Combat System suggestions

I've seen it touched on in many threads, ranging from the disgruntled 'Fighter gets the shortstick again' to arguments over the complexity of combat vs. gameplay. I'll go on record now as saying I'm not a fan of the 3.x combat system, but 4E's powers didn't sit well with me either. It's always been a pet peeve of mine that it seems like the Combat System has gotten what seems like incomplete consideration as compared to the Magic systems in place. This thread is for suggestions and critiques of ways in which the Combat System can be improved. What I'm looking for are ideas that define the Fighter class like spells and magic define the Mage classes. The goal is to show that a detailed and fun Combat System is possible, without sacrificing gameplay.

I believe it's important to address these now, while there is a chance to affect the Next system during creation, because I don't think a Module will address the problems inherent in the 3.x system (which this appears similar to). I encourage critique of ideas, but I ask for Maturity while doing so, and that you stick to Constructive Criticism.

I'll start by posting some of the idea's I've had lurking in the back of my head.

1. One of my major complaints about Fighters is that while Clerics, Wizards and Rogues have many abilities built into their class, Fighters had stats and feats. Alot of those feats went to purchasing things for Fighters to do in combat; Disarm, Grapple, Sunder and many others (including improved versions). You very quickly learned to invest in 2 or 3 feat branches (depending on playstyle), and single feats to boost attack/damage. Otherwise you suffered heavy penalties for attempting anything outside that repetoire (including complete negation of your action).

I would suggest instead that such combat maneuvers be worked into an active part of the Combat System, that any PC can take advantage of. In compensation Fighting classes would have abilities that played off those maneuvers. Success or failure could be determined in a number of ways including; Ability checks, Attack rolls, Opposed Rolls, etc.

2. I would like to see a Combat Style based representation of the Fighters class abilities. Styles would be broad like a Mage's School choice and a Cleric's Domain choices. they would incorporate maneuvers and tricks that could be chosen in the same manner as spells, including detailed writeups that explained how to use them and what weapons could be used with them. As a Fighter progressed he could choose more advanced Forms to use, or Combinations that played off each other.

Styles could be modeled off a wide range of Historic fighting traditons taken from different time periods. This would allow for incorporation of additional Styles in published mods and supplements.

3. This also leads into the problems many gamers have with the current Weapon, Armor and Equipment systems. Much of this has already been thoroughly wrung out in other threads, I just want to restate my Opinion: Weapons and Armor especially deserve to be as well thought out as a Wizards spells are. They are part of the bread and butter of the class, and define each Fighter in a visible manner.

With the wealth of information available with even cursory searching, details such as weight, manner of use, and attributes are something that definitely need consideration.

4. Space and Time, started by Haldrik. This thread has some excellent arguments on why moving to a Meter/Yardage system for combat would be desirable. Actually, alot of the threads started by Haldrik are worth a look.

This is what I've got at the moment, and I may expand on this later as things percolate and others chip in. Put in your 'Two Cents', but keep it Constructive. If all you have to say is negative feedback or why the Combat System is fine like it is, post in one of the many other threads available.

Thanks,
Lupus
I...don't like the idea of martial powers being limited resources. They need to be something the fighter can do at will, but they also need to be something only the fighter should be able to do because of all the training they've done.

I like the idea of placing the most basic combat maneuvers, such as bull rushes and tripping, into the core rules, and allowing anyone to attempt them. I then like the idea of maybe the fighter getting slightly better versions of these moves as at will abilities. Obviously, there needs to be a reason for the fighter to still want to use his basic attack, so maybe most of these maneuvers can sacrifice raw damage in exchange for tactical advantage.

I also think the Fighter should gain an ability called Combat Mastery as a class feature. It would be similar to the Rogue's Skill Mastery. Whenever a Fighter attempts some kind of combat maneuver that requires a roll, they take the better of their roll or 10. Someone in a thread I started brought this ability up, and I love it.

Finally, I think fighting styles shouldn't be restricted to the fighter, but available to all weapon using classes as themes. The philosophy of D&D Next seems to be that class is what you do, but theme is how you do it. So it seems that fighting styles would fit better as a theme.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
Zeldafan,

I also would hate the idea of a warrior limited in how many times per day he used what maneuvers or tricks he had learned. If it came off that I was advocating this, that is not the case. His only limit should be his endurance, and that's already implemented.

You're idea of combat mastery sits well with me. Concerning fighting styles, I woild like to see them focused on the 'warrior' classes. However, having several basic styles for clerics, rogues and mages to choose from makes sense and adds to gameplay. Good ideas there.
Ah, I wasn't assuming you were advocating that so much as making a general statement I make whenever the topic of fighter powers comes up.

I'd like to point out that combat mastery isn't my idea. I made a topic discussing what exactly people wanted out of a more complex fighter, and someone else brought it up. I just really like the mechanic and have taken to advocating it in any fighter related topic I post it.

