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PhishStyx
12-08-2007, 03:07 AM
After much hearing of how easy this game or that is or cinematic it is, I've decided to ask a poll of P&PG members.

How long should a 10-minute (in game) combat for a group of 5 take using your favorite game system? And please both vote in the poll and post your answer with the name of the game you're representing.

Olothfaern
12-08-2007, 03:44 AM
in D&D a minute is 10 rounds; so 10 minutes is 100 rounds, even if you have a rules savvy group of players it'll still take at least a minute to adjudicate everyone's actions for the round so that's about 100 minutes or a solid 90 (which is what I voted for)

rabkala
12-08-2007, 12:13 PM
It is rather unusual to have a combat run 10 minutes of game time in most cases. It all kind of depends...
The last couple that have run that long, were in D&D. A couple weeks ago in my Wednesday group, one ran for about 15 minutes of in game time and took a little over an hour to resolve. There are 5 players and all but one has a henchman or follower. There was a lot of magical effects and poison which kept over half the people paralyzed or otherwise out of commission through the combat.
I remember one that lasted about 10 minutes of game time a couple months ago in my Sunday group. It involved mostly grappling and stymied the 4 players for a long time. That took a little less than an hour.
I have had similar fights in the past take several hours to finish, like a very long battle with a dragon and his minions, where everyone was afraid they would lose their character. Every round they agonized over what to do to stay alive. I think it lasted nearly 4 hours of real time, but I think it was only about 12 minutes of in game time.
I once had a combat that lasted hours of game time taken care of in about 45 minutes. There were several flying creatures with weak spell-like abilities that they could use every couple rounds. They picked at the group from long range while they tried to get from one place to another. The party had nearly no response for a long time. It wasn't very lethal, but began to take a heavy toll. They did finally take care of the pests with a little creative thinking. It is not good to walk around with no ranged weapons and a mage that is built for touch attacks.

Farcaster
12-08-2007, 12:28 PM
The vast majority of combats in my D&D games are over within ten rounds (one minute). I have had a few notable exceptions. In fact, I remember one game that started with an intense combat situation which fell at the end of the current story arch. That combat took the entire eight hour gaming session. But, it was an incredible encounter and involved a lot more than just "do damage to the enemy until they are dead". No one was bored, that much is certain. In game time was probably somewhere around ten minutes... I don't really recall the exact length.

So, I'd vote more than three hours. But, that would be a very atypical combat to last for so long.

Digital Arcanist
12-08-2007, 02:12 PM
I'm pretty strict as a GM when it comes to knowing what you are going to do when your turn comes around so combat moves quickly in D&D. As a player I know what I'm going to do when its my turn and I make a point of knowing what my spells can do ahead of time to minimize any research.

In Champs, combat take about 15 minutes because of the number crunching and the counting of pips. If you play with players that have a solid math skills set then I can cut combat down a couple minutes. Its the people who need to add using a pen and pad or their fingers that draw combat out.

Drohem
12-08-2007, 02:12 PM
Right now my group games using the d20 system (D&D and Modern) over Skype. Role-playing over skype changes the dynamic from across the table playing, and, consequently, the length of time for combat. This is mostly due cutting and pasting of dice roller results and typing text of actions.

Also, we are currently playing our own joint Weird War II Supers campaign using d20 Deeds Not Words. Supers combat takes longer than normal fantasy or modern combats due to addition of super powers and rules adjudication of powers and effects.

So, I voted for an hour or more.

ronpyatt
12-08-2007, 05:01 PM
Truth & Justice (PDQ), Fudge, Wushu, and Risus allow for as much or as little time to pass for combat as dictated by the scene.
10 Minutes game time combat has taken about 10 Minutes or less, but it has also gone an hour.

Also, I had a DM that synchronized game combat time to real time. He did it without letting us know right off the bat. We figured it out. It was frantic, but it was great change of pace. In D&D of all things! Though, to be fair, we did miss out on a lot of our turns.

fmitchell
12-08-2007, 07:38 PM
Truth & Justice (PDQ), Fudge, Wushu, and Risus allow for as much or as little time to pass for combat as dictated by the scene.
10 Minutes game time combat has taken about 10 Minutes or less, but it has also gone an hour.

Maybe it's subjective, but combat in Spirit of the Century seems to take about 15 minutes or so. Then again, die-rolling and assessing results in FATE is relatively quick, and most of the rest is narration. Most of our combats have been thinking of cool stuff, then rolling dice to see whether it works or not. So maybe it actually takes an hour or two when we start a battle with the "Big Bad" and his myriad minions.

Contrast this with the last d20 game I was in, where we were essentially whacking at enemies (and being whacked at) until someone reached zero hit points.

ignimbrite
12-10-2007, 12:18 AM
it totally depends on the EL. we found that at higher level stuff a single encounter can take hours; but at level 1 a 10 round encounter can take as little as 10 mins.
Our Dragotha, the dracolich, encounter lasted about 3 hours, but that was partly because the group had to retreat for a few game rounds to heal up and then there was all the discussion on tactics which really dragged stuff out, but they were having fun so no biggie.

