Combat Roles and Attack Simpficiation

I have some proposals here. One which introduces a AC system that is frequently used for tabletop systems. Another that will attempt to address the hybrids running around with the best of both worlds when it comes to damage and defenses.

Core changes:
These are my core mechanic changes that I would implement to speed up combat. The most significant changes is that both Regen and Accuracy are removed. They are both insignificant and too universally good. The other sigificant change is the changes to attacking and defending. Using a AC system, there only needs to be one roll performed to perform an attack. Attacks can either target DR or AGI which makes them equivalent to one another.

Regen, removed. Regen items now grant +5 HP per stat, excluding the +HP bonus. So, +2 RGN & +5 HP items are now +10HP.
When you lose health, you don't get it back unless you got a healer. As it should be. Let's keep combat moving along.
Everyone I've asked doesn't like RGN. It prolongs combat and is insignificant to character development/capability (so insignificant that people forget to apply it on their turn half the time) People build it because it's good and they force people to counter it.
RGN doesn't work with current defensive pools. There is too much stat abundance where it's easy to get what is needed with stats to spare to pick up RGN. The one way to fix this is to pool RGN with DR and AGI but then we'll have a weird defensive pool where it's spread across three stats. The easist solution is to just remove it.
Accuracy, removed. Attacks now use their damage modifier for hitting and damage.
E.g. Having 6 STR will let you have a +6 to attacking with STR melee weapons.
Accuracy is universally good while being universally boring, which is pretty impressive. It's like WoW's old Hit Rating stat. People had to build Hit Rating to not miss during raids. Guess what happened to it? It got removed.
Players cannot benefit from Bonus Damage, Bonus Healing, Damage Absorption unless it is from an outside source or if their class allows it.
Having pools doesn't work. Pools just make it so they can get at least +3/+3 or +2/+4 which people more damaging and tankier. These stats need to be locked behind combat roles.
Introduce AC system for defense against attacks. DC 10, Attacks either target Agility or Armor.
No more waiting on people to roll defense rolls. Makes AGI as effective as DR. People don't need to be lucky with AGI to make it worth while.
Attacks Targeting DR must beat a DC 10 + DR to score a hit. DR no longer increases HP or reduces damage.
Attacks targeting Agility must beat a DC 10 + AGI to score a hit. AGI no longer increases [Cover].
Attacking someone who counters you with their defenses is akin to currently attacking someone with 6 AGI - 50% to hit.
Attacking someone who you counter with your weapon means you get a significant chance to hit and deal damage.
With this new AC system. The following changes are made to current procs and stuff.
[Auto Hit] Removed, unnecessary. Have the attack target DR.
[Penetrate] Removed, unnecessary. Have the attack target Agility.
Magika, some target DR, some target Agility but not both.
[Cover] Changed, have it add +2 to defending DC of both types.
[Spear Types] Changed, lowers Defending DR DC by 2 when attacking.
[KAB Round] Changed, lowers Defending Agility DC by 2 when attacking.
[Armor Piercing] Changed, lowers Defending DR DC by 2 when attacking.
[Shred] Changed, lowers Defending DR DC by 1.
ETC, you get the point.
While we're at it, Misc Balance Changes
Unarmed Changes
You cannot perform unarmed attacks if the hand holds an item which grants an extra ability.​
Unarmed builds usually have ~6-7 abilities because they don't need to equip weapons.
They spend ability slots to be better at unarmed but gain ability slots for being unarmed? Is this intended?
Gear Changes - Dealing with ACC and RGN being removed.
We have too many gear slots for stats. They need to be cut down.
- Cut down gear slots - Players now only have 2 Cybernetic Slots and 2 Implant Slots.​
- Cut down gear stats - Cybernetic and Implant Slots only grant +1 instead of +2.​
Ability Changes
Only one once per combat ability can be equipped.​
Have you been in a combat where your 5 round ability came off cool down more than once or twice?
Free Action Weapon Swap Changes
Free action weapon swaps are to be removed.​

Inventory Changes
You may only carry 5 unique items outside of equipped items.​
Backpacks are now back slot items and increase inventory size by 4.​
Crafting materials, Credits, drink buffs, food buffs, and drugs do not count towards his limit.​
Yep, people have to decide what they want to carry on them. No more carrying around every consumable and weapon in the system to have every tool for the job. There is no decisions made with combat prep, Prepping is just bloating your inventory with every single consumable.

