The frantic confusion of combat!

edited April 2010 in Story Games
So, everybody knows that in an RPG, PCs have near-omniscience regarding the battlefield, but the impression I get from reading real-world history of battles tends to suggest that once a fray was entered (especially historically) all you really can see is what's in front of you. For those of you who read comics, Brian Wood's EXCELLENT Northlanders 3: Blood in the Snow has a quote about being in a shield wall, and feeling something warm running down your leg, and not being sure if it's the piss of the man next to you or your own blood. I love the idea of the failure of the formation, the fear of battle, and the total unawareness of what is going on behind you.

I'm sure this has come up before around these parts, but does anyone have any recommendations for specific games, houserules, or anything else to add a bit of "fog-of-war" to RPG fights? Something mechanical to drive home the idea to the players that they have very little knowledge of the proceedings around them.

Comments

  • I do this plenty in my modern D&D play. No hit points, and to-hit rolls are against hidden target numbers whenever I don't feel like qualifying the challenge. Works like a charm.

    That is to say, a very effective mechanical means of giving this impression is to strip away the usual mechanics.
  • edited April 2010
    Posted By: deadlytoqueall you really can see is what's in front of you
    How about, only describe what's in front of them?
  • Burning Wheel does this to a degree. You have to write down what you are doing in a Fight! three 'rounds' ahead. Then when everyone is done planning, the three rounds are resolved. It also includes a rule for taking time to assess your opponents armor, condition, etc.
  • edited April 2010
    Posted By: deadlytoque... does anyone have any recommendations for specific games, houserules, or anything else to add a bit of "fog-of-war" to RPG fights? Something mechanical ...
    "Mechanical" is a very strong word in english rpg-discussions, and it is putting a tick veil over the method of role-playing games. Try to think non-mechanically, like: how do you use the GM to fog the battlefield?

    You let the GM up the tempo of the game, in a crisis. Really UP: like in never waiting for the players to think; ACT-ACT-ACT! No words from the players is "doing nothing" (standing around moping, going with the mill, doing nothing of significance).

    You let the GM talk with a pitched voice. SCREAM at the players!

    You give the GM a list of "threats", for the GM to hurl at the players at great speed during the combat. This will have the players stop thinking and force them to count on their gut-reaction!
    EXAMPLE:
    GM - Someone jumps out of the dark doorway! What do you do?
    PLAYER - Chop with my sword!
    GM - You hit her in the throat! It's little girl! She dies! Someone yells at you and attack! What do you do?
    PLAYER - I scream and chop!!!
    GM - You parry, slip in the mud and falls! He runs on!
    GM (to new player) - You are on your stomach in the mud! What do you do?
    PLAYER - I try to rise ...
    GM - Someone runs at you, and you are knocked into the mud again! What do you do?
    PLAYER - I fight myself up!
    GM - Someone strangles you from behind! You get no air! NO AIR!!!
    GM (to new player) - Someone got you from behind! Holding your arms! What do you do?
    PLAYER - Run backwards towards the wall!
    GM - The hold loosen! A swordman is in front of you! What do you do?
    PLAYER - I fight him!
    GM - Your attack surprizes him! He falls, bleeding! He is one of your own!
    GM (to two other players) - You chop down a man! He is one of your own! He dies of your attack! A fiend shouts: "GREAT CHOP!!!" What do you do?
    PLAYER 1 - I cry ...
    (the GM hushes the players, making a small break for the crying ...)
    GM (pointing at the other player) - And what do you do?
    PLAYER 2 - I cry and fight! I KILL HIM!
    GM - WHO!?
    PLAYER 2 - THE BLOODY FIEND!!!.


    That is one way of solving it. It is very easy to do. You prepare a list of "threats" or "predicaments", and improvise the rest. In this example you make no use of dice. They are used in some instances (when PC-lives is at stake, but in as simple a way as possible), but to keep the speed of the combat you solve most situations without them; the GM advocating by intuition, not killing the characters, but putting them in the gruesome grit of it.

