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Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






What RPG do you think has the best combat system and why?

Just curious what people think, I don't have a preference at this time..

 
   
Made in us
Posts with Authority





I don't know about the best but I can tell you the worst-

White Wolf anything.

As far as 'good' goes? Eh, I kinda liked the system from the 40k RPG's. But D&D 5e is a lot easier to handle.

"I am capable of acknowledging the cunning of the Xenos. I was amused to discover that an Aeldari weapon classification directly translates to 'Mandiblasters'. That is quite clever, that translation." -Acanthophis Serne, "Death Adders" Chapter, seconded to Deathwatch Fortress 'Dacia'. 
   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






The Unisystem is pretty good.

The core mechanic of the unisystem is 1d10 + stat (a range from 1-6 with 2 being the human average and 5 being the practical human limit - 6 being the actual human limit) + skill (7 being considered mastery but can still be raise further).

a 9-10 is 1 success. 11-12 is 2. 13-14 is 3 etc etc...


Then there are a number of "combat maneuvers" that might modify your roll for effects.

A basic swing of a sword would be dex + sword skill. Dodge would be dex + dodge or acrobatics. Parry dex + sword or shield.

# of successes is all that matters and ties go to the defender.

Players get a free offensive action and defensive action each turn. Each additional action is a cumulative -2


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I am genuinely pretty happy with Dungeons and Dragons 5e.
White Wolf systems never really did it for me.
7th Sea is a lot of fun, but the combat system is not much different from the general resolution mechanic so I doubt it really counts.
GURPs is a bit of a slow moving mess at times, and very swingy.
Kult has a combat system so deadly you never, ever wanna get in a fight.
The 40K RPGs were a bit ludicrous in how they worked and not really very fun for players, generally not providing much to do other than shoot your best gun and hope you didn't die.
In Nomine is similar to White Wolf, lots of complication for a result that feels like it is representing the game world but is not big on tactical depth.
I played some superhero RPG that worked similarly.
FATE is garbage, the system relies far too heavily on GM fiat to balance out it's crappy parts.

Trying to think of what else I have played, but no other systems sticking out for me. Big Eyes, Small Mouth was fun because you had to call out the names of all your powers every time, I guess?

   
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Posts with Authority





 Da Boss wrote:
The 40K RPGs were a bit ludicrous in how they worked and not really very fun for players, generally not providing much to do other than shoot your best gun and hope you didn't die.


The problem was that most people were accustomed to D&D's combat system which amounted to "I go over there and hit that guy with my sword". The 40k RPG's required you to actually have competent GM, but a lot of fiat wasn't required- you just had to do more than declare you were gonna shoot.

You took cover, and used that cover to stabilize your aim. And you leveraged every advantage you had to get a better chance of success. You fluffed out your action- "I'm going to drop behind that fallen pillar, and then while kneeling in a stable position, use that pillar to brace my aim- focusing center mass on that heretic." Also, a lot of people waded into Dark Heresy thinking that just because you find the heresy, doesn't mean you just gotta go in there and kill it right off the bat. FFS, go round up some local enforcers or something.

The game DID put a lot more on the GM. Missions weren't laid out in full, with every possible exploit and shortcut explained and highlighted on a little map of how the room specifically had to be arranged. If your GM wasn't experienced and able to think on the fly- then it wasn't very fun to play.

"I am capable of acknowledging the cunning of the Xenos. I was amused to discover that an Aeldari weapon classification directly translates to 'Mandiblasters'. That is quite clever, that translation." -Acanthophis Serne, "Death Adders" Chapter, seconded to Deathwatch Fortress 'Dacia'. 
   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






I guess there is a line of smooth and simple, then detailed plus fun.. It does depend on what the GM can handle...

I agree that 5th edition does have the easy to learn and easy to teach angle..

But I am interested in the other systems that give a cinematic feel also..

 
   
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Highlord of Terra






Adrift within the vortex of my imagination.

I like 5e, but my go to is a d100 system, though more Chaosium than Iron Crown.

