Sheez, so much trouble.
Yesterday's Letter C Today Stands For...
Combo for combat. In many video games there are combo meters, what grow or gain points when you do special feats giving your character access to higher and more powerful actions and attacks. I have do admit, that I am not sure if there is roleplaying game system using some combo system already, so this is just a quick idea how I would do it.
So, if you know there is some system or mechanics that uses linked actions to access more powerful actions or similar, let me know!
Simple Way To Do It
Some actions, for example feats or similar have combo value. You do that feat, you get tick in your combo meter.
When you have ticked these feats enough you can perform a powerful attack or action. These might need different values of feat ticks to perform.
Easy way to keep account is simply using pen and scrap paper. You can of course make it more fancy, but it doesn't need more complicated method than tracking down magic points, health points or what ever.
Second method is using die. Just turn die to show how many ticks you have at that moment.
How Did It Work Again?
Special moves, actions, feats or what ever grow your special action or attack meter. Basically doing special moves, you get points or ticks to use on more special moves. But there are different variations.
Combo attacks are attacks you get to link or chain together to perform long multi-part-attack.
Special actions are what need to build power doing other actions before can be triggered.
Limit attack is when you build your ticks enough and perform really powerful, character specific attack (oh well, this I ripped from Final Fantasy series...).
There could be two ways to do combo attacks, but I use one method. It is easy to modificate for your own needs though.
With each attack, you get ticks. Ticks are points used to do combo attacks. You need fixed amount of ticks to start your combo, called trigger, then after that amount you need ticks left for combo.
For example character Spike trigger might be 5. Spike needs to build ticks to 5 to launch, or trigger, his combo, but he needs points to perform combo attacks also.
Combo attacks might be special moves you gain ticks from, or specific combo moves. If you use moves what grow ticks, performing them should use 1 - 1½ or even 2 times more ticks than they are building thicks up.
For example, Spike has attacks:
Swirl building 1 ticks,
Thrust building 1 ticks and
Thunderblade building 2 ticks.
Spike's trigger is 5, what means he has to perform 5 times Swirl and/or Thrust to even trigger combo (but he has no ticks left to perform combo) or two times Thunderblade and Swirl or Thrust, or any combination of those attacks to build trigger.
But 5 is not enough. It works this way. Spike has used 3 times Swirl (worth 3 trigger points), 2 times Thunderblade (4 trigger points) and Thrust once. Spike has 8 points to use for his combo. He triggers the combo costing 5 points (what his trigger is) and has 3 points left for combo.
3 left over points from triggering combo can be used to perform multiple actions. For example, if performing combo actions costs as much as they build ticks, 8 trigger points equal triggering combo and leaving 3 points to perform combo attack. If combo attacks are same as normal attacks (let's keep it that way for this example) Spike can perform Swirl three times, combine Swirl and Thrust 2 to 1, or perform Thunderblade with Swirl or Thrust.
Special actions are some powerful actions what character can access getting ticks. For example, healer's special action could be that he can heal more than an individual of party members. Or spell damage or effect can be doubled, even damage could be automatically critical.
These are really specific actions.
How Characters Access Combos And Special Actions?
It must be included in game, of course. It needs small special game related rules to be made. But these are easy steps. They could be made more easy as character specific personal powers, what characters can access during play via experience (similar to Dungeons & Dragons feats).
GM should only basically determine how ticks are accessed and how much it should cost to trigger combo or special action.
And After Combat?
If there are any ticks left, you could decide that they are lost. Combat heat is over, adrenaline is not rushing, action seized. So all ticks are gone and must be build up in next action paced action scene.
Yes, I might write this down, with Final Fantasy-ish limit strikes (what basically are just Special Actions, sounding just more... eh... special).