Combat Roles - More Specializing, Less Jack of all Trade builds.
The issue right now is that people can build high defenses and damage, even with the introduced pools. This is accomplished through the ease of getting of DA, Bonus Damage, Regen, and HP. For example: Tanky Mage I'm sure people can build other builds that are as damaging and tanky as this one. We've always wanted combat roles and consider ourselves to have combat roles but we have no definitive combat roles? .. Except for maybe Compassionate, but racials should not be made into combat roles.​
Combat roles themselves are not items. It is just a choice a player makes in what sort of power abilities, stat caps, and general role that they will be fulfilling in combat. It'll be placed in Dice Operations before Phaging. People just need to put [Combat Role] in their titler, e.g, [Support]. Abilities that require 5+ of a stat or if they are once per combat are now locked to their combat role. People wishing to hybrid can still pick up abilities that require 1 or 3 stats of any sort so long they have the stats for it. Players can only benefit from set bonuses if their combat role specializes in that ability tree.
[Defender] - Sacrifice offensive capability for more defense.
Your defensive pool is 8, have more than 6 total reduces your damage by each point over 6.
(How much DR and AGI you can have. Hard cap is still 6 for both. If you go above 6 total, you reduce your damage. E.g. having 6 DR and 2 AGI reduces your damage by 2.)
You may benefit from [DA] from your own gear.
(DA still reduces damage, DR no longer reduces damage.)
Your max HP is 100.
You may equip 5+/Once per Combat/Pet abilities from the following:​
DR, AGI, White Magika.​
[Striker/DPS/Damager, whatever I dunno a good simple name] - Sacrifice defensive capability for more damage.
Your defensive pool is 6.
You may benefit from [BD] (Bonus Damage) from your own gear. Bonus Damage reduces your defensive pool, up to -6.
(More damage you deal, the more glass cannon you are. However, if you have assassinate, you don't take a -12.)
Your max HP is 70.
You may equip 5+/Once per Combat/Pet abilities from the following:​
STR, BS, EXD, SNK, RED and GREEN Magika.​
[Support] - Effects last an additional round. Well rounded.​
Your defensive pool is 6.
Your max HP is 60.
Before combat, declare one effect that lasts throughout combat:
Your beneficial effects that you cast on allies from abilities lasts one additional round.
Your negative effects that you cast on enemies from abilities lasts one additional round.
You may equip 5+/Once per Combat/Pet abilities from the following:​
HAX, SC, Dark, and Yellow Magika.​
[Healer] - Gains additional Healing power through sacrificing damage. Low defenses.​
Your defensive pool is 4, you are considered to be [Phaged] with your defensive caps.
Your max HP is 60.
Your Heals may benefit from [BH] (Bonus Healing) from your own gear. Bonus Healing reduces Damage.
Your attacking damage does not benefit from your damage modifiers unless it is from an allied source.​
You gain Bonus Healing for every MAE or SUR you have, max six. (This is if Bonus Healing gear isn't incorporated.)
You may equip 5+/Once per Combat/Pet abilities from the following:
SUR and Blue Magika
If racials are designed around being in a specific combat role, such as Compassionate, then their downside is that they are considered to be locked in that combat role. So, Compassionate will always be considered a [Healer]. Drevii Phage will always be considered a [Striker]. This doesn't need to apply to all racials, just racials that push a build in a certain direction.
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Staff member
These are all really good ideas and will be looked at for 10th edition. We are not sure how far away that will be, but we want to settle what 9th edition has right now. We don't want to be making anymore drastic build changes anymore. The farthest we are thinking about doing right now is a possible nerf to DA and tweaking how penalties affect the caps.
I like how rolls are streamlined to where only one person has to roll. Though AGI and DR almost effectively doing the same thing, I'm not too sure about that. At that point, you may as well merge the two and call it 'defense' or DEF.
I'm not a big fan of the rather huge limitations which this suggestion provides.
For intance, does it mean that you can either use yellow magika (support) or red magika (dmg)? I personally like the magic of ROE that you can work with your abilities and your items in a tactical way and such strong limitations would remove a lot of that.