    What it does is to pump the players, and the GM, full of stress-hormones (a natural reaction, their bodies gearing up). This will help them connect with some of the feelings of combat, and that is essential.

    My main point is that "mechanics" are a kind of order, and slow, so you must set them mostly aside to cope with the real chaos of combat (and many other crisis). This advice is contrary to the common "wisdom" of classical rpg's: the mechanics are to be used in crisis, to give an impartial outcome. The problem with this, is that it slows down the game when the actions really is speeding out of hand for the characters. To simulate the chaos, you need to have the game speed out of hand for the players.
  • eh, I like the theatrical approach. but then i would rather play princess bride then a serious war flick.

    i do like systems that try to capture the scary frantic side of fighting, like burning wheel does. it's certainly an interesting challenge.
  • @TomasHVM

    help me understand,

    it sounds like your making a system does not matter kind of argument?

    I think there are plenty of mechanics that lead to an insane amount of chaos and frenzy. hungry hungry hippos, slap jack, whatever
  • I'm sure many people like to play the way Thomas describes - to me it's precisely what I'm not looking for in gaming, and exactly what good game mechanics can help you avoid (I thought Burning Wheel/Empires as well, but Sorcerer would certainly work as well).

    Adam, it sounds a bit like you want the players (as opposed to the characters) to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction? If so, I can't understand why.
  • Burning Wheel does this really well.

    There are sample chapters available in case you don't have a copy of the books to look at
    HERE


    ara
  • Hey Adam,
    Posted By: deadlytoqueI'm sure this has come up before around these parts, but does anyone have any recommendations for specific games, houserules, or anything else to add a bit of "fog-of-war" to RPG fights? Something mechanical to drive home the idea to the players that they have very little knowledge of the proceedings around them.
    Play Space Alert.

    Paul
  • Scripted combat seems like a great way to model uncertainty. One hack I've thought about for BE's Firefight system is to vary the number of actions you must prescript based on battlefield intel, conditions and so on. So like if you had good orbital imagery and radio communication maybe you would only script two actions to the other guys three, or even four if they're primitives. You would still resolve actions simultaneously of course.
  • Having a time limit for players to respond makes them act quickly or miss their chance and doesn't allow them to gather much information in that time. Of course player confusion is not the same as character confusion but it is a good proxy.
  • Ahhh

    the nice foggy land where we discuss the pros and cons of immersionsit techniques, player versus character knowledge, mechanical versus dramatic resolution. 12 replies an no hate so far.

    My stance is as follows:
    What do YOU want.
    Do you want to stimlulate and support the feeling of confusion and loss of control that is a fight in you the player.
    Or do you want to your character to suffer the confusion, seeing him loosing more and more control.

    I lean towards the latter (and there are more approaches than the two) than the former which Tomas' method is great for. I've found that the less rolls the better, because even though I am not a fan of pure drama narration (THVM's approach) I still agree with him that stepping out of the fiction to roll too many dice leads to to a break down of the tempo of such a scene.

    But this is me, and might not be you.
  • Posted By: TylerT@TomasHVM

    help me understand,

    it sounds like your making a system does not matter kind of argument?

    I think there are plenty of mechanics that lead to an insane amount of chaos and frenzy. hungry hungry hippos, slap jack, whatever
    To me, it looks more like Tomas is making a System Matters Very Much Indeed argument. After all, he is positing using a second different system to achieve the effect he wants when he finds the prior system horribly lacking for his goals.

    More concretely, I would suggest looking into a game called Men Against Fire by Paddy Griffith as an example of a game that uses some pretty old-fashioned wargame style mechanics at its core, but then overlays them with some fairly radical methods that change it to something very different and much more in the vein of combat as confusing hell situation. ( Assuming you can find it of course. Elliot might be able to point you in the right direction)

    Elliot Wilen ( S-Ger) ran it for me and Mike Montesa ( also an S-Ger) some time back and it was quite the experience, even when we didn't come anywhere near using RAW ( in one aspect badly violating the rules).