*nods head* I think the fighter could have some very generic and broad fighting styles as a class feature, and more specific stuff could be themes.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
I like the idea of having fighting styles that change what sorts of maneuvers you can use. Even if you took very broad strokes, like:

-Weapon and Shield
-Two Handed Weapon
-Two Weapons
-Einhander (ie duelist style)
-Reach Weapons
-Ranged Weapons

That gives 6 distinct combat styles that you could use, and base maneuvers around. So the maneuvers a Two Handed weapon wielder might use will be pretty different from those that a two weapon fighter uses. There could be some overlap (someone using Sword and Shield, might use their shield to bash, and pick up some two weapon fighting powers, for example), so that characters can still have powers from the different disciplines, they're just more likely to focus on a couple. -Maybe- have a special maneuver unique to each weapon, or weapon group (ie say Swords have one power, Axes have another power, etc), but only if the diversity is fairly limited. If you have 20 different weapons, one power for each weapon is a waste of effort.



As for resources, it's my personal belief that EVERY class needs resources. Without fail. Lack of resources makes for a boring class.  Because no matter how many options you give them, if there's no resource management to be done, they will almost always use their best ability every turn, maybe having a handful that show up in niche situations.

Now it doesn't need to be a daily resource, or at least not in the traditional sense. The idea that a fighter can only grapple a creature once a day is stupid no matter who you are. But I don't mind the idea of an endurance pool that gets worn down as the fighter pulls out his more interesting tricks, or a Barbarian's Fury meter that goes up as he takes damage. It's all a matter of context, and finding a resource system that makes sense and fits what you want the characters to do.
I am going to be doing a write-up on ability scores soon, but what my idea boils down to is:

Everyone should know what the ability scores do, and how they can use them in each of the tiers: Exploration, Interaction(Roleplay), Combat

There shoud be a very clear and interesting example of what STR can do in Interaction, and there must not be a overlap of what Wisdom/Charisma protect you from nor what they can be used for.
If this is done, then each character will immediately have 6 utility abilities, and know what they're better at defending against.

As an example I'm allowing players to use WIS to  attempt to grant advantage to the next attack on a target.  They roll WIS vs the targets AC.  Still working out playtests of it, but its something anyone can try, but players with high WIS are better at.

The same could be done for each ability score- this creates 6 'combat manuevers' that can be core.

Beyond this, I do think fighters need more options that don't require them to spend feats on- because then their not "fighter" abilities. If fighters have a list of abilites they can choose to gain- then its unique to them.  Having fighter only feats just made feats look bloated imo.

I'd rather see fighers gain new ways to use their ability scores, but not at will- unless they're balanced like the wizard's cantrips.  Or if you want more powerful things, perhaps start using the fighters resource he has more than anyone else- his Hit Points.
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
@ Seerow,
I missed your post somehow, but I like what you're saying.  I think those 'Styles' you've listed are a good start.  I'd like to see something that might incorporate several 'weapons styles' under one 'schools' training.  For example, Renaissance duelists learned to fight both with the rapier alone, and in the sword and dagger manner.  Some schools placed more emphasis on one or the other.  But that might fall under what you meant by picking up skills from the other schools (as in your sword and board example).

Resources, and not just for the Fighter, are something I've become very concerned about thanks to some good threads.  I've mentioned in others I'd like to see a Fatigue mechanic that incorporated both Physical and Mental fatigue, on an Encounter basis.  Rewards for conservation of energy, and consequences for needing to push your limits could be incorporated.  Keep it separate from HP, but short rests could recharge your energy (to an extent, not fully, so you'd need to take a longer rest to really recover) so you could again use your abilities.  I think it would provide a good limit on all classes without ruining encounters.

@diversionArchitect,
I've liked quite a few of your other posts (though not all), so I'm interested in seeing what you come up with.  I'd hope my idea of Fatigue was something you'd be interested in as well, concerning your last paragraph. 
Ok I'm really going to work now, but I wanted to toss this suggestion in:

since we don't like the idea of fighters having "spells per day" but I personally think "once per encounter" type things are a bit overpowered, I'd suggest more things like the fighters "surge" where they can twice per day do X.

AND allow them to spend a hit die to get a use of any ability they can do twice per day- perhaps throwing in the idea of use a hit die as a powerattack die- roll it on top of yoru damage, but it eats one of your hit dice

Cool concepts all! 
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
A number of people don't want fighter's to have special attacks. So to satisfy them and give the fighter something unique to them I suggest at-will stances they can perform, much like those in essentials. This will give fighters options while still keeping them simple.

Then themes (as long as fighters get 2 and everyone else gets 1), can add complex options. My favorites are stamina points that recharge after a short rest and ToB style maneuvers. As these are not part of the base fighter, hopefully people who think fighters who only have basic attacks will be satisfied.
A number of people don't want fighter's to have special attacks. So to satisfy them and give the fighter something unique to them I suggest at-will stances they can perform, much like those in essentials. This will give fighters options while still keeping them simple. Then themes (as long as fighters get 2 and everyone else gets 1), can add complex options. My favorites are stamina points that recharge after a short rest and ToB style maneuvers. As these are not part of the base fighter, hopefully people who think fighters who only have basic attacks will be satisfied.




This won't work unless non-at will spells are also relegated to themes. Requiring a Fighter to give up his theme to get access to maneuvers is basically telling a Fighter he's not allowed to have a real theme if he wants to keep up. Add to that that anyone can take any theme, and now you have Clerics who take the martial maneuvers theme and still outclass the Fighter.


