Friday, May 25, 2018

North Texas Game Convention Mass Combat

I will be debuting the new Mass Combat rules for Deluxe USR Sword & Sorcery at this time slot and there are a couple of seats available.

No dungeon crawling, no city intrigue, no ordained gease delivered by angles. 

Just heavy metal field of slaughter fun as God and Gygax intended!

One of the holes in my TTRPG experience has been delivering the thrilling event which is a set piece battle for the involved characters. I'm not saying this is a difficult design challenge, I'm saying it is an encounter I never found rules which made me sit up and say fuck yeah that is straight up Supernaught.

Oh yeah there are plenty of Mass Combat rules available for your role playing game you are saying. Yes they are. But they are all shit. Gygax and TSR fell back on their wargaming roots. I don't think they could have come about it any other way. Dungeons & Dragons was born by leaning on reverse engineering miniature wargame rules. Not all of it, there is a hot streak of brilliance which birthed the whole hobby, but there seems to be a fall down with all creators of table top rpg's shoving a mass combat encounter back towards a structured mechanic. Every. Single. Method. for mass combat in a role playing game is glued to a figurine. I've never got over the disconnect this kicks me with. If I can sit and talk for over two years with my players and go on the most amazing adventures why the hell do I need to field a battery of painted miniatures and codified dense rules and tables for an event, an encounter, which is in the grand scheme of things, brief?

Think about it, role playing games took off because the gaming experience expanded like the big bang when the rules dropped. It is easy to get into confused thinking on this. The current political climate shows what an aggressive disease language can become. How it can hold down and bad drunk road accident flash thought. I just got back from a trip to Washington D.C. and I viscerally know what a Constitution means to me. A scaffolding and framework of brilliance which moves and breathes with a populace because it was put together by smart people. Then the rest of us come in and cast bronze and idolatrize. Walking through Mount Vernon and Monticello in the same day I know which house I would hang my hat. The founders lifted a suggestion brilliantly knowing it becomes transcended by live play, understood that it would.

I believe Deluxe USR Sword & Sorcery's new mass combat rules get rpg's one step closer to this ideal of immersive, emergent table top play for a mass combat encounter, a reliable tool for the harried referee to kick it fast like any other encounter the group starts to get good at. Why am I so confident? Cause I didn't make it. Because I asked for help, professional help, and paid for it. 

Come be the judge. Sit down and battle early Friday my wild eyed Valkyrie!

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