Soul of Darkness

I enjoy Dark Souls but am utterly and completely terrible at the game. There’s a good argument for how every game should have a difficulty slider, because I’m missing out on the experience of the game (and its story) as my reaction time and pattern recognition skills are deficient. But that’s probably a conversation for elsewhere.

In talking Dark Souls with a more adept friend, the conversation turned to RPGs and bringing elements into D&D or the like. It’s an interesting idea that seems fun, but I’m not sure how it works in practice. Combat in an RPG takes longer, so the concept of repeatedly dying and learning through failure doesn’t work as well. And the random elements of dice counter the player skill aspect.

All that aside, I don’t like the economy. The Dark Souls games mix experience with gold into a single system, making gear upgrades come at the expense of character advancement. Which is trickier in an RPG system where you can lose gear, making levels inherently better. And after years of D&D editions with assumed magic items, I’ve learned this type of system discourages mundane purchases. Items like clothes, houses, and businesses are seldom purchased because they provide not bonus to combat, at least until the characters are so fabulously wealthy that purchasing a manor home in the country can be done with spare coinage.