Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),
I’ve updated the download page with the newest version: Scarlet Moon 1.0.8.
Alas, there isn’t any new content. What there has been is a massive rework of combat to better support interesting powers (i.e. powers that aren’t just “do damage” or “inflict status”). Most of the changes are a straight up refactor, which means that a lot of the code has been rewritten, but it still does the same thing. There are however a few changes:
- Grappling now moves both the grapplers into the grappling range, but doesn’t force them to remain in a grapple.
- Spanking is now a single turn action that inflicts the “Humiliated” status and has some sexy text. It no longer spans multiple turns.
- All ally actions are executed before enemy actions. When you have allies (which won’t be for several more episodes), you’ll also be able to control the order in which those actions execute.
- Chain Pull (a power that Buzzsaw has at the end of episode 1) now both pulls its target into a grapple, and inflicts the “Frozen” status on the target. A character with the “Frozen” status can’t move, though they can do everything else (attack, spank, use powers).
- Scarlet Slap is now Scarlet Punch, and can be used both at armslength and in a grapple.
These changes were made for a variety of reasons, but the big one is because I’ve got a much clearer idea of how I want combat to work:
First, there are only a small number of “atomic” actions that define all of combat. Each action resolves into one or more of these actions. The basic actions are:
- Damage (negative damage heals).
- Inflict a status for a given duration (negative duration reduces the status’ duration, or heals the status if the duration is dropped to zero).
Technically, grapple could be defined as two Moves, but that proved to be hard to keep consistent (i.e. there was a high risk of one of the grapplers entering a grapple, but not the other, which makes no sense).
Each basic (non-power) action is resolved into a single one of these actions. Attack is a single Damage, move is a single Move, spanking is a single Inflict, etc. Powers on the other hand can do one of two things: they could resolve into one or more of these basic actions (like Scarlet Beam), or they could react to basic actions in combat. For example, you could have a power that redirects the first 2 non-negative damages that target a character. Or you could have a power that allows a character to automatically attack the first 2 enemies that are inflicted with a status.
This gives you a cheap way of activating any power that reacts to other actions. You have a power “Kick ‘Em While They’re Down” that automatically attacks enemies inflicted with a status? Cool, activate the power, then spend the next few turns giving your opponent a spanking. Not only will you weaken them, but you’ll do a bit of damage to boot.
Supervillains will tend to be more powerful than your heroes, and their actions will tend to be more direct. You could already see this in Buzzsaw: all of her powers involve getting you into a grapple, and hitting you _hard_. However, heroes will tend to have more reactive powers, and the challenge in the game will be finding the right combination of powers that amplify your attacks, while mitigating your enemies’, and getting all that set up before your enemy gives a you figurative and literal spanking.
So, the first two changes above simplify your basic actions to make it easier to use them to set up chaining. The third change makes it easier for the player to set up their chains. They also make combat more deterministic which is a plus in my mind. The goal here is to find a good strategy and execute it, not pray to the RNG god. The hope is that with the wrong strategy, you’ll almost always lose, but with the right strategy you’ll almost always win. The last two changes are just balance tweaks. Chain Pull’s change allows Buzzsaw to nullify the “keep your distance and shoot her strategy” in the second fight that can now be used to _great_ effect in the first fight since your move action will always execute before any of her actions. The change to Scarlet Punch means you can focus on building up your strength without forcing you to go into a grapple to make full use of it.
I would appreciate it if people could take the new version and try it out. Let me know what you think of the changes to combat, and if there are any bugs. I was able to play through the full episode a couple of times without any problems, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any of course. Even a combat system as deterministic as this one has quite a bit of randomness.
A few bugs have also been fixed. The character screen now allows you to make changes to your character _without_ resetting all of her stats. Furthermore, I fixed two places where your willpower _should_ be increasing, but wasn’t. You can now take the Willpower options and still be strong enough to fight Buzzsaw!