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stargorger

Randomized player damage vs enemy set damage

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Hi all

 

Maybe this is better for the rules section but it's not so much a question about the rules as a question about peoples' opinions on them, and a request for house rules ideas.

For how much the game emulates the 'deterministic' nature of the videogame, it annoys me that the one thing the dice are used for are the players' actions. Dodging I can swallow a bit more...would be hard to maintain the difficulty if dodging was an automatic success that just cost stamina ("You get attacked for 9 damage!" "Oh, ok I dodge. ""Ah, nevermind.")

But having randomized damage for the players' weapons...that seems a bit wonky to me. Am I crazy for thinking that? What does everyone else think? Having played the game a couple times now, I am starting to feel that one of the main difficulties of the game is the randomized player damage, and thus the inability for players to accurately ensure success. This seems pretty different from the videogame where one of the primary things I enjoy about it is that I KNOW how much damage I will do to a certain enemy. All that is 'up to chance' is my own skill and ability to hit the right timing. Since the board game doesn't have timing in that sense I understand the need for some degree of randomization to make it difficult...but it seems to me that arbitrarily making damage a victim of RNGesus goes against the philosophy of Dark Souls in general. I should be able to win through knowledge of the game and skill, not luck. Luck is for farming Wolfsblood Swordgrass ;)

 

Anybody else feel similarly? And more importantly...does anyone have any ideas for changing this? So far I haven't see any in the few house rules systems I've tried (which I must say I feel are almost a necessity with the rather goofy base rules set).

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The hard thing is if you want to really change this, you'd have to completely overhaul the entire combat engine and then you're stepping into the realm of not playing the same game anymore.

Plus, I'm pretty sure I'd argue that no game is completely deterministic. Even games with very little random chance do have chance, it's just less on the nose than rolling dice. You just offload the chance to a deck of cards instead, or in the case of games with "no" randomness/chance, you offload the chance to either your assessment of how other players will play, or the unreliability of your own memory/reflexes. If you could be totally certain that you had 100% control over the outcome of a game, that game would be very boring.

Even the Dark Souls video game has chance in several aspects. You're taking the chance that your reflexes behave optimally and you don't make stupid decisions in the heat of the moment. You're taking the chance that when you open the door, you're well equipped enough to handle what's inside. Sure, you have much more control over risk mitigation if you're very good at the game, but you can also mitigate risk in the board game. Now, I'd argue the risk mitigation opportunities in the board game's core ruleset aren't the most robust/elegant/satisfying, but they're there.

That's the big thing I suspect that people mean when they say they don't like chance in games though. It's not so much that eliminating chance or dice rolls is what makes a game better, it's how much agency a player has to mitigate the impact when things don't go their way or influence how much risk is involved in a situation.

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Yeah, agreed. 

I guess, if there were house rules for better risk mitigation, or someone could explain to me a better strategy for not dying to crap dice rolls as much, lol, then I would be happy to hear them :)

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