MYFAROG is not made to be (what at least I call) a «hack’n slash» fantasy RPG, focusing (close to) everything on combat, but I still think the combat rules of any RPG is the most important feature of the game. Gamers are going to want their characters to engage in combat, so if the combat rules don’t work, like if they are too slow, too unrealistic or in any way unbelievable, then the whole game is as I see it broken and basically unplayable.
The difficult part in this context is of course to find a balance between what is realistic and what is playable, but I think the problem is to a large degree solved by making a system where the players can easily adjust the system according to their style of play and preferences.
In MYFAROG combat can be made less complex and less time consuming by simply ignoring some of the rules, without this influencing the rest of the rules, and also by adding optional rules to make it more complex and realistic (at the expense of playability, or course). So the game can be complex or simple depending solely on the player’s wishes. My thought is that novice players will keep it simple, and then include more and more of the rules and optional rules as they play and learn and master it all properly.
Naturally I don’t aim to “re-invent the wheel”, so experienced players will quickly recognise most of the concepts in MYFAROG from other games they have played, but there are a few new ideas and the system is indeed different from other games (or at least from the games I know).
Some of the combat features of MYFAROG:
– A damage system influenced not just by the weapon used, but also by how well you hit your foe.
- An armour system not (or possibly negatively) influencing how hard it is to hit you, but instead how much damage you can take before you suffer an injury. So the armours simply absorb damage, and if you are not strong they might make you easier to hit too, because they will then slow you down.
- No HP (Hit Points), but instead damage is measured against the target’s Toughness (and if hit you will suffer either just a scratch, a light injury, a medium injury, a serious injury, a severe injury, an incapacitation or a fatal injury). Using the idea that “A pinch between two fingers can be fatal for some (like for bugs…), and even a massive blow from a heavy battle axe can be just a scratch for some (like for a mountain ettin)”. Toughness is mainly based on the creature’s weight, but also its strength and constitution.
-Fumbling. In particular slingers will get used to this. (Let us just say that when shooting with my own sling or staff sling, doing “practical research” for MYFAROG, I always made sure there were nobody else around and I parked my car far away from me, way behind me… and I wore a thick leather cap too.)
-Toughness in relation to different types of damage. Physical. Heat. Cold. Electricity.
-The ability to inflict bleeding wounds, to stun, knock down and knock out (and of course kill) even with blows that are mere scratches. You can sever an artery without actually causing much injury to a creature, and you can knock out a person without actually injuring him too.
-The weapon used influences the chance to inflict bleeding wounds, to stun, etc. You can knock out a person when attacking him with a dagger (you can hit him with the hilt), or cause a bleeding wound with a stick (ripping his skin open), you are just more or less likely to do so depending on the type of weapon you are wielding.
-A wide variety of shields with different qualities. The shields are also really, really valuable in combat, compared to the shields in the other RPGs I know of. Especially as protection against missile weapons.
-A wide variety of armour, including bronze and aurichalcum armour, with different qualities, and with realistic weight and real value (=cost). A mail (which takes a lot of effort to make) for instance costs a lot more than a laminated metal armour do, even though the latter might actually provide better protection (but also much less manoeuvrability). No attempts to “balance” this has been made by me. Instead I did my best to copy the realities of Ancient Europe.
-No warhammers, full suits of plate armour, halberds, claymores, rapiers or other anachronisms (for a setting based on the early Medieval or Ancient Europe) present in the game. Only historically accurate weapons – often tested and tried by me in real life. Most (if not all) weapons have unique qualities, and some have very special features too (like the shield-cleaving battle axes, the bouncing throwing axes, the shield piercing angons [heavy throwing spears], the light javelin that can be used in combination with a spear sling, and so forth)
-No instant healing, and healing sorcery can only be used in combination with the first aid skill. Healing potions works slowly.
-Taking into account e. g. that animals, trolls and ettins don’t block attacks, that they tend to fight very aggressively if they decide to stay and fight, and also taking into account that animals are all afraid of fire and also creatures walking on two legs.
-Morale rules. Your character can even become so scared he suffers traumas and go insane. You can naturally also scare away your foes rather than fight them (try wearing a helmet with three HagalaR runes carved into it, for example…).
-Stamina. You would be surprised by just how many fights have been won for no other reason than the fact that one of the fighters lost his wind and had to put down his guard and rest in the middle of the fight. In fights between two equals this might often be the decisive factor. (Fights between “un-equals” tend to be over very quickly.)
-Willpower dictates your character’s ability to keep on fighting if he grows tired.
-Different ammunition types for missile weapons. Like clay, stone and lead bullets for slings. All with different qualities.
-Optional rules for formations, influencing morale as well as movement and the defensive values of the others in the formation as well. E. g. your large shield will also offer some protection to the guy next to you in the formation.
-Optional rules for random movement during a mêlée. Two fighters in a mêlée don’t just stand there, taking turns trying to hit each other with a weapon. They move about, advance, retreat, move sideways – and sometimes fall as well. The player with a not too strong character might soon regret equipping his character with heavy armour when the fighting takes place on a narrow ledge over a chasm or on a rooftop…
-Charges and surprise attacks, initiative rules and much more.