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[Fast HERO] Simplified turn order

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Anonymous
November 25, 2004 4:17:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

The HERO rulebook suggests that you can speed up the game by ignoring
segments and phases, using a simple cycle instead. It notes that you'll
probably want special rules for speedsters and held actions. Here's an
attempt at such rules. Suggestions and criticism are welcome.

Speed: The Speed characteristic is no longer limited to 12 (although
campaign limits may still apply).

Taking turns: In standard HERO rules, each character's "turn" is spread
across 12 segments, interleaved with everyone else's turns. In these
alternate rules, characters take turns all at once, one after the other.
Each character starts his turn with one free recovery. Next, he gets one
phase for every point of Speed. He can use all of these phases at once
(per the normal HERO rules, except where noted below), he can hold some
for later, or he can forgo some phases entirely (just like lowering your
Speed in standard HERO).

Half-turn defenses: Since defenses last for a whole turn in this system,
the standard half-phase defenses become "half-turn" defenses instead.
For every half-phase or attack action you use, you must also pay a half
phase to maintain defenses. Likewise, for every full-phase action, you
must pay a full phase for defense. The character will spend half his
turn, overall, to maintain the defense. (This is roughly the same as
keeping up a defense for a whole turn in standard HERO.)

Minimum speed: Normally, a character must spend at least two phases
every round (just as you can only voluntarily lower your Speed to 2 by
the standard rules). Even if you do nothing but defend yourself, you
must still spend at least 2 phases (and pay any END costs for constant
powers for those phases).

Held actions and interruptions: You can hold some of your
phases for later in the turn. You may take held actions at any time.
However, if you interrupt somebody else's turn (to prevent them from
moving past you, for example), pay an extra half-phase for the
interruption itself. (If you don't have enough phases left to pay for
the action, your defenses, and the interruption penalty, then you can't
interrupt.) If two characters want to interrupt the same action, the
character with higher Dex chooses who goes first.

Aborts: If you have no held phases left, you can borrow phases from your
next turn to put up a defense. This costs a half-phase penalty (just
like an interruption), and the defense only lasts until the end of the
current character's turn.

Changing defenses: You can switch defenses during your turn or somebody
else's. However, each change costs an extra half phase, just like an
interruption. If you can't afford to switch, you can abort to a
different defense, as described above.

Stunning: Recovering from stunning costs a full phase. If you recover in
the middle of somebody else's turn, you must pay the half-phase
interruption penalty. You cannot "abort" to recover from stun; if you
have no held actions left, you must wait until your next turn.

Powers that modify speed: If a transformation changes your speed when
it's not your turn, you may gain or lose held actions (until you have
none left).

Initial turn order: For simplicity, you can take turns in Dex order or
seating order. Optionally, you can use an "initiative" roll: Everyone
makes a Dexterity check; winners go first, followed by the losers.
Within each group, take turns from the highest roll to the lowest.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd

More about : fast hero simplified turn order

Anonymous
November 25, 2004 8:23:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> The HERO rulebook suggests that you can speed up the game by ignoring
> segments and phases, using a simple cycle instead. It notes that
> you'll probably want special rules for speedsters and held actions.
> Here's an attempt at such rules. Suggestions and criticism are
> welcome.

By the way, my turn order proposal is /very/ rough, and I doubt that it
would work as-is. It omits lots of details, like what should happen if
you use several combat maneuvers with different DCV values. I'm not even
sure that it's worth it to replace the phase system; it might make more
sense to just write out all the phases on a whiteboard. I'd /like/ to
use a simple taking-turns approach if possible, though.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
November 25, 2004 7:37:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote in
news:slrncqacls.6br.bradd+news@szonye.com:

> The HERO rulebook suggests that you can speed up the game by ignoring
> segments and phases, using a simple cycle instead. It notes that you'll
> probably want special rules for speedsters and held actions. Here's an
> attempt at such rules. Suggestions and criticism are welcome.
>
<snip>

Alternate proposals:

Proposal (1):
Focus on turn order, not segments. A lot of the time the important thing
is 'who goes next' rather than 'who goes on this segment'. Since the
characters' speeds are known ahead of time, this can be figured out at the
beginning of play.

