Saturday, April 24, 2010

Replacing maps with areas

This is something I've been toying with for awhile, one thing I don't like about tactical level map combat is it forces characters into a certain place. In reality combat involves a lot of moving about and repositioning. I had been setting up various rules for being forces to shift 1 square/inch per defense roll made etc etc.

But I don't even like map combat. I am instead thinking about extending the "Tag" system used in weapons and armour to areas of combat.

Rather than worrying about exact positioning, players would be situated in an "Area", the area would have a few descriptors on it to give mechanical changes to those in that "area". A narrow walkway might have the caveat that any epic failures of an agility check means you fall over the edge. A burning building might have a check to see for fire damage (and potentially a check to see if things fall on you). Characters would then move about area to area to keep an abstract view of who is fighting "in the camp" and who is "in the woods".

This would also simplify area of effect spells, as rather than needing to worry about blast radius and such, it just has a chance of impacting you if you are in "that area". If a fireball goes off in the camp, and you are in the camp, there is a chance you get hit.

I am still working out the specifics, but I like the sound of it.


  1. Marvel Superheroes used Areas, as well.

    Your plans sound interesting, but ambitious.
    --I think you may find that too many Tags may come to mind to be useful, and/or that defining them in a 'key' on the 'Area' map may prove troublesome.

    That said, I am watching this eagerly.

  2. Areas work just fine (with and without tags) in a bunch of indie games so this seems entirely doable. It might take some time to adjust to for your group though, so go slow.

  3. I find the one-minute combat round is incompatible with tactical combat, but if I were running either 6 second or 10 second combat rounds, I might worry a little more about positioning.

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