D&D 4E in Google Wave – Combat Encounter Posts
In a previous post on in-character waves I showed in general how I deal with player’s actions in a ‘Turn Post’. I’ve seen several ways on how to do this, so thought I’d show in detail how I deal with a character’s turn during combat.
I’m quite lucky that even though the player base for Blackengorge is over a time zone that everyone who plays can usually make at least one post every day. Therefore, I prefer in our game to wholly resolve one character’s turn before progressing onto the next combatant in initiative order. I also like to resolve a character’s turn wholly within a single blip, and not spread it across multiple blips, even if enemies’ immediate interrupts kick in.
I like (and so far I’ve had no complaints from the players!) to keep a similar format for each combat post:
- flavour text on what the character is doing
- game mechanic
- game mechanic resolution
- flavour text resolution
Keeping this simple flow of four items helps everybody understand what was intended and what was the outcome.
Flavour texts can be as simple or as complicated as the player should wish. In the example below, our dwarf hero makes a move action (a shift) and an attack. The move would take place on the battlemap, and an optional [Shift] keyword is sometimes added to the flavour text if its not clear.
The players then enter their ‘game mechanic’ for their attack. In this case our warlord is attacking a silk wyrm with his Shielded Assault encounter power. Most of the mechanics are marked using the square braces [ and ] and dice rolls are performed by the Random Lee bot.
Our player has told us what the attack power is, what it is aimed against (with armour class being implied, if it’s against one of the other defences this is usually stated) and added the dice roll – in this case 1d20+6+2. All of the modifiers for a dice roll are given separately so all of the players and the DMs can understand what is happening. In this case the +6 is the warlord’s standard attack modifier with his warhammer, and the +2 is due to a flanking bonus.
To keep things moving as quickly as possible in Google Wave the player will then add a line for damage and any other effects of the strike (in this case the +2 AC bonus effect). Damage results get rolled by the Random Lee bot.
I then take over the blip, looking at the result of the attack roll to determine whether the monster has been hit, adding text at the end of the attack line to indicate the type of success (critical failure, misses, hits, or critical hit). Our dwarf has come up with a natural 20, and therefore a critical hit in this case.
I modify the dice roll for maximum damage and I also add the extra damage for the warlord’s flame bracers that kick in on a critical hit. Players seem to be happy for me to roll this damage for them to keep things moving.
I then create flavour text for the result of the mechanic, in this case also including the [Bloodied] tag as the silk wyrm passes the bloodied threshold. Players are free to alter any of this text to suit their character and actions.
At this point I would update the initiative block blip of the encounter to change hit points for creatures and add any effects (such as the +2 AC modifier) to the appropriate characters.
Finally, any further actions and game mechanics are resolved along with flavour text in a very similar method to the above. In this case the immediate interrupt of Silk Strands from the Silk Wyrm kicks in, but the attack is a miss.
Once this is completed I alter the initiative block to indicate who’s turn it is next and the whole process repeats itself until the encounter is resolved.
With everything in one single blip, players coming in sometime later can see everything they need to in single posts, and it also helps to keep the number of posts in a wave down to a compact size.