Thursday, 25 April 2013

RPG combat and realism

Noisms' latest post on creating gritty and realistic tactical combat struck a chord with me for a number of reasons.

I swing between a variety of moods when it comes to RPGs in general, and their combat systems in particular. Sometimes I think that D&D combat works fine on an abstract level, hit points are not meant to represent actual damage, and it's fine that a hero can take on a dragon and win. Usually I need something grittier, and think all PCs should be afraid of dying to mundane threats, and certainly shouldn't be able to shrug off attacks from dozens of lesser foes. And occasionally I think that PCs have it far to easy in even the grittiest system, and anyway we just don't know enough about medieval / renaissance combat (despite the wonders of YouTube!) to create a remotely credible system so why bother!

Most of the time though I'm happy that combat in WFRP1e is "good enough", and appropriately gritty for me. I would like to put that to the test a bit, and for example model some of the following, in order to put some sort of metric on the lethality of the system -
  • Lightly armed militia versus unarmoured labour
  • Unarmoured dualist versus each of the above
  • Fully armoured dwarf judicial champion versus each of the above
Hopefully at the end of things I'll still be happy that it's gritty enough. If not I might have to adopt Noisms' system.

Meanwhile, I need to learn more about the life expectancy of a Roman gladiator.

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