A short follow-up to yesterday’s post.
It’s been pointed out to me that the three of the listed goals where the Darkwater combat system falls somewhat short were three suggested by the audience, and not the panelist/speaker. Flexibility (as I said, that’s one I called out), non-deterministic, and penalty for failure.
Also, the way I interpreted asynchronous may not have been the way the panelist/speaker intended. I interpreted it to mean that players could take turns being the active participant in combat, for the purpose of avoiding confusion. But the actual meaning was likely somewhat different- that each player could act independently, and the attacker wasn’t compelled to wait for the defender’s response. In other words, it’s entirely possible for me to walk up to someone, attack them, and immediately walk away. I’m not standing in front of them, waiting for them to calculate some defense score and see if they’re entitled to a counter ability. Combat is essentially a single round, and if someone chooses to retaliate, they’re essentially beginning a new combat. And since many of the abilities (especially two of the standard ones- wound and knockout) result in someone falling unconscious, things are likely to resolve quickly.
I can understand why some LARPers may favor combat that occurs in multiple rounds- it gives people a chance to decide how they want to react. It allows people to run away, or for the tide of battle to change as people decide to join or leave the fight. There’s potential for drama there that gets lost if combat is over in an instant. But I think the trade off is likely worth it, and I still want to try out this system if I ever get a LARP written.