    Briefly, MAF is about players playing the part of USMC patrol members during WW2 in the Pacific. The miniatures game rules aspect can be largely skipped, as they're nothing special in themselves.

    Here are the interesting bits:
    As written, the referee of the game sets out the battlefieldon a table. Only he gets to see it. The players (hopefully about8-10 of them; we played with just two players and multiple characters, so there's rules violation #1) sit on chairs facing away from the referee and table in a semi-circle. This means it becomes physically hard to see the other, real world, members of the party. Maybe just the guy on either side of you. This is also roughly where the party members are at the start of the game.

    Once contact is made with the enemy, things really fall apart quickly. If, when coming under fire, your character hits the dirt (wisely), you stop having nearly as wide a field of vision. The Referee takes this into account in his descriptions from there out. You also have a limited range of view, due to the tropical foliage.

    Oh yeah, and the Ref makes secret rolls to see if your character hitting the dirt manages to accidently turn right or left from your previous facing by up to 45 degrees. You may now have a different field of vision than you'd had previously without realizing it.

    So right, all of that would be hard enough, along with more or less standard minis wargaming "shoot lots, miss lots" mechanics, right?

    It gets more fun. By RAW, you don't get to use the minis ( we violated this too. Trust me, it didn't help. We used a second set of our own pieces and that actually increased rather than decreased the confusion).

    Oh, and you are dealt random cards before play with your character's individual attitudes on them. Sometimes these goals are contradictory or at least strongly at odds. A number of them are decidely un-martial in nature (like "Survive the battle without personally killing anyone/Never refuse aid to a wounded squad mate"). No other player knows what your character attitudes are (which imply but don't really outright state, goals for you).

    The rules for hits and wounds are deadly. Wounded personnel are largely out of combat, and other players will not know immediately whether a wounded man bled out or just went unconscious until they manage to work their way over to the spot where they fell. Which, given other circumstances might be anywhere.

    Put altogether, the result is a game of vast first-person confusion and terror in combat. When I played, we had an after game discussion of what had actually happened. Our five man patrol had basically been chopped to bits. I was more than a little annoyed with Elliot for throwing us into an obvious ambush by much larger enemy forces in prepared fortified positions. We'd managed to get out with one man alive, three wounded and one dead.

    As it turned out, there were only two enemy troopers. We'd actually managed to kill one of them, although we certainly weren't aware of that fact during the game. The rules induced a good bit of chaos making perception of the siituation vastly different from the reality.

    And yet, it doesn't generally involve the kind of stuff Tomas is using at all, nor other rapid-fire mechanics.
  • I recently learned to love the frantic confusion of social combat. All dialogue was done in character and without mechanical support for stuff like scaring someone into silence but people not in the scene could still trigger things from the characters by spending tokens on them. Like one of the central roles suffered from severe hypocondria and since he played it so well people loved triggering it mid verbal assault "ack, the cancer! It's is in my HEART!". Another example was my character confronting another character about being a sneaky bitch and 3(!) reasons to hate her got triggered mid conversation (sexist, intolerant of other religions, love of family (she claimed his closest friend and adopted family member had gone behind his back (which was true)) and for each thing that came up I became more and more immersed in the anger so really nasty insult could be flung right from my heart.

    Perhaps you can do something similar with martial combat? Like, the characters have to have stated fears that can be triggered (afraid of tanks, dishonorable death, fire) or other things that come up (berserker rage! hatred of the enemy, bloodlust, mercyful heart) which are triggered by the GM or other players.

    GM: A wall of enemy halberdiers is approaching, soldiers around you seem worried but hold their ground. In the distance you see ther dustcloud your cavarly is throwing up, preparing to flank them.
    Player: I stand my ground, shield ready, and pray.
    Another player spends a token: Oh no you don't, your hatred of the Prussians reminds itself!
    Player: Shit, I charge them and hope my comrades follow me.
  • Posted By: Per Fischer
    Adam, it sounds a bit like you want the players (as opposed to the characters) to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction? If so, I can't understand why.
    Sounds to me like he wants characters to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction, and wants to mirror that effect at the gaming table, to evoke feelings of confusion and panic in battle.