Take a deck of playing cards. Give each player the cards that match the
segments on which his character acts (a speed of 4 gets a three, six, nine,
and queen). Establish an order of suits to handle characters acting on the
same phase (spades, then hearts, then diamonds, then clubs). Have the
players lay these cards on the table so everyone can see them. Then simply
go from first to last according to the cards. It should be much faster.

Note 1: Since everyone acts on phase 12, and you only have 4 suits, give
the fastest 4 characters the queens and the next 4 characters the kings.
If you have more than 8, start using the jokers, or pull out a second deck
of cards. It's the order that matters.

Note 2: If a characters take actions that require additional segments, then
have them flip over the cards as they use their actions. When they want to
delay an action, have them keep the card face up, so it's obvious they have
the earlier number still available.

Note 3: The opposition (villains) may have speed/dex combos that fit in-
between the player characters on any given segment. To make sure you have
room for this, try to keep a gap between the suits when you hand out the
cards. So two characters acting on segment 3 will get the earliest and 3rd
latest suit. If the villain needs to act before the first player gets a
card for the end of the previous segment, while one that acts between them
gets the suit that fits between. Or just rule that villains act after all
the heroes.


Proposal (2):
Speed as a resource. Get a stack of poker chips. Every segment, each
characters take a number of chips equal to Speed. When the player wants to
take an action, they pay for it with 12 chips. Players can hold no more
than 18 chips in reserve.

This isn't really any faster than the normal system, but it gives each of
the players something to do even when the characters can't take an action.

It also opens the door to taking half actions (6 chips), bidding to go
early (pay an extra chip to go before someone with a higher dex), and
other, more fluid approaches to combat.


Both of these require extra bits, but preserve the basic speed mechanic
while making it faster (or at least seem faster).

HTH,
JSwing
Related resources
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 12:35:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

A simple solution that may be too random for some tastes:

At the beginning of each segment, roll a d12 for each character. If roll
<= SPD, character gets to act this segment. Perhaps allow simple things
like a half move in non-action segments. On a roll of 12, character gets
a free recovery.

A variant that uses d6: Have rounds 2 seconds (2 segments) long. Divide
all SPD values by 2. Roll d6 to see if character gets to act; on a roll
of 6, character gets a free recovery.

- Klaus
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 1:58:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Klaus Æ. Mogensen wrote:
> A simple solution that may be too random for some tastes:
> At the beginning of each segment, roll a d12 for each character. If roll
> <= SPD, character gets to act this segment. Perhaps allow simple things
> like a half move in non-action segments. On a roll of 12, character gets
> a free recovery.

I don't mind the randomness. However, this doesn't address the major
objections I have to most RPG turn systems (including HERO's). Most
systems feature frequent, inconsistent turn changes -- you take your
turn in bits and pieces, and you don't always follow the same player.

I find that players respond faster and more accurately to a simple,
predictable order. Going around the table in seating order is fastest,
and running through a sorted list of character names is a close second.
(I use a deck of note cards, one for each character, and cycle through
them.) In contrast, calling out turn numbers (e.g., segment and DEX) is
by far the slowest and most error-prone method, in my experience.
Players often fail to recognize their turn numbers when they come up,
which leads to slow responses and missed turns.

You can avoid that worst case in HERO by prepping a turn chart, with
characters sorted by DEX and phases marked. Like my note-card method,
that lets the GM call out turns by name instead of by number. However,
I'm not content with that approach, because setting up and maintaining a
chart like that is still slow (especially compared to sorting a deck of
note cards). Also, it still splits player turns up into small pieces,
which means more turn changes; games go much faster when a player takes
all his actions together, in my experience.

