731 votes Vote

Enemy AI (Auto Combat feature for monsters)

[Using D&D / Pathfinder / etc. Rules] Wish Fantasy Grounds had an Auto Combat Feature for DM Controlled Enemies.

As a DM, I just want to concentrate on Storytelling, and
(a) have the computer auto combat (e.g., move, attack, cast, etc.) DM Controlled Enemies in an Encounter,
(b) [via Fantasy Grounds] Players combat Enemies as they normally would.

If Baldur's Gate 2 (BG2) were able to be projected onto a Virtual Desktop, this is what I would do (as a DM):
1] Enable Cheat Mode (applicable for DM only),
2] Teleport Party to the appropriate Battle Map/Area/Arena (aka Encounter Area [e.g., Dragon's Lair, Beholder Chamber, Tavern Brawl Area, Beach, etc.]),
3] 'Place' Monsters/Enemies in the Encounter Area,
4] Disenable Cheat Mode,
5] Then have the Players combat the Monsters/Enemies
(i.e. BG2 handles the Enemies' Combat, i.e. no further input is needed from the DM)

Earl E , 26.12.2017, 01:15
Idea status: under consideration


Earl E, 28.12.2017, 00:59
BG2 has the AI (combat, spells, melee, moves, etc.) of most of the Monsters in the Monster Manual programmed already. BG2 also has most all the spell effects (e.g., saving throws, lightning bouncing off walls, etc.) programmed already. If Fantasy Grounds were able to duplicate this (e.g., partner with BeamDog?), and have an Auto Combat feature for DM Controlled Enemies, this would make a DM's life much easier.

As a DM, I always found Encounters difficult to manage with my players. As an example, they always want to cast fireball such that it effects all the Enemies (even if they are spread out), and none of the players and their allies (even if they are standing right next to them). Projecting BG2 into a Virtual TableTop and having BG2 handle the combat would have made my life easier.
Earl E, 06.01.2018, 01:00
As a DM, I am willing to use the Combat Rules & Mechanics of Pathfinder, D&D 3.5E and D&D 4E. These are more suited for 'Video Games', and probably are easier to program.

Due its ambiguity, D&D 5E will not be easy to program (for Enemy AI). {e.g., how and when to apply Advantage/Disadvantage Rolls, Inspiration Dice, Legendary Actions, CounterSpell, etc.}

In terms of Story/Setting/Maps/etc., I am perfectly happy to use 5E released material (such as Rise of Tiamat, Tales from the Yawning Portal, etc.), and use D&D 3.5 or 4E for Combat Mechanics during Encounters.
LordEntrails, 07.01.2018, 13:50
I would normally say you would get a lot of resistance to this idea, but given the amazing number of votes you have gotten in such a short time maybe you won't.
Earl E, 08.01.2018, 01:35
A lot of my friends have asked me to DM a D&D game. Being a DM is a lot of hard work, and none of them volunteered to be a DM instead. So, I told them that if FG had an Auto Combat Feature (which can be made OPTIONAL in FG) for DM Controlled Monsters, then I would DM a D&D game, so I directed them to this Voting Site. (and to 'spread the word' :-)

p.s. From past experience, I know some of my friends would be "Rules Lawyers" in any D&D Game I put together, and I do not want my Game to be a DM vs Players Game. So having a Enemy AI/Auto-Combat Feature 'frees' me from 'Rules Lawyers' when it comes to Combat Mechanics. (i.e. I can use the excuse, "It is not my fault, it is the Computer's fault" or "That is just the way Magic/Combat Mechanics/etc. work in my D&D World", etc.). Hope that makes sense. :-)
Destruktor, 06.03.2019, 09:49
This is an interesting idea, but fully implementing AI might be a little tough and/or not very uswfull for most DMs.

An interesting middle ground would be an AI system that gives the DM a recommended move in chat and then the DM can accept the move or not.

For example, I have an encounter with 5 Orcs. Orc 1's turn come about and the AI system prints to the chat (GM only):
Orc 1
Recommended: move 20 feet to Wizard PC
Attack Great Axe

If the DM accepts (maybe via button click), then the Orc token moves (if applicable) and the attack rolls are automatically rolled and damage is applied.

Another nice feature would be to have the ability to write AI scripts, maybe via some simple interface, and then apply those scripts to monsters. So you could have a generic script for spellcasters, melee, or more specific scripts for particular monsters.

This seems more doable than a generic "Hands-off" AI. Also, having the recommendation printed out, even if the DM doesn't accept the move, it can help by taking some "cognitive load" off.
chal87, 03.04.2019, 22:52
I thought combats and enemy moves were part of the roleplay, my bad.
Caelen, 02.07.2019, 23:38
I was thinking of writing something long... but no. The simple answer is just this. If you want your tabletop game to be a video game, use a video game to run your tabletop game. Neverwinter Nights and Divinity Original Sin 2 are great examples of games that have built in DM modes and allow you to build custom content.
Earl E, 03.07.2019, 05:57
Thanks. Actually in 2018, I discovered Divinity Original Sin 2 (DOS2) and that it has a GM Mode. I now use DOS2 because it is what I was looking for when it comes to a VTT. Larian Studios is working on BG3, and I hope it will have a DM Mode, just as their DOS2 game had a GM Mode. If it does, I think FG and Roll20 will face some additional competition.

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