Thaddeus: OK. I could use some luck right about now.

David: You already got some. You aren't dead... yet.

Thaddeus: Another RPG "trick" is to tell the GM: "My character has a lot of close combat experience. What are my immediate instincts?" In a diced system, I would usually end up rolling against some stat. Since I can't do that, I figure that the GM would be more open to give me a clue once in a while.

David: And I have. Everything I tell you is a clue. I think the most immediate representation of a characters level of skill is the perceptions they receive. You are obviously very quick witted in combat, and not unfamiliar with the business end of a gun. I've described details, and broken down action for your character in a way which allows you to act and react on a tactical level, at fair speed, in the dark, under gunfire. I haven't frozen you in terror, and haven't pushed moments of indecision too hard. I've noted things, people, motions, and sound, in such a way as to provide a fair tactical picture from the stance of a combat veteran. For example, amidst the sudden movements and gunfire, and your necessity and concentration on other targets, you heard the bump of the guy in the opposite corner hitting the wall in the dark. That little clue meant that you knew he was not an immediate threat, and his approximate location. That's not a bad detail under the circumstances. A less experienced character might have gotten a few shuffling sounds, a guy leaping over the bed to get them, and the fact that they are helplessly trapped in a corner with nowhere to run. Just the detail given, and the method of formatting that response, is a clue, and the greatest benefit of your level of skill. It also greatly enhances the first person feeling of being there as all information is given from each characters POV.

Back into the Hotel Combat Example

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Thu Jan 25 22:42:57 CST 1996