A slight variation on your proposal could work: Instead of rolling for
actions at the start of the segment, just go around the table and roll
as your "turn" comes up. If you roll over your SPD, pass the turn to the
next player. (Seat players in DEX order if you care about it.) It's not
as fast as using a prepped turn chart, but it might be faster than
calling out phase/DEX numbers.

I'd still rather hand out phases in a big lump, though. For one thing, I
think it could compensate for HERO's lack of zone-of-control rules.
Getting past somebody is as simple as waiting until he has no held
actions, which means that would-be guardians can't do anything but hold
(and even then, it only takes two foes to get past you risk-free). By
giving out all phases in a lump, high-SPD characters can hold multiple
actions, making them much better guardians. With enough SPD, you can
even attack and guard in the same round.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 4:25:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Klaus Æ. Mogensen wrote:
>
>>A simple solution that may be too random for some tastes:
>>At the beginning of each segment, roll a d12 for each character. If roll
>><= SPD, character gets to act this segment. Perhaps allow simple things
>>like a half move in non-action segments. On a roll of 12, character gets
>>a free recovery.
>
>
> I don't mind the randomness. However, this doesn't address the major
> objections I have to most RPG turn systems (including HERO's). Most
> systems feature frequent, inconsistent turn changes -- you take your
> turn in bits and pieces, and you don't always follow the same player.
>
> I find that players respond faster and more accurately to a simple,
> predictable order. Going around the table in seating order is fastest,
> and running through a sorted list of character names is a close second.
> (I use a deck of note cards, one for each character, and cycle through
> them.) In contrast, calling out turn numbers (e.g., segment and DEX) is
> by far the slowest and most error-prone method, in my experience.
> Players often fail to recognize their turn numbers when they come up,
> which leads to slow responses and missed turns.
>
> You can avoid that worst case in HERO by prepping a turn chart, with
> characters sorted by DEX and phases marked. Like my note-card method,
> that lets the GM call out turns by name instead of by number. However,
> I'm not content with that approach, because setting up and maintaining a
> chart like that is still slow (especially compared to sorting a deck of
> note cards). Also, it still splits player turns up into small pieces,
> which means more turn changes; games go much faster when a player takes
> all his actions together, in my experience.
>
> A slight variation on your proposal could work: Instead of rolling for
> actions at the start of the segment, just go around the table and roll
> as your "turn" comes up. If you roll over your SPD, pass the turn to the
> next player. (Seat players in DEX order if you care about it.) It's not
> as fast as using a prepped turn chart, but it might be faster than
> calling out phase/DEX numbers.
>
> I'd still rather hand out phases in a big lump, though. For one thing, I
> think it could compensate for HERO's lack of zone-of-control rules.
> Getting past somebody is as simple as waiting until he has no held
> actions, which means that would-be guardians can't do anything but hold
> (and even then, it only takes two foes to get past you risk-free). By
> giving out all phases in a lump, high-SPD characters can hold multiple
> actions, making them much better guardians. With enough SPD, you can
> even attack and guard in the same round.

I'm confused on two points.
1. How is rolling at the beginning of each round/turn making it simpler?

2. If you want to hand them out in a big lump? Just do it.
Highest dex person goes first, they get a total number of actions based
on their Spd that they have to declare up front.


Would I use this system? Doubtfull, but I'm not having problems with the
current system... so I'm hoping a simplified suggestion might help your
creative juices flow (even if in a completely different direction) ;) 

Fingers crossed for you!

--
Trent
Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
http://Fantasyscifi.com/main
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 5:48:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

fantasyscifi wrote:
> I'm confused on two points.
> 1. How is rolling at the beginning of each round/turn making it simpler?

Are you asking about Klaus's proposal or mine? His method doesn't
simplify turns enough for what I want, which is why I explained my goals
more thoroughly. If you're referring to my slight alteration, the idea
is to make it clearer whose turn it is, thus avoiding confusion and
missed turns.

