Chain Grapple Mechanics

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by XIIIthHarbinger, Oct 15, 2017.

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What do you think about chain grapples in turn based RPGs as a player & a Dev?

  1. I haven't played any RPGs that used chain grapples, but I would like to play an RPG that does.

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. I haven't played any RPGs that used chanin grapples, & I don't think I would like an RPG that does.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I have played RPGs that used chain grapples, & I liked them.

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  4. I have played RPGs that used chain grapples, but I didn't like.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I have made games with chain grapples in them before.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. I am working on a project that uses chain grapples.

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  7. I've considered using chain grapples in my projects, but never tried it.

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  8. I would never use chain grapples in my projects.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Hello gentle people's of the interwebs, I've come to pick your brains once again.

    Recently I've been thinking about how to add more variety to the battle mechanics of my current & future projects, & I began to consider the possibility of chain grapples. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is often used to refer to techniques in fighting games like Tekken or wrestling games like WWE; where an initial attack is used to enter the "grapple" state with an opponent, after which the attacker launches more powerful attacks, unless the defender breaks the "grapple" state with the opponent.

    However, I can't recall seeing the technique used in turn based RPGs, of the kind RPG Maker is routinely used to make. Which seem strange, because many of the staple monsters of the game genre would conceivably use techniques of those kind. Snakes that constrict to weaken & then bit to inflict further damage, scorpions who grapple with their claws & then sting with their tail, spiders that wrap in silk & then bite their prey. Not to mention that classes that use their unarmed combat skills like "Brawlers", "Grapplers", & "Monks" are staples of the genre as well.

    Now personally I am still brainstorming on a potential system myself, though I have some ideas. Like a "grapple status", that seals traditional skills spells, but unseals the "grapple skills", so that a grapple has to be engaged, before they can be used. However, I am a good ways from mechanics testing of skills & events.

    So what I would like to ask all of you as players & game devs are as follows: Have you played any turn based RPGs with chain grapples? Did you enjoy that aspect of the game? Why or why not? Have you used chain grapples in any of your projects? If yes, how did you set up your system? Were pleased with the final results? Would you do anything differently?
     
    #1
  2. Poryg

    Poryg Pixie of the Emvee kingdom, Ham of a Hamster Veteran

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    Actually, grapple attacks usually have no special mechanics. Either it is damage over few turns or debuffs, which makes it no different from other damage over few turns attacks and attacks giving a debuff, with only having a different name.
    Take for example Pokémon though. The wrap attack - completely disables the enemy while giving damage over time in red, blue and yellow.
    But that was so op that they nerfed it later on, only letting it deal insignificant damage, making it a small DOT.
     
    #2
  3. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I understand your meaning, but I don't think you're understanding mine.

    I am not talking about simply calling an attack or even a DOT or status effect attack grapple; I am talking about secondary skill tier whose activation is conditional.

    So that the "grapple" must be engaged before, the subsequent attacks can be engaged. I.e. tackle to engage the grapple, next turn joint lock to inflict damage & cripple status effect, or constrict to engage the grapple, next turn bite to inflict damage & the poison status effect. But the bite or joint lock techniques can't be used independent of an engaged grapple. Meanwhile the defending character would have defensive moves of their own, that become unlocked due to the grapple state being engaged.
     
    #3
  4. Failivrin

    Failivrin Final Frontiersman Veteran

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    Actually Wrap also prevents an opponent from fleeing or switching, which would be a cool mechanic except the damage dealt is insignficant and there are several easy ways to break the bonds.
     
    #4
  5. Chaos Avian

    Chaos Avian Abyssal Wing Restaff

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    Ahh, I see. You could have these skills require the user to have a state active on themselves in order to activate several types or tiers on linking techniques whilst in the grapple. In order to ensure you/ the enemy doesn't use any attacks outside you could seal the use of everything else (Attack, Items, Defend, etc).
     
    #5
  6. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    Indeed,

    I've started experimenting with something along those lines, with my test enemy. I have a status I dubbed "grapple" with seals the standard abilities of "skills" & "spells", rather like a silence status effect. Along with having a third skill tree dubbed "grapples" unseal while the status "grapple" is active.

