Combat.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 6 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 22 Aug 2013
at 18:32
Combat
Combat Scenes in Play by Post games often do the exact opposite of what you'd want them to do.  Combat is supposed to be exciting and make the game feel like the pace has increased.  It doesn't.  Combat tends to slow everything to a crawl.  A small combat can take a month or more to play out.  That sucks.  Big time.

Not only that, creating the map and updating it and keeping track of all that stuff is a real headache.  I have time to do posts and write but not always to pull out the image editor and go searching for cool maps and stuff.  All the maps and tokens are really a time suck.

To fight the combat suckage, I've decided to do something a bit different.  I'm going old school.  Remember when D&D and other RPGs didn't use grid maps and have rules for 5 foot steps and all that?  I'm kinda going back to that for most combat.  The scene will be described with words and we won't actually put up a map at all for it.  This really helps me out in terms of time.  This does mean we need to be fairly precise in our writing.  I know that there are some abilities that rely on fairly specific positioning.  To make sure those abilities aren't rendered unplayable, we'll simply roll some appropriate skill to simulate the difficulty in getting in just the right position on the map sheet.  All in all, this should save all of us some time and bother.

Donít worry, the tactical part of the game won't suffer.  For some important and climatic battles, I'll pull out the map and tokens so we can all demonstrate our gamer prowess.
The Raconteur
 GM, 8 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 22 Aug 2013
at 18:36
Hit Points and Posting
Hit points are an abstraction.  They simply tell a player when a character can no longer continue to fight...or do anything else really.  They wrap up physical hardiness, heroic awesomeness, hard-won experience and the will to fight all up into one nice, neat number.

The question then becomes, how do we represent this in our written fiction?  Making every loss of hit points be a small wound just seems a bit silly.  After all, if two guys are hacking at each other with large, sharp objects, they aren't going to die The Death of a Thousand Cuts.  They are going to go largely uninjured until one of them makes a serious mistake and then that person is going to die from a big, nasty wound.  Unfortunately if we view hit points as always being physical damage then that doesn't happen in fights except at really low levels.

Here's the way I see it.  Hit points are a resource you spend in order to NOT die.  If you have 30 hit points and an opponent "hits" you with a greatsword for 10 points of damage, the 10 points represents the amount of resources you have to spend to be not dead (or unconscious).  You can describe that however you like.  I might describe it as a very near miss that leaves me winded and off balance and it scares me.  Notice that I didn't describe taking a physical wound.  I just describe losing part of my ability to continue the fight.

So, if you hit something with your weapon and then I don't put it being physically hurt in the written fiction, don't be concerned.  The bad guy still took hit point damage.  If I do describe physical damage, that's fine too.  It doesn't actually mean anything more mechanically than the other way.  It's all the same.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:37, Thu 22 Aug 2013.