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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. #61
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    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.
    Last edited by nijineko; 06-21-2008 at 06:19 PM.
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  2. #62
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    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....
    Sure, Life IS like a bowl of cherries, but how SWEET they are depends on how much crap your willing to take to fertalize your DREAMS. Michael L. Cross

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by spotlight View Post
    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.

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  4. #64
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    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.

  5. #65
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    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

  6. #66
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    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 .

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrandel View Post
    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.

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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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.
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  9. #69
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    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.
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  10. #70
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    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.
    I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not going! (But I'll happily be the GM...)

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormhound View Post
    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.... ^^
    Last edited by nijineko; 07-04-2008 at 02:51 PM.
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  12. #72
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    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.
    I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not going! (But I'll happily be the GM...)

  13. #73
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    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.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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  14. #74
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    Thumbs up Man...

    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.

  15. #75
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    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.

    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.

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