Author Topic: Disabling strikes in game rules  (Read 4293 times)

dubsartur

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2024, 05:26:11 PM »
'Area control' and 'aggro' mechanics are good examples of the way games can create abstract but entertaining combat.  They don't correspond to anything specific in real combat but they are entertaining (and work around issues like the long turns in D&D, versus the fraction of a second it takes to whack someone running past).

Pentagathus

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2024, 06:21:06 PM »
Interesting, G.R.R. Martin is not the kind of fantasy author who knows anything about material culture or combat.  Maybe the RPG developers were more interested?


Perhaps, I'm not too sure. I'm sure they did more research than Martin did for his early books (they were written pre-internet age tbf to him, and his later novellas seem to be a little more researched), but I find the realism comes from the general system rather than specific rules (many of which are super gamey and unrealistic). The way HP works in this system is that it represents something like stamina more than health, and once you fall to 0 you are defeated - which could mean being knocked down, forced to surrender, rendered unconscious or otherwise disabled rather than just dead (and that choice is usually left to the victor), but you can take a certain number of wounds which absorbs all damage taken but leaves you with a -1 for all attributes/skills until healed (which can take weeks, depends on your activity levels and can actually get worse rather than healing), or take an injury which has a smaller penalty but less damage reduction. Overall a pretty good system imo, there are some serious balancing flaws but I think if you simply tweaked the rules and used 4 sided dice rather than 6 sided you'd fix most of them easily enough.

dubsartur

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2024, 08:40:15 PM »
A Game of Thrones came out in 1996 and I remember novels like Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion from 1988-1989 having sound military science out of Julius Caesar and the USMC and reasonable martial arts from escrima and SCA rapier.  Martin just did not seem interested in demographics, economics, or the practicalities of living and fighting when he wrote the early books in the series.  He was more interested in politics and his grimdark message.

Pentagathus

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2024, 08:01:19 PM »
Huh, I thought it was earlier than that. Still, yes I do agree and I don't think he's improved at all on most things practical buut in the later books there is at least a point to armour and the combats involve a lot more rasslin.

Jubal

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2024, 09:57:06 AM »
I remember surprisingly little of most book fight scenes: I find them quite tricky to write well, as well. There's a lot of pitfalls: you don't just want to make it a he swung a sword/he swung a sword boredom-fest, but making the twists and turns too great can feel like melodrama, and putting in actually interesting bits of combat can be tricky without the reader having a technical explainer available on what a certain thing actually looks like.

'Area control' and 'aggro' mechanics are good examples of the way games can create abstract but entertaining combat.  They don't correspond to anything specific in real combat but they are entertaining (and work around issues like the long turns in D&D, versus the fraction of a second it takes to whack someone running past).
Area control I think arguably does model the fraction of a second it takes to whack someone running past: at least that's sort of how I've always read those mechanics, as being about the presence of mind needed to strike someone who's getting into your space but isn't focused on you - and conversely that if you know someone's that good you might not take the risk to run past them. That said, it generally doesn't model that if that person is already engaged in fighting you can probably barge past their other side, and that theory of fighting doesn't necessarily square well with models that use hitpoints etc.

Aggro/taunt mechanics always seemed much weirder to me, you sort of need them in a tank and glass cannon style party combat system to avoid enemies doing the smart thing and taking out your glass cannon and ignoring the tank, but they're weirder than area control because a) it just feels odd that these tough tank guys have some random ability to yell things that make trained professionals, beasts from the void, or literal bears want to attack them and also b) this is almost always a one sided mechanic, unlike area control it's extremely rare to find enemies with a taunt/aggro mechanic for the reason psyanojim gave earlier - losing control of your characters sucks and players hate it.
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Pentagathus

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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2024, 08:25:28 PM »
Miles Cameron/Christian Cameron writes the best combat scenes I've ever read. In some books I feel he does use too many technical phrases (mostly the names of specific guards), but in others he seems to make it more easy to read whilst retaining the same feel and flow. His Thomas Swan series is particularly good at both having very entertaining fight scenes but also exploring the psychological weight that violence can have.