Fighting. It seems almost inevitable when you find your way through Middle Earth. And it is something that is both overrated and underrated during roleplay. I've composed a guide below to help with how to roleplay a fight. By all means, these are not rules set in stone on how you should roleplay a brawl. But I do hope that some of the pointers and tricks are of help to those that like to get their fists active.
Enjoy the read and do feel free to add your own tips 'n tricks or point me towards any flaws. You can post those below or poke me in-game.
#11993052 Jan 25, 2016 at 05:19 PM · Edited 3 years ago
Aerd: "You called my misses what?!!" Aerd grabs his staff and points it at Jarlo. Jarlo: "I said she's not fat. She's just easier to see." Jarlo steps back to prepare.
Aerd takes a wild swing at Jarlo, trying to knock him off balance. Jarlo jumps back, but backs up against the bar.
Aerd rushes towards Jarlo with his staff, to pin him down. Jarlo raises up to take a strike at Aerd, but gets pinned to the bar, unable to move.
Aerd: "Now, leave... before I knock you on the head." Jarlo reluctantly nods and tries to back up. Aerd lifts his staff up slowly, allowing Jarlo to leave.
This is but a small example of how easily you can end up in a fight. Just by insulting someone or threading them, you might have tipped the scale and before you know it you have to fend them off for dear life.
Fights are a great way of expressing one's brawn, showing your stamina and using it as a tool to match ego's. It involves lots of emoting, stating all the actions, misses, near-misses as well as reactions and the results of those inflicted wounds. The /say is used less often during these type of situations, unless you want to talk someone into having an injury.
In general there are four types of combat that can take place.
Freeform fight: This type of fighting happens spontaneously. Nothing has been agreed upon between the players prior to the fight starting. The example above would be a type of freeform fighting.
Scripted fight: This is the most elaborate way of roleplaying a fight, and it it similar to the RP story of Attack on the Red Company Hall. Even before the event takes place, the players come together and discuss in detail what the fight should be about, who gets injured and where, who will be the winner and who the loser and what kind of repercussions will take place once the fight is over. Sometimes it even goes so far as to have the entire fight scripted blow by blow, in other words having every action and reaction written down. Though I wouldn't suggest to do just that - as it would become more of drilling up the lines instead of actual roleplay - it still is a good method to use for having fights involving multiple parties.
Coördinated fight: This last type of fight is the most common. Prior to a fight taking place, both players seek each other OOCly through whisper or fellowship chat and they discuss the outcome and perhaps to some extend the injuries. After that they continue their roleplay and the fight starts.
Autohit: Autohit is a sort of powerplay, but it is accepted by both parties. For instance, I have agreed that Aedree can get seriously injured during the attack on the Red Company’s kinhouse, but I have not gone into details as to what kind of injuries she might get. By doing so, I am allowing the other party to do as they see fit within the limits I’ve set (eg Aedree can’t get killed or raped). So they are allowed to break her legs without using the ‘attempt’. Nor do they need to ‘try’ to stab her left eye out when Aedree gets into that fight. This is not often done, however, so please do ask prior to the fight what is allowed and what isn’t.
Before you start a fight, think of what type of fighter your character is. Does he go insane and fight berserker style? Does your character leap in and out of the other character’s range a lot? Does your character stay close and pushy, trying to overpower the other one? Or does he stay back and use their longer limbs or kicks to deliver devastating blows? There are a vast number of different combinations of attacks and styles that you can make your character use and some are particularly effective against others. So do a quick research into the many different real life fighting styles there are and modify it to your liking.
As with all other aspects of roleplay, fighting too has some etiquette. Here are a few basics to keep in mind.
Don’t thread or insult if you are not willing to fight. As with all roleplay: action causes reaction. So either keep that big mouth in check or face the consequences.
Don’t start a fight without discussing it first with the other player. It is good habit to approach a player before you start pounding their character to pulp.
Once agreed to a fight, determine who will be the winner upfront, who will be the loser or if you both aim for a draw. This will avoid lots of drama IC and OOC, so I highly recommend doing so.
Don’t change the agreement once you’ve set the outcome. Nothing is more annoying as a player who agreed to lose the fight, all of the sudden aims for the win. Stick by your word and allow your character to lose if you agreed to it.
Be fair and prepare to loose. No matter how strong your character is, let others enjoy the taste of winning too. No one is unbeatable.
Godmodding is often seen during roleplay fights. It is the most common mistake made and it involves ego’s not willing to stand down. It usually ends up in a lot of drama where it is the ” vs the that keeps playing over and over. So please, don’t do that.
When fighting, be fair, prepare to lose and above all have a good balance of your character. If your character is huge and strong, make him lack of agility. If he’s very fast and agile, have a lack in powers. Whatever it is, keep it realistic and have some con’s against the pro’s.
