Re: Re: Getting injured (etc) multiple times - cumulative wounds

From: Ashley Munday <aescleal_at_...>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 10:00:48 +0000 (GMT)

I hate to break this to you, but roleplaying games are pretty arbitrary. Unless you play a game in which the narrative control gets passed around the GM is the final arbiter of everything that happens. Remember their's a difference between being arbitrary where you (try to) decide based on what's best for the game and being capricous (where you just feed your own ego).

With Heroquest you can play ALL the rules and not have to worry about missing something out.

One suggestion:

Ask the player of the penalised character what form they'd like their personal shafting to take. You don't have to agree but the player might come up with an interesting angle and it's sure going to fit the players conception of where they want their character to go.



> Thanks Rob, Mike, for your replies. I'm definitely
> talking BTW about
> what the HQ rules refer to as physical injury -
> being stabbed by a
> sword, falling off a mountain, mauled by a dream
> dragon, etc, rather
> than injured pride, exile from the clan, etc, etc.
> Mike drew my attention to something I hadn't picked
> up on in the HQ
> rules before:
> > In fact, really good technique begs for you to
> describe the injury
> in your
> > narration, and apply the penalty only to those
> situations in which
> it would
> > apply. For instance, if you describe the character
> getting hit in
> the sword
> > arm for -50%, then that penalty would make sense
> to apply to a
> following
> > contest involving swinging a sword, but not for
> one that, again,
> involved
> > running away. If he does fight, and gets a leg
> wound for an
> additional -50%,
> > then no more fighting contests for him (the total
> of -100% in
> penalties mean
> > automatic failure)... though he can probably still
> run away with a -50%.
> I'd completely missed the fact that the injury (etc)
> penalties only
> apply to "appropriate abilities" - I'm going to have
> to go away and
> think about that, as it sounds like it's an open
> door to the Dreaded
> Arbitrariness which I'm always trying to avoid my HQ
> sessions falling
> prey to (you know, the bit where the rules seem to
> say that what
> happens is "whatever you want to happen", and you
> find yourself
> seeming suddenly to have to make it all up as you go
> along...). My
> players and I prefer a game where the rules have a
> genuine and
> impersonal presence and are the ultimate arbiter of
> how contests and
> game situations resolve (rather than that devolving
> on my shoulders -
> I just narrate :-) )
> I wonder how precise people are about that word
> "appropriate" - are
> people bookkeeping, say, a -1 Hurt applied to the
> Broadsword & Shield
> attack, a -10% Impaired applied to Martial Arts
> Kicking, a -50%
> applied to Head Butt, etc, all separately? Or (as
> seems more
> manageable), are people just saying "OK, that's a
> physical injury,
> it's gonna affect jumping over pits, swimming
> rivers, climbing
> mountains, the whole shebang".
> > What previous injuries can tend to do is to make a
> Complete Defeat more
> > likely. And, yeah, if the penalties add up to
> -100%, then the
> character is
> > at their opponent's mercy. But what that means is
> simply that the
> character
> > will probably choose a different goal.
> Nice point.
> > There is no "combat" in Hero Quest. Go ahead, look
> for the section on
> > "Combat." It doesn't exist, mechanically.
> Agreed. I remember tearing through the rules for
> Hero Wars looking
> for it... ;-)
> > So it's actually mechanically the same, and
> dramatically superior in
> > most cases, to simply say that the alteration to
> the character
> wasn't one
> > that might lead to death.
> >
> > How about cutting an arm off instead? That's a
> Complete Defeat
> result right
> > there.
> It's that "How about" bit I have trouble with. To
> me, it kind of says
> "How about if you just make it all up off the top of
> your head". The
> Dreaded Arbitrariness. If a PC is about to kick the
> bucket, I want a
> due sense of solemnity and rules-ordained sanctity,
> rather than an
> uncomfortable suspicion that I just made a
> completely arbitrary call.
> I don't consider that Narrativism vs.
> Simulationism, incidentally,
> any more than games like Cribbage, Go, or Noughts
> and Crosses are
> Simulationist; I just want an impersonal set of
> rules, rather than an
> arbitrary "Let's Pretend": "You're dead." "Am not."
> "Are too." (etc)
> > After all, what is Death, but the loss of all
> ability to compete in the
> > mortal world.
> Oh, I dunno... :-D Remember old Bill Burroughs -
> "Who wants to be the
> richest guy in some cemetery...?"
> > And that's key. Use "Dying" as the result of a
> fighting contest only
> when
> > it's a fun result to have. Otherwise the narrator
> has the duty to
> create
> > some other interesting result.
> Yeesss.... That's the Arbitrary Bit rearing it's
> head for me again
> there...
> > Which allows play
> > to have a dramatic cycle to it. If you play with
> them using this
> line of
> > thought, I think you'll find that the answers to
> questions like
> yours are
> > more obvious.
> I get what you're saying - but isn't the logical
> conclusion just to
> throw away the whole rules and just come up with a
> narrative which
> everyone thinks is cool? I know I'm reducing it to
> absurdity here,
> but the point does stand...
> Anyway, I can feel a whole Can O'Worms seething
> under the surface with
> these questions, so I won't go on any further!
> Thanks to you both,
> Rob, Mike, for your helpful comments - I do need to
> go and think
> through that "appropriate ability" bit again!
> Cheers,
> Sarah
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