Monday, July 2, 2018

Use Jenga to Resolve Player-vs-player Combat

I'm serious. It's the best way. Doesn't matter what system or genre you're playing in. If two players want their characters to seriously fight, pull out the blocks.

Dread is a game which uses a tower of blocks as a conflict resolution mechanism. When your character attempts a difficult task, you must pull a block from the tower.
If you succeed, so does your character.
If you give up, your character fails.
If you knock over the tower, your character dies.

Dread uses the increasingly precarious tower to simulate the feeling of increasing tension in the horror genre.

But this basic mechanism is also great for the escalating tension of a fight in which a player character might die. Use this method if there are actual stakes: the characters are fighting over a unique macguffin or for the love of the dragon prince or about whether to pull the lever that destroys the universe.

Anyways, here's the idea:

  • Dueling players take turns pulling blocks from the tower, starting with the aggressor. This represents staying in the fight.
  • As above, if someone knocks over the tower, their character dies.
  • At any time, they can forfeit. Their characters backs away from the battle, licking their wounds, and giving up on whatever objective they were after.
  • If a player expends some sort of scarce resource to aid in the fight, force the other person to pull another block.

It also has the advantage of making a spectacle. Two players circle 'round a table glaring at each other as you narrate the scene.

It's great. 11/10

No comments:

Post a Comment