Author Topic: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics  (Read 3773 times)

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bkdubs123

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Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« on: October 17, 2011, 10:55:59 AM »
I've been wondering for a while now what a d20 RPG would look like if gameplay were roughly expected to be 30% Combat, 30% Social, and 30% Puzzles, with the remaining 10% being DM's grab bag. In such a game, character classes would be designed, probably, to have the tools necessary for "soloing" equivalent level challenges of one of those three types at a roughly 50% success rate. So the Fighter would be designed to have a 50% success rate at equal level combat challenges, for example. The Charmer would have 50% success against equal level social challenges, while the Savant would have 50% success against puzzle challenges. Classes would not be entirely unproficient outside their comfort zones, but would boast only roughly a 25% success rate in equal level challenges for the other two types.

In such a game, mechanics for social and puzzle challenges would clearly be of equal importance to combat challenges, and they would need to be just as dynamic and engaging. All characters would need to be able to utilize actions within a social or puzzle context even if they aren't always necessarily effective.

Such a game would also probably be very easy to tweak based on party contribution. Since mechanics for combat, social, and puzzle challenges all have equal importance, and since all characters can expect at least a modicum of success in all three areas, encounters would be easily to tailored to the characters of the players. Everyone playing Fighters? Well, much fewer social and puzzle challenges then.

Of course, what would the mechanics for such a game look like? How would the game need to be designed in order to facilitate social and puzzle actions?

RobbyPants

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 02:00:32 PM »
If you model everything with d20 rolls, you can hit your 50% and 25% benchmarks by having people have X modifier for their given level, and having non-specialists have X-5 at that level as well. This would apply to attacks and defenses.

So, a level 1 fighter might have +5 to hit with his sword and a defense against swords of 16, but his social attack would be at +0 and his social defense would be at 11. You'd reverse these numbers for the beguiler (or whatever).

As for social stuff, I'd totally treat it like combat. You'd have social HP, attacks, and defenses. No more "roll one Diplomacy check and win the whole encounter". Charm Person and similar things would also deal social damage, but carry rider effects for when the guy reaches 0.

As a bonus, I'd consider combining both types of HP (physical and social) into one pool, and probably call it something like Will Points, or something. Then you don't have to worry so much about who's doing what. In D&D, once the barbarian swings his axe, the bard can kiss his chances of Diplomacy goodbye, but that needn't be the case in this system. If you wanted to make it all complicated, you could have mixed pools, where physical attacks would deal HP and WP damage, but that might get needlessly complicated. I don't have a good fleshed out idea for social combat yet beyond that. It's being debated rather heavily at the Den right now.

As for puzzles: I don't know. You could do the whole HP, attack, defense thing, but that really makes everything quite samey. At the same time, it gets frustrating saying it has to be done 100% by the player's wits, regardless of your character's 24 Int. I suppose you could roll Int checks or something to get clues, but the whole setup is so much DM fiat that I'm not sure how to apply mechanics to this. Puzzles are a lot like riddles: they're often memory games. If one player has seen a variation on this, they simply recall it and solve it. If not, then hopefully the puzzle isn't ass and people have fun solving it.
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Unbeliever

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 05:30:05 PM »
To date, I know of absolutely no game that gives equal weight to combat, social conflict, and puzzles.  The closest would be Mouseguard, which treats all conflicts with the same mechanics, but even then the puzzles category would seem to be different.

I would heartily suggest checking Mouseguard out if you want a pretty straightforward social conflict system.  It is, a lot like what RobbyPants says, where there are hit points essentially, and when those are expended you achieve a determined "victory condition."  It's good for debates at the Roman Senate, but probably quite a bit much for haggling.  MG is based on Burning Wheel, and is much simplified.  This is sometimes disappointing, as the game is too simplified, but it also avoids the incredible errors and poor rules design of BW. 

That being said, even in games I've played with fairly strong social mechanics -- or at least when that was pretended to be the case (Vampire the Masquerade) -- they tend to involve more RP than anything else.  I don't know if simply working up a pretty good Diplomacy and Bluff system (I believe Rich Burlew had some a while ago), and maybe just making it more open to people like Fighters and the like, then maybe they'd be just more likely to engage in it?  If someone can play Ned Stark as a Fighter (or Warblade or whatever) and easily pick up Diplomacy, that might just encourage the kind of game you want, especially if you set up situations for it.

