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My group has a problem with the Anima Beyond Fantasy d100 system. We try to avoid combat as much as possible because it becomes very tedious against challenging enemies or groups of enemies as we need a calculator for every combat move.

Besides being large numbers, there are so many modifiers and things to keep in mind that add to or subtract from the roll that we all get bored after some turns. Then we start talking about something else and the combat becomes something "we must do" but really long and not fun at all because it is all about numbers and numbers. Some of our fights lasted 2~4 hours.

  • The problem:

    Our turns are very long. We spend some time thinking about what we are going to do, and our character sheets are a bit complex because we use all books to make the most of our characters. That's why we have so many different modifiers. We only have a lot of turns when the enemy has higher defensive capability.

  • Switching games is not a solution:

    We want to stick with Anima, we love it and we have every book, so our wish is to fix this if possible.

I don't know if we're doing it wrong or if we could take in a d20 system.

What should we do to speed up calculations?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have the same bonus every time or do they change a lot from a combat to another? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Feb 21 '17 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most of them are static, but some of them are not. You have to do a lot of math even if you don't have any bonuses. The most tedious part is the formula that Phlyk posted. And before that every round you have to do an initiative check, where all players and enemies roll a dice, and then they decide what they are going to do. \$\endgroup\$ – meow_god Feb 21 '17 at 13:25
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Excel (or similar)

My familiarity with Anima is limited to only a single campaign played a fair while ago, but I distinctly remember the combat tables being exceedingly awkward and complex to use. Calculators were practically mandatory for all players.

If you are savvy with Excel and VBA you should be able to put together a program that will calculate the outcome of an attack (including the random rolls) after plugging in attack, defense and armour values and mods.

I'm lead to believe that the formula is something like this:

The current math is: Attack Value +roll vs Defense Value +roll. Damage is ((Roll/10, Round Down)-(10x Armour Value)*Damage Value**

If you MoS is 0-20, Damage = 0 (this is not the same as adding 20 to AT)

I would distribute a copy of this to each player to have open on laptops for speedy play. Each character can also slot in their own base stats and duplicate the spreadsheet for each type of action they can take.

Whilst this is a solution that will require quite a bit of initial setup, it should pay dividends if you wish to continue playing for a long time with complex characters.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you ever play in a session (for any system, not necessarily Anima) with this laptop-per-player setup? If yes, elaborating more about your actual experience will greatly improve this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Feb 21 '17 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @G0BLiN We didn't stick it out with Anima to make implementing this worthwhile, although we did arm everyone with calculators, and most other RPGs don't make layers jump through similar hoops. I do have some experience in making Excel/VBA tools for RPGs though so I'm sure it is feasible. \$\endgroup\$ – Phlyk Feb 22 '17 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with you about this being feasible - probably even not difficult judging by the formula. Was hoping to hear more about this setup's effect on group-dynamic :) \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Feb 22 '17 at 16:01
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You get faster with time.

While it might sound like a cop-out answer right now, I can definitely say as someone who has played a lot of Anima that, while the system's math can seem intimidating and slow at first, you can get used to it over time as you play more. There are patterns to the math, and methods to the madness that you will pick up on after making certain rolls enough.

The most important table is the Combat Table, i.e. the chart that compares your roll to your opponent's armor and gives a damage percentage. Most attacks involve the following:

  • Rolling Attack for one side
    • (Potential Open Roll or Fumble, roll again)
  • Rolling Defense for the other side
    • (Potential Open Roll or Fumble, roll again)
  • Getting the difference between the two numbers
  • Reading the Combat Table, cross-referencing with Armor Rating
  • Taking the damage multiplier from the table and multiplying your damage
  • Dealing that damage
    • Check if opponent took more than half their current health; if so, roll for Critical Hit

It's a lot compared to many systems, but once you get used to this pattern, things become smoother. Even many magic or psychic attacks used some variation of this formula using projection scores instead.

Also, using calculators is fine.

Don't be ashamed or turned off by the need to use calculators; they are helpful tools and they do make things go faster. I've heard people list the need to use calculators as a downside of Anima, but I suggest embracing it. Buy a handful of cheap 4-operation calculators and throw them on the gaming table, just as you might a pack of pencils.

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You have multiple choice to deal with this situation:

  • Using some tools to do the math for you (calculator, phone, excel sheet...) with the formula given by Phlyk
  • Adapt the combat to get a more cinematographic one, conserve the basic turn for only action that may prove a challenge for your players.
  • Groups of mooks can act as a group under only one initiative whereas the leader might get a roll for himself.
  • Imagine the psychology of your mooks, getting 3 to 5 of your people in one round (which is around 3 seconds) is pretty frightening. Some may run away (plus your players will get a feeling that their characters are more powerful than the average Joe and they might became overconfident sometimes).
  • In some cases (in a big melee fight for example), what I do is limit the thinking time of my players to max 1 to 2 minutes of discussion between them before actions are declared and max 10 - 20 seconds at declaration time. If one hasn't declared in his laps of 10-20 seconds, his character do nothing and take a neutral stand (no bonus / malus to actions but no attacks). Of course I apply the same rules to myself as well. I know this might not sit well with some players, I would advise to discuss it with your players first, and if all agrees to try it.
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