If you're asking something else, please clarify.

> 2. If you want to hand them out in a big lump? Just do it.

OK, so how should haymakers work? What about defenses? Held actions?
Several HERO staples don't work well when you award all the phases
together. What about game balance? Will a lump of actions skew the game
in favor of highest DEX too much? "Just do it" ignores many subtleties
and problems I expect to come up in play.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 6:03:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

JSwing wrote:
> Alternate proposals:
>
> Proposal (1):
> Focus on turn order, not segments.

Yes, that's what I'd like to do.

> Take a deck of playing cards. Give each player the cards that match
> the segments on which his character acts (a speed of 4 gets a three,
> six, nine, and queen). Establish an order of suits to handle
> characters acting on the same phase (spades, then hearts, then
> diamonds, then clubs). Have the players lay these cards on the table
> so everyone can see them.

This is somewhat superior to circling phases on your character sheet,
but not enough to make a difference. Maybe my players are just unusually
inattentive, but they don't respond well to anything but having their
names called. Seems to me that it'd be better to just write up the turn
order on a whiteboard and keep track of it myself (which I'm willing to
do, but would rather avoid).

> Proposal (2):
> Speed as a resource. Get a stack of poker chips. Every segment, each
> characters take a number of chips equal to Speed. When the player
> wants to take an action, they pay for it with 12 chips. Players can
> hold no more than 18 chips in reserve.

This one seems reasonable, although chunks of 12 chips seems a bit
unwieldy. I like this better than the first proposal, but I'm not sure
that it's better than the whiteboard solution.

Thanks for the suggestions, though.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
November 26, 2004 1:06:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

I use a card-based randomisation system, in which each player is given
a full suit minus the king, and each Turn they shuffle and draw as
many cards as they have pts of SPD. The resulting hand gives them the
Phases on which they can act. All hands are displayed face-up, though
if you wanted to I suppose each player could keep their "Speed
resources" secret -- personally I don't see any value in that though.

Abort actions are easy to keep track of with this system because the
player just plays their next Phase card early, and it's no longer
displayed.

I've modified it a bit lately to accommodate "desperation action",
allowing the players to play more than one card at a time to go sooner
than they otherwise could at the expense of having fewer actions that
Turn. This has required counting *down* the Segments, from 12 to 1
instead of 1 to 12.

So far, the system has worked well in keeping the SPD ratio between
characters intact while allowing for some randomization to reflect the
essentially chaotic nature of combat.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Fitz
http://fitz.jsr.com
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Anonymous
November 27, 2004 1:26:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd? You missed the most important part of my message when quoting... ;) 

****
Would I use this system? Doubtful, but I'm not having problems with the
current system... so I'm hoping a simplified suggestion might help your
creative juices flow (even if in a completely different direction) ;) 

Fingers crossed for you!
****
--
Trent
Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
http://Fantasyscifi.com/main


Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> fantasyscifi wrote:
>
>>I'm confused on two points.
>>1. How is rolling at the beginning of each round/turn making it simpler?
>
>
> Are you asking about Klaus's proposal or mine? His method doesn't
> simplify turns enough for what I want, which is why I explained my goals
> more thoroughly. If you're referring to my slight alteration, the idea
> is to make it clearer whose turn it is, thus avoiding confusion and
> missed turns.
>
> If you're asking something else, please clarify.
>
>
>>2. If you want to hand them out in a big lump? Just do it.
>
>
> OK, so how should haymakers work? What about defenses? Held actions?
> Several HERO staples don't work well when you award all the phases
> together. What about game balance? Will a lump of actions skew the game
> in favor of highest DEX too much? "Just do it" ignores many subtleties
> and problems I expect to come up in play.
Anonymous
November 27, 2004 10:35:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

fantasyscifi wrote:
> Bradd? You missed the most important part of my message when quoting... ;) 

I didn't miss it. However, since I wasn't responding to it, I didn't
quote that part. For future reference, it's good netiquette to quote
only those portions of a message important for context.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
November 28, 2004 2:58:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

