The combat system is at the heart of classical D&D, which is something that is actually a bit annoying for me. The core content of adventuring never was violence for me, so the relentless focus on fighting strikes me as a bit dull and wrong-headed. Thinking back, this is the main reason for why I preferred systems like Runequest or MERP to D&D during the ’90s as well: while those systems as games are just as violence-focused, the basics of character depiction, which is the kind of surface feature a teenager will get obsessed about, strived for more of a balance in depicting the life of a fantasy adventurer.
Regardless, combat needs resolving, and I want to resolve it in ways that both synch well with other means of conflict resolution and allows interesting combat-specific tactical options. I also want to move away from the unrealistic and dull initiative systems of old, which requires a system pretty different from D&D. Read the rest of this entry »