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To liven it up we always tend to draw out the place the fight is occuring, just a rough sketch of say, a tavern. Nothing like a good bar fight for entertainment. So you draw the rough sketch out, mark on where the players are, mark on where the opposing force are, mark on tables, patrons, all that caper. The the fight begins.

Now by doing this, and knowing where people are in relation to everything, it can lead to some great, and often hysterical encounters. A player may stumble backwards over a stool, and as he does, flicking a flagon of beer off a table at the opponent bearing (rraaargh) down on him. The thing I find to make fights entertaining is, rather than it just being two men, mano et mano rolling off against each other (eeewww), let the players do anything they want, but make them roll for it.

Want to kick the barstool at someone, roll for ws and dex (ws to kick accurately, dex so they don't just fall arse over tit with their foot stuck in the stool). It's all about the element of surprise and the entertainment value, throwing furniture (people if you're big enough), flagons, kicking over tables to channel the enemy at you in smaller numbers, that kind of thing.

Outdoors, you have rocks, trees, branches, roots (ideal for tripping people at a vital moment), etc.

The stable would be an ideal place, you'd have sadles, spare horse shoes (I presume you keep them in a stable, spare tyres seem to go in the garage like..), those big round things that go round their necks to pull carraiges and ploughs. if it's night maybe the odd torch, straw to turf at people. Sometimes its the ridiculous and amusing that keep it entertaining. 4 guys vs. four guys would be dull as there's just rolls and no dramatic derring do :-D

We always played the rule, if you have the parts and you can draw how it would work, and it would actually work, you could use it. Thats why whenever you sleep in an inn, the door is rigged with a blunderbuss, or a hammer (nightmare on elm street style) ;-)

Keep the humour and jollies in fighting, if it's deadly serious you can still swill someone with the oil from a burning lamp and set them ablaze. Would it make the rest of the enemy think one of your players used magic to set him on fire, would they panic? It's all about how you play the game, not the ruleset :)

edit: I'll link this to the whfrpg thread :)
 

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It's the fight itself that bores us. We feel like we're just looking at plastic men and rolling dies until an arbitrary limit then removing one from the table. It feels like 40k, only just the assault phase, with only 2 models, no special rules, and an insane W count.
That's why I said to make it enjoyable, if something's entertaining, people look forward to it. Rather than just looking at the figures, use your imagination a little, the people playing too, to use things in the environment, tables, chairs, if it's there it's fair game!

If you do it deadly serious and just have straight fighting of course it's going to be dull as fook and no one will want to fight.

*sigh* maybe you just don't like fighting in RPG's... wonder if there's any that don't involve fighting? I'm intrigued now, I'm off to google...
 

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Dude, this is out of my control. It's up to the players to pick up stuff to throw at the mooks and use the environment. As a GM, I can't just tell 'em : you know, fights would be more fun if you threw furniture at the bad guys. Because then, it won't be his idea, therefore not fun.
Maybe it's the people you play with, do they have a decent imagination? That's half the battle I guess. Maybe have some of your guys flick a table, or throw a stool, it'll suggest it to the other players, and if they don't pick up on it and never get over their fight-issue, we-ell, I'd probably find some other rpgers. Sound's like they're not really interested :-s

Plus it does not take much effort or skill to throw a punch; now talking your way out of a bad situation, that takes some skill and effort.
Bit tricky if you get rumbled robbing from a lord's manor, ambushed by gobbos or orcs, or even hounded by the local guard. Sounds dull as a game without fighting though, kinda defeats the whole point of it not being real. I could not fight just going to the pub or going about my life, I don't want to 'pretend not-fight' too :) lol
 

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When I said "give them an arbitrary penalty" I meant that I would resolve the combat in a single attack roll for all players, and they receive a penalty to their attack bonus until they can rest, making multiple combat encounter over the course of an adventure very risky.



I do add flavor to my combats. The problem ain't the flavor, it's the lenght. My players don't want to fight. They feel it takes away time that could be used to advance the plot. They don't find it a source of suspense.

It's probably because I have difficulty to adjust the difficulty of the fight. When it's too easy, it's a pointless waste of time. When it's too hard, we might as well not play if we are going to fail anyway, and when it's in-between, well the time it takes to recover is debilitating to the story. ( I usually play in worlds where magic does not exist, so there is no healing spells or potion, only good old fashionned rest. I could play in a world that include supernatural, but it's not the same feel, and my players love the historical medieval theme there is in my games.)

So I usually don't do any random encounters. The only fight I do are when it's important to the plot, or when NPCs are actively wanting them dead. However, it's hard to have the NPC appear as a threat, it's difficult to make it appear competent if he send incompetent lackeys.
See, I don't see WHY they don't like the fights. Detracts from the plot? I thought RPG's were meant to be dashing heroics and acts of bravery.

Try this way, I know some people have said about WHFRPG is hard to hit when you start and all that, but I think some folk use the rulebook to literally. It's meant to be a guide, a framework to help play the game. It's different when it's two opposing armies for 40k or FoW or something, but in RPG it's totally different.

Try for example, your big evil dude has sent his top henchmen after you boys, they're in say, a bar when they corner them, maybe someone's living room. They are going to kick the living hoop out of your boys. How do you get around it and even up the odds? Setting spirits ablaze in a bar, causes a fire and allows your boys time to escape/channel the enemy to fight them one at a time/possibly set a few of tehm ablaze.

If the enemy are far too weak, have something else happen, someone hears the struggle and comes to their aid, even if they are the bad guy.

To DM a fight you've got to use your imagination to inspire the other players to use theirs. If it's all going wrong, bend the rules, if it's too hard, bend the rules, too easy, you guessed it, bend the rules. We often do fights where someone will say, 'I'm going to jump onto the table, and try to kick the pitcher at one of the guards before leaping at him and trying to cleave his head', he rolls for dexterity, then weapon skill. The DM makes a roll for the guard's parry and or reaction, then play it by ear. The player could either, succeed - he volleys the pitcher at the guard, soaking/distracting him with it, then leaps at him and cleaves him good style. Sometimes we roll for wounding depending on the situ, other times iff its successful it'd be a case of 'you have a grown man hacking your shoulder with an axe, would you get up and carry on fighting?' so he'd be out the fight. He could fail the attack and just kick the pitcher at the guard then be stood on the table like a tit. Or totally fail, slip on the table and end up on his back at the guard's feet. It's all to do with the imagination and making it fun. If you can't make it fun, and your players won't make it fun, it won't be fun.

It's gotta be hard questing in a real life medevil (*sp?) world with no healing and stuff, as this would be a MASSIVE plot slower. 'You've got to rest your arm wound for 8 weeks before you can carry on', it's no wonder no one wants to fight. Seems they're caught betwix a rock and a hard place. Questing without fighting is like a quest to go to the shops and buy a loaf of bread, fighting without healing is like trying to drive with the brakes on.

Just a question and I swear I'm not taking the mickey with it, what do you do for the rest of the quest when there's no fighting? I mean, ordinarily when we're running them, it'll be the story a-b. Within the story are catches and clues that can speed up/slow down teh adventure, also in with that are the possibility of random fights (in a bar, out in the wilds, down a dark alley), definate fights (plot changers, the bosses worst men tip up, then his mid, then his best or whatever), then usually a massive escape with some fighting on the way out.

I'm just having trouble seeing what an rpg would be like without fighting... :)

Keep it fast, light-hearted and be happy to bend the rules and it'll all go swimmingly. :-D
 
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