Combat - Act after your turn?

Penk
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Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 639Post Penk
Mon May 24, 2021 6:29 pm

Hello, everyone!

After reading a bit in the rules and the example combat, there was one thing I didn't feel like it was properly explained.

If a character opted to save combat points for parrying, but didn't spend any (or only some) before the enemies ran out of points... Can that character then use those points to take actions? Or are they wasted because they can only attack on their own turn, which has already passed?

For example;
A PC swings twice at a troll on his turn. They then opt to save their remaining points for a possibly parry.
On the troll's turn, they swing at the PC, but miss and they have now spent all their combat points.
Can the PC now act again?

Luca Cherstich
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 640Post Luca Cherstich
Tue May 25, 2021 8:23 am

In theory, this is not explained.
In practice, if the GM allows it and everybody at the table is OK with it .... why not?

Penk
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 646Post Penk
Wed May 26, 2021 8:10 pm

Thanks for the reply!

That sounds neat, I may actually rule it to be so. (Worst case, I may deem it a "Hold" action from their turn and impose a -5 penalty, but not sure)

I have been playing Trudvang (or Drakar och Demoner, as it still was back then. :D ) Since at least DoD:T (and a bit of DoD6 before), and both me and the players usually thought that acting last was usually preferable to acting first. Often enemies waste some points on attacks missing and then players could just go ham, since enemies might be unable to defend themselves.
It was only good being first on the off-chance that the attacker managed to hit, the defender fails the parry and gets killed as a result. :D

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Hamurai
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 654Post Hamurai
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:21 pm

I'd say at least some concentration and time would be lost, spent waiting for an attack that doesn't come. I'd probably allow using half the remaining CP at the end of the round, otherwise you could always just use all CP for parrying and if not needed, attack with all CP after the enemy.

Penk
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 661Post Penk
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am

Hamurai wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:21 pm
I'd say at least some concentration and time would be lost, spent waiting for an attack that doesn't come. I'd probably allow using half the remaining CP at the end of the round, otherwise you could always just use all CP for parrying and if not needed, attack with all CP after the enemy.
Yeah, like mentioned above - sadly this problem sort of already exists, hence why low initiative is usually better than high. Let the enemy burn their CP and hope that they miss, now they can't defend against you.
I guess the main downside is that attacking can fail in two ways - either you just miss, or you hit and the enemy may still block. Blocking can either auto-win (enemy misses, you don't need to spend CP) or you can spend some CP and possibly nullify the enemy (barring any eventual damage to the weapon you blocked with)

Maybe I'll just let people borrow CP from their next turn if they have to act after their turn.
For example, Bjorn has 30 CP total and attacks a Troll. He spends all his 30 CP. When it's the Troll's turn it attacks, and Bjorn uses 10 CP to block. This means that next turn Bjorn will only have 20 CP to use and one less weapon action available.

I have been thinking about implementing a system where defence is either 1) passive (like in D&D) or 2) required (not parrying/blocking in melee means that you automatically get struck), but both have their own problems.
1) D&D doesn't account for whether the enemy is armed or not, unless it's a shield. An unarmed knight and one with a 2-handed sword are equally difficult to hit?
2) If parrying is required and you manage to burn the enemy's CP and you still have weapon actions, you could just drop a lot of 1 CP attacks and pulverize your enemy.

If you got any ideas, please, let me know! :)

(Hope it doesn't seem like I am too harsh on Trudvang's combat system. I really do enjoy a lot of things about it, mostly how free-form it is!)

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Hamurai
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 662Post Hamurai
Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:01 pm

Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
...sadly this problem sort of already exists, hence why low initiative is usually better than high. Let the enemy burn their CP and hope that they miss, now they can't defend against you.
Sure, that's always an option, but if people have some common sense they won't always do that, especially against powerful enemies. I remember a con game of Cadwallon I ran where one player always would put all of his dice into the attack pool. He usually hit once or twice and then was beaten down. He never learned, always trying to do the same thing and neglect defense. Never worked out.

Seriously, if a player just decides to always neglect their defense, I'd say the enemy notices that and may be prone to attack that person first, as they can be sure to finish them off quickly.
Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
Maybe I'll just let people borrow CP from their next turn if they have to act after their turn.
For example, Bjorn has 30 CP total and attacks a Troll. He spends all his 30 CP. When it's the Troll's turn it attacks, and Bjorn uses 10 CP to block. This means that next turn Bjorn will only have 20 CP to use and one less weapon action available.
Lots of book-keeping and you basically remove the CP/round limit. When I borrow 10 CP from the next round, they#re missing. I'll borrow 20 from the next to make up for it, then borrow again and again. In theory, you could borrow all CP from next round, always.
Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
I have been thinking about implementing a system where defence is either 1) passive (like in D&D) or 2) required (not parrying/blocking in melee means that you automatically get struck), but both have their own problems.
1) You could say the CP spent for defense lower the enemy's SV for attacks by that amount. So if you spend 10 CP to defend, the enemy's (first) attack is at -10. Or you split it to defend against 2 attacks at -5 each. Defender's choice.

Other idea:
Maybe spend 5 CP to give "disadvantage" (as in D&D 5E, 2d20, count the lowest) to an attack (which roughly equals a -5 modifier). So, spending 15 CP for defense, 3 attacks would be made with disadvantage.

Nestor Pumilio
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 665Post Nestor Pumilio
Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:59 pm

I would not allow this. There is a reason of ballance why the rules are what they are. It is a harsh world and if you are hit hard it is not guaranteed that you will survive. My players learn it on the hard tour that offence wins a battle but defence wins a live ;)

Penk
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 668Post Penk
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:36 am

Hamurai wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:01 pm
Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
...sadly this problem sort of already exists, hence why low initiative is usually better than high. Let the enemy burn their CP and hope that they miss, now they can't defend against you.
Sure, that's always an option, but if people have some common sense they won't always do that, especially against powerful enemies. I remember a con game of Cadwallon I ran where one player always would put all of his dice into the attack pool. He usually hit once or twice and then was beaten down. He never learned, always trying to do the same thing and neglect defense. Never worked out.

