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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 87 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Streamlining combat  (Read 2027 times)
Jason Morningstar
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« on: November 14, 2005, 07:23:37 AM »

I finally got to play in one of those much-praised one hour Luke demos.  Thanks, dude!  It was fun and very informative.  I learned a lot from watching you - not just about the game, but also about how to run a good demo. 

In terms of running BW, I saw you being selective about which rules to employ, and I want to clarify this, because I think it is my major problem.  I've heard over and over not to home-rule BW, not to try to tweak the system, and I can appreciate how finely balanced it is.  So I've been trying to play it as written. 

Luke, you omitted position tests, stance changes, and other stuff that speeded up the demo.  I need to know if this was just an expedient so you could get it done in an hour while giving people a taste, or whether this is acceptable and won't break the system in the long term.  How much can you just drop, and what do you absolutely need to retain?  I'm wondering if there is a playable middle ground between a bloody versus test and the whole nine yards. 

Thanks again,

Jason
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Luke
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 11:09:11 AM »

Jason,
I utterly believe in the beauty of full bloom Burning Wheel. But I also understand that it takes folks a couple of tries to get accustomed to the rules. Therefore, in the demos, I walk people through the rules step by step. The most important element is the move vs move of scripting, so we focus on that until everyone is satisfied. In some demos, players pick up right away and want to start pushing the system. Then we introduce FoRKs, help, stances and positioning. We use them as needed, until they are understood. Eventually, they're second nature to everyone at the table and can be used as desired.

Walking folks step by step through the learning process isn't house-ruling. It's just demonstrating the options one at a time.

-L
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Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2005, 11:15:04 AM »

OK, gotcha. 

Talking with one of my players at lunch, he capably demonstrated the folly of, say, leaving out positioning tests.  So we're on the same page.  I just need to suck it up and become comfortable with the system.

--J
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Luke
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2005, 12:23:36 PM »

Sure, but don't feel like you have to dive in whole hog. Just take it element by element and you'll be fine.

-L
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Halzebier
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Posts: 216


« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2005, 02:55:08 AM »

Just take it element by element and you'll be fine.

What's the order you would recommend for newbies?

Also, with a larger group (four to six players), which combat system would you suggest starting out with (i.e. fully detailed or the quick one)?

Regards,

Hal
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Luke
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2005, 08:29:19 AM »

Hi Hal,

Use the Duel of Wits and Range and Cover as is. When you're playing fight, only use the action vs action mechanics. Add in stances and positioning (and spells and songs and help and FoRKs) as needed as you play along.

BW can handle 6 players just fine. Just don't slip into the mistaken assumption that more players means hordes of monsters. BW does not need 20 Orcs to challenge the players, for example. Three or four will do. Trust me.

-L
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2005, 11:39:03 PM »

Also, with a larger group (four to six players), which combat system would you suggest starting out with (i.e. fully detailed or the quick one)?

Hey Hal,

I think Abzu already answered your question for the most part, and I would follow his advice about getting up to speed, but I just wanted to clarify one thing.

Don't look at Fight! and Bloody Versus tests as an either/or proposition for your game. They exist for different purposes but I think you'll find the game richer if you use both as the need arises.

If I may make a couple of analogies:
Bloody Versus in Burning Wheel is to Simple Contests in HeroQuest as Fight! in Burning Wheel is to Extended Contests in HeroQuest.

alternatively

Bloody Versus in Burning Wheel is to Simple Conflicts in The Shadow of Yesterday as Fight! in Burning Wheel is to Bringing Down the Pain in The Shadow of Yesterday.

I only pull out the full Fight! rules when the conflict is hot and heavy and the group agrees that there is serious dramatic emphasis on the violence at hand. Mostly, I use the Bloody Versus tests to deal with any violence that comes up so we can get on to the conflict.
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Quim
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2005, 09:47:34 AM »

Yes,

Thanks Thor for your appreciations,

I've just read the Bloody vs and that's exactly what I though I should handle it. I haven't ran any BW fight already, but it seems very rules intensive and (even) tedious for a beginner like me to GMing it. I thing Bloody vs is a great "optional" rule for those "little" quarrels players use to start or non dramatic encounters, as far as the latter in BW that could be. I'll definitely go for it! :D

Quim
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- Sorry for my bad english :/

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