[project1dev] almost completely on topic... :P

  • From: Alan Wolfe <alan.wolfe@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 10:43:05 -0700

"Many traditional RPGs have finite non-regenerating resources that are
restored only at particular points (such as inns, etc.). Resource management
is of long-term relevance, but rarely relevant within a single regular
combat. This allows for less challenging battles to have meaningful
consequences (consumption of resources), but often encourages a
(subjectively) boring degree of resource conservation (eg: magic-users who
avoid using any magic at all if they can help it)

In RPGs with rapidly regenerating (but smaller) resource pools, resource
management is of short-term relevance only. This may allow for greater
tactical depth within a single combat since the player can be expected to
use a range of abilities, rather than conserve them, and running dry during
a single fight is plausible and must be managed. However, if resources
regenerate between battles, any fight which does not present a reasonable
chance of outright defeating the player is effectively just taking up time.
Attrition is not possible. Moreover, I think you lose a significant degree
of dramatic tension that can come from being deep in dangerous territory,
and running low on resources. In such a system, no matter how many battles
you slog through, you're still effectively as fresh as when you set out.

Is it possible to design an RPG where resource management is relevant both
in the short-term and long-term? Where excessive conservatism is not
encouraged, but moderate-difficulty battles are not made irrelevant?

What are some of your opinions are on the subject of resource management and
attrition in RPGs (or even more generally)? How do you feel about systems
with/without significant attrition? Are there any games that you think have
done it unusually well?"

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