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Thread: 1st House Rule: Multiple Actions

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb 1st House Rule: Multiple Actions

    As I already stated in the "Action Allowance" thread, I'm not entirely satisfied with the way coda handles the multiple actions problem. Of course, this is all very theoretical because I haven't had a chance to play with coda much, but it seems to me that it's too easy to declare multiple actions even when they're not necessary, "just to make sure". For instance a player might declare dodge, shoot, shoot: the 3rd action will be at -5, but since the 2 first actions (dodge and shoot) are not affected by that last action, he might as well take it, <I>just to make sure</I> he hits his opponent. Which seem (to me) to be in contradiction with the spirit of the game.
    Hence the following house rule proposals:


    Considering a character with x allowed actions (often, x=2), use one of the following tables to determine the multiple action penalty:

    Option 1 (-1 per additional action, except the last one (std modifier)
    -> allowed actions at -(nb of additional actions), then increase penalty by 4 each action)
    <B>...................Modifiers
    Number.of.actions.....x+0..x+1..x+2..x+3..x+4..x+5
    all.allowed.actions</B>...0...-1...-2...-3...-4...-5
    <B>1st.additional.action</B>./...-5...-6...-7...-8...-9
    <B>2nd....</B>.............../.../....-10..-11..-12..-13
    <B>3rd....</B>.............../.../..../....-15..-16..-17
    <B>4th....</B>.............../.../..../..../....-20..-21
    <B>5th....</B>.............../.../..../..../..../....-25



    Option 2 (-1 per additional action, even the last one
    -> allowed actions at -(nb of additional), then increase by 5 each action)
    <B>...................Modifiers
    Number.of.actions.....x+0..x+1..x+2..x+3..x+4..x+5
    all.allowed.actions</B>...0...-1...-2...-3...-4...-5
    <B>1st.additional.action</B>./...-6...-7...-8...-9...-10
    <B>2nd....</B>.............../.../....-12..-13..-14..-15
    <B>3rd....</B>.............../.../..../....-18..-19..-20
    <B>4th....</B>.............../.../..../..../....-24..-25
    <B>5th....</B>.............../.../..../..../..../....-30


    Option 3 (-1 per additional action, incremental)
    -> allowed actions at -(nb of additional), then increase by (nb of additional) each time)
    <B>...................Modifiers
    Number.of.actions.....x+0..x+1..x+2..x+3..x+4..x+5
    all.allowed.actions</B>...0...-1...-2...-3...-4...-5
    <B>1st.additional.action</B>./...-2...-4...-6...-8...-10
    <B>2nd....</B>.............../.../....-6...-9...-12..-15
    <B>3rd....</B>.............../.../..../....-12..-16..-20
    <B>4th....</B>.............../.../..../..../....-20..-25
    <B>5th....</B>.............../.../..../..../..../....-30

    I think this is the one I like most, so I'll use it as a basis in the following.

    Of course, these modifiers become problematic when a player doesn't declare a dodge/parry beforehand.

    "Reaction" dodge/parry as a:
    - First action (character lost initiative, or decided to delay):
    simply counts against the action allowance when the character starts acting.
    - Last action(character acted first):
    take the next modifier (move diagonally right+down in the table ... for instance if the player was at -6 for his last action, his dodge is at -12), moreover, this counts against the action allowance of the next round as an action (i.e. if the character doesn't want a penalty next round he can only act (x-1) times).
    - Between other actions (example: act, delay, oops dodge, act):
    move to the next column to the right and apply modifiers (for instance, if the character was at -4 (x+2), his dodge is at -9 and his last action at -12).

    Considering this, unless they really want to protect themselves and declare a dodge as their first action, fast characters will often find it advantageous to wait for the opponent to act before declaring a dodge/parry. Thus, I'm considering giving a +1 (or more?) modifier to declared dodges/parries, as opposed to "reaction" dodges/parries.


