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Author Topic: Your Favorite Modern Mechanics  (Read 8338 times)
Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #75 on: October 26, 2012, 10:58:16 AM »

Heh. You will be pleased.

Dude. If you incorporate something that brings the feel of Call of Duty etc. to the tabletop I will love you forever.

Also, a sticky cover system like Gears of War (And Bloodstone, and Splinter Cell: Conviction and the rest, for added Spyness).

I dunno if a sticky cover system really works on the tabletop (that's an invention of pure convenience for tactical shooters), but we do have some cover effects you will likely be very pleased with Smiley
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« Reply #76 on: October 26, 2012, 11:30:52 AM »

I dunno if a sticky cover system really works on the tabletop (that's an invention of pure convenience for tactical shooters)

True enough, but I live in hope!

Maybe one could do something with having the default status of characters to be in cover behind something (so a characters position is define expressly by which directions they have cover from), with movement abilities being mostly geared to switching to a new cover position. And the battlefield is the now familiar network of chest high walls. Or something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de_iqH93Ywc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbK9He4vDR4
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:33:03 AM by ErikB » Logged
Morgenstern
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« Reply #77 on: October 26, 2012, 11:31:23 AM »

Also, a sticky cover system like Gears of War (And Bloodstone, and Splinter Cell: Conviction and the rest, for added Spyness).

What is 'sticky cover'?
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« Reply #78 on: October 26, 2012, 11:35:15 AM »

Maybe one could do something with having the default status of characters to be in cover behind something (so a characters position is define expressly by which directions they have cover from), with movement abilities being mostly geared to switching to a new cover position. And the battlefield is the now familiar network of chest high walls. Or something.

I'm playing XCOM right now. You mean something like that? (If you've played it).

Main thing seen there isn't a new set of rules. The current rules for cover address that...

...Its a matter of presenting more detailed MAPS.

Maps. Rich, glorious, detailed maps are where video games (and even miniature wargames) just cream table-top over and over.
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« Reply #79 on: October 26, 2012, 11:36:22 AM »

You're sort of assumed to automatically take cover behind an object that offers it?
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ErikB
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« Reply #80 on: October 26, 2012, 11:38:00 AM »

What is 'sticky cover'?

I just mean any of these (video) games where you character has a distinct 'in cover' state. You hit a button to stick to the wall, see. Then you pop out to shoot. Then you duck behind cover to wait while your health recharges. Those Eight Days videos I just posted are a pretty good example of what I mean.

And yes, X-Com is a good example. It doesn't really need extra rules, but you could certainly emphasis the ones that are there, and make a game that revolves around cover, suppression, flanking etc.
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« Reply #81 on: October 26, 2012, 12:21:31 PM »

You're sort of assumed to automatically take cover behind an object that offers it?

Well, in XCOM (turn based strategy) each individual square you can move into displays its cover states (half or full) towards the four cardinal directions as part of the information displayed while you are moving your guys. If the are enemies in postions so that they'd be on your side of the cover if you move there, the cover states are shown in red - the cover exists, but it won't help you against the immediate known threat. Merely moving to that square automatically grants you the cover shown, thought the game animates in a way that if the is a wall on one side of the square, you're humping it, if its a corner with cover in two directions, you're deep in it, and if the cover is only waist high, you're automatically crouching to maximize it.

That auto-crouching between hustling from spot to spot is maybe the only thing different about XCOM and normal Mastercraft play. Not a difficult thing to introduce really. I'd been mulling over porting their extensive use of overwatch anyway, as it does give a great squad tactics feel to XCOMs gameplay.

With the mention of "press a button" to sticky, I get it now. First person shooters (I play some Bond) have a button that basically toggles you between haul buttocks mode and don't get shot mode. The button is generally only active/available when you've siddled up to scenery that'll help you not get shot. Since toggling it is pretty much on the level of muscle memmory for anyone who plays those games, I'd guess that in an table top game a character would treat it a lot like an automatic bonus while adjacent to hard scenery rather than a state toggle like a stance.

But again, it comes down to map quality more than any sort of new rule in my head.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 01:37:37 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #82 on: October 26, 2012, 03:45:57 PM »

Heh. You will be pleased.

Dude. If you incorporate something that brings the feel of Call of Duty etc. to the tabletop I will love you forever.

Also, a sticky cover system like Gears of War (And Bloodstone, and Splinter Cell: Conviction and the rest, for added Spyness).

I dunno if a sticky cover system really works on the tabletop (that's an invention of pure convenience for tactical shooters), but we do have some cover effects you will likely be very pleased with Smiley

And... something else that satisfies the rest of your suggestion. Wink

Maybe one could do something with having the default status of characters to be in cover behind something (so a characters position is define expressly by which directions they have cover from), with movement abilities being mostly geared to switching to a new cover position. And the battlefield is the now familiar network of chest high walls. Or something.

Always being in cover effectively undercuts the importance of cover, while simultaneously over-emphasizing its narrative and mechanical prominence and cutting a whole bunch of combat storytelling options and tactical choices off at the knees. Also, Spycraft has never featured facing - largely due to the need to abstract six seconds at a time and to avoid rampant complexity escalation. So something like this isn't really feasible with the system.