Personally I'd just make it so limited resources could be spent on long duration buffs  that can be changed with little effort. So if someone wants a simple fighter, they pick up a bunch of minor passive buffs, giving them better defenses, offense, and mobility passively. But the player also has the option to use those same resources on actual abilities. So if the player ever gets tired of being the simple fighter, all it takes is to drop a few passive bonuses and start accessing their active abilities instead.
@Zeldafan42

You're idea or not, I think the combat mastery idea is EXCELLENT and I hope the designers give it a try in the next packet.

@LupusRegalis,

I also agree that the combat manuevers should be available to everyone, but the fighter should be better. I am not a fan of parts of the 4E combat system or the 3E system, in 3E I feel the issue was not in the Fighter or the Combat feats but in the actual rules for combat actions. Trip, Bulll Rush, Graple all existed for everyone, the were just badly designed rues. With in those bad rules the 3E fighter acually does what you want, by having so many feat choices you can specialize the fighter to be much better at those actions than anyone else. Sure the rogue can fight with2 weapons, even take a feat to reduce the penalties in place of a feat the enhanced his rouge abilities, but the fighter could invest multiple feats in several different styles to improve his ability in multiple areas. This, combined with the highest BAB, made the fighter better at what ever combat style the player wanted than anyother character. Other warriors could invest in a style or two, at the expense of investing in there class skills, but could never have as many styles with as many improvments to them.,

With that said I would like to see a better aproach. Simpler base rules. Having the fighter get WAY more feats could be the solution as long as some they allow horizontal character development and make the fighter significantly more diverse in a fight than everyone else since they are already going to have the best to hit and highest damage.

It would also, in my opinion, be good if some of the 'combat feats' were limited to a class ability list from which ONLY he fighter can select.

@diversionArchitect

I think the list of actions for each ability in each pillar is a MUST. Combined with my above statement the fighter could be easily built up through incorporation of my ideas above. This would allow for easy development of class abilities or feats for every type of character.
I like the idea of stances that can be changed depending on whether you want to be more aggressive, or defensive, or mobile, etc.  I think that might fall into your passive buffs idea, Seerow.  So good idea there Lawolf, and Stamina points is just another way of saying Fatigue, which I'm all for.  I'd suggest that Combat maneuvers that I suggested would fill your more active abilities idea, Seerow.

 Koenarvs, welcome to the thread.  I like what you're saying, I think we see things the same, mostly.  I'm not a fan of having to have a lot of feats, either.  I'd see combat styles (or schools) as part of the general combat system, with basic options open to each class (some more-so, some less).  Backgrounds and themes would open access to different schools and maneuvers, and themes to higher tiers of maneuvers.  Other classes could opt in, but it would be the fighters bag of tricks mainly.  His class would be built around using theses schools and their maneuvers (possible through stances).

It's a start of an Idea anyways. 
Based on the feedback from the designers, suggesting the fighter have two themes, and with themes being the mechanisim for feats in DDN I think they are experimenting with the fighter has more feats path again.

To me this feels right, but it's not all that is needed. I think the idea of resource managment for all classes is a must. I always felt AEDU was to arbitrary and would rather see a fatigue like mechanic. I would recommend HP be used as the currency for this. If the best combat feats have a HP loss tied to them, one that would be minor to a healthy fighter, it would make the Fighter default the best by using the resource the fighter already dominates. I have been a medival reenactor for 20 years and to me, in the context of how HP are described in DDN, this is a VERY accurate representation of how fights go. I know a few awesome manuevers and executing them will give me a victory or huge advantage, but also tire me out, put me out of position for defense, give another oppenent a VERY easy shot, etc.
 
Based on the feedback from the designers, suggesting the fighter have two themes, and with themes being the mechanisim for feats in DDN I think they are experimenting with the fighter has more feats path again.

To me this feels right, but it's not all that is needed. I think the idea of resource managment for all classes is a must. I always felt AEDU was to arbitrary and would rather see a fatigue like mechanic. I would recommend HP be used as the currency for this. If the best combat feats have a HP loss tied to them, one that would be minor to a healthy fighter, it would make the Fighter default the best by using the resource the fighter already dominates. I have been a medival reenactor for 20 years and to me, in the context of how HP are described in DDN, this is a VERY accurate representation of how fights go. I know a few awesome manuevers and executing them will give me a victory or huge advantage, but also tire me out, put me out of position for defense, give another oppenent a VERY easy shot, etc.
 



Count me as one who likes and understands AEDU, including daily usage. However, your ideia it's not all bad.
I think Martial Techniques cannot be done by all characters. I want to have the option to my martial characters do something awesome, limited and unique to them. There is plenty stuff out there to martials characters do.
However, I think that there's room for both complex and simple fighter. I think that the best shoot (and my favorite) it's to have all kind of fighters, from basic attack fighters for complex fighers with a lot of Martial Techniques, be At-will, Encounter, Daily or whatever.
Based on the feedback from the designers, suggesting the fighter have two themes, and with themes being the mechanisim for feats in DDN I think they are experimenting with the fighter has more feats path again.