    It seems to me like giving players limited cues is a good way to explore the ways that combatants deal with limited cues when trapped in the fog of war.
  • Posted By: Paul CzegeHey Adam,

    Posted By: deadlytoqueI'm sure this has come up before around these parts, but does anyone have any recommendations for specific games, houserules, or anything else to add a bit of "fog-of-war" to RPG fights? Something mechanical to drive home the idea to the players that they have very little knowledge of the proceedings around them.
    PlaySpace Alert.

    Paul
    Holy shit yes.

    If anyone manages to combine fog-of-war swords and sorcery fantasy RPG fights with the feeling Space Alert reliably gives players in their first 10-20 games? You'll have my $100.
  • Posted By: joepubPosted By: Per Fischer
    Adam, it sounds a bit like you want the players (as opposed to the characters) to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction? If so, I can't understand why.
    Sounds to me like he wants characters to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction, and wants to mirror that effect at the gaming table, to evoke feelings of confusion and panic in battle.

    It seems to me like giving players limited cues is a good way to explore the ways that combatants deal with limited cues when trapped in the fog of war.

    Yes, this.

    While I like the idea of just stripping away system and frantically yelling at my players, knowing my play group, I don't think they would react well to it. I have several players who like to be able to look back at a game afterwards and understand why each event happened from a mechanical perspective.

    While I personally like Burning Wheel, and like the advantages of scripting combat, my players in general loathe it. That said, adapting the scripting to a system they prefer might work out for me in most cases, but not in every case. I'll detail that more below.

    I mostly play with actors and people with improv backgrounds, so immersion and presentation are never the problem. The problem is that most RPGs that have detailed combat mechanics or heavy combat focus also tend to rely on large amounts of player knowledge.

    Maybe some concrete examples would help.

    1) In my OP, I mentioned the shield wall, and the confusion of not even knowing what the warm fluid dripping down your leg is. Let's assume that I have no problem narrating that, and the players have no problem accepting it. But: if it blood, then there is a mechanical impact of that. If my leg's been cut open, that's going to have an effect. If I keep that information from the player, then OK, neither the player nor the character know, but the character needs to be impacted by it, and my only conduit to the character is the player. So I have to tell the player. So how do I let my player know that his character has been wounded, but reward the player for ensuring the character doesn't know?

    2) In the movie The Hurt Locker, there's a scene where the squad meets up with a group of mercenaries, and then gets pinned down by hostile snipers. Blood spills on the "PC group's" sniper rifle ammo, so they have to clean each round before it can be loaded and fired. Then, even once the rounds are cleaned and the enemy is (presumably) killed, the POV soldiers sit and wait, watching the building their enemies had been using for cover FOR HOURS, just to make sure that there wasn't a hostile sniper left who would kill them as soon as they broke their own cover. They don't talk, they don't move. They just wait. So how do I: firstly the panic of unexpected circumstances like having to wash individual bullets without it becoming a dull mechanical slog (OK, you clean a bullet. Roll "handle equipment". OK, you clean a bullet); and secondly the tension of long, exhausting waiting, knowing that the wrong move could mean death?

    The only game system I can think of that might address my various issues mechanically is Dogs in the Vineyard. Characters can "discover" that they are wounded -- even mortally -- after the fight, even if they won. Troop surges or sudden reversals, or blood-in-the-bullets or even exhausting standoffs (against nobody!) can all be parts of raises*.

    I suppose Otherkind might work for this, too. Which makes me wonder: perhaps the best approach is to try and consider the confusion and surprise as some kind of "higher-level" play than the actual recounting of the swinging of axes and squeezing of triggers.
    Posted By: Paul CzegePlaySpace Alert.

