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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hack and Slash versus Immersive World (GM Tip)


A strongly realistic, immersive environment that breeds role playing must extend beyond prototypical model of puerilism prevalent. Conflict drives most games, true, and within that lays the conflict of fighting and killing. However, conflict is more than just hacking at something until it dies. Well developed and presented conflict can hold the interest and immerse players beyond any amount of mindless hack and slash. Most conflicts in gaming are external ones or a struggle with a force outside of one’s self. There are other kinds (physical struggle using one’s strength against some other being or force of nature, a struggle against fate, circumstance or life a societal struggle against ideas, practices, mores or customs or an internal struggle against one’s self) but this presents the most frequently seen aspect. Let’s face it, going out to kill those same old Orcs that hang out in the Lonely Orc Forest because they have a few gold coins on them and you need money to make your next magik item is less impressive than doing so because the farming families in the local area are up in arms about the raids done by said Orcs, the death and consumption of several local farmers and their livestock not to mention their razing of a local shrine dedicated to Amarydion, which has the religious authority issuing a religious decree outlining such as “less than beasts and only fit for death”.

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