To me this feels right, but it's not all that is needed. I think the idea of resource managment for all classes is a must. I always felt AEDU was to arbitrary and would rather see a fatigue like mechanic. I would recommend HP be used as the currency for this. If the best combat feats have a HP loss tied to them, one that would be minor to a healthy fighter, it would make the Fighter default the best by using the resource the fighter already dominates. I have been a medival reenactor for 20 years and to me, in the context of how HP are described in DDN, this is a VERY accurate representation of how fights go. I know a few awesome manuevers and executing them will give me a victory or huge advantage, but also tire me out, put me out of position for defense, give another oppenent a VERY easy shot, etc.
 



Count me as one who likes and understands AEDU, including daily usage. However, your ideia it's not all bad.
I think Martial Techniques cannot be done by all characters. I want to have the option to my martial characters do something awesome, limited and unique to them.
There is plenty stuff out there to martials characters do.
However, I think that there's room for both complex and simple fighter. I think that the best shoot (and my favorite) it's to have all have of fighters, from basic attack fighters for complex fighers with a lot of Martial Techniques, be At-will, Encounter, Daily or whatever.




Mechanically I think AEDU works fine. And my suggestion would give a similar end result. I just disagree with only being able to use a given power once an encounter. In a real sword fight I might use the same move on the same opponent several times, at a price. Giving the powers/manuevers a cost allows you to choose to use one more than once, like the wizard casting fireball twice. In the end AEDU works, I just think it can be restrictive and this is an example of how to achieve a similar effect with fewer restrictions on player choice.
. . . As for resources, it's my personal belief that EVERY class needs resources. Without fail. Lack of resources makes for a boring class.  Because no matter how many options you give them, if there's no resource management to be done, they will almost always use their best ability every turn, maybe having a handful that show up in niche situations. . . .



This.

People talk about adding at will trip/grapple/disarm or such to the fighter as if it solves anything.  The problem is that without resources management they just create a new problem.  Either tripping is almost always good or it's almost never good. 

A caster is making genuine and interesting choices regarding when and how to use spells.  This is because the spells are on a resource management system.  If fighters only have a bunch of at-wills, it will be nearly impossible for the game to design these at-wills in a way that they aren't used identically in nearly every fight.

If we insisted on at-wills, my suggesting would be to give the fighter extra actions that can only be used for non damage dealing attacks.  Then, at least, the trip/knockdown/whatever doesn't have to compete with the basic attack for balance, and you incentivise fighter improv in combat, and make the fighter the ultimate utility class *during combat*

I don't disagree GEBELL, and I don't think Seerow does either.  A Fatigue system (or Stamina, whatever) that governed both the Physical and Mental abilities for each class is something we've considered.  It's my personal opinion that placing a Fatigue mechanic in the game would help settle many issues.
A little of topic (about resources, not specifically Combat System itself, but related):

Me and my group are developing a RPG system of our own, generally based on 4e. One thing we are tinkering with is the idea of Energy. In short, Energy is a numerical value that is spent when the character is exercing himself.

In that sense, Energy, for us, is just like Fatigue, just with a different name, and that could be aplicable to every class (in our system, we don't use classes, so there's that). Energy is used for: a) enhancing your powers (a.k.a. using "Encounters" or "Dailies", much like the Psionic classes do) or b) healing yourself. In summary, is just like if you used healing surges for using your strongest powers.

Which makes sense, really. After all, Energy is the capacity that the character has to keep on going. It can manifest itself actively (more and stronger powers) or passively (the character can take on more punishment before dying, i.e. the character spends Energy to heal, much like Healing Surges / Hit Dice).

I would like to see such a system in Next, even if it is in a modular variant. Drawning a little from Diablo III, I can even envision different names for the Energy of each class or power source (for example, Martial Energy could be called Stamina, Arcane's Mana, Divine's Favor, Shadow's Corruption and so on, but all those resources, in general, would be referred to as Energy).

Hell, to make it even better, each different class could have a way of "hastening" the process of recharging Energy. I would dig A LOT if, for example, a Bard could replenish his Energy faster by making artistic performances to a crowd (which could be interpreted as he regaining willpower from the cheers of the public); whilst a Wizard would have to study (essentially meaning the same as the spellbook mechanic: the wizard has to keep his spells "fresh" in his mind); a Cleric to pray; a Rogue to engage in some pleasing activity (drinking, gambling, ..., the player's choice); a Fighter would have to train; a Paladin, to help people; a Druid, to commune with nature. Some classes could even have different mechanics for hastening the recharge: a Barbarian could gain Energy points when he hits or is hit in combat, and using his Energy to go into a Rage (makes sense - he is being hit a lot, so he gets angry. If he is hit more, he gets even angrier!); a Warlock could regain more Energy when enemies fall in combat or by making ritualistic sacrifices (his Energy is the souls he uses to bargain his powers with).

What do you people think?
I also think the Fighter should gain an ability called Combat Mastery as a class feature. It would be similar to the Rogue's Skill Mastery. Whenever a Fighter attempts some kind of combat maneuver that requires a roll, they take the better of their roll or 10. Someone in a thread I started brought this ability up, and I love it.


