2004-12-28 : Archive 143
Conflict Resolution in D&D-style combat:
"D&D-style combat" means roll to hit, roll damage, subtract damage from hit points.
(You can swap Wound Levels or whatever in for hit points. Ars Magica, for instance, has this kind of combat system.)
Recall: Task Resolution = "I hit him!" "Why?" "To put him out of the fight!" The roll determines: do you hit him?
Conflict Resolution = "I hit him!" "Why?" "To put him out of the fight!" The roll determines: do you put him out of the fight?
So now in D&D-style combat, we have this:- "I hit him!" "Why?" "To reduce his hit points!"- We roll: do you hit him?- If no: you don't reduce his hit points.- If yes: we roll: how much do you reduce his hit points?
The roll to hit is Task Resolution, plus Conflict Resolution if you fail. The damage roll is Conflict Resolution if you succeed. Taken all together, it's Conflict Resolution.
Consider this alternative:- "I hit him!" "Why?" "To reduce his hit points!"- We roll: how much do you reduce his hit points?- If zero: you don't hit him, or else don't get through his armor.- If one or more: you hit him!
Here, the damage roll determines whether you hit or miss. The point of the to hit roll was always to get to the damage roll; here, we skip straight to it.
I consider those two approaches to be equivalent. Sometimes the game you're designing will demand one approach, sometimes the other; no biggie.
But here's where D&D-style combat sucks, whichever way:- "I hit him!" "Why?" "To give him a scar to remember me by!"
A ruleset like D&D's has to have a special exceptional rule to cover this case. Also this case: "to knock him down!" also this case: "to disarm him!" also this case: "to keep him busy so my friends can get away!" also this case: "to show him who's boss!" also this case: "to get past him in time to catch the ship!" also this case: "to keep him from catching the ship!" also every other case that doesn't care about hit points.
A well-designed game will have Conflict Resolution rules that can handle everything possible, unexceptionally. Don't make like this is pipe dreaming - lots of games do it, it's not that hard. I've written at least three games that do it just myself, without even scratching the surface.
You're allowed to limit what's possible, if that's what it takes.
1. On 2004-12-29, Neel said:
2. On 2004-12-29, ben lehman said:
3. On 2004-12-31, inky said:
4. On 2004-12-31, Neel said:
5. On 2004-12-31, Neel said:
6. On 2005-01-06, anon. said:
7. On 2005-02-07, Callan said:
8. On 2005-02-07, Vincent said: