Friday, December 9, 2011

Melee and Minutae

While lots of people like to get into serious melee/battle action in AD&D, for me, it's not all that.

Sure, it can be fun and exciting to battle an impressive opponent  and it has it's necessities to do so.

However,  I like a good adventure where players have to use their wits and strategy to find success.

Give me lot of traps and tricks for players to overcome instead.

Lot's of great treasure can accompany a game in which players must think and act intelligently to escape, sometimes just within inches of their lives.  it doesn't always have to be about the beat down.

As a DM,  I also am more flexible about encounters with possible combatants.  To me, if players use a lot of creativity and craftiness to outsmart or negotiate a means to turn a battle into something else,  I call it a victory and award EP for "defeating" the monster or opponent anyway.

One thing I don't like is when I do present an opponent to players, if they run away when they should find a way to deal with the situation in another way.  It will end up costing them a great deal more than if they had just continued the encounter in the first place.

Even in published game modules,  I will gleefully change things at will to introduce more traps and tricks and eliminate some of the melee combat as most modules seem to be melee heavy to begin with in my opinion.

I'm also not overly fond of intrinsic details that bog down the story and pace of the game.  If you're big into how much everything in the backpack weighs and how it affects movement if one of those things is left behind, my table is not the table you want to be at.

Melee can get mind-numbingly detailed with initiative, weapon details, movement, etc.. if one allows it to.  Suffice it to say,  I try to keep melee and combat in general as simple as possible.  It keeps the game moving and people don't get bored while some players battle with a dzoen books and printed sheets spread out all over.

Mind you, I'm not against minding the particulars if they are necessary to the story or in keeping some kind of grounding to the game.  I just won't allow the game to be dragged down with it.

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