28 August 2013

Gametalk - Realism

With regards to wargaming, define "realism".

By: Brant


Jack Nastyface said...

When it comes to wargaming, I would say that realism is the level to which a game system "feels" authentic, contiguous, coherent and plausible within the experience that it is trying to create.

To wit: Avalon Hill's wild West game Gunslinger. GS is a fairly detailed study of its subject. Weapons must be drawn, cocked and aimed, weapon damage is varied, and they have different range and ammo loads, characters get light or serious wounds, suffer delays, etc. It feels "realistic" because nothing can happen in the game which isn't guided by a game concept that is in turn grounded in what I will only call the logical, plausible rules of nature. So gun malfunctions (even catastrophic ones)can occur...but instant healing health packs or BFG's don't exist.

I think this is why some people spend time (and electrons) posting about why spellcasting in D&D is better / worse than in Pathfinder. Obviously, the concept of spellcasting is pure fantasy...but if you use what we know about the real world we inhabit (things like time it takes to speak, to wave a wand, etc) and marry that to the things the game rules allow us to do (cast a spell, summon a gargoyle, etc) I think it is possible to create a sense of "realism" in an otherwise impossible setting.

Yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface

Gene Dickens said...

Realistic Wargame: A game with more rules, and charts and tables than a modern military has regulations. And, so many playing pieces a puzzle can look simple.