Now, this sort of thing...

Quote

...that's doable, though not as you might expect. Folks tend to think that RPG game systems are responsible for this level of environmental immersion, when really your very best tool to make it happen is the one thing no one can replicate - the human brain. Even a well-detailed map can't substitute for inspired description from everyone at the table (not just the GM, who has a lot more to consider and can't be solely held responsible for every minute detail of each firefight). Maps are a good start but over-reliance upon them can lead to other problems, actually dulling the critical improvisation that RPGs thrive on.

The game brings part of the equation, including maps and rules (which must be easy to use so they don't bog down or overpower improv), and the humans at the table do the rest. Can the game do more than mere rules and maps to help along something like this? Absolutely. The new stuff I hint at above is part of how we're doing it in Spycraft Third but I'm hopeful we'll crack a few other nuts at the next upcoming summit. With any luck you'll feel inspired rather than required to bring your A game on the descriptive end, which again, is where the magic really happens with tabletop RPGs.
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« Reply #83 on: October 26, 2012, 07:13:11 PM »

Always being in cover effectively undercuts the importance of cover, while simultaneously over-emphasizing its narrative and mechanical prominence and cutting a whole bunch of combat storytelling options and tactical choices off at the knees.

It is probably worth knowing that I really, really like cover systems. I think one could, if one wanted, make a tabletop combat system intended to evoke the feeling of Full Spectrum Warrior:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x19BIqJBsfM

in that almost all of the time characters are going to be either in cover or running to a new cover location.

I see it something like this:-



The black squares are buildings that block all movement and shooting. The grey squares are chest high walls you can shoot over or take cover behind. Our combatants start at squares Blue and Red. Blue shoots Red enough to suppress him and make him cower behind his cover, unable to move. Blue then uses his SWAT Turn special ability:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xljPrxOjwmg#t=0m52s

to cross the gap to square Yellow without allowing Red to get a good shot at him. He then uses similar abilities to move to square Green, where he can get a clean shot at Red, finishing him off. Er, Blue probably has a mate shooting at Red to keep him suppressed while all this is going on.
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« Reply #84 on: October 26, 2012, 07:32:28 PM »

If we're talking video games, and how they can be modeled/ported to tabletop, then the fundamental difference between a cover based shooter and a more traditional one is that the cover based shooter lets you shoot "blind" from behind total cover without exposing yourself (much) to return fire.  To replicate that in a tabletop game, all you need is that ability.  It could be a feat, trick, campaign quality, or a variety of other things, along the lines of:

When you are in total cover, you are still able to track the locations of characters behind the cover, and may make attacks against them with 1-handed ranged weapons without leaving your cover.  You suffer penalties with this attack as though the target were invisible, but you do not need to guess their location.

For the ability to dash between cover objects quickly without presenting much of a target, that's already covered by the nature of turn based combat.  You only move on your turn, and you tend not to get shot at on your turn*.  Everything else is just narrative.  Do you imagine your character hugging the wall and advancing in tom-clancy-tactical fashion, or do you imagine your character calmly walking the end of the wall while reloading his gun like a boss, or clint eastwood.

*exceptions apply, see store for details
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #85 on: October 26, 2012, 07:54:06 PM »

It is probably worth knowing that I really, really like cover systems. I think one could, if one wanted, make a tabletop combat system intended to evoke the feeling of Full Spectrum Warrior:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x19BIqJBsfM

in that almost all of the time characters are going to be either in cover or running to a new cover location.

That would make for an excellent conceit for a one-off or series of encounters but unless the system was designed expressly to model a particular license that heavily featured cover as a core (read: omni-present and ever-encouraged) method of play - as is the case with the video games you've mentioned - I would hesitate to go to this extreme as a facet of the central game engine.

Obviously, Spycraft is trying to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and any number of those things actively works against cover being this integral all the time. Thus it has to be less prominent in our central engine, with the option to ratchet those rules up - in terms of utility, complexity, or both - as needed.
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ErikB
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« Reply #86 on: October 26, 2012, 10:50:01 PM »

Fair enough.

I do think it might be worth describing cover in computer game terms - as in this is the bonus you get if you are crouching behind a chest high wall, or if you are shooting around a corner or hiding behind a pillar or whatever, because those are probably situations gamers are going to be familiar with and may want to replicate.

And if you can do something like the shoot - hide (health regen) - shoot cycle from Halo that would be awesome.

And if you can do a G.I. Joe campaign book, consider doing a AAA video game book! Call of Duty and the rest are at least as much of a cultural influence as Saturday morning cartoons used to be.
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« Reply #87 on: October 26, 2012, 10:53:48 PM »

If I recall, cover was described in this fashion for SC2.0 ...

the shoo-hide w/health regen-shoot cycle sounds like a Campaign Quality for increasing vitality recovery

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« Reply #88 on: October 26, 2012, 11:16:20 PM »

Refresh action. Its works quite well when you have total cover Smiley.
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« Reply #89 on: October 26, 2012, 11:20:55 PM »

Agreed, Scotty. ... You just have to be willing to spend the action to take it.
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