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View Full Version : Suggestions on speeding up chat-based combat



yukonhorror
04-17-2009, 03:15 PM
So I am running two different games on the chatroom over the weekends. The games are fine, but for some odd reason, combat seems to slow down the game to a crawl.

I admit, I do like my players to include a little flair/fluff in their actions:

"With a scream that could shatter glass, rork crashes his hammer into the goblin's chest."

vs.

"howling stike, rolled an 18 with my plusses, did 8 pts of dam"

It probably would speed up the game if it wasn't included, but I think it makes the combat more cinematic/exciting/"visual"/fun.

Without killing the fluff, is there any suggestions on how to speed up combat?

Also, anyone got any ideas as to WHY it is so slow. I thought 4e was supposed to speed up combat compared to older editions.

I will accept house-rules as suggestions also.

Grimwell
04-17-2009, 11:50 PM
Is it possible that your players are spending extra time thinking of how to really describe the action in a cool way?

yukonhorror
04-18-2009, 09:58 AM
maybe, I'll mention to them not to sweat it if they can't be fancy

Valdar
04-18-2009, 11:06 AM
I'm seeing a slowdown too as players get higher level and there are more bonuses to track.

The way I'm currently handling it is:

--All fixed bonuses have to be added up before play starts. If someone's still adding half their level to their attribute when they attack, they miss and I move on.

--If someone's dragging their feet figuring out their damage, I just move to the next player and apply the first player's damage when they figure it out. Sometimes there are situational modifiers to damage that get pretty complicated.

--When it's obvious that the resistance has been broken with the enemy, I call "mop-up" and have the monsters die or run. Once the party turns the tide, they're going to conserve their encounter and daily powers and rely solely on at-wills, so their damage output goes way down and whittling down the last brute or whatever takes forever. They also seem to relax their tactical thinking, so the strikers wind up attacking without sneak attack/quarry/etc, which also slows down the damage output.

Apart from that, I try not to staunch the glib descriptions, since RP is what the game's about for me =)

DMMike
04-20-2009, 03:41 PM
A 3rd Ed (possibly Forrie) solution is to invoke the Delay action. If a player takes too long to act, that PC is assumed to be delaying until they come up with an action. Play moves on to the next initiative(s), and when the slow player is ready, he acts after the current actor. Should probably use the DM's average turn time as a starting point for PC time limits.

Grimwell
04-21-2009, 12:44 AM
That's what I do in live games once everyone is comfortable with the system. I like combat to be fast, so once everyone is comfy it's go on your turn or 'delay' until you can think :)

tesral
04-24-2009, 01:12 AM
That's what I do in live games once everyone is comfortable with the system. I like combat to be fast, so once everyone is comfy it's go on your turn or 'delay' until you can think :)

It can be tried. It does work in live situations.