Learning to Fight in RPGs

If you’ve ever played an “adventure” based 3-D, third person, sword-swinging, monster slaying video game then you know game publishers and designers like to “teach” you the game slowly, as you master each move/weapon separately, before moving on. There’s something insulting about that logic, but I get it. If you have to learn too much at once you might give the game a bad review.


Of course, as you finish each new monster type and churn your way through the game, you realize, “Damn. I’m going to have to fight those monsters on the final level again, only they’ll have more hit points then. And sure enough, the final level is nothing more than all those monsters, in some sequential order, as you climb your way to the final boss who is an amalgam of all the previous final bosses. Oh how you wish you’d mastered the pattern to fighting all of them before.


Imagine if tabletop GMs/PCs treated their RPGs with the same disrespect. I can see the GM outlining his campaign…

Level one. Learn to fight goblins and orcs. Boss: Gnoll.

Level two. Learn to fight armored orcs and tactical hobgoblins. Boss: Ogre.

Level three. Learn to fight spectral hobgolins and ghouls. Boss: Ogre Magi.

Level four. Learn to fight ghoul packs and dread ghosts. Boss: Spectre.

Level five. Learn to fight spectral armored hobgoblins and trolls. Boss: Frost Giant.

Level six. Learn to fight frost ogre troll. Boss: Two frost ogre trolls at once.

Level seven. Fight goblin pack and armored orcs together. Repear with Gnoll boss. Then spectral hobgoblins, ghouls, and dread ghosts all at once. Repeat with Ogre Magi. Then fight trolls, ogres, and a frost giant. Repeat with frost ogre troll. Finally, fight abomination monster that has nothing to do with anything, before facing final boss monster who has the savagery of a gnoll, the strength of a frost giant, mage of an ogre magi (x10), and can do spectral stuff every salvo. Boss gets away three times. Final fight takes place on lava. Comes back from dead one time to fight again.

I swear, if a GM tried that with his tabletop group, he would be lynched.

2 thoughts on “Learning to Fight in RPGs

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