A screenshot I took after the game last night.
A screenshot I took after the game last night.
Did the concept of Attacks of Opportunity destroy the game? Has a game mechanic that allows you to be punished (attacked) for wanting to move your character made the average gamer change the way he thinks about ALL games?
Even back in 2004, the Attack of Opportunity was causing problems. Look at WOTC’s own article on the subject. The first sentence is “If there’s one question players and DMs dread, it’s this one: Does that provoke an attack of opportunity?” That was almost a decade ago.
Now, Attacks of Opportunity have invaded gaming in every way. People who have never played D and D know of the concept and ask about it. I was playing Zombicide with my game group a few weeks ago. A player had his character near a couple of zombies, when deciding whether to move or fight, he asked if moving away from the zombie would provoke an Attack of Opportunity This is a player who has NEVER played 3.0/3.5. Yet, he still knows about Attacks of Opportunity, questions his actions in game worrying about them, and would have changed tactics if the game supported the rule.
This got me thinking, “Has the Attack of Opportunity become such a confusing/worrisome notion that even a gamer who has never played in a game that utilizes them considers them in his gaming decisions?”
We are currently playing Savage Worlds and since I run all of our games, I have so many rules rattling around in my brain pan that I get confused sometimes when thinking about the rules of the game I’m currently running, We have played Deadlands Classic, HackMaster, DCC RPG, Hollow Earth Expedition, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Tunnels and Trolls, Hero System 6th Ed., along with various board and card games. Having run all of these games, sometimes my mind blanks for a second and I have to find a rule in the book. While we were playing Deadlands Noir the other week, a player asked if he would provoke an Attack of Opportunity moving out of melee. I had to pause and think, then look in the book.
Why did one game mechanic change our entire way of thinking about games? Not in a good way mind you. The pervasive worry that comes from that rule has put many a game on hold right in the middle of the action. As a GM, if a player asks about Attacks of Opportunity, I have to know the answer. One of the problems with that, is that other games that don’t use the same verbiage may in fact have a rule just like an Attack of Opportunity. So, unless you have memorized all of your various games’ rules, you have to check. That disrupts the game, it’s flow and it’s effectiveness as a storytelling medium. When I played 3.0/3.5 as a GM I just removed the rule (OSR FTW) but that didn’t stop the players from asking if they provoked one during most encounters. But during Zombicide? A board game? And we still had to look in the rulebook?
I will say this definitively, I wish the Attack of Opportunity had never been invented, I have spent more time pausing games and checking rulebooks for rules that operate in the same way as that accursed D and D mechanic that I now have to write on the inside cover of my campaign notes where and how it exists in each game I’m running.
Has there ever been an RPG game rule that has caused more confusion and anger than the Attack of Opportunity? I think not.
More of my updated GenCon information. New thoughts, added to the original post are in a nifty Swamp color.
Margaret Weis Productions: Booth: 1519
–Marvel Heroic RPG: It’s my understanding, at least from what I have seen on Google+, that this game is actually very good and has some nice mechanics. I love super-heroes and love me some Champions but I prefer to run Marvel or DC heroes in their respective games. I’ve been wanting to just take a look at it, GenCon is where I can do that. “Where is my local FLGS?” you may ask, and I will tell you that we do have one. I will also tell you that I used to own a game-store in the same city. I wish much success to my FLGS, but I know they will never carry the selection I tried to, so, as much as I wish I could just peruse and buy the book at my FLGS, my perusal will have to happen at the Con. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: Didn’t search it out too hard. Still sounds cool though.
Mayfair Games: Booth: 431, 443, 643, 732
–Star Trek: Catan: Settlers of Catan is just about my favorite board game. If you have never tried it, you really should. It’s quite excellent. I can’t wait to sit on down, shuffle the cards and play some Star Trek: Catan. This, is going to be an epic game. Verdict: Want it! Gotta Have it! Must Buy! It better fit in a suitcase! Conclusion: It would not fit in a suitcase. I will have to buy it locally. It’s hard to resist this one!
–Look for Mayfair Van in morning before Dealer’s Room opens 8 – 9:30 a.m. Get a Limited Edition Pin: I want a pin, no swag bag this year so I want this pin. Verdict: I like stuff. Conclusion: I didn’t get one. The van was in the complete opposite spot from where I started my day each morning, so while I saw the cool van, I didn’t get a pin. Below you will see some great pieces Mayfair had laid out in a sit-down and eat area of the convention center over by where the Dealer’s Room is. Each table had a board game like Catan stuck to it, kinda like a big sticker and each table had these pieces on them. It was a fun way to sit and relax, I thought this was a great idea.
Offworld Designs: Booth: 1919
–GenCon hat, shirts: One of our favorite things to do at the Con is to find awesome t-shirts. This booth always has some good ones and this year they have the official GenCon swag. I needs me a new hat. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: First year ever I didn’t buy a GenCon shirt (heck, I even bought a red one years ago). I just didn’t. I didn’t like the quality of the hat so I skipped it.
