RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
Naval Perils
Naval Perils
$2.00 $0.00









Back
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20

This product is no longer available from RPGNow.com

Average Rating:3.2 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
0 0
1 4
1 1
0 1
0 1
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Click to view
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2006 00:00:00
This is a good set of rules for an alternative to the tactically driven d20 system. I found the entire product to be quite good, but I also had some difficulty explaining it to my players. So much so that we found the learning curve a bit too steep to keep using these rules.


LIKED: The layout and examples are excellent.

DISLIKED: My players found it too difficult to adapt to the new rules. This is either a problem with my players, the rules, or my explanation of them.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Paul P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/05/2006 00:00:00
It's an interesting take on d20 combat (and on combat-heavy games in general) - rather than beat up mooks and monsters individually, you basically tot up each character's combat effectiveness as a generic score and then use it to reduce a given plot point's threat rating until the GM determines that you've won (or not), rather like applying an abstract battlefield system to party-level fights. It all feels a bit hands-off to me, so I won't be using it.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Edmund W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2005 00:00:00
This system is not as complicated as it first appears. The reason why it appears conplicated is that the rules are vast in their order of abstraction. Enemies are defined by how many damage dice are required to slay them (they don't distinguish die types in this system), and how much damage they do to you per round. The entire system is so vastly abstract that combat looses much of the immediacy of description. Indeed, many aspects of the system, such as the fact that flat damage bonuses are ignored as are many incidental benefits, such as movement and reach, are deemed irrelevant except maybe in certain situations.

I also question the "template" system for actions. They claim to encompass the bredth of combat actions. I find it a bit whip-stitch and a bit limiting, and far, far too abstract.


LIKED: ...honestly, the system has certain merit, but it is outweighed by the flaws inherent. The schneezy graphics were actually kinda cool. Honestly, this started from good potential, but it took that potential in the wrong direction and too far there.

DISLIKED: Abstraction, limiting, and oversimplifying. While I was looking for a more broken-down combat system, this took it far beyond anything I wanted.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Disappointed


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by nicholas m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2005 00:00:00
Narrative Combat is an interesting alterative to the tactical table top war game feel of d20. It makes combat is less about how fast can you character do things, instead focusing on the narrative beats. That is, what the PC?s intend to do and the results of those intends. Do they wish to go on the offensive, defend someone, lend their support to another character, or just use one of their skills?

What I like is that narrative combat makes the PC?s state what they are doing. All too often I have PC?s that think they can?t do anything so they just stand there out of the way. Now, I ask them what they intend to do. No one intends to just stand around in a fight; they are looking for an opening to shoot with a bow, swinging their sword, defending an ally, or stealthily hiding.

Narrative combat helps me spend time on an encounter in accordance to how important that encounter is to the story. No longer will random encounters take all night. On the flip side of that, by using this system I have added more tension to a dramatic scene. Stretching it out in a way you can not with standard d20 combat.

Narrative combat is not for everyone, if you love the tactical table top war game feel, then narrative combat is not going to add anything to your game.


DISLIKED: In a perfect world stock art would not be used. Instead it would illustrate the example combat. But that?s not really a problem, the art is in line with the price of this pdf.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Anthony R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/15/2005 00:00:00
As the ad copy implies, Narrative Combat does away with the tactical aspects of D20 combat. There is no need for a map or miniatures. There is no flanking, no five-foot step, no attacks of opportunity, etc. Instead, combat becomes focused on achieving one or more Objectives that serve to drive the story forward. For regular players of indie RPGs or visitors to The Forge, this might look perfectly logical (if not preferable), but for many d20 fans, I think this will be a journey into unfamiliar waters.

The system looks pretty simple at its core. The DM constructs a Template for the encounter that includes an Objective and possibly one or more Events. The most basic Objective is simply to meet a damage Threshold by delivering a certain number of dice of damage to the opposition. A non-combat Threshold could be a certain number of successful Climb checks or a successful Jump check to indicate climbing a cliff or jumping a chasm. Events can indicate how many points of damage are dealt to the characters per round by the Template and any number of other details. Templates can be simple or expanded into a grid, where the outcome of one encounter leads to another ?cell? in the template. Nine sample templates provide detailed examples for stock encounters like Ambushes, Brawls, and Duels.