+1

Can someone send this to Mr. Mearls?

I sent a mail to dndinsider about feats for the fighter, maybe i'll create a thread and post it here.

Remember, fighter base class distinguishes itself with it feats. If you want per encounter maneuvers or  special pere day abilities, I suggest you look into tome of battle: book of nine swords.

As far as take 10 on combat maneuvers go, this goes against D&D philosophy. A thief can take 10 on some of his skills because he can take his focus off battle while performing those (balance, climb, pick pocket or the like). But taking you forcus off battle to trip an opponent... that would not make sense.

Instead gaining combat advantage on your attack, showing the ease with wich you perform the maneuver makes complete sense. Remember, advantage doubles your critical chance and reduces your fumble chance to 1 in 400. 
A Fatigue system (or Stamina, whatever) that governed both the Physical and Mental abilities for each class is something we've considered.  It's my personal opinion that placing a Fatigue mechanic in the game would help settle many issues.



There is one already, it is impacted by stamina and the endurance feat, strenuous activity and the DM judgement. If you have been battling 3'872 orcs for 30 rounds, one is bound to ask for a constitution check against fatigue. The archetype of the fighter is to distinguish himself by his customization potential via feats. Take a sword sage, a duskblade, an armored mage or a psion if you want per day or encounter abilities. Fighters fight all the time, wake one up in the middle of the night, throw in some more goblins in the midst of a fight, he can take it.

I think you guys also forget that the power of the wizard is not only in his spells, but in the PC's knowledge on when to use them. If you rest every 2 rooms in a dungeon because your wizard cast all his spells, your gonna have a bad time. If you want to do that, go back and play baldur's gate. And while your at it, pressure WotC to get out the 3rd one, I want to play too.

...

In that sense, Energy, for us, is just like Fatigue, just with a different name, and that could be aplicable to every class (in our system, we don't use classes, so there's that). Energy is used for: a) enhancing your powers (a.k.a. using "Encounters" or "Dailies", much like the Psionic classes do) or b) healing yourself. In summary, is just like if you used healing surges for using your strongest powers.

Which makes sense, really. After all, Energy is the capacity that the character has to keep on going. It can manifest itself actively (more and stronger powers) or passively (the character can take on more punishment before dying, i.e. the character spends Energy to heal, much like Healing Surges / Hit Dice).

I would like to see such a system in Next, even if it is in a modular variant. Drawning a little from Diablo III, I can even envision different names for the Energy of each class or power source (for example, Martial Energy could be called Stamina, Arcane's Mana, Divine's Favor, Shadow's Corruption and so on, but all those resources, in general, would be referred to as Energy).

Hell, to make it even better, each different class could have a way of "hastening" the process of recharging Energy. I would dig A LOT if, for example, a Bard could replenish his Energy faster by making artistic performances to a crowd (which could be interpreted as he regaining willpower from the cheers of the public); whilst a Wizard would have to study (essentially meaning the same as the spellbook mechanic: the wizard has to keep his spells "fresh" in his mind); a Cleric to pray; a Rogue to engage in some pleasing activity (drinking, gambling, ..., the player's choice); a Fighter would have to train; a Paladin, to help people; a Druid, to commune with nature. Some classes could even have different mechanics for hastening the recharge: a Barbarian could gain Energy points when he hits or is hit in combat, and using his Energy to go into a Rage (makes sense - he is being hit a lot, so he gets angry. If he is hit more, he gets even angrier!); a Warlock could regain more Energy when enemies fall in combat or by making ritualistic sacrifices (his Energy is the souls he uses to bargain his powers with).

What do you people think?



Replace/Combine Healing Surges with Action Points and you just might be on to something...


Replace/Combine Healing Surges with Action Points and you just might be on to something...



That's what I've been saying! Amen!
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
As an option, healing surge and action points are great!

But I still believe that players should not depend on them to actually survive an encounter, only to avoid the lucky (or unlucky) rolls of the DM. 
KingGoro, 

I personally don't find the current system in place to actually do that job well.  And I'm not looking for an at will/encounter/daily setup.  

I would propose a Fatigue system that governed both Mental and Physical abilities.  That system would, by necessity, be setup with an amount of Fatigue points (or call them whatever) designed with encounters in mind.  They would not automatically reset at the end of an encounter, however.  You would need to use the Short Rest option already being presented in the Playtest.  I'd even say that you'd roll for how much Fatigue was recovered, just like you can using the 'Health Dice' (maybe even say it recharges the same amount of both Hit points and Fatigue).  In this way it represents the used energy of an encounter, and the character recovering that energy somewhat during a break.  Just as in real life, on a long day of heavy exertion, you'll find that you need to use your energy wisely.  Eventually you're even going to need to take a longer rest, a Full Rest, to truly recover your ability to perform at peak.