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Made in gb
Soul Token




West Yorkshire, England

Savage Worlds hits the right spot for me. There's a decent set of options (either basic moves that everyone can do, or special capabilities granted by purchased abilities or powers), and it hits the balance between "fight smart" and "be flashy heroes". I especially like the system for extras, where you can have ten goons show up for a fight, and it doesn't bog down into a book-keeping nightmare. Only problem is that open-ended damage rolls can lead to people randomly getting one-shotted by weak attacks, but there are optional rules to plug in that help with that.

I've also become quite fond of Godbound, an OSR system (loosely based on early D&D editions) where you're basically playing demigods. The basic combat engine is simple, but the tactical depth comes in when you're managing your Effort (energy reserves), where you can shuffle your Effort between different abilities midfight (such as dropping an ongoing power to use a defence to negate an incoming attack) and use "miracles" to create freeform effects and attacks, within certain guidelines. It's very strategic for such a relatively simple system, lets the PC's feel like serious badasses, and allows even non-combat characters to have cool moments if they can get creative with their powers (for example, a character with the power of Fertility could throw an acorn at oncoming soldiers and cause it to grow into a tree mid-flight to create an AOE attack). I'm currently using a slightly modified version of this game to run Exalted, where it has 90% of the feel of the original with 10% of the complexity.

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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

What makes a "combat system" good in your eyes?

I like choice and engagement. A combat system that says "what if" instead of "You can".

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
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Wight Lord with the Sword of Kings






UK

 Lance845 wrote:
The Unisystem is pretty good.

The core mechanic of the unisystem is 1d10 + stat (a range from 1-6 with 2 being the human average and 5 being the practical human limit - 6 being the actual human limit) + skill (7 being considered mastery but can still be raise further).

a 9-10 is 1 success. 11-12 is 2. 13-14 is 3 etc etc...


Then there are a number of "combat maneuvers" that might modify your roll for effects.

A basic swing of a sword would be dex + sword skill. Dodge would be dex + dodge or acrobatics. Parry dex + sword or shield.

# of successes is all that matters and ties go to the defender.

Players get a free offensive action and defensive action each turn. Each additional action is a cumulative -2


PLayed alot of this system and its good with alot of variations within it for different genres and worlds. Even made a 40k port for it

Also I really enjoy D100 which has a lot of variations.

Both have the attack vs defence element so both parties are rolling - feeling involved.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I rather liked the HERO System myself. Yes, character creation is exceedingly complex, but once you're past that the gameplay itself is simpler than D20 but way more flexible in general.

I wind up playing D20 more than anything else, though. It's a perfectly usable if rather abstract and only moderately flexible system.

CHAOS! PANIC! DISORDER!
My job here is done. 
   
Made in gb
Battleship Captain




Any combat system depends on the 'feel' you're trying for.
For shootouts with pistols and rifles, I rather like Traveller.

Obviously the most fun RPG by a mile is Paranoia - though that may be primarily for the GM....

I love the new Legend of the Five Rings setting, art, and dice mechanics, but I know a lot of people are less keen.

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Made in ca
Monstrous Master Moulder






 Mr Morden wrote:
 Lance845 wrote:
The Unisystem is pretty good.

The core mechanic of the unisystem is 1d10 + stat (a range from 1-6 with 2 being the human average and 5 being the practical human limit - 6 being the actual human limit) + skill (7 being considered mastery but can still be raise further).

a 9-10 is 1 success. 11-12 is 2. 13-14 is 3 etc etc...


Then there are a number of "combat maneuvers" that might modify your roll for effects.

A basic swing of a sword would be dex + sword skill. Dodge would be dex + dodge or acrobatics. Parry dex + sword or shield.

# of successes is all that matters and ties go to the defender.

Players get a free offensive action and defensive action each turn. Each additional action is a cumulative -2


PLayed alot of this system and its good with alot of variations within it for different genres and worlds. Even made a 40k port for it

Also I really enjoy D100 which has a lot of variations.

Both have the attack vs defence element so both parties are rolling - feeling involved.


That was a fun system. Played a lot of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, and I recall the ludicrous gun damage. It kept the encounters quick, but made it a nightmare to make non-zombified monsters a threat.

On a side note... you don’t suppose that 40k port is somewhere on the interwebs, do you?

