Toril 2.0: Ranged Weapons and Combat Stances

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Toril 2.0: Ranged Weapons and Combat Stances

Postby Shevarash » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:40 am

Toril 2.0: Ranged Weapons and Combat Stances

This post will deal with two somewhat advanced features of the new combat engine. Ranged Weapons have been completely revamped for 2.0 and now allow a much greater flexibility. Combat Stances allow you to tweak your attack and damage rolls to maximimize effectiveness in a given situation.

Ranged Weapons

Ranged Weapons consist of two subtypes of weapons - Missile (bows, crossbows, slings) and Thrown (throwing knives, darts, etc). Anyone can pick up and use these weapons, but only those proficient in them through their class or feats will be able to attack with full effectiveness (see the 2.0 Weapon post.) There is no longer a separate engine for resolving ranged attacks as ranged attacks are now handled natively by the main combat engine. There are two main benefits of using ranged weapons:

1) Both thrown and missile weapons benefit from your Dexterity bonus wheras melee weapons use your Strength bonus.

2) Missile weapons can be fired into adjoining rooms.

3) Indidivudal weapons (arrows, bolts, darts, etc) can be enchanted or poisoned much easier than a full melee weapon.

Cover

Gone are the days of mobs instantly putting up missile shields or otherwise becoming invulnerable to ranged attacks. When firing a missile weapon into an adjoining room, you will take a penalty to your hitroll which can be decreased substantially by certain feats such as Far Shot. There are spells and feats that can also help with avoiding missile weapons, but the most effective tool is finding cover.

Cover is exactly what it sounds like - using the environment to shield yourself from incoming missiles. You take cover by using the cover command, and specifying the amount of cover you would like to attain. Options are Partial, Half, Full, or Total Cover. Each stage will render you more and more protected from missile weapons, with Total Cover leaving you completely covered and un-hittable by them. Cover is not instantaneous however - the more you seek, the longer it will take to find it. The environment also plays a part in this as it is faster to find cover in the forest than in the desert, for example.

Being in cover prevents you from engaging in melee combat or casting targetted spells, but it does allow you to fire your missile weapons - at the same penalty that others take in order to hit you with a missile weapon. Engaing in melee combat immediately breaks your cover completely, leaving you toatally open to incoming fire. This opens up some new strategies in combat. For instance, ranged weapon wielders may want to hang back and fire into the next room while the frontline warriors engage in melee combat. Also, expect to see mobs wielding ranged weapons in more fights, and moving away from the main combat to fire into the combat from a distance, requiring a party's ranged specialists to suppress them. As you can see, some interesting possiblities open up with this addition.


Combat Stances

Ever wish you could trade some of your hitroll for damroll while fighting an easy to hit mob, or wish you could forgo some of your attackroll for AC without changing all of your equipment? Combat Stances will allow you to do just that.

Your combat stance simply describes how you are engaing in combat, and there are three options -

1) Normal Stance - you fight normally.

2) Power Stance - you forgo some of your precision for extra damage. In this stance, you trade some of your attack bonus for an equivalent amount of extra damage.

3) Defensive Stance - you forgo your precision for increased defenses. In this stance, you trade some of your attack bonus for an equivalent amount of Armor Class bonus.

When choosing a Power or Defensive stance, you can pick exactly how much of your attack bonus to trade for AC or damage. However, all characters are initially limited by a cap on how much of their attack bonus they can trade. Choosing the Power Attack and Improved Power Attack feats increases the amount of attack bonus you can trade for Power Stance. Similiarly, choosing Combat Expertise and Improved Combat Expertise increases the amount of attack bonus you can use for a Defensive Stance.

A character who does not specialize in melee combat will still be able to adjsut their fighting style to some degree, but the combat oriented classes who take these feats will have great flexibility in their fighting style. The stance command is used like a toggle - you set your stance and exactly how much attack bonus to use, and that is your stance until you change it. For example, you could type "stance power 25" to trade 25 attack bonus for damage, or "stance defense full" to set your defensive stance to use all the attack bonus you have available. Its a simple, intuitive way to maximize your character's effectiveness in a given situation. Also, note that you can change your stance at any time - even in battle.

Conclusion

If any of that sounded confusing, I warned you in the introduciton that they were somewhat advanced concepts. Despite the longwinded explanations, the concept of cover and stances are relatively simple, and used via two simple but powerful commands. I hope you all enjoy the potential for truly engaging combat and all the possibilities that open up as a result of these new features as much as I do.
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Postby flib » Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:33 am

sounds great shev, just wondering about the cover thing. im interested to see how it will work into the gameplay. can you rest and memorize from the covered state? thanks for all the hard work and dedication :) we do appreciate it. just saw that it said targeted spells are null.. so area affect stuff like inferno and all that are viable. coolioolio
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Postby Mirlantharn » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:31 am

Shevarash,

This is definitely a much desired feature that has been lacking both in the extent and the current implementation (for archery) for the longest time. Though not of a ranger type, I definitely am totally eager to see this addition.

One suggestion for the area creators and maintainers, though, would be to add some sort of path so that attempting to charge a fortress would have a dire aspect of possibly becoming a pincushion. IE, allow archers upon the walls to fire upon an advancing party. The only downside: how to keep the invaders from just ignoring the gates. Possibly much more archers?

