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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Badass Kung Fu Demigods: Breaking System News!

So, as I mentioned Badass Kung Fu Demigods is still very much in development and just the other day a new possibility dawned on me. This may be a part of the core rules, an optional rule for a mini-setting or it may turn out to be nothing at all.

This starts (much like Badass Kung Fu Demigods itself) with Exalted. Now, most of you are probably aware that Exalted recently came out with a 3rd edition. I got into Exalted with the first edition and I still consider 1e the most "playable" form of Exalted. It's got a lot of problems but it's still semi-functional and with some work it can be a good bit of fun. 2nd edition turned me off almost from the word go with its tick-based combat system and it ultimately didn't address the real problems of 1st edition.

Now, I'll preface this by saying I haven't bought or read 3rd edition because I just don't have the spare money to plonk down on a game that I'm unlikely to use. However, from reading about it the combat mechanic still seems quite complicated and the setting has lost some of its appeal with the sheer proliferation of Exalted-types. You don't need that many Exalted!!

Anyway, I will say that there is a concept I've read about in 3rd edition which I like in theory, even if I don't have much faith in the practice. The idea is to set up an opponent for a big "finishing move" attack by hitting them with weaker "withering" attacks to build up advantage, then top it off with an actually damaging attack that blasts them into next week.

Now, that's a concept I quite like. In addition to serving as a satisfying way to regulate the flow of combat but it's also a good way to imitate the "source material" of anime or video games where you build up to big final blows. These are also the inspirations for BAKFDG and so I'm interested in this concept as well.

So the question is, how do I adapt it? Here's the current shape of it in my mind. These rules are quite crude and are still subject to extensive modification or complete dismissal.

Momentum: When making an attack you can choose to go for a Damaging Attack or a Momentum Building Attack (think of a better name for this). Damaging Attacks are resolved normally (roll off, if attacker wins they inflict 1 damage, +1 damage per 5 points by which you beat your opponent). Momentum Building Attacks won't inflict damage, instead they give you Momentum Dice, one die per point by which you beat your opponent's roll. Momentum Building Attacks also do not have to be physical assaults, you can use them to put your opponent off balance, give yourself an advantage, smack talk them or otherwise show off.

possible rule: Taking Damage also gives you Momentum Dice, 1 die per point of damage you take. Possibly the option to convert Energy into Momentum. 

Momentum Dice are d6's and when you make a Damaging Attack you can choose to unleash your Momentum (think of a cool name for this), rolling all of your momentum dice (all or nothing, you can't divvy them up) and add them to your roll result to get your final total. Of course, you can choose to use Powers as well.

Momentum Dice go away at the end of a Scene if they aren't used.


Example:

 Let's take an example scenario, for simplicity's sake we're going with limited Traits and we'll ignore Powers.

*Sarah, with the Traits of Boxing [d10], Fast On Her Feet [d8], Perceptive [d8]
Vs.
*Giant Rock Guy with the Traits of Made of Rocks [d10], Smashing Stuff [d8] and Big And Scary [d8]

Round 1:

Sarah wants to build Momentum, she could just throw some jabs but that'll be opposed by Giant Rock Guy's "Made Of Rocks" Trait which is an even fight. Instead she'll use Fast On Her Feet to play matador a bit and Giant Rock Guy has no relevant Traits in that area. 

 Sarah rolls and gets a 6, GRG rolls and gets a 5. Sarah gets one Momentum Die.

GRG tries to smash Sarah.

GRG rolls and gets a 6, Sarah rolls and gets a 3. She takes 1 Damage.

Round 2:

Sarah still wants more momentum and so she performs some more acrobatics, leaping on top of GRG's back while he rages about.

Sarah rolls and gets a 5, GRG rolls and gets a 9. No momentum for her.

GRG tries to smash Sarah

GRG rolls and gets a 5, Sarah rolls and also gets a 5, no damage.

Round 3:

Rinse and repeat:

Sarah rolls 10 and GRG gets a 6. That gives her 4 Momentum for a total of 5.

GRG rolls and gets a 14, sarah rolls and gets a 5. That's 2 more damage, Sarah's taken a total of 3.

 Round 4:

 Sarah's going for one more round of momentum building. She gets a 7, GRG gets a 3, Sarah's momentum is now 9. If this was a video game her "limit break" bar would be flashing.

GRG rolls a 7 and Sarah rolls a 5. That's 4 damage for Sarah now.

Round 5:

Sarah goes for the kill, rolling 2d10 (keep the highest) plus her momentum +9d6! vs the GRG's 2d10 (keep the highest). Lots and lots of rolling gets a total of 45!! GRG rolls and gets a 5. That's a full 9 damage, easily blowing him apart.


So, that example teaches me a few things, but I'm not sure what. One thing I think I may want to do is rule that any Momentum Building Attack will always generate at least 1 point of Momentum, because otherwise you could end up wasting a lot of dice.

Still not sure if this mechanic is going to go anywhere or not, but if you recall from one of my previous posts that I designed Badass Kung-Fu Demigods to incorporate rules I like and one of the things I liked, but couldn't really include was rolling big handfuls of dice, so the possibility of  successfully including them in an interesting and appropriate way is very appealing to me.

I'll keep you updated.


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