Today we need to talk about something less fun and exciting.
There is a problem plaguing our slice of the DR community, not taking hits and not delivering blows properly. It is such an issue that with all the visitors we have had in the last 3-4 months, the only consistent complaint they could raise is about our collective inability to follow these rules. I have seen it myself, as have Storytellers, Marshals, Players on NPC shift, and just players on the field.
Let me be really clear, yes I am talking to and about ‘you.’ This has become such a widespread issue that you should assume you are also part of the problem. The more you consider yourself, or others consider you, an awesome combat badas, the more likely it is you are a bigger part of the problem than you think. I have seen it in players in Oregon, Washington, and SoCal, so no matter what game you call home, you need to pay attention.
This is one of those issues that can straight up break the game. If players don’t take shots, a couple things start to happen. Players and NPC’s hit harder so the shots are felt, breaking more rules. The storytellers are forced to send out threats with increasing to ridiculous damage output so that players can’t blow off the shots, eliminating the value of armor, buying lots of body, and severely affecting the new-player experience. Worst of all, other players who intended to follow the rules are pulled into cheating because it looks like the only way to also be combat effective is to ignore “the little hits.” Delivering shots incorrectly means that the amount of health on NPC’s has to go up, the mount of NPC’s in the horde has to keep increasing, and again, more players are inspired to cheat to stay competitive.
What are we going to do? Starting in February, NPC’s will be instructed to be even more communicative with PC’s. They will tell you if a strike you seem to be ignoring hit. If you disagree, they will not argue, but will let the marshal know who will be monitoring fights more specifically for this issue. If the marshal sees people not taking shots, they will pull players aside and let them know. If these warnings need to be repeated, additional steps will be taken. We will try and stay in a positive education frame, but this is something that may cause a player to lose combat privileges for a month, or more. On the other side, NPC’s will be informing marshals in the field if they see players striking incorrectly (less than 90 degree swings, not changing locations, incorrect flurries). As marshals are watching the fight, if they see incorrect swings, they will inform the player and will be re-spawning combats if incorrect swings factored into the outcome. Again, if the same players need talked to repeatedly, this may result in loss of combat privileges or more.
For those who might not be aware, or just to review for the old timers, I will be going over legal shot delivery and proper “taking shots” in the comments.