Impractical Applications: Slogs

One of the things I find most interesting about combat slogs is how utterly different they can be. I’d had three in mind when I was writing this week’s posts about the mechanical and contextual causes of a slog battle; one that was part of a running trend and two that were specific to that [...]

Challenge vs. Slog, Part 2: Contextual Slogging

Yesterday, I talked about mechanical factors that could turn a challenging battle into a boring slog. Today, I’m going to talk about contextual factors; reasons why what’s going on in the game could bring out the slog in an otherwise awesome challenge.
We really can’t see the relevance. One of the things that helps keep a [...]

Challenge vs. Slog, Part 1: Mechanical Factors

There is nothing many game groups like more than a challenging fight. But somewhere in every battle is a point where it goes from a brilliant challenge they’ll be talking about several plot arcs down the road to the worst thing a fight can become: the dreaded slog. The slog might not defeat the characters, [...]

Reprise: How Not To Misplace People in a Scene

Originally posted August 12, 2010.
One of the biggest problems with having four or five people operating in the same scene, regardless of its type, is the risk that the better-imaged ones will take over and the less-definite ones will get lost in the shuffle. A couple days ago, UZ asked how to [...]

Reprise: Comparing Conversation and Combat

Originally posted on August 11, 2010.
What’s the difference between conversation and combat?
I found myself asking that of one of my friends, while thinking about UZ’s recent question on keeping all participants in a conversation involving more than four characters at once. I have difficulty with that sort of thing too, so I didn’t [...]

When I’m Looking at a Combat System

My group has been improvising a FATE adaptation recently, and when we went to test it today, one of the first things we looked into was how its fight turned out. I learned a few things—some about our work in progress, but more about the kinds of things one looks at in a fighting system.
There’s [...]

Guest Imprac: I’m So Doomed

This post is courtesy of Shinali, reporting on our current plot issue in my primary game–yes, the one with the unexpectedly snarky arc antagonist. We’re still in the midst of the fight, for reasons chronological, psychological and mechanical, and I’ll probably be discussing more of it week after next (since next week I’m going to [...]

Reprise: When Players Choose the Battleground

Originally posted on September 8, 2009.
There are some patterns I tend to see in RPG combat, particularly regarding enemy behavior. In fact, it seems like most GMs are following a simple algorithm: “If the PCs know about the enemies, the enemies make the PCs come to them. If the PCs don’t know [...]

Reprise: 0 and 1, or The Problem With RPG Combat

This post was originally published on August 11, 2008. I’ve found myself revisiting a lot of my topics, looking at different angles or finding alterations to make to my position, but my thoughts on this subject have stayed pretty constant.
I’ve managed to avoid most of the typical problems with my game groups. We don’t [...]

How Not To Misplace People in a Scene

One of the biggest problems with having four or five people operating in the same scene, regardless of its type, is the risk that the better-imaged ones will take over and the less-definite ones will get lost in the shuffle. A couple days ago, UZ asked how to avoid that without creating a completely patterned [...]