View Full Version : Better Effects

August 1st, 2011, 14:10
Been pulling the combat tracker apart, and was looking today at Effects. I'd like some input from people as to what simple things we might do to improve them. But first...

What are effects ? - I believe these are used to track short-term combat effects; which is basically powers ("spells") to my mind.

So most of the time it's typing out the name of the power, with a "3" duration and a "-1" adjustment. Occasionally I'll add "[R]" to the end of the power name to mark it as a raise, and sometimes the duration is doubled for a good roll / certain arcane backgrounds. But that -1 is pretty much always -1, for me.

So the duration adjusts by the number in the adjustment box every time a new round starts, or whenever the person who cast the effect is activated (note: this does not include when the activation flag is dropped manually onto a combatant - this has been fixed for 3.2).

How might they change ? - Over to you ! How could we make them better ? I have a few ideas, of course:

1. Get rid of the adjustment box.
Get the ruleset to just automatically tick the duration down by one every time it's a new round (or the caster is activated, for effects tied to a caster). Could also add checks in the background to ensure it only ticks down at most once per round too if we did this. A blank round number = effect doesn't expire.

2. What about maintaining powers ?
Currently when a power reaches the 0 duration, it's chatted as expired (only to the GM - see next point). What if the combatant wanted to maintain it ? Now we have to re-add it to the tracker. So maybe there is a clever solution here; not sure

3. Players can't see effects
Should we show players active effects ? Or only some effects (in which case, how do we choose which ones ? The interface is minimal as is...) And how about durations ? I know my players end up tracking the durations themselves - which feels wrong, given it's their power that's going; and they need to mark off power points when it's being maintained too without any reminders.

4. Give effects effects
Enhance the FX creation from simple copies of what's in the combat tracker to allow adjustment of combat stats (+2 armor, +2 parry, +1 die type Strength) whilst the effect is in place. This is quite a big one - and certainly NOT a 3.2 change - but something I've toyed with in my head. With this in place, having a "one round" duration effects of -2 Parry for agility tricks would be a possibility as well

So there you go, more questions than suggestions. I quite like the idea of removing that "adjustment" box (it's always -1, right ? Or no ?). But feel there are probably more ideas too. So fire away - nows your chance ;)

August 1st, 2011, 15:05
Can we currently drag-and-drop effects to the combat tracker?

I have to admit I've never have, I just do it manually.

What would be nice (though not sure how it could be done):

1) Player uses a power
2) This adds an entry to the combat tracker automatically
3) When the power expires have a message appear in player's chatbox to give them choice to continue power (vote like yes/no box perhaps)
4) If they click yes deduct from Power Point pool.
5) If no remove entry from tracker
6) Repeat 3-5 until entry removed.

August 1st, 2011, 15:21
You can drag and drop effects in theory; it might be broken in practice ! (I've broken it now in any case, so it's going to be fixed, if not improved)

What you've suggested is do-able, I think. Not sure how long you'd give the player to reply before "default removing" the effect though. Before the next combatant is activated might not be very long, if the combat moves fast and the player has a quick turn without seeing the prompt. Before the player's next turn would leave the effect dangling around 1 round too long.

A small "maintain" tickbox to drain power points instead of expiring effects (for the GM to control) might be another way - no pesky player input required. Should provide some feedback to the player in question (e.g. "Jim maintains deflection this round") to remind them it's happening and their power points are diminishing.

Or might be able to extend the mini-tracker to allow players to control that tickbox too (especially if we're tying in some sort of "effects in progress" feedback to the players).

Can add a configuration element to Deadlands to work with Blessed (who can't maintain) and Weird Scientists (who have multiple power pools) in either solution.

August 5th, 2011, 20:28
Hi guys
With regards to effects, I guess my answer is probably the difficult option i.e. no4.

Why you may ask ? Well, for me to have all of the effects as in the combat options ( i.e. what is available regardless of system/era/setting) would be awesome. The other stuff like the ammo and spell effects are good, but they don't apply to every Savage setting, whereas the base effects do ( e.g. Tricks )

I would like to see, a more automated combat tracker akin to D&D to be honest:

Watching the first ten minutes of Xorn's latest D&D vlogs ( number 4 to be precise ) he is dragging and dropping one-off effects all over the place out of the combat tracker. He even goes into a skill and drags out the negative impact from within the text and drops it onto a player. When the player's turn comes around, an autoroll save is rolled for them. All of this got me thinking about the basic effects such as Defend, Going Wild, Intimidate, Taunt, Aim which have somehow been integrated as one-shot effects into the AD&D 4ed tracker. Plus the tracker is huge for each character, all of their combat abilities and relevant skills are in there. So, to be honest, the D&D one hacked for Savage would be great. I wouldn't have to have eight different personalities opened up, and have to rummage about in their sheets each time I want to use a skill.

This next part is probably not an effect as you have described it, but whilst I am thinking about it, thought I would add it here:

Other 'effects' like Crouching or Prone would be useful to be visible on the map, maybe an icon or something ?

cheers mate

August 13th, 2011, 21:00
I've been playing around with v2.8 3.5e/PF and really like the way effects are handled, if we could get anywhere near this it'd be great. :)

August 14th, 2011, 00:30
As someone who hasn't player with 3.5e/PF, care to offer a few high level bullet points of what sort of awesomeness is there ? Yeah, yeah, I'm being lazy...

August 14th, 2011, 09:47
I've included the post below (from idea informer).

This opens up questions I have about tracking effects - is the Parry always the "right" parry, for instance if the opponent has deflection on him.

And for ranged attacks, the target number could be 4 or the target's parry (if firing in melee). Not to mention the dodge edge.

Love in in theory, bit unsure how often it will produce "correct" results in practice without other work first.

You can now have damage types (slashing, blunt, cold, acid etc) which can be used to determine how it as handled. So in the above post ranged damage would always be against a TN of 4 whilst slashing, blunt etc would always be against Parry. Dodge would likewise be handled depending on the type of damage. Cover would be an "effect" that is in effect on the PC. Not sure if range can be handled so for the shooting in melee it might need two entries on the weapon sheet (ie a "melee" entry for close combat)?

Most spells automatically have the effects included so when cast on the target the effects are placed on that target.

The Effects can 'effect' all the attributes and follow stacking rules as far as I'm aware.

So what I'm saying is number 4! :)