EDIT: I've changed the thread title, because the conversation's turning towards how to create fast fights in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. I'm still happy to chat about the original topic: whether combining the Marvel and Sorcerer systems would speed up fights.)
What if you took the dice pools from Marvel Heroic, then used the resolution system from Sorcerer to determine who goes first and who wins? What would the potential problems be?
I’m thinking of a procedure that goes something like this:
1. Everyone says what they’re going to do in a ‘round’ of combat. Figure out who is targeting who (draw a diagram if necessary)
2. Gather your dice pools as per the normal Marvel Heroic rules.
3. Roll dice and see who has the highest result (tied rolls compare their next highest results). This determines the initiative order – from highest result to lowest result.
4. People who go first compare their results to the results of their target. If you win, you choose your Effect die from your winning dice (the dice you have that are higher than the highest number on your target’s dice). If you have an appropriate SFX or spend a plot point, then you can add additional Effect dice.
5. Targets can either choose to either (a) continue with their stated action, in which case they get to narrate and then roll a single die in defence (Captain America’s shield!), or (b) abandon their action and narrate how they’re fully defending themselves (in which case they pick up their dice and make a completely new roll based on their narration.
6. Effect dice are spend as per the normal Marvel Heroic rules.
Last night I did one round of solo playtesting of this and it seemed to work. There were some obvious issues that could be fixed just by slightly redefining characters’ powers. But can you see any issues with it?Here’s why I’m thinking about this
I think the current initiative system is really neat, and I like Fred’s description of how it came about
The Marvel/Sorcerer mash up I’m suggesting totally doesn't address Cam’s design goals of enhancing a feeling of teamwork or not having a ‘bog-standard’ initiative system.
The reason I started thinking about alternatives to the current initiative/fight system, though, is that in my last game I had a few hour-long fights against villains. These fights felt quite ‘spread out’ with actions/reactions taking quite a long time to get through, and the length of the fights was taking people out of the shared imaginary space.
My gut says that fights in this system shouldn’t take quite that long to get through (I want the tabletop fights to feel, in terms of speed, like the equivalents of a comic book or movie fight).
This could be a question of system mastery (which I’m doing some thinking about how to improve and teach
). I’ve also been doing some thinking about mook rules (by reducing villains down to a Complication) which I’ll post about later, but this seemed like it might also be a productive approach.
I'd appreciate any other tips you might have for speeding up conflicts in Marvel Heroic.