Friday, June 25, 2021

Links & Thoughts for 6/25/21

A few quick links and thoughts today.

- I have some more to write on Weapon Master issues, but that'll need to wait until tomorrow or Sunday. There are some interesting ideas in the comments on that post. My next post will deal with other fallout

- Okay, this is just neat. I'm surprised it took so long for someone to calculate, in retrospect. This would let you cost a self-control roll that isn't just 6, 9, 12, 15. I don't think I'd use this, but I like knowing I could and I'd be fitting into the mathematical curve.

DFRPG Self Control Rolls

- I don't particularly like aboleth. I do like this writeup and the way it weaves a lot of possibilities and rumors - often contradictory - into one narrative.

On the Ecology of the Aboleth

- Here is a nice GURPS 101 post on ending combat.

GURPS 101: How to end a fight

Sadly, so, so, so many of these endings require one thing - willingness on the part of the victor to not murder the defeated. If they're going to do that - either due to capital-B Bloodlust or just RPG-player-think of "kill everything so it can't fight you again" - then the fight cannot end except in death unless the defeated are faster than the victors. And are able to keep fleeing farther and longer than the PCs can follow. Most PCs in my experience pursue like the Mongols after a defeated foe. They won't generally surrender either, because what if the enemies act like they do? Better to fight to the death, just in case.


  1. Mostly I have enemies fight until annihilation when I'm DMing though the occasional random enemy may run or surrender

    1. Same, but out of necessity. I'd be happy to have foes accept being beaten, but since they're fighting PCs who won't accept less than total extermination and complete surrender of - at a minimum* - everything the foes have, there isn't much choice. "Fight until dead" versus "fight until beaten and then have a 100% chance of being executed after possible harsh questioning" isn't really a choice. You get the game you play, I guess.

      And if anyone thinks I'm kidding, my current group has tried to kill individual fleeing rats and bats after breaking up swarm attacks. As if I'm keeping track of how many rats and bats there are and how many are needed to make a one-hex swarm. There is literally no value and some cost to doing so . . . but they see extermination as the sole logical consequence of an inflicted defeat. Killing all foes, sparing none, is assumed to be a baseline necessity.

      * Sound strange, but I mean that in the rare cases players do defeat a foe and have living captives, they may consider sparing them if that earns them extra possessions that the defenders have elsewhere. And only if they believe for certain it exists and that they can't get it any other way.

  2. The only game I've played where players were less inclined to fight everything To The Death was Blades in the Dark, and I'm pretty sure that's because there is a mechanical penalty when people die!

    I like the idea - I think it's in Torchbearer? - that the default intent in combat should be to drive off or overpower the enemy. But then I find if you leave enemies alive the PCs generally torture them for information, so maybe better off dead?


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