Fantasy Fighting

This entry is part 20 of 42 in San Check

RPG Blog CarnivalRavyn is hosting the RPG Blog Carnival this month, and the topic is Combat Avoidance. I thought I would write about my earlier Dungeon Master experience and how combat was handled.

This entry is part A in Combat Avoidance

In Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks you fight a lot of bizarre creatures. The first word to describe the series of books has the very nature of violence in it. Many times the text gives you no option to run. Despite the book’s claim that it takes minimal risk to complete it, you will fight in these gamebooks.

When I took it a step further at school, we played without dice. We did not have dice handy on the playground, so combat was never a hit or miss situation in our games.

The Crux of Combat

Not using a hit or miss system in our game forced collaboration. It wasn’t me deciding exactly what happened, but a group effort.

Player: I want to jump from the tree and tackle him.
DM: Since the orc is twice your size, I think you’d be able to grapple on to him. I don’t think you’d actually knock him over. What do you think?
Player: True. Let’s say I’m able to at least get my arms around his neck from behind.
DM: Sounds good. It’s going to be more difficult for him to attack you that way too.
Player: Maybe I could choke him and knock him out doing that.
DM: Now that he’s unconscious, what’s your next move?

Using this method didn’t always pan out in the players favor.

DM: Peeking out from your hiding place in the rocks you see the group of lizardmen rummaging around your campsite.
Player: I still have my sword on me. I want to charge at them and take them out. They don’t see me, so they should be surprised.
DM: There are five of them and only one of you.
Player: Hmm. I was able to take out the three goblins. I still go for it.
DM: They turn as you charge forward and the looks on their faces do show surprise. You manage to cut one of their legs before they all draw their swords and cut you down.
Player: I figured as much. Can I play one of the slaves I freed next? I could probably rally the other slaves to get revenge.

There was never a “bang bang you’re dead” argument, which is odd since that’s often cited as the reason for having rules in the first place.

In fact, the only arguments that I recall are when we started using rules.

First World Problems

The most infamous argument was between me and my best friend.

  • He said a M.D.C. missile would destroy a S.D.C. house.
  • I said the M.D.C. missile would only destroy the area of the house within its 20 foot blast radius.

We have never settled this argument.

Delve - San Check - TOC
[«««] PreviousNext [»»»]

  1. You know, for kids!
  2. Digger, Please!
  3. Semantic Railroads
  4. Mapping Progress
  5. Honeymoon Adventure
  6. No One Games in a Vacuum
  7. House Rules, You’re Doing It Wrong!
  8. WotC’s Poisoned Apple
  9. Oh Shit Run – An Outside Perspective
  10. Greyhawk Campaigns
  11. Nostalgia Vomit
  12. Dicing with Dinosaurs
  13. The Eye of the Dragon
  14. What Did You Do Over the Summer?
  15. It’s Like Cops and Robbers, but with Dice!
  16. Emergent Death or Why Losing Is Fun!
  17. How to Train Your Delvers (More WotC Snark)
  18. WotC’s Babel Fish
  19. More Nostalgia Vomit
  20. Fantasy Fighting
  21. Fighting Fantasy
  22. The Delvers 1985
  23. From Weird WotC to the creator of Giant Space Hamsters
  24. The Daedalus Complex
  25. There Is No Cow Level
  26. Double-decker Bologna Sandwich!
  27. It is Not a Secret Door if You Tell Me
  28. All Apologies
  29. Be the First to Solve the Mystery and Claim the Dungeon Treasure!
  30. Dungeon Treasure & Hidden Treasure
  31. You Unlock this Door with the Key of Imagination
  32. The Answer to the Mystery at The Delvers
  33. The First Keeper
  34. Sandbox Apophenia
  35. Nearly Enough Dice – Interview
  36. The State of The Delvers
  37. Vicariously Join Two Girls and Their Mom Around the Gaming Table
  38. Cassette Cover Art
  39. Bastion of the Boglings
  40. WotC Piss and the Last Boy Scout
  41. Campaign Timeline
  42. B4: The Lost City


The Delvers Podcast B-side