InfoStorm
12-10-2007, 09:43 AM
In my favorite system, Alternity, I find that about all of my encounters take about 30 minutes or so, but that it mostly due to their initiative method. However, on the bright side, it also rarely ever takes any longer either, so I find it balances out. Most of the delay is players figuring out what they are going to do, and not the mechanics.

In D&D, I find the duration of the encounter scales up with the level of the characters. At 20 minutes fight at 5th level takes 60 minutes at 10th. Again, most of the delay is people going, "What am I going to do?" with the more experienced players taking less time.

Inquisitor Tremayne
12-10-2007, 11:52 AM
In Star Wars:

In the Revised edition a challenging encounter took an hour +.

In Saga I have found a challenging encounter to take 15 to 30 minuets.

The major difference is that combat in Saga is much simpler to run than in the Revised edition. Revised is basically D&D 3.5 but Star Wars. So you have all the intricacies of all the rules to contend with as opposed to Saga where the majority of those intricacies have been eliminated.

All this equals a quicker paced combat that equals more cinematic.

You can draw out combats in Saga by having each PC attempting to over come their own individual obstacle. Much like in Return of the Jedi when Luke rescues Han from Jabba. Luke fights off Thugs, Han rescues Lando, Chewie assists Han, Leia takes out Jabba, R2 saves 3-PO.

Fun times!

Moritz
12-10-2007, 12:33 PM
This is the number one reason I no longer play Champions/HERO system. One battle, 4 hours of my life I'll never get back.

Saturday Night, we played D&D. We played from about 6pm till 10pm and had around 8 combat situations. The rest of the time they were dividing treasure, visiting with Myconids, avoiding being stepped on by tame Bullettes, and grave robbing.

So, if it lasts more than 15 minutes, that's probably too long for me.

Digital Arcanist
12-10-2007, 09:24 PM
Oh Mo, I'm going to have to have you come visit me or maybe go to DFW and show you what a Champs game is supposed to be like.

PhishStyx
12-10-2007, 09:31 PM
Oh Mo, I'm going to have to have you come visit me or maybe go to DFW and show you what a Champs game is supposed to be like.

I've played Hero/Champions twice, and both game sessions turned out to be exactly the same. One was run by a science (chemistry) major and the other by an electrical engineering major. Both games were literally 3 hours of me watching the GM do math. Hero isn't a game; it's a physics class in disguise. So, I say No thanks.

Digital Arcanist
12-10-2007, 10:05 PM
If your GM has to do math then he/she is unprepared for the game. It takes about 5-10 secs to resolve any action in the game.

There are tables a GM can utilize to speed up calculations or take my preferred method of using the Deluxe character sheet that takes your OCV and calculates the corresponding DCV's for all the dice rolls. Physics has nothing to do with the calculations and GM's that aren't physicists shouldn't be dabbling in forces they don't understand.

PhishStyx
12-10-2007, 10:07 PM
GM's that aren't physicists shouldn't be dabbling in forces they don't understand.

Which apparently includes the Hero RPG.

Saltonstall30
12-17-2007, 01:47 PM
After much hearing of how easy this game or that is or cinematic it is, I've decided to ask a poll of P&PG members.

How long should a 10-minute (in game) combat for a group of 5 take using your favorite game system? And please both vote in the poll and post your answer with the name of the game you're representing.
I said thirty minutes, but I have different favorite games and did not initially note the 10-minutes in game consideration. I was assuming Hero, but a 10 minute in game battle in Hero is ridiculously rare. A battle that takes 10 in game minutes in Hero, if it happens at all, is a TPK as players refuse to flee or fail to get away. My other favorite game is Call of Cthulhu, where combat is very quick, but again there is pretty much no such thing as a 10 minute in game combat, except possibly for two groups tentatively exchanging occasional gunfire from cover at a considerable distance . . .

nijineko
02-02-2008, 03:24 AM
i voted for an hour. this is a guesstimate based on taking how long our combats usually last, and doing the math. in game time i think our record combat is three rounds. that's because the challenging encouter conisted of the party rolling crits and the dm rolling some ones. it would have been challenging... except for the dice. ^^ and my thri-kreen dervish weilding 4 scimitars of ginsu mastery. can we say, 'hasted dervish dance,' everyone?

our typical combat is about 10-15 rounds. and that's pushing it. however. that doesn't show the other side of it. we are typically hiding in a rope trick or other means of concealment and we send out our rouge to scout with him being buffed up as much as possible. once he gets back, we plan our assults-commando style.

so a good chunk of the hours of play consists of us sneaking around and gathering information, then making plans, and then finally doing a series of lightning strikes. sometimes we'll even wait a day (whenever possible) so that we can tweak the spell loadouts for our expected tasks. heward's bedrolls=our friend.

TAROT
02-02-2008, 05:16 PM
I voted 30 minutes. I would have voted 45 minutes if the option had been available. That's about as long as I'd like any scene, combat or otherwise to take.