The Narrative Round structure is similar in structure to the standard D20 round. Combatants dice for initiative and then choose one of five stances for the round. The stance is a broad indicator of what the character is doing in a round. For instance, attacking is an offensive stance, while casting a Bull?s Strength spell on an ally is a supportive stance. Each stance is detailed and example narrative descriptions are provided for each. Resolution typically involves resolving individual attack rolls and other actions. The total of each attack roll determines the number of damage dice added to the total needed to meet the damage Threshold, if it is part of the template. As you might expect this is all complicated by feats, spells, magic items, etc.

A chapter is devoted to translated bonuses for feats like Point Blank Shot and Improved Bull Rush that lose their traditional uses outside of the standard D20 combat round. For some reason, the Feats are drawn from the D20 Modern Core Rulebook and not D20 Fantasy, which I would think would be more popular. The next chapter provides some guidelines for translating bonuses to Narrative Combat from other D20 abilities and Feats not covered in the previous chapter. Three appendices round out the book with informational tables, a generic template and a Narrative Combat FAQ.

As you probably can tell, Narrative Combat is a pretty big departure from standard D20. Instead of the focus on tactical details, the focus is instead on a structure that pushes the story forward without the worry of tracking the hit points of every monster and NPC. This might be a hard concept for some players to grasp, however, and I think the GM should spend plenty of time explaining what Narrative Combat is and getting buy in from his players before dropping it into his campaign.

My main gripe with Narrative Combat it that it is a pretty hard read. The author throws around terms like cell, threshold and damage types without benefit of a glossary. Also, the author?s style is a bit dry for my taste (not unlike the standard d20 rules) and I had to read some sections several times before I felt like I was really grasping some concepts. On the plus side, I found few typos and the book?s layout is clean and professional.

The $10,000 dollar question is ? should you buy Narrative Combat? My answer is a bit of cop out ? it depends. If you are looking for a way to streamline and simplify typical D20 combats, I would argue that Narrative Combat is not the answer. On the other hand, if you are looking for a radical rethinking of D20 combat that focuses on narrative elements and not the nuts and bolts of tactical combat, you should by all means give it a try.


QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Bryce C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/14/2005 00:00:00
I'm impressed by Narrative Combat. I feel that a system that highlights storytelling, rather then accounting, is necessary to fulfil the needs of roleplayers.


LIKED: The design, and layout make it easy to use Narrative Combat, as a PDF, or in print

DISLIKED: There is nothing I don't like about it.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NARRATIVE COMBAT: Story Driven Action For D20
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Lee V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/12/2005 00:00:00
This is a clumsy, poorly implemented, and poorly explained idea. In principle, characters aim at some amorphous thing called "the encounter" and must do X damage to "the encounter" to defeat it. The encounter, in turn, does Y damage to every character in the party every round. Oddly enough, if you target specific characters they take damage, but even if all the specific characters in the opposition die, the encounter continues to damage you until you damage it back sufficiently, and damage targeted at the specific enemies of the encounter does not stop this random damage generator from slapping you with damage. You have to stop the random damage by smacking down the invisible thing called "the encounter". And if the encounter features an army of enemy sorcerer's, instead of attacking you with many varied spells each round, they simply act as random damage generators that occasionally cough up a pre-planned effect once or twice at key moments during the encounters.

If the ideas presented herein are useful for anything it is probably for some freeform mass combat system, but I'm not even sure that would make sense.

The system, if it makes any sense, is so bloody poorly explained as to be practically useless. Now, I'm certain that some ideas contained herein, if explained by a more competent author, would have made for an interesting read, but such is not the product I have before me, nor can I see this being a useful replacement for the normal d20 combat system nor the basis for any other combat system unless the ideas contained therein are teased out and entirely reworked.

I'd say that I feel this product is an incredibly disappointing way to spend $7.95, and that everyone considering spending their money on this product should instead avoid it like the plague.




LIKED: Almost nothing except the art, much of which was licensed from Louis Porter Junior and Clipart.Com

DISLIKED: Almost everything.

QUALITY: Poor

VALUE: Ripped Off


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
It's fairly obvious that you didn't understand the product, since your description of how it works is blatantly untrue. Some encounter templates are damage-based, others are based on amassed successes of skill checks. I would further refute your points, but there are just so many that are mistaken that I don't know where to begin. If other readers are curious to understand how the system actually works, check the following forum threads for examples: Our company forums: http://www.readybb.com/phantomzone/viewtopic.php?t=1228 The EN World forums: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=155651 Lastly, if the author of this review would contact me at gms@adamantentertainment.com, I will be happy to give him $7.95 credit towards any other Adamant product, since he was so unhappy with this one.
Displaying 1 to 7 (of 7 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG