I was hoping to get some opinions from some more experienced players of WFRP3 regarding the idea of utilizing some sort of a declaration phase during each round, or at least some rounds.
My background as a GM and player is with Warhammer Quest back in the day. I have picked up the hobby again and purchased the core set many months ago and have been able to play a few games online with the google group.
Now, I understand that it is a totally different game, and I LOVE the new mechanic, but I have noticed that there exists a lack of cohesion in terms of tactics and movement and strategy when it comes to fighting, exploration and social encounters.
Is it my inexperience, and that is sort of the way in which the game is played now, or is the group as a unit just inexperienced with playing with each other?
One of the things that came to mind to help resolve this was an old Warhammer Quest rule: During the "Hero's turn" there was a Declaration Phase.
Each player basically stated what he wanted to do or accomplish during his turn in reverse order of the initiative so as to give the players that were going before him the chance to react to what the 1st player wanted to do. In other words initiative 4 would state 1st, then initiative 3 would state 2nd and so on.
I thought perhaps a semi- declaration phase, like the one mentioned, would work well, still allowing players to "take" an initiative slot out of turn if they felt it would help the party, but at the beginning of the round have the players state, in general terms, what they intended to do before they actually do it. An added bonus to this would be a subliminal reminder to the player that he can go ahead and start putting together his dice pool for the actions he wanted to perform in that particular round. It would also help the players engage in more conversation amongst themselves.
Thoughts on using this?? Would it "mess up" the game for the players or help a little ??
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I don't really see the need for that personally. My players discuss for a bit among themselves how they want to do things in the coming round, then they just take actions in the order they decided. I guess it could be different in a skype ( or equivalent) game where communication is a bit slower.
Having to announce the actions of the PC/NPCs before the turn starts makes the game a lot less dynamic in my opinion. I think combat will be boring if all you can do in your action is to roll dice for an action that was chosen before, responding to situations as they come up is what makes RPG combat fun. Declaration mechanics fit a lot better in strategy/tactics wargames.
But your semiversion could be good I guess, it sounds similar to what we already do. It would only be the PCs declaring in that case right?
Yes, only the PC's. I suppose it wouldn't be "formal". What I will try to do the next time we play is simply ask the party to VERY quickly state their intentions for the next round i.e., "Going to swing at the Orc". "Going to try and get away from the Orc and jump on the table".
It very well may just be the games I have been in, and my trying to get accustomed to playing WFRP3. It doesn't seem like we "search" for anything, or "explore" any rooms or areas. We walk into a room. listen to the description, see if there are any monsters and fight them or run away and then repeat the process.
In WHQ I always made certain there was a "story" with clues and various other "items". Some of which HAD to be discovered in order to move the story along. Weather it was find a secret door, or the discovery of a book or item. Often I would have several items that could point in the same direction. Now, we never stop to discuss things, take closer looks at items or interesting things or unusual happenings.
I think an informal, beginning of round, "this is what I am doing" statement would give the players a chance to react to that statement and potentially change the declaring players mind or force a BRIEF conversation about what would be best at the moment. The only chance to do this otherwise is during the players actual turn, which the other players are hesitant to say anything or have not had a chance to think for a sec about it, and by the time they do the dice are rolled and the player has moved their token.
I will mention this next time and we can see how it goes,.. Thanks,…
Much depends on playstyle.
Players at my table tend to discuss general actions in terms of who uses which initiative token (since they are not personal) as in "archer - please please go first and shoot something before I close with them"; "I really need to use that one token that we have before any foes act to fall back, I can't take another hit", or "I'm just trying to swim back to the boat, I might as well go last" sorts of declarations.
Sometimes this just becomes, "how about i use the first action", "okay".
We try to avoid too much table chatter to avoid bogging down play and I use GM judgment in terms of which of the intents had to actually be said "in the fiction" and heard by foes.
I know what you mean when you say "bogged down play". Sometimes things can seem to take foreverrrrrr. Something I do not want to do!
I suppose it is just my style of play. I don't want to just go into a room kill what is there and move to the next area, kill what is there, and so on. When learning about WFRP3 I was told several times that if you decide to attack everything you will wind up creating a lot of characters.
I know that often times investigating EVERYTHING is crazy, you will find yourself spending 2 entire sessions chasing down red herrings. On the other hand, with a good GM, the investigation of specific things mentioned by the GM SHOULD be important, and the lack of investigation or discovery should have ramifications. I suppose this comes down to style of play, and one of my personal goals when acting as a player in an adventure is to not miss any of the "pre-written" aspects of the adventure. Now I am aware that this is impossible to do, and that there will always be elements that were bypassed, but I still like to try. After all, you only get ONE chance to play an adventure. If you bypass 90% of it by killing anything that appears to be a threat, not investigating "clues", and charging your way though it, you will know enough to not be able to play it again, but will have missed TONS of "good stuff", and let's face it,. at the moment, there are NOT a lot of official campaigns out there for WFRP3. I will be very careful in choosing who I adventure with through these campaigns and hopefully find "like minded" players,…
The "gumshoe system of trail of cthulhu" system of investigative game design is good to bear in mind.
Have a through-line for investigative adventures that flows automatically along the basic skeleton of plot though the scenes that are most fun/you most want to ensure are played out. Let the "to be found/figured out stuff" improve odds of dealing with situations, get "bonus scenes" and "useful resources" and "short cuts" and "give more understanding" but not be required to advance through adventure scenes.
This is the idea of "core clues" - the core clue that gets you from the alley confrontation to the warehouse lair is automatically found. The bonus clue that would tell you the watchman at warehouse is not part of cult, and that the warehouse is one of three owned by the same merchant, that there's a secret entrance to the warehouse, that is what a roll or good roleplay gives you.
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