rpg hot take: you should never spend a turn just moving, reloading, switching weapons, or missing attacks. these all feel bad when you don't get to do anything else on your turn.

im calling out every single game with more than 5 pages of combat rules here, and like half of the ones with 5 or fewer

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and no, you shouldn't need those kinds of feel bad moments to make the rest feel better. make feel bad moments getting hit when you're out of position, or having your weapon break, or your gun jam, anything that actually changes the narrative as opposed to just skipping your turn

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you can have engaging feel bad moments that give players a chance to make new plans and improvise.

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@velexiraptor I think these things have their place in a game where combat is punishing and meant to be avoided

@Aleums even in games where combat is supposed to be a fail state, there's a suspicious amount of combat rules as opposed to rules for everything else

and it's possible, i think, to make players feel powerless in combat in a way that is engaging and interesting as opposed to boring and resigned to their fate

@Aleums like, if combat is punishing and meant to be avoided, maybe don't have the combat system necessarily take up an hour+ of game time for a relatively simple fight where the outcome is "you run or you die" - figure out a quicker way to resolve things

@Aleums @velexiraptor in my experience the whiffs most often happen where combat is a central experience, while in intentionally punishing combat the equivalent roll is expected to have a chance of leaving the pc in a pool of their own blood by the end of the round

but my feeling bad in those moments as a player is often directly related to how badly the enemy npc stands to fuck us over on their turn that i had failed to prevent

now if *that* ends up whiffing too... :oh_no:

@velexiraptor You can both reload and fire, but doing so gives up your initiative spot, and you will automatically go last in this turn round.

@JulieSqveakaroo see kat's comment below and my response

maybe a better tactical-diegetic compromise would be to lower defences while multitasking like that

@velexiraptor waiting 20 minutes for your next turn is rough enough without that turn being "wait for your next turn again"

@Kat @velexiraptor if elected emperor i shall enact a law banning all individually assessed initiative queues of more than 2 combatants

@velexiraptor I feel like this gives good incentive to not just swap out weapons and stuff all the time though? Like if you could swap pokemon without losing a turn the metagame would look *extremely* different

And low-accuracy but powerful attacks don't seem like a bad thing either?

@Felthry they should be the exception, not the rule, though! having what amounts to a 40% to-hit each round feels awful

@velexiraptor also applies to CRPGs: cf why combat in Morrowind, Ultima Online, Runescape etc feels awful and boring

@outie @velexiraptor i think it applies many times more in crpgs (and i'm implicitly including any game with bullet-sponge mobs here)

- dm can't just agree to fast-forward or change things up
- no room to narrate anything new
- emotional drain of things being "epic" for an incredibly long time
- can't save mid-bossfight and handle in manageable pieces

(see also: why i've never finished a crpg where you can't optimize your damage and one-shot (or some other single-digit number) the final boss)

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