Jump to content

Ditching the Speed Chart


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 99
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Ok I got lost. I thought the 1D12 method would be to see which phase combat would start on.then after post segment 12 the normal chart order would proceed. At least that is how i would play it. I.e. if I roll a 11 well not too many people are going to be able to go first and just like any other combat I've played when I cannot go, I either wait till my next available phase, or abort if need be. And Surrealone it may not be statistically sound but its a gamble. Luck could be Lady and be on my side.Bottom line if the players think its fun and Im having fun then its fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the calculating and rolling on this thread strikes me as missing the forest for the trees. In my experience, anyhow, we ditched the SPD chart to simplify combat and for no other reason. And I thought that was the reasoning behind the question in the original post. Adding a randomizing element, even if it's only one D12 roll at the start of combat to determine the segment on which combat begins (to say nothing of everyone rolling every segment to see if they act) would add to the complexity.

 

And for some people, that's a feature, I understand. For us, it would be a bug. If I'm going to use the SPD chart (and in some games I will), I'll just use the SPD chart as written, with no house rules.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't mind a little randomizing of DEX order. In Battletech we used to play roll once for initative and are stuck with that the rest of the game stunk. Rollinh for initative each round makes me change tactics a lot with the kids.

 

What about making initiative a dex roll? Biggest MOS (margin of success) goes first.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love how everything online turns into an impassioned argument.

 

Don't like the idea?

 

Don't use it.

Clearly someone's not reading, again, as I already said I liked the idea. That said, I'm analyzing the idea to see if it actually makes sense to use it.  So far, I've demonstrated that it involves inherent unfairness, which gave me pause.  So I next inquired as to the thinking behind iintentionally introducing unfairness into the game ... and also intentionally denying people what they bought and paid for with their CP (which also seems a bit unfair) -- to try to understand it and see if I could get behind it, myself.

 

That, of course, is not possible when people incorrectly ASSUME impassioned argument where there's only analysis and inquiry.  It's also not possible when the person who threw out the idea being analyzed renders terse remarks and walks away from the discussion rather than render responses that might help another understand the frequency of occurrence and precise rationale for denying players what they buy with their CP ... and introducing unfair skews into the game that positively affect some characters while negatively affecting other characters. 

 

Care to deal yourself back in ... in order to share how often you do this to your players' characters and why you do it -- knowing the effects on characters, spent CP, and the like within your game?  Or are you still assuming that someone who did a detailed analysis and asked some follow-up questions ... was doing something other than those things?

 

 

 

I wouldn't mind a little randomizing of DEX order.

If you had people roll for initiative, would you give people a cost break on DEX -- making it, say 1 CP per 2 pts of DEX ... since you're basically throwing away one of the major things a character gets when a player buys DEX for that character (thereby rendering DEX only used for skills in a 6e world)?  I'm asking because if you make it do/affect less, it should cost less, right???

Link to post
Share on other sites

People will design for the campaign and the house rules they are in. So, if that is the game, then no one is being cheated. If they don't know the rules, and assume RAW(which is almost never the case), then adjustments may be necessary, but I usually this is not a case of attempting to cheat anyone, but more, someone either didn't hear or someone forgot to tell them sufficiently about the campaign being played.

 

Further, set order based on Speed and Dex is not actually inherently fair. It is highly prone to munchkinism. But, in its defense, it is simple for game play.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Surrealone I thinkb hip shot optional maneuver that allows you to to increase 1 pt of DEX by sacrificing 1 pt of OCV but only one pt. Iirc. Perhaps allow this to be expanded to up to 3 DEX/OCV? That way if you are relatively close in DEX you can beat your opponent to the punch but if they are extremely fast, it wont matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's actual several variations on this idea.  If you do a google search for "speed chart" site:herogames.com/forums you'll find quite a few options.  A couple of mine from way back in the day were:

 

1. GM rolls a d12 each Segment.  If your SPD is equal or higher, you get to act that segment.  Post-12 recovery happens every 12 segments.

2. As above but the GM draws a number out of a hat each segment.  When the hat is empty, post-12 recovery happens and all the numbers are put back in.

3. GM draws a number out of a hat each Segment and that's the column on the Speed Chart that gets used.  When the hat is empty, post-12 recovery happens and all the numbers are put back in.

 

There's a whole slew of Speed Chart variations out there

One I've liked is using a deck of cards - A to 10 means the 1 to 10 column, J = 11, Q = 12, K = PS 12. You could use this with option 1 as well (instead of setting the phase on the SPD chart, everyone with SPD of that number or less gets an action). These "randomize the phase each segment" mechanics are intended to remove the static aspect of the SPD chart so a player cannot, say, decide that, since his opponent moved this segment, he will begin a Haymaker knowing his target cannot act before it lands, unless he aborts, or spend extra END knowing he will get a recovery immediately after this segment.

 

Randomizing the phase on which combat starts could have an impact in "not everyone gets to act" or "a slower SPD character may get to act quicker than a higher SPD character", but still only determines who acts first.

 

Probably 2d6 works even better, really, I just like how a d12 looks :)

I'm not sure I get this - Wouldn't using 2d6 mean that, for example, a SPEED 2 character would only move an average of every 36 segments, and a SPEED 1 character, never?

 

2d6 skews the results if you want each SPD point to have equal value (discussed further below)

 

Sure.  I'll use 2d6 to do so since people are leaning that way...

 

Using 2d6, there are 36 combinations and 11 possible outcomes when rolling 2d6.  The probabilities (rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent) of those outcomes across thousands of throws are well-documented as follows:

  • Outcome = 2 .... (2.77% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 3 .....(5.55% probability per throw)
  • ​Outcome = 4 .....(8.33% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 5 .....(11.11% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 6 .....(13.88% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 7 .....(16.66% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 8 .....(13.88% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 9 .....(11.11% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 10 ...(8.33% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 11 ...(5.55% probability per throw)
  • Outcome = 12 ...(2.77% probability per throw)
If the outcome of the throw determines the segment on which combat starts, then each probability, above, can be assigned to its corresponding segment, and the probabilities for each segment on which a character has a phase can be added to one another to yield the probability of an outcome corresponding to when a character of a certain speed has a phase.  Likewise, the probabilities for each segment on which a character does NOT have a phase can be added together to yield the probability of an outcome NOT corresponding to an off-segment (as opposed to a phase).

 

Looks right to me. This is a boon to SPD 1 - they act on 7, so 1/6 of the rolls instead of 1/12 of the segments. It's OK for SPD 6, who still gets a 50/50 chance each segment. SPD 3 still acts on 25% of segments, SPD 2 on 1 segment in 6 and SPD 4 on one third of segments. SPD 5 has a 41.64% or so chance of an action, so about a 5 in 12 chance. The odds for most typical speeds are unchanged (surprised me, actually). SPD 7 has a 61.07% chance of acting, which is about 7.33 in 12, so there's an incented SPD.

 

I do not agree it incents higher SPD. The odds of an action are the same as the usual SPD chart for SPD 2 - 6. It's a bit better at 7 (the spread of numbers over the chart will have that impact) and 11 (which acts 35 times out of 36, failing only on a 12). However, once I top SPD 7, each extra point improves my odds of acting this segment by a smaller and smaller amount.

 

Using a straight d12 will ensure each added SPD point improves the odds of an action in a given segment by the same amount. Using the playing cards or numbers from a hat model ensures a player's total actions over a period (1 turn if we draw from 1 - 12 or use only one suit from the deck of cards, longer if we put each number in the hat more than once, or play with a full deck*).

 

* how many of us can truthfully say we are playing with a full deck?

 

 

All of the calculating and rolling on this thread strikes me as missing the forest for the trees. In my experience, anyhow, we ditched the SPD chart to simplify combat and for no other reason. And I thought that was the reasoning behind the question in the original post. Adding a randomizing element, even if it's only one D12 roll at the start of combat to determine the segment on which combat begins (to say nothing of everyone rolling every segment to see if they act) would add to the complexity.

 

And for some people, that's a feature, I understand. For us, it would be a bug. If I'm going to use the SPD chart (and in some games I will), I'll just use the SPD chart as written, with no house rules.