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Made in us
Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult







Every edition of D&D has felt burdened by wasted potential. It's so easy to use magic to just skip fights that the actual mechanics of fighting never really come up, and it takes a very rare GM to use the system to create any kind of tactical challenge instead of an endless parade of damage sponges.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





I quite like the IKRPG personally, mostly because Warmachine has a solid combat engine and its more of that. It's not the most narratively interesting system I've played though if your more the "critical failure" kind of group.
   
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Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps




 LunarSol wrote:
I quite like the IKRPG personally, mostly because Warmachine has a solid combat engine and its more of that. It's not the most narratively interesting system I've played though if your more the "critical failure" kind of group.


Ouch. I find that system really bad for an RPG. Common threats should splatter PCs across the landscape with no trouble.
Anything with a boost (or pseudo-boost) is a potential TPK (let alone things that get boosts and additional dice), and getting DEF/ARM up to the point of merely average is really hard in the character creation system. Most characters have to give up a lot in other areas to get DEF up, and that's fairly easy to counter unless they went hunting for anti-knockdown abilities.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Combat Jumping Ragik






Beyond the Beltway

 AnomanderRake wrote:
Every edition of D&D has felt burdened by wasted potential. It's so easy to use magic to just skip fights that the actual mechanics of fighting never really come up, and it takes a very rare GM to use the system to create any kind of tactical challenge instead of an endless parade of damage sponges.
The game was never intended to present tactical melee combat challenges. It was a game of exploration/treasure hunting which led to domain management, and large scale combat ( under the chainmail rules). Complaining that D&D cannot create tactical challenges is like complaining that a ballpeen hammer won't drive philips head screws. Those idiots who screwed around with the XPTS system to make only combat give XPTS clearly had no clue about the game.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/03/28 01:41:25


 
   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






 Red Harvest wrote:
 AnomanderRake wrote:
Every edition of D&D has felt burdened by wasted potential. It's so easy to use magic to just skip fights that the actual mechanics of fighting never really come up, and it takes a very rare GM to use the system to create any kind of tactical challenge instead of an endless parade of damage sponges.
The game was never intended to present tactical melee combat challenges. It was a game of exploration/treasure hunting which led to domain management, and large scale combat ( under the chainmail rules). Complaining that D&D cannot create tactical challenges is like complaining that a ballpeen hammer won't drive philips head screws. Those idiots who screwed around with the XPTS system to make only combat give XPTS clearly had no clue about the game.


That was true in classic and adnd to an extent. 3rd 4th and 5th dont have that excuse. It doesnt matter what it was it matters what it IS. And what dnd is is about individuals in dungeon crawls having tactical combat encounters. It should be built to handle that with fun and depth.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
 
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






Probably an unpopular opinion...but I vastly prefer a loose and narrative driven RPG. Something like Dungeon World is miles and miles more interesting than a "boardgame" RPG like D&D. If I'm going to use limited/crunchy mechanics I'll just play an actual boardgame or wargame.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING ruins a role-playing game for me than minutia getting in the way of great story-telling. To me an RPG is the GM+players creating a blockbuster movie you've never seen. D&D infuriates me when I ask to do something, and the GM simply says "well there aren't rules for that..." or worse "That doesn't matter or have an impact in D&D...", etc. Or in a moment of great potential...you're one "space" away from saving the day, etc...but not in a thematic fashion. Now I'm not endorsing abusing a rules-lite style of game...the GM should keep everything within reason, but GMs or players who stick rigidly to an overly crunchy rulebook can really minimize the fun.

So a simple system, with easy modifiers more based around "rule of cool". The one caveat is that it requires more mature players, or a GM willing to squash meta-gamers. Also this makes for more curious random games with strangers - an issue with any game, role-playing or not.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/29 17:25:13


 
   
Made in nz
Annoyed Blood Angel Devastator






 Adeptus Doritos wrote:
 Da Boss wrote:
The 40K RPGs were a bit ludicrous in how they worked and not really very fun for players, generally not providing much to do other than shoot your best gun and hope you didn't die.


