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Thread: Ways to speed up combat?

  1. #1
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    Ways to speed up combat?

    Hi,

    My Group just finished the second adventure of the "Blood in Ferelden" Campaign and we really like the Dragon Age rules so far. The only problem seems to be, that the combat pace is to slow. I read some threads on the FAGE forum and also the posts in the herding dice blog. Since i don't want to change too much of the mechanics i figured out, it would probable the best to just keep the hp advancements and to cut the overall hp for every character and adversary by 20% - maybe combiened with a +1 hit bonus for everybody (later maybe 2).

    Would that be a good idea?

    What house rules do you use to speed up combat?

    Thanks and Greetings!

  2. #2
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Or maybe even do something like: lvl 1 - 20% lvl 2 - 21% lvl 3 - 23 % ...

  3. #3
    OPA Belta Alurvelve's Avatar
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Some of my house rules were to adjust Armor rating and Hit points.
    Light leather = 1, heavy leather = 2, light chain = 3, heavy chain = 4, light plate = 5, heavy plate = 6

    Hit points only go up by your Con score each level. There is no 1d6 added at each level in my campaigns.
    The Untouchable, the Avenger.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Regardless of which method you choose, there are inherent problems with speeding up combat.

    Reducing HP works initially, but ultimately doesn't really work. HP recovery can greatly outpace damage done. Spellbloom makes MP expenditure inconsequential, and the Heal action and taking a breather can heal a significant amount without magic. Reducing HP/level is a possibility, but with many of the other fixes, reduces the impact of leveling up -- to which I would say that you're better off converting AGE to a leveless system.

    You can reduce AR, but that changes the AR:AP ratio. It also changes the effective SP ratio for Mighty Blow and Pierce Armor, and the passives for both of those stunts. Reduced too much, and it would never be better to use Pierce Armor over Mighty Blow. Additionally, it practically ensures mages will have the highest AR.

    Personally, I feel an additive model is superior to a subtractive one. Adding 10 damage is ultimately the same as subtracting 10 health. And adding is imo more "fun." Some have suggested adding additional d6s as you level, but this is problematic in scaling -- a flat bonus has the lesser weapons closing the gaps, and some weapons use modifiers instead of d6s. I found that using d10s took care of all of my issues.

    Other house rules:

    1. Mook rules - 1 hit kills for some trash mobs.
    2. Simplified stunts for enemies - 1-3 SP for Mighty Blow; 4-5 SP for Lethal Blow; 6 SP for Mighty & Lethal Blow. That keeps them dangerous, but speeds things along.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    What I don't like about the additive model is, that damage rolls are getting less attractive. When I have 1d6 dmg, and I add 10 + str the roll does not have too much meaning.

    In any case, I will weaken the effect of a breather. Maybe just Const or Const + LVL. Spellbloom is kind of bad if you have more than one mage with it . But I think the only mage in my group is going down the damage road.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by fiebs View Post
    What I don't like about the additive model is, that damage rolls are getting less attractive. When I have 1d6 dmg, and I add 10 + str the roll does not have too much meaning.
    Sorry if I was unclear. I wasn't suggesting just adding 10 damage. I was saying that a net +10 damage is functionally the same as a net -10 health.

    So a subtractive model would reduce HP, AR, HP recovery, etc. However, an additive model would increase damage, number of attacks, or something similar. So instead of lowering everyone to reach your goal, I suggest the opposite: boosting everyone for the same result.

    And barring that, mook rules and WIL (Courage) checks keep combat moving.

  7. #7
    OPA Belta Icarus's Avatar
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by fiebs View Post
    Hi,

    My Group just finished the second adventure of the "Blood in Ferelden" Campaign and we really like the Dragon Age rules so far. The only problem seems to be, that the combat pace is to slow. I read some threads on the FAGE forum and also the posts in the herding dice blog. Since i don't want to change too much of the mechanics i figured out, it would probable the best to just keep the hp advancements and to cut the overall hp for every character and adversary by 20% - maybe combiened with a +1 hit bonus for everybody (later maybe 2).

    Would that be a good idea?

    What house rules do you use to speed up combat?

    Thanks and Greetings!
    Welcome!

    Well, this question pops up around here sometimes. The most active forum users already answered and almost everyone here use some kind of house rules to speed up combat. Mine are here.

    In our games, Health for players is not an issue. Game's faster 'cause we solve everything with just one roll that deals increased damage. Check it out ^^

  8. #8
    OPA Belta Alurvelve's Avatar
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    I noticed for my group stunts were what slowed things down the most. With players who are not familiar with them or how it works. But once they get an understanding of how they work and which ones they like the most. Things picked up and went faster.

    Shonuff mentioned one of the other things we do for higher level characters. At 13th level I let the player characters have two attacks per major action. To help show their experience.
    The Untouchable, the Avenger.

  9. #9
    OPA Belta gabeprime's Avatar
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
    Welcome!

    Well, this question pops up around here sometimes. The most active forum users already answered and almost everyone here use some kind of house rules to speed up combat. Mine are here.

    In our games, Health for players is not an issue. Game's faster 'cause we solve everything with just one roll that deals increased damage. Check it out ^^
    So you just applied the fixed damage plus dragon die rule and you were able to keep the Health rules-as-written? I was thinking of halving the health on top of that for my FAGE game. Now I’m thinking lowering health on top of this might be overkill.

  10. #10
    OPA Belta Kot the Protector's Avatar
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    Re: Ways to speed up combat?

    Beyond rule changes, there are a few things you can do that don’t require adjusting rules:

    -Allow your players to roll ahead of their turn. This gets them ready to go
    before their turn starts, and they can just tell you their results when you call their names!
    -Have the players write down their character’s favored stunts. NPCs and beasts in the Asversaries chapter do this so why not the PCs as well? Having some go-to stunts (or even some go-to combos of stunts) can help speed thing up and give some personality to the character as well.
    -Reveal TNs or Defense scores during encounters. Once they start rolling for Advanced Tests or attacking foes, just tell them what threat need. If the players know what they are rolling for they can plan better usage of their abilities and spend fewer precious seconds asking “did it work?”
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