Oni Press: Booth: 2032
–Scott Pilgrim: Ironically, I find myself writing this on the two-year anniversary of this movie’s theatrical release (thanks Facebook). I really dig this movie, and I hope I can pick up a copy of the color hardcover so I can read the comic. Yeah, I’ve never read it. Yeah, I used to own a comic and game shop. Verdict: Want to See. Conclusion: Grabbed it and it’s fantastic.
–Hell on Earth: Reloaded: Oh, Deadlands. One of my longest running campaigns was Deadlands Classic. Great, absolutely phenomenal game, towards which I am obviously biased. Be that as it may, Shane Hensley has created one of the coolest RPG’s to ever come out IMHO and I am really excited to pick up Hell on Earth: Reloaded. This is going to be my next game of choice to run, along with it’s system, Savage Worlds. I love the mechanics, I love poker chips and cards, I love the setting. I have an RPG that I have been working on, Orcs Among Us!, I recently decided to scrap my original system (2d12!) and instead develop my setting for Savage Worlds. After GenCon and some more games running the system under my belt, I’ll start playing it with my group. Then the real reason for Ide Grac Games will be clear. Verdict: Must Buy! Conclusion: I have done several posts about my experience with the fine Pinnacle products and events I enjoyed. Click on the Deadlands Noir tag to see them all.
–Visionary Comics‘ Deadlands TPB: Yay comics! I pre-ordered this for a GenCon pickup, I thought that was pretty cool. Looking forward to it! It’s supposed to have some Savage Worlds stuff in it as well. Verdict: Already Bought! Conclusion: Picked up my book and C. Edward Sellner couldn’t have been a nicer guy. Visionary Comics just finished up a Kickstarter for Deadlands: Raven which tells the story of The Reckoners Servitor Raven and it looks to be quite excellent, with extra material added from stretch goals. I’m looking forward to this one.
Q-workshop.com: Booth: 325
–Dice: I have to check out this booth every year, not only are they Polish, they have excellent dice. Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: I picked up a D2, D4 and a pair of Pirate D6’s.
Rather Dashing Games: Booth: 1849
–Four Taverns: Another game I noticed from that Board Game Geek List, I purposely haven’t researched this too much just so I have something to learn about at GenCon. Plus, this booth will be in the Entrepreneurs’ Avenue section of the Dealer’s Hall, which focuses on companies that are new to GenCon. Incidentally, here is another great list. Verdict: Want to Demo. Conclusion: I really only stopped by and picked up a pin and took a couple of photos. The booth was quite busy so I resolved to learn more about the game at a later date. It wasn’t until Sunday that I realized Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters fame is the Art Director & Vice President of the company. It would have been cool to get a photo, as I know he was at the booth and I’m sure I asked him for the pin I got and didn’t put two and two together.
Smirk & Dagger Games: Booth: 1518
–Cutthroat Caverns: Fresh Meat: These guys are from Connecticut, so I have to support the home team. Curt Covert used to bring his games into my store and I’d buy them right up. If you haven’t laid your eyes upon Cutthroat Caverns or Run For Your Life, Candyman! then you are missing out on some fun for sure! Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: Booth looked busy and that’s always a good thing.
Soda pop Miniatures w/Cool Mini or Not: Booth: 1431, 1531, 1631
–Super Dungeon Explore: My good friend Mike introduced me to this game last year. I’ve been watching it and biding my time, and this year I have some tickets to play on Thursday night. I’m excited to see if I like the game enough to tackle a new group of mini’s, which I would have to build and paint. I haven’t painted since the store closed and I think I’d like to again. These look like the right way to come back in, along with Caverns of Roxor. Verdict: Have to See. Conclusion: The first game I played at GenCon this year. After my traditional Thursday Dealer’s Room Mania, I played this with my wife and a couple other Con-goers. It was a fun game with nice mechanics, I’m going to buy this game for sure. I picked up The Caverns of Roxor expansion and a Princess Ruby metal fig. Great start of this year’s GenCon Gaming for me. Recommended.
–Relic Knights Deluxe Preview Pack: This is the other Soda Pop game that looks good. I’m intrigued by the Anime style of this companies stuff. I’m gonna pick up this little convention pack to check out the game rules. Verdict: Must Buy. Conclusion: I was told printing issues caused the Preview Pack to miss the Con. I picked up a Betty and Lug and should have got the new Black Diamond fig they had, but I was already getting SDE stuff. The Kickstarter just wrapped up and it’s right behind Ogre in Most Funded. I got in an Early Bird slot. I’m going to go Cerci And Star Nebula Corsairs.
-If you like cosplay, stop by their booth from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a free poster, and get it signed by Marie-Claude Bourbonnais.
Starwind Design: Booth: 2006
–GenCon Dice Bag: I hope I like it. I hope it’s worth it. GenCon dice bags have been scare and/or hit/miss over the past few years at Indy. Verdict: Hoping. Conclusion: Sorry, I didn’t think it was too great. Hopes crushed.