A combat that lasted 10 minutes of in game time would likely involve a chase or some such in addition to the fighty stuff.

nijineko
02-03-2008, 01:14 AM
hmmm, looking around (outside of the direct arc of fire) is a move action, as our dm enforces, so we frequently have sub-optimal choices for our characters in combat. the thri-kreen dervish and the gnomish giant slayer have a constant friendly ongoing arguement about who's turn it was to slay the last giant.

this looking around being a move action sometimes lengthens our combat time, as we move about inefficently after the targets we can see, rather than spend a possibly precious move action updating on everything around us.

mrken
03-11-2008, 02:58 PM
My vote was for 30 minutes, which more often than not is correct, however, we have finished combat in less and at times as much as an hour. Generally I plan four combat encounters for a four to eight hour game. The players have learned that some monsters are better to avoid and some situations are better to think their way out of. Funny how having a few fellow player characters die in front of them will do that. (insert evil laughter)

tesral
03-11-2008, 04:26 PM
Saturday I had a 17th level Magician go down in two rounds. Good planing and a suprise round on the BBEG and it was all over.

Slam the door open, hold, hold, feeblemind and tingling limb. The holds failed, the TL is a ranged touch and the feeblemind worked. They grappled and tied him up.

cplmac
03-12-2008, 01:27 PM
In D&D, I voted for the 90 minutes because of the time that players are using to decide what their character is going to do.

nijineko
03-14-2008, 01:38 AM
ah, quite so. actually planning time-takes forever. actual combat time once we've decided what we're going to do, maybe 30 mins. ^^

StarLady98
05-20-2008, 11:43 PM
I'm thinking in tabletop game terms when I replied to the poll, mostly DnD. LARP I remember taking FOREVER. It seems to depend if you have that one guy who wants to pull Matrix-like manuevers and argue with the GM over every inch of movement. Some combat scenes would last the entire 4 hour session and it was basically 10 minutes worth of action. I took a blanket to one LARP and they had to wake me up for my turn in combat.

tesral
05-21-2008, 09:43 AM
I'm thinking in tabletop game terms when I replied to the poll, mostly DnD. LARP I remember taking FOREVER. It seems to depend if you have that one guy who wants to pull Matrix-like manuevers and argue with the GM over every inch of movement. Some combat scenes would last the entire 4 hour session and it was basically 10 minutes worth of action. I took a blanket to one LARP and they had to wake me up for my turn in combat.

Too much. The reason I don't like combat feats and AoO. It makes combat last for freaking EVER. I prefer combat quick and minimalistic. Save the realism for the simulations. I know what realistic combat should look like and D&D is not it. Accept that and enjoy the game.

cplmac
05-21-2008, 05:51 PM
Too much. The reason I don't like combat feats and AoO. It makes combat last for freaking EVER. I prefer combat quick and minimalistic. Save the realism for the simulations. I know what realistic combat should look like and D&D is not it. Accept that and enjoy the game.


I agree that combat shouldn't take forever, but there have been the few occaisions that it has taken longer than I had hoped.

When you speak of realistic combat, are you talking about combat in the present time or some long ago age?

tesral
05-21-2008, 09:32 PM
I agree that combat shouldn't take forever, but there have been the few occaisions that it has taken longer than I had hoped.

When you speak of realistic combat, are you talking about combat in the present time or some long ago age?

Time appropriate. If you are playing the Battle of Hastings a simulation will simulate hacking people apart with swords and axes. If WWII the effect of bullets. "Realistic" means as close to the real thing as possible without shedding real blood.

Thunderbolt is a good example of realistic combat. The game is WWII air combat. Dave has done such a good job on his game that if you know nothing about the game, and simply follow good flying tactics, you will win. His hit tables render damage that is uncannily like the after action reports of the bombers over Germany.

No, a miniatures war game is not a D&D session. I expect it will be combat from start to finish. But that is what I play war games for. D&D combat is not even close to a simulation. It is designed to frankly keep the PCs alive. However being that I am not playing D&D for a combat simulation, I don't let it worry me.

Likewise Pirates of the Spanish Main has the ships behaving like motorboats. For a sailing simulation Wooden Ships & Iron Men is much better, but "pirates" can be played in an hour or so, beer and pretzels gaming, WS&IM is anything but.

agoraderek
05-22-2008, 09:44 PM
i use a "panic" rule when i DM. i'll let players diddle-daddle the first round, but after that, if you dont know what you want to do, your character doesnt, and he's "panicked". people freeze in combat irl, so why not in d&d? it definitely makes combats go faster.

i do make exceptions for people just learning to play, of course, but anyone claiming to be an "experienced" gamer gets no mercy.

example in the fouth round of combat:

me: maxitolius, the shaman charges you, shouting a battle cry in orcish, his battle axe held high...

max: uh...um...ah...i...um (lots of character sheet rustling...)

me: ok, jaques, maxitolius freezes, you are unengaged, adjacent to max, and see the shaman charging...

tesral
05-22-2008, 10:36 PM
i use a "panic" rule when i DM. i'll let players diddle-daddle the first round, but after that, if you dont know what you want to do, your character doesnt, and he's "panicked". people freeze in combat irl, so why not in d&d? it definitely makes combats go faster.

i do make exceptions for people just learning to play, of course, but anyone claiming to be an "experienced" gamer gets no mercy.


