Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
WhiteLycan

Melee Fatigue

Recommended Posts

Recently I was watching the Game of Thrones series. In particular, the episode where Bronn fights the Knight in the Eyrie (Not a spoiler). The tactic he uses made me want to create a mechanic to simulate that effect.

Knowing he was out-armored and the audience didn't favor him, Bronn simply spent a couple minutes avoiding the knight's heavy swings. Eventually, the knight tired himself out and left himself open to Bronn's own attack.

I'd like some sort of mechanic that would allow melee characters to eventually tire out, but it's hard to come up with something. I'd do something simple like this: After ((T*2) - Armor Points) rounds of melee combat, gain 1 fatigue per round. But that gimps Eldar, the kings of (swift) melee due to their not having Unnatural Toughness, as opposed to SMs and Orks. So I definitely won't be using it.

Does anyone else have any ideas, or have a rule similar to this in their games?

 

Note: I'm not looking for people to tell me they think this is a horrible idea and I'm stupid for pursuing it. If that's your opinion, please keep it to yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Your equation is alright, though I would make it (TB+SB) *2 +UTB+USB (-AP if unpowered) without the UTB in the multi. That would fairly accurately reflect the onset of a level of fatigue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say i'm in favor of this rule. Mostly because A: It's rather arbitrary, and B: It penalizes melee which is already struggling to compete with ranged.

 

Edit: I saw you footnote so I figured i would amend my post somewhat.

What is the purpose of your purposed rule?

What do you believe it adds to the game?

Are you actually trying to be realistic or are you just trying to ram Game of Thrones down your player's throats?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I think the idea of melee fatigue is a very sound one, and one which in principal is highly believable. Personally, however, I feel that any 'rules equation' is bound to become unstuck sooner or later - the rate at which characters gain fatigue would be tied up with factors such as these

- the weight of their equipment - generally heavier armour would tire one quicker

- the weather - one gets tired quicker exerting oneself on a hot day than a cold one

- their freshness - if they have already fought a few combats that day (even with rests) they will tire quicker

- their fitness level - a fitter person gets tired slower

 - the relative skills of the combatants - it is much harder (and therefore more tiring) compteting against a more skillful oponent

There will be many other factors too. Some of these factors, notably 'fitness' are not measured in RT (I suppose one might come up with some sort of characteristic based on a mish-mash of weight, strength, toughness and agility though).

My point being, I would find trying to make a water-tight equation difficult. Personally, if I were the GM, I would (probably with advance warning) say when combatants are feeling tired based around what 'feels' right at that moment in time - so to take your Game of Thrones example (or, perhaps like the gladiatorial combat in Life of Brian where the unarmoured man runs round and round the arena until the armoured murmillo has a heart attack…), I feel it would be narratively credible to, after a couple of rounds, and probably after a round or two of saying ('beads of sweat start to form on the brow of the armoured fighter, and his breath becomes more ragged…' or words to that effect), start applying levels of fatigue, WS penalties, AG penalties, or whatever it is you wanted to do.

I realise that for a lot of groups this may not work - we normally play in a very loose narrative way, and as a GM I often bend rules to suit the narrative anyway. But personally, I would rather treat this as a narrative tool rather than making a rule for it - it is likely to only to apply to epic duels between PCs and important NPCs (most grunts die too quickly), and I feel these situations are generally more about plot and creating an epic atmosphere than anything.

Anyway, that is what I think. I do applaud the idea, and it is one which I would like to make use of in some sense.

All best,

David.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larkin and David B, thank you so much for your feedback, it is very helpful. As for Unholy, please read full posts before writing a response. As for the (obvious) answers to your questions:

1: I want to add it. What other purpose do I need. It doesn't penalize melee. You wont close into melee and be tired within seconds with my rule. Only extremely long and drawn out melee fights will tire you at, which is as it should be. There's no such thing as a sword fight that lasts for hours on end.
2: Tactics. You could fight the ork hand to hand, or just try your best to avoid his blows until he tires out. RAW, you just have to hope you kill him before he closes into melee.
3: To answer this question, I have to ask you to do something. Grab a 10 pound sword and go outside and start hacking at a tree. Done yet? How long did you last? That's called reality. I really don't appreciate that you think I'm "jamming GoT down my player's throats" when GoT itself is jamming reality down its viewers' throats. **** them for their common sense!