The biggest issue I see with the combat system is the tracking of buffs/debuffs/rgn/procs/cooldowns. I think these things rather need to be improved, if we don't create a web-tool on the server to manage it all for us.
Honestly the 'AC" system being talked about, is a concept I've pretty much only ever seen in D&D and Palladium Books games which uses AR for certain kinds of armour to determine if either the shot hits the body or the armour (for partial coverage) hits the armour or punches through to hit the HP (If full coverage) or does damage/no damage for stuff that has 'hard' or 'vehicle' armour.

Shadowrun -kind of- had a system like that specifically for Milspec armour but then it was a much more simple Damage vs Armour and if Damage didn't = armour the attack couldn't penetrate the armour and deal damage. otherwise you resolved damage resistance as normal and that pretty much went away after 4th Ed rolled out (And it's now in 5th)

I also don't see where having regenerative abilities is such a big deal. A lot of RPGs have regenerative abilities, be it as a racial, provided by implants, or other sources depending on the setting. (Trolls in D&D, Shapeshifters (Among others) in Shadowrun and assorted supernatural games, pretty much any super hero game etc)
I think RGN doesn't need to be edited out. Does it prolong combat? Yes. That's the point of it. Individuals run a myriad of builds, but I have seen high HP values fairly consistently. RGN functions as that extra "oomph" for some of the builds that are run on characters that would and should have higher HP than the healer or the mage that somehow set up their defenses to be running at max health.

Now, on the note of other defensive aspects, DA I could live without, as well as the defensive roles when attacking. D&D's "Armor Class" idea has been in place for decades for a reason. However, as was said by somebody else already, when you're concerned with AC, an attack versus AGI or DR doesn't really matter anymore. It's all one defensive score at that point, the only difference is flavor. Are you're skipping out of the way of the hit or is it skipping off your body armor?

Now should AGI and DR still matter? Of course. If you're suiting up in heavy armor you should not be able to move as fast as somebody in light armor, and subsequently be able to take more punishment. DR should still effect HP as a way of mechanically enforcing that the armor has to be cut through before you hurt the person under it. (I've always roleplayed it as not drawing blood until 50hp and under myself.) Abilities should stay tied to those two stats to reinforce that flavor, as should the inverse relationship between the two. However, if we're looking at balance here, the division between AGI, DR, and abilities that target one over the other will just repetitively create situations where you are either helped or hurt depending on the meta of "which attacks target what" and having to memorize such information rather than simplifying attack vs defense.

Now, something that bugs me heavily from this idea is the limitations of the "Specializing." Part of what brings people into the SIM is the ability to build their character how they see fit. "Jack of All Trades" characters are inherently weaker than characters built towards a specific goal, you don't need to create more bonuses to specializing to make that happen. Limit their inventory, make them pay for trying to swap weapons constantly in combat, and let people build their characters as they choose.
I think a lot of these ideas are fantastic and I really look forward to seeing them in 10e. I have tried to bring it up in the past how an AC system would speed combat up tremendously. Waiting for your target to have to roll to dodge has usually caused me the most amount of down time in combat scenarios. All it takes it one person not paying attention or going afk and suddenly they are picked to defend something and all combat is halted. At least in this new scenario, you can whisper them how much health they lose and move on.

Although I don't really agree with Jonoleth in that we should keep both stats but only roll once, either or specifically. Combining the stats would make more sense imho. The way it's done in DnD is one of my favorite systems. No dodging, no aiming, no evading or piercing numbers, just strait hit or miss. Its still exciting without bogging down combat with a bunch of numbers that lead to the same end result anyway.

