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Alternatives to Turn & Speed predictability?

Turn Speed Segment

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#1 RicoZaid

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:55 AM

Speed 4 goes on phases 3,6,9,12. 
 
Are there any cool house rule alternatives to break up Turn / Speed predictability?
 
Like maybe roll a d12 and add your speed, on a 12 or higher you get to act in that segment. If you fail, you get to add your 2x your speed on the subsequent segment d12 roll.
 
Roll d12+spd
* Roll 12+ You get to act
 
* Roll 12- On the next segment your roll d12+ 2 x Spd and try and get 12+
 
I'd like to think this could show personal hesitation in combat. A 'high' speed character shows someone who can handle the intensity of combat and take action vs hesitating with only abort OMG Dodge options.
 
Thanks!


#2 massey

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:46 AM

There have been all kinds of house rules on the subject.

 

Personally, for people who hesitate in combat, I'd just give them a lower Speed.  That's sort of what Speed represents, how quickly you act when the shooting starts.  Couple that with Presence (a more timid character might lose actions when something scary happens), and a more conservative attitude in combat that comes from uncertainty and a desire to avoid risk.  In real life, I'm not going to be running around shooting at people in combat, because I know I don't have resistant defenses and a single shot can be lethal.  I'm going to hold action and take cover as much as possible.  It doesn't matter if I'm Speed 2 or Speed 4, I know I could easily get my fool head blown off.

 

So Rambo, who has 20 Dex, 4 Speed, 20 Presence, 3/3 combat luck, 20 Body, great OCV/DCV, and the Rapid Healing talent, goes running across the battlefield with his machine gun.  Private Joe, with his baseline normal stats, wants to not get killed.  Rambo fires his gun and blows away the guy next to Private Joe.  He then screams a war cry and rolls a Presence Attack.  4D6 base + 3D6 for incredibly violent action + 2D6 for being at an advantage, -1D6 for being in combat.  He rolls 8D6 and gets a decent roll, 32 points.  This is 20 past Private Joe's base 10 Presence.  Don't have the chart with me, but I'm pretty sure Private Joe is going to hesitate.  Even if Rambo rolls like crap and Private Joe doesn't hesitate, he may decide to run and hide anyway.


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#3 Chris Goodwin

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:54 AM

There are many house rules, but I recommend playing it at least once with the standard rules before trying to house rule it.  Whatever SPDs you want to see, I'd go with a three point spread (i.e. if you want everyone clustered around SPD 5 I'd make the enemies mostly 5, with some slow at 4 or lower and some quicker at 6).  If you want unpredictability, you can have your NPCs delay actions; make a half-move to get behind cover then delay the other half, for instance.  

 

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#4 Christopher R Taylor

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:33 PM

I have gamed out several alternatives and in the end, they have at least as many drawbacks -- usually more -- than the system as is.

 

For every problem of predictability and rigid structure that the speed chart offers, it gives benefits in tactical use by a smart player in return.  I think it works well and you definitely should play a while with the rules as is to see how it plays out before doign something different.


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#5 mrinku

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

Stunning also makes targets lose a phase.

 

If you want a simple rule to mix things up turn by turn, perhaps roll SPD as normal dice and count the BODY, with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 12, at the start of the Turn.



#6 LouisGoncey

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:41 PM

Take decks of cards, break them down to 12 cards with black suits and 12'cards with red suits. Take a number of red cards equal to SPD, and 12-SPD black cards. Shuffle them up and flip a card for each segment. People have the same SPD but they occur at random times. Worked the couple of times I tried it running 6th.
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#7 bluesguy

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:29 PM

How many combats have you run using Hero (or played in)?  As a GM one trick is take 1/2 the 'mooks' and have them hold in phase 12.  For instance I have 12 Viper goons with a speed 3.  So I break them into 2 groups of 6.  Normally SPD 3 would act in phases 4, 8 and 12.  The 1/2 that hold decide to act in 3, 9, 12 and then have the other group do the same thing.  That will keep the players on their toes.


