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Combat Zones, and stocking them.
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WarLokk
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of trying this out for my next game and was wondering how you guys have been converting the weapon range increments? Any guidelines?

One thing I was thinking of were the subject of thrown weapons. Their standard range is very limited, but could be considered all 1 zone for the purposes of an abstract distance (at least in my mind -- maybe long range is the next zone over). So how could you model which parts of the are at which range, i.e. modifiers for Short, Medium, Long.

I may be overthinking things but I wanted to discuss the idea a little bit.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As previously mentioned, the zones give you a range scale - "Handgun -- short is one zone. Rifle, short is two, etc. " Then the only oddity is thrown weapons, which should really be using one step shorter than pistol (current zone is Short, adjacent zone is Medium, and two zones would be Long) - the advantage being that you don't have to close to melee to attack them.
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JavaScrybe
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Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jumping in unexpectedly just to mention that I've been gaming like this for quite a while now. It works great.

Often as GMs in "imaginary positioning" we forget that ranged weapons are a very important advantage to have in combat (and are often balance accordingly).
On the other hand, nothing discourages high-flying action and swashbuckling as "you're missing a square to reach that chandelier".

I run the combat in "zones" and try to have something interesting in each one (a cliff, a bar, a chasm, etc.). I use the concept of "engagements" like jonrog1 does. I draw the combat scene on a Battle Mat (non-scaled of course) and use labled beads to keep track of who's in which zone and who's engaged with whom.

A "normal move" will get you from one zone to another, or in an "engagement" within the zone. There is actually a fun game of "cat and mouse" as moving in a zone will let the opponent engage you the next turn, but you can't wait forever either. Very Happy Also, for templates: Small is an engagement (within a Zone), Medium is a full Zone and Large is two Zones.

My "hacks" have been a lot like the ones Clint suggested. It's the "best of both worlds" for me: a degree of "precision" that goes with record-keeping on the distance while allowing for some "free-form athletics".

And I wouldn't go back. Add my voice to the "satisfied".
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lantzbg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a hybrid map system that makes it a bit easier for players to visualize. I use an additional deck of cards to create a 5 card by 4 card grid. This represents the map and each card, a "zone." The suit/color/value of the card represents different elements on the map. For instance, if an encounter is occurring in a heavy forest, black cards represent -4 cover (thick forest), red cards are vegetated a little lighter providing -2 cover. Movement penalties apply based on the terrain as well. I use beads to represent the PC's and NPC's and a ruler for movement scaled in half (3" equals 6 spaces). If a road is needed on the map then the middle column is left unturned representing the road with no terrain or cover mods. Smaller grids are used for the interior of buildings or what have you. I find this still encourages the players to use their imagination for what may be in that "zone" and still provides some randomness to each encounter. Once you design your own house rules for what different cards represent, you can quickly generate any map you need, even building interiors.
I like the idea of "environmental bennies" for players to use to add their own element to the zone.
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PencilBoy99
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on bits of most of the above, this is what I have so far:

1. Divide combat environments into "zones" (e.g., bar room, bar, balcony)

2. Engage in anyone in your zone in mêlée. Starting an engagement that is already ongoing in your zone costs your movement action, but then allows for gang-up bonus. Breaking from an engagement = free attack by Withdrawing from Close Combat.

3. You can fire across zones: 0 zones = short for thrown; 1 zone = short for pistol-like; 2 zones = short for rifle-like.

4. Use your full move to move to another zone. Engaging in the new zone incurrs a multi-action penalty. Must roll 4+ to make it in one action (running). Running essentially becomes a free action. For edges like Suzerain's "Improved Fleet Footed," you can spend "pulse" points to move an additional zone. Some zones can have "barriers" which require something additional to move to them or fire across them (e.g., an additional move, athletics roll).

5. Speed-edges, like Fleet-Footed, allow you to move to a zone, then take another action without a multi-action penalty.
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JavaScrybe
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good. Add to that something along the lines of:
- Small Burst Templates target an engagement-sized zone (1d3 chars) Medium target a whole zone, and Large cover two adjacent zones. This also works with Suppression Fire.
- Any Pace penalty (Lame, Obese, etc) is taken into account in any "running" rolls.
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jonrog1
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

furashgf wrote:
Based on bits of most of the above, this is what I have so far:
4. Use your full move to move to another zone. Engaging in the new zone incurrs a multi-action penalty. Must roll 4+ to make it in one action (running). Running essentially becomes a free action. For edges like Suzerain's "Improved Fleet Footed," you can spend "pulse" points to move an additional zone. Some zones can have "barriers" which require something additional to move to them or fire across them (e.g., an additional move, athletics roll).


I'd suggest streamlining the Running rules a bit more. The die roll in the Core is there to randomize how far you get on a grid -- a variance between 1 and 6 squares. Lose the roll. I'd say:

"Running allows you to enter two zones, or enter a zone and engage, but creates the -2 Multi-Action Penalty to any other actions. So for example, you can enter a zone, close to engage and attack, but that first Fighting roll would suffer the -2 MAP. Or, you can enter a zone, cross it, and enter another, then open fire, but that first Shooting roll would suffer the -2 MAP."

So, for those of you worried how this would affect edges & Hindrances, based on Clint's notes ...

FLEET FOOTED Edge: Adds one zone to free movement. A PC with Fleet-Footed could Enter a zone and engage with no MAP, or cross 3 zone barriers

SPEED Power: As above.

SPEED POWER w/ Raise: No MAP

Does this seem right?