Ayup. I've used that will continue to use it. Know your character.

agoraderek
05-22-2008, 11:03 PM
Ayup. I've used that will continue to use it. Know your character.

you know, you're making it even harder to resist moving to michigan...:laugh:

StarLady98
05-25-2008, 12:52 PM
i use a "panic" rule when i DM. i'll let players diddle-daddle the first round, but after that, if you dont know what you want to do, your character doesnt, and he's "panicked". people freeze in combat irl, so why not in d&d? it definitely makes combats go faster.


I like that rule! Considering how long it can take to go around, roll initative and find out everyone's action, you ought to know what you are doing by then. I think I am going to have to adopt that rule.

agoraderek
05-25-2008, 04:06 PM
I like that rule! Considering how long it can take to go around, roll initative and find out everyone's action, you ought to know what you are doing by then. I think I am going to have to adopt that rule.

thanks! it really does make things go faster, and it encourages the players to take the time to get to know their character's abilities and limitations better.

Inquisitor Tremayne
05-26-2008, 10:20 AM
i use a "panic" rule when i DM. i'll let players diddle-daddle the first round, but after that, if you dont know what you want to do, your character doesnt, and he's "panicked". people freeze in combat irl, so why not in d&d? it definitely makes combats go faster.

I am considering using a minute sand timer thingy and when it is a players turn it gets flipped and they have 1 minute to declare their actions.

Same for the GM as well.

There is also a new variant rule in SW Saga edition called:

Variant Rule: Free Actions Aren't Free: Each round, a character can perform a number of free actions equal to 1 plus his Charisma modifier or Intelligence modifier (whichever is more), with a minimum of one free action allowed each round. This encourages characters with a higher Charisma or Intelligence -- the leaders and planners -- to coordinate the group even when they don't have any talents that can come into play. Conversely, it encourages the heavy-hitters to "shut up and shoot" instead of trying to over-plan their actions, thereby keeping the tempo of the fight moving along.

I will be using that as well.

Webhead
05-29-2008, 09:23 AM
In any RPG I have ever played, it is rare that a combat will exceed about 10 rounds or so, and next to unheard of for a combat to exceed 15 rounds.

In Star Wars D6, considering multiple actions and such, it probably takes an average of 1 minute per player to declare, roll, and resolve. So 5 players means it would take roughly 5 minutes per round. Let's aim high and say that an average combat will take 13 rounds. This translates to about 65 mintues of play. If, however, the combat is pretty straightforward or the players aren't taking multiple actions, that time would probably be cut in half, taking 30 seconds per player per round, or 32 minutes. Since most combats fall somewhere inbetween the two, I would say, in theory, that we would spend about 49 minutes to resolve a significant combat encounter. These are some rather liberal estimates as my actual experience with Star Wars D6 combat tells me that these numbers are high. I think in reality, our combats probably last about 30 minutes.

I have great fondness for a number of "rules-lite" RPGs that take a much looser approach to the flow of "game time" in combat. Risus, Wushu, FATE...all stress that the amount of time for a given action is "as much or as little time as is appropriate for the scene and action description". Thus, if one character just wants to aim a gun and shoot someone, that can take 1 second or even less of "game time". But if the character wants to do a backflip off of a nearby table, land on an enemy's shoulders, use the momentum to fling him against the wall and finish with a low sweeping kick to knock two other goons to the floor, that will take as many seconds as seems necessary given the circumstances of the scene and the description by the player.

d20 combats (other than what I've experienced thus far of Star Wars Saga) generally take too long for my tastes. Most significant combat encounters I've been in take a minimum of 2 hours and more often 3 to 4 hours to resolve. If D&D 4e cleans up combat the way Star Wars Saga seems to, I think the game will definately benefit from it.

victim666
06-01-2008, 07:37 AM
I play D&D and an average combat for 5 people should last between 30-45 min. Of coarse archenemy battles usually take up an entire session of 5-8 hours :)

StarLady98
06-02-2008, 08:30 PM
I play D&D and an average combat for 5 people should last between 30-45 min. Of coarse archenemy battles usually take up an entire session of 5-8 hours :)

So for archenemy battles, is that actual combat time, or do we have dramatic threats, evil laughter, and divulging of evil plans in there as well? Let's face it, explaining how you plan to destroy the world is good for an hour's worth of talking.

victim666
06-03-2008, 06:08 AM
Usually there is the initial contact with the Archenemy where there is lots of evil laughter and threats.
Then he will throw some minions at us then retreat,*with evil laughter*.