The problem was that most people were accustomed to D&D's combat system which amounted to "I go over there and hit that guy with my sword". The 40k RPG's required you to actually have competent GM, but a lot of fiat wasn't required- you just had to do more than declare you were gonna shoot.

You took cover, and used that cover to stabilize your aim. And you leveraged every advantage you had to get a better chance of success. You fluffed out your action- "I'm going to drop behind that fallen pillar, and then while kneeling in a stable position, use that pillar to brace my aim- focusing center mass on that heretic." Also, a lot of people waded into Dark Heresy thinking that just because you find the heresy, doesn't mean you just gotta go in there and kill ht off the bat. FFS, go round up some local enforcers or something.

The game DID put a lot more on the GM. Missions weren't laid out in full, with every possible exploit and shortcut explained and highlighted on a little map of how the room specifically had to be arranged. If your GM wasn't experienced and able to think on the fly- then it wasn't very fun to play.


I agree, one thing I love about DH and RT etc system as it really encourages planning and tactics! In both my Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy campaigns my players when they use tactics and critical thinking they can overcome scenarios that seem impossible almost regardless of the quality of weaponry, one example was during the Tattered Fates scenario my PCs and an NPC managed to kill an Ogryn with nothing but crappy shotguns with no casualties and have taken out hordes of enemies with ambushes, crossfires and hit and run tactics. That's why it's one of my favourite combat systems, I think the d100 systems allow for more nuance to combat over d20s due to, maybe I don't know, the wider variety of options for bonuses and negatives etc. That's another reason why I loved the combat system of Anima, it's complex and almost every roll is opposed so degrees so maths, which I suck at, but I love how dynamic it felt and I loved how the initiative was re-rolled every turn and that if you out roll your enemy by a lot of degrees in initiative you gain surprise (which I exploited to hell and back with my character) Also, on the opposite end Traveller had a pretty cool combat system, mostly because it was so simple.

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Krazed Killa Kan




Monarchy of TBD

If you want combat to be the focus, then you have to go all in on it. Streetfighter the STG, from the 90s, is a Whitewolf game with a meticulously, lovingly crafted combat system for punching each other in the face.
And here it is for free!
http://sfrpg.com/wp-content/uploads/Street-Fighter-TSG-20th-Anniversary.pdf

Though I would suggest ignoring the combat cards aspect, and just calling out your speed.

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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





It completely depends on what atmosphere you're going for, and what level of immersion and mastery you can expect from your players. Combat options are only relevant if the players are interested in engaging at that level of detail, and have the system knowledge to make usable decisions.

For instance, a super-realistic melee combat system, with options for types of guard position, offensive and defensive phases of a combat round, party and recovery and riposte and so on... Requires players who want to constrain themselves to realistic combat (as opposed to jumping into the air swinging a battle axe overhead), and who want to immerse themselves in enough information about the system to make useful decisions within it. The game will fall apart when cartoon-barbarian guy gets bored with all the extra rules and dice rolls stand between him and "being awesome."

So I like systems that enhance the game you're playing. For instance, combat in Call of Cthulhu (BRP) tends to be simple and lethal, especially at short range. It's very good for the investigation/horror game where you have a lot of slow buildui, then a sudden brief explosion of combat that leaves people dying on the floor after a few dice rolls. It's not going to reward Johnny Gun-Guy who wants to have advanced tactical combat with his modded out AR-15 at long range, and it doesn't need to.

Marvel Heroic Role-play is a very interesting dice pool system using tagged traits rather than highly specific powers. It's good at comic book combat, in which Spider Man tends to be as strong as the scene calls for, rather than "he's strength rating 22." And it uses a system of rapidly accumulating and spending power-points, which as made to encourage in-character stunts, interaction, and self-imposed disadvantages to set the team up for a big follow-up move. Rather than tracking how many web-fluid cartridges he has on his character sheet, Spider-Man just has the ability to declare "oh no, I'm out of webbing" to game power points for a different stunt. The rules encourage theme, and the mechanics are relevant to the level of abstraction that the game flows best on.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I'd either go for the very simple and freeform style from Vampire the Masquerade from White Wolf where there aren't many rules and good players & GMs will use this to construct an excting story

or

Rolemaster with it's endless complexity, exploding dice and critical hits tables, far more prescriptive, but it does let you do pretty much whatever you can imagine, with lots and lots of dice rolling

 
   
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Loyal Necron Lychguard




Lisbon, Portugal

Savage Worlds, Cortex, The Riddle of Steel and D&D 4e (although using MM 1 monsters will make the combat become a slog) for me.

