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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Not every good idea...

I have been working on a home brew game revolving around my  D&D style fantasy setting.
It's one of those projects born out of a desire to see my setting  uplifted by the mechanics of the game, as opposed to setting and system being two separate layers in a cake.

I have been trying to come up with mechanics that will support the  kind of  experience I picture the characters having in the setting. A free wheeling adventure setting where combat is  fast, dangerous, and, creative strategies are rewarded over just running up to a monster and bashing it.

I'm not trying to sell anything here, I just really want to  encourage interesting actions during combat scenes.

It's not that that can't happen in say D&D 5thEd or red box basic, but there is nothing there to encourage it.

Monster hunter 4.. never played it.
If A player says "I want to  jump of this big stone, land on the  monsters back and start jabbing my
 dagger into it's skull."
As a D&D  DM I can  say, "Ok,  this round make me a Dex check, he's big and  moving so make it at -2. If you miss your going to loose your next turn and be right in front of it so, roll well."




That's fine. But....
In this case the player has to trust that the GM will arbitrate it fairly, that if she makes that -2 Dex check she is going to get some bonus on her next few attacks.  As we all know, every wicked cool DM is perfect so there is no way that anyone of us could ever forget to hand out a +2 to-hit and damage to reward an awesome maneuver executed a round ago by a player... We never forget .. Right? ummm ...

What if the DM is an ass and just says "OK you're on the monster, roll to hit with your dagger" Never giving her a bonus? My thought is that next time she fights a  monster she is going to run up and  bash it without ever considering trying to get that advantageous position.

If there is a system where in she knows she will get a  bonus to (fill you your favorite systems tweak here) For doing something smart, exciting and beyond  "I hit it with my  sword." Chances are she will try those things more often.

This is sort of a digression (SURPRISE!) but it all ties into why I'm thinking about this kind of thing in the first place.

With all that said I run into the problem of, "just because this is a good idea it is not necessarily a good idea for this game." It's fine  to have three or four fun ideas that might support the  style of play being aimed for, but trying to cram all those into one game can overwhelm the intent of the original design.

Not every good idea needs to find a home right away.

With that in my head,

During  a fight, I'm currently asking the players to track:

  • Combat score, which  goes up and down depending on  taking hits and other such factors.
  • Combat advantage, Which gives the  players a flat bonus during combat for good strategy and  generaly smart play.
  • Success points, points earned by  rolling well, which  are kind of an in game economy.


Knowing What's Too much is important.
It seems like too much.

So I have gone in with my scalpel and started trimming away some fat while keeping those three concepts intact.

Perhaps I should dump the scalpel and get a chain saw.. really change things around.

I wont really know until we can  play again  and  kick the tires a bit.


Until then I'm
Just musing.

Here's a snail.
https://scottmasters.files.wordpress.com

 





Thank you for reading
-Mark.