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#8 Crusher Bob

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:47 PM

Another way to do it is roll your speed in d12s. The numbers that show up are the phases you act it. Example: speed 5 guy rolls 5d12: (1, 4, 8, 10, 11) so those are the phases he acts on. This takes away the ability to know exactly when the other guy has phases coming up, and trying to exploit that. This rules may change the value of DEX/lightning reflexes, since it changes how likely you are to be acting in the same phase as different speed people, but not sure it's that big of a deal.

#9 mrinku

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:16 PM

Another way to do it is roll your speed in d12s. The numbers that show up are the phases you act it. Example: speed 5 guy rolls 5d12: (1, 4, 8, 10, 11) so those are the phases he acts on. This takes away the ability to know exactly when the other guy has phases coming up, and trying to exploit that. This rules may change the value of DEX/lightning reflexes, since it changes how likely you are to be acting in the same phase as different speed people, but not sure it's that big of a deal.

 

So Bob... what happens when someone rolls doubles, triples or more? Lose their phases? Not criticising - if that's an effect you intend, this works okay. But with more than a couple of dice the chances of rolling doubles are quite high.

 

Lou's card idea, or a variation of it, is probably the most practical randomiser since it still guarantees you get the number of phases you paid for as well as speeding up play. One variation on it that I might suggest is to retain "everyone acts in segment 12 except speed 1" and shuffle in one less card for speeds 2+ for a random draw for segments 1-11. That end of turn "everyone acts" before recovery gives the slower characters a chance to hold their action into the next Turn to deal with early turn runs on them by the faster guys. But it's not essential.



#10 Christopher R Taylor

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:52 PM

One trick I do recommend is that if the combat isn't initiated by the PCs from ambush or otherwise a prepared position, then rolling 2d6 or a d12 and use that as the starting phase; it mixes up who goes when and what happens next. Instead of everyone having the same sequence in combat right away it mixes things up a bit.


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#11 Crusher Bob

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:20 PM

So Bob... what happens when someone rolls doubles, triples or more? Lose their phases? Not criticising - if that's an effect you intend, this works okay. But with more than a couple of dice the chances of rolling doubles are quite high.


Well, you can:
Left them get multiple actions in the same phase
make them reroll any duplicates
or use the computer to select (speed) items from the numbers 1-12

#12 mrinku

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:38 PM

Well, you can:
Left them get multiple actions in the same phase
make them reroll any duplicates
or use the computer to select (speed) items from the numbers 1-12

 

I don't much like the first. Multiple phases in a segment (as opposed to the Multiple Attack maneuver) will require a fair bit of adjustment to other parts of the rules.

 

Rerolling duplicates might take quite some time and is inelegant.

 

Selecting (n) phases from 12 lots is Lou's card system and doesn't have anything to do with your d12 mechanic.

 

But using a program to shuffle and reveal the cards is a good idea. That would also make it more convenient for larger combats.



#13 Lord Liaden

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:33 AM



 

Speed 4 goes on phases 3,6,9,12. 
 
Are there any cool house rule alternatives to break up Turn / Speed predictability?
 
Like maybe roll a d12 and add your speed, on a 12 or higher you get to act in that segment. If you fail, you get to add your 2x your speed on the subsequent segment d12 roll.
 
Roll d12+spd
* Roll 12+ You get to act
 
* Roll 12- On the next segment your roll d12+ 2 x Spd and try and get 12+
 
I'd like to think this could show personal hesitation in combat. A 'high' speed character shows someone who can handle the intensity of combat and take action vs hesitating with only abort OMG Dodge options.
 
Thanks!

 

 

The most playable variant on what you describe that I've used, was presented by Steve Perrin in Adventurers Club issue #21. Every player rolls a d12 each Phase. If they roll equal to or less than their SPD, they get to act that Phase, in DEX order as usual. If a player rolls a 12 he gets to take a Recovery and perform any other Post-Segment-12 actions.

 

Dice probabilities being what they are, this can lead to some players going extended periods without moving. To balance this, if a player misses his roll he gets to add 1 to the needed roll on his next Phase (i.e. a SPD 5 character has to roll a 6 or less), cumulatively each time he misses, until he succeeds. On the following Phase his target roll resets to his base SPD again.


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#14 Hugh Neilson

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:08 AM

Speed 4 goes on phases 3,6,9,12. 
 
Are there any cool house rule alternatives to break up Turn / Speed predictability?