After that we get caught in a crazy trap that takes forever to get out of while still fighting more minions while the Enemy taunts us from a distance.

When we finally catch up to the baddie we are pretty banged up so it comes down to alot of strategy instead of brute strength to try and get the upper hand.

My brother had a fail safe tactic for these situations though. Sneak up behind the enemy,throw the Enemys own cloak over his head, then commence beating the guy over the head with his helmet.:lol:

The most deadly move in D&D:)

And to answer your question: Yes, the entire time is actual combat.

tesral
06-03-2008, 09:56 AM
My brother had a fail safe tactic for these situations though. Sneak up behind the enemy,throw the Enemys own cloak over his head, then commence beating the guy over the head with his helmet.:lol:

The most deadly move in D&D:)

I believe the Evil Overload List addresses the matter of capes. While useful for dramatic moments, they should be avoided for exactly this kind of thing.

Cloak of drama; black with a red lining. It billows dramatically even without a breeze. +1 to bluff and intimidate checks, -1 to any stealth efforts.

nijineko
06-06-2008, 05:35 PM
So for archenemy battles, is that actual combat time, or do we have dramatic threats, evil laughter, and divulging of evil plans in there as well? Let's face it, explaining how you plan to destroy the world is good for an hour's worth of talking.

my dm uses the soliloquies rule from champions no matter what system we are playing. very super-hero-ish and lots of fun besides. i tend to use it as well, as it encourages rp with some people. basically, soliloquies take no game time. so we'll have entire conversations of bluff and threat and other propoundments in "soliloquy time". ^^ of course, that does beef up the play time considerably.


I believe the Evil Overload List addresses the matter of capes. While useful for dramatic moments, they should be avoided for exactly this kind of thing.

wait on the technology a bit more, and one could imagine holographic capes for look only. ^^

StarLady98
06-08-2008, 08:03 PM
I believe the Evil Overload List addresses the matter of capes. While useful for dramatic moments, they should be avoided for exactly this kind of thing.
Cloak of drama; black with a red lining. It billows dramatically even without a breeze. +1 to bluff and intimidate checks, -1 to any stealth efforts.

One game a mage had a nice heavy cloak out in the desert. They cast a minor ice spell under the cloak. Walking air-conditioner.

mrken
06-10-2008, 10:31 PM
One game a mage had a nice heavy cloak out in the desert. They cast a minor ice spell under the cloak. Walking air-conditioner.


Now that is the kind of inventive thinking I enjoy. :)

tesral
06-11-2008, 07:47 AM
Now that is the kind of inventive thinking I enjoy. :)

Inventive thinking in general. If the players come up with a cool solution I generally let it work because it is cool. In this case a real cool solution.

nijineko
06-13-2008, 02:21 PM
my favorite magic items are those that generate various items and or have a varity of uses-intended or not. ^^

Webhead
06-13-2008, 02:34 PM
my favorite magic items are those that generate various items and or have a varity of uses-intended or not. ^^

Many years ago in an AD&D 2e game I was running, I created and had the party acquire the Bag of Randomness. True to its name, whenever the bag was opened I would roll 1d100 to determine which of the 100 random effects would occur, from the trivial to the extraordinarily beneficial or detrimental. It was sort of my version of a Rod of Wonder and a Deck of Many Things all rolled into one. Some effects were purely for comic relief while others were more practical.

nijineko
06-13-2008, 09:21 PM
i was playing in this one campaign where we had a converted 2nd ed wildmage in an otherwise 3rd ed game. half dragon wildmage to be exact. she had a few custom spells, our favorite was "summon whatchamacallit". basically it would summon any one random thing from the equipment tables plus normal weapons and armor tables. she also had managed to increase her wildsurge chance through a wish-true disciple of chaos.

anyhow, whenever she used that spell one of two thing invariably happened, without fail. it was downright creepy. either she surged and rolled lots of fire, or she got a piece of equipment that was exactly somehow useful for what the party needed right then. every single time. facing a river? managed to get a rowboat. in a priestess house, fireball and burned it down. at least we saved the priestess.... in the tomb of horrors right before that one door with the three holes in it? she rolled a longsword-the exact thing needed to fit the lock. getting chased? rolled a bag of caltrops. on and on and on....

she finally died when her curiosity and implusiveness got the best of her. but at least she died in a fitting fashion.

tesral
06-14-2008, 01:28 AM
Many years ago in an AD&D 2e game I was running, I created and had the party acquire the Bag of Randomness. True to its name, whenever the bag was opened I would roll 1d100 to determine which of the 100 random effects would occur, from the trivial to the extraordinarily beneficial or detrimental. It was sort of my version of a Rod of Wonder and a Deck of Many Things all rolled into one. Some effects were purely for comic relief while others were more practical.

