We Never Start Fights. We Always Finish Them.

It’s odd how rarely I find new angles to old problems in my gaming; maybe it’s because most of my gaming is with the same three or four people, or maybe it’s just that I’ve been dissecting my games for blog material pretty much constantly for the last few years. But last night’s D&D game [...]

RPG Blog Carnival Roundup: Combat Avoidance

It’s been a long month, but we’ve reached the end of April’s RPG Blog Carnival. I guess we don’t have as many people trying to avoid combat, or trying to work around people avoiding combat, as I thought we did; we only have five external entries, from four people. That, or my advertising needs a [...]

The Generic Villain Stays Out of the Fight

Last week, I talked about viable reasons to put off a fight with the protagonist(s) (yes, the Management’s still got me on Carnival, why do you ask?). But all the will in the world isn’t going to do you any good without a way. How do you make sure those blasted prots don’t fight you [...]

Talking to the Combat-Reluctant GM

I’ve spent this week talking about the reasons why a GM might be prone to combat evasion, as a continuation of RPG Blog Carnival. No amount of knowledge, however, does any good without putting it to use. So what can you do if you’re looking for action but your GM isn’t enthused?
First, see if you [...]

More Meta-Fight Rewards for GMs

Yesterday, I continued my stream of RPG Blog Carnival posts by talking about about why many of the player rewards for participating in a fight didn’t apply quite as well when on the GM’s side of the screen. But what other sorts of rewards can a GM whose thing just isn’t combat look for or [...]

Meta-Fight Rewards: GMs vs. Players

“As a GM I often feel too much like I’m trying not to win, but to fail with style.” –my regular GM, during a discussion of his tendency to flit between systems.
In yesterday’s RPG Blog Carnival post, one of the problems I noted for GMs going into combat was that many of the rewards that [...]

Why a GM Might Not Fight

In the spirit of RPG Blog Carnival, I spent the last week suggesting ways for GMs whose players are averse to combat to address the problems that cause that aversion and mitigate them. This week, though, I’m going to hit the converse of that topic: what happens if you’re itching for a fight, but the [...]

The Generic Villain Isn’t Fighting Today

The Management has been so enthusiastic about this RPG Blog Carnival thing, and my week’s been slow enough, that I figured I may as well throw my oar in. Combat avoidance is a vexed topic among us Hands of Darkness due to our oppositional role, so this is going to take a couple weeks.
To start, [...]

Impractical Applications: Self-Diagnosis of a Combat-Avoiding Player

Let’s face it, combat avoidance is in my nature, both as a player and as a GM (hence the Blog Carnival topic); it’s more remarkable to find combats I had no complaint whatsoever about as it is to find combats I’ve actually enjoyed. But since I do enjoy them occasionally, I’m not a hopeless case—that [...]

Reassuring the Mechanically Unsure

When I posted to RPG Blog Carnival about reasons why a player might avoid combat, one of the possibilities I’ve covered is that of the newbie intimidated by the combat mechanics. This is, I think, one of the most straightforward of the potential player obstacles to work around, being a matter of inexperience rather than [...]