A while back me and Anders talked about making a computer game where you mix stretegy gaming with rpg. The thought was that two or more people are playing where one person is playing a strategy game and one or more persons are playing a role playing game.
Yesterday and today Anders made a visit here and I came up with the wonderful idea to use Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition rules to play the game on a long roll of paper. I made two level 1 characters, one Elven Ranger and one Halfling Rouge, and Anders took the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual to calculate the XP pool he had to set up encounters. He then decided on before hand which monsters he would put in the dungeon in order to defeat me.
We modified the DnD rules to fit our game. We decided that instead of earning XP for killing monsters I, who play the characters, gain one level per encounter. This means that the characters are constantly getting stronger which also means that Anders, who play the monsters, will also have a bigger XP budget to build encounters. He was also aloud to put 1 trap per character in each encounter, if I found and disarmed the trap I would gain HP but if I stumbled upon it it would hurt me.
Here you can see what the dungeon map looked like
Before each encounter I would be faced with a door and I could choose to open the door carefully and then sneak in or just run in like a maniac. Because I had a rouge that I saw as a wannabe assassin I tried to sneak in to every room. Before I decided to open the door I did not see what the next room looked like so Anders drawed the map and placed the miniatures as I opened the door. He even placed a Snake Tounge Assassin Minion which actually snuck up on me from behind and managed to poison me.
We had only time with two encounters which I won and it took my characters to level 3 which means that Anders will have about 400 XP to buy monsters for in the next encounter. It will continue like this for 6 encounters and if both my characters survive I will win and if Anders kills my characters before he will win.
This might sound a lot like the regular DnD game where you have a dungeon master and players but there are some differences. The first difference is that we are competing against each other so Anders will do whatever he can to kill my characters. This is what a dungeon master should not do. The second thing is that Anders is not roleplaying the monsters but he is rather trying to use thier abilities as strategically good as possible in order to defeat me. He can also put different monsters that would normally not be found together in an encounter. Anders is not either trying to tell a story and there are no quests, he is simply trying to kill me.
I must say that it worked very well and that it was really fun and it felt very very different from when I am leading games for seventh. I also think that the DnD 4th edition rules fits better for this type of play compared to role playing, because there are so many rules that it becomes impossible to act intuitively and get a feel for who the character really is as a person.
Here is another image of the gaming table