Page 1485 - It Goes On and On

21st Jan 2021, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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It Goes On and On
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Jan 2021, 6:00 AM edit delete
Wargame-style tabletop combat. It sure... is.

Boy, this page was more tricky to arrange than I expected.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Guest 21st Jan 2021, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
oh no
Digo 21st Jan 2021, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Good gravy, the 11th round?! I feel like I'm torturing my players if I let combat go on for more than six.

Hmm, feel like there's a missed opportunity for a hidden visual panel gag somewhere in the lower area.
The Old One 21st Jan 2021, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
Generally speaking, I find very few combats last more than a minute, which makes that wand of Shield just so terribly useful
Draxynnic 22nd Jan 2021, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
I recall 4E being like that - lots of rounds where you just spam your at-wills because that's all you have left unless it's worth busting out a daily. Mind you, the time I was trying it out was early on - I heard they took steps to shorten combats in the revised edition, but by then I'd booked out.
Firestorm100 22nd Jan 2021, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
The random time-out tea party/card game in the middle of a fight gag.
ANW 21st Jan 2021, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
I think the DM is getting bored at this point.
I think the DM is getting bored at this point.
I think the DM is getting bored at this point.
I think the DM is getting bored at this point.
I think the DM is getting b*smack*

Random Changeling:he'll be okay by tomorrow.
Cliff_Robotnik 21st Jan 2021, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
It's sad but I had to learn to make the majority of "large scale combat" simply be set dressing, no PC wants to wait 20 minutes for you to roll out a billion attacks or what not that has nothing to do with them... If it's ever nessisary, it's functionally "NPC soldiers acting as walls for a hallway of set combat encounters", with all fighting outside the main party functionally just being looped animations... Got the idea from video games, and I just sort of vaguely base how the allied NPC forces do based on the PCs progress... Keeping the main forces "just behind" the main party so that they feel like they are spearheading the assault, and the allies serve as a acceptable reason/excuse as to why the PCs are not swamped by enemy combatants...

In THIS specific encounter, with just the party and a seemingly endless age of mooks invading... I think a similar route can be taken... Use the masses of enemies to form a Conveniant railroad/thematic hallway of more Conveniant encounters... Maybe dot a few NPCs to rescue along the way...

The trick is to simply let the players make the decision as to what they do, and either inform them their choice has put them in a very "animated" hallway towards what they wanted, or, if your good enough, do so without them realizing it... You can block passages with guards and changelings fightin... Fights that the Party can ill afford wasting time/resources on.

In my experience,PCs are smart enough to avoid unneeded fights when there is a Countdown to something going, but not everyone is as lucky as me when it comes to regulars,
Ereshkigal 21st Jan 2021, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
My first D&D campaign started with a 30-NPC battle.

I did not play D&D again for ten years.
Kereea 21st Jan 2021, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
YEP. The final fight of a campaign a couple years ago was ELEVEN PLAYERS against two BBEGs (we'd merged two tables for this). it was very "errrrhg" in waiting for your turn to roll around. The MVPs were me (Bard and thus the buffer) the Fighter's summon (a magic otter and the MacGuffin for the Final Attack once we'd lowered HP enough, it had a healing aura otherwise), and our shapeshifting druid (she could turn into a goddess form by then).

Meanwhile one of the Barbarians got eaten at the top of the initiative order when he failed a reckless attack, and then got regurgitated into another character in the next round. Like a loogie cannonball. Knocked 'em both prone. Which is one way to lower the number of turns per round.
Cliff_Robotnik 23rd Jan 2021, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
The Value of a AoE buff class is often directly proportional to the number of people he can Buff... A bard with some NPC fighters can actually get a TON done, if used right...
Anvildude 21st Jan 2021, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
Happily, my last 'mass combat' went rather well. Which was a surprise, considering that the border battle was totally meant to be just set dressing for the PCs to fly right over, before they went and docked above the castle. It was actually between Belcadiz and a country that one of the PCs was from, which was ruled by an evil king, meaning that the Party did in fact come in on the side of the Belcadizian fort. I'd decided that the enemy didn't have much magic, and so was relying on a line of trebuches. So the party, who were a Thaumaturgy wizard, an Astral Monk, and a Dragon nee Phoenix Sorcerer, were actually SMART! The Sorc and Monk did a "Dynamic Entry!" thing while they were flying over the battlefield, using their higher mobility and destructive power to split up and take out the trebuches, while the Wizard acted as high-power artillery, with a Storm Call and other big battle spells. Then the Monk and Sorc went right back through the bulk of the attacking forces, but specifically avoided as much as possible, so it wasn't a slog.
Cliff_Robotnik 23rd Jan 2021, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes it's the plans whe your utility and mobility shine brighter then that time you did a lot of damage to a nameless goblin.

