Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Marching order is important

Before I dug into some OSR games I never actually thought about marching order. I thought it is just silly and more like a feature you need in computer games (for example Baldur's Gate). But now I have read both Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord and thanks for them marching order is now really important. Not only in oldschool adventuring but also in modern games.

Sometimes in any game player characters are venturing in city streets or strange planets and an encounter happens. Then I start to figure out who is standing where and players usually tactically tell then their location. But if the marching order was used that hassle would be not happening as player characters are already in position and I just would have to locate the enemies.

Picture from
Marching order is not some technical game rule to follow. It simply tells in what order and formation player characters are venturing. Who is in the front row and who is in the back and are there some characters scattered around walking nearby and are some characters protected in the middle. When this all is decided before any encounters it gets more interesting. I have found out that without marching order most powerfully defensive characters are always in the direction where enemies attack. This time in the front and next time in the back. Players get this small cheating tactical phase of announcing their characters' locations but it is not realistic. Or very exciting.

So, thanks to Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord I will from this post use marching order in every game I GM.
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