Declaring Targets in Dark Dungeons

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dmjifn
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Declaring Targets in Dark Dungeons

Post by dmjifn » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:10 am

Apologies if this is too novice a question.

In Rules Cyclopedia, it looks like combatants don't pick their targets until their phase.
In Dark Dungeons, it looks like combatants declare targets up front, before initiative.
Then it says combatants can abandon their attack but can't change targets, even if the target become invalid.

How specific are targets for attacks?
Is it a specific individual (e.g., "The orc on the right"), by group (e.g., "One of the orcs pushing the cart"), or something else?
How do you usually handle situations where a combatant wants to specify by some criteria, like "The first orc that moves up to attack our mage", or "The first orc through the door"? Do you let them, or do you make them declare after the monsters and have them pick a specific orc?

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Blacky the Blackball
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Re: Declaring Targets in Dark Dungeons

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Hi dmjifn, and welcome to The Piazza!
dmjifn wrote:In Rules Cyclopedia, it looks like combatants don't pick their targets until their phase.
In Dark Dungeons, it looks like combatants declare targets up front, before initiative.
Then it says combatants can abandon their attack but can't change targets, even if the target become invalid.
That's right. By the RC rules as written, characters don't have to declare anything about their action until their phase. However, if you look at some of the spell descriptions they give you bonuses to your initiative, and some manoeuvres make you go last. There's also a rule saying that if you are casting a spell and you lose initiative and get hit before it goes off then the spell is wasted. Clearly this points to the fact that there should have been a rule in there about having to declare your action at the start of the round (otherwise none of those bits make sense) but it was lost in editing. Frank Mentzer confirmed that when I asked him about it while writing Dark Dungeons.
How specific are targets for attacks?
Is it a specific individual (e.g., "The orc on the right"), by group (e.g., "One of the orcs pushing the cart"), or something else?
How do you usually handle situations where a combatant wants to specify by some criteria, like "The first orc that moves up to attack our mage", or "The first orc through the door"? Do you let them, or do you make them declare after the monsters and have them pick a specific orc?
In general, it's up to you. I would have no problem with a player specifying something like "the first orc through the door" as a target in my game.

Similarly, if they specified a specific target and that target is dropped before their initiative I'd let them switch to another target as long as the target is adjacent to the one they were originally going for. I wouldn't let them change action though and I wouldn't let them change their mind and run over to a different part of the battlefield.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

dmjifn
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Re: Declaring Targets in Dark Dungeons

Post by dmjifn » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:01 pm

I like that, and it's what I am leaning toward, too.

But it's actually not what I was expecting to hear based on the action descriptions! E.g., Activate says "A combatant may abandon their activation action entirely (for example if their chosen target is no longer valid or if the activation got disrupted) but may not otherwise change the target". I'd read that strictly, as "not even if another target is adjacent". Which I guess I rationalized as being intended to prevent play getting bogged down as players re-evaluate battlefield logistics mid-round.

My players are getting tired of the lack of flexibility, though, and I don't blame them.

Thanks for the welcome. Also, I'd like to say thanks for putting together DD. We've been playing it for 7 months now.

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Blacky the Blackball
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Re: Declaring Targets in Dark Dungeons

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:51 pm

dmjifn wrote:But it's actually not what I was expecting to hear based on the action descriptions!
My general philosophy is that the rules are there to set the strictest standard, and the GM and players are free to relax that if they prefer.

That way causes less strife than setting the written rules at a more relaxed level and then having GMs being complained at by their players for being stricter than the rules say.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

(I'm a moderator for "The Orc's Revenge" and its sub-forums. If I need to post anything officially as a mod, rather than just as a user, I'll post it in green.)

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