Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Battlefield Mathematics Pt. 2

This is a continuation of my post on Battlefield Mathematics.

There's only so much the player can do to try and ease the issues associated with the speed of battle. However, if you're keeping this in mind when designing your LARP game, you can take further steps to reduce complexity.

1. Less is More
I know everyone wants to swing big numbers. However, swinging much lower numbers makes the math of combat a lot easier to follow. For the most part, Accelerant type games follow this theory. Instead of giving a person 50 body and letting people swing 10s, they have 5 body and people swings 1. It really can make the math a lot easier.

2. Avoid Multipliers
One of the common ideas take from various roleplaying games is the idea of weaknesses to a type of damage, which usually ends up causing double or triple damage. Let me tell you what isn't easy for some people - multiplying numbers when taking damage. Instead, add a flat damage increase or simply not allow defenses to be used against opposing elements.

3. Less Defenses
Every time a player is hit with something, they have to review their current state. If I've been hit by a magic spell, I need to identify if there's any defenses I have for that effect before I can continue with the fight. By reducing the number of possible defenses, you make the state check faster.


  1. Bill,
    When you say "less defenses" do you mean that there should be fewer effects and therefore fewer defenses, or that defenses themselves should be more broad, thereby covering the same amount of effects? Or, I realize, do you think that PCs should simply have less access to defensive spells overall?

  2. Less defenses overall. I do feel that there should be less full takedown effects and that no two effects should have the same mechanical rules.

    But that's outside of the scope of this post, so I left it out.

  3. I think Nero missed the mark on defenses.

    example -
    Phase, Cloak, and Resist all accomplish the same thing. They could have been rolled into 1 defense for simplicity.

    Those defenses are more roleplay descriptive than mechanically different.