Plenty. as the thread demonstrates. I echo the comments above that the system woks well as is, though.
 

Like maybe roll a d12 and add your speed, on a 12 or higher you get to act in that segment.


Just rolling a d12 - equal to or lower than your SPD, you act - works fine.In Heroic-type games, where no one has a SPD higher than 6, you can vary the system to use a d6. Dropping the size of the die to take out SODs no one has leaves less dead phases.

Or if the d12 comes up one of the phases you would act on. Or roll 1d12 and that is the phase for everyone (rolled a 5? The SPD 5s move and the SPD 6s don't.
 

Take decks of cards, break them down to 12 cards with black suits and 12'cards with red suits. Take a number of red cards equal to SPD, and 12-SPD black cards. Shuffle them up and flip a card for each segment. People have the same SPD but they occur at random times. Worked the couple of times I tried it running 6th.


The variant I've seen suggested would use one or more suits (you can play with a full deck). 1 - 10 equals those phases, J = 11, Q = 12 and K = post-segment 12. One suit ensures the same actions per turn as the SPD chart. A full deck will vary that a bit, with potential for the same phase (or 2 PS12s) in a row. I've considered this for a scenario where time is "unstuck" or Chaos Rules.
 

The most playable variant on what you describe that I've used, was presented by Steve Perrin in Adventurers Club issue #21. Every player rolls a d12 each Phase. If they roll equal to or less than their SPD, they get to act that Phase, in DEX order as usual. If a player rolls a 12 he gets to take a Recovery and perform any other Post-Segment-12 actions.


I think I would go with rolling a 1 provides a PS 12 recovery along with an action, more consistent with that being the RAW "phase 12".
 

Dice probabilities being what they are, this can lead to some players going extended periods without moving. To balance this, if a player misses his roll he gets to add 1 to the needed roll on his next Phase (i.e. a SPD 5 character has to roll a 6 or less), cumulatively each time he misses, until he succeeds. On the following Phase his target roll resets to his base SPD again.


I think that adder reduces the value of high SPD, as the low SPDs will get more +1 bonuses, so a greater increase to their average number of actions over time. Any pure randomizer will have some players get more actions than they paid for, and others get fewer, purely based on luck. That can be frustrating. Bob's not too happy when he keeps rolling high and his 6 SPD character gets very few actions, while Tony (who spent more points on other abilities and only has a 3 SPD) gets more actions than he does. Tony paid to do, say, 3d6 more damage with +3 OCV, and he gets to do 3d6 more damage, with a superior OCV, every time. Bob paid to move more often than Tony. Sometimes he does and other times he doesn't. Random is not always fair, or great gameplay.

#15 Christopher R Taylor

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:29 AM

Dice probabilities being what they are, this can lead to some players going extended periods without moving. To balance this, if a player misses his roll he gets to add 1 to the needed roll on his next Phase (i.e. a SPD 5 character has to roll a 6 or less), cumulatively each time he misses, until he succeeds. On the following Phase his target roll resets to his base SPD again.

 

 

This is the system I considered for a while, but then I realized it got rid of a lot of strategic and timing things that you can use with the speed chart that actually exist in real life: you can tell what he's going to do so you wait for it, then strike when the iron is hot.


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#16 Lord Liaden

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:57 AM

I think that adder reduces the value of high SPD, as the low SPDs will get more +1 bonuses, so a greater increase to their average number of actions over time. Any pure randomizer will have some players get more actions than they paid for, and others get fewer, purely based on luck. That can be frustrating. Bob's not too happy when he keeps rolling high and his 6 SPD character gets very few actions, while Tony (who spent more points on other abilities and only has a 3 SPD) gets more actions than he does. Tony paid to do, say, 3d6 more damage with +3 OCV, and he gets to do 3d6 more damage, with a superior OCV, every time. Bob paid to move more often than Tony. Sometimes he does and other times he doesn't. Random is not always fair, or great gameplay.

 

I appreciate your point in theory, but all I can say is I didn't notice it in practice, and no PC players complained they were treated unfairly. The higher-SPD characters also missed their rolls sometimes, although obviously not as often; and thus also received the bonus subsequently. Overall, the higher the SPD, the more often they acted. The bonus just helped the lower SPD characters get into the game.

