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[6E] How to make the combat fun?

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marfish

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« on: <05-09-22/0700:10> »
I am running the 30 nights campaign, and recently get some feedbacks from the samurai player on my table, who complains that the cambat is too basic ("All you need to do is to shoot them, if once is not enough, then shoot them twice, if that still isn't enough, then spend edge."). They feel like the combat in 5e is more engaging and has its own rhythm, and the combat in 6e don't required them to think too much.

For me, I don't feel that differences at all, but I do just throw them basic grunt as the campain suggested. I try to add more cover in the map and have stealth take down sections, but that don't seem to make any difference.

Any suggestions or tips?

Beta

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« Reply #1 on: <05-09-22/0924:13> »
I have very limited experience with 6e combat, but from what I've seen:
- minor action management is a big part of the decision making
- which means that the situation has to put pressure on minor actions (wanting to dodge, use cover, move, etc balanced off against getting 2nd major action for the samurai)
- which in turn means that the PCs have to feel like there is a real chance that they will get hit (it is hard to soak all damage in 6e compared to 5e, but big dodge pools are of course still possible)

I think that means that if facing grunts, make sure that there are enough of them to form effective sized grunt groups, giving enough extra dice to be a threat to hit.

But again in my limited experience, your player is not wrong.  5e had a rhythm to it somehow, while 6e seems to be more constant.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #2 on: <05-09-22/0936:47> »
Some spoilers for 30 Nights follow


My suggestion is to not throw them basic grunts like the book suggests, if your players are looking for more engaging or challenging combat.  You are hampered somewhat by the setting.  There's no power, so tech attacks are mostly off the table.  There are very few vehicles, so threats like Law Enforcement don't have teeth.  The players often can bring their full force to bear on whatever they're up against without repercussion.
30 Nights calls for a lot of gangers.  Here's what you can do to make gangers more dangerous:
1.  Give them a gimmick.  Grenades, fire, toxins, animals, social consequences.  These are all things that make low level opponents more tricky to navigate.
2.  Numbers.  The basic TTRPG challenge increaser.  Bring more of them.  It's not clever, but it works.  When I started 30 Nights, I emphasized that the Ares pullout caused lots of unemployment in the city.  This is why gangs are able to bolster their numbers so much in the blackout.  Be careful using the Grunt Group rules.  In most cases, this reduces the threat of large groups.  Only use it as a time saver.
3.  Add tech and magic.  When you add these dimensions to a group, it engages more of the party and makes them think tactically.  It's not easy to add tech in this setting.  I wouldn't do it until the second half of the campaign.  If you and your group thinks that adding magic to gangs is unrealistic, I'd suggest doing it within the context of a gimmick.  You have a fire themed gang, you include a mage that can call fire spirits - and you HIDE them because they're target #1 for your players.  If your players wonder why there seems to be a lot of magic in street gangs, tie it in to the Black Lodge. 
4. Level up old threats to keep them relevant.  In my campaign, there were two instances of threats that came back later in the campaign, but tougher.  A fire themed gang I made up called "Red Promise" came back as the "Black Promise" when I combined them with the shadow spirit possessed corpses from Night 4.  They used chilling tactics such as crashing a remotely driven pickup truck full of zombies into the players.  Another gang that was violence-prone leveled up when they gained a benefactor, Wuxing.  Wuxing used them as foot soldier proxies against Peregrine and the runners, who they saw as being Saeder-Krupp's proxies.  The rivalry between these two corps is important in the second half of the campaign.  A couple dozen brand new (Wuxing rebranded) AK-97s with explosive ammo can do a lot of damage, and these guys loved to do damage.


Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <05-09-22/0959:39> »
I am running the 30 nights campaign, and recently get some feedbacks from the samurai player on my table, who complains that the cambat is too basic ("All you need to do is to shoot them, if once is not enough, then shoot them twice, if that still isn't enough, then spend edge."). They feel like the combat in 5e is more engaging and has its own rhythm, and the combat in 6e don't required them to think too much.

For me, I don't feel that differences at all, but I do just throw them basic grunt as the campain suggested. I try to add more cover in the map and have stealth take down sections, but that don't seem to make any difference.

Any suggestions or tips?

I feel like it can be too easy to decide to cash in 4 minors to pay for a 2nd attack of the turn.  Using swarms of NPCs that are of low threat individually can either make this even more of a problem, or it can combat the problem!

Why is urban warfare such a dreadful slitch?  Because you never know if there's unseen threats drawing a bead on you.  When doing combat in Shadowrun, consider NOT putting all the baddies on the map at the onset of the attack.  If Sammie Combat God eliminates everyone he sees, great.  Guess what.  their friends he didn't see stand up and shoot back, and now since he spent all his minors on that 2nd attack he can't spend them on dodging.

