Showing posts from August, 2021

duration versus consumption of resource management

traditionally, torches have a constant duration of six turns or one hour. what happens when we change this up? variable duration resources with variable duration are in practice not very distinct from those with constant duration, and in fact they might be deemed more complicated. the player randomly determines the duration for which the item will last--2d6 turns for instance--and then counts time until this duration passes. it is therefore not difficult to make something last for 6 turns on average (if 2d6 with an average of 7 is too great, perhaps 2d6-1) but there's no reduced bookkeeping here. the main benefit is the injection of chance should the players actually want it. random consumption random consumption is a totally different beast than constant or variable duration, and i am trying to be very precise with my word choice. variable duration, or random duration if you prefer, randomly determines the duration for which something will last. that is to say that once this durat

comparisons of combat rules in tabletop games

i'd like to look at statistically equivalent methods of handling combat in tabletop games, and draw out their differences with respect to how they affect the play experience. roll to hit and for damage this is the method used in the platonic  dungeons & dragons game. let there be some target that has 1-8 hit points (average: 4.5), and an attacker that can cause the target to lose 1-6 hit points (average: 3.5). furthermore, let there be a 50% chance of the attacker hitting the target. taking into account that half of all hits are misses, the average amount of damage dealt by the attacker is 1.75 hit points. it will statistically take 2.57 rounds for the attacker to totally defeat the target. furthermore, there is an initial 21.88% chance that the attacker will defeat the target in one round. if the target instead had 1-6 hit points, as in the original 1974 dungeons & dragons , the chance becomes 29.17%  and it will take 2 rounds on average to defeat the target. it becomes

structural analysis of exploration procedures in od&d and b/x

the dungeon exploration procedure for the 1974 edition of dungeons & dragons  is given in volume 3, pages 8-10. here is a selection of passages throughout those pages to best understand how the procedure is structured; i have only removed parts related to sub-procedures unrelated to time and movement. THE MOVE/TURN IN THE UNDERWORLD: Movement is in segments of approximately ten minutes. Thus it takes ten minutes to move about two moves --120 feet for a fully-armored character. Two moves constitute a turn, except in flight/pursuit situations where the moves/turn will be doubled (and no mapping allowed). Time must be taken to rest, so one turn every hour must be spent motionless, and double the rest period must be taken after a flight/pursuit takes place. Time searching for anything (secret passages, hidden treasure, etc.), loading treasure, listening, ESP'ing [1], hiding, will be adjudged by the referee as to what portion of a turn will be used by the activity. Typically, ESP

time, movement, and action economy in dungeon games

let me just give the rundown! in the original dungeons & dragons  (1974), a dungeon turn was not the amount of time it took to perform an action. instead, a turn is the interval of time between wandering monster checks. this means that after each turn, the referee rolls a die for a 1-in-6 chance of a monster appearing. what happens in between these checks is basically up in the air, and the rulebook invites liberal guesstimation. the party is afforded two "moves" (120 feet for an unarmored character) in one turn. there are ten "rounds" of combat per turn. thought-detecting can take just a quarter turn. searching a room takes a full turn. ultimately, the rulebook says, "Time spend searching for anything [...] will be adjudged by the referee as to what portion of a turn will be used by the activity." edit:  if the above paragraph feels like a controversial reading, read the companion piece ( link )! movement rates the movement rates of dungeon exploratio