Friday, May 16, 2014

Hostage Situation

Let's talk about hostage situations in RPGs. Not only in modern combat like games, but in general. Intuitively I feel friction, edgy. It's a situation most games I've played can't handle very well. On one side there's the negotiation aspect. Very role playish and usually one player does it. What do the other players do meanwhile? On the other side it can change from role playing and negotiation to a combat scenario very quickly. A combat scenario that needs to be resolved quickly and with little margin for error. Lose initiative and the bad guy shoots the hostage or detonates the vest. Miss and the outcome is just as bad if not worse.

The main issue I see is that a lot of games that are strong in handling character emotions and feelings are a bit weak in handling combat and games that handle combat well are a bit impervious to such aspects of character development and negotiation. More so, even if you can handle the negotiation aspect as pure player based role play between both the player and GM, what about a shoot out? Things go sour and suddenly the bad guy needs to be taken out. Do you trust your initiative and attack roll that much? Is the skill mechanics good enough to make you feel confident you'll get first shot and will not miss?

As a closing treat here's the floor plan to Big Bang Theory's main apartments. Good luck saving Penny form crazy Sheldon.

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