Monday, February 15, 2016

D&D As Wargame

Oh, Cirsova, I wish I knew how to quit you.

My RPG style has been regressing over the years.  The last time out it was pure 5e glory with the RPG elements in full blown glory, and the wargamey aspects utilized to the hilt.  When I run games the combat is far more narrative, with miniatures used to show relative - not absolute - positions.

Then Cirsova had to lay down the holy word in this post:
I’m not saying that people who aren’t using miniatures are bad gamers or their games are bad or unfun – I’ve had great fun games in that didn’t use minis – but I will say that they’re playing it wrong. Because when you’re not playing by following the rules, how else can you describe it?
With the new dungeon rapidly shaping up, I find myself looking at the boardgamey aspect of the place and wondering...why not use the ranges and movement rates in inches presented in the rules as written?  And you know, I can't think of a single reason not to try it out once or twice.  If you use team initiative, and everyone declares actions before anyone touches a figure, you could avoid the analysis paralysis and countless if-then loops that bog down 3e and later versions of the game.

Roll into that Chicago Wizard's No Edition D&D, and Jeffro's Zero Prep Dwimmermount, you've got a rather interesting recipe for success.

  1. Start with whatever flavor of D&D floats your boat, but keep it to the bare minimum.  Six stats in order, basic classes, basic turn order.
  2. Add in resolution mechanics only when necessary (d20, d6, percentile, skills or proficiencies)
  3. Let is simmer and grow organically.
If you do that as a group, you could wind up with your very own flavor of table D&D...just like we used to do it back in the day.  The really tough stumbling block would be getting the players to let go of all their pre-conceived notions about how it should be done.


  1. :D
    In the DCC game we're playing, we're having to get used to the idea of large-ish scale combats, now that we have a mercenary army of 20ish soldiers and half a dozen hunting dogs to supplement nearly a dozen PCs and Henchmen. We're hovering in a territory where we may have too many guys for regular D&D combat rules but not quite large enough to justify implementing a light chainmail-like system for squadron based combat.

    Depending on how you've done combat before, it can be hard to sell people on doing things how it's done in the book. In actuality, yeah, everyone is supposed to declare their moves, then stuff gets executed simultaneously, with missiles resolving first and spells resolving last. Everyone going around the table and moving and attacking in turn is still "wrong" but it's the way it has been done at most tables for so long and really may be easier, so I usually just go with it.

  2. Glad to see I'm not the only one who's looking at this and creating their own.

    Thanks for the link. I'm getting tempted by all the terrain I'm seeing now and looking at my too-small dining room table... :/


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