Agreed - if the goal is to make it easy, everyone acts once and we move to the next action sequence, then just equalizing all SPDs is the easy approach. What SPD gets used? I agree with 3 or 4 for Heroic; maybe 5 or 6 for Supers - that maintains the balance of items like REC/END/PS12 and Flash where it was in a typical game, minimizing the ripple effect. If we use SPD 2, we weaken Flash and adjustment powers (they last for fewer actions than would typically be the case).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Surreal, are you, like NinjaBear suggests, thinking the dice are rolled each turn, rather than at the start of each combat?

 

Chris' suggestion is the latter...

Start of each combat...

 

 

 

These "randomize the phase each segment" mechanics are intended to remove the static aspect of the SPD chart so a player cannot, say, decide that, since his opponent moved this segment, he will begin a Haymaker knowing his target cannot act before it lands, unless he aborts, or spend extra END knowing he will get a recovery immediately after this segment.

 

Using a straight d12 will ensure each added SPD point improves the odds of an action in a given segment by the same amount. Using the playing cards or numbers from a hat model ensures a player's total actions over a period (1 turn if we draw from 1 - 12 or use only one suit from the deck of cards, longer if we put each number in the hat more than once, or play with a full deck*).

 

Regarding the first sentence in this quote:

Interestingly, the intent of which you speak actually removes tactical game play -- and again skews toward higher speeds.  Specifically, the kind of thinking you just described regarding the haymaker ... is referred to as 'looking for an opening' -- i.e. that moment when you think you can take your swing without much worry of a counter-punch.

 

Every boxer, martial artist, gunslinger, sniper, etc. does it.  In Hero System I would argue that it's a tactical 'must' when slower SPD characters face higher SPD characters, as that kind of play is critical to offset the advantages that come with high SPD and/or DEX.  Given this, I'm forced to wonder why a thoughtful GM would desire to remove, curtail, or alter the ability to 'look for an opening' during the fight?  After all, looking for an opening is PART of the fight ... and all combatants do it in the real world.  I understand the dislike of mechanical representations thereof, but how else do you simulate it???

 

 

Regarding the second sentence in your quote:

​I concur -- a d12 would entail even distribution across all steps of the SPD chart. At that point, the die roll no longer introduces the skew that was mathematically shown in a previous post.  However, the previous assertion (see above) still remains a problematic one...

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a guy trained by pro fighters, I would like to say that 'looking for an opening' against anyone worth their salt never means being guaranteed that opening, but willing to risk it when odds are in one's favor. The static speed chart reflects this less than one with randomization based on speed and Dex in some way, which, of course, must seek to make the odds of action appropriately reflective of the Speed and Dex, and so the skew of some of the methods brought up must be mitigated.

 

Generally, the opening that one is guaranteed to be able to exploit comes against an inferior opponent(or who has some aspect of their fighting which is outclassed by their opponent, even if other aspects are superior) or one who is fatigued or dazed.

 

Tactics exist alongside chance. Set phases, which are fine if one is okay with this, do not reflect this well, because even great fighters sometimes fail to act at an opening. Not miss, but fail to act.

 

I favor the every phase approach, and, after reading this thread, definitely favor using cards, 1-12, to do it in order to get rid of the skewing factor of dice. And I would definitely keep the combat starting in phase 12, as that reflects the flurry of the combat's opening well, and favors no one, but would put a strong emphasis on choosing how one opens well.

 

As for lower speed characters, it is not skew that they have less attacks, it is what they paid for. Those points not spent must have gone somewhere, and they must have considered their options when faced with a faster opponent. Some characters are not meant to be good against higher speed characters. They may have teammates whose job that is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem with most Hero combat is that few players take advantage of the tactical opportunities.  It ends up very regimented because people are not willing to block, delay, dodge, and set up an attack.  I understand why: waiting between phases is frustrating and feels like you're missing out.  But doing so would make combat a lot less predictably timed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to say that 'looking for an opening' against anyone worth their salt never means being guaranteed that opening, but willing to risk it when odds are in one's favor. The static speed chart reflects this less than one with randomization based on speed and Dex in some way, which, of course, must seek to make the odds of action appropriately reflective of the Speed and Dex, and so the skew of some of the methods brought up must be mitigated.