TL;DR: you'll make combat more immersive and dangerous if you only put threats on the board after someone spends action(s) to spot the lurking threats, or when their turn begins and they stand up from behind cover to attack.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

marfish

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« Reply #4 on: <05-10-22/0247:10> »
Some spoilers for 30 Nights follow


My suggestion is to not throw them basic grunts like the book suggests, if your players are looking for more engaging or challenging combat.  You are hampered somewhat by the setting.  There's no power, so tech attacks are mostly off the table.  There are very few vehicles, so threats like Law Enforcement don't have teeth.  The players often can bring their full force to bear on whatever they're up against without repercussion.
30 Nights calls for a lot of gangers.  Here's what you can do to make gangers more dangerous:
1.  Give them a gimmick.  Grenades, fire, toxins, animals, social consequences.  These are all things that make low level opponents more tricky to navigate.
2.  Numbers.  The basic TTRPG challenge increaser.  Bring more of them.  It's not clever, but it works.  When I started 30 Nights, I emphasized that the Ares pullout caused lots of unemployment in the city.  This is why gangs are able to bolster their numbers so much in the blackout.  Be careful using the Grunt Group rules.  In most cases, this reduces the threat of large groups.  Only use it as a time saver.
3.  Add tech and magic.  When you add these dimensions to a group, it engages more of the party and makes them think tactically.  It's not easy to add tech in this setting.  I wouldn't do it until the second half of the campaign.  If you and your group thinks that adding magic to gangs is unrealistic, I'd suggest doing it within the context of a gimmick.  You have a fire themed gang, you include a mage that can call fire spirits - and you HIDE them because they're target #1 for your players.  If your players wonder why there seems to be a lot of magic in street gangs, tie it in to the Black Lodge. 
4. Level up old threats to keep them relevant.  In my campaign, there were two instances of threats that came back later in the campaign, but tougher.  A fire themed gang I made up called "Red Promise" came back as the "Black Promise" when I combined them with the shadow spirit possessed corpses from Night 4.  They used chilling tactics such as crashing a remotely driven pickup truck full of zombies into the players.  Another gang that was violence-prone leveled up when they gained a benefactor, Wuxing.  Wuxing used them as foot soldier proxies against Peregrine and the runners, who they saw as being Saeder-Krupp's proxies.  The rivalry between these two corps is important in the second half of the campaign.  A couple dozen brand new (Wuxing rebranded) AK-97s with explosive ammo can do a lot of damage, and these guys loved to do damage.

the gimmick ideas sounds cool :) let me try it this weeks.

marfish

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« Reply #5 on: <05-18-22/1219:31> »
the gimmick ideas sounds cool :) let me try it this weeks.

I have try it, I feels like it was more fun and engaging (at least for me, I am still trying to collect their feedback though), but I soon realise that my grunt might never hit my player if they don't already have the attack dp that match the player's defense dp (I mean, if it's 5e, I can try FA, or gang up, or suppressive fire, or longer reach, etc. none of them required me to have dramatic attack dp). It sicks.

Am I doing it wrong? Or is it a problem of the combat rule? Any HR I should try?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <05-18-22/1259:49> »
the gimmick ideas sounds cool :) let me try it this weeks.

I have try it, I feels like it was more fun and engaging (at least for me, I am still trying to collect their feedback though), but I soon realise that my grunt might never hit my player if they don't already have the attack dp that match the player's defense dp (I mean, if it's 5e, I can try FA, or gang up, or suppressive fire, or longer reach, etc. none of them required me to have dramatic attack dp). It sicks.

Am I doing it wrong? Or is it a problem of the combat rule? Any HR I should try?

Try having the baddies reroll the player's hits on the defense test.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #7 on: <05-18-22/1418:12> »
the gimmick ideas sounds cool :) let me try it this weeks.

I have try it, I feels like it was more fun and engaging (at least for me, I am still trying to collect their feedback though), but I soon realise that my grunt might never hit my player if they don't already have the attack dp that match the player's defense dp (I mean, if it's 5e, I can try FA, or gang up, or suppressive fire, or longer reach, etc. none of them required me to have dramatic attack dp). It sicks.

Am I doing it wrong? Or is it a problem of the combat rule? Any HR I should try?

Using Edge to reroll your players' hits, like SSDR said, is important to remember to do. 