@Puzzles
I find these very hard to implement into a D&D game, or really any RPG in general.  My suggestion would be something along the lines of God of War -- there are various toggles that need to be flipped in a certain way, but there are obstacles, which the players can solve creatively (flying, throwing ropes, etc.).  Or, it can be a sort of skill challenge.  But, I think any game that was 30% puzzles would make me head for the hills. 

As a side note, one of the things that has kept me away from 4E is that they placed a much stronger emphasis on class = role.  I like the idea of a social Fighter, as my Ned Stark example above indicated.  They don't need to be the equivalent of Beguilers or anything, but it's a way of rounding out a character and making them richer. 

bkdubs123

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 10:06:46 PM »
I would heartily suggest checking Mouseguard out if you want a pretty straightforward social conflict system.

I will check it out.

I've been considering designing a game where everything has "AC" and "hit points" in form of Difficulty Class and Resistance. So, trying to convince the King to send his armies out to battle the advancing legions from the north has a DC of 20 and Resistance 70, while trying to kill an Ogre has a DC of 16 and Resistance 30, while trying to disarm a poison gas trap has a DC of 18 and Resistance 50. You use different skills in order to "hit" each challenge and "deal damage" to each challenge's resistance in different ways, but once you finally wear down a challenge's resistance you succeed. Of course, you can fail as well. The King might be wearing down your resistance against simply giving up negotiations. The Ogre might be wearing down your resistance against dying or your resistance against running away. The trap might be wearing down your resistance against making a mistake or failing to recognize the mechanisms.

Unbeliever

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 10:28:58 PM »
^ the only challenge with this is that you need to give interesting, tactically-relevant options.  We are familiar with these in combat -- although D&D and its progeny are among the most tactical games (cf. Rifts, where you mostly just decide which big gun to shoot it with).  Coming up with the equivalent for social situations and the like might take more work. 

bkdubs123

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 10:34:57 PM »
^ the only challenge with this is that you need to give interesting, tactically-relevant options.  We are familiar with these in combat -- although D&D and its progeny are among the most tactical games (cf. Rifts, where you mostly just decide which big gun to shoot it with).  Coming up with the equivalent for social situations and the like might take more work.  

Oh, I understand that. I'm confident I could come up with options. I'm not as confident I could come up with options that aren't boring or just plain stupid.

veekie

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 06:21:17 AM »
Hmm, theres some tricky bits involved I think.
Physical Combat and Social combat alike are interpersonal, a person is always in conflict with a person(or person-like thing), Skill are trickier, so they'd need to work as an independent subsystem, or else be treated as combat against an environment(which necessarily makes it more abstract).

Theres also Mass considerations with social and physical conflict. When you're taking on massed forces, how do you scale up the conflict and timescales?

Now, setting Skill aside for the moment.
Social conflict's goals is more fluffy, you want the other guy to do something, he wants you to do something else in return(sometimes just to stop). So you have short and long term goals and consequences.
Short term conflicts you have those quick things like getting someone to do one particular thing. Once they are done with it they can get over it. You might want to fit this on the same time scale as physical combat(making enemies flee for example, or trickery or feints).
Long term conflicts you are trying to change the person themselves.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 06:31:19 AM by veekie »
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veekie

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 06:46:17 AM »
So, I'm thinking, you need some social goalposts:
Motivations/Convictions - What a person believes in, when you go against this, the target's resistance is much greater. Long and mid-term social conflict would involve creating, strengthening or eroding these. Short term social conflicts would involve invoking, misleading or otherwise getting one conviction to override another.

Though as an aside, its odd that physical conflict always ends in death, you'd think theres a lesser objective(wounding or crippling instead of killing) for those.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
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bkdubs123

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 07:21:50 AM »
Though as an aside, its odd that physical conflict always ends in death, you'd think theres a lesser objective(wounding or crippling instead of killing) for those.

Certainly. That's why I mentioned the Ogre perhaps just trying to get you to run away and leave him alone. Physical conflict should not always need to result in death, and XP can and should be awarded as long as you successfully "overcome the challenge."

