10 January 2015

Logic ≠ Tactics

Eh, a couple short rants, while I'm at it ...

Logic doesn't necessarily equal tactics; we don't all play our PCs as if they were game board pieces.

I think back to all the years I played in a boffer fantasy LARP. My character was a national leader and the game's most powerful ritual magician, and furthermore was played by a fellow who was 42 years old in my final season, with badly deteriorating knees and wrists, and the second oldest player in the whole game.

It was strategically stupid for me to be on the front lines. I could've directed traffic far better from a safe rear position, and reserved my powerful strategic spells for cool, considered uses. I am not ten feet tall, and couldn't see over battlelines to know where each and every good guy was, at each and every moment, and how best to aid him. The fog of war worked on me as much as on anyone.

But there were considerations. It was important for people to see me out there, taking the same risks as they were, doing the same things they did. Folks are less likely to complain about hardships if they see someone much older than they are doing the same things.

And I really didn't want to be a REMF. I wanted to buckle some swashes and get out there and fight, and even if my wrists couldn't handle heavy fighting any more, I could still use a bow.

So why should I play any differently in tabletop? My characters have motivations that might not be cool and considered, and drive my actions in directions a chess master might not select.


  1. Yes. An argument that I often have with other players... who try to insist I play to the optimal numbers. Really, the optimal numbers suggest I should stay home and open a cheese shop, not go out looting crypts.

    1. Hah, yes. I've seen many a debate about what would happen if we got plopped into our gameworlds, and I have to laugh at all the idjits -- who aren't likely, in real life, athletes at the peak of physical fitness -- who claim that they're going to be adventurers. Me, I'd set myself up as a scholar, and desperately peddle what technological innovations I could think of to keep alive.