I had a human ranger once... Lon G. Johnson... Yes I seriously used that name... Whom was basically built for mobility in a no-PC-!agic game... I took that one MTG human type that buffed movement, a feet that did, and as a monk I had yet another source...Kensai monk, used a bunch of varied weapons for a good, logical range of damage types...

And despite being functionally Australian, I did not think to take a boomerang...

For the first chunk of the game, his movement skills(and ability to run up entirely vertical surfaces... And across the surface of water... Which was entirely non-magical, Fuck was just that fast) were part of a running gag of "I can so X" "no you can't, dumbass"... Which eventually paid off when I circumvented a entire dangerous mission by literally running up the side of some magitech tower and hit a reboot switch so the weird facility we were in.

Also he had earlier won against a unwinable fight, in which my party members died(they got better) by outrunning the enemy completely and flurry-ing with a Bow(Kensai monk thing, nut standard I think?), until the BOSS started running from ME... And I was smart enough not to get to close in my pursuit for him to charge me suddenly... Having grown up dealing with lions and cheetahs and shit, he is privy to that sort of shenanigans!
aylatrigger 21st Jan 2021, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
If combat gets this repetitive and lasts that long, you should just skip to the end based on how the players are doing...
Thor 21st Jan 2021, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
This is why swarm rules exist. Want your players to fight 150 level 1 bandits when they are level 12? No problem! 5 large swarms of human bandits coming up! Constant low damage to represent only hitting on 20s, a big hp pool and low AC for sheer mass of soon to be dead humanity. Best of all you don't have to roll/maneuver for 150 npcs!
Darkside 21st Jan 2021, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
My best friend did a war sequence with us once, and basically had the enemy army as one entity with low AC and every time we did damage, that's how many units we killed.
CCC 21st Jan 2021, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
So, from an earlier page, we know that between Rainbow's and Fluttershy's turn is in the order of ten minutes.

From this page, we see that the only person with a turn between theirs is Applejack.

So, it takes about ten minutes for one round for two players (Applejack and Fluttershy - assuming RD's reveal was near the end of Fluttershy's turn). This is believable, especially when the GM is struggling to remember which token are or are not the players, there's snacks, and people are chatting about non-game things inbetween.

However, this suggests that they've been playing this battle for five and a half hours so far...

Newbiespud 21st Jan 2021, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
It got quicker as the number of enemies went down, at least.
Otterfriend 21st Jan 2021, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
And, after a few rounds, you've gotten into the flow and decided what tactics work (and, in this case, mentally adjusted to the new gimmick), so you spend less time figuring out what to do and the further rounds go a lot quicker.
Wulfraed 21st Jan 2021, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Be glad you aren't using RuneQuest combat rules...

Besides the fact that Twilight would be out of Magic Points by now, and relegated to physical attacks... Attacker rolls weapon chance, Defender rolls parry chance, Attacker rolls hit location, Attacker rolls weapon (and personal) damage. If parried, determine if parrying weapon/shield hit points were exceeded (parrying item takes 1HP damage). If not parried, determine how much damage is absorbed by armor in the location hit -- excess goes through to body.

Add in that one can have critical, special/impale, regular hit, miss, fumble for attacker. One also has critical, special, regular, miss, fumble for parry.
Keybounce 21st Jan 2021, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
No, be thankful you are not using Rollmaster combat rules.

Imagine having to track "critical" state for each figure.

Critical: Well, in this system, there's basically two types of damage. Hit points is little more than bludgeoning. It's what untrained people with fists tend to do.

No, crits are things like status effects, injured limbs, bleeders, glowing a pretty shade of purple before disappearing completely, etc.
Binary Toast 21st Jan 2021, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
Oof, now there's an unexpected flashback to the original granddaddy of this comic genre, all the way back to DM of the Rings' Helm's Deep battle.

To qoute Gimli: "We wanted to have battles more often, but nobody suggested we wanted to roll dice until my wife divorced me and Legolas flunked out of college."
Jennifer 21st Jan 2021, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
I enjoy both wargaming AND roleplaying.

But for significantly different reasons.

I have recently turned to very-early-style historical games where the units have few to no hit points at all. The rules focus on morale, and you don't even need to remove casualties. This is useful because a regiment can be represented by nothing but two or three bases of troops.

Roleplaying, on the other hand, grew out of skirmish wargaming. See Games Workshop's Inquisitor for a prime example - it can't decide whether it's a wargame or an RPG, and the designers ended up calling it a "narrative skirmish wargame." The (again, very early) skirmish wargames I was experimenting with before lockdown simply become unmanageable beyond three or four figures a side.
Pepperbrony 21st Jan 2021, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Punch! Kick! Duck! Punch! Zap! Party!
Scissors Rock Paper 22nd Jan 2021, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like the gimmick has worn out. Time for a new gimmick: C-C-C-COMBOS!! If the party starts repeating actions, change things so they can't.
Freelance 22nd Jan 2021, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
And let's not forget, this is FOURTH ed combat.