What Do You Want Your Fights to Feel Like?

Jun 24 2011

"Fantasy battle" by krukof2 on DeviantArt

"Fantasy battle" by krukof2 on DeviantArt

This applies to GMs and to designers.

For GMs: What fights do you want? Take a moment to imagine the feel of those fights. A big, roaring monster? Swarms of mooks rushing at the heroes? A cackling, insulting controller with a bunch of minions? A squad of enemies, each with its own attack patterns? Choose monsters that fit that theme.

For designers, this gets more interesting.

What sort of conflict do you want in your game? What would that look like in your world?

Will your world include a lot of subtle social conflict? Will there be monsters (e.g., non-sentient, antagonist creatures)? How dynamic will your combat be? Will your setting have a lot of easy-to-kill minions? Should combat be brief or long and complex? How deadly should physical combat be?

Not only will you benefit from designing your conflict system around these considerations, you’ll also want to design your monsters and enemies to support this.

If you want dynamic physical combat, something like D&D 4E’s powers will help a lot. If you want combat to go quickly, a status-based system might work better than HP.

It all comes down to what you want.

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