tactics? (I'm talking about low- to mid-levels here. I could definitely see high-level feats that let you "keep" your battle focus when you "expend" it on certain maneuvers like tripping.)

I like this, but then again, that's not hard to guess from my sig. I'm all about fighters' moves potentially costing, with better moves costing more.


(6a) Could Rage even be absorbed into a battle focus system somehow? Would that take away its coolness?

Yes and no. This would work, but only if you had a special type of "rage" focus - that is, if you divided the focus types up into styles. It would require work, though, for handling the duration, and so on.


(7) Speaking of high-level abilities that let you "keep" your combat focus when you "expend" it ... does that sound like a good idea? I was thinking it probably shouldn't be something reliable; I want high-level characters to still have to recharge their battle focus occasionally. What kinds of mechanics are good for giving characters a chance at something, without being breakable for optimized characters? Like, I'm pretty sure optimized characters could always keep their battle focus if doing so depends on a skill check or an attack roll. But a DC 20 (or 25) Strength check, for example, seems safe. What else can I use that isn't too optimizable?
I don't like this necessarily. If you do it, it should be very uncertain, even for a high level character. I also wouldn't base on anything that can be optimized (like Strength). A "warrior level check" would be a safe bet on my part.

Draz74
2007-07-16, 10:30 PM
Yes, I don't like that; I also don't like the pseudo-magical aspect of it. It's fine if you're playing a wuxia game, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for it.

As I've said above, I'm not necessarily against the wuxia-type warrior, but I see it as a different type of character than the straight warrior. The Fighter and Psychic Warrior should be balanced but very separate.


This is the reason why I opted for a VP cost in my "not ToB" system - it makes it a finite resource, but not necessarily limited per encounter, and not arbitrarily set at x/day. In my mind, it modeled fatigue.

Yeah ... good thing to remind me of. I am definitely using VP/WP in my system, so I could consider stealing this idea from you. I don't want it to become a regular occurrence, though. It should be reserved for the most powerful, rarely-used maneuvers in my system. Still, it's good to have it as an "extra cost" to add to a maneuver, so that all maneuvers that require expending your Battle Focus don't have to be perfectly balanced with each other.


Yes. I'm also currently leaning towards warriors having to use swift actions to get secondary attacks, a la Star Wars Saga.

OK. I don't know much about Star Wars d20. So a full attack takes a full-round action and a swift action? Or just a standard action and a swift action?
I guess the latter option could work, but not in the same system as stances and so on. I think this is one time where I'll opt to keep my system more D&D-ish. And use swift actions more for special abilities.


I like Battle Focus, personally. Less generic-sounding.

I'm glad my critics seem to be, overall, pretty unified on several of these questions. Including this one. Makes it easier to make decisions. :smallsmile:


For rules simplicity's sake, I'd say "universal", but for flavour, I'd say "semi-individual". You could possibly divide it up by combat "style", and make each style have its own means of acquiring focus. The issue with this comes if you have a warrior who combines styles - then what?

Well, what I had in mind was that, once you've got a focus, you don't have to keep track of what kind of focus it is - it's just a Battle Focus. So a warrior who combines styles can gain his Battle Focus in any of the ways that his different styles allow - whatever is most advantageous in the given situation. And then he can use it in any of the ways his feats (, stances, etc.) allow.


I can't think of a good reason not to use actions to recharge. Expending an action or requiring a circumstance to acquire focus is good, IMHO. It limits the ability in a "soft" way, and gives an incentive to withdraw or fight more tactically.

Yeah. It's sure a lot more fun if you can recharge the ability! And if that gets unbalanced, I can always nerf it with your "expend VP" costs.


I don't like this necessarily. If you do it, it should be very uncertain, even for a high level character.

Agreed.


I also wouldn't base on anything that can be optimized (like Strength). A "warrior level check" would be a safe bet on my part.

Hmmm. Yeah, or a BAB check. I hadn't thought of a Warrior Level Check, but that would be interesting. (I did plan to have some Iron Heart-esque feats that do require a certain Warrior level, regardless of BAB.) That said, I don't think there's much you can do to optimize your way through a DC 25 Strength or Wisdom check, especially in a system that also puts some harsh limits on magic items and the like.

(9) Should Stances Known be based on your BAB, rather than needing to learn them as Feats like most abilities will be in this system? Currently, optimizers seem to care so little about BAB, other than "how many iterative attacks do you have?" If characters all learned a Stance at BAB +3, +8, +13, and +18, multiclassing might get a lot more interesting ...

Yakk
2007-07-16, 10:53 PM
Battle Focus.

Each Technique should have a Battle Focus.

To gain Battle Focus for your Technique, something must occur.