    Admittedly, this <I>is</I> a bit more complicated than what's proposed in the PG, however, I think it is much fairer to player who act sensibly rather than machine-gun wise, and there's much more drama when a character <I>really</I> needs to do a lot of things in the same round. If anyone found a simpler way to deal with it more satisfyingly than in the PG, I'd be happy to hear about it .

    So ... what do you think?
    Last edited by Calcoran; 05-13-2002 at 05:52 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Talking At last!

    There, finally managed to get these tables to display correctly .
    So, what do you think?

  3. #3
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    I understand the problem, and I understand the idea, but I don't like tables . I'll see how my players handle the system, if they try to take advantage of it, I'll give a try to your idea.
    Hoping You'll understand all of this

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    Actually, I don't like tables either, LeeT . I just used tables here for the sake of presentation (well, that and the fact that reaction dodges are easier to handle that way).
    The line just above each table explains how to compute the modifier easily without refering to the table. For instance the 3rd option gives:
    • Character with 2 allowed actions takes one additional action:
      - 1st action at -1 (one additional action)
      - 2nd action at -1
      - 3rd action at -2
    • Character with 2 allowed actions takes 3 additional actions:
      - 1st action at -3 (three additional actions)
      - 2nd action at -3
      - 3rd action at -6 (-3 -3)
      - 4th action at -9 (-3 -3 -3)
      - 5th action at -12 (-3 -3 -3 -3)
    • Character with 3 allowed actions takes 2 additional actions:
      - 1st action at -2 (two additional actions)
      - 2nd action at -2
      - 3rd action at -2
      - 4th action at -4 (-2 -2)
      - 5th action at -6 (-2 -2 -2)

    See? Computes rather easily ... till undeclared dodges and parries come in the way at least .
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  5. #5
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    Calcoran wrote:
    /.../it seems to me that it's too easy to declare multiple actions even when they're not necessary, "just to make sure". For instance a player might declare dodge, shoot, shoot: the 3rd action will be at -5, but since the 2 first actions (dodge and shoot) are not affected by that last action, he might as well take it, just to make sure he hits his opponent. Which seem (to me) to be in contradiction with the spirit of the game. /.../


    They way I see it, even if the first thing you do is declare a dodge action, you don't get to make this dodge action (when it "falls out") an no penalty just because you declared it as your first action. Let me explain:

    The 1st and 2nd actions (at no penalty) in your example are both attack actions. The dodge action hasn't really taken place yet has it? The 3rd action in your example is the dodge regardless of when it was declared, and so must be performed at a -5 penalty.

    This is how I've interpreted the rules, but I've yet to actually try the game out.

    Then again... no penalties at all on your first actions does seem a little strange if you're taking 5 or more actions total in the same round...
    Last edited by Almos; 05-13-2002 at 01:13 PM.
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    I, for one, like tables. Then again, I tend to be very visually oriented. Well done, Calcoran!

    The best option that I see is #3. The numbers seem tight enough and flow in a logical sequence. Actually, would you mind if I used it?

    Considering this, unless they really want to protect themselves and declare a dodge as their first action, fast characters will often find it advantageous to wait for the opponent to act before declaring a dodge/parry. Thus, I'm considering giving a +1 (or more?) modifier to declared dodges/parries, as opposed to "reaction" dodges/parries.
    Actually if it were me, I'd have only reaction dodges and parries. It would really turn up the volume on combat and make the players think tactically...especially if one of the other PCs winds up pulling a Glow n' Vanish (tm)
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Almos

    They way I see it, even if the first thing you do is declare a dodge action, you don't get to make this dodge action (when it "falls out") an no penalty just because you declared it as your first action. Let me explain:

    The 1st and 2nd actions (at no penalty) in your example are both attack actions. The dodge action hasn't really taken place yet has it? The 3rd action in your example is the dodge regardless of when it was declared, and so must be performed at a -5 penalty.
    Hmmm. That is one way of looking at it, but I disagree to an extent.