Seriously, if a player just decides to always neglect their defense, I'd say the enemy notices that and may be prone to attack that person first, as they can be sure to finish them off quickly.
I think you misunderstood what I meant, because I meant rather the opposite tactic - bunker down and hope that your turn is last. If you're last, you never have to worry about saving points in case you get attacked, because everyone else already had their turn. Whatever you have left (after any potential CP spent on blocking) can be used offensively, you have no reason to save points after your turn since a new round will start and everyone gets their points back.
If you act early, you have to gamble on how many points you want to spend so you're not completely defenseless when enemies retaliate on their turns. But per default rules, if you saved points so you could parry incoming attacks, anything that was left when the round ends were essentially wasted. In case you aren't in melee, whoever goes first also needs to spend CP to close the distance, or potentially forgo their offense this turn. That is where I think there is an inherent flaw in this system. It feels like there are many downsides to acting first, which seems a bit backwards.
Hamurai wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:01 pm
Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
Maybe I'll just let people borrow CP from their next turn if they have to act after their turn. (...)
Lots of book-keeping and you basically remove the CP/round limit. When I borrow 10 CP from the next round, they#re missing. I'll borrow 20 from the next to make up for it, then borrow again and again. In theory, you could borrow all CP from next round, always.
I think I explained what I meant in a bad way.
I was thinking more that instead of getting all your CP back when a new round starts, you get your CP back after you end your turn. This way, you will always have all your CP available if you ever need to react, whether it is defending against incoming attacks or making an action of opportunity. You may potentially end up having 0 CP left when your turn actually comes, but that is already a possibility for anyone in the latter end of any round.
Personally, I don't think that is particularly convoluted, since players usually keep track of their own CP anyway.
For anything that depend on rounds (like spell durations), that will still follow the system as it is.
Hamurai wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:01 pm
Penk wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am
I have been thinking about implementing a system where defence is either 1) passive (like in D&D) or 2) required (not parrying/blocking in melee means that you automatically get struck), but both have their own problems.
1) You could say the CP spent for defense lower the enemy's SV for attacks by that amount. So if you spend 10 CP to defend, the enemy's (first) attack is at -10. Or you split it to defend against 2 attacks at -5 each. Defender's choice.
(...)
I like the idea of negating enemy SV instead of attempting a parry after you know if the enemy already hit. Makes it feel like it's more about putting up a resistance rather than seeing if an attack just completely whiffs or not and then still having time to react. 👍

I have been brainstorming quite a few ideas/concepts that I like, but that may be a discussion that needs its own thread. :D

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Råttfångaren
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 669Post Råttfångaren
Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:56 pm

At first I also thought that being last in the initiative was always better and thought it was kind of weird. Like you, I saw that being last in the initiative gave you the chance to optimize your combat points more effectively and I still think this is true in certain situations. However, I also started considering if there were situations when acting first was superior and realized that I could come up with a lot of situations like that which would make combats more fun and dynamic. 8-)

For example:
1. Offense is a good defense. As armor is rather rare in trudvang and most enemies suffer severe penalties to their rolls once they are injured, being able to injure an opponent before they injure you will give you an immediate advantage. There are also plenty of other ways that you can act proactively to totally ruin an opponents capability to act during their turn such as disarming your opponent. If you are weaving vitner or invoking the gods this principle also applies obviously.

2. Control. Acting first gives you the opportunity to decide how the rest of the turn will go as those that act after must react to your action. As you point out, an enemy will exhaust their combat points when rushing to attack a character, making them an easy target. While this may be a reasonable move for an aggressive troll, why must a more competent fighter act like that? What if you instead run in the other direction and shot arrows at your opponent forcing them to come to you instead? What if you use the opportunity to take a superior position, taking cover or manipulating the environment in your favor? In many combat situations the primary goal isn't necessarily to kill your opponents but could be to steal something, to bring harm to a specific PC/NPC, protect a specific NPC, or to simply get past the characters. In such situations acting first will be essential to achieve your goal as you want to have control over the battlefield.

Since I've realized this, I've started constructing challenges differently and make sure to let more competent enemies use better tactics. This has pushed the players to also think more tactically and to use different approaches to different situations. Sometimes a low initiative is good, but sometimes it can be detrimental. In my lastest session, the life and death of the PCs literally depended on winning the initiative in the last round of combat. :twisted:

To tie in to the topic of the thread, I personally enjoy the gamble and that acting first can be good or bad depending on the situation. If you don't agree, I think you're right to house-rule it. I just wanted to point out that there are plenty of situations when high initiative is superior to low initiative if you get a bit creative with strategy, combat actions etc. :)
There may be misunderstandings and errors in the transcriptions

Penk
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Re: Combat - Act after your turn?

Post: # 705Post Penk
Tue Jun 29, 2021 9:06 am

1) Good point! I keep forgetting about the negative from being hurt.

2) While I agree on principle, not everyone has a bow which would limit their options a bit - though kiting people to make them exhaust more points (collectively) when you're outnumbered is a thing I love about Trudvang. I really miss such a tactic when playing DnD.
Taking your turn to make use of the terrain sounds like a good plan, but I feel like that doesn't solve the problem of what you can do with your points after everyone's turn has passed.

May I ask how your group handles such a situation? (One player acts -> saves points for defence -> didn't use them when the round ends)

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