Further, I want to tie the Combat and Magic Systems into this mechanic with certain maneuvers/spells requiring a certain amount of energy to use.  I also want to redesign the Combat System to include Combat Styles which contain Combat Maneuvers (like Spell Schools and Spells).  Things like the traditional Bull's Rush, Trip, Disarm, Feinting, Riposte and others would be included but I'd like to see as many Maneuvers, and of different tiers, as Spells.  I'm not looking to have "Powers" for Fighters (and other martial classes, hell any class that opts in) but I do think a wide variety of examples exist that would make for some great Maneuvers.

I don't believe the Combat System should be left as it was in the 3.x editions (which had improved upon earlier editions).  I do like some of what 4ed did, but I don't like how they accomplished that.  What I'm looking for is a Combat System as developed as the Magic System, with as many choices.


Replace/Combine Healing Surges with Action Points and you just might be on to something...



That's what I've been saying! Amen!



Double Amen.
I personally don't find the current system in place to actually do that job well.  [...]I would propose a Fatigue system that governed both Mental and Physical abilities.  That system would, by necessity, be setup with an amount of Fatigue points (or call them whatever) designed with encounters in mind.



Yeah I get what your sayin Lupus, that kind of system is commonly called mana.


And honestly it is a great system with an all knowing and super computer game master, like a computer or Blizzard server.

The goal of D&D is to provide a great gaming environment that allows players and DMs to enjoy a good gaming session. And honestly, a couple of beers as well. A perfect mana system could work out balancing all classes and abilities and it would be possible to open up all classes and make people buy separate abilities using XP points and all that jazz.

But the strength of D&D is that there is a balancing element, and that element is the DM. If in your game the fighter is under-powered, focus the threat on the wizard. That makes sense since he is the main threat. If the wizard finds himself short for cash for his spell-book find a quest that will allow a good gold reward. If the fighter just does no damage, make him go back in time to find the master sword... etc.

Some classes will use mana or mana-like pools, and you will be welcome to play those. But that is not what most D&D quintessential classes are about. Don't try and make everything a psion, it's just not fun for everyone.
So, reading your reply I was with you up until your 'strength of D&D' paragraph.  At that point, this went from constructive criticism of the ideas presented, to something else.  I don't agree with your assesments, and I definitely don't agree with it being 'Psion-esque'.  If your goal is to keep the Combat System, and by extension the Fatigue system, in its current form please find another thread to post in.  

I'm interested in ways in which the Combat System can be improved, and accept constructive criticism towards that goal.  I'm not interested in why it's fine as it already is.
Then lupus, I agree to disagree.

I'll leave your thread alone and let you discuss this new (read new, not improved) system you want to explore on.

Cheers 
Here's my suggestion. A combat system I came up with over the course of the last few days. This is a new theme for fighters. It replaces the slayer theme, so you don't deal damage on a miss, or deal +1 damage and gain cleave feat at 3rd level. As I rewrite this I already spent an hour trying to and lost the info right before post, so the following descriptions will be brief. I'm going to begin with just the basics.

The theme is called Tempest. It is a combo maneuver fighter. It is high complexity.

In order to gain his sequence attacks (aka combos) the fighter (or other class), must gain an opening against his opponent. At 1st level you have two possible openings:

Advantage Opening: You can perform sequence attacks against an enemy you have advantage against.

Calculated Opening: You can make sequence attacks if you don't move before or after your attacks.

Once you have an opening you can make sequence attacks. A sequence attack or maneuver has a trigger. You must declare which maneuver you use before you roll the attack. When you make the attack, check vs AC as normal, then check the trigger requirement. An attack can miss and trigger, or hit and not trigger (treat as normal attack). They are advanced maneuvers, but I'll start with just the basic two:

The basic sequence attack shows the system, if it triggers you make a free attack after the first, which can be another basic sequence attack if you choose.

Basic Sequence Attack:
Trigger:
Hit AC + 5 (hit AC + 5 to trigger, DM may ask that you subtract 5 from your roll and check AC)
Sequence: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (This maneuver can be used any place in the sequence) (1st level char can make a maximum of three attacks)
Effect: Damage is normal, then make a Sequence attack.

Distracting strike can be used to gain an opening (and adv) against one target, but only for one attack.
Distracting Strike:
Sequence: any , but only once per action
Special: This maneuver can be used without an opening
Trigger: Hit AC +2, Hit Wisdom +5 (check the monster's wisdom score +5)
Effect: Damage is only equal to the ability mod used. Then make a sequence attack against the enemy, you have advantage for that attack.

So there's the basics, but what do you guys think? There's some possibilities for balance, should there be a -2 penalty for the second attack and a -4 on the third, and so on? Are the openings a good thing? More manuevers to come.
Here are some more of the advanced maneuvers. Some of them have a requirement that checks the value of the d20 used for the attack. Remember when the req says value of the die it means the natural roll not the total.

Quick Strike:
Sequence:
1, 2, 4 (can be used for the first, second or (at higher level) 4th attack)
Requirement: You must be using a light weapon for the attack.
Trigger: Die value is an odd number and not a 1.
Effect: If the attack hits do not add your ability mod to the damage roll. Then make a sequence attack.

Vital Strike:
Sequence:
Any
Requirement: You must be using a one handed weapon (free action to switch grip with bastard sword)
Trigger: Die result is 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20.
Effect: If the attack hits you can reroll the weapon damage die and take the new result. Then make a sequence attack.

