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How is balanced combat done?

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RazakTheMage

RazakTheMage

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I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be posting questions about roleplay here but no other part of the forums seems fit for this.

I took some time to read some of the intro guides, both stickied and linked in other posts, but didn't notice anything about the systematic aspect of combat.

What confuses me is how do text roleplayers solve combat encounters? (I think in-game duels are a bad way since it limits imagination based on a player's skill and stats)

There are rules against godmodding and playing overpowered characters but what does make a person take a sword cut? Pure courtesy? Like if someone says they're cutting me I can just say I dodge or parry. My word against theirs, no dice to determine the true outcome (I did most of my roleplaying in tabletop games, I think it's a very handy mechanic even in the loser rulesets).

How do you decide your character can't fight anymore or even dies? Seems like a lot of things players could disagree about.
Friend of the Dorgeshuun

08-Jul-2018 20:38:20

Lady Ria
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2011

Lady Ria

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RazakTheMage said:
How do you decide your character can't fight anymore or even dies? Seems like a lot of things players could disagree about.


And a lot have. Most of 42's big internal conflicts can probably be traced back to these situations in some way or another.

For the most part its a parry or dodge, as you say. Sometimes a shift to deflect. Combat rp can be amazingly fun with the right person, otherwise its a chore.

I say this having hosted and needed to judge around a half dozen tourneys, when people start arguing with physics textbooks out for 30 minutes over a sword swing, nobody is having fun anymore.

I say this from experience, the cleanest RP fights are those with friends who you can trust to go with the flow. Otherwise you better have your physics and biology books ready to analyze the exact power of a 37 degree slash with a 39.2 inch sword held in both hands.

It's part of what turns a lot of people away from enjoying combat rp. Can't say I blame them either.
neat

09-Jul-2018 02:42:25

RazakTheMage

RazakTheMage

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So it's a matter of whether someone agrees to be hit or not? Or a matter of whoever types out that they're dealing a fatal blow first? I can't see why anyone would get into a fight if its outcome wasn't pre-determined then since you have to basically surrender for a fight to end. I can't imagine a lot of people wanting their characters to die.

EDIT: Might be one of the reasons we used to have dice bags as an item.
Friend of the Dorgeshuun

09-Jul-2018 03:12:44 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 03:14:43 by RazakTheMage

Salt Aren

Salt Aren

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It varies based on who you fight, and why. Roleplaying a fight with a friend for the purpose of furthering a storyline will go over more smoothly than roleplaying a fight against someone who dislikes you for the purpose of killing their character. For that reason it is rare to see combat roleplay in 2018 outside of a circle of friends, and large scale wars haven’t been seen in a couple of years. I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady
All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
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09-Jul-2018 03:42:10

CrocoNuts
Jul Member 2010

CrocoNuts

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What Salt Aren says seems to be the most true. It just really depends on which person or which people you are roleplaying with. Petty out of character conflicts are often the reason you'll see people have become a bit less enthoused about fighting strangers instead of the people they've become accustomed to within their group. Mostly because each person/group has different ideas on what is 'balanced' in the end.


I did want to have another post on the intro thread that had something to say about controversies and compromises or w/e but I never got around doing that.

It made like mentions of RP-combat, character death/injury, power levels and some of the things said above, but I decided against including it because it wasn't quite how I wanted it to be. I might do something with the empty post and still include something to clarify some of the topics you mentioned. Might be handy.
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09-Jul-2018 11:02:13

Hazbollah
Aug Member 2019

Hazbollah

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RazakTheMage said:
There are rules against godmodding and playing overpowered characters but what does make a person take a sword cut? Pure courtesy?


Lady Ria said:
For the most part its a parry or dodge, as you say. Sometimes a shift to deflect. Combat rp can be amazingly fun with the right person, otherwise its a chore.


Essentially, yeah. RP combat can be an utter mess if they don't agree with you - you can beat them to the nth degree but they'll still have some kind of "sidestep" or an alternative move to prolong the fight. It gets tiresome.

I appreciate Salt's point though - in plots between a group of friends, the fights tend to go a lot smoother and they'll be more entertaining; they're more likely to cooperate. Fights in a broader sense - particularly in wars - are notoriously awful. Not only can they disagree, but the extensive fighting also makes it harder for everyone to read what everyone else is doing. Communication really fails and I don't remember the last time I saw a war which had a fight that didn't end in arguments or being voided entirely.

tl;dr: combat rp is not balanced and unless you have fortunate circumstances, you probably won't enjoy it
All these sins disguised as blessings

09-Jul-2018 18:30:38 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 18:33:40 by Hazbollah

ResonantEcho
Nov Member 2013

ResonantEcho

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I think the main take-away from this is that fighting against complete strangers (especially if they're not fond of you ooc'ly) is just going to be a chore, a bore, or an irritating pain. There are several ways that fights can be fun, however.

Using a dice system. While this is something that world 42 as a whole does not do, and likely will never do, several smaller groups have tried it, and I can attest for the fact that it's had moderate success. Unfortunately, the majority of '42 is either uninterested or unwilling to invest in something like this. (It also comes with the problem that stats are a "my word against his" situation, and if someone says that they've got 18 in all stats and constantly roll natural 20's...you get the point.)

Having a neutral party of GM decide the results. Personally my favorite method of doing things. Having a neutral person deciding fairly which blows land and which don't can be handy. After all, the conflicts between people are often regarding conflicting logic, and using a single individual's logic is very handy. Of course, you have to be sure that they're trustworthy.

Establish a turn order. War's civilized these days, so why can't combat be too? One of the biggest irritations with RP combat can be people trying to "out-type" the person they're attempting to kill. So, the easy answer to this is establish a turn order, and make sure everyone in combat follows that turn order. If the other person is new to the idea of turn orders, let them go first. But this saves a huge amount of hassle.

Personally, I've had a bit of fun with combat in roleplays, but oftentimes only in groups of people that I know and trust - and that's the key to it. If you're fighting against someone you have out-of-character disagreements with, both of you are going to be unwilling to die, and things get dragged on way too far.

tl;dr: Balance is a courtesy, just do it with friends or nice-ish people.
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12-Jul-2018 22:49:45

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