Pen and paper RPGs vs Computer aRPG

Almost entirely pointless. :wink:

I picked up Grim Dawn in one of the sales on a first look whim where it was cheaper, I really caught me and I’ve been playing it so much more than all the big titles I was waiting for and are sitting on the steam shelf right now.

It’s a Diablo type game with lots of weapons and armor and rings, plus slotable enhancements doodads. And lots of skills that do their various things, some active, some passive. Nothing really ground breaking for the Genre, but it does allow dual classing, and guns.

My basic weapon does 4 kinds of damage and goes every .84 seconds If I figured it all right, but I never use my default attack, I use a skill that replaces it that adds 3 more kinds. Through all of the other passive skill and equipment and doodad addons, everytime I push the shoot button(I carry rifles in the game) there are 14 different damage effects that happen, and another 6 that have a chance to proc, with about seven off them AOE to some extent, and 6 also DOT. Plus too many percentage modifiers on top of it all to count. The game gives damage per shot and damage per second summaries to keep some idea what is going on, but it really doesn’t try to display all the summary details in depth anywhere. Then my special attacks, and pets(I guess a self firing mortar is a type of pet), auto healing, energy usage and regeneration and various other effects.
Anyway the thing that inspired this thread I got to a dungeon end boss and her swarm of minions. Probably 80-90 of them(stinking summoners,it’s hard to count with all that is going on).

I almost had the boss dead,after a 4 minute or so fight when I lost my concentration and started giggling, and died, because I started try to calculate how long it would take to roll out the battle with dice and paper. Based on experience, I’d bet even with a spread sheet it would take a week, just pen and paper probably a month.

It’s the same game, but It’s not even close to the same game.

You could have the same fight in a tabletop game, but it would be madness to try to use the same mechanics. Using something like FATE you could model the summoner boss and her dozens of minions and you mowing through them and trying to kill her in a few dice rolls and a bunch of roleplaying. And while the details would be different, the overall story arc could be roughly the same. So while ARPGs and tabletop RPGs are very different sort of beasts you can zoom back a bit and see the family resemblance.

Each has their advantages. A human gamemaster isn’t going to be crazy enough to try to calculate things like a computer can, but he or she has much more flexibility and creativity than a computer. Game programmers are limited by the fact that no matter how cleverly they design the game, it’s all going to be managed by a not very bright computer system, not them.

Plus of course you can play it solo without having to do everything yourself.