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Examples Of Extended Contest, Anyboby?

Started by Stefan Drawert, July 20, 2001, 04:53:00 AM

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Stefan Drawert

Hello to everybody,

recently discovered this forum about Hero Wars, which I'm gonna start gaming next week!
Still I feel somehow uneasy about extended contest when it comes to relate description and actual game mechanics.
Since there was a very intersting discussion about the use of "cut scenes", spiced with great examples, I wondered if somebody would be so nice to give me an example of such a contest, covering both narration and game mechanics.

The scene I've most trouble "fitting" into the game would be an combat, with a melee between 1 pc and a oppenent, and another pc shooting the opponent with arrows. the bowman should join melee after a few rounds of contest [for whatever reason]!
actual AP values won'T matter, but let's assume they're all equal [20 or so!].

Could someone help me with this?

thanks in advance,



I'd be glad to help.

For this example, I'm going to borrow a combat from my current game, with a couple modifications.

The Actors

Maya (PC), a Heortling Odaylan huntress.  Close Combat 17.  Has leather armor and a shield (^2) and a spear (^3).

Wolfwood (PC), a Heortling merchant following Desemborth.  Close Combat 17, Ranged Combat 13, Movement affinity 5W.  Has a leather armor (^1) [The shield won't come into play], a bow with arrows (^3), and a sword (^3).

Chonchon (NPC), a malevolent spirit with physical form.  Close Combat 20, Dodge 13.  Has nasty teeth (^2), and a tough hide (^1).

The Scene

Maya is on a boat in the middle of the Puzzle Canal.  Wolfwood is above on the side of the canal.  They are guarding over a third person who is currently in the Spirit World.  The chonchon explodes into being where their charge lies and appears to have decided that Maya would be a good snack.

The Action

The chonchon wants only to devour Maya and anyone else present.  It initiates the contest with its Close Combat, giving it 20 APs.  Maya chooses to fend it off with her spear and shield, using Close Combat and giving her 17 APs.  Wolfwood is going to show at it with his bow, using Ranged Combat and giving him 13 APs.

Round 1

Order (by APs) of action is the chonchon (20), Maya (17) and then Wolfwood (13).

The chonchon will try to bite Maya, bidding 5 APs.  Maya chooses to defend by throwing up her shield.  The chonchon rolls a 9 on its Close Combat, and Maya rolls a 15 on her Close Combat.  This is a success vs. a success, with the chonchon winning with the lower roll.  Maya forfeits 1x, so loses 5 (5+2-2) APs, dropping her to 12.  The choncon lunges forward for the bite.  Maya gets her shield up, but is thrown down to the bottom of the boat.

Maya, worried she's outclassed, declares that she's going to keep her shield up and try a few, tentative thrusts, bidding 3.  The chonchon responds by snapping at her, hoping to keep her off balance.  Maya rolls a 14, and, miracalously, the chonchon rolls a 20!  Because it's target number is a 20, this is only a failure.  This results in a forfeit of 2x, or 10 ([3+3-1]x2).  Maya chooses to convert 7 of the APs to a wound (-1), so the chonchon is now at 17 APs an is at a -1.  Maya finds an opening and lashes out with her spear, resulting in a trickle of ichor from the beast.

Wolfwood fires an arrow at the chonchon, aiming for it's "body", bidding 5.  The Narrator decides that he's at a -3 penalty because of Maya's proximity.  The chonchon attempts to dodge, but is at a -3 to its Dodge due to multiple attackers (in addition to its Wound).  Wolfwood groans in frustration as he rolls a 12.  The chonchon also fails with an 18.  Both Wolfwood and the chonchon forfeit 1x, bringing them to 8 (13-5) and 10 (17-[5+3-1]) APs, repsectively.  Wolfwood looses the arrow and pales as the shot goes wide and barely misses Maya.

Round 2

Order (by APs) of action is Maya (12), the chonchon (10), and Wolfwood (8).