    You can dodge if no one is shooting at you, can't you? You can bob and weave while shooting and you will be harder to hit, even if no one is actually shooting at you (in which case, making the shooting harder is accurate, because your own movement is throwing off your aim).

    This, of course, is from the perspective that you don't "dodge" bullets and beams of light, you just make yourself harder to hit via movement rather than seeing & avoiding the projectile, beam.

    Example: Badguy enters the room, you "dodge" and roll across the floor and pop up shooting, taking out Badguy before he even gets a shot off.

    The fact that Badguy didn't shoot yet (and may not have even intended to shoot) doesn't have any impact on your own action.

  8. #8
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    Almos:
    I'd be inclined to see things the way Acroyear described them. Of course, YMMV. The fact is, as I was saying in another thread, even with your interpretation, it is always possible for a fast player to decide to delay his actions until he sees where the attack is coming from, dodge, then fire twice. Which ensure no penalty for his dodge ... unless you use some kind of house rule like the one I wrote .

    Dave:
    Glad you like it . Of course I don't mind, by all means borrow it, alter it, abuse it even . That's the reason why I put it here in the first place, hoping people would try it out, and if possible make it better or propose other solutions they like better.
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  9. #9
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    It really does seem reasonable to me that you should incur some sort of penalty for taking more actions, but your systems demands that you know beforehand how many actions you're going to take. And you have to know what you're going to do with them too.

    Say you're in a firefight and you declare 4 actions. You say: "I'll shoot, dodge, shoot, then shoot again". But your opponent falls after the second shot and no more opponents are standing. Now you've declared 2 extra actions and taken the penalty for it, but the 4th action is wasted because you don't have anything to do with it...

    With your system this example would give me a -2 penalty to the first actions and a -4 and -6 penalty to the last ones right? (-2, -2, -4, -6) Well if I never take that last action then I didn't get the same penalty to the other actions and must recalculate.

    Or do you intend to let the players just declare number of actions and not what they're goint to do with them, and then force them to use that many actions regardless of what happenes?

    That doesn't seem right because you should be able to judge the situation as it happens and deside how fast you're going to move. In the example above you should be able to stop yourself when you notice that you opponent is down. (Unless you're a Klingon or you've got the Bloodlust flaw.)
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  10. #10
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    I guess it depends on the players here. If they like to find loopholes in the rules to be able to play "machine gun phaser", then some house rules like Calcoran's are definitely in order.

    OTOH, with reasonable players, I find the system as it is quite satisfying; it always bothers me usually to have to declare precisely what I'll do, knowing for instance that if I declare a dodge and nobody shoots me, or that if I'm shot in the middle of the round while having done only two actions when I declared five, I'll just gain a penalty on my actions and nothing else. This happened to me a lot when playing WEG SW.

    In fact, I tend to see the CODA system as more dynamic : instead of deciding what your round'll be occupied with at the beginning, you take actions accordingly to the situation... and of course, the later you choose your action, the harder it will be (hence the progressive TN). This way, you don't have to declare how many actions you'll take or what they'll be at the beginning.

    One minor house rule for taking care of the dodge problem would be to allow players to dodge even if not fired at. For instance, in Acroyear's example, the player declared a dodge first and executed it, then decided to fire as a second action. This is for characters who want to have safety first.
    On the other hand, if the character had fired twice, then noticed that someone was aiming at him and decided to drop on the ground, then he'll have had his two first actions spent firing, and a dodge action at -5 TN, to reflect the fact that he did this last action in a hurry.
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  11. #11
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    Almos and C5:
    I don't see much of a problem if a player wanted to shoot three times, notices the first two shoots did the job, and decides to cancel the 3rd shoot. However, I still think the penalty for taking an additional action should apply. See, the modifiers would habe been -1/-1/-2. The 2 first modifers represent the fact that the character is hurrying so that he can act a third time, and for the last one add to this the fact that having already acted he can't concentrate as much on that third action. If he cancels the 3rd action, fine, he won't get the -2 modifier, but he was still hurrying during the 2 first shots since he thought he would have to shoot a third time. So it seems logical to apply -1 to those 2 actions, doesn't it?

