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  Mechanic #216 - Face Tactics
Posted: May 5, 2016

Use emotions as command points to move your units in combat.

  Face Tactics



Fig 216.1 - Commanding By Face.

This is a kind of simple, stupid idea. Basically, it's a tactics game like Valkyrie Profile where you have a number of command points (CP) with which to activate different units. So you can activate a single unit multiple times if you have enough CP. The twist here is that the command points are faces that represent emotional states, and by spending them to activate a unit, you end up giving them that emotional state. So if you use an Angry CP, you end up with an Angry unit.



Fig 216.1 - Emotional Dude.

Each emotional state imbues various status changes. For instance, Angry represents a character who swings wildly and emotionally, so damage may go up but accuracy and defense goes way down. A Happy character may not be able to attack at all, but can move farther and has increased dodge. Sad characters move slower, do less damage, but inflict status ailments with their attacks. And so on.

Each character is affected differently by emotional states. Some characters are just Angry by default and thus do better with that emotion than someone who is Happy by default. Similarly, they react differently to certain circumstances. One character might see another get defeated and become sad while another turns angry or surprised.

Whatever the last CP you used will be the unit's emotion for the opponent's turn, unless something happens that they react to. So you might want to leave a unit on Happy, but because a friend is defeated, they react and become angry - which lowers their defense and allows the opponent to get more damage against them.

Emotions also have a relationship to each other, both in attack and using CP. When attacking, certain emotions have an advantage over another. An angry character has the advantage over a happy character, happy beats sad, and sad beats angry. Similarly, you can not use a specific face CP on a unit currently sporting a weak emotion. So sad beats angry, which means that you can't use an angry CP on a unit that is currently sad.

How do you get command points? You start out with one CP per unit, with each face being the emotion the unit current has. So if you have three units - angry, sad, and happy - you will automatically get three CP - angry, sad, and happy. Some units may occasionally spawn their default CP instead, so a sad unit may occasionally spawn an angry CP if angry is their default emotion.

You can gain additional face CP by creating reactions in your opponents. Each unit's personality will decide how they respond to enemy reactions. One unit, upon getting a surprise reaction from an enemy, may think that's hilarious and spawn a happy CP. Another unit may be just as surprised as the enemy and spawn a surprise CP instead. Sad sacks will spawn sad CP upon defeating an enemy, while some may have their bloodlust sated by defeating an enemy, spawning a calm CP in addition to their angry CP. Some units may spawn CP when attacked by enemies.

Ultimately, it is a game about managing the emotional state of your units, manipulating you enemies into being weak willed while keeping your units emotionally together. Face CP will change the emotion of a unit when it activates. Reactions will change the emotions of the unit based on things that happen, possibly spawning new emotion CP as a result. Each unit's personality will affect what their reactions will be.



Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.