View Full Version : Original System OC system: How to handle acrobatic movement in a game with range bands?

2019-01-25, 05:15 AM
Hi guys.

I posted this on /rpgdesign but I'd also like to pick your minds as well.

I am fiddling around with making an TRPG version of Warframe (http://warframe.com/). That's a 3rd person shooter about magical space ninjas flipping around and mowing down countless enemies using powers, melee weapons and whacky guns.

My design goal is a fast game, focused on short-range acrobatic combat about enhanced humans with super suits/forms that emphasizes movement and 60/40 gunplay/melee ratio. Ideally, I would like PCs to run, flip and jump around from cover to cover or target to target during combat but I find it hard without using distances measured in meters, which would not fit with the fast paced gameplay I'm aiming for.

What I have set up right now is that during combat, PCs get 3 Actions per turn. The main types of Action available to PCs are :

setting up (a catch-all action that grants a bonus to a subsequent roll),
using a maneuver (pushing and disarming mainly),
tricking an opponent,
Interacting (any non-movement interaction such operating machinery. Includes drawing weapons),

The first time a PC uses an Action type, they gain 1 Momentum point. Each type of Action gains a small bonus from Momentum and the points gained by an Action applies to that Action. For example, Momentum is added to the damage you inflict on any successful attack and reduces any damage you take during other's turns. Momentum lasts until the start of your next turn.

Repeating an Action type drains all Momentum gained so it's a bad idea to not mix it up your turn.

My problem is that I really don't want to use measured distances and prefer zones or range bands in combat but I can't find a way to include acrobatic maneuvers without them simply being fluff for movement. A smaller problem is how to make faster and slower characters concretely different during combat.

If I used measured distances, I could simply have a different speed rating for land, crawl (including sliding around) and jump movement, as well as make each one another type of Action, so a PC could run 10 meters and slide another 3 to get behind cover before shooting a guy with 3 Momentum points.

Is there a way to get something similar when you use range bands instead of measurements?

John Out West
2019-01-25, 08:50 AM
Okay, well considering Warframe is largely a game about going from room to room in a ship or facility, I would suggest having each encounter be made up of several rooms. I already do something similar, using playing cards to represent the physical space. Characters can move from anywhere in one room to anywhere in an adjacent room as an action. Cards can be connected together to represent larger rooms, but still require a movement to move from one card to another.

As for making each character feel different, I wouldn't reduce any character's speed or make any faster than another. I would instead treat speed as its own feature and flesh it out as fully as possible, giving different classes/suits/shells different ways to interact with their movement. Excalibur suits may be able to make an attack to anyone who is near them at the start of their movement by transferring their momentum into damage, which would encourage them to start their movement adjacent to their enemies. Rhino suits may be able to use light cover against their enemy, ramming into it and transferring their momentum into damage against the enemy behind the light cover. Ember suits may be able to transfer their momentum into heat, and leave behind a trail of fire that cuts off enemies.

For a game as fast paced as Warframe and so heavily dependent on movement, i think you're going to need to change how the game is played from traditional RPGs which are quite slow. Now if I were to structure these encounters, I would make each combat encounter as a series of rooms. Each of these rooms are filled with cover, and behind each cover is an enemy. I would use d6 dice to represent this, using 1 as a marker for an enemy with no cover, and 6 as a heavy cover. The players have to enter into a room and attack enemies from angles to get behind their cover, while simultaneously positioning themselves so that they are behind enough substantial cover to prevent themselves from being attacked. Warframes are safe from attacks while they are moving, but become vulnerable at the end of their turn, where enemies will either shoot them if they are exposed, or move themselves into a position where they can shoot at them next round. In this case, enemies attack at the end of the players turn instead of on their own turn.

For Example, two warframes, an Excaliber and Rhino, are entering into a facility with three rooms in a C shape, with a terminal a the end. The DM rolls three d6 dice directly onto the first card they enter, establishing a random order of guards and cover, with a close 5 (Partial cover), mid ranged 2 (Destructible Cover), and a far 1 (no cover). Excaliber goes first, moving into melee with 5 behind their cover, firing at the far 1 and killing them, then moving behind the 5 for cover while simultaneously attacking the 5 in melee, killing them. The enemies attack as Excaliber ends his turn, but being behind partial cover the enemy has a poor chance of dealing damage. The enemy attacks, but the attack misses thanks to the cover. Now the Rhino's turn, the Rhino charges directly at the 2, building momentum and ramming into them, destroying the cover and smashing it into the enemy. With two actions left, the Rhino rushes into the next room.

Using long dice (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5e/Dados_rodillo.jpg/220px-Dados_rodillo.jpg) would be especially useful for this kind of system, as they can establish not only the type of cover, but the size and dimensions of the cover.

Hope this helps.

2019-01-25, 12:03 PM
That was very well thought out and helps a lot; thank you very much!
I especially like playing cards as a random room generator and I have already written abilities like those you suggested which is encouraging!