Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Formation

The above image is titled The Fellowship, by AinuLaire, its pastel. (some slightly NSFW in there).

 I've been thinking about my B/X inspired adaptation thingy. None of my players have any intrest in it at all but I really like what I have so far.  I have been trying to think of a better name than "B/X inspired thingy" and so far have got two possible names: "Hero Story" and "Swords & Serpents", Hero Story is ok because I want it to be kind of narrative and play like a heroes life in a book. Swords & Serpents is stolen from an old Intellivision game me and my dad have been trying to beat for years. Maybe I will set up a poll and let you guys decide. 

Anyway, formation-marching order, whatever you want to call it. It is a big deal in oldschool games, its an even bigger deal in 3.5+ with the advent of grided tactical combat movement. Grided combat is cool, but it has alot of limitations and I argue it doesnt work in oldschool gameplay very well, you need a grided map of everywhere a fight could breakout,and grided combat is so slow and many times clunky. I think I have a fix.

In my B/X thingy party formation is going to be a huge part of the game. I will use it in place of tactical grid style combat, a more abstract way of tracking character movement that still alows character choice.  When I was younger we used something like this but it was never really cemented into the rules. Basically a character will be in a formation position at all times. Each role in each formation has different advantages and disadvantages and is more susceptible to certain threats.  Here are some formation types:

rear guard


on guard

on guard

Here is a breakdown for a formation:

Door Procedure
Focused - checks the door, if nothing noted joins center.
Vanguard-opens door, ready to face any forward threat.
Center- ready to act.
Rear Guard- not focused on door is alert to other surroundings.

More on this later as I work on it.

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