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View Poll Results: How long should combat for 5 players in your favorite game system take?

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  • about 15 minutes

    25 18.80%
  • Maybe 30 minutes or so

    55 41.35%
  • Could be an hour, maybe slightly more

    41 30.83%
  • 90 minutes solid

    6 4.51%
  • 2 hours of action packed inch counting!

    4 3.01%
  • 3 hours! Sometimes we have to break for lunch AND dinner during 1 combat!

    2 1.50%
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Thread: Combat time

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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...
    "well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoraderek View Post
    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.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarLady98 View Post
    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.
    "well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"
    facebook.com/houstonderek

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoraderek View Post
    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.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


  5. #35
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    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.
    Last edited by Webhead; 05-30-2008 at 01:21 PM.
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  6. #36
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    Thumbs up Combat!!!!!

    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by victim666 View Post
    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.

  8. #38
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    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.

    The most deadly move in D&D

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

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by victim666 View Post
    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.

    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarLady98 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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. ^^
    Last edited by nijineko; 06-06-2008 at 05:39 PM.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarLady98 View Post
    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.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrken View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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  14. #44
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    my favorite magic items are those that generate various items and or have a varity of uses-intended or not. ^^
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    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.
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