BTW, it seems to me there's an even clearer way to phrase this I'm not really landing on, since its ridiculously early in the morning for me. If we basically say, from now on, "Moving your Pace once in your turn is a free action, moving more than that is another Action", that automaticaly kicks in the -2 MAP condition without having to put any real thought into tracking these rules.
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PencilBoy99
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did anyone ever write this up in a document? Did we resolve how to handle cover and such?
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JavaScrybe
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

furashgf wrote:
Did anyone ever write this up in a document? Did we resolve how to handle cover and such?

Don't think I covered cover (ha!), but I did write this down. Let me know what you think.

http://chezalex.net/documents/jeux/savageworlds/sam.pdf
http://chezalex.net/documents/jeux/savageworlds/sb.pdf
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Kisama
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of using this for my super heroes campaign. Any suggestions on how to handle travel powers?

Here is what I'm proposing as a house rule.

Flight
Points cost  (move value) attack penalty
2  (1 move any direction)
4  (2 move any direction)
6  (3 move any direction) -1
8  (4 move any direction) -2
10 (5 move any direction) -4
15  (6 moves any direction) -8
(Speed of Sound)

Leaping
Level  (move value)
1  (Death from above only)
2  (1 move  horizontal)
3  (1 move vertical, 2 move  horizontal)
4  (2 move vertical, 3 move  horizontal)
5  (3 move  vertical, 4 move  horizontal)

Speed
Points  (move value) attack penalty
1  (2 moves)
3  (3 moves) -1
5  (4 moves) -2
8  (5 moves) -4
10 (6 moves) -8
(Speed of Sound)

Swinging
3 moves limited by swinging physics

Knockback
All knockback results in target being disengaged from the attacker.
Two raises or more on an attack with 1d4 knockback results in target being moved into adjacent zone.
One raise on an attack with 1d10 knockback results in target being moved into an adjacent zone. Two raises or more results in target being moved two adjacent zones away.
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JavaScrybe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking it should scale well.

- You can probably "uncap" the bonus movement points you can get from raises. I can see a super get 4 raises on a running roll and just zoom from one end of the battlefield to the other.
- You can rule some powers/abilities to give "free" movement points every turn.
- For flying people, you can establish "altitudes" that work exactly as zones, but on a different axis.

By the way, I've seen a whole lot of games take the "abstract movement" route, sometimes in ways very similar to what I've written. Edge of the Empire (the new Star Wars game) being the latest.
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sablemage
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JavaScrybe wrote:
furashgf wrote:
Did anyone ever write this up in a document? Did we resolve how to handle cover and such?

Don't think I covered cover (ha!), but I did write this down. Let me know what you think.

http://chezalex.net/documents/jeux/savageworlds/sam.pdf
http://chezalex.net/documents/jeux/savageworlds/sb.pdf


Yoink!!

Good stuff chaps, thank you!
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jonrog1
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using Zones for my Cthulhu-Firefly game, and came up with a new variation you may enjoy.

First off, all my maps are just stacks of index cards now. I drop them down with pre-determined Zones, annotated with how much cover can be gained, stuff that might be in them ("FIRST AID AREA: lockers, first aid supplies, emergency showers, full cover from tables") and away we go.

Then this week, I said "A fight breaks out in the reactor control room you're in. I know there's a giant ball of plasma in the middle of the room, but what else?" Then the players and I threw together 5-6 Zones with some fast definitions, so we built the space together.

While we were setting that up, I handed some cards to two other players who'd split off to search some other part of the building. I said "You're going to run into trouble up in those offices you're searching. Why don't you give me that layout while I do the first round of this downstairs combat?"

When I was ready to loop them in (we did two separate simultaneous combats) they'd built an office with reception, 2 zones of glass offices and cubicles, a library, a director's office and a vault -- all zones that immediately evoked cover opportunities, furniture, etc. Big enough for a tight little shootout, and not necessarily what I would've built.

I know groups really vary on player participation in that sort of situation, but my players really dug being part of that creative process.
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PencilBoy99
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This simplified approach is great. Proposals for consideration:

(1) ENGAGED - simply list who is in melee combat with whom. Within reason, anyone can engage anyone else in a zone as long as they can move

(2) COVER - if the zone could have cover, and you can move, simply declare that you're taking cover.

Are there any other Edge-related things we need to handle?
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Virgobrown72
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without a grid, I determine areas/range as melee, short, medium or long, with a full movement needed to go from one area to another.

That's, well, pretty much it....
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Chaosmeister
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That index card idea sounds great. You have great players too from the sound of it. Since we do not play so often I am a bit weary of using this testwise. On the other hand I have some bigger combats coming up, and this might be what I need to make it more challenging and tactically interesting. I have used a very simple abstract system that was great and fast for ranges but sevely lacking in the details and cover department. It is a fantasy game though, not sure if doing the index card thing may break immersion too much. Words alone may not be enough to evoke a sense of place so I may need to sketch it out a bit on the cards. The approach sounds solid and easy to prepare too, that is always a plus.
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Reclusiarch
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Joined: 26 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like an awesome idea. I found the link to this post on Will Wheaton's blog, and will try and sell this to my players. Have there been any more development on this idea?
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JamesG
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested in this concept, here is a similar system:
https://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=36098
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Ghostrider
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JavaScrybe wrote:
but I did write this down. Let me know what you think.


Awesome and very useful for me, I'm new to SW and did not want to use minis/grid maps for combat. This is the closest I want to get with "zones"!

GR
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