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RPR Archive Fast Action Paced Battles vs. GM Control

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by blubeast1237, Aug 12, 2009.

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  1. blubeast1237

    blubeast1237 Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 10, 2007
    Okay, lately, my games have had heavy, fast-paced battles and I have done them somewhat differently then the normal.

    I let my players have complete control over what they do and how they hurt my NPCs, then I merely interject what the NPC did, or could have done to avoid the damage, or they take the damage and work with that.

    I haven't seen alot of GMs do this, which leads to fight posts with players ending like:

    "Player A throws punch, hoping it will land."

    That seems so slow to me, almost to the point where, there is a lack of storytelling and the GM power interferes with the player's posts. I want my players to use their imagination to fight back against my all powerful characters. Instead I like how players, like Radiance or BSSL, fight with a no mercy attitude for their enemies and throw at me out of this world stuff that I then have to cope with.

    Combat to me should be as random as the dice rolling fights are. If a player comes up with a scheme that I know would be almost impossible to escape, I give in and sacrifice the NPC, despite how much they might've meant to the storyline.

    Just wondering what the RPFamily thought about the fighting system.

  2. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    You're only as fast as the slowest participant in the battle. If your players can determine damage to NPCs, can they determine damage to PCs? If they can't, it's just as slow as ever. You can also just post more often if you really wanted to (and had the time, I suppose). Or simply increase the damage so that the opponent is dropped in only a few successful attacks. If your players are deciding they hit the NPCs with low-damage grazing blows, it's not as though you're gaining any more speed out of it.
  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I know there is an groundswell of opinion on these boards that only the GM makes the environment and the npcs, but when I want fast paced battle at a sensible pace, I will, where allowed, run a solo mission where I am controlling both sides. It takes pressure off the GM, and my creativity does not get backed up waiting for the other respondee.

    pashatemur, the GM of Galaxy at War, also did something for a fleet-wide engagement we had for the Empire to vanquish the Confederacy.

    She spent months getting the players' forces into position, boosted the firepower of all their ships, gave players' main characters flag command roles over an array of npc vessels, and with the stipulation that we take realistic note of the Separatists' capabilites and strength, gave us carte blanche to run the engagements as we saw fit.

    It was great! There was some of the normal 'waiting for the next poster' where we interacted with each other, but the thread traffic was not affected because there was still plenty of opportunity for us to run the battle on another front that did not rely on anyone else.
  4. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    It´s a technique, not a way to GM. What approach you take is totally up to you. But both sides have two very different effects on a game (as do all in-betweens).

    It´s a question of narration. And like all narration it serves the purpose of presenting your story. Whatever way you´ll do action, it will totally change the kind of game, characters and scenes you have. So decide what kind of scenes you want to have and pick the right tool to realize it . . . in this case, the right way to describe and GM action-scenes.
  5. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    Comes down, I think, to how mature you reckon your players are. You could always post something along the lines of "light godmoding permitted for this battle, so long as it doesn't get completely stupid" and see how it goes.
  6. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Knight star 1

    Feb 15, 2009
    I think an exemplary game is DarkLordoftheFins -The Dark Osyssey-

    He has used all thinakbale ways of action scenes through out the game. He has the "nameless = free to gomod" approach which made him do fast-paced scenes in the corridors of Gesaril, he did you post-both-I-judge duels between The Sith Witch and two Jedi and he did post-by-post combat and reaction posts when Selpha fought the Vulture or Kira Romar went head-to-head with the Mandalorian leader.

    Then again he had posts were he only threw in cinematic . . . like the "Kill Bill/Kira" scene on Travnin, where SirakRomar was given the rfreedom to slice her char through an whole army. The same went for the "Alienesque" insect attack aboard the Empire´s lost ship.

    Last but not least he now gave complete freedom to the dynamic duo of LordT and SirakRomar for the final clash of sabers (and they´re only talking :p) and will moderate me and Mitth in our duel.

    As he has already siad, for him the way scenes are done is narrative. Like the cut-speed in movies or the length of descriptions in books.

    I believe the choice how you do a scene is therefore one of the great qualities of GMs. It´s an important creative choice. And should be decided battle, by battle.
  7. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    Bravo! =D=

    A good response panel. I have nothing to add to what I see as already perfectly balanced and informed responses drawn by experienced GMs. I enjoyed reading this and found it to be one of the more 'positive' Q&A I've seen for sometime around here. Woo Hoo! Go RPF! Good times ahead, I dare say. :D

  8. blubeast1237

    blubeast1237 Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 10, 2007
    To LW, only with certain players would I allow them to determine damage to other PCs, and both players would know about it. PvP battles normally have the players talking through PMs how they will arrange it. I only give them a number of turns in which the battle should be over, then let them run rampant. Thanks to luck, alot of my games are heavy quality and not: "I punch enemy A and kick enemy B." type posts.

    So yeah, I think a smooth battle and not a drawn out one helps with narration. And thanks grey, I know I'm great.:cool:

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