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"Space" in Non-Physical Combat

Started by Jonathan Moyer, March 31, 2004, 03:33:09 AM

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M. J. Young

Quote from: Jonathan MoyerSo anyway, in my opinion you can have non-physical "contests," non-physical "damage," and non-physical "weapons."  Why not non-physical "space" or "range?" ("because it's just not there" or "what's the point?" may be good answers  :)  ) And perhaps the idea of range is already there, given that the landscape of debate is fraught with emotional and rhetorical obstacles, in the form of other characters.
My inclination is that debate is the ranged form of verbal combat; invective is the close combat form. I base that on the fact that invective is fired between two individuals and does not require an audience (although an audience is often fun to have), while in debate the entirety of the attack on the opponent is through the opinions of the audience which you are attempting to sway.

But it's a very weak analogy no matter how you slice it.

Multiverser doesn't distinguish combat from non-combat skills; it only distinguishes the combative use of skills from the non-combative use. It provides some rather well defined modifiers for weapon combat, and uses that as a major illustration of how to do other skill use.

If you shout an insult at me just as I close the door, should you suffer a range penalty because I might not have heard you? Probably so; that can be included. We wouldn't call it a range penalty, probably--we'd say there's a chance you failed to land the insult because you were too late, but give you the roll to see if you succeeded.

The problem with stretching the analogy between various forms of conflict so they all fit the same model is precisely that they don't. The reason we even speak of ranged versus close combat is because they are different--they aren't really the same thing. Guns are like bows; bayonets are like swords. You've really got two entirely different forms of combat here. No one puts range modifiers on swords--either the opponent is in reach or he isn't. Arguably, debate/invective is a different kind of combat, and needs to be treated as such (and maybe it's two different kinds). Maybe racing is yet another kind of combat, with a different set of modifiers. We could probably come up with others.

What a system like Multiverser does is provide a core mechanic that covers everything, then provide ways to customize it for the specifics of any specific application of it.

--M. J. Young