 

Generally, the opening that one is guaranteed to be able to exploit comes against an inferior opponent(or who has some aspect of their fighting which is outclassed by their opponent, even if other aspects are superior) or one who is fatigued or dazed.

 

Well put.  Using RAW without randomization, there's still no guarantee of an opening even when one's chances look good.  Your opponent may have full-moved or attacked, but that doesn't stop one of his/her compatriots from defending on his/her behalf ... or aborting to do so ... of fixating on you because his/her friend is in trouble and counter-punching on behalf of his/her buddy.  This is why my original phraseology described the opening one looks for as 'that moment when you think you can take your swing without much worry of a counter-punch'; it's just not a given, at least, not with good players and a solid GM sitting at the table.

 

I get that the speed chart isn't perfect, but it seems to me the variations introduce more problems than they solve.  There's risk of: creating a SPD escalation/war due to player perception; short-changing players by denying them that for which CP was paid; skewing toward lower or higher speeds (depending on approach taken) -- just to name a few.

 

The variations that concern me the most are those where a character is denied what was bought with CP.  On example includes a character with the highest DEX (i.e. s/he paid to go first, discounting things like being 'covered' by someone with a gun pointed at him, of course) being unable to do so ... due to a variation's random rolls potentially denying them what they paid for.  Another example includes a SPD2 character not being able to take an action on the opening segment of combat despite paying for a SPD that allows for an action on the opening segment of combat (segment 12) -- due to a variation's randomization of the segment on which combat opens.

 

​After much thought on the topic, I can't say I'm pro-randomization.  I initially liked Christopher's idea, but analysis of his variation as well as the others mentioned within this thread have all given me pause in one way or another.  The game's combat flow isn't perfect, for sure, but I feel very strongly that when introducing variations they should always be improvements to RAW ... and never 'worse' than RAW or unfairly skewed in some way.  In this case I see the aforementioned risks as 'worse' than RAW ... with the least acceptable being those that result in players not getting what they paid for with CP.  I also tend to feel that most of the concerns raised here can be resolved with good GM'ing and need no artificial solution/crutch in the form of a variation.

 

CONSIDER:

Not telling players the SPD/DEX of their opponents ... coupled with those opponents holding actions (in terms of moving at a lower DEX than one has ... and in terms of holding actions until segments where one normally has no phase) ... solves every concern raised in this thread about movement/action predictability ... with none of the aforementioned risks AND without gimmicky cards, hats, die rolls, or house rules.  Ok so, it doesn't solve reaction predictability ... i.e. being able to get out of the way of that haymaker after full-moving ... without aborting.  Big deal; GM it and abort!  Your players don't know the character aborted unless you tell them -- which you shouldn't!  Or better still, have a comrade intercede so there's no need for the character to abort.  But for heaven's sake ... please don't use gimmicks/approaches that short-change players... as a crutch.  After analysis, that's how I feel on the matter...

 

 

Note:

I really appreciate the variation ideas and opportunities to explore them, as I'd never given much thought to mixing up the SPD chart.  Now I thoroughly understand where I stand on the topic should it ever come up in a game I'm contemplating locally.

 

Surreal

Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal take is this: if you are going to remove something like the speed chart, what value is added? Does it improve the game? Not really from what I've seen. Does it make it simpler? Not really. "Everybody has the same speed." Hmm, now the only possible difference is Dex, so whoever has the higher dex will go first, making dex, in effect, defacto speed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem with most Hero combat is that few players take advantage of the tactical opportunities. It ends up very regimented because people are not willing to block, delay, dodge, and set up an attack. I understand why: waiting between phases is frustrating and feels like you're missing out. But doing so would make combat a lot less predictably timed.

This compunded by what I call "brick fight" mentality. They expect to exchange and soak a ton of blows, and design to achieve it. As a result, you end up with padded defenses and extra stun that makes blocking, dodging, and setting up a finishing blow is a sub - optimal strategy because, odds are, you won't finish them (and you can tank early on). You have to keep pounding away to win. In games with lower defenses and stun (heroic games, mostly) I've seen far more tactical thinking than in superheroic games and games with a bunch of damage obviating heroic talents that render you quasi-superheroic).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...