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.
Here are the photos from my Walking Dead: Take the Prison Savage Worlds Game. For a play-test it worked out pretty well, although I underestimated how long it would take to get into the Courtyard area. I also forgot my dice. Epic Fail. A GM not using his own dice? Preposterous. Can’t wait to get this painted and re-play it.
Here’s some of the layouts of my Modest Magic Terrain I’ve been messing with.
I’ll throw up some more pics as this piece grows. It’s gone from idea to testing, soon to glue and paint. I just need to figure out the exact layout I need for the game I’m planning to use this for. It’s also going to be probably 4 times larger when done.
UPDATE 11/17/2012: Working on some builds, I’m at work so I will not be posting pics until later. I have a cool idea of what to build with the terrain, but I don’t want to give it away to my players. It’s a surprise!
UPDATE: All of the terrain has been de-sprued and I will mess around with some of it today. Game night ended up getting cancelled and next week being Thanksgiving here, we most likely won’t play next week, but that will give me some time to create the Mega-Zombie Castle of Doom!
My Modest Magic terrain arrived this morning! Tonight is game night, DCC RPG from the looks of what I just got! I’ll be doing a full review as soon as I can. Nick at Modest Magic has a contest going on that involves de-spruing (Is that a word?) the Dungeon Kit I got. I need to figure out what sprues are just the Kit so I can get in on it. Along with finding time to go outside to do it, as I’m pretty sure little pink foam dust and dogs don’t mix well. I apparently now have a ton of game prep to do, I’ll be back with more as soon as I can.
Since today is my normal game night, I wanted to post what we’ve done the past couple of weeks. We are taking tonight off so I can get some work done on our upcoming Hell on Earth Reloaded game which will run along with my DCC RPG game. Probably do a little flip flopping with the games. Side note: Help the Hell on Earth Mini’s Kickstarter!
Three weeks ago, I had some GM Burnout going on, so I suggested we play Risk: Legacy. Long story made short: We played, we loved it, marking the board and ripping up cards is awesome and I won by my favorite method: Sneaky Underhandedness. This, is why I play Thieves in Fantasy RPG’s. My favorite way to win is to do it under a cloak of uncertainty and lying. Nothing like watching three factions wipe each other out and not expect me to sweep in and clean house to a win. So, my name is first on the board…who will be next?
The next week, we went back to DCC RPG, continuing after the Frawg God Temple. In the Temple the players found a map that led to a new location. While waiting for the awesome Modest Magic Terrain I’ve ordered, I picked up a set of Wyrd Miniatures Terraclips and the Dungeon Essentials pack.
We had a good time with the game and the characters eventually made it through the traps and got to the Witch at the end. After some Phlogiston disturbance during a Spell Duel, the Witch lay dead and the heroes were victorious. The Terraclips work ok. I bent a couple pieces putting the clips on, and the package shows things that don’t come in the set I bought, but it was cool for a visual aid. I suggest not putting all the walls up in every room as it makes it hard for players at the end of the table to see what’s going on. Much better for a mini’s game than role-playing I meant to have a photo of the completed dungeon but forgot to take the last couple of photos after the game.
It’s no surprise that I love Goodman Games’ DCC RPG, so when they mentioned that a new Limited Edition cover would be coming, I was pretty excited. Then I SAW the cover. I thought it was simply amazing. Doug Kovacs has created a wonderful image that sent my imagination soaring. Seeing it in person at GenCon was quite a treat. Having my wife buy me the original for our Anniversary was outstanding. I’m just waiting for it to come back from the framing shop so I can show it off. When I get it back, I’ll post some pics.
Now, that cover is up for Pre-Order and I can’t wait to get my copy. If you have hesitated on buying DCC RPG, now is the time! Not only is there a new printing with errata and an index added, you get this sweet new cover as well. It was also announced yesterday that it is in the Top 5 Best-Selling RPG’s of 2012. Pretty impressive. Below is the image from the Goodman Games site.