|picture from Wonder Momo via Hardcoregaming101 though the page seems to have become unfindable by me|
Well g+ got put-down and I have not a lot strong feelings about it.
Other than maybe comparing the user built connection networks to soil.
As you may or may not know uncultivated (cultivated meaning dug up, worked over or otherwise human messed with) good soil has the majority of its properties due to the work of micro and not so micro (i.e invertebrates s visible to the naked human eye) organisms.
Organic matter is and has been broken down into small pieces, tiny little tunnels have been dug, a certain amount of biofilm is also clumping the soil together.
Because of this good uncultivated soil has a good amount of available plant nutrients , holds water but has drainage, lets air into the top layers, resists water loss and erosion due to sun , wind and water action.
If you got some earth moving equipment, dug it all up and dumped it somewhere else the soil would then compact down due to the collapsing of the microtunnels built by countless little critters and no longer have the water and air permeability as good. If was repeated wet and compacted it would have worse and worse ability to let water and air through.
But as long as nutrients were available , its biome of flora and fauna would gradually return it to is former pristine state.
A social network platform closing is somewhat like this. The networks and awareness of others that makes a social network good are collapsed if the network closes. The users of it can certainly start again somewhere else and reestablish the connection they had previously but like the soil, it will take time.
Slowing down the process is if the users don't use same name and profile picture with their new account.
Not so much a problem with people that you spoke to often but more with the people who you didn't but the awareness of formed your network.
This network is a map of everyone you disliked (but didn't necessary blocked), the people you disregarded, the people whose opinion you valued but rarely had anything to talk about directly.
The sum total of that is what motivates or deters one to bother reaching out or contributing to.
So that is what everyone (everyone who was using it on the regular anyway) has lost with google plus gone.
Where and if people start their new networks depends on a multitude of factors , but some of the most important I feel are A regular source of interesting and Not having To Interact with Worthless People.
I don't have the time and interest right now to settle down on some other platform and try and point forth content to help grow the nexus (the network of networks) or even search other platforms adequately to find growing ones.
So the next bit of that importance is currently of theoretical value to me; the Not Having To Interact With Worthless People.
I won't try exact define worthless here , but in general I mean people acting in such bad faith or who value internet conflict so highly that they negatively add to any conversation going on.
Domestic Abuser Zak Smith wrote alot about his rules for determining worthwhile people and how to push out Worthless people.
Towards the end his application of these were so blatantly about control that's it hard to remember having ever held them in regard at all.
Never the less it will be interesting seeing where creative and productive places happen and if any of his theories hold up in regard to them.
His stated goal of having better social spaces online that were still critical (i.e not just endless affirmation hug fests) is still one of merit, and I hope the conversation around it can continue without his malign influence.
TO THE TOPIC AT HAND
So you aren't using miniatures or a hastily drawn battlemap, instead you are being a loose-goose and keeping it all "theatre of the mind" .
If someone is attacking someone they are beside them , if they aren't they aren't. If they are on something or behind it then that's where they are. Otherwise it doesn't matter.
OR DOES IT
Because there's a number of tactical options that new players will often try and then abandon when the dm seems to not really care that they are doing that.
These options get represented by more tactical systems and/or any with miniatures, but are often overlooked by theatre of the mind play.
Which is a shame because they are fairly intuitive and can be fairly crucial to survival.
Basically these are the positions that should matter , or at least be considered , with theatre of the mind.
Hiding behind something:
And that something being relatively static. This is easily supported by the existing mechanics but its important to not just think of it of something thieves can do.
Not just always assuming the monsters can detect and easily access the characters
Giving players information about this
Staying out of the way/Staying at range
Moving out the monsters reach and keeping there. This is far less supported directly by the mechanics
even when using miniatures, as for convenience moving and attacking often both happen in the same turn . So a slow monster can move up and attack if it has initiative, and then the character that can move much further goes and moves out of range and (missile )attacks. While explainable in some situations is rather odd if generally the case.
A possible mechanic support for mind-theatre is some kind dex contest (but also modified by the rate of movement) to determine if a character can stay out of the reach of the monster. Say die+dex mod vs die+ dex mod. With the die being Slowest d4 , Average d8, Fastest d20
SO: still good idea to be clear to players if a monster can reach them in its turn and if they want to do something about that
Using long weapons
Can get very mechanically complicated if you want to, but my main point is a new player will often expect it to matter if they have a long spear they are prodding something with and will be confused when the monster just effortless is beside them when it needs to be.
A possible simple mechanic : Resolve longest weapons first regardless of initiative
Attempting to keep a monster always at spear length is more detailed of a combat matter than I'm getting into in this post
Either let players know that the chaos of the melee , unsteadiness of the footing , terrible light etc, makes the length of the spear matter little or have a mechanic to make it matter.
Intercepting/Keeping someone between you and enemy
The old Fighters In front of Mages / Marching order deal. But also includes where someone is trying to cut off an exit or get between the tied up sacrifice and the Great Bile Toad Of Go'r'r
For the amount you can mechanically support this one need only to consider Attacks Of Opportunity in 3rd edition.
A simple approach is when players state they are trying to do this have their attack resolved first and if succeeds the monster can't resolve their attack on anyone other than the interceptor.
Additionally where someone is trying to be a meat shield and circumstances are favorable, allow them to dive in-front of an attack resulting in that attacker having advantage to hit and damage them (even after a failed intercept).
Waiting for something to move before doing a thing
aka overwatch. Simple enough, the player resolves their attack when that happens. However in some cases, like waiting for the lizard man to close before striking, individual initiative might be still appropriate to see who goes first.
Is Character above or below this?
Are they near or far from this?
Are they ontop of this?
Are they/ can they pay attention to this?
I've tried to keep this to just the most basic situations that still require some consideration and avoid stuff that is more like a stunt or specific combat tactic.
For example , climbing on giant things. That is a topic I will come back to at some stage though.
If you can think of anything else that seems like it isn't considered enough with MIND-THEATRE comment below!