Thursday, April 23, 2015

We're Lucky Because We Ran Away!

I wrote a couple of posts on fleeing, or the lack of fleeing, and Archon Shiva has take my general issue and my musing on a rule switch ("What if fleeing always works?") and turned it into total awesome.

Defeat and Running Away

Basically, run away in defeat? All your rolls have Luck on them.

It's got all the elements I like in a rule:

- it re-purposes existing mechanics in a logical way.
- its intent is clear.
- its mechanics are clear.
- it doesn't try to be rules-lawyer proof, but instead lays the implementation and removing of abuse squarely in the hands of the GM.

It's also a rule that gives a game mechanical benefit to actions taken that the GM wants to be a valid option. You're luckier when you run. If you run away to gain a larger benefit, it doesn't help. If you've got some doubt about if you're fleeing for advantage or fleeing to get away, it doesn't help.

Not only that, but it's clear how you'd do this in other game systems if you chose to port the idea over.

Also, I like the "Cornered Prey" rule, which further encourages people to let foes escape.

The idea that you shouldn't back foes into a do-or-die situation, instead of aiming to put them there ("they're cornered, they can't retreat, and they can't win . . . so let's attack them!") and that winning is more important than massacring the defeated, is also a sound one.

At the Battle of Ravenna (April 11th, 1512), the French army under Gaston de Foix defeated the Spanish decisively, but de Foix himself was killed during an attack on some Spanish infantry who were retreating in good order. It's one of those painful moments in history - an excellent general died trying to turn an already-decisive victory into a decisive victory with a few more dead on the opposing side. There wasn't anything to win. It cost him everything and his side their best general. Having mechanics that make that a larger possibility is pretty interesting. It's something to see mechanics that encourage you, for your own good, to not do what should cost more than it's worth.

I also like the idea that, of course, if you try to game this ("We run into the dead end and await the orc charge!") the GM is probably going to say, "Oh, bad move. No luck, though, you did that to yourselves."

All in all, excellent stuff!


  1. I like this, it avoids tedious, long battles where no one wants to surrender. And the Cornered Prey option makes Bloodlust and Berserk more painful. If only we'd instituted this before the troll fight ;)

    1. The troll fight might have been the textbook case of cornering yourself on purpose, though. "Let's rest in this dead end deep in the dungeon, back up against where this ghost keeps re-appearing, and close to the mob of trolls!" Heh. Greed is well worth -15.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...