Let’s get to it:
My name’s Thomas and I will soon be running Skorne on Roll20 as theater of the mind. Very soon in fact: in three days! While I am excited to run combat without dice rolls, I am wondering how combat maneuvers will work and I am hoping that you can give me some clarification if it’s alright with you!
I’ve been reading your blog and I love it a lot, please keep up the great work! Cheers!
Alright Thomas, you forced my hand! Some other folks have been asking about this thank goodness, but you’ve put me into a terrible position by giving me such a strict timeline…
Basically, the bad guys in a majority of interesting combat encounters have the upper hand. Players have to outthink them.
Oh? You read all that already?
Here’s some more guidance on action adjudication schema for Skorne:
When the players declare action, make it happen. However:
-Assume they do it, but are only partially successful. In the case of attacking in combat, this means they hit their enemy but are then hit themselves.
-Related to above, do not give the players everything they want without expending a resource, outlying a clever plan, or pushing their luck with a dice roll.
-Consider making it a Dilemma by giving two options. The players can pick one or push for both (usually with a dice roll, but be open to other methods).
So to answer the question directly: Assume the players are (mostly) successful in their combat maneuvers. Anything more than that requires a cost or planning or risks a dice roll. Never hold back the consequences.
Another combat tip: have the baddies take SLOW actions the end of their turn. After dealing damage, telegraph their next BIG action. Example: “The dragon swipes with it claws on your back, dealing 3 hits. It roars, and then opens its mouth as the hints of flame begin to rise. What do you do?” Click the link for more examples from Chris.
Related/unrelated: try out this death mechanic if they reach 0 hits or lower. Just a personal curiosity, honestly.
Thanks for writing in, Thomas! Have a pleasant weekend and enjoy playing! 🙂