    Paul
    Wow, sounds amazing! Any thoughts about adapting that to an RPG? Maybe... a "combat events oracle" where for every round, or turn, or minute of realtime, a card gets flipped from a deck that triggers some kind of unexpected event on the battlefield?0

    *Actually that would be great: the Fallout dice say that your opponent died during the fight. I'm going to say he was actually dead for the last hour of game-time, and you've been sitting there, waiting, baking in the hot sun watching for movement.
  • One thing you can do with BW is to turn things on their heads. Describe feeling a thump and noticing the warm liquid. When the player goes to check, BAM! roll dice for an attack (bloody versus) if the player wins, well it was just blood or vomit from the other guy. If the GM wins, looks like you,ve been wounded... You can do this with all manner of things. Let the skill rolls decide between two interesting options.
  • Okay, Space Alert. Let's discuss what it is about the game that makes for the hectic fog-of-war go-go-go what's-happening-omg player feeling it evokes. (And if you don't feel like you can discuss because you haven't played it and live near Redmond WA and want to play it then let me know. ;) )

    1) Time pressure. There's legitimate real-world time constraints and you (the team of all the players) don't have quite enough time to thoroughly discuss all your options and plan.
    2) Plans falling apart. Halfway through when a new threat appears red and you discover you can't defeat it unless Sheryl drops what she's doing a time t=6 and runs redward but then the missiles won't have been fired so the pulse ball survives after all so Justin's got to scamper up and shoot it but oh is this screwing up our energy? Half the fun is in watching your old plan fall apart and desperately get replaced piecemeal with a new one, and I think this is distinct from discarding your old plan and replacing it with a new one.
    3) Incorrect assumptions. You don't have time or the mental reflexes to keep track of everything, so you have to trust that when you ask "did we get the jellyfish?" an answer of "yes" includes "and we made sure the main reactor was recharged on 8 like you asked" and "and we didn't take 5 hits in the process without telling you" and etc. But in fact not all of those assumptions will be true, everyone misses something and everyone knows something's been missed but no one knows what and you're all sitting there hoping the assumption you didn't see isn't going to be the one that destroys your ship.
    4) Adequate knowledge. Remove the time constraint or severely reduce the communications overhead and the game is solvable. Easily. And everyone knows it. If you fail, it's on you, so there's no "eh I can't figure out what to do in the next 20 seconds but it's random anyway". Instead if only you can think and switch cards fast enough you can recover from any failure in 20 seconds. (haha, yeah right ;) )

    Okay so let's throw those at RPG combat. Stream-of-consciousness-go. Players "vs" GM. They've each got a character. There's a battlemat with minis. There's a clock. The GM has a hidden script with things like "1 minute 25 seconds: Place two elf archers atop the east face." And the players are playing cards facedown and they have special cards if they have special powers. And every 30 seconds the GM says "flip!" and players flip over their earliest unflipped card and the GM executes those orders and then gets back to the timeline (or maybe a second GM executes the orders?? players don't they need to keep their brains in frantic planning mode probably?). The orders need to be simple and not brittle, so "retreat a lot" means the GM backs the character mini off a distance from the threat but it shouldn't have a huge effect whether the mini was moved to that square or the adjacent square, otherwise players can't feel like their plans are really plans. But like Space Alert also at that 30 second mark more of their played cards become locked and they can't rearrange them while planning. You can do speed by more cards per interval, and tactical awareness by a card like "after the GM executes this card move your mini 1 square" or something. 4) Adequate knowledge is important here, can we still have random chance (e.g. to miss) playing a factor? This brings up a thought:

    5) Foreknowledge. Your sensors tell you a jellyfish is gonna be attacking zone white starting at time t=8, and you can still rearrange plenty of your actions that are happening before t=8. You can defeat that t=3 threat in a completely different way than your previous plan, to set up for defeating the jellyfish. It's really weird, I don't know what the SIS looks like at all in Space Alert. I mean you're all making these plans but it feels like you're executing them but you're not really 'cause you can go back and make a completely different plan and no one's really 100% sure what everyone else is doing. Even when you move to new phases, while that locks down what will happen, the SIS can be completely different and isn't changed to fit reality until after all plans have been made and we're down to execution stage.

