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 [...]

Considering Failure Mechanics

Some recent experiences, particularly with going back to D&D after a long bout of dabbling in a variety of other systems, got me thinking about failure mechanics and how important they can be to a player’s experience.
A lot of the systems I’ve dabbled in have had some way of working around failure, making it somewhat [...]

How Not to Make People Hate Random Encounters

I understand why random encounters exist. They do demonstrate that the world is a living, breathing place, that there are Things Out There that aren’t just Whatever Is Determined By the Local Dungeon; they do very much discourage the fifteen-minute adventuring day; a clever GM can use them to drop a new lead to another [...]

Assembling a Sparky Action

I tend to get most of my combat spark action by action, dealing with each one as a problem to solve: usually “What do I want, and how do I get it with what I have?”, though sometimes I’ll try “What do I have, and how might I use it?” if all that matters is [...]

Combat Rigidity, Combat Spark

In response to yesterday’s post on the components of combat spark, edige23 from Age of Ravens expressed some curiosity in seeing my take on combat spark “working in systems with high combat fluff vs. those with low levels”. Needless to say, my response got a bit too long for a simple comment. As a caveat, [...]