Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Entry: 00-006: Coordination

by Doug, Co-Creator

So now with an idea of the basic attributes used in CotV let’s look at one of the more unique features of One Breath Combat (OBC); the Coordination score. Turns in many RPGs act like a common board game where “I go, you go, that dude next to you goes, then that other guys goes, then that chick goes and now I go again”. While this is great because each player gets an “equal” amount of the spotlight it can make it challenging to have the quick nimble elf and full plate wearing Paladin fight side by side and feel like one is very quick but fragile while the other is slow and a tank.

In CotV we wanted to have characters as diverse as primal jungle aliens fighting alongside Mech suits so we introduced a game mechanic called Coordination. A characters coordination score tells the player how many times that character can act in 1 turn. Each turn is divided into 6 rounds. Larger or more heavily armored characters have lower coordination scores and therefore activate on fewer rounds. Quick, lightly armored characters have higher coordination scores and therefore activate on several rounds. However heavily armored characters tend to have greater vitality and do more damage. This allows us to have battles that are like the classic struggle between Chun-Li and Zangief. Chun can evade all day while chipping away little by little but once Zangief gets a hold of you its game over!

There are several combat mechanics to prevent a player with a low coordination score from just sitting around waiting for their turn. Things like, counter attacks, defensive combat rolls and unknown initiative keep all the players involved even when they are not activating.