Author Topic: Disabling strikes in game rules  (Read 248 times)


  • Megadux
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Disabling strikes in game rules
« on: November 19, 2023, 11:16:17 PM »
One thing I was mulling over - a logical point but one I've not thought on much before - in a recent ACOUP post about spears was the importance of disabling over killing in battle. In other words, the key aim is not to ensure death, but to ensure rapid loss of fighting ability, and those things are similar in that they generally both involve killing people but they're not the same in that a pointy neat stabby killing weapon like a rapier will not necessarily make someone lose their fighting ability quite as fast as something that destroys muscles or simply cuts a limb off, and even if that difference is measured in seconds, those might be the seconds that let someone else poke a pointed object rather hard into you.

This feels like something that few game mechanics model in any sense: I've seen health as generic pools, and I've seen systems that try to model effects limb-by-limb (though that's slow and clunky to run in most games). But I think I'm yet to see a game model that accounts for the relative disabling-ness of different weapons. Has anyone seen such a thing and can anyone think how one might separate those concepts? Would that be a useful thing to do in games (and would it make for a more accurate combat model to begin with really)?
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  • Tribounos
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Re: Disabling strikes in game rules
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2023, 05:21:16 PM »
This seems to me to be an interesting aspect of a debate that I find intriguing generally, which is how to create a combat system that makes sense, is practical to run in a TTRPG (ie is not super clunky and slow, such that it maintains the sense of urgency and excitement that a combat encounter generally should have), AND usefully models 'realistic' elements of an actual fight.

It also touches on the subject of how to make melee characters interesting (especially at higher levels), and in particular, how to functionally distinguish between weapon types (which is something that I feel DnD 5e lacks, and I am not hopeful about the system that One DnD attempted to introduce to supposedly rectify this situation).

I certainly think that introducing ways for weapons/attacks to disable an opponent would be an interesting component to a combat system, although I can't immediately think of a good way to do so that wouldn't mostly just be flavouring the concept of depleting an enemy's pool of health.