Brutal Strike
Sequence:
1, 3, 5
Requirement: You must not be using a light weapon
Trigger: Hit AC + 10
Effect: deal an extra 1d6 damage on the attack. Then make a sequence attack.

The problem with your system, Talaxar, is: If you require a Theme for the Fighter to be more complex, then the Fighter would be a trap choice, since anyone looking for complexity can get another, more complex class (Ranger? Warlord? Barbarian?) and still gets to choose a theme.

No, the complexity scale must be built WITHOUT the need for character resources (themes/backgrounds). It must be something that is entirely optional for the player to choose without losing anything. It must add complexity and variety, but not raw power.
And finally, here are the really advanced maneuvers:

Knockback Strike
Sequence:
Any, but only once per action
Requires : You must be using a heavy two-handed weapon
Trigger: Hit AC + 2 , and hit Strength + 5.
Effect: Knock the enemy away 5 feet in addition to damage. You may move for free into the space it left (this movement does not cancel your movement opening.) Then make a sequence attack if the attack die's value was an even number.

Trip
Special: This attack deals no damage even if the roll beats the target's AC
Sequence:
Any, but only once per action
Trigger: Hit Strength + 5.
Effect: Knock the target prone. Then make a sequence attack if the attack die's value was an even number.

Disarm
Special: This attack deals no damage even if the roll beats the target's AC
Sequence:
Any, but only once per action
Trigger: Hit Strength + 5.
Effect: Make a Strength contest with the target. If you win you disarm them. The DM may apply any modifiers to this strength contest for weapon, size, tactics, etc.

Repositioning Strike
Sequence:
Any, but only once per action
Trigger: Hit Wisdom + 5.
Effect: You may move 5 feet for free whether or not the attack hits (this movement does not cancel your movement opening.) Then make a sequence attack if the attack die's value was an even number.

Thats all I have for now. At 3rd level you gain this new opening:

Teamwork Opening: You can make sequence attacks against enemies with one or more of your allies threatening them.

That makes it almost too easy no? Is this good (balanced) for third level benefit? Let me know.
The problem with your system, Talaxar, is: If you require a Theme for the Fighter to be more complex, then the Fighter would be a trap choice, since anyone looking for complexity can get another, more complex class (Ranger? Warlord? Barbarian?) and still gets to choose a theme.

No, the complexity scale must be built WITHOUT the need for character resources (themes/backgrounds). It must be something that is entirely optional for the player to choose without losing anything. It must add complexity and variety, but not raw power.



I can understand that. It is possible to use my system as an optional fighter progression. In that case you would gain this in exchange for weapon focus and fighter surge? Or are you saying find a way to lower the number of attacks and damage so it adds no DPR whatsoever?
The problem with your system, Talaxar, is: If you require a Theme for the Fighter to be more complex, then the Fighter would be a trap choice, since anyone looking for complexity can get another, more complex class (Ranger? Warlord? Barbarian?) and still gets to choose a theme.

No, the complexity scale must be built WITHOUT the need for character resources (themes/backgrounds). It must be something that is entirely optional for the player to choose without losing anything. It must add complexity and variety, but not raw power.



Feats.
Heck if the theme idea is not what you want it could work for a module too. Just drop the whole multiple attacks and focus on the disarm, trip, and knockback, and let anybody do it. But that wasn't what I was going for.
I'm going to agree with Valien on this one.  It really doesn't address the problems, as I see, of the Combat System as  a whole.  Not that they aren't nifty, but KingGoro hit it on the head.  It's basically just a feat progression similar to some of the old 3.x feat trees.
Here is an example of a modular system my group is helping me develop. So far they prefer it to the 4e weapon table.

Weapon Proficiency Bonus: All weapons have a +2 Proficiency Bonus to Attack.

Damage by Training Level: Simple/Military/Superior represents levels of training, not the weapons themselves. So a dagger does more damage in the hands of a more skilled combatant. Weapon Proficiencies are the same as in the PHBs. A feat will take you from Simple to Military training, and another would take you from Military to Superior.

Any 1 Handed Weapon with Simple Training: 1d6 Any 2 Handed Weapon with Simple Training: 1d8 Any 1 Handed Weapon with Military Training: 1d8 Any 2 Handed Weapon with Military Training: 1d10 Any 1 Handed Weapon with Superior Training: 1d10 Any 2 Handed Weapon with Superior Training: 1d12

(OPTIONAL RULE) Modular Weapon Properties: Weapons come with "propery slots" that you can use to buy properties. The more skilled you are (simple/military/superior), the better you can make use of your weapon, and hence the more slots your weapon has.

Any Weapon with Simple Training: Either 1 major or 2 minor slots Any Weapon with Military Training: Either 1 major and 1 minor slots, or 3 minor slots Any Weapon with Superior Training: Either 1 superior and 1 major slot, or 1 superior and 2 minor slots, or 2 major and 1 minor slot, or 1 major and 3 minor slots.

Properties Table: Properties cost either a minor, military, or Superior slot. They may have a requirement, such as # of hands or weapon group type. This is still in development, as we are working out balance issues.