Changing your NPC dice pools is another thing you can do.  I often stat my NPCs in a player-relative way.  How many dice are your players rolling, typically?  Starting Shadowrunners are often rolling 10-14.  I like to say 12 is the magic dice pool number for a threat that's on-par with the players.  For me this is like, the boss's lieutenants, or HTR, or elite corp security, or Force 6 spirits.  If they're good but not as good as the runners, I will roll two less.  Runners have the advantage, but a 10 dice pool npc will probably get a couple licks in too.  For me this is like, Yakuza/mafia/triad fighters, cops and security forces, gang leaders.  If they're not a big threat but we're still going to roll and maybe they'll get lucky, that's an 8 dice pool for me.  Rent-a-cops, gang members, goons.  Dice pool 6 opponents may as well not roll, that's like an angry civilian, your cousin who's been in a few fights, the shopkeeper swinging his bat.  I roll that just to hear the dice clatter and narrate what happens.
Another thing you can do is make more attacks.  If you roll enough, some of those will hit.  See the earlier reply about increasing the number of enemies.  Say your team's combat specialist can eliminate 2 targets per turn.  Build that buffer into your attack plan.  Use your social guile to taunt the combat specialist into attacking the target you want.  Maybe there's a ganger in the front who's just itching to fight, he's always looks right at your combat specialist, cracking his knuckles or laughing at him.  Stuff like that can goad your combat guy (who will go first and wipe the floor with this nobody) into attacking your disposable pawn while the guy in the back with cover takes aim and fires ak-97 bursts into your players.  They might miss, but you lengthened his life and he could get another chance.
Another thing you can do is use offensive and defensive moves to your advantage, like your players do.  Flank them for Edge. Take Aim for extra dice.  Use Dodge, use Full Defense.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: <05-18-22/1903:06> »
I've been writing up a lot of different approaches of weaker grunts to combat, using varying force multipliers and on occasion wave combat. The quick summary is simply 'don't just make it straight-up firing, use terrain and tricks'. This could be just cover (and combat drugs), an ambush with good sneaky surprises, or hard use of terrain such as causing a building to collapse. Lots of options if you make the enemies use Cover, groups, and cheaty tricks.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

marfish

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« Reply #9 on: <05-21-22/0007:14> »
Using Edge to reroll your players' hits, like SSDR said, is important to remember to do. 

Changing your NPC dice pools is another thing you can do.  I often stat my NPCs in a player-relative way.  How many dice are your players rolling, typically?  Starting Shadowrunners are often rolling 10-14.  I like to say 12 is the magic dice pool number for a threat that's on-par with the players.  For me this is like, the boss's lieutenants, or HTR, or elite corp security, or Force 6 spirits.  If they're good but not as good as the runners, I will roll two less.  Runners have the advantage, but a 10 dice pool npc will probably get a couple licks in too.  For me this is like, Yakuza/mafia/triad fighters, cops and security forces, gang leaders.  If they're not a big threat but we're still going to roll and maybe they'll get lucky, that's an 8 dice pool for me.  Rent-a-cops, gang members, goons.  Dice pool 6 opponents may as well not roll, that's like an angry civilian, your cousin who's been in a few fights, the shopkeeper swinging his bat.  I roll that just to hear the dice clatter and narrate what happens.
Another thing you can do is make more attacks.  If you roll enough, some of those will hit.  See the earlier reply about increasing the number of enemies.  Say your team's combat specialist can eliminate 2 targets per turn.  Build that buffer into your attack plan.  Use your social guile to taunt the combat specialist into attacking the target you want.  Maybe there's a ganger in the front who's just itching to fight, he's always looks right at your combat specialist, cracking his knuckles or laughing at him.  Stuff like that can goad your combat guy (who will go first and wipe the floor with this nobody) into attacking your disposable pawn while the guy in the back with cover takes aim and fires ak-97 bursts into your players.  They might miss, but you lengthened his life and he could get another chance.
Another thing you can do is use offensive and defensive moves to your advantage, like your players do.  Flank them for Edge. Take Aim for extra dice.  Use Dodge, use Full Defense.

multi hit √ (I get 3232, but my player get 4376; 8dp would never hit them)
12dp √ (8dp would never hit them, and that's why I feel stuck, a 12dp basically means agility 6 and skill 6, they should be some sort of expert instead of regular glunt, but without the numbers of them, a few 12dp elites with regular weapon is not going to be a challenge for them; If I use combat drug, the player would mow them down in the frist round)
Flank them for Edge √ (but it just felt too slow or insiginificant, if I use them right away, they only add 2dp or 1 success; if I save them, my glunt in that good attack position would be mow down)
I believe I try most of them, they are ok :/ but non of them feels impactful.

I've been writing up a lot of different approaches of weaker grunts to combat, using varying force multipliers and on occasion wave combat. The quick summary is simply 'don't just make it straight-up firing, use terrain and tricks'. This could be just cover (and combat drugs), an ambush with good sneaky surprises, or hard use of terrain such as causing a building to collapse. Lots of options if you make the enemies use Cover, groups, and cheaty tricks.
Mind sharing? ;)

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #10 on: <05-21-22/1439:25> »
Not publicly at this point because it includes spoilers for CMP2081-09/10/11/12. o,o
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

marfish

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« Reply #11 on: <05-23-22/0514:59> »
Not publicly at this point because it includes spoilers for CMP2081-09/10/11/12. o,o

Can't wait!  ;D Maybe a heads-up when it come out.