Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Whole Lot of Death.

Most RPG campaigns have a whole lot of death in them.

Enlightened members of the OSR know D&D is about exploration which is why 70% or more of the rules is about killing things, ways to avoid getting killed, getting better at killing things and a host of stats on opponents to kill.

PCs can be fried by spells and dragon breath, turned to stone, expire thanks to death- rays, get eaten, get dissolved by acid, fall to their doom, get squashed by a giant, get poked by spikes, slammed by stone,drown and more.

There's a whole lot of death and rules about it becasue that's the challenging part that is often better abstracted with game rules. Sure we can play cops and robbers style..."bang your dead", "am not", "are too", "am not", "bang...see I told you were dead"...but that gets a little tedious after a while and we mostly accept the game rules and dice rolls to avoid this.
Ever get in a fight in a free-form "game"? Eventually some jerk just isn't going to be beaten no matter the situation or the cleverness of their opponent and the free-form goes boom...it dies becasue conflict can't be resolved becasue not everyone plays fair.

In real life we can dance with pretty girls and/or hot guys, we can haggle with merchants (which is a lot of fun when really only window shopping), we can go bar hopping (and not get in a brawl), we can roll on the rand ladies of the night table if we car to, we can run for political office and start a new business, go for a hike in the woods, get in a long philosophical argument and go web surfing and the vast amount of the time no one gets killed. We really don't need RPGs to do those things do we?

Even in games where there isn't a whole lot of combat it's becasue we know the combat leads to death and loss. The death part makes the not dying a bit more exciting.

No comments:

Post a Comment