I just returned from Ambercon this past weekend after having a blast. Man, do I miss role-playing -- something I didn't get much chance to do (outside playtesting) over the past 8 years.
So I've decided to start a new campaign. Not Amber, though -- I want to play BESM 3. A diceless version of it.
Now some of you may have noticed that BESM was designed to make it easy to eliminate random elements ... and this trend was continued and advanced in BESM 3. I thought I'd throw out some comments here, partly to get feedback from those who'd care and partly to help me solidify my ideas. None of these ideas have been playtested; they are just ideas I'm toying with.
Taking 6 on All Actions
Rather than rolling dice, all actions (attacks, skill checks, etc.) will use the "Taking 6" rule from page 135. That is, all dice rolls have a result of 6 and no roll is done. For opposed rolls, this functions the same as "Taking 0." This is an easy decision when making a diceless version of BESM.
One Attack Value
Although having separate Attack and Defence Combat Values allow for specific differentiation in character concepts, I find that most characters have similar values. For example, it is rare for someone to have ACV at 12 and DCV at 6. To make diceless combats easier -- much easier -- there is only CV now.
This means that modifing CV now costs the combined totals of modifying ACV and DCV. For example, Attack Combat Mastery is 10 Points/Level and Defence Combat Master is 10 Points/Level -- and thus "Combat Mastery" is now 20 Points/Level and adds +1 to CV. Similarly, Ranged Attack (3/L) + Ranged Defence (3/L) creates a new Attribute "Ranged Combat" costing 6 Points/Level.
Here is the ideology for diceless combat:
- There are no rounds. A single specially modified Combat Value comparison determines the outcome of the entire battle.
- Better attackers have the combat advantage.
- Inflicting more damage gives you an advantage.
- Having greater health gives you an advantage.
- Having a form of damage resistance gives you an advantage.
- Having extra attacks and defences gives you an advantage.
- Being able to re-roll dice gives you an advantage.
- Using personal reserves to focus your combat abilities gives you an advantage.
So how is this executed, exactly? See if you can follow the logic herein ... which may seem a little complex at first, but I think will be quick once game play begins. A character's combat roll is determined as follows (rounding down to calculate each value):
Combat Value (modified by Attributes/Skills as appropriate)
+ 1 for every 10 damage the attack inflicts (before CV is added) AFTER the target's Armour Rating is applied
+ 1 for every 20 current Health Points of the character
+ 2 for every Extra Attack the character has IN EXCESS of the target's Extra Defences
+ 2 for every re-roll applied from the Divine Relationship Attribute
+ 1 for every 10 Energy Points burned to fuel and focus the attack
For example, take a look at Tabitha Yamamoto from page 106. Let's assume her Combat Value = 7, and she is fighting with a blaster pistol (Level 4 Weapon). Her base combat roll when fighting an unarmed opponent is:
7 (Combat Value
+2 (damage = Level 4 Weapon x Damage Multiplier 5 = 20; 20÷10 = 2)
+3 (Health Points = 60; 60÷20 = 3)
+0 (No Extra Attacks)
This base combat roll can be modified by +2 (to 14) if she uses one re-roll from Divine Relationship. It can also be modified by +1 for every 10 Energy Points she burns. Since her correct number of Energy Points = 65 (is incorrectly reads 60 in the book), she can add a maximum of +6 to her base combat roll for a single combat if she wants to burn all of her energy. Consequently, the maximum combat roll she could have by pouring everything into it is 20 (12+2+6).
Now Tabitha's combat roll is compared to her opponent's combat roll, and the highest roll total wins. The margin of difference between the roll totals determines the length of the combat. For example, a difference of only 1 could go on for many minutes (or even hours for dramatic campaigns), while a difference of 10 or more will probably be over in mere seconds.
Let's look at two opponents Tabitha could be fighting going all out (burning all EP), based on the occupational templates: a normal detective and a samurai. Here are the vital stats:Detective
CV=6; Damage Multiplier=5; Weapon=light pistol (Level 3); HP=45; EP=40Samurai
CV=11; Damage Multiplier=8; Weapon=Magical Katana (Level 5); HP=80; 1 Extra Attack; EP=90
The Detective's combat roll = 6 + 1 (damage 15) + 2 (HP) + 4 (EP) = 13
The Samurai's combat roll = 11 + 4 (damage 40) + 4 (HP) + 2 (extra attack) + 9 (EP) = 30
So in combat, Tabitha beats the Detective by 7 and handily defeats him very quickly. The samurai beats Tabitha by 10 though, and can cut her down in just a few seconds (provided he can get close enough to her to use his katana...).
A Few Extra Combat Thoughs
Just a few extra things before I wrap up this post:
- To be fair to all players, the GM must decide how many Energy Points NPCs are using in combat when battling PCs BEFORE the PC announces how many he is using.
- Since low margins of difference between opponents indicate long combats, the participants may use the opportunity to flee or use powers before they are defeated.
- Similarly, in long combats, any participant may choose to spend addition EP to change the course of battle or cut it shorter. Descriptive flavour is important to give all players the real understanding of what their characters are experiencing in combat.
- When several attackers are facing off against one defender, the defender suffers a -1 for each extra attack beyond the number of Extra Defences he has (rather than the normal -2 from the rulebook). For example, if 4 opponents attack a defender with 1 Extra Defence, the defender suffers a -2 to his combat roll (4 - 1 normal free defence - 1 Extra Defence = 2). In these situations, the defender compares his combat roll to each attacker individually to determine the outcomes. Also, the defender may select the opponent he is facing.
That's it for now. Comments?