The Bag of Fish. A bag of tricks that didn't quite work as intended. The only thing you got out of it were random types and numbers of Fish. It could be useful. They delayed an opponent under a net full of Herring once. It was at least good for dinner.

nijineko
06-14-2008, 03:40 PM
i knew of one fellow who had a bag of ice cubes. the dm thought that they were giving out a useless item. but then the party started making money off of iced drinks, and they may not be marbles or caltrops, but they work pretty good for all that anyway.

tesral
06-14-2008, 03:46 PM
i knew of one fellow who had a bag of ice cubes. the dm thought that they were giving out a useless item. but then the party started making money off of iced drinks, and they may not be marbles or caltrops, but they work pretty good for all that anyway.

There is no such thing as a useless item.

nijineko
06-15-2008, 08:22 PM
absolutely! i can (and have) found a useful misuse (or use) for every item i've ever been given. =D

tesral
06-15-2008, 11:52 PM
absolutely! i can (and have) found a useful misuse (or use) for every item i've ever been given. =D

That's the spirit.

cplmac
06-16-2008, 10:28 PM
There is no such thing as a useless item.


absolutely! i can (and have) found a useful misuse (or use) for every item i've ever been given. =D


That's the spirit.


Everyone all together now..."Think outside the box."

StarLady98
06-18-2008, 05:13 PM
Everyone all together now..."Think outside the box."

Shouldn't that be "Think outside the book"?

spotlight
06-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Talk about outside the book or box, years ago I started giving extra XP for those that found unusual ways to use their spells and other objects. Why use a fireball when an illusion of a fireball might scare away the enemy WITHOUT damaging the things they drop in their haste.

Of course, that is just a minor example. How about deliberatly missing a teleport (other).

tesral
06-18-2008, 08:22 PM
Talk about outside the book or box, years ago I started giving extra XP for those that found unusual ways to use their spells and other objects.

levitation to kill a dragon

Webhead
06-18-2008, 11:01 PM
levitation to kill a dragon

Pewter Figurine of Shaved Weasel Summoning to kill a dragon...:cool:

tesral
06-19-2008, 08:25 AM
Pewter Figurine of Shaved Weasel Summoning to kill a dragon...:cool:

Most dragons I know would drop dead hearing the concept.

Webhead
06-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Most dragons I know would drop dead hearing the concept.

Yes, even mighty dragons must bow before the terror of 500 really ticked off shaved weasels.

If the weasels hadn't killed it, I'm sure the shame would have. :)

nijineko
06-21-2008, 02:40 PM
more of an rp thing, but my character blew a 4th level spell selection on hallucinatory terrain just so that they would have something relaxing to look at while they hid out in a rope trick between commando raids of a fortress. and then managed to find another use for it in combat a few sessions later. ^^

tesral
06-21-2008, 05:17 PM
more of an rp thing, but my character blew a 4th level spell selection on hallucinatory terrain just so that they would have something relaxing to look at while they hid out in a rope trick between commando raids of a fortress. and then managed to find another use for it in combat a few sessions later. ^^

I always consdier my character's life when making spell and equipment selections. Combat is not my character's life. Indeed he would happily never fight another being again. Fate has not handed him that card, but he would be happy with it.

nijineko
06-21-2008, 06:15 PM
absolutely! i love it when obscure background options or choices come to the fore! one time there was this whole mini adventure that cropped up around an attempt to gain access to this one prestige class. the character succeed in the attempt, but only after he died. the rest of the party managed to save him and his attempt at the (literally) last round.

spotlight
06-23-2008, 05:13 PM
I may be a little thick headed. How would any sort of levitate spell kill a dragon, which happens to be a flying creature? Now if one figured out how to reverse the Feather Fall spell, Hmmm....

tesral
06-23-2008, 10:51 PM
I may be a little thick headed. How would any sort of levitate spell kill a dragon, which happens to be a flying creature? Now if one figured out how to reverse the Feather Fall spell, Hmmm....


They didn't levitate the Dragon. They levitated the biggest arrow they could make and levitate over a dragon that slept in a open air nest of great trees. 600 pounds of iron and wood in a 20 foot shaft and a 4 foot wide blade. It was dropped from 1000 feet up and struck her right through the spine. She thrashed her life out on the shaft. The party never approached until the noise and movement stopped.

They didn't get much of her hoard either. It was decided that digging through a giant "bird's nest" made of full grown trees was not worth the brass.

Necrite
06-24-2008, 01:31 AM
After reading only the first few posts, I'm going to assume the OP meant 10 rounds of combat. In most games, a round is less than a minute, but in others, it's longer.

I typically play D&D and Palladium games. Palladium's rounds are longer than D&D's, and give more actions, but D&D gives more options with a single action, so it roughly balances out.

Combat should run smoothly, and should usually be one minute or less per person per turn, but there should also be times that the players throw something totally unexpected at you. At these times, you have to look something up, and combat slows too much.

Unless you're fighting an "endboss" type enemy, combat should rarely take more than 30 minutes. If it does, either the GM isn't prepared enough, or the group is goofing around too much.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-24-2008, 01:51 AM
They say 4.0 is easiler and quicker. I've played the last couple of weeks and found that to be half correct. It is simpler, but combat times being faster, it is not. This being mainly due to all the healing. Oh well, I dont mind 4th edition; but of course, i didnt mind the others either.