Maya, sill unsure, makes a tentative thrust with her spear, bidding 3.  The chonchon bites at the spear.  Maya fails with a 19 and the chonchon succeeds with a 4, resulting in Maya forfeiting 2x (6), bringing her down to 6 APs.  Maya thrusts wide, leaving her self open, while the chonchon grabs the spear and pulls her off balance.

The chonchon chooses to take advantage of Maya being off-balance and tries to grab her in its mouth, bidding 10.  The chonchon suceeds with a 9, and Maya fumbles with a 20.  Maya decides a Hero Point is called for and bumps this to a failure.  As a result, Maya forfeits 2x (20), bringing her down to -14 APs!  The chonchon lets go of Maya's spear, sending her sprawling and snaps her up in its jaws.

Wolfwood, seeing Maya in serious trouble, decides desperate action is called for.  He decides to draw his sword and leap towards the chonchon, using his Movement affinity, and slash at it as he passes.  Deciding that this is an all or nothing affair and bids the maximum of 13 although he will be at a -3 penalty because he's improvising.  The chonchon, with its mouth full of Maya, can only dodge.  As this is the second defense for it, it will be at a -3.  Wolfwood rolls a 4, with his mastery bumping it from a failure to a sucess.  Wolfwood further chooses spend a Hero Point to make it a critical.  Meanwhile, a rather suprised chonchon rolls a 20, completely botching its defense.  All told, this results in a transfer 3x (45), resulting in Wolfwood with 53 APs and the chonchon reduced to -35 APs.  With a terrific yell, Wolfwood leaps from the cliff and, guided by Orlanth's winds, comes down next to the chonchon, just as it's turning towards him.  As he lands, Wolfwood delivers a beautifully executed slash to the creature, causing it to drop Maya and spin off into the waters of the canal.

While Wolfwood, on one of the biggest adrenaline highs of his life, looks in the water for sign of the chonchon, Maya collects herself.  With no further sign of the chonchon, which has probably fled back to the Spirit World, Wolfwood turns to check on Maya and their charge.  Maya is slightly worse for the wear, with several cuts from the chonchon's teeth (i.e. she is Hurt).  Unfortunately, their charge is dead, killed in the Spirit World, with the chonchon having found its way to the Mundane World by way of his body.  Wolfwood and Maya are left to wonder what had happened to their charge while in the Spirit World.

How's that?

Mike Ryan

Stefan Drawert

thanks for taking the time to answer my question.
anyway, I still got one problem puzzling me:

I'll use your example, slightly altered to show you:

same situation, but the bowman uses the AP lending mechanic to help his comrade in the melee!
he lends huge amounts and after two rounds he's got no AP left. the narrator & the player may decide to describe the bids as long aimed shots, or a volley of them, etc...
in round three, he draws his sword to charge into close combat---with 0 AP!

how is this to be told? after all the pc should be fresh reinforcement, not exhausted...

narrators told me to use strained muscles/foe gone etc...
but my pcs would "kill" me if I'd use the first example too often, and the second won't work in all circumstances, since the narrator will have to relate the actions of the creature not only to the missile combatant, but to the melee as well...    

I hope, you'll understand my [not very well made] points,


Uncle Dark


It seems to me that key to your question is another question: how is the archer lending AP?  Remember that any use of AP has to be justified with a character action...  So, is the archer using magic?  Then perhaps exhaustion is an appropriate explanation.  Maybe the archer is generating supressing fire, distracting the enemy without really trying to hit anything in particular.

Also recall that the rules allow for a character with 0 AP to continue a fight.  A good roll in the contest  could net them some more AP and allow them to continue.  Of course, it's more likely that they'll be pushed to negative AP and be out of the combat...

Reality is what you can get away with.


As Uncle Dark said, it all depends on how the AP was lent.  Here are a couple other considerations.

First, lending APs does not necessarily mean the loss of those APs.  With some good rolls (or good choices of values and abilities), the lender may not lose the APs.

Second, also as Uncle Dark pointed out, your bowman could still act at 0 AP, he would be just taking a final action (and be praying for a transfer).  He could still draw his sword and jump.

Mike Ryan