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Renaissance combat - house rule.

Jeff Mindlin

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So here’s my house rule for combat. I’m sorry to say that over several campaigns of C&C and and Dark Streets it became clear to me that combat was a bit …clunky and …dare I say..boring. The grittiness of it seems at odds with the bleak, death-rich but darkly humorous fantasy of the setting. 
My solution is that at the start (and only at the start) of combat one hero point can be traded for two combat points. These can be used to 1) add 50% to an attack roll 2) make a normal hit do maximum damage 3) do something cinematic (swing from ceiling beams, shoot gun out of hand, kick over crates to stop persuit etc) this will still require a roll depending on difficulty. Usually the roll will determine the degree of success rather than succeed/fail. Combat points can be donated to another character at any time in combat. 
After combat any remaining points can be traded back into hero points on a 2 for 1 basis. Different character can contribute one point each but only one gets the resulting hero point. 
hero points retain all their normal uses as well. 

Any thoughts? 

Edited by Jeff Mindlin
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Thanks Butters, let me know what you think, or if you have  another idea. I had been thinking it for a while, and you are right it applies to all d100 cthulhu/brp type systems. Then my players confirmed that they found the combat the least intetresting part of the game and a bit of a chore, despite my efforts to be energetic and make exciting descriptions etc. They said they felt combat got bogged down in the middle and that dodging and a lack of intersting options you may get in other fantasy games make it seem slooowww. 

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I think a lot of the problem is we fall back on the mechanics of a game as a safety blanket as its easier to just go "I stab him" instead of really getting into the roleplay part of the game and doing all the crazy stuff like saying "I leap over the table and kick a tankard into his face before puling out my dagger" and the G.M just letting that roll or asking for an easy Athletics roll (Cool stuff should be encouraged). People are maybe a little embarrassed to jump into that style especially if no one else is doing it or may think it's going to slow things down even more. It's odd that games like Vampire the Masquerade seems to get their players into this mindset easier than sword/sorcery games.


Also I think everyone going over the combat rules a couple of times so they know what they can do and what options they have is time well spent. It makes things go faster and does add some variety to the combat (I admit I really need to do this as my memory sucks) A thing I've been doing (A little too much honestly) is having more Mook style combat of two or three henchmen and one boss so we can get through some combats quickly and get to experience the cool grave wounds table more often.




Edited by Butters
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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree Butters, but I also think there has to also be some sense of mechanism, some feeling of hard, dangerous reality that applies all around otherwise there is less sense of peril and thus less excitement and fun. Its a difficult balance. 

As for studying the options - we did and I printed out cheat sheets for everbody etc. The problem is that for straight combat in Dark Streets in particular, the players only have "hit it" options which are quite samey with a little difference between emphasis on attack or defence. 

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  • 2 months later...

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