Thoth-Amon

wbrandel
07-03-2008, 02:25 PM
The average combat in my D&D game, when we do have combat, runs about 30-40 minutes real time. at the end of story arcs combat will sometimes run longer but we have never had any combat session run longer than one hour. my players go off the theory that if a creature laughes at them then they had better run away .

tesral
07-03-2008, 03:57 PM
The average combat in my D&D game, when we do have combat, runs about 30-40 minutes real time. at the end of story arcs combat will sometimes run longer but we have never had any combat session run longer than one hour. my players go off the theory that if a creature laughes at them then they had better run away .

I would like to see a cold hard study of combat times. I can assure you that it has never happened. Combat time is highly affected by jokes about attacking the dark, moaning about how dice hate one, gloating over wonderful criticals and other such matters.

It would be interesting to see a clinical combat free of player interaction, bassed solely on the core rules and with identical combatants. Will it ever happen? I'm not holding my breath. However it would be interesting.

Webhead
07-03-2008, 05:28 PM
It would be interesting to see a clinical combat free of player interaction, bassed solely on the core rules and with identical combatants. Will it ever happen? I'm not holding my breath. However it would be interesting.

Interesting...yes, but this is also the kind of gaming I tend to avoid like the plague.

For our group, I know that our combats were no more riddled with "social antics" for D&D than for any other system we used. It was the level of attention to rules detail that slowed our D&D combats down (that and the fact that the DM typically threw dozens of monsters at us in a given combat).

I'm not saying D&D is the only culprit. I've played a few other systems that took just as long (or longer) to resolve. But then, some folks get their jollies from those long, drawn-out combat sequences. It's fine, as long as everyone is still having fun.

boulet
07-03-2008, 08:56 PM
One combat system I'd like to see in action is the one used by Burning Wheels. If I understood the concept well, everybody gets to declare secretly their action, and after the GM do the resolution. The ambition is to reflect the chaos and confusion of actual combat. Seems it involves different tactics than what we're used to and it should be furious.

Stormhound
07-03-2008, 10:05 PM
Which favorite game system? I've got more than one, though 4e's what I'm planning to try to run.

I don't mind an hour for a combat. Some will be shorter, some longer. I've run major battles in Rolemaster that took 6-8 hours to resolve, and I've run small ones that were over almost as fast as they began. It matters more that the encounter is relevant to the story, and the size will be what it is.

nijineko
07-04-2008, 02:39 PM
Which favorite game system? I've got more than one, though 4e's what I'm planning to try to run.

I don't mind an hour for a combat. Some will be shorter, some longer. I've run major battles in Rolemaster that took 6-8 hours to resolve, and I've run small ones that were over almost as fast as they began. It matters more that the encounter is relevant to the story, and the size will be what it is.

well, chartmaster... er, rollmaster... er ROLEmaster is a special case. ^^ our dm had the lightning calculator advantage from gurps supers, only in real life, and he photocopied every chart that a given character would use so that we could add it to our character sheets. the character 'stack' wound up being about 9 sheets of paper in my case, due to the wide range and different types of damage i could dish out. (most people had about 4 sheets of paper...) we would roll the attack and damage at once, look up the results on the chart(s) and give the dm the result all at once. that helped speed up combat quite a bit.

the fact that the dm could calculate stuff on the fly and had excellent recall of the rules off the cuff made for a fast smooth experience in gameplay. i understand that that is not always the case with rolemaster. ^^

at higher levels, i frequently pitch the characters against entire armies for lunch. depending on the stratagies and tactics they use it can last for a while. or not, sometimes.... ^^

Stormhound
07-04-2008, 02:58 PM
Hmmmm, nah, unless you've moved you weren't in my game, I was running it in KC at the time. But that's pretty much how I was, and how I handled it. Anything to speed up the pace of combat...well almost anything, since I had my own special little tweaks thrown in.

nijineko
07-04-2008, 04:02 PM
heheheh, no, not you, but i'm sure that my dm will be glad to know he's not alone in his unusual ability. ^^ he is here on this forum as of recently, btw, you may run into him.

Ghoulsick
08-06-2008, 12:13 PM
I voted for thirty minutes but then I re-read the question and found possible trickery. I don't know, you tell me.

"How long should a 10-minute (in game) combat for a group of 5 take using your favorite game system?"

I can't figure out what to say now. I read a few replies and still. It's like a hard math question that a teacher gave you so she could go smoke a cigarette. I pick C. for my answer cus it's 75% right all the time. Or at least that's what they say.

JayJurczynski
03-13-2009, 11:57 AM
For D&D 3.5e most combats are over within a minute. Even that can take quite a while if, like me, you let the players discuss options during combat. (They treat combat like a strategy game. If that's the way they want to play it and have fun doing it...who am I to argue?)

