Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What About the Noodle Breaking?

Just running through some plans for the future development of this proposed idea from last May, and it occurs to me that limiting the attrition damage to people is a big damn mistake.  After all, it is not only people that fall and break and get damaged and cease functioning when a party staggers their way through a forbidding landscape.  So does their stuff.  Picks break from use, tents tear from winds, handles snap, gourds split and so on.  In the bigger picture, the hulls of boats and the axles from wagons stress steadily over time and with heavy use, until they too give out.

The boat that sits in the harbour, even in a storm, does not do the work of a boat that beats the waves for months at a time.  Yet when have you ever seen a ship damage table that didn't involve a storm or a battle?  Do you not think the crew is kept busy steadily repairing ropes and sails, and not just from the last gale?

So what is needed is a clear structure on how hit point damage to characters is marked side-by-side with damage to their goods and equipment, from pots to sandle-straps ... and then what is needed is a rational, convenient method of maintaining that damage which is as easy to effect as returning lost hit points.

I don't have it, but this is one of those posts where I declare the problem, and then I go away and think about it.


Carl said...

It reads like you're describing a method of depreciation for equipment.

Some concepts to consider:

* Full health of the item when new
* Residual health of the item, or how many hit points can be returned to the item after it has been damaged
* Estimated useful life of the item


I'd probably stick to the accounting concept.

The Hex Master said...

I think you may already have part of the answer. If I'm not mistaken, you already use a one percent loss of value per month mechanic in your game? Item integrity and maintenance costs could be easily pegged to this loss rate.

Arduin said...

I've always been pretty fond of the HP loss mechanic proposed, to be sure.

Applying the same to equipment, while awesome in theory, might be tricky in practice.

Would wooden/woolen items decay faster than stone/iron ones? Is the size of an item a factor? How to determine "Item HP"?

I'm not, of course, saying it cannot be done. Hell, if there's any way to find the answer, it'll be here.

It does interest me to think though: there was a rule somewhere, perhaps 3E, that vehicle damage was taken in 10ft "sections" on ships and so on.

Using these maintenance rules, it might be neat to design a castle in 10/5ft "sections" and then run it through the equations to generate more or less it's gradual decay: creating ruins.

I'm definitely looking forward to what comes up the pipeline.