Always keep in mind that your character is trying to make that jab, stab, kick or whatever move he attempts. That way you will give the other player the opportunity to dodge it or let the move connect. It is all about giving and taking. So instead of “Aerd lunges towards Jarlo, and his fist sends him reeling” type “Aerd lunges towards Jarlo, attempting to hit him with his fist that would send him reeling.”
There are some who combine PVP with Roleplay. To their standards a level 85 can never be bested by a level 20 character. Also the gear a player is wearing is of importance to them, for the higher or better the gear, the lesser the chances are of getting beaten. Whereas others ignore the gear and level altogether and simply roleplay, regardless if their character is level 85 and its opponent level 20. So prior to fighting, make sure which standard the other player uses, so that you don’t end up in what you believe is an unfair fight.
When you are about to start your fight, make sure that you mix up major actions with minor. Just as in a real life beating, you will try to kick, stomp, jab and what not, all the while scuffling and groping to try and get a hold of the other. And just with a real life fight, you’ll soon need time to catch your breath, take a few steps backwards, wipe the sweat or blood out of your eyes and so forth. So don’t just keep on pouncing and kicking, but take a few moments to reflect.
This might sound a bit like a Bourne-movie. But make use of your environment. See that mug on the table? Grab it. Are you fighting next to a campfire, kick up some smoldering embers. It adds to the fight and can create new fighting scenes you never did before.
Stacking is what is done when you type more than three major actions into one post. There is no sense in doing that, other than to create confusion for both parties, or in an attempt to godmode. So keep your actions to only one or two lines per turn and then await the other player’s actions. You could of course ignore this and throw eight moves all in once at the player, but it will guarantee a very quick fight and an almost certain death.
Well, rather not. As with real fights, you can only dodge so much, no matter how agile and fast you are. So do let some blows connect. Also, even though you wear armor, armor is not like a bulletproof vest. It might block some moves, but if someone uses his axe with all his might, he will at the very least cut through your armor and leave you with a nasty scratch. Of course, you could have your armor deflect some blows and hits, but still. After some time even your armor will end up in havoc.
There is more to the brawl than just the fight. Other important factors are: previous injuries, fatigue, illness, when the last meal was eaten, the current temperature and so on. All of these weigh in to your current fight and you should be aware of those. When you’re fighting in hot conditions you will sweat more, get dehydrated sooner and it will be an effort to get a good solid grip with all those sweaty palms and bodies. Also, wearing heavy gear while in those surroundings will most definitely restrict your movements. Have you been in a fight last week? Than that eye will still be black, and the stitches on your back are still throbbing. One well-placed blow on your bruised kidneys and you will have no other choice but to sink to your knees and forfeit the fights. Also, a character who is enraged beyond rational thought will likely fight less smoothly than one who is pissed off but still able to calculate. A character who is extremely violent is more likely to use dirty technics than a character who is more honorable. Emotional state is important to consider as well. If one character has more invested in battle than the other (for instance the honor of defending his spouse) he might be fighting far harder than the character who is merely fighting for glory. All in all, consider the environment and the possibilities you are up against/work in your favor and decide from there what the outcome should be.
Fights can be true horror. In particular when it comes down to straight out torturing someone. If you want to roleplay a situation like that, make sure that the other player is at least of age (don’t torture a kid!) and that both parties involved feel comfortable with the fight/torture scene. If any, do refrain from sexual based torture and do not make the scene as if it were straight from Saw or similar movies. This is after all a game.
This is something you should avoid at all times, unless it is specifically agreed upon beforehand between both you and the other player. Beating someone to death comes with a huge price. Not only consider most roleplayers the death of their character as permanent – in other words: they’ll never be able to roleplay with that character anymore – but it will also give you the name of ruining fun roleplay. So unless it is specifically agreed upon prior to the fight, always give room for the other to retreat and lick his wounds.
Found yourself in the middle of a fight you didn’t want to be in? But do you still want to roleplay your way out of it? Here are three methods that may help you:
Parley: try to talk it out, use whatever persuasion you have and keep that tongue rattling until your attacker has no more kicks left to counter your words.
Run! You have the ability to run your ass off, so: “Jarlo runs from the challenge, screaming like a schoolgirl.”.
Feint. This is a great tool for when you’re outdoors. Exchange a few blows, then let yourself trip over something and knock yourself out. Or, if you’re next to a stream, lose your balance, stumble in it and let the current sweep you away.
Roleplay isn't worth having a fight over, and it certainly doesn't deserve the drama. So, keep it fun for all parties and make sure to have a great time!
I've gotten into a few fights during RP sessions, at least one with a player, but more with NPCs, and I admit that we did spar as opposed to RP fight, though I feel this will help a great deal for the future
This rp guide was very timely indeed Aedree,my out can be sure we'll discuss these things when we meet to prepare for the attack event. I personally had some experience with and without the red company in the past, and pretty much everything you said is spot on. Great work as always on these guides Aedree, I wish I had seen these guides when I was first learning the craft.