"JSwing" wrote:
>
> Proposal (2):
> Speed as a resource. Get a stack of poker chips. Every segment, each
> characters take a number of chips equal to Speed. When the player wants
to
> take an action, they pay for it with 12 chips. Players can hold no more
> than 18 chips in reserve.
>
> This isn't really any faster than the normal system, but it gives each of
> the players something to do even when the characters can't take an action.
>
> It also opens the door to taking half actions (6 chips), bidding to go
> early (pay an extra chip to go before someone with a higher dex), and
> other, more fluid approaches to combat.

I do like this idea, not necessarily as a replacement for the current Hero
mechanism (it's too radical - I think veteran Hero players wouldn't stand
for it), but as a mechanism in general. It seems such a cool idea that I'm
surprised it hasn't already featured in some game or other.

--
David Meadows
I've got nothing to say today
I used my words up yesterday
Anonymous
November 28, 2004 3:26:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>
> Taking turns: In standard HERO rules, each character's "turn" is spread
> across 12 segments, interleaved with everyone else's turns. In these
> alternate rules, characters take turns all at once, one after the other.
[etc]

By some bizarre coincidence, I was discussing alternative turn structures
with my group today (this was before I'd seen this thread) and I made a
proposal that was very similar to yours.

We used to play a system called Golden Heroes, a fairly obscure system but
probably the best superhero system I've ever played. Its turn sequence works
like this:

Every hero (and supervillain) has 4 "frames" per round. Important thugs and
trained "agent" types have 3 frames, minor thugs have 2.

At the start of the round, roll an initiative dice for each *side* (not
character) in the combat. The winning side gets to use 1, 2, 3, or 4 frames,
depending on how much they win by (and assuming they have that many - a thug
winning by 4 frames can still only take 2). Characters on that side act in
dex order, using all of their frame allocation before moving on to the next
character. Then the losing side gets all four of their frames. Then the
winning side gets to use the remainder of their frames.

Example: players win initiative by 3 frames. Every PC (in turn) acts three
times. Then the NPCs each act 4 times. Then the PCs get one more action
each. Then it's on to the initiative roll for the next turn.

There's a little more to it than this (pulling future frames for defences,
delaying your turn till a lower dex, how to deal with multi-frame actions,
etc.) but that's the essence of it.

I was discussing with my players whether it was feasible to use this system
with Hero. While it was agreed it would almost certainly be faster, a number
of problems were raised that would need to be resolved.

But none of the problems are show-stoppers and I'm sufficiently confident in
the system that I plan to run at least a trial session with it. I'll try to
report back on how it goes.


--
David Meadows
I've got nothing to say today
I used my words up yesterday
Anonymous
November 28, 2004 3:22:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Klaus Æ. Mogensen wrote:
>
>> A simple solution that may be too random for some tastes:
>> At the beginning of each segment, roll a d12 for each character.
>> If roll <= SPD, character gets to act this segment. Perhaps allow
>> simple things like a half move in non-action segments. On a roll
>> of 12, character gets a free recovery.
>
> I don't mind the randomness. However, this doesn't address the major
> objections I have to most RPG turn systems (including HERO's). Most
> systems feature frequent, inconsistent turn changes -- you take your
> turn in bits and pieces, and you don't always follow the same player.

How does Hero make characters take turns in more bits and pieces than
other games? In fact, Hero allows characters to move and attack in one
phase, which is more than many (most?) gamnes allow in a round.

It may be better to think of a Hero segment as an action round where
only some people get to act. With a dice system like the one above,
simply go around the table (perhaps in DEX order) and ask players to
roll: "Do you get to act this round?" "Yes." "OK, what do you do?" (or,
if "No", go on to the next player).

If you always allow certain actions regardless of roll, such as a
half-move or defensive maneuver, then SPD becomes more a determinant of
initiative than of physical speed: How good is the character at thinking
on his feet?

