In addition to quite accidentally figuring out the answers to my range problems while working through Chess terminology, I think I might have solved my forced movement quandary while working my way through fencing terms. Quite a lot of my design is drawn from existing games and terms, like Chess, Poker, and Blackjack.

Other stuff, as suggested above, is inspired by fencing and other similarly-analyzed games and sports. Part of the idea is, “if the concept already exists in an established game or sport, use that.” One advantage to this process is that many terms will be recognizable to players. And there are lots of cool little Genius Bonus moments.

While reviewing the above-mentioned fencing terms alongside forced movement rules from Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, that I made this happy little connection:

Pull – Push – Slow – Stop – Pass

Players of MMORPGs will probably be familiar with the concept of “pulling” a target for the party to gang up on while questing together. This is a concept central to the harrier role, which initiates combination attacks through the use of attacks that pull.

Chargers push, Keepers slow, Trappers stop, and Seekers pass.

See now, a lot of these concepts have been in place basically since the inception of the tactical roles, but I didn’t have a way to express them, or even any idea what they would do. Since I made headway on attack ranges however, these now have a name and a purpose. Combo attacks are a big deal, since everyone attacks at once.

In a way, you can compare these to Disgaea’s combination attacks, except where each player has one character and they work together to gain bonuses and advantages and stuff, and there still aren’t any squares. Like everyone’s piled up together in front of each other, waiting for the right conditions to create a multiple character combo.

Players of console games will of course recognize keywords like “Stop” and “Slow.” The nice thing is that these don’t have the deleterious effect of preventing your character from acting. Such a thing may be possible should characters gain sufficient advantage while performing a combination attack.

Here’s an example of a hypothetical combination attack:
* Your harrier “pulls” a target, opening them up for attack.
* Your charger “pushes” the same target, adding another condition.
* You, the trapper, can now apply the “stun” effect to a “pulled and pushed” target.

Technically, all three of these things occur simultaneously, or rather, in whatever order the players want them to – again, this is a hypothetical combination that I came up with off the top of my head, but it’s the sort of thing I’m trying to achieve. Combinations have to be simple enough that anyone can use them though, so it’s a bit tricky.

I want players to have an incentive to work together, prioritize targets, and you know, watch each others’ backs. Also part of the reason why Cheer is a Swift action.

And it has to stay relatively simple. *facepalm*