Monday, May 30, 2016

ABS12: The anatomy of the combat numbers

All the changes from this page will be added to the complete master game page at A Basic System 12 (ABS12).

For this post, I wanted to look into what exactly the numbers in the formula mean. This is important to help determine how to describe actions.

Minor change

One other change I'm making is removing the PL from PL damage roll, PL Live, and PL defense, which don't seem to make sense anymore.

Verb Skill formula portions

1. Situation roll portion
The first roll 1d12, in every type of roll means the situation roll. Situations can vary from good to bad. The first random roll tells you how good current situation about the skill or combat.

Player should describe exactly how the character does something, not just what a character does. 

If a character uses a description verb to look for clues, then the player should explain exactly how the player will search for clues. Will they look through all the drawers and cupboards? Having explained how the character will search, the roll can then be performed to describe how lucky fate is with the character in performing the task.

Interpreting the numbers
A 1 is so bad that it's a fumble. A 12 is so good that it's a automatic success.

Describing the situation depends upon what type of action is being performed. Once you have that action in mind, you can describe the situation surrounding the action using adverbs and adjectives in similar degree to the the result rolled. The situation may be environmental. It may include actions of opposing characters. It may include the conditions of the character performing the action.

Above six becomes more positive.
Below six becomes more negative.

Here is a general adjective scale denoting quality and degree for the situation surrounding the how the action is performed.

If as in the prior example, if the character is looking through all the drawers and cupboards looking for clues, and the player roll a three - what does that mean?. A three is very bad. What could a very bad situation mean or look like when searching through cupboards and drawers? It might mean that the character rushes through the search doing a poor job of searching. It might also mean that despite ones great skill, something happens to be covering the thing that the character is trying to find. The first explanation is a more method based or quality of performance rational. Whereas the second one is luck based or quality of the environment. Either way, they both explain and describe a the situation that is very bad.

2. Learned description level and power level experience portion
Both the PL and DL portions are fixed. 

The PL represents experience as the character acquires more real world experience. Characters recognize patterns and appropriate methods just by watching life around them. The learn little tricks to help live even doing unskilled and untrained actions easier. They have life knowledge.

The DL represents learned skill. It represents actual study, practice, exploration, teachings, and education. They receive education formally or on the job.

The next portion of the formula appears in combat. It is a special kind of roll called the damage roll.

Offensive roll 1d12 + PL + DL + Damage roll

3. Why is the damage roll added to the offensive roll?
The damage roll represents how viscous and potentially damaging the attack, blow, or strike is. The damage roll is potential damage, rather than actual damage.It represents how deadly the strike could be - how much force and accurate the blow may be. Even with a little lesser luck, a very powerful attack my still do damage if the attack is powerful. Too much of a bad situation will make even a powerful attack miss. Yet a great situation might help a weak attack still hit and do damage depending on the defender's situation.

The lowest damage possible is 1. Even variable damage weapon will at least do 1 point of damage

In damages where even a roll of 1 is made out of 1d12/6, = is all one or the other. There is no fumble or automatic success from the damage roll. Your only trying to find the amount, in this case 1 or 2. It's either one or the 

Damage roll is countered with the armor value portion of the defense. The defender offsets the damage roll with their fixed defense which is made up of skill (DL) and experience(PL) plus any armor.

Damage Table

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