Monday, October 21, 2019

A Very Simple Combat

Last week, I went back to Gemstone IV by Simutronics. This is a MUD heavily drawing on Iron Crown Enterprises.

I want to show a simple combat or two. It doesn't end well. My character has encountered a kobold. The game features many weapons, armor types and shields. My character is equipped with a very basic shield and broadsword. In this scenario, my character is at the ready, as is the kobold. 

You swing a broadsword at a kobold!
  AS: +33 vs DS: +34 with AvD: +36 + d100 roll: +29 = +64
   A clean miss.
Roundtime: 8 sec.

Lets walk through this wall of text. AS is my Attack Strength, a computed value which is based on my skill with a one handed weapon, my strength bonus, my skill at combat maneuvers (which I have none), a bonus due to magical effects (also none) and my stance. Stance is an important topic as my character can choose how aggressive he is; at the moment he is hardly aggressive at all.

The kobold has a stat called DS, or defensive strength which my AS is compared to. AvD is Attack vs Defense and is a measure of how good my sword is against the kobold's armor. It is pretty good.

The final two numbers a random 1d100 roll subtracted from everything else. In this case, I got 29, which was modified to +64. 100 or better is required to hit, so I just wasted my time. If I stayed like this, I could roll a maximum of 1d100+35, which means I will hit eventually.

Actual time. My character is unable to act for 8 real time seconds, as shown by the Roundtime indicator.

A kobold swings a short sword at you!
  AS: +36 vs DS: +79 with AvD: +34 + d100 roll: +76 = +67
   A clean miss.

The monster goes through the exact same sequence I did. Note that he rolled a 76, which was modifed to +67. He has no chance of hitting me. He also is stuck in Roundtime, but I don't get to see that number.

You are now in an offensive stance.

Stance controls how aggressively my character attacks. By switching to an offensive stance, I gain AS.

You swing a broadsword at a kobold!
  AS: +66 vs DS: -5 with AvD: +36 + d100 roll: +51 = +158
   ... and hit for 46 points of damage!
   Stomach ripped open by mighty blow!
The kobold crumples to a heap on the ground and dies.
Roundtime: 8 sec.

Well, that was quick. By switch stances, I doubled my AS from 33 to 66. The kobold is dead, but I am stuck in round time as a goblin walks in. Goblins are second level monsters and tougher than kobolds.

A goblin swings a flail at you!
  AS: +46 vs DS: -5 with AvD: +43 + d100 roll: +92 = +186
   ... and hits for 82 points of damage!
   Awesome shot collapses one of your lungs!

Looking at the AS, the goblin is only 10 points better than the kobold. BUT my DS is -5 because I am stanced up. I am not in a defensive position. Note that the end roll is very high, which increases the damage. I edited out some other things, but left in the killing shot.
It seems you have died, my friend.  Although you cannot do anything, you are keenly aware of what is going on around you...
You mentally give a sigh of relief as you remember that the Goddess Lorminstra owes you a favor.
...departing in 10 mins...

A goblin kicks your dead body and spits.

Goblins are mean. In this exchange, the monster and the characters are on nearly equal footing, except for one minor point. Monsters have roundtime when they enter a room, giving a characters a chance to change stances or retreat before a swing comes.

Since I wanted to show a fatal combat from both sides, obviously I did neither thing. This is playing to lose or playing to make an example. It would have been easy to avoid this end, but I chose not to.

The beauty of this game system is the use of computers to speed the computation of stats vs. rolls. It is an elegant system. Over the next few weeks, I will be demonstrating some of the various aspects of the game.

You can join me in game at It is F2P.

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