Eliniel Eiren

Staff member
A lot of these are things we've been considering but aren't something we can realistically do until we start work on a 10e. We've a lot of ideas for this, some of which have been touched on here.
Good to hear.

You still can use both. For example, if someone is [Support] they can equip both Red and Yellow Magika abilities. However, this will limit their selection of abilities that require 5+ MAE or are once per combat to those listed in [Support]. So, they can pick up [Red Missile] and [Red Volley] (They require 1 and 3 MAE) along with any yellow ability. People can still hybridize to what they want to do but what they hybridize into isn't as strong as someone who specializes in it. Abilities will be balanced around this limitation. D&D has a similar system when it comes to casting levels for multiclass.

As for your second comment, I agree. That should be simplified. I feel as though the caster should be keeping track of all dots/buffs/and etc that they cast on someone. DOT / HOT to other players are done on the source's turn instead of the enemy's turn.

I like the AC system because it's simple and fast. We can balance around attackers having more opportunities to gain the statistical advantage to keep combat moving along.

While systems do have RGN, it has no place in this system where one of the major complaints is combat duration. RGN does nothing outside of making combat last longer. If people want to get HP back, they should hybridize into getting healing abilities to heal themselves or get a healer, both of which will cost their team an action. A team with 2x 6 RGN heal themselves as much as a healer would casting the basic heals on the team's net HP. They get this for free, every round. I feel as though RGN might be able to be added but not when combat lasts 2-5 hours.

As for Regen, see above.

As for defensive stats, building AGI or DR will make someone more resilient to a type of attack. With the proposed system, building DR will make someone more resilient to fewer but higher damaging attacks and vice versa for AGI. This makes someone more resilient to that sort of attack. There will be times where someone's defenses will counter some abilities and weapons, that's just how it is.

Perhaps DR can raise the Health CAP (but not grant HP) and AGI can increase movement cap (but not grant MOV, MOV cap starts at 0 unless someone has AGI) Stuff like that can easily be added to further diversify the two stats.

As for the specializing, I respectfully disagree, Jack of All Trades are usually stronger. See my linked build as an example. That build is as tanky as a tank build and as damaging as a normal damage build. (Having near maxed HP, damage, and defenses is considered tanking.) Specializing isn't very limiting. The only real mechanic behind it is people picking which bonus stat they want and the abilities they will excel it.

Someone should not have the ability to pick up the most powerful abilities from every ability line in the system. This makes specializing characters redundant as anyone can pick up their super ability and be as good at them as they are. People can hybridize still, but they will not be as strong as someone who specializes in that line of abilities.

Frankly, I personally think specializing should be limited to one ability tree. Like, players declare what line of abilities they can get the strongest abilities from but I thought that would be too limiting. E.g. Someone declares they are a super hacker so they can only equip 5+ stat and/or once per combat abilities from the HAX abilities, every other tree is limited to 1 or 3 stat required abilities. Having people pick from a pool was the compromise.

Combining these stats could work but I frankly like the difference between the two. People either build to counter fewer + heavier blows or counter numerous + less damaging blows. Perhaps it could be changed where all physical abilities target DR and all magika abilities target AGI. Overall, I want them to be equivalent to one another but still offer up a tactical choice that a player will have to make. If that cannot be achieved, then they should be merged.

My reasoning against merging is that everyone will have DC 10 + Defense against every attack and people will always build to their cap. As a result, this will boil down to a 50-50 for all attacks or something similar when dealing with tanks and healers. Countered attacks should have about even hit miss (DC10 + 6 v 1d20 + 6) ratios whereas countering attacks should have heavily favored hit ratios. (DC10 v 1d20 + 6)

A lot of these are things we've been considering but aren't something we can realistically do until we start work on a 10e. We've a lot of ideas for this, some of which have been touched on here.
Unfortunate but it's good to talk about it.