Monday, 3 February 2014
Range In RPG’s
There is a kind of ‘natural’ imagined space around an imagined body. It’s the spatial area we work most often with in RPG’s. It ranges from roughly the size of a room to a large hall.
I noticed this when thinking about range and snipers in RPG’s. It’s always a little difficult to be a sniper or to use the full potential of ranged weapons in RPG’s. I wouldn’t say it’s hard enough to stop you doing it, clearly people do it all the time. But the mind must be forced to imagine the space whereas the space around, for instance, a sword fight, springs into being quite naturally in the minds of the participants.
Almost no-one uses the full potential range of bows to their maximum effect in RPGs. Even for a shortbow in LOTFP its 450 feet. Of a lightly encumbered opponent moves 60t per round, that’s 7 rounds of shooting before they get you.
I think the reason this is rarely done is that it feel unnatural to keep saying, “what’s four hundred and fifty feet away?” We don’t imagine the interact-able world in quite those terms.
Of course this may be the reason that we build rooms and halls the shape we do. There are engineering constraints, but even forgetting those we do tend to build similar area’s around ourselves.
There are also giant mech fights. But the whole point of those is that you effectively ‘become’ a big giant robot guy for the period of the fight, so while you are shooting long distances, relative to your current body-scale awareness, they are not that far. About the distance of a bowshot.
There is also the drama-factor in close-scale combat. Face-to-face fighting unifies tactical and dramatic conflict while modern long-distance fighting seems to anonymise and atomise the meanings of combat.
Have you ever gamed and commonly used extreme ranges, say 400 yards and above? Anyone have any experience of that?
Do you think there is a ‘naturally-imagined’ scale of things around the human body that pop most easily into mind when we imagine characters?
Do you think working in this ‘naturally-imagined’ space makes it easier for groups of differently minded people to collectively imagine the same space in a useful way?