Re: Re: Broad abilities (combat)

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 17:43:59 +0100 (BST)

Thom Baguley:
> Fine. You have a pretty odd interpretation of a rules re-write to me.

Since it's a game rule (the cost of adding a new style), and since you're (albeit half-heartedly) proposing to rewrite it (either in fact, or in play), I'd say I had an astonishingly standard interpretation...

> I think the proposed changes discussed which have included have ranged
> beyond minor tinkering with tables in that they might intrude more heavily
> on games in play. (My suggested "re-write" would not alter my game, given
> that, as yet, no player has acquired a new fighting style subskill).

Then surely the _Issaries_ re-write would, equally have had no effect either? (While you didn't say this directly, your comments come in a "climate" of claims that "broad abilities" in general, or CC as such, would represent huge game mechanical ructions...)

> I was hoping to indicate that there might be a space of possible compromise
> rule mechanics that address concerns of people unhappy with certain aspects
> of the present rules and those who are using and enjoying them.

I'd have thought, other things being equal, that rules for broad abilities _were_ such a compromise...

> >If you like, though that's to put it once again in expressly
> >"simulationist" or "realist" terms. (And every time a broad abilities
> >advocate responds to same, it's instantly assumed _they_ are making
> >a simulationist argument, perversely.)
> That latter point isn't correct IMO.

Since I've several times been told I'm making a "simulationist argument" when patently I was doing nothing of the sort, I can assure you that's the net result, whatever the underlying process.

> However, the specific criticisms of
> close combat and subskills have been at least partly simulationist in their
> appeal to the issue of skill transfer.

Quite. (And largely wrong-simulationist, to boot, IMO.)

> From: "Tim Ellis" <tim_at_...>

> I don't recall ever reading a Conan story where it says
> "Conan reached out and grasped the Glaive-Guisarm 'Oh Bugger!', He
> thought, 'If only it had been a Sword, I know how to fight with one
> of those...'"

Conan stories I can't vouch for, but it would certainly be false to assert that weapon preferences (at the least) played no role in genre fiction.

To give an example from my own game, lest anyone think it's merely my delicate sense of game-mechanical aesthetics: I described an NPC weaponthane, Alynra Speardottir, as being the best bare-fist fighter in the clan (it being evident from context that she wasn't ordinarily the best at "close combat"). This caused some eyebrows to be raised, since "by the book", combat skill don't work in that manner. Now, is that a clear, legitimate example of game mechanics tripping up narrative?

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