HEAVY GEAR -- WAR ZONE
ROLEPLAYING A MILITARY CAMPAIGN
It does not matter what kind of a broad military campaign concept one actually selects, some further thought should be given to game mechanics as well. Major decision points are player characters relative ability compared to other characters as well as gaming scale, i.e., whether one really wishes to play it on board (miniatures), or around a table as in RPG. None of the decision points here are firm but they all have certain advantages and disadvantages that should be pondered while prospective GM ponders how to tweak her game into something better.
Dream Pod 9 has divided its Silhouette Game System into a three levels depending characters abilities compared to surroundingenvironment. This is achieved with by means of rule mechanics. This ability is highly important in selection of actual campaiging style.
All these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Cinematic means that most official material characters are almost ineffectual against them. On the other hand there are times when all role players really want to play characters who can stand in dark rainy alley wielding Magnum Macho 3000 sniper rifle and shoot cyborg-mutant-ninja-monster bad guy to left eye to rescue the fair damsel in distress. Game balance questions remain, however, difficult to solve. Cinematic style suits best if campaign is not about nuts and bolts of surviving next fire fight, but if adventure is high and mighty and everything is done head above the rest.
Gritty campaigns seem to be almost completely unknown. Very few players seem to like to play characters that are essentially common people and where death comes easy. This is entirely understandable. People play role-playing games (and in generally engage in any hobby) because they want to have good time. Very few people want to play (something reminding them of themselves) in game where their mortality (and ordinariness) is all too clear. Obvious lesson is that while many people want to play ‘realistic’ campaign, they actually prefer to game ‘semi-realistic’ campaign, where their characters are still better than the rest.
Adventurous reality distortion seem to fill this bill best. Characters are better than normal people are but still weaker than real villains are and they can do mistakes and (probably) still live to tell the tale.
Tactical (and Skirmish) Scale
Mixed Tactical (and Skirmish) and RPG Scale
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