House Rules for Warriors of the Red Planet (Part VII)

My last post introduced a basic one roll mechanism for combat in a solo rpg loosely based on the Warriors of the Red Planet. My intent was to create a quick and easy combat system so that solo players could enjoy a game with fast-paced procedural play. 

I paused a while to give it my ideas more thought. A 1 roll combat resolution would work well if there was 1 player and 1 enemy. A roll could be made to see if an attack was successful. The roll could be modified by player and creature strength, but essentially a high roll over a certain target number would indicate a player hit and damage on the enemy. A low roll would indicate the enemy hit and damaged the player. If the system was finely nuanced enough, a roll in between could be no result for either side. But this type of one-roll system raised too many questions for me to continue writing. 

During a battle there are other actions to consider such as range attacks, special attacks, player or enemy movement, non-fighting actions such as hiding or retreating, or spell casting. Where do these get placed in a battle around this one roll conflict resolution? The other big problem is how does a one roll combat resolution work for a 1 player versus a group of enemies, visa versa, or a group versus a group? It doesn't seem to... 

So I thought about this and arrived a way to make it work. For this to all work, I would need to make a turn order for a conflict situation, and the only way I can think of to make group battle work (and by group battle this is numbers as small as 2 players versus 2 enemies) with a singe roll is to treat each side as a unit. The word unit will make everyone hearken back to early wargaming and start pulling out their editions of Chainmail. I don't plan on doing that as I want this to be something original, but unit play is the direction I will likely go for conflicts with unit numbers being as low as 1 player versus 1 enemy. 

The trick will be to add and subtract all the relevant numbers to arrive at an attack strength for each side to determine how the roll will go. Once I have worked these details out, I will be ready to share what the combat system will look like. Until, thanks for reading, and if anyone has thoughts or suggestions feel free to write a comment.


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