 

Larkin I actually thought about the whole unpowered thing a couple hours after I posted and think it's a good idea. So my formula so far is: (([sB or AB]+TB)2+((UA or US) + UT)) - AP [if Unpowered]. After that many rounds of being engaged in melee combat, you begin suffering negative effects.

SB: Strength Bonus
AB: Agility Bonus
TB: Toughness Bonus
UA: Unnatural Agility
US: Unnatural Strength
UT: Unnatural Toughness
AP: Armor Points

 

A little extensive when read, but in use it's actually pretty simple, especially since it's a one-time thing (unless SB, TB or AB are increased). I went with [sB or AB] because if it's SB only, eldar are a little boned despite always being displayed as very capable melee combatants. So the higher of SB or AB should be used.

Also, Larkin and David B, what is your opinion. Should the penalty give a level of fatigue or a cumulative -5 bonus to WS? I can't see someone passing out from a melee fight, but I can see their skill with the weapon they're using slowly degrade the longer they're engaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dear Whitelycan

Oh well, I do aim to please…

I do quite like you equation (chosing either SB or AB is a good idea, and helps Eldar out a bit).

I feel orks will do quite well out of it, perhaps too well - they are very strong and tough, but I can sort of imagine them having a physique similar to a low-end nightclub bouncer or amateur rugby forward - very strong, but hardly what you might call 'fit' - and quite probably a bit podgy (I am sure squigs are the Ork equivalent of bacon butty and chips; Orks don't strike me as people who take healthy eating seriously). Basically, I can't imagine an ork being terribly fit - I don't know, they are not a 40K species I am interested in particularly. I might be very wrong  (they may be built more like a world heavy-weight boxing champion, than the reserve loose head prop in a pub rugby team)

I kind of imagine them hitting hard and ferociously, but getting tired out fairly quickly - I recall a really old story in one of the books that came in the 40K box (out in 1993, I think), which was basically about a bunch of orks hanging around in a gully 'for a breatha!' after a scrap with some humans (they then charged out again, after having a bit of a rest) - some orks all complained about being too tired to win. Clearly that is an old story, and possibly no longer canonical, but it struck me as a good illustration of orks physique and psychology - they love to fight, and are tough as nails, but aren't all that fit.

I would have thought giving WS (and perhaps AG) penalites and levels of fatigue should be sonsidered (I don't have my rulebook to hand, so I can't remember exactly how damaging levels of fatigue are) - after two ability penalties, one could take a level of fatigue perhaps. I can't imagine any fight would go on so long that one combatant would pass out, but I realise that it certainly could happen - maybe it could be resisted with WP or something?

Possibly for 'finesse' fighters (i.e. Eldar, some human fighting styles - such as the swashbuckler from Hostile Aquisitions, possibly some others), you could use AB twice, rather than AB/SB + TB. This would only be appropriate for certain types of fighter, but might better reflect a more nuanced and agile fighting style used by some (i.e. the GM decides which!) combatants.

You might also like to allow combatants who consistently fight defensively some kind of bonus - it is much less tiring to act defensively than offensively.

Best of luck with this - it is a sensible and interesting addition you are working on, but I suppose, like most things, it is more complicated than one may have previously thought…

All best,

David.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The choice between AB and SB makes sense, but if you're going to go into a more realistic state the choice should also represent the style they are fighting in. Most of the time this won't be a problem, but with PCs you can never know! ;-) 

Also I would only apply one level of fatigue once that point is reached. After that number of rounds halved again, I'd give another level and then continue halving. Fatigue represents a serious problem over a long period of time and a smart player (or NPC) would starting making fatigue oriented attacks once the combat has drug on long enough.

For defensive actions, just don't count those rounds.

If you can't see someone passing out from a fight you've obviously never been in a fighting oriented competitive sport. I've nearly collapsed while fencing and in marital arts bouts. Granted both those times was due to a lack of sleep the night before, it still was a danger and I had to force myself to relax more extensively than usual between matches. Even then I was operating at a severely diminished capability the rest of the day. Physical exhaustion is never to be ignored, and a combination of lack of oxygen, hydration and extra fatigue will work a body into a state of incapability.

Just remember that the PCs are supposed to be "heroic" in nature, bigger than life and the best of the best sort of thing. Making the repercussions to heinous is ill-advised. Just using the fatigue system should be enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...