    I eventually changed that to two grapple states with similar properties, "grapple offense" & "grapple defense". That way the defender who was "grappled" wouldn't be using their own grapple attacks. Right now I am working on a "struggle" skill, that replaces the basic attack skill when the status "grapple defense"; a reduced attack power counter attack, that activates an RNG roll common event, based on two variables I dubbed "grapple offense" & "grapple defense". If the grapple offense roll is higher, the attacker maintains their grapple and will get to apply their grapple techniques on the next turn; if the grapple defense roll is higher, the grapple is broken & the "grapple" status effects are removed from both the attacker & the defender; along with reverting back grapple triggers to the off positions.

    I am working on a combination of common events activated by skills, troop sheet common events to manipulate states & triggers, & dramatically elevated skill priority on upper tier techniques once the prerequisite states & triggers are active, to ensure enemy grapple chains progress as intended.

    For example, grapple skill activates grapple offense status on attacker; (next turn) grapple skill 1 activates due to grapple offense status being active, integrated common event switches trigger "grapple stage 2" to "on"; (next turn) grapple skill 2 activates due to "grapple stage 2" trigger being "on" and having much higher priority than grapple skill 1, integrated common event switches trigger "grapple stage 3" to on; (final turn) "grapple skill finisher" activates due to trigger "grapple stage 3" being "on", & having the highest priority of all grapple skills; skill completes, all grapple triggers turned off, remove grapple statuses.

    With the exception of a Yanfly plugin I am using to change the attack skill once the grapple status engaged, everything else I've just been using eventing, triggers, & variables to set everything up.

    However, I am curious to see if other people have come up with their own systems, & how they set their own up.
     
    #6
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  7. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    Huh, I think I made something like this back when I was testing out skill possibilities. I thought it would be neat if some skills could have follow-up skills so the player didn't always have all options available all of the time. I decided to combine this with a way to make low tier skills chain into high-tier skills rather than replace them outright or leave useless skills in the list.

    The first skill I made was a basic "Slash I" which cost a little MP and did light damage. I also set this skill to trigger a common event that caused the character to unlearn "Slash I" and learn "Slash II". The character could then use "Slash II" the next turn to deal medium damage and would trigger the event again and this time replace it with "Slash III". I had "Slash III" deal heavy damage and then replace itself with "Slash I" the same way so the chain could repeat.

    The second skill I made was a combo skill called "High & Low" that wasn't added to anyone's skill list. The first party member had a skill called "High Slash" and the second party member had an attack called "Leg Sweep". I set each skill to place the actor into a "Combo" state and trigger switches for each skill. When one of the party members used their skill it would trigger a common event that checked to see if the other character had already used their skill, setting up the "Combo" state if they had not, and if they had it immediately forced an extra action to have the last character in the combo use the "High & Low" skill to deal bonus damage. The state only lasted for the turn it was cast so the skills had to be used in the same turn for the bonus skill to go off.

    I figure the first type of the chain is the one you were thinking of (fully replacing a character's skills). But I thought you might be interested in the second method (triggering bonus skills when conditions are met). It was pretty easy to set both of them up using just switches and common events so you can play around with it if you want to test it out.
     
    #7
  8. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    It's an interesting idea; I am using something similar myself. However, it is only a single common event attached to the skill, that gradually increases a variable, & the variable is used in the damage formula. After the skill hits the final state the variable is reset to the initial level.

    I'll have to think about the combination/switch attacks, I hadn't considered that possibility in any of my previous projects, but it would certainly add new tactical dimensions to the battle system.

    I also discovered that my first attempt at a chain grapple system was flawed. Initially I was using a "grapple state" to begin the chain, & then triggers for progression in the chain, activated by common events attached to the skills. However, when I was experimenting I discovered, that even though subsequent skills were attached to a skill tree that would only unseal when a state was applied, that unsealed that skill tree for the enemy. If the prerequisite trigger was active, it would bypass the requirement for skill that applies the grapple state to have been used.

    So for example, I set my "grapple state" to unseal the "grapple skill tree", & had a "grapple skill" that would apply that state to the character using the skill, assuming the RNG was passed. Then if the defender was effected by a particular status, like critical damage or a piece of armor being broken, a specific trigger would activate. This trigger would serve as the criteria for the use of skill, in the grapple skill tree. However, if that status effect trigger had been activated, even if the "grapple state" wasn't applied to the enemy, the criteria is still considered met, & the skill would activate even without the "grapple" being engaged.

    However, once I changed the common events to apply states to the enemy as their attack chain progressed, & use those states as the criteria to use the "grapple skills" , everything seems to be working as it should. I suppose the other way it could be done, would be to have the triggers set on the "grapple" common event, & if the RNG was passed, read the states active on the character, & flip the switches to active as appropriate.
     
    #8

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