Your ideas about motivations/convictions as well as short-term vs long-term conflicts are good, but, as you mentioned, make the design a lot more tricky. The ideal design approach for a game like this, I think, would be to present challenges and allow the player characters to overcome those challenges with whatever tools they can come up with. So a challenge might be "stop the dragon from destroying the village," and PCs could do whatever they wanted to do to overcome that challenge and be awarded XP. Different methods might be more or less difficult or require more or less time, but as long as they players overcome the challenge they get the same XP. It would be up to the players to decide which methods to use. Attacking the dragon physically might be easier to do than talking it down, but it might take much longer to stop the dragon that way (low DC but high Resistance vs high DC but low Resistance).

I agree that "puzzle combat" is very abstract and potentially really stupid. But environmental hazards are a very real part of the game and if they operated on the same rules as the rest of the game, I think a sleek engine could be very beneficial to the overall design and gameplay. It just needs to be done right.

oslecamo

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 11:11:36 AM »
Though as an aside, its odd that physical conflict always ends in death, you'd think theres a lesser objective(wounding or crippling instead of killing) for those.

There's those thing called "negative HP", "subdual damage", "non-lethal poisons" and "grappling". You can also just add 4e's method of when you're delivering a killing blow, you just knock out your oponent. There. No need to add a whole subsystem to bog things down.



veekie

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 12:07:22 PM »
I'm not talking from the attacker's choice point of view, but the defender's. He can't ask for quarter because you just did quarter him.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
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There is no higher price than 'free'.

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Empirate

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 12:21:56 PM »
To date, I know of absolutely no game that gives equal weight to combat, social conflict, and puzzles.  [snip]

Go check out F.A.T.E. based games, like Spirit of the Century. Most everything uses the same basic mechanic, which can be applied to social encounters or puzzle solving as easily as to mountain climbing or a racing contest. Not to speak of physical combat, of course.

I played in a campaign for which the GM created his own F.A.T.E. based system. It worked quite nicely, even allowing us to apply skills such as Perception, Bluff, and Masonry (!) in a fight, on occasion. That kind of system really rewards creativity, and plays best with a lenient GM.

However, after a while it felt kind of bland to use the same mechanic for everything.


veekie

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2011, 04:39:25 PM »
Thinking more along the lines of stakes, same as in social combat. What if the default for (heroic) physical combat is maiming instead of killing(or that killing takes some time after maiming, requiring failed death saves etc)?
So for example.
50% health is a flesh wound, with attendant status effect. Healing removes that. Also the same point that anyone not fighting for keeps to retreat.
0 health is a choice, fight on, or knockout. Choosing to fight on means you receive a mid-term(days) disability, and stay moving. Or you can be taken out, for a second flesh wound. Only major healing would fix the disability, hit point recovery alone won't do it
Dealing enough damage to bring the target to -10(or possibly a different death threshold, -10 doesn't scale well after all), the target takes a permanent major injury, and becomes unable to take standard actions. They can attempt to flee(and very well might if theres other allies on the field), but cannot contribute to the aggressive actions any further. At this point, also, unless healed, they will be making fort saves vs death. The saves get harder as you pick up additional major injuries.
Death occurs when you fail a death save.

Socially:
Minor - Getting the target to do something that doesn't go against his convictions. This probably equates to 4E's Bloodied, something that takes some effort to do, but you can feasibly accomplish in an exchange or two.
Moderate - Temporarily overriding one of the target's convictions or temporarily creating one. Might take a day or two to shake it off without followup. Equivalent to dropping a target to 0.
Major - Permanently breaking or forming a new conviction(e.g. converting to a new faith, changing a code of conduct). Equivalent to losing a limb(eye, horrible scar, whatever), though probably should be somewhat time consuming(and they'd probably disengage before this point).
Fatal - Personality rewrite, involving the majority of the target's convictions. Death equivalent, highly time consuming.

One question that comes up is how do you track social health. Are you wearing the target's willpower down to the point where they would accept various effects? Or is the focus of the conversation the health bar, so you cannot for example, wear someone down with arguments about Justin Bieber and then switch tack when they're low on willpower to convert them to Scientology.

Social defenses is another, base it off Will saves as a measure of stubborness? Or some other social AC? Add your offensive social skill to it?

Another thought is timespans. Social conflict can happen in a number of ways:
Conversational talk - Spans in minutes, generally low intensity, and often one-way.
Fast talk - Spans in combat time, high intensity, and aimed at prematurely ending conflicts. This mode probably needs to tie into physical combat mechanics somehow, or at least, having one side affect the other.
Written appeal - One party is only remotely present, using say...a strongly worded letter or a mindcrushing rune. Timespans are long there.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

oslecamo

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 07:05:13 PM »
Thinking more along the lines of stakes, same as in social combat. What if the default for (heroic) physical combat is maiming instead of killing(or that killing takes some time after maiming, requiring failed death saves etc)?
So for example.
50% health is a flesh wound, with attendant status effect. Healing removes that. Also the same point that anyone not fighting for keeps to retreat.
0 health is a choice, fight on, or knockout. Choosing to fight on means you receive a mid-term(days) disability, and stay moving. Or you can be taken out, for a second flesh wound. Only major healing would fix the disability, hit point recovery alone won't do it
Dealing enough damage to bring the target to -10(or possibly a different death threshold, -10 doesn't scale well after all), the target takes a permanent major injury, and becomes unable to take standard actions. They can attempt to flee(and very well might if theres other allies on the field), but cannot contribute to the aggressive actions any further. At this point, also, unless healed, they will be making fort saves vs death. The saves get harder as you pick up additional major injuries.
Excellent, now monsters will always run away with their treasure unless you're willing to bog down the combat with long winded pursuits... Wait, I don't believe that's an improvement at all.

I dunno about you, but I enjoy in D&D actually killing stuff. And so did the LotR fellowship. And so do most fantasy characters now that I think about it. People die when they get killed and stuff, they don't become magically unable to attack but still able to run at full speed.

talks about social rules that would take hundreds  of pages to read, plus making character creation and the game itself twice as slow.

Considering Exalted, no good can come out of adding a whole game to the game, specially when a considerable number of people won't really be interested or bothered on learning the social combat rules at all, but will be horribly punished if they at least don't pay attention to their social defenses.

If anything, just use the rules already in place and allow the social skills to replicate key enchantment spells. You already have the rules to work from in that case and pre-existing examples (demoralize, feint, iajustsu focus, ect).




veekie

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2011, 08:02:21 PM »
The pursuit only matters if the subject is willing to go to the death for the fight, because simply choosing to continue acting puts you at risk of dying until you keel over, and ensures permanent damage. And read it again, it's simply staggered(which is 'you may take a standard OR move action) to a further degree('you may take only move actions'). You're already staggered at 0, and also bleeding out.
This favors the party, as does anything that extends the period between going down and being dead, after all the PCs only need to get taken out once. Not sure whats the point about the loot, most monsters don't exactly have pockets to carry the loot on, so it's in the lair unless its some kind of magical loot pinata, or a humanoid(in which case after being beat to shit it could surrender, or run off and you find its unconscious body later)

The point of the endeavor was to work out potential rules for social and skill based conflicts, and the ideal way to handle elaborated social conflict is to make it work on the same basic mechanic as the physical combat. The existing rules treat social conflict as a static skill challenge, which breaks down easily when pushed into character-on-character conflict, with the skill system as it is. Its less constructive when you're examining potential outcomes for a game with an even split support of all three conflict types. The thread is specifically looking for a game that goes beyond deriving enjoyment from killing stuff.

Hence the idea there of firstly making the physical combat mechanic dual use(allowing for graceful defeat over death as the only solution), and THEN mirroring the mechanics over to social conflict. So you have social health, social to-hit, social weapons(use of concepts as weapons perhaps?) and social defense.
The convictions stuff would be analogous to physical body parts in alignment form, with some situational benefits that would encourage characters to have several wide convictions(maybe you can use them to get bonuses when following your convictions, and get penalties for violating them, maybe they have as much value as alignment).
Written attacks are just ranged social attacks.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

oslecamo

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2011, 10:19:10 PM »
The pursuit only matters if the subject is willing to go to the death for the fight, because simply choosing to continue acting puts you at risk of dying until you keel over, and ensures permanent damage. And read it again, it's simply staggered(which is 'you may take a standard OR move action) to a further degree('you may take only move actions'). You're already staggered at 0, and also bleeding out.
This favors the party, as does anything that extends the period between going down and being dead, after all the PCs only need to get taken out once.
No, it actualy punishes the party.
Normal D&D-player drops in negatives, monsters focuses on something else, battle ends before he bleeds to death.
Your version-player is still moving, monsters won't take the risk he's just positioning himself better for a stronger attack, kill player.