 

 

This is the system I considered for a while, but then I realized it got rid of a lot of strategic and timing things that you can use with the speed chart that actually exist in real life: you can tell what he's going to do so you wait for it, then strike when the iron is hot.

 

I love the Speed system in Hero as-is myself. I brought in the dice roll because a couple of players wanted that randomness, but they eventually admitted they preferred the vanilla Speed Chart.


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#17 Netzilla

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:31 PM

Another big issus I find with randomizing the Speed chart is that it can mess up Held Actions, Haymakers and similar.  Basically, you need to decide how such things will be resolved before implementing such a house rule.  


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#18 Hugh Neilson

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:51 AM

I appreciate your point in theory, but all I can say is I didn't notice it in practice, and no PC players complained they were treated unfairly. The higher-SPD characters also missed their rolls sometimes, although obviously not as often; and thus also received the bonus subsequently. Overall, the higher the SPD, the more often they acted. The bonus just helped the lower SPD characters get into the game.


There's also the question of whether 10 points is the exact right balance for one extra action every 12 phases in the first place. Going random roll means we're not hung up on +1 SPD guaranteeing that one extra action every 12 phases anyway.
 

Another big issus I find with randomizing the Speed chart is that it can mess up Held Actions, Haymakers and similar.  Basically, you need to decide how such things will be resolved before implementing such a house rule.


It must also address issues like PS 12 (including erosion of both positive and negative adjustment powers), counting segments Flashed, etc. Often, what seem like minor changes have major ripple effects.
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#19 Sean Waters

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:29 AM

So, hi everybody, how you been?

 

Here is what I do when I decide that the SPD system needs a shake-up, and I usually do it until I regret it before I just go back to the standard rules which work fine:

 

When you build your character, buy some of the SPD with an activation roll.  Now I’m not at all sure this is textbook, but it is how I do it.

 

Every PS 12, make that activation roll roll for each point of SPD with an activation roll, so if you have +2 SPD (11-) you make a roll for each point of SPD, so you could get +0, +1 or +2.  You can, of course, make a single roll for both points (the benefit on average is the same) and you can buy extra SPD with different activation rolls (so +1 SPD on 14- and +1 SPD on 8- for example).

 

So, say you have a base SPD of 4 and +2 SPD on 11-.

 

You get to PS 12 and you roll the activation.  Say you roll 10 and 14 so you get +1 SPD.  Your SPD for this turn is 5.  It could have been 4, 5 or 6.

 

There are pros and cons to this approach (and most other methods of messing with the system).

 

Pros:

1.     It’s micromanagement.

2.     The number of combat actions you get is less predictable, which may be seen as more realistic: it is all about the mechanics and this gives you a mechanic that reflects the chaotic nature of opportunities arising in combat.  

3.     You can still predict when your next action is going to be so you can plan tactically turn to turn.

4.     It is all pretty quick once you get used to it and will not slow combat down.

 

Cons:

1.     It’s micromanagement.

2.     The number of combat actions you get is less predictable, which may be seen as unrealistic: it is all about the narrative - if you attempt an attack and miss, that is the same as not taking that action, so the system already supports variable SPD in the storytelling – it is not as if the system actually simulates every move you make in combat anyway

3.     You can’t predict how many actions you are going to get turn to turn in combat so you can not plan strategically over the whole combat.

4.     It is extra rolls and slows combat down.

 

So….then you can buy extra DEX (ONLY TO DETERMINE COMBAT ORDER) on an activation roll too, and really make yourself popular.

 

All good-natured messing about aside, I like this approach because it allows you to effectively add/modify the way the rules work without adding to or modifying the way the rules work.  The strength of Hero is that you can build an enormous range of things with the system as is, and this allows some players to have set SPD and some to have variable SPD and it is all using exactly the same system.  As a general aside I would always try and use the build rules to implement a new system before house ruling anything.


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#20 Hugh Neilson

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:35 PM

Sean, I like buying SPD on an activation roll (with the mechanics you set out) to simulate the character gradually gaining a higher SPD. 3 points for Act 8-; 2 xp moves it up to 11-; etc.
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