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Pros and Cons: Tying skill to health

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tyrfiel
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Over Thanksgiving, my wife and I visited her brother and his wife and we played several rounds of "Betrayal at the House on the Hill" by Avalon Hill Games. The basic gist of the game is that we're all exploring a spooky house and eventually someone runs across something that drives them mad, at which point their true purpose is revealed and they try to destroy everyone else in some gruesome fashion.

The game represents characters by four independent sliding scales: Might, Speed, Sanity, and Intelligence. Combat is conducted by making a trait roll against your opponent. You roll a number of dice (d3, actually a d6 labeled 0, 1, 2) equal to, say, your Might value. Whoever rolls higher wins, and the loser must reduce their trait by the difference between the two rolls. If any character's trait value ever drops to zero, that character is dead.

An example combat between player X and Y might go like this: X has Might 8 and Y has Might 5. X rolls 8 dice for a total of 12 and Y rolls 5 dice for a total of 8. Player Y loses and takes 4 damage by reducing his Might to 1. On the next combat, player X rolls 8 dice and Y rolls 1 measly die.

Pros:
* Promotes a feeling of desperation that goes well with the game setting.
* It's relatively realistic to assume wounds hurt your ability to fight.

Cons:
* It's unlikely a player will recover from an initial loss, because each loss reduces a his character's effectiveness.
* Conversely, the winner escapes combat completely unscathed, and is just as powerful as when he started fighting. A simultaneous attack system might be better.

Anyway, we had an interesting discussion about it, so I thought I'd post it here. :)

Challengers
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Pros and Cons: Tying skill to health

I seem to be on a timer kick this evening. This mechanic could work if you add a three-minute count-down and repeat timer that runs continuously during the game. Every time the timer rings, each player gets a healing point, which he can apply to any trait.

Mitch

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