Sunday, September 20, 2015

Combat in DragonRaid

Art by Willy Pogány

In a prior post, I briefly summarized the procedure of combat in DragonRaid.  All player characters are LightRaiders.  When attacking an opponent, a LightRaider's 'Weapon Ability' value is added to the result of a roll of the StarLot (i.e., 1d10).  The 'Battle Ability' the opponent (who is presumably not a LightRaider) is added to the result of a roll of a ShadowStone (i.e., 1d8).  The totals are compared.  If the total of the LightRaider exceeds the total of the opponent, damage is subtracted from the 'Physical Vitality' of the opponent.  When an opponent attacks, the same procedure is followed except the LightRaider's 'Shield of Faith' value is added to the StarLot result.   If the opponent's total is higher, the LightRaider takes damage.

'Shield of Faith' and 'Weapon Abilities' are derived from 'Character Strengths' (briefly touched upon here). The 'Shield of Faith' is merely one article of the 'Armor of God':
  • Belt of Truth:  This represents the extent of what the LightRaider has learned from the 'Sacred Scrolls'.  The rating is equivalent to that of the Knowledge ability.
  • Breastplate of Righteousness:  This “represents the extent to which the OverLord's righteousness has been worked out in the LightRaider's life.”  I'm not sure what that means but it helps a LightRaider “resist invitations to impure acts.”  Anyway, the rating matches that of LightRaider's 'Goodness' Strength.
  • Shield of Faith:  This protects LightRaiders “from all conventional weaponry, such as swords, axes and arrows, and protects...from physical attacks from dark creatures.”  It also works against dragon fire.  The rating is the average of all nine Character Strengths.
  • Helmet of Salvation:  This “gives LightRaiders their hope of eternal life in the Everlasting Kingdom.”  I have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish in game terms.  The rating is the same as that for the Hope Ability.
  • Sword of the Spirit:  This represents “the Word of the Almighty” and establishes which WordRunes a given LightRaider may use.  The rating always starts at 1 and can only be improved by spending twenty 'Maturity Units' per increment.  (Maturity Units are like experience points.)
  • Boots of the Gospel of Peace:  This represents “the LightRaider's readiness to get involved in bringing peace, reconciliation or rescue.”  The rating is calculated by averaging the Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness, and Faithfulness Character Strengths.  It is possible for the Boots to “sustain...[a LightRaider] even when his courage has failed.”  As can be seen, 'courage' is not capitalized in this quote, so I cannot be certain that it refers to the 'Courage' Character Ability (see below).
In calculating a LightRaider's combat skills, there is a distinct formula for each weapon.  For instance, a LightRaider's skill with swords is determined by finding the sum of Courage, Endurance, Solo Battle, and Agility, then dividing by four.

Courage and Endurance are Character Abilities that are derived from Character Strengths.  'Courage' is the average of Love, Joy, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control.  To calculate 'Endurance', one must first add together Joy, Peace, Faithfulness, twice Patience, and twice Self-Control; then, divide the total by seven.  Incidentally, “Endurance (EN) is the ability to accept physical punishment in doing strenuous activities over a period of time, or to endure hardships such as lack of sleep, food and water.”

'Solo Battle' is an interesting ability:
This is not a weapon, but an ability that is used whenever a LightRaider must face an enemy without the company of other fighting members of the TwiceBorn.  Reflects the psychological impact of being alone in battle.
Solo Battle is determined by adding twice Courage to Peace and Endurance; then dividing by four.  So, in terms of percentages, a LightRaider's skill in wielding a sword consists of the following abilities:

Why should Peace account for more skill with a sword than Love?  Tying Christian values to weapon skills can be nothing but an arbitrary process.  Regardless, including Solo Battle in the formula for the sword (or any) weapon ability is peculiar.  Given its description, Solo Battle is intended to be a penalty imposed upon those who stray from the herd.  As a penalty, I would just have the player roll a Shadow Stone instead of a StarLot.  Formulas for some other weapon abilities are:
  • Hand-to-Hand:  The average of Solo Battle, Self Control, Courage, Endurance, Strength, and Agility.
  • Longbow:  The average of Hope, Vision, Strength, and Quiet Movement.
  • Flail:  The average of Hope, Courage, and Endurance.
  • Dagger:  The average of Courage, Self Control, Solo Battle, and Agility.
  • Quarterstaff:  The average of Hope, Courage, and Self Control.
Damage is subtracted from Physical Vitality, which is half the sum of all 'Character Strengths'.  There are “five degrees of injury.”  Even the slightest amount of damage means the character is wounded and must succeed at a Difficulty Level 3 Endurance check in order to travel.  Characters with only six to ten points of Physical Vitality remaining are 'seriously wounded' and the Endurance check to travel is at Difficulty Level 8.  With five or less points of Physical Vitality, the character is 'critically wounded' and cannot travel or fight.  Characters with only one to three points of Physical Vitality are unconscious and when Physical Vitality is reduced to zero, the character is dead.

Aside from 'normal' combat, DragonRaid offers two types of optional 'advanced' combat.  'Half-swing' combat is just like normal combat, but only half the usual amount of damage is inflicted.  In 'critical swing' combat, there is a ten percent chance of any successful strike being a critical hit.  If a strike is determined to be a critical hit, the Critical Hit Chart (reproduced below) is consulted.

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