Examples of Focus moves for a Technique:
Fight Defensively.
Bring a target below 0 HP with a blow.
Be missed.
Be hit.
Threaten a Critical Hit.
Get a Critical Hit.
Miss a target.
Hit a target.
Take a move action.
Draw a Weapon.

With each technique needing it's own trigger to gain focus...

Golthur
2007-07-16, 11:05 PM
As I've said above, I'm not necessarily against the wuxia-type warrior, but I see it as a different type of character than the straight warrior. The Fighter and Psychic Warrior should be balanced but very separate.
Agreed. Sometimes, I'm all about that sort of stuff. Other times, not so much. I like to keep them separate :smile:


Yeah ... good thing to remind me of. I am definitely using VP/WP in my system, so I could consider stealing this idea from you. I don't want it to become a regular occurrence, though. It should be reserved for the most powerful, rarely-used maneuvers in my system. Still, it's good to have it as an "extra cost" to add to a maneuver, so that all maneuvers that require expending your Battle Focus don't have to be perfectly balanced with each other.
Fair enough. It was my sole cost. If I were to add Battle Focus, I'd likely drop the lower VP costs, as well.


OK. I don't know much about Star Wars d20. So a full attack takes a full-round action and a swift action? Or just a standard action and a swift action?
It's a new thing in the Saga Edition - not that I have it, I've only heard some of the rules paraphrased here, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt :wink:

In essence, they got rid of the "full attack" action. In it's place, they added feats which allow you to double/triple attack. Each extra attack requires a swift action. However, I believe they allow you to swap your move action for a swift, as well. This, with the feats, would let you get up to 3 attacks (your regular attack, your normal swift, bonus swift from not moving), but not if you're changing stances.

I believe their rationale for this was to allow combat to be a bit more fluid (e.g., I can move, and do two attacks - one regular, one swift, if I've got the feat). It's something I've been mulling over.


I'm glad my critics seem to be, overall, pretty unified on several of these questions. Including this one. Makes it easier to make decisions. :smallsmile:

Hey, you know what they say about great minds :wink:



Well, what I had in mind was that, once you've got a focus, you don't have to keep track of what kind of focus it is - it's just a Battle Focus. So a warrior who combines styles can gain his Battle Focus in any of the ways that his different styles allow - whatever is most advantageous in the given situation. And then he can use it in any of the ways his feats (, stances, etc.) allow.
Right. If this is the approach you're going to take, then I'd suggest each type of focus have a situational requirement to acquire. Otherwise, your warrior types will always use the one that's easiest to do. If that changes from round to round, it will be more interesting.


Hmmm. Yeah, or a BAB check. I hadn't thought of a Warrior Level Check, but that would be interesting. (I did plan to have some Iron Heart-esque feats that do require a certain Warrior level, regardless of BAB.) That said, I don't think there's much you can do to optimize your way through a DC 25 Strength or Wisdom check, especially in a system that also puts some harsh limits on magic items and the like.
A BAB check would work, since it's more or less a warrior level check, if you don't multiclass. If you do, it's a bit different, but not that far off - and, in some ways, that would represent combat training through the other classes.


(9) Should Stances Known be based on your BAB, rather than needing to learn them as Feats like most abilities will be in this system? Currently, optimizers seem to care so little about BAB, other than "how many iterative attacks do you have?" If characters all learned a Stance at BAB +3, +8, +13, and +18, multiclassing might get a lot more interesting ...

I'd say learn them as feats, personally. You might want to take a cue from various posters around here (including myself) and possibly have them as feats that auto-advance somewhat with BAB.

Matthew
2007-07-29, 11:36 PM
It's a new thing in the Saga Edition - not that I have it, I've only heard some of the rules paraphrased here, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt :wink:

In essence, they got rid of the "full attack" action. In it's place, they added feats which allow you to double/triple attack. Each extra attack requires a swift action. However, I believe they allow you to swap your move action for a swift, as well. This, with the feats, would let you get up to 3 attacks (your regular attack, your normal swift, bonus swift from not moving), but not if you're changing stances.

I believe their rationale for this was to allow combat to be a bit more fluid (e.g., I can move, and do two attacks - one regular, one swift, if I've got the feat). It's something I've been mulling over.

Yeah, that sounds about right. I wish they would just dump them altogether and adopt an Action Point System.

Golthur
2007-07-30, 09:47 AM
Yeah, that sounds about right. I wish they would just dump them altogether and adopt an Action Point System.

What's old becomes new again :smile:

Still, that would solve a lot of the problems with the "take turns" round-based system - once again making it possible to interrupt actions in progress or to act after your opponent moves, but before they attack.

Matthew
2007-08-01, 01:40 PM
Heh, so it goes... I am currently using a 3 Second Round with 3 Action Points for my AD&D Campaign. It's working out quite well.