atminn
 member, 45 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 15:36
IC: DungeonOfTheMadMage w/ Strike! (4e combat+BW narrative)
My Goal
I want to learn to run the rpg Strike! Tactical Combat and Heedless Adventure before bringing it to the table for a local live group. Its system provides rich tactical combat akin to a very streamlined 4e D&D (which I enjoy but fights took so dang long), and out-of-combat narrative mechanics akin to Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel (and PbtA more broadly).

Would there be interest for such a game here on RPoL?

Some of the layout of the book itself is a bit funky, and the subsystems can look overwhelming at first, but you can ignore many of them initially, and I've seen how it all coheres well in play. I commend the creator for producing it mostly as a one-man shop. He's also active with developing new material that makes some intriguing mechanical risks. (Strike! was originally called Sacred BBQ because it was testing what happens if some 'sacred cows' of traditional rpgs were set aside, an effort I admire).

I've run a single live session, but I want to feel out the system to understand its nuance and depth. To be clear, I'm not committing to a long-term campaign.

If it can work via pbp, I'd probably run a short arc focused on a mercenary band (similar to the wonderful video game Battle Brothers) plumbing the first level of the Dungeon of the Mad Mage (the recent 5e book about the classic megadungeon Undermountain).

Best practices for tactical turn-based gameplay via pbp?
What are best practices for running turn-based grid+mini tactical games via pbp? How do you handle maps and prevent pacing from grinding to a halt while waiting on a stricter turn order?

To be honest, I'm not sure how to effectively run turn-based grid+minis games via pbp. The last time I ran/played in a pbp with turn-based grid-based tactical combat was way back in 2010 or so with 4e on the WotC forums. We used text-based maps back then and it worked ok, but it'd put load on the GM to update the map after every turn. I'm curious if others have advice for better (or more attractive) ways to keep track of positioning and pacing of turns in pbp format.

Have people had success using text maps, Google Drawings, Roll20 or something?

This message was last edited by the user at 16:08, Wed 29 May.

engine
 member, 707 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Wed 29 May 2019
at 17:59
Re: IC: DungeonOfTheMadMage w/ Strike! (4e combat+BW narrative)
atminn:
I want to learn to run the rpg Strike! Tactical Combat and Heedless Adventure before bringing it to the table for a local live group. Its system provides rich tactical combat akin to a very streamlined 4e D&D (which I enjoy but fights took so dang long), and out-of-combat narrative mechanics akin to Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel (and PbtA more broadly).

Would there be interest for such a game here on RPoL?

I'm somewhat interested, since I like to support 4th Edition D&D where I can. I still run that edition primarily and I like to think I have some answers to the issue of long fights, ones that rely on the fiction of the game, rather than any rule changes.

I can't say I know anything about the Mouse Guard/Burning Wheel mechanics specifically, but I'm familiar with PbtA.

atminn:
(Strike! was originally called Sacred BBQ because it was testing what happens if some 'sacred cows' of traditional rpgs were set aside, an effort I admire).

Ooh, like what?

atminn:
I've run a single live session, but I want to feel out the system to understand its nuance and depth. To be clear, I'm not committing to a long-term campaign.

That suits me.

atminn:
Best practices for tactical turn-based gameplay via pbp?
What are best practices for running turn-based grid+mini tactical games via pbp? How do you handle maps and prevent pacing from grinding to a halt while waiting on a stricter turn order?

Personally, I've given up on using an actual grid for PBP, preferring to rely on a "status" block that gives the basics of everyone involved. I've done that for a few years, and it works really well, though I don't know that anyone could just jump right into the concept. It has taken me some time to sort out. It also relies on the text-based nature of pbp gaming and wouldn't necessarily work at a table.

I only sweat turn order a little, and even if the opposition is interespersed with the PCs, it's pretty easy for them all to end up in two groups. At that point, I generally find (as I think most people do) that the players can then act in whatever order they want.

I urge players not to wait, but sometimes people want to know what others will do before they act. When it's the players' turn, I generally give every player 24 hours from the last post (mine or another players) in which to take their actions. If they can't manage it within that time, I have them delay, or I just skip their turn. I will adjust the opposition or challenge on the fly if someone appears to have stopped playing. Even if there's just a delay, I'll try to adjust to that depending on the lay of the land. For instance, if there are numerous enemies, and one of five players disappears I'll "set aside" about 20% of the opposition, describing them as locked in battle with the character whose player is missing.

atminn:
To be honest, I'm not sure how to effectively run turn-based grid+minis games via pbp. The last time I ran/played in a pbp with turn-based grid-based tactical combat was way back in 2010 or so with 4e on the WotC forums. We used text-based maps back then and it worked ok, but it'd put load on the GM to update the map after every turn. I'm curious if others have advice for better (or more attractive) ways to keep track of positioning and pacing of turns in pbp format.

Have people had success using text maps, Google Drawings, Roll20 or something?

If one is set on using a map, Google Docs seems like the best option to me, because players can at least move the markers around as appropriate, rather than relying on the DM for everything.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1570 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 18:50
Re: IC: DungeonOfTheMadMage w/ Strike! (4e combat+BW narrative)
And here I thought someone was going to ru  The Alexandrian's mad mage module. Oh well, I guess his genius still lies outside the realm of recognition.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind lurking on such a gamd to see how ig all plays and see the mechanics in action, sadly I can't really afford to take on more.

That said, I'll chip in some advice though, for initiative (order of actions) generally ignore it. Have everyone post their plans for the turn, a bit like having the game on pause and everyone deciding what to do without knowing the outcomes of anyone else's actions because it hasn't happened yet, it is just their plan for the turn. Then you resolve it all at once. If it is actually important to know if something happened before or after something else and it actually matters, you can then roll initiative just for that one instance on behalf of the players, or you can use a rule of thumb, such as spells always being last.

If two players attack the same monster and either would have killed it cause it had 1hp, so what, they got killed it together.

It also lets you add some suspense on occasion, did Wizard get his globe of invilnerability up before the sorcerer's spell struck him? A wonderfully tense paragraph right there as you describe the globe forming and the acid arrow flying right at his face before it stops, the globe just barely closing in time.