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Episode 2193: Run, Kylo, Run


Realistically, being wounded means you can't function at full capability. So some games assess penalties on your actions the more wounded you become. In a combat situation, this feeds back into losing your ability to fight as effectively, meaning you're now more likely to get wounded further, and less likely to defeat your foe. While this might be realistic, it results in what is called a death spiral in game design terminology. As soon as you start losing a fight, you're circling the drain and get progressively worse at protecting yourself.

For many players this is discouraging and unfun. So many games simply ignore the effects of wounds during combat (at least until you take enough hits to actually collapse). This gives combatants more of a fighting chance to prevail, even after being hit a few times. Removing the death spiral makes the combat more engaging and fun for many players.

In game design, realism can often be the enemy of fun. After all, it's not fun to be in a fight in the real world, after all.

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Clearly, finding where they left the Falcon in the dark forest is much too difficult. Find a cliff edge and travel along it hoping it's the right way? Nahhh, that wouldn't be dramatic enough. Running through the dark trees will make for much better viewing! Kylo doesn't even have his helmet here, so we can't even claim the movie is trying to make the vision happen.

That said, navigating anywhere unfamiliar at a run is going to be difficult. It's easy to get lost in the woods on a good day when there's no path to follow. Add in the fact that it's dark, the exit Rey and Finn came out of not being the original one Finn went in, and that they don't seem to be trying to retrace that original route and they could be going anywhere but the Falcon. And that includes in circles!

Kylo is a heck of a determinator though to run out of the hexagon base and chase down Rey on foot after taking a laser crossbow bolt to the side. And that laser crossbow normally would have thrown the target across the room too! He might not be as large and menacing as Darth Vader was, but persistence like that is admirably scary.


GM: Okay, recap from last week. Rey and Finn are running through the gloomy forest.
Kylo Ren: I circle around and cut them off.
GM: How are you finding them?
Kylo Ren: Force Sense. Rey’s signature is strong.
Rey: Damn it.
Rey: How are you getting here from the exploding hexagon before us, when we’re running away in a straight line?
Kylo Ren: Force Shortcut.
GM: You’ll need something better than that.
Kylo Ren: Extra Effort to run really fast.
GM: Roll, at -3 for that Wound on your side.
Kylo Ren: 14.
GM: You make it, but the strain re-opens your wound. Bright crimson blood drops stain the pristine snow.
Kylo Ren: Even better. Now I can find my way back as well.

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Published: Thursday, 18 August, 2022; 02:11:03 PDT.
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