Minor Properties Hands Prerequisite

Hidden DC 10+(1/2 your level) Perception Check to spot 1

Accessible This weapon can be drawn or sheathed as a free action 1

Speed 1 Weapon Proficiency bonus grants you +1 to initiative if it is drawn before combat begins. Any

Unorthodox +2 to attack roll the first time it is used in an encounter. Any

Brutal 1 Reroll damage rolls that result in a roll of 1 Any

Off-Hand This weapon can be used in your off-hand. When you make an attack choose which weapon you are using. 1

Light Thrown Can be used in melee or at range. Basic Ranged Attacks for this weapon use DEX for attack and damage modifiers. 1

Heavy Thrown Can be used in melee or at range. Basic Ranged Attacks for this weapon use STR for attack and damage modifiers. 1

Well Balanced +2 to each thrown range category 1 Light or Heavy Thrown

Light DEX is used instead of STR for basic melee attacks Any

Weighted CON is used instead of STR for basic melee attacks Any

Hybrid This weapon belongs to an additional weapon class other then it's own. Any

Small *This weapon can be used by small characters as a two handed weapon. 2*

Mounted Can use 1 handed when mounted 2 Polearm

Charging 1 This weapon gains a bonus to damage rolls equal to the charging value during a charge Any Polearm or Spear

First Striking If the weapon is set vs a charge, when the attacker enters your range make a basic melee attack against it 2 Polearm & Reach

Major Properties

Speed 2 Weapon Proficiency bonus grants you +2 to initiative if it is drawn before combat begins. Any

Accurate Weapon Proficiency bonus increases from +2 to +3 for attack rolls Any

Vicious Weapon Proficiency bonus also adds +1 to damage Any

High Crit A Critical Hit rolled with this weapon deals an additional 1[W] damage at heroic tier, 2[W]/3[W] at paragon/epic tiers Any

Charging 2 This weapon gains a bonus to damage rolls equal to the charging value during a charge Any Polearm or Spear

Reach Melee range is increased by 1 square. Any Polearm or Flail

Superior Properties

Speed 3 Weapon Proficiency bonus grants you +3 to initiative if it is drawn before combat begins. Any

Defensive When wielded in the off hand this weapon adds +1 to AC Any Off hand or double

Brutal 2 Reroll damage rolls that result in a roll of 2 Any

Charging 3 This weapon gains a bonus to damage rolls equal to the charging value during a charge Any Polearm or Spear

Entangling On Hit make a Grab attempt Any

Examples:

1 handed Simple melee Dagger: +2 1d6 Vicious 1 handed Military throwing Dagger: +2 1d8, Light Thrown, Well Balanced, Accessible 1 handed Superior parrying Dagger: +2 1d10, Defensive, Off-Hand, Light

1 handed Simple melee spear: +2 1d6 Speed 1, Brutal 1 1 handed Military throwing spear: +3 1d8, Accurate, Heavy Thrown 2 handed Superior long spear: +2 1d12, Reach, Charge 2, First Striking

Wanted to share this from 6_Demon_Bag. Thought it was an excellent suggestion and would work well with Combat Maneuvers.
Sorry this took so long to get written up, but here's what I was suggesting Lupus:

community.wizards.com/davecrowman/blog/2...

Basically this gives each ability score a use in combat- and yes I know I'm slaughtering a sacred cow with separating "cleric" from "wisdom" but meh.

I think the issue with having "encounter" esque powers is this:

Suppose I have 2 guards at a door.  In 4e this would be a joke encounter as any of the heroes could use encounter powers without blinking an eye.  Having things broken by daily allotment means utilizing some kind of super-ability or spell will actually start costing you.

I do think there's an issue of making the "15 minute dungeon day" go away- but I think this is a part of a larger scope thing than developing encounter powers.  I haven't had to address this as yet since my players feel like they should keep going until they're almost dieing.

I think having fighters more clearly see how they can use their high strength and constitution to interact in the environment you'll have more "fun" fighters.  My groups fighter has been using STR actions to knock tables over to create cover, and will probably be using his high CON to stop enemies from making 'free attacks' in the style of opportunity attacks for breaking melee. (I'm playtesting that tonight)
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
I'm looking over it now, dA. I'll post my thoughts later after Ive had a chance to think about them
I am glad you guys like the idea of Combat Mastery. The way I envision it is as seen below. If you like it I encourage you to add it to your sig. You can even adjust the proposed rule if you like. The concept is pretty flexable. This may very well be grass roots movement in action.

Shane Walden 
Help make Combat Mastery happen: If you like the idea of Combat Mastery, as outlined below, for fighters copy it onto your signature and add interesting combat maneuvers to the list. Two new examples could be throat punch or spit in eye. Combat Mastery: When a Fighter performs combat maneuvers such as bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, pick up kobold by the neck, etc, the minimum die result is 10. Fighter Combat Maneuvers: On a given round the fighter can bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, etc, in place of his/her move action. This is a nonattack action that might cause the fighter's opponent to be rendered prone, unarmed, blind for a round, etc, or otherwise grant the fighter advantage or his/her opponent disadvantage as the Fighter sees fit.
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