–Castellan: I’ve got tickets to play this on Sunday. I’m hoping to like it as I have a good time with quite a few Steve Jackson Games. Plus, the booth is always fun and they have great Cthulhu stuff. Give them exact change. Go ahead. Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: I didn’t play in the game on Sunday as my wife had secured herself a place in the You Too Can Cthuhlu Black Letter Game and I wanted to walk her over to the game and say hi to the You Too guys. If you have never played in one of their games, do it!
–Flapjacks and Sasquatches and the Side of Bacon Expansion: From posts on the Board Game Geek site, Prolific Games told me they would be there. I have been looking for this game for forever. Verdict: Must Buy! Conclusion: Oh, it’s mine baby! By the way, please show Prolific Games some support. They have a Kickstarter up for a nice looking family game called Hirelings: The Ascent.
Troll & Toad.Com: Booth: 101
I buy stuff from them online now and then. Always had a good experience. I’ll take a look at the booth for sure. Verdict: Must See.Conclusion: Lots of Magic cards. Yup. Lots.
Troll Lord Games: Booth: 709
–Castles and Crusades: Great game. I’ll be stopping by. Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: Lots of great stuff to look at.
Wishing Tree Games: Booth: 939
–Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype: Based on a concept by G.K. Chesterton and H.G. Wells, it piques my mind bone. I’ll have to take a look. Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: I got a copy and I’m looking forward to giving it a try.
Wizards of the Coast: Booth: 1401
–Dungeon!: Loved it as a kid, and adult. Let’s see if it holds true. Verdict: Must See.
–Drow Dice Set: I hope the hunt to get these dice isn’t too insane, I hope I don’t have to jump through hoops to get them, I hope it’s a grab and go situation. Verdict: Hoping. Conclusion: You had to jump through hoops, I didn’t have ten hours of my Con to waste tracking down dice that I wouldn’t use.
Wyrd Miniatures: Booth: 1131
–Terraclips: Saw a mention of these online somewhere, just want to stop by the booth and see what they’re all about. Verdict: We’ll See. Conclusion: These look awesome! I have just the game to run through those sewers…
Zombie Orpheus Entertainment: Booth: 509
–The Gamers, Journey Quest, Gamers III: If you haven’t seen The Gamers, you owe it to yourself. Verdict: Must See. Conclusion: I’m pretty sure I was sitting next to a couple people filming a scene while I was taking a break at the Con. In any case, highest funded film project on Kickstarter to date! Way to go!
I have one more GenCon Recap post coming, in the meantime, I want to talk about Cerebus. I shall be back later today most likely.
Next: De Plane, De Plane! and the JW.
Game night is here! We will be rolling down on some DCC RPG finishing up Doom of the Savage Kings. I want to then move on the The Emerald Enchanter but I was inspired by a module I saw called Attack of the Frawgs by Thick Skull Adventures, so I may run a homebrew in between using the Frawgs as inspiration. I picked it up off of Drive-Thru RPG along with another couple good-looking modules from Purple Sorcerer Games called Perils of the Sunken City and The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, both of which look really fun. Also, I’m excited to get the first modules from Brave Halfling, I participated in their Kickstarter and am anxiously awaiting these great looking digest sized adventures.
I thought over the next couple days I would post anything I have left over from GenCon that is of interest, pictures of things I saw and pics of the Hall. I’ll also revisit my posts about the booths I was going to visit.
The guys over at Pinnacle were gracious enough to post my pics from the GenCon Deadlands Noir Don’s game, I’m very happy to be mentioned on the website of my favorite game company. It’s a proud feather in my cap.
Hell on Earth: Reloaded is coming to our table! I’ve got most of what I need, just have to do some reading and planning, I’m excited to get some Savage Worlds action in as well. Afterall, Deadlands Noir is getting closer!
Other Kickstarter projects of note:
Hollow Earth Expedition: Perils of the Surface World: Jeff Combos, Sechin Tower and the rest of the gang over at Exile Game Studio are my first stop at every GenCon. I was there the first year they brought Hollow Earth Expedition with them and from the moment I punched a T-Rex in the foot, I was hooked on the system, concept and world. (I’d like to also note that the Hollow Earth books have some of the best editing I’ve ever seen in gaming books.) This one is funded already, but we’d all love to see new cover art, wouldn’t we? If you love pulp-era gaming and Jules Verne, check out this project.
Visionary Comics’ Deadlands: Raven Graphic Novel is a project that I’d love to see get funded. Charles Edward Sellner and crew have published some Deadlands comics previously, which were just collected into TPB form. They had set up a pre-order so you could pick up your copy at GenCon and I did just that. It was a pleasure to meet Mr. Sellner and look at some of the art from this Kickstarter. Gaming material for Savage Worlds is included with the trade on sale at GenCon, and the Kickstarter has goals that include the same. Back this one. The Deadlands story is one of the best out there, and Visionary Comics is doing it right. Below we have their booth at Gen Con and the exterior and interior of an amazing French edition of Deadlands: Reloaded that had me in awe.