- Klaus
Anonymous
November 28, 2004 3:30:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> JSwing wrote:
>>Proposal (2):
>>Speed as a resource. Get a stack of poker chips. Every segment, each
>>characters take a number of chips equal to Speed. When the player
>>wants to take an action, they pay for it with 12 chips. Players can
>>hold no more than 18 chips in reserve.
>
> This one seems reasonable, although chunks of 12 chips seems a bit
> unwieldy.

You could divide SPD by 2 (only allow even SPD before division) and use
chunks of 6 chips. Same result (if a bit coarser SPD distribution),
fewer chips.

- Klaus
Anonymous
November 28, 2004 3:51:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

The main feature of the HERO turn order is that characters with many
actions don't get their extra actions top-loaded or bottom-loaded, but
spread out over a turn. I think any decent replacement should keep this
feature.

Here's one alternative: Reduce the number of segments in a turn to 6 (of
2 seconds each). At the beginning of a turn, hand out chips equal to
character's SPD to each player. To act in a segment just after one where
you've already acted costs 2 chips; to act in other segments costs 1
chip. Characters can carry 1 chip into the next turn.

A SPD 3 character could thus act three times evenly spaced across the
turn, or twice in a row. A SPD 6 character can do actions in segments
1,2,3, and 5 (using all chips) or in 1,2,4, and 6 (carrying 1 chip into
the next turn).

This does favor low SPD a bit; you aren't forced to double-chip as much.
To compensate, you could allow characters to make defensive actions at
the cost of 1 chip, even if they've just acted.

- Klaus
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 2:27:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> fantasyscifi wrote:
>
>>Bradd? You missed the most important part of my message when quoting... ;) 
>
>
> I didn't miss it. However, since I wasn't responding to it, I didn't
> quote that part. For future reference, it's good netiquette to quote
> only those portions of a message important for context.

Thanks for the nettiquette tip :) 

Re: Ignoring the underlying message of what someone is saying? In the
real world that's called addressing out of context. So I'll assume I
didn't help you. I hope you find your answer

--
Trent
Fantasyscifi - Find Aussie Gamers and Fans
Gamers Forums, chatrooms and Community site
http://Fantasyscifi.com/main
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 4:56:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 22:58:19 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote:

>
>You can avoid that worst case in HERO by prepping a turn chart, with
>characters sorted by DEX and phases marked. Like my note-card method,
>that lets the GM call out turns by name instead of by number. However,
>I'm not content with that approach, because setting up and maintaining a
>chart like that is still slow (especially compared to sorting a deck of
>note cards).

You ned one card, at most--I dont see how thats much of a problem.
It's not like you have Random encounters in HERO, you definitely know
who the PC's will be fighting.



>
>A slight variation on your proposal could work: Instead of rolling for
>actions at the start of the segment, just go around the table and roll
>as your "turn" comes up. If you roll over your SPD, pass the turn to the
>next player. (Seat players in DEX order if you care about it.) It's not
>as fast as using a prepped turn chart, but it might be faster than
>calling out phase/DEX numbers.

Far slower. Players never sit in Dex orsewr., Stats get drained,
Aided, held actions take place--then funky effects like block.


Heros segment system isn't that slow--It sounds more like lack of
preparation bvy the GM, and attention by players are the things to
more likely slow up combat--and that affects every game.

incrdbil
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 10:02:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

fantasyscifi wrote:
> Re: Ignoring the underlying message of what someone is saying? In the
> real world that's called addressing out of context. So I'll assume I
> didn't help you. I hope you find your answer

I didn't ignore your underlying message. You said you were confused on
two points, so I tried to clarify them. Furthermore, your message came
across as, "Whatever, I like it as written, good luck" which -- as you
assume -- wasn't helpful at all. I've played the game before, I /didn't/
like some of the mechanics, and I suspect that my current group will
feel the same way.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
December 8, 2004 11:09:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> However, this [suggestion] doesn't address the major objections I
>> have to most RPG turn systems (including HERO's). Most systems
>> feature frequent, inconsistent turn changes -- you take your turn in
>> bits and pieces, and you don't always follow the same player.

