Archive for the ‘Combat’ Category

Superhero combat on steroids – pt 1 of 2: Taking the initiative with the Hero System

Hero Game’s Policy on publishing house rules is both enlightened and occasionally maddening. They have no problem with people posting their own characters, or discussing their rules, or publishing house rules – provided that you don’t quote directly from their rulebooks and your rules don’t exceed 5,000 words in length. You can’t publish variations on […]

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All wounds are not alike, part 3b: The Healing Imperative (cont)

This entry is part 4 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 4 in the series All Wounds Are Not AlikeOn Monday, I attempted to post the third part of the current series on alternate damage-handling systems for 3.x. Unfortunately, time ran out when I was only half-done… A quick refresher on where we stand. There are flaws in the system of progression […]

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All wounds are not alike, part 3a: The Healing Imperative (Now Updated!)

This entry is part 3 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 3 in the series All Wounds Are Not AlikeIn the first two parts of this series we examined alternative approaches to the simulation of injuries that were written cold, without the benefit of actual use in play. In this third and final part, I will describe a third – but this […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike Part 2: Bone-breaking damage for 3.x

This entry is part 2 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 2 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike The alternative damage-handling subsystem proposed in last week’s article suffers from one major flaw, as some of our commentators have pointed out – it involves additional processes and bookkeeping that can adversely impact the flow of combat. This flaw is present to […]

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All Wounds Are Not Alike – Part 1: Alternative Damage rules for 3.x

This entry is part 1 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike

This entry is part 1 in the series All Wounds Are Not Alike What are hit points? The most obvious answer is that hit points are a numeric index between healthy and imminent death, but there are other interpretations of the significance of this ubiquitous character statistic, and some of them lead the GM down […]

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On The Edge: Implications of the D&DNext Advantage mechanic

Only a short article this week (at least in terms of word count) because there is easily five times as much work beneath the surface! A few weeks ago, I read a really interesting analysis of the mathematics of the D&DNext advantage mechanic by the Online DM. And yet, there was a disconnect between that […]

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11 Table Rules For Speed

Slow combats kill games. This hard truth frustrates you and I because, as GMs, we feel it’s our responsibility to facilitate fast, sleek and exciting sessions. When combat grinds, you end up with fewer encounters in a session. Fewer encounters means less story told, less adventure and less fun. Combat grind also saps your players’ […]

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An Empty Death, An Empty Life: Making PC Death Matter

An empty Death is a terrible thing When Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) died in Star Trek: The Next Generation, there was an outcry amongst fans. Not because the character had been killed off so much as because she died what was later described even within the series as “an empty death” – a death without […]

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A Rational Intuition

I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between intelligence and instinct as expressed by different game systems. Most systems have an INT or IQ score of some kind, but the handling of the other side of the equation varies considerably. D&D and Pathfinder have a WISdom score, the Hero System has an EGO score, my […]

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Evil GM Tricks For Over-Resting PCs

Have you heard of the five minute adventuring day? The characters blow their powers in the first combat each day and then choose to rest so they are fully charged tomorrow for the next challenge. This is not only boring, it’s terrible storytelling. We just posted a new lesson in the Faster Combat course for […]

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Running the Game III: Rules and Combat

This entry is part 10 in the series GM Toolbox

This entry is part 10 in the series GM ToolboxWritten by Michael Beck, with contributions and editing by Da’Vane. GM’s Toolbox, looks at tools, tips, and techniques you can use to improve your games. Toolbox offers you a skeleton for running a campaign, rather than fleshed out tips. This series is presented in a discussion […]

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Draco Inadequatus: Beefing Up 3.x Dragons

Ian Gray was going to be providing a second guest post for us today, but he’s had computer problems during the week and seems to have run out tof time. Fortunately, I had this post in reserve, just in case… A Sad Truth Dragons are supposed to be the most awe-inspiring, iconic creatures in D&D […]

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