Actions & Turns/Rounds

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Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby IXAU » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:25 pm

Recently I discovered tabletop RPGs. From what I've heared from friends they're pretty fun. I googled free downloadable RPGs and found The Artifact. I seem to be grasping the concept, but being new to these kind of games a few things still remain cloudy. The two most confusing things which I just can't find the answer to in the Core Rule Book are Actions and Turns/Rounds. The section on Attributes in the chapter on Game Rules explains that the number of Actions a character starts out with is equal to his REF divided by 22. From what I gather a character may only have 99 or below on any attribute, starting with 60 or below. Say a character had a starting REF of 30, when determining his actions he would only get one, meaning he can not do any multiple actions. How exactly does that work, does this mean he can only do one thing every turn? How do you acquire more actions? Do you get one every time your REF reaches a total in which 22 can be divided again (4 actions max.), or is there a system similar to that of gaining attribute points and skill points? What exactly can be considered an action for an action to be used?
The other thing is Turns/Rounds. I'm very familiar with stratagy games such as Sid Meier's Civilization by FFG, The Settlers of Catan, and several others. These games use very different turn systems than that of RPGs. Someone please explain to me the play sequence of The Artifact in plain english words that a noob can understand. The whole 10 seconds to declare combat loses me. THX
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Re: Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby Emmett » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:50 pm

You've got a good handle on how to calculate actions. Yes if a character's Ref is 43 and under they have 1 action a turn. In the first edition of The Artifact the divider was 15 and most 30 point characters had 2 actions a turn. We found that all this really did was slow down the rounds. Turns used to be 15 seconds (if I'm remembering correctly), now they're 10 seconds (in game time). The characters can technically do the same amount they've always done but the turns are shorter.

The way to raise your actions is to raise the character's REF. As soon as REF goes over 43, the character gets 2 actions. As soon as REF goes over 65 they get 3 actions.

The same thing is done with Hit Points, if STR or CON go up, the charts in character generation (or on the back of the Character Sheet) are consulted and HP are recalculated.

So what is an action? I define that as any dissimilar things the player wants to do. Most of the time it means the player gets to roll for different skill checks Firing a gun and hacking a computer would be two skill checks (roll vs. WS gun then roll vs. Defeat Security) or even firing a gun and then firing again (roll vs. WS gun then another roll vs. WS gun). However they don't have to be skill checks to count as actions. A GM may rule that opening a door would also be an action for example.

Okay turn sequence. Turns work very similarly to Civilizaton or Catan. When it's your time to act it's your turn. All the characters in the game get a turn, even NPCs. Once everyone has had their turn, one round is complete (one time around).

Play sequence goes like this. All the characters get rolls vs their REF. The characters that rolled on their 1/8th column go first, the characters that rolled on their 1/4 column go next and then 1/2 then full. If a character fails their REF roll they have to declare if they are attacking or defending. If they're attacking they go last and they cannot defend themselves. If they choose to defend they take no actions.

If you're a player things would go something like this. Let's say you're going first, you have two actions a turn. You have your character fire a gun (WS Gun) and throw a grenade (WS Grenade). If you pass the checks, the character (or whatever you're firing at) may have a chance to defend. They roll vs their raw REF or their dodge skill if they have one. If your fraction column result is higher than theirs, you've hit. If their fraction column is equal or less than yours they've successfully avoided your attack. I do not require characters to use actions on dodging but if you want to run a very difficult game, you could require it. It's very very hard that way and may not be fun for starting players.

Now when it comes to your opponent's turn, let's say they have one action. They roll vs their weapon skill to try and hit your character. You now roll against your REF or Dodge skill (REF + Skill). If the fraction column you roll under is lower than theirs, you've defended and are unharmed.
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Re: Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby IXAU » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:17 am

Ok, things are becoming clearer. But im still a little lost on the 10 seconds a turn. This is the amount of time the characters "experience" and its likely that players themselves will take longer to decide what their character will, or will attempt to do. If im right about this than a whole hour in game can take days. Please clear me up on this.
Also, you talk about attacking and defending. When these terms are used do they refer to the PC who has the advantage over all other PCs and NPCs that round and the PC who has skipped his turn?

What is a non combat round and when do they happen?
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Re: Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby Emmett » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:53 am

IXAU wrote:Ok, things are becoming clearer. But im still a little lost on the 10 seconds a turn. This is the amount of time the characters "experience" and its likely that players themselves will take longer to decide what their character will, or will attempt to do.
Yes the ten seconds are how much time the characters will experience. It depends on you how long you want a turn to take. At first you can players take their time because they're learning. Later, if they want a fast paced game, give them a 30 or 40 second time limit to declare all their actions. (or you can go with this)

IXAU wrote:If im right about this than a whole hour in game can take days. Please clear me up on this.
Not usually. :) In game time passes very erratically Characters are rarely constantly fighting. Even if there's a few minutes of time where they aren't being attacked or attacking, you'll want to use non-combat rounds. If the PCs are talking (anything more than one or two word shouts), they're probably in a non-combat round. The other thing is, a lot can happen in four to five combat rounds. This is usually the length of my encounters. Then the PCs will run, talk or do something else before they start fighting again. It's important to think less about this strictly in time passed in game than what is important to keep the game moving and interesting to players.

IXAU wrote:Also, you talk about attacking and defending. When these terms are used do they refer to the PC who has the advantage over all other PCs and NPCs that round and the PC who has skipped his turn?
You can attack on your turn, you usually do not attack when it's someone else's turn. There are very few exceptions to this like the Martial Arts focus Counter. You defend when someone attacks you. It doesn't matter when, if someone is attacking you, unless you failed your initiative (REF roll) and decided to attack or were ambushed, you get to try and dodge or parry.

Oh, there is another way to run attack and defense, it's slightly more realistic but again, it's much more dangerous. You could have the normal roll for REF, resolve that normally, and then all the players roll once for their REF or Dodge. The fraction column that they roll under is noted (or if they failed). Now if anyone attacks them that turn the attackers have to beat that fraction column to be successful. This method is great if you roll low but brutal if you fail that REF roll. Again not for beginners.

IXAU wrote:What is a non combat round and when do they happen?
Any time combat is not happening. You may have characters walking around and talking to people. These conversations could take minutes or hours. If an Engineer character is trying to repair something it could take hours, days or possibly even a week. If everyone is waiting around for the transport to be fixed, the Engineer rolls for his attempts to fix the vehicle and then you turn to the other players and say "It took him four days to fix the transport. What do you want to be doing in those four days?" Sometimes they'll have a plan, sometimes they'll shrug and pass. You just passed four days of in-game time.

Many times, travel is needed and travel time can be VERY long if the players aren't taking a teleporter, mass transit or other fast vehicle. Long travel times is most likely to happen with non-military characters. We roll on the random encounters every 1000 kilometers of travel just to keep things interesting.
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Re: Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby IXAU » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:31 pm

Thanks alot! All this really helped. Everything makes WAAAAY more sense. It cancled out alot of other questions I had.
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Re: Actions & Turns/Rounds

Postby Emmett » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:31 pm

Third edition update. Now each initiative roll tells you how many actions you will get that turn. Defensive rolls now take actions. For more see page 78 of the third edition rulebook.
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