    What might that look like in a fight-o RPG? At 1:30 the GM adds two elves with "t=4" tags. So we can't execute the character actions that are at t=4+ until at least 1:30, certainly. Space Alert doesn't execute them until the VERY END. But a slightly less hectic, rolling version of Space Alert might work. It'd be sooo mentally tiring, I'd guess. With all the actions being executed at the end you remove the need for a GM, all you need is the time-keeper to introduce the threats and sudden gaping pits in the battlefield. I'm just worried the feel of Space Alert with its parallel branches of the reality of what's happening 'cause of so many changing plans won't translate as well to a battlefield as would something that... collapses more often.

    Actually I wonder if Vlaada has any playtesting notes he can share...
  • edited April 2010
    Having run some pretty extensive and intense battle scenes while I was running Godlike, I realized that the feeling of chaos can be well modeled by simply applying a lot of time pressure on the players to make decisions fast. I never gave the players time to discuss things much, and they had to act and react as quickly as possible. The players with leader characters had to assess things quick and come up with a course of action under pressure (since the German machinegunners weren't going to give them a break). That plus rolling in the open and not fudging meant that anything your character did could get them killed. Including doing nothing. That's actually one of Murphy's Laws of Combat too (Anything you do can get you killed, including doing nothing). It worked for us - the players often commented that they felt everything was seat of the pants, every moment could be their last, and even though they had better knowledge of the environment as players of a game, it felt very chaotic.
  • Posted By: Guy SrinivasanOkay so let's throw those at RPG combat. Stream-of-consciousness-go. Players "vs" GM. They've each got a character. There's a battlemat with minis. There's a clock. The GM has a hidden script with things like "1 minute 25 seconds: Place two elf archers atop the east face." And the players are playing cards facedown and they have special cards if they have special powers. And every 30 seconds the GM says "flip!" and players flip over their earliest unflipped card and the GM executes those orders and then gets back to the timeline (or maybe a second GM executes the orders?? players don't they need to keep their brains in frantic planning mode probably?). The orders need to besimpleandnot brittle, so "retreat a lot" means the GM backs the character mini off a distance from the threat but it shouldn't have ahugeeffect whether the mini was moved tothatsquare or theadjacentsquare, otherwise players can't feel like their plans are really plans. But like Space Alert also at that 30 second mark more of their played cards become locked and they can't rearrange them while planning. You can do speed by more cards per interval, and tactical awareness by a card like "after the GM executes this card move your mini 1 square" or something. 4) Adequate knowledge is important here, can we still have random chance (e.g. to miss) playing a factor? This brings up a thought:
    I love this.

    I like the idea of an "action deck". How would this be built? Would players build their decks with things like "move to nearest enemy and attack", "fall back to safe position", "use offensive magic" and that sort of thing, with customizability based on the character personality?
    Posted By: Mike MontesaI never gave the players time to discuss things much, and they had to act and react as quickly as possible.
    How do you enforce this pressure at the table? Do you just start rolling attacks if the players don't decide their actions right away? I think this could be combined with some kind of objective-based play: "OK, you have 7 real-time minutes to capture the enemy chieftain or he will escape. I don't care how many turns elapse, but when the timer buzzes, that's it." That would encourage players to engage with the game in a more frantic, less-thoughtful way, and might help.

    Sadly, the egg-timer combat doesn't approach the other information-deprivation scenario I proposed above, ie: the patient snipers.
  • Posted By: Mike MontesaI never gave the players time to discuss things much, and they had to act and react as quickly as possible.
    How do you enforce this pressure at the table? Do you just start rolling attacks if the players don't decide their actions right away? I think this could be combined with some kind of objective-based play: "OK, you have 7 real-time minutes to capture the enemy chieftain or he will escape. I don't care how many turns elapse, but when the timer buzzes, that's it." That would encourage players to engage with the game in a more frantic, less-thoughtful way, and might help.

    Sadly, the egg-timer combat doesn't approach the other information-deprivation scenario I proposed above, ie: the patient snipers.
    Yeah, I pretty much just rolled into the turns. In Godlike everyone states their actions first and then everyone rolls. So I gave people a 5-count and then we were on. Usually everyone made a decision, though maybe not always the best one.