A 10 minute combat in game time would have to be some sort of hit & run thing, or a massive army battle. I've done the former, with the monsters harassing the party. While I can have fun for several hours doing this, it just builds frustration in my players. When the shoe is on the other foot, well...the players kind of lose interest and will look for other ways to cause havoc.:lol:

I have had one combat session last about 5 real-time hours. It was in a Halfling thieves guild in 4' high/wide and sprawling tunnels, with well prepared defenders including various traps and magical support. Obviously the terrain played a large part in extending the length of combat.

Etarnon
03-13-2009, 11:57 PM
I like to DM modern military / espionage or sci fi games that have a lot of heavy weapons and lots of damage.

I give players 15 seconds to decide what they want to do, then we roll it.

If the player can't decide, too bad...know your character, and their weapon / capabilities.

In the rush, nobody gets skipped, but a certain type of player tends to get pissed off that they are "Rushed".

To those people I say okay, "you got 6 seconds to decide." (which a lot of games that I play use 5 to 10 seconds)."

In the end, a lot of the flavor of what fast paced combat is going to be to me is: fire from cover, shoot enemy, move to better cover, call in airstrike, hold for the push / rally your guys / wait for reinforcements.

Anything else, to me, belongs in the category of fantasy / anime', cartoonish.

Best game I ever saw for super fast deadly combat was RECON by RPG, Inc. (Later bought out and revised by Palladium.)

Easy to lose PCs in the game, but combat was zippy fast.

spotlight
03-14-2009, 10:37 AM
Time in combat. You all have given me some thought. I recall a GM from years ago who used a three minute egg timer. With anaverage of five or six players, that gave us plenty of time to decide our actions, then we stated them in order of our initiative rolls. No statement by the time the sand ran out, you only got to defend.

Enjoyed the game, even though I occasionally got stuck out.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-14-2009, 01:26 PM
Keeping the pace is of absolute importance to me. When i run games, i dont allow procrastination, or anything else for that matter, to slow things down. Sure, in the beginning, some players have it rough-going, but once they get used to the style, all players are constantly thinking 1, 2, and 3 steps ahead with every scenario.

1st penalty for draggers: turn moved to bottom of the initiative list for that round only.
2nd penalty: missed turn for that round.

This method allows flexibility for more rounds to be included w/o the delay in progress in adventuring. I once played in a groups campaign once, for one say only, that dragged so bad that i never returned. I had a chat with the DM afterwards and gave him some suggestions. He contact me later and said that the implementation of said advice actually increased interest in his games.

On the other side of the coin, i am aware that there are those that like the micro-side of gaming, so let me make clear that i am not finding fault with others preferred gamestyles, for we are corrrect in our unique preferences.

In the end, we get alot a fun in as well as some serious adventuing within the time alotted for that day's gameplay.

That's my duckets worth, no more and no less.:rolleyes:

Game on!

Etarnon
03-15-2009, 11:37 PM
The all the group gets the three minute egg is a fantastic idea.

Good times.

Rook
05-26-2009, 12:49 PM
I think this really comes down to the nature of the players involved. If you're talking about 5 experienced players who are in role and are focused and on-task, a ten-minute fight could be played out in 30 minutes or less. Otherwise, anything goes...

templeorder
05-26-2009, 01:27 PM
Having done a few clock runs this weekend, it should take about 15 minutes at the most. It really depends on the size of the opponent group and specific abilities of the party (area affect spells = good). One fight with 4 characters took less than 5 minutes. I've also had 4 on 1 fights take a half hour because everyone is agonizing over their decision as they try and take down a super baddie as fast as possible.

Dark
05-26-2009, 03:17 PM
In most normal sized encounters I have DMed run at most about 15 minutes when your players are on the jaz.

Baron_Samedi
05-26-2009, 03:32 PM
For any game, wheter its fantasy based, future, horror, whatever...i give my players fifteen to twenty seconds each to figure out what they're going to do. I usually explain it away as being shocked by the action and they are forced to wait until the next opportunity to act...Anything past that point, i leave them in the dust...i don't think that its fair to anyone else who is prepared and knows their character well enough to react in turn to wait for those that don't.

tesral
05-26-2010, 10:03 PM
That burns me no end, the player that dithers over an action. A table full of them is enough to raise my stress level through the roof.

Law
05-28-2010, 08:42 AM
In the two systems I play the most (Mutants and Masterminds and New World of Darkness), combats tend to be fast and furious, so I chose 15 minutes, though 30 minutes isn't entirely unheard of. There isn't any counting squares, measuring distances, looking stuff up in books. Just roll and go . . . the way I like it.

Arkhemedes
05-28-2010, 12:34 PM
I voted a half hour on average though some can run much longer. Some of it largely depends on the system. In D&D 1e and 2e, 10 minutes game time of combat = 10 rounds, but in 3e+ 10 minutes of combat = 100 rounds. That's a big difference, and I've never known a combat to last 100 rounds.

tesral
05-29-2010, 06:43 AM
I got the impression it was table time that was being discussed.