I’m putting together the design documentation for Infinite Arcades (which for the time being is mostly a vague collection of notes), and I wanted to talk a bit about one of the mechanical concepts I plan to include in the game.

An area of roleplaying games that I feel is often neglected is the humble inn. What the characters do is dangerous and exhausting work, and they should honestly have two to three times as much downtime as they spend in the dungeon, fighting monsters. So why not explore this area of the game in greater depth?

The first thing I want to do is create a specific division between resting somewhere in the wild and resting somewhere civilized. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to split those up, but the first thing that came to mind was the idea of having the character randomly robbed if they choose to rest in the woods or other wild place.

The next thought I had for creating a separation between the two, was to make the whole resting-at-an-inn thing more effective recovery-wise than sleeping in the woods. Er, in the wild. (I keep saying “the woods,” because that’s what I think of first.) Let’s say you can recover a hundred hit points a day at an inn and half that in the wild.

Perhaps recovery should be percentage-based, rather than having a fixed amount? Let’s say you recover twenty percent of your hit points per day? Hm, or to make it more brutal, let’s say the rate of recovery is slower if you’ve lost more than half your hit points? The more you have to recover, the slower the initial recovery rate?

Anyway, part of the deal is to create a genuine need (see also: dependency) to travel back and forth between the town and the wild. I think then, to be fair, there should be an option to develop more outdoorsy-type skills so the character can eventually gain the benefits of resting in the wild that they would were they to rest at an inn.

Obviously, one important part of this will be in striking a balance between the fun of engaging in wilderness encounters and things to do while spending time in town. It’s all in the name of good fun and immersion and stuff. I’ll talk a bit about travel next.