It’s sunday, so I’ll just type up a brief post about some basics of combat.
First off, I’ve always kinda disliked having to drawn maps for combat. So, for Lions of the North, we do this instead. We have different stances to represent how combat flows around the characters and their opponents: three stances to melee with and one to hang back with,
Per every two characters in a a melee stance, one character can hang back and most of the time, the character who hangs back can’t be attacked by melee weapons. Good for someone who needs to load their pistol or something and doesn’t want to get hit with a sword or a club while doing it.
Melee stances come in three varieties: Aggressive, Defensive and On Guard. Aggressive means you get to add one dice to your pool for melee attacks but lose one from your defensive pools. Defensive means you get to add one dice to your defensive pools but lose one from your attack pools. On Guard is neutral. There are some combat maneuvers you can only do while using a specific stance, but we’ll get deeper into that later.
Then, action economies. I’ve always disliked the idea of having categories of actions you can do in combat, because that’s frequently really hard to get as a new player. So, every turn, you get one significant action, period. You can still try to attack multiple opponents or try to dodge and stab at the same time, but there are no rules about “you can stab this much and move this much and drink this many beers in one turn”.
To represent how hard it’s to try to do other stuff when people are trying to stab you or shoot you, all non-combat-related actions, like trying to force open a door when your friends are holding back monsters, needs two turns to succeed: you declare it on the first turn and do it on the second.