RE: ...gameplay in general...

From: Mike Holmes <homeydont_at_...>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 16:12:03 -0500

>From: "Stephen McGinness" <stephenmcg_at_...>

>I was interested in reading this as my group are very much the same. I was
>wondering what people's experiences are?
>Personally most contests in my game are now simple ones and I crave more
>realistic ones as per the book. Instead I have a steady stream of simple
>contests where the characters slowly accrue Hurts through the scenario -
>healing magic in my Glorantha is rare and limited in the timescale of
>scenarios. The final challenge is often more of a challenge due to the
>depleted state of the heroes rather than an exciting cut and thrust

Well, contests I run to tend towards the short. But I think this is a good thing.

For one, if you have the advantage in terms of target number, then it's actually beneficial to bid low. So one of two things is happening in these short battles. Either the PCs are underdogs, and doing the tactically sound thing by bidding high (in addition to the better odds, it means fewer HP expended), or they have the better ability, and are either blissfully unaware of what the tactical realities are, or just don't care.

I think it's a lot of the latter. That is, if a PC has the advantage, sure they could draw things out to ensure victory, but that's potentially anticlimactic. I think a lot of people bid high because it's dramatic to do so. They want to make grand gestures and dynamic actions in contests, and so they bid large to represent this.

I don't see anything "unrealistic" about it. Any contest that could be done with an extended contest could also be done with a simple contests. As such, I don't buy that a low number of rounds is unrealistic. It all comes down to how you narrate the results of the actions, and how much players want to put into their declarations. Consider that if you're players are always making big bids, that this might also mean that they'd prefer that these be Simple contests instead.


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