Following the previous post about striking combat, in this post I’ll lay out the framework for grappling combat.
There’s some fundamental difference between striking and grappling in real life. Striking requires good judgement and control of distance, where each technique requires a certain minimum distance of travel to be able to impart an effective amount of kinetic energy upon impact. In grappling however, the key success factor is to get in close, disable the opponent’s range of responses, and then maneuver into a dominating position where one can deliver attacks without fear of retribution.
This is what I’ll be trying to model for grappling combat in Splintered Core. There are 3 phases: (1) closing the distance; (2) takedown; and (3) follow-up technique. Maneuver modes and stances determine the techniques used in the first phase, attack stances and
Like both ranged combat and striking, there’s not much changes to maneuvering modes. Like striking, walking would default to sneak mode; and both run and charge can have engagement mode turned on at the same time. Keybindings don’t change (they are “Q” for engagement mode toggle and “W” for maneuver mode cycle”).
Like striking, character shifts between different preparation mentality with different stances. If a stance is set to offensive, the grappler will intend to shoot the opponent (shoot as in shoot wrestling) and forcefully perform a takedown; in the counter mindset however, the grappler will try to make the opponent over-commit and then use that opportunity to counter-attack.
Again, like striking, this sets the character to a specific attack vector. For example, in an offensive stance and a high weapon position, when the character engages an enemy he will attempt to takedown the opponent from a standing position. If however the weapon position is set to normal, the character will instead perform a shoot towards the opponent’s waist. Finally, if the weapon position is set to low, a tackle to the legs would be executed instead.
- Close Range
- Normal Range
- Shooting Range
Like striking, attack stances are basically engagement range. This is to determine from what range would a character execute the grappling techniques. The general rule-of-thumb is that the closer the distance, the higher chances of successfully grappling the opponent but at the same time the higher the chances that the opponent can resist (or even reverse) the takedown.
- Circulatory System
Again, like striking, attack mode mainly determines the attack type. For example, on a high weapon position, close range, and with the attack mode: “joints”, the grappler would close the distance and attempt to perform a neck snap maneuver. On the same position and range but with attack mode at “limbs”, the grappler would instead execute a arm bar or arm lock maneuver. Each of the attack mode will provide different status ailments if executed successfully: joints mode will cause sustained pain and temporary loss of mobility; limbs mode will cause paralysis or disability; while circulatory system will cause blackouts and even death.
Primitive weapons, which comes in two categories – light and heavy, defines a character’s skills in using melee weapons like batons, sledgehammers, knives, axes, maces and so on. To break it down:
Knives, Batons, Switchblades, Knuckles, Maces, Machetes and Hammers. They are generally fast but do not have a long reach.
Shovels, Staffs, Spears, Sledgehammers, Axes, and Flails. They generally have a longer reach and more damage but are slow to wield.
The only difference in combat model for primitive weapons is the Attack Stances and Attack Modes:
- Short Range
- Medium Range
- Extended Range
This is pretty much self explanatory. The shorter the range, the easier it is to hit an enemy, but the lesser the damage.
- Flurry Attack
- Normal Attack
- Power Attack
Mainly this is the speed of the attack used, or the level of commitment. The faster it is, the more attacks per round at the cost of damage, while the slower it is the more damage it deals.
I’ve pretty much covered all possible aspects of the combat model, and I’m quite happy at this model. While things might change in the future (as always), I don’t think it’ll stray too far apart from this.
One concern is that it might be too complex. Which is true. It IS a little too much to manage all these parameters in the heat of combat, especially in a tactical-heavy environment like what I envisioned. So in my next post I’ll talk about streamlining the game mechanics into pre-packaged techniques.
Until next time!