If you think there's too little negative HP, then increase its treshold.
Not sure whats the point about the loot, most monsters don't exactly have pockets to carry the loot on, so it's in the lair unless its some kind of magical loot pinata, or a humanoid(in which case after being beat to shit it could surrender, or run off and you find its unconscious body later)
You know, in the real world you can find quite a lot of stuff in the stomaches of large predators. In a fantasy setting, monsters that eat adventurers can be expected to have quite the number of magic stuff stuck in their digestive system. Also explains their bad humor.

Warhammer Fantay once had detailed report about the contents of an ogre's stomach during its authopsy, and it looked just like the result of a D&D random treasure table!
 
The point of the endeavor was to work out potential rules for social and skill based conflicts, and the ideal way to handle elaborated social conflict is to make it work on the same basic mechanic as the physical combat. The existing rules treat social conflict as a static skill challenge, which breaks down easily when pushed into character-on-character conflict, with the skill system as it is. Its less constructive when you're examining potential outcomes for a game with an even split support of all three conflict types. The thread is specifically looking for a game that goes beyond deriving enjoyment from killing stuff.

Hence the idea there of firstly making the physical combat mechanic dual use(allowing for graceful defeat over death as the only solution), and THEN mirroring the mechanics over to social conflict. So you have social health, social to-hit, social weapons(use of concepts as weapons perhaps?) and social defense.
And again, why complicate so much when you already have sense motive and will saves and other social skills? If you don't like diplomacy/bluff/intimidate, then change them instead of piling more stuff up.

The convictions stuff would be analogous to physical body parts in alignment form, with some situational benefits that would encourage characters to have several wide convictions(maybe you can use them to get bonuses when following your convictions, and get penalties for violating them, maybe they have as much value as alignment).
Or, again, just use what's already there, aka alignment?

bkdubs123

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 10:41:43 PM »
The both of you are making this much more complicated than I'd prefer it to be. The point is that anything the players do to overcome a challenge is resolved thusly:

  • Roll 1d20 + modifers, if the result meets or exceeds the DC, then roll to reduce the target's Resistance. The challenge is overcome when it has been reduced to 0 Resistance.

Note: Dead and Dying have nothing to do with anything unless the challenge is specifically "Kill the Vampire." In the Kill the Vampire challenge, social skills will do nothing to help you kill it, and so will never reduce the challenge's resistance. Most challenges should be a bit more broad in their potential resolutions than that. It makes overcoming obstacles easier, more fun, and quite a bit more realistic.

The goal is to strip the game down as much as possible so that everything follows the same formula, and then see if it's possible to still build an interesting game from there. It may well not be.

SneeR

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 11:47:27 PM »
I'm not sure I dig that singe-minded goal idea.

Who sets the goal? The DM? What if the DM says "Kill the Vampire," but the players want to befriend it and double-cross the church who hired them? Any attempt at social combat, as you said, would not lower their resistance.

If the players set the goals, which player gets to? What if at the meeting of every creature, the barbarian says, "Our goal is to KILL IT!" Does the whole party have to go along with it? If the whole party does NOT have to go along with it, How do you measure resistances?
Ex:
Barbarian goal: kill Vampire
Necromancer goal: enslave vampire
Bard goal: convince Vampire to go away forever.

You then have one person attacking the vampire every, one person casting mind-control spells or rebuking it, and one person talking calmly to it, each every round. Will they all attack the same Resistance? Would they all cancel each other out? What determines Resistance? CON obviously doesn't, since it is also social. But why would WIS or CHA let you live longer in combat? Would you have a different resitance value depending on the situation? Who dictates the situation?

What if you are being attacked, but are trying to hold a decent conversation with your attacker, between exchanging blows? What sort of encounter is that?

I definitely am in support of different Resistance values, but when is what that?
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]

Bozwevial

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Re: Role-Based Design & Non-Combat Mechanics
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2011, 12:24:23 AM »
What if you are being attacked, but are trying to hold a decent conversation with your attacker, between exchanging blows? What sort of encounter is that?
This sort?