Klaus Æ. Mogensen wrote:
> How does Hero make characters take turns in more bits and pieces than
> other games? In fact, Hero allows characters to move and attack in one
> phase, which is more than many (most?) games allow in a round.

HERO isn't worse than most; indeed, as I wrote above, it's quite
typical. Most RPGs that I've played allow players to make one move and
one attack per turn. It's also typical for the turn order to vary over
time, because the turn order is semi-random (AD&D), because some players
get more "turns" than others (HERO), or both (Shadowrun).

D&D3's turn system is atypical: You set the turn order at the beginning
of a fight, so that you consistently follow the same player (except for
held actions), and faster characters get all of their extra actions at
once, rather than getting extra turns spread throughout the round.

In theory, giving more turns should improve fairness and waiting time,
while giving more actions per turn should improve overall combat speed.
This is a well-known property of scheduling algorithms in computer
science: If context (turn) switches are free, you can improve
responsiveness by breaking the workload into small, well-distributed
chunks, without hurting throughput (overall speed). However, context
switches generally aren't free, and RPG turn changes are no exception.
That creates a trade-off between overall speed and average wait times.

Also, if you break up the workload too much, all the context switching
takes so much time that throughput and latency both suffer. I'd need to
do the math to be certain, but I suspect that happens whenever the time
slice (how long it takes to take your turn) is shorter than the duration
of a context switch (how long it takes the next player to get started).

In my experience, that's exactly what happens in some RPG turn systems.
The turn length is very short (one move, one attack), and turn changes
take a long time (e.g., calling out action numbers, or frequently
re-rolling and re-sorting the turn order).

Even though the new D&D turn system chunks many actions together, it
seems much faster and more responsive than most RPGs, in my experience.
I suspect that's largely because the context-switching time is very low:
The "bigger" turns means fewer switches, and the simple order means that
I can just run down a list calling out character names. This is such a
great advantage that it outweighs the potential (but largely unrealized)
responsiveness advantages of other systems.

That said:

> The main feature of the HERO turn order is that characters with many
> actions don't get their extra actions top-loaded or bottom-loaded, but
> spread out over a turn. I think any decent replacement should keep
> this feature.

Correct; there are potential game-balance problems with clumped actions.

HERO has one other major advantage over other RPGs: The turn order is
deterministic. That means that you can prepare a "turn list" in advance,
calling out names instead of using the slow "Who goes on 3?" approach.
That in turn reduces the context switching time, which might actually
make the "small turns" approach viable.

Therefore, I think I'll try the standard HERO turn system (with prepared
turn lists) and see how it goes. I don't care for the extra bookkeeping
aspect of it, but it may be fast enough.

Thanks for the comments; they got me to thinking. I'm somewhat
embarassed to admit that I never thought of this in terms of scheduling
algorithms before, despite the fact that my day job includes working on
the scheduler for an operating system. Oopsie.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
December 10, 2004 4:25:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

> This is something I don't particularly like. The faster guy *always*
> goes first. However, a really simple fix for this would be to start a
> fight on a random phase, then let it sort itself out. Faster
> characters still have an edge, but aren't guaranteed of going first.
>

Reading all of this has got me to thinking (a dangerous habit) of new ways
to do a "turn".
Stealing an idea from some of the miniatures games I play, how about a deck
of cards. Each person involved in a fight has 1 card per speed rating. Draw
car and that character acts. If he wants to hold an action then he literally
holds the card in front of him til he uses his action.

There are still some bugs in the system like how to resolve blocks. Perhaps
the person blocking gets to attack immediately at a penalty or if the
blocked person gets his next card before the blocker then his attack is at a
penalty. Not all worked out yet but I've only begun to think.
!