    No, it doesn't address the information issue, but I started doing things like saying all enemy tanks were Tiger tanks, until someone actually carefully checked things out (until such time they were, for all intents and purposes, Tiger tanks). Some NPC would say, "They got Tigers up that road!" and when the PCs got there, it was some shitty old Somua with a German cross painted on. In firefights, they almost never saw the enemy that was shooting at them - they'd be returning fire at muzzle flashes and so on.
  • edited April 2010
    Posted By: TylerTit sounds like your making a system does not matter kind of argument?
    No.

    Method matters. In the given example you have a very strong method, like a constantly hammering fist in the players mind, getting them into the fiction by overrunning their "senses" by threats to their characters, in a rhythm that leaves them no choice but to "react as soldiers". Automated reaction based on hurried information-interpretation (instinct) is the origin of the "fog of war" on the battlefield.
    Method - how we play the game, may be divided into mechanics and techniques
    - mechanics - a comprehensive system of traits and randomizers (usually focused on the PC), the tools to make characters influence the fiction directly, and in some games; tools to give players storyteller-rights
    - techniques - how players tell the story, use their presence and form the game-dialogue, including the GM as a key player (in classical rpgs)
    Posted By: TylerTI think there are plenty of mechanics that lead to an insane amount of chaos and frenzy. hungry hungry hippos, slap jack, whatever
    I disagree with you. I've not seen them. Until I sat down and wrote a methodical approach to this challenge, and focused on the storyteller-techniques as the main avenue of creating the chaos, I had no good examples of rpg-methods living up to the challenge. It happens once in a while in any given classical rpg, but then it is in spite of the "system", and mostly due to improvised storyteller tchiniques (the GM winging it, and hitting bulls eye by chance).
    Posted By: Per FischerAdam, it sounds a bit like you want the players (as opposed to the characters) to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction? If so, I can't understand why.
    Per; I do respect that there are different ways of playing rpgs. I play a lot of different games, and seek different levels of realism in them. This thread however, is about how you create a more realistic feel into your combat.

    As for "want the players to be unaware of what's going on in the fiction"; you are missing the point. We actually want to give the players some awareness of how limited a vision the character has on a battlefield. That is very much about delving into the fiction, and opening it up for the exploration of your character.

    I for my part, also want to communicate some of the instinctive reactions and consequent feelings of the soldiers in battle too, to the players. I do this to help them step into the shoes of realistic fighting characters. To do that effectively, I have made tools which are quite effective, the ones referred to in my last post.

    This is one way of playing that I enjoy immensely, and that I know a lot of other players also get great enjoyment from (and strong experiences). If you want your game to do something else, for example to amuse the players with laughable mishaps during a fight, then you make other tools. No need to preach only one way of doing rpgs here, limited to your own taste. Let us make room for any and all tastes, and any and all kinds of tools. ;-)
    Posted By: Guy SrinivasanIf anyone manages to combine fog-of-war swords and sorcery fantasy RPG fights with the feeling Space Alert reliably gives players in their first 10-20 games? You'll have my $100.
    I did it with my fantasy game Fabula back in 2004. Gimme the money!!! :-)
  • Posted By: TomasHVMPosted By: Guy SrinivasanIf anyone manages to combine fog-of-war swords and sorcery fantasy RPG fights with the feeling Space Alert reliably gives players in their first 10-20 games? You'll have my $100.
    I did it with my fantasy gameFabulaback in 2004. Gimme the money!!! :-)
    Include a link to your game? Google had my back, though: Fabula. English translation anywhere?
  • Posted By: Guy SrinivasanEnglish translation anywhere?
    English? Nooo ... never heard of it! Don't know if it is possible to even play role-playing games in English, actually. You know; these games are verbally challenging ... ;-)

    Would have loved to give you a translation of it. It might happen someday, if my first novel from the rpg-world of Fabula gets international acclaim and demands arise for the game to be translated too ... (yeah, sure!). Sry!
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