Monster Combat Issues

April 8, 2008

I’ve been trying to figure out the monster battle rules for Sorcémon. My instinct is to have a basic conflict resolution system for basic character-character interaction, maybe something as simple as Sorcerer or Otherkind dice, and then to have monster combat be when you Bring Down the Pain and rough each other’s monsters up on the Agon-inspired Awesome Battlefield using the See-and-Raise structure from Dogs in the Vineyard.

However, in practice, putting all that together is a little difficult. Movement (positioning) and range is critical in Agon but unimportant in Dogs or Pokemon. I’ve been thinking that the positioning and range concerns of Agon could be replaced by rolls that convince your demon to actually fight on your behalf, but it may be that demon-sorcerer conflicts are best handled outside of combat, instead of allowing them to distract from the fun of battles. Also, it’s tricky to figure out how escalation works, since I set up the sorcerer’s traits to allow for escalation (from talking to doing to fighting to sorcery), but that sounds like long-form conflict resolution, not the quick and dirty conflicts I imagined sorcerers would be directly involved in. Maybe that escalation is used in conflicts with your own demons? Not sure.

It’s also unclear how many of your character’s traits you should be able to roll in demon-demon combat. Surely we want sorcerers to be invested in conflicts as well, or what’s the point? But, generally speaking, demons do most of the fighting, with their sorcerers egging them on or suggesting certain attacks or defenses. But Lilith should also be able to use the Devilexicon to find out the secret weaknesses of opposing demons before attacking them. Guy’s been suggesting that the sorcerers and demons perhaps operate according to entirely different rules, which would be kinda cool, especially since one of the core characters is going to be a demon sorcerer. I clearly have to spend a bit more time thinking about this.

One thing I am pretty sure about: while sorcerers can gain XP/Artha/whatever from using Keys and Aspects, demons advance only through the Fallout gained from conflicts and through the besting of other demons, the latter of which earns them new abilities as spoils, in the manner of tattoos in Beast Hunters.

Hopefully, once Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium arrives, I’ll be able to mix that with Beast Hunters and My Life With Master to create the monster combat rules. I’d still like to include some of the miniatures-based stuff from Agon and Primitive too. We’ll see. Also, I suppose I should probably check out Contenders again.

3 Responses to “Monster Combat Issues”

  1. misuba Says:

    A thought: could Agon-esque ranges be mapped to Dogs’ arenas of escalation? That is, start with long-range attacks and so on, then escalate to closing in if you can? There’s still a few question marks in between underpants and profit there, but I thought I’d share it.

    Also: what if, if you add your sorcerer’s traits to demon combat, any fallout has to be applied to those traits first? (Or would that be as much of a bonus here as it is in Dogs?)


  2. I’ve definitely thinking that demon combat should put sorcerers at risk somehow, and I like your latter suggestion as a way of bringing that in. Thanks.

    Escalating to different ranges is interesting. I was thinking about having certain Sees or Raises serve as positioning roles, but escalation might work as well. Hmm…

  3. John Harper Says:

    All of this Sorcémon stuff makes me so giddy I can’t offer rational responses.

    I’m just firing my pistols in the air and dancing a dance.


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