    C5:
    I don't have players who like to find loopholes in rules, thanks god for that . However I have players who want things to be fair, and the way I see it, multiple actions are not very fair in CODA.

    C5 and Almos:
    Declaring actions ... it is true that CODA makes declaring actions more or less optional. Is this good? I don't know. It's simple and fast, sure enought. Rather elegant too, I might say. But is it realistic? Hardly (of course, YMMV). As I said earlier, it seems quite logical to think that hurrying to do more in the same time period should incur a penalty on all actions you attempt to execute. If during the same amount of time you act just as usual (i.e. no penalty), odds are that you'll end up at the end of the round saying "uh, oh, I want to do that too ... oh, too late, next round".
    Of course, this is all a compromise between playability and realism ... IMHO CODA is a bit too far on the playability side. Mind you this is just a matter of interpretation. One could easily read CODA and think declaring actions is still compulsory (that's what <I>I</I> though at first read).
    See, that's the beauty of CODA (well, if you tweak a bit), in a way: you only say what you intend to do when it's your turn to act. And even then, if you consider it too soon, you can delay your actions and wait a bit more.
    Actually, I think I'd even be willing to let players change their plans. If a player wants to: #shoot, wait (to see how things develop), then shoot again#, shoots, waits, sees 3 klingons running at him, and goes "uh actually I'd rather drop my phaser and run the hell outa here", fine. I'd propably give the swapped action a -1 penalty though. And if a player wants to add an action in the middle or at the end of his allowance, I'd probably handle it as a reaction dodge/parry ... and possibly add a -1 penalty, just for the sake of it .

    About the dodge action without being shot at, I was going to allow it too: It seems rather realistic (or at least cinematic ) and it's probably faster to handle.
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  12. #12
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    Lightbulb

    There you go, sometimes it just helps to leave it for a while, before coming back to it .

    I was just reading through this thread again, and a much more elegant solution occured to me.
    As you may remember, I find taking multiple actions much too easy under CODA. My previous attempts to remedy that tried to reflect on previous actions in the round the fact that you were doing too many things. I guess I was wrong. This is not the way it happens in reality. For instance, if you're running, suddenly notice an obstacle and jump in a last attempt to avoid it. Jumping will be harder than if you had prepared to jump, but it will not have made the running before any harder. It <I>will</I> however have an impact on your run once you land back.

    That's the idea. For each additional action you take, you have to "buy off" the penalty in subsequent rounds.

    First example:
    Vulrek fires twice at the romulan spy, then only remembers he has to dodge the disruptor blast of the one hidden behind the bar. He'll have a -5 on his dodge roll (end of round 1). However, this has put him off balance, and his next action (the first of the round 2) will also be at -5.
    Second example:
    Deciding retreat is a valid option, Vulrek moves, dodges, then fires like hell (i.e. twice) to force the Romulans to keep their heads down. His dodge is at +0, first shoot at -5, and second shoot at -10 (round 1). Next round (round 2), he wants to dodge then jump over a fallen table. Since he was looking over his shoulder to make his shoots credible, he does not concentrate as much as he'd like to on his current actions, so his dodge will also be at -10, and his jump at -5. Next action (i.e. round 3) will be at 0.

    Modifiers can stockpile if a player keeps undertaking too many actions (example: 3 additional, then 1 additional |0 0 -5 -10 -15|-15 -10 -15|-15 -10|-5 0|).
    Spending one round to recover (i.e. no action whatsoever) completely buys off the modifiers, no matter how bad.


    Well, what's your opinion? I like it much better than previous attempts, because it:
    - is quite realistic.
    - is very easy to apply.
    - keeps the flexibility and fluidity of CODA as it does not compell you to declare actions beforehand.
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