Saturday, 14 June 2008

DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 4

After the response to Part 3 I’ve decided to move on and learn the next section of DBMM: time of day and weather.



Part 3 has helped me, and the Befuddled masses, to work out the climate and season and which dice to use to calculate the time of day and the weather. The next step is to work out their effect on the game.

There are two factors that make this a complex operation. Firstly, and not unsurprisingly, the weather is dependent on the both the climate and season. Secondly the weather rules are written to cover all combinations so that extracting the details of the exact combination for your game is a bit of a slog.

I tried a number of approaches to simplify the process using grids etc. The first couple didn’t work. The best I’ve come up with deals with each of the five climatic regions separately. This is less than ideal as you need a set of five sheets but works because once the climate is settled you only need to refer to one sheet.

In the example above the yellow highlights show how it would be used. In this instance the game is being played in autumn in a cold climate. The exact time of day is calculated from the first grid. The weather score was 2 so there is no wind with the possibility of dazzle. Dazzle disadvantages players in both types of combat depending on where they are, the time of day and the direction they are facing. So the time grid and both the compass bearing and the time scale from the last grid are required.

I haven’t done all five climates yet but the structure of all five pages will be the same. The left hand column contains information that varies with the climate and season and is required at the beginning. The right hand column contains information that is required during the game. As of 30th June there’s a pdf version to download that contain five pages; one for each season.

As always I'll be testing and refining this in the next week or so. In the meantime please have a look and let me know if you spot any errors or omissions. I’d also like suggestions of other approaches.

Reaction to Part 3

I’d just like to say a few things about the the reaction to Part 3 and the discussions elsewhere:
  1. I no longer think that I’m the only one that’s befuddled. The DBMM Befuddled exist. The high profile news article on TMP generated a lot of traffic. The site had over 900 unique visitors in the space of ten days. That’s a lot for a niche blog like this.
  2. I use these guides to learn the game and to find quick ways through the complexity of the set up procedure; which I find very hard work indeed. I hope not to rely on these permanently. I do hope they will allow me to focus more on game play and less on grammatical deconstruction.
  3. People have confused learning the game with playing the game once learnt. Comments such as “DBMM must be awful if you need a flowchart” and “Most players don’t need a flow chart to play the game” both miss the point and run the risk of simply attacking or defending DBMM.
  4. In my view the rules are not written to aid understanding hence my befuddlement. The presentation of information relies too much on complex sentence structure, has a deliberately concise style, eschews tables and other ways of presenting information, and as a consequence is difficult to penetrate.
Having just read this you must be wondering why I bother. I suppose it because I like a challenge.

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