As far as I have seen there are only realy two types of role playing games. There are roleplaying games which emphasize getting inside of the character's head and honestly interacting with the game world and other players and then there are "Roll" playing games. The two types of games have many things in common, both have their share of munchkin players who exhort having found a "wicked" way to min max something to the point of making a game master want to take up knitting, both can provide a decent nights entertainment, and both must have a system in place for dealing with confrontation. Thusly I come to the point of this little spiel by asking everyone what they think of Anima's combat system and I invite you to relate your favorite in game combat thus far.
As for my personal opinion, at first I was taken aback by how much the percentile tables reminded me of a dreaded old school RP( Hint ends in master and hase been known to come in cyberpunk, space, and fantasy flavors). Admitedly I had fun with that old game, but by no means because of the system. When I realized that the remainder of the Anima book was not filled with every single object that had been used as a weapon throughout human history turned into statistics as to what would happen if said telephone came into contact with said level of chainmail codpiece, needless to say I breathed a sigh of relief. If you haven't played that as to yet un-named old school rp then you have no idea of the horror I am talking about when I say that to properly orchestrate a thirty second fencing match required no less than three books and two hours.
OK, the flashbacks are gone. Anima doesn't have that probelm, there is one chart to look at for combat and if they include it on the GM screen(are they coming out with a GM screen?) there should be no complaints from any sane individuals. It all seems effective and not as burdensome a thing as it could have turned out to be, but really I want to know what other gamers think and once again what cool combats have been rought through Anima's combination of sword/magic/martial arts/awesomeness. Thanks.
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Anima doesn't have that probelm, there is one chart to look at for combat and if they include it on the GM screen(are they coming out with a GM screen?) there should be no complaints from any sane individuals.
It is on the screen, don't worry.
Moreover, you don't really need it, because : %Damage = Margin of success rounded down to the tens, - 10 per point of Armour ( with some tweaking at some places; any result below 30% is changed to 0)
Counter-attack Bonus = Margin of failure rounded up to the tens, minus 10 , then halved ( <--- OK, not that easy to remember )
Personally I really like the combat system (even though I had flashbacks to the same system you hinted at) and it's really quick and efficient once you get used to it. Alas the only combat I could describe would be the 'learning the combat system' class I gave my players since after 6 sessions they've found ways to avoid fighting as much as possible, okay they have yet to fight anybody. They're more 'Role-Players' than 'Roll-Players', heck sometimes I don't make them roll if they description of a social action wows me. Not that it really worries me that they're non-combative, one day their luck will change. I see it as 'They're having fun with the story they're making, and I'm having fun directing it.'
Now when a few of the people they've wronged catch up to them... I'll make sure to post those epics, and they will be epics because some of their foes have gotten together to take them down (not to mention all the bounty hunters/assassins they have after them).
First, welcome HexPhile, and I'd like to say that I really enjoy reading your message, I was laughing all by myself in front of my computer
A friend of mine is a GM at this particular dreadful oldschool game, and a few weeks ago I barely had a cerebral attack when he was explaining me evidences of an error in calculation of Mithril weapons price, basing on maths he made with supposed mithril density, iron density and size of mithril coins
So, I'm not a big fan of munchkinisable-hard rules fighting RPG, and, I like Anima system.
Once you get it (it's not very hard), it's fluid and dynamic. Some of my players who were used to DD3 had some difficulties to understand that you are allowed to do a lot of things when it's not your Initiative turn (passive actions, as 1/4 of movement, some spells or psychic powers, simply talking !), and I think it's the real good point of Anima : you can get a very high tactic level playing with this dynamism. A lot of special "manoeuvre" (as disarming, area attack, grappling, etc.) can be done easily with a system of bonus/malus. Players won't get worried during combat because they don't need to wait until their initiative turn : an ennemy can attack them, they'll need to defend of course, but they can also counter-attack and do passive actions.
And if you don't want to have a lot of combat, Anima can also be a great system, because the setting is so good that you can imagine huge plots if you like politics, strange inquiries if you like it, etc.
To sum up, it's a great system to do combats if you want it, but it's not only a fighting game.
- We carry all our dreams on a single beam of light -
Member of the french Anima community
Web master of Projet Anima JDR (all stuff by the french community, some in english, and soon in spanish too)
I agree that Anima combat is fun.
My problem with the chart is that its not needed at all. It is built on a simply calculation that can be done without referencing a table, provided that the minor exception of not doing any damage with a MoS of 10-29 at AT0, or MoS of 20-29 at AT1 was removed. Unfortunately, with the table added to preserve this minor exception, it gives the impression that the system will be like Rolemaster and this deters a lot of RPGers from coming anywhere near the game :(
As much as I love a well tuned and righteously epic combat some of my greatest roleplaying experiences have been gm-ing a group that could think their way arround such things. The type of group that you have together is something of a rarity in these the great days of the allmighty MMO, I can't say that I don't envy you a little.
I think the combat in Anima seems like it can be quite nice once you sort out how everything works together.
The basics are really nice. I agree with everyone else that The Table was kind of intimidating until I noticed you could do it in your head. The low margin of success entires are a little annoying but easy enough to memorize. I think my favorite part is in fact the possibility of counterattacks and the fact that combatants lose actions for being wounded.
The loss of action seemed really harsh at first... until I realized the whole system goes so fast that one lost attack barely matters. In fact, that's part of why it's so fast; on a given turn half the people in a combat may not even get to take proper actions.
Oh and counterattacks are a wonderful time-saver in themselves. How many times have you consulted your initiative chart, looked to the appropriate player and asked "What is your action?" only to be met by a blank stare? Players seem to jump at countattack chances so far (especially when they have bonuses!) and it gets their actions out of the way early, simplifying the rest of the round and avoiding the moment of indecision.
I'd say the worst part of Anima combat is the worst part of the whole game; It's really hard to figure out how all the special cases work. I'm still trying to sift through the book and resolve some of them. The most memorable one that has come up so far... they explain what happens if you block a weapon with your bare hands, but what happens if a bare-handed attack is blocked with a weapon? The same thing? Something different? Nothing at all? The book seems to say nothing. The whole book is littered with that sort of vague lack of detail for all sorts of marginal cases. Any decent GM will just rule on the side of common sense and balanced play and get through it all right... but it can still be pretty mystifying at times.
As to my favorite battle so far... nothing terribly interesting yet. Two fresh characters, a Warlock and a Technician, were just beginning their adventure when they encountered two bandits harassing an unarmed traveler some distance from town. Reasoning that the situation could turn violent at any moment, the pair tried to approach as quietly as possible. Two horrible stealth rolls later the bandits were alerted and the Technician decided he didn't care to negotiate.
The battle that ensued was far from epic but was quite entertaining nonetheless. The warlock managed to break one of the bandits' weapon early on, forcing him to defend himself bare-handed until he fell. The Technician managed to try his special custom-made ki attack twice, rolling less than 20 both times and missing completely (despite the +50 bonus he put in the effects!). The whole fight was very "first level" overall; lots of missing and generally comical roll results on both sides. The weaponless bandit was put down pretty easily after he was disarmed; the other bandit fell prey to his own fumbled dodge roll and the spectacular critical counter that followed.
Now that those two players are properly initiated in the workings of the game, I'm hoping to get the rest of the group together and start in on some properly spectacular battles. My group is very interested in combat as a general rule with all RPGs. Not necessarily in the hack'n'slash monty haul way, but they definitely come with the intent to kick ass, take names, and save the world in the most action-packed way they can think up. I have high hopes that the fast-paced combat system combined with the absurdly large variety of character combinations will give us plenty of variety and strategy to keep things interesting.
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