Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Complicated combat rules - when it matters

I was reading issue #9 of Fight On! magazine on my way to work yesterday (is it just me, or are there more typos than usual in that issue?), and found something interesting in the review section. Well, there were two interesting things, one being the review of Dragons at Dawn, but I was going to talk about the other review I took note of.

The game being reviewed  was called Backswords & Bucklers. In this game you get grievous injuries when hitting zero hit points. It made me think of how to make combat more detailed when needed, while at the same time keeping it swift and fun. I once again started to think of how it works in 7th Sea, and how that gels with B&B.

In 7th Sea you have three classes of NPCs. There are Brutes (mooks), Henchmen, and Villains. I guess you can tell which are quickest to dispose in a fight? You have a similar thing in D&D 4th ed. with minions.

So, how about the idea of using crits, hit locations and called shots i.e. going all Rolemaster, but only do it after the "monster" reaches zero hits? You could do this in any game, like S&W, T&T, B/X or Labyrinth Lord.

For me it sounded like an interesting way to add that crunch, but only when it matters - when the Villain have been blooded and you both go that extra mile to finish each other off.

Nothing revolutionary, but it sounds neat to me.


  1. That's the default system in WFRP 1e ... once you hit 0 Wounds, you start rolling on the crit table. Most people would still consider it a pretty deadly game. :)

  2. Buckets o' Gore version:

    Automatically Crit against Mooks, and +5 to confirm against Henchmen?


  3. I like both your suggestions! How I managed to forget about WHFRP is beyond me. I need to re-read that.

  4. Silly me. One suggestion and one reminder.


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