Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just A Flesh Wound

The first game-changer that came to mind, and spawned this brief series of discussions, is one very much ingrained in fantasy settings. To a certain degree it has been built upon ruthlessly in video games so much that it is entirely a staple without which most of those games would not exist. The premise comes from the earliest of fantasy fiction, at least modern fantasy fiction--older fantasy tended more toward mythology to outright belief. It seems to have a certain home in D&D as well. Without this specific element in these fantasy settings the games would be very much changed. This game-changing factor is the ability to miraculously heal at accelerated rates. It can include regenerating limbs, psychic abilities to heal and perform surgery, and the staple fantasy resurrections.

Amazing accelerated healing may come about by different means. Psychic abilities to heal the body have been mentioned. There are healing spells and magical potions that restore health. There are salves, balms, tinctures, and other forms of arcane herbal and alchemical methods of healing not only bodily damage, but also removing disease and congenital defects. Changing genres there are advanced forms of science driven healing from chemicals and drugs, to nano-bot surgeons injected into the blood stream, to the melding of man and machine with cybernetics. What is important about these forms of healing is not the exotic nature, not the unnaturalness--that would be normal for the given settings--but the efficiency and speed at which they work.

Whatever the method, these forms of healing change the dynamics of the setting. Militaries with these capabilities are more aggressive and likely to go to war. Consider the turn around of injured soldiers. True bravery is less, but daring moves--manoeuvres and strategy--more common. Extreme actions are frequently taken because the risks are less. Safety and carefulness is less important. Permanent damage taken out of the equation alters the dynamics of fear as well. What happens when terrorists' victims can be raised from the dead? Or the terrorists themselves resurrected? Thought should be put into how people will try to counter superior healing and returning the dead to life. This kind of healing will also alter people's life spans, which changes the game in other ways.

Mood: calm.
Music: Deep Unknown by Stratovarius and Obsolete by Fear Factory.

Stratovarius: Polaris
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Fear Factory: Obsolete
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