Monday, May 5, 2008

It would be no great task to devise an elaborate set of rules for highly complex individual combats with rounds but a few seconds length. It is not in the best interests of an adventure game, however, to delve too deeply into cut and thrust, parry and riposte. The location of a hit or wound, the sort of damage done, sprains, breaks, and dislocations are not the stuff of heroic fantasy. The reasons for this are manifold.
--Gary Gygax, Dungeon Masters Guide (1979)

3 comments:

  1. Quote:The location of a hit or wound, the sort of damage done, sprains, breaks, and dislocations are not the stuff of heroic fantasy.

    Well said. While I still think detailed mechanics for fighting can be done right and still have a "adventuresome" feel to them, there is nothing better suited to killing the sense of heroic adventure than having a vital artery severed and find your PC slowly bleeding out, or a blow to the knee that cripples your PC for months.

    I like Rolemaster as a RPG system, and while their critical hits system is a lot of fun when it happens to the bad guys, it really sucks to get clipped by a goblin with a club and suffer a blow to the skull that puts your otherwise perfectly healthy fighter in a coma for the next two weeks.

    As with all things, system should reflect the spirit and genre you're gaming. In a high-realism techno-thriller RPG such details might work, but in a D&D-like adventure game, not so much.

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  2. Oh, absolutely. D&D emulates a particular style of fantasy and works best when it's played with that in mind. That style isn't the only one, though, and, when I want another style, I usually choose another game. I'm generally of the opinion that D&D has suffered most over the years when either its publisher or its players have tried to make it evoke a style it was never intended to evoke.

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  3. I agree with you somewhat, but I've always thought that a minute was entirely too much time for a single round to take up. I think that perhaps something like 15-20 seconds is the healthiest medium between heroic/cinematic quality and exciting pace.

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