Friday, January 03, 2014

Training as a time stopper

The players have been encountering a great deal of close quarter combat. First when they fought off the Russians in the base and last Saturday as they faced five of the natural inhabitants of the sub-Antarctic complex. At such short ranges, 25 m or less, the degree of fire power they carry and that which they encounter is enough to do them in. It's been planning and quick reflexes rather than aim that has kept them alive. Their character's training has kicked in more on the initiative rolls than the attack rolls.

Training helps people react faster. Reacting faster means a quicker response to a events in a battle environment. Needless to say reacting faster can be the difference between life and death at ranges in which a hit is practically ensured. Your character has to hit first and hit fast or else serious injury or even death will surely follow.

Training can come in two ways, first of all how your character sets up a good attack to gain the initiative and secondly quick reflexes so to shoot first, usually handled as initiative. The former is usually handled by players as they setup the strategy and layout their characters on the map. The later depends on the character's skill and the players initiative roll.

For this type of skill to work as a serious advantage in combat there has to be a couple of changes. The game has to be very lethal, one shot and most surely the character is dead or injured and out of action. How else can you take out an enemy in one shot? What's the point of a great strategy and lightning fast reflexes if the enemy still has 32 hit points after taking a double tap? Secondly, the initiative system must have a temporal representation as well. Advantage must not only convert to order of events, but also time. Time enough to maybe pull off an extra action or two.

This effectively slows time down for a skilled character in an RPG. How is training coped with your games? As a bonus to hit or as a split second reaction benefit that gives a character the winning edge in an encounter?

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