Monday, September 10, 2012

Hold the line!

Ok so what makes your character engage all those enemies without a sweat?  Why doesn't the party route when faced with overwhelming odds?  Why don't they turn and flee when their first buddy falls?  Do they have steel nerves or is it that the players are safe and sound in someone's living room drinking Coke?

Morale is certainly something that doesn't come into play too often in D&D, at least not much on the player's side.  Acting as a coordinated group is something that takes military and police units long periods of training.  Yet a party meets at a local inn and all of a sudden they're the town's SWAT team. How's that so?

One type of training is weapon training and that's covered pretty well in the rules.  You get a weapon and become good at it.  Holding the line against an incoming foe and actually acting as a coordinated group is something else.  The Romans were great at conquest because their units knew how to hold the line.  Shouldn't parties go through some training to allow for this?  How would you represent this in the game if so?

During combat players chat time should be a representation of what they really have time and foresight as characters.  Usually there is too much planning (verbal planning) going on  during the round.  What if that were limited to a sentence the player could say or a note he or she could pass to the DM indicating the action.  As the party adventures more and trains better (put $$ here) they can work as a unit and more player conversation is allowed.  Even a set of formations and actions could be agreed upon to promote quick communication in combat.  To change strategy and tactics quickly.

I'm including special training called infantry proficiencies that allow that sort of skills to be represented. To command and work in order.  To work as a single shielded front.  To stand as a group and improve the general morale of the party so as not to route at the first incoming Orc.  That way players can plan and coordinate and be ready for a general set of encounters.  By giving a bonus to this type of preparations I'm looking for better player integration and roleplay before and during the encounters.  So it isn't so much an engage and hope for the best.  Rather than that the party becomes a coordinated unit that is good at holding the line against an incoming foe.

Adiuta - Deus!
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