The most basic game structure in a traditional roleplaying game is combat.
Although individual mechanics may vary, virtually all roleplaying games use a basic game structure for combat derived from D&D: Combat is divided into rounds in which everyone gets to take an action (or actions). Usually combat is further defined by an initiative system of some sort, so that you can easily answer the question, “Who goes next?”
The Alexandrian, Game Structures, Part 4 Combat
Originally, combat was a micro-level game structure within the scenario-level structure of the dungeoncrawl. Taken together, I think The Alexandrian is correct in attributing much of the success of Dungeons & Dragons to these basic game structures. This is because they provide a solid and reliable answer to the two most important questions in a roleplaying game:
- What do the characters do?
- How do the players do it?
Recently, however, I have been revisiting…
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