With great expectation,
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Postby Lilira » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:57 am

Mmmm... archer mage.

I'm outta spells but I can still hit something!! Woot!!!
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Postby Demuladon » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:10 pm

Will there be spells that effect cover?

ie. defensive spells that speed it up or offensive spells that remove it from opponents?
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Postby Cirath » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:34 pm

Will concealment be taken into consideration as well? That would give the various darkness and light spells a bit more usefulness, especially if you could just black out the room that the archer mobs fled to.
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Postby Shevarash » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:54 pm

Demuladon wrote:Will there be spells that effect cover?

ie. defensive spells that speed it up or offensive spells that remove it from opponents?


Cirath wrote:Will concealment be taken into consideration as well? That would give the various darkness and light spells a bit more usefulness, especially if you could just black out the room that the archer mobs fled to.


Yes, there will be spells that can affect your cover and concealment, and these will be a factor in missile combat. However, there is no one magic solution to protecting one's self from missile weapons completely, a la missile shield.
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Postby Selias » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:36 pm

I love the idea of stances for combat! Wonder how this will let warriors stack up versus others in damage dealing ability.
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Postby Gormal » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:39 pm

Adam! Email me at gormal at gmail dot com

Where the hell have you been!

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Postby moritheil » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:07 pm

Will wielding a two-hander increase your power attack bonus per point of attack traded in? (As some of us know, it does in tabletop.) I ask because the current opinion amongst warriors is that giving up a shield to wield two-handed weapons is a very bad tradeoff.
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Postby Sarell » Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:33 am

Will I be able to use Gormal as cover? Or even a paladin perhaps?

Does this mean sentinel mobs are going to be different? I'm assuming if you start firing at them and there is no one in the room they will seek cover? What if there isn't much cover? Will shields effect cover rolls?
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Postby Ashiwi » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:46 pm

And will you eventually have scout-type mobs who seek out PCs under total cover, in order to bring them out in the open?
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Postby Sarvis » Sun May 20, 2007 10:41 pm

Can you move from one level of cover to another? For example, find partial cover first then look for full cover?

I'm not sure being in cover should affect your own To Hit penalty, or at least not to the same extent as it protects you. If you think about any kind of bunker or emplacement, the entire point is that it covers your body while allowing you complete targetting freedom... at least in front of you.
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:07 pm

moritheil wrote:Will wielding a two-hander increase your power attack bonus per point of attack traded in? (As some of us know, it does in tabletop.) I ask because the current opinion amongst warriors is that giving up a shield to wield two-handed weapons is a very bad tradeoff.


Yes, it will.
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:10 pm

Sarell wrote:Will I be able to use Gormal as cover? Or even a paladin perhaps?


Sadly, no.

Sarell wrote:Does this mean sentinel mobs are going to be different? I'm assuming if you start firing at them and there is no one in the room they will seek cover? What if there isn't much cover? Will shields effect cover rolls?


That's correct - sentinel mobs will be smart enough to seek full cover when being fired upon. And there's always cover to be found - it can just take a long time to find it in some areas.
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:29 pm

Ashiwi wrote:And will you eventually have scout-type mobs who seek out PCs under total cover, in order to bring them out in the open?


Absolutely.
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:32 pm

Sarvis wrote:Can you move from one level of cover to another? For example, find partial cover first then look for full cover?


Yes, although it takes time to change your cover.


Sarvis wrote:I'm not sure being in cover should affect your own To Hit penalty, or at least not to the same extent as it protects you. If you think about any kind of bunker or emplacement, the entire point is that it covers your body while allowing you complete targetting freedom... at least in front of you.


You could argue it that way, sure. Cover in the game is generally natural cover, like hiding behind a rock, or in a ditch. What you're talking about is pre-built fortifications, and perhaps we can add things like that in the future.
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:45 pm

Shevarash wrote:
Sarvis wrote:Can you move from one level of cover to another? For example, find partial cover first then look for full cover?


Yes, although it takes time to change your cover.


Understandable, but I guess I meant to ask if the time looking for the deeper cover was lessened at all? Like maybe you hide behind a rock, and see a tree a couple feet away you can jump behind instead.


You could argue it that way, sure. Cover in the game is generally natural cover, like hiding behind a rock, or in a ditch. What you're talking about is pre-built fortifications, and perhaps we can add things like that in the future.



Right, but what's the difference between a trench and a ditch, other than how they are made?
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Postby Shevarash » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:13 pm

Sarvis wrote:
Understandable, but I guess I meant to ask if the time looking for the deeper cover was lessened at all? Like maybe you hide behind a rock, and see a tree a couple feet away you can jump behind instead.

Yes, it is. The amount of time it takes to find cover is always dependant on how much cover you're trying to attain relative to your current cover.

In other words, if you're only trying to go up one degree of cover, you only spend the time for that one degree rather than starting from scratch.

Sarvis wrote:
Right, but what's the difference between a trench and a ditch, other than how they are made?


Game mechanics. :)
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:37 pm

Well, look at it this way:

One guy stands in the open, and the other guy hides behind a tree.

In that situation, since the to-hit penalty equals the AC benefit, the guy standing in the open has the same advantage as the guy behind cover. The guy standing in the open doesn't need to find cover, as he is already receiving the benefits of cover.

Shouldn't the guy standing in the open be really easy to hit?
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