David Whyld wrote:I don’t think combat systems will ever work well in text adventures.
It's true I've never really seen it done well in traditional IF, but then again you've got MUDs, which are entirely text based with most of them having their custom combat systems as the main draw. Ideally that style of combat is what I'd like to include, just with less emphasis on hit points. But as usual the problem is going to be that it's going to require all that advanced v5 voodoo that I'm just no good at, and even if I was there are so many factors to consider it would take up a lot
of time getting even something extremely basic together.
For those of you not familiar with MUDs, even a standard cookie-cutter combat system with nothing especially unique about it lets you do things like set fighting stances (defensive, balanced, berserk, etc) and gives you special abilities based on your class or race. There's no repetitive typing; once a fight is initiated the rounds progress in real time, though there's plenty of time to type in special commands if you're not satisfied letting it auto-resolve. A thief can start a fight off by backstabbing with a poisoned dagger, then dodge any retaliation and kick dirt in an enemy's eyes to blind them, while a warrior can soak up damage and hit like a truck with power attacks, then shield-bash or headbutt an enemy to stun them for a few rounds while they finish them off. Kicking an enemy might knock them down and give you an advantage, or you might screw it up and unbalance yourself instead. Grappling will prevent either one of you from attacking, and so on.
And all that's really just the most basic sort of fight, even before you factor in equipment and magic items and potions and the like. (not that I'll be including the latter two, I'm trying to keep the setting semi-realistic)
And of course enemies always have a few tricks too...that goblin you attack might yell for help to any others in the surrounding rooms, a wizard might turn invisible and summon a demons to fight you instead, or a monster might have fire or acid attacks that damage your equipment. (And not applicable at all to an IF game, but a special kind of jerk move is when a named NPC with a set location will actually yell out on the public channel that you're attacking them, meaning all the other players suddenly know exactly where you are...)
...so yeeah, I think I might be getting in a little over my head here.
But I'll try a few different ways to throw together an encounter with a bandit this weekend and we'll see what sticks.