Monday, October 18, 2010

Tactical moves in combat - positioning

How about some spicy in your rpg combat? I've a few discoveries to share. Especially in light of what Michael Curtis briefly touches on in the end of this post.

Like I posted about a short while back, I visited a con, where I can the opportunity to talk to Tomas Arfert and James Raggi. One result of that meeting was that I decided to take a closer look on Tomas game, Saga (link and game in Swedish only). I had read about it before, and thumbed through it, but know I suddenly saw a few nuggest of gold I had missed before. One of those were the role of distance in combat, and positioning.

In Saga you roll you initiative, and the winner get to decide on the distance for melee. If you on the other hand want as your action, to position yourself at a range more beneficial to you, you roll initiative again and if you loose that was your action this round!

This struck me as a very neat way to handle positioning in combat without the need for a battlemap and having to know exactly in which square your dude is standing in relation to those goblins.

There is one other game that I know which have a similar idea. In Elric!, one of the most silly names of a game in the industry, there's also rules about combat range. In this game you are either engaged, or not. When engaged you can not move. When disengaging you have to dodge all the attacks one round, then you can move.

The mechanic is similar, but it feels smoother and probably more fun with an active role for the player, like rolling initiative, than to just sit there and endure duress.

I see some interesting potential in this. Thanks for the idea, Tomas!
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