AI & BFG:
40k:
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Maine

Some fun and interesting systems from the past include Feng Shui, a RPG based off the Shadowfist CCG.
It was a simple 2D6 system that encouraged creative fights and included concepts like mook bowling and a damage bonus to shotguns if you made the "Ka-Chunk" sound of racking the slide.

Flashing Blades, I like to call it the Dumas RPG, inspired by the three musketeers. It was a D20 system that had a fencing/fighting style system with it. An easy

Millenniums end by Chameleon Eclectic. The most amazing shooting combat system using D100 and a clear overlay that you placed on your target to determine hit locations.


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Scheming Archon





Between the sacred silence and sleep.

I'd go for Savage Worlds for pulpy exciting combat, D&D 4e for tactical options (using MM2 onwards, as previoulsy mentioned), or Conan 2d20 for interesting decisions and cooperation.

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 Mr Morden wrote:
 Lance845 wrote:
The Unisystem is pretty good.

The core mechanic of the unisystem is 1d10 + stat (a range from 1-6 with 2 being the human average and 5 being the practical human limit - 6 being the actual human limit) + skill (7 being considered mastery but can still be raise further).

a 9-10 is 1 success. 11-12 is 2. 13-14 is 3 etc etc...


Then there are a number of "combat maneuvers" that might modify your roll for effects.

A basic swing of a sword would be dex + sword skill. Dodge would be dex + dodge or acrobatics. Parry dex + sword or shield.

# of successes is all that matters and ties go to the defender.

Players get a free offensive action and defensive action each turn. Each additional action is a cumulative -2


PLayed alot of this system and its good with alot of variations within it for different genres and worlds. Even made a 40k port for it

Also I really enjoy D100 which has a lot of variations.

Both have the attack vs defence element so both parties are rolling - feeling involved.


I think my opinion of D100 systems is colored by the fact that I used to play Call of Cthulhu with a really brutal GM.

"Well my character is a sportsman, and the party's got one shotgun. I've got the best stat in it, let's see, a....

....thirty-five percent chance to successfully use the shotgun. Huh."

GM: "And four bullets!"
   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






For me, there’s no one answer.

I didn’t really get on with AD&D 2nd Ed, as I really didn’t comprehend THACO. I get it’s simplicity as it’s just a single D20 role, but I didn’t find it immersive, or encouraging of impressive description.

But overall, I quite enjoyed Old World of Darkness, where it took different combinations of skills, without needing a great deal of mental arithmetic. My opinion is probably helped by the GM awarding Stunt Dice for well described attacks. The difference between ‘I stab him with my switch blade’ and ‘I try to step in under his guard, aiming my Switchblade for their diaphragm’. Relatively benign example, but hopefully it gets the gist without exaggeration.

Yet, FFG’s WHFB had that interesting Stance mechanic. Essentially, the more mental you went in combat, the harder it was to de-escalate things.

When tied into character classes, with some being nuttier than others (oh hai Mr Slayer!), it just added that extra RP immersion. Florri Frotherson could just go from ramming his axe with passion to ‘OK, best settle down now’.

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Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult







I find this a weird question, because things that are good at being RPGs tend to be bad at having a combat system. I really like World of Darkness as an RPG but its combat is cursory at best, Pathfinder is a great tactical wargame but requires so much system expertise to get anything done that it often dissolves into rules arguments rather than letting anyone do any roleplaying.

Balanced Game: Noun. A game in which all options and choices are worth using. 
   
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Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






That’s the burden of the GM, I guess?

I mean, no system is perfect. And when you’ve a story to tell, it’s for you to set the frame work.

In fact, I do wonder how much of a persons opinion of a given system depends upon the GM/DM/Story Teller?

We all have our preferences, and one man’s meat is another man’s poison

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