Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!

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Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« on: August 05, 2010, 08:36:34 PM »
First of all: Hi all, I'm new around here.

So here is my problem: I don't really understand how combat works, moves-wise.

So let's say I want to kill a guy (because he deserves it for whatever reason). I don't want to seize anything from him, I just want him plain dead. That would be do something under fire, right? The Battlebabe is good at that, but the Gunlugger isn't, unless he takes the Battle-Hardened move (which basically forces him to buy that move).

But sometimes things are more complex. I want something and am willing to use lethal force on anyone who comes into my way, like "I'll go into that bunker and will shoot anyone who's trying to stop me!" That should be seize by force, doesn't it? But seize by force requires roll+hard and the Battlebabe has a pathetic hard-rating. So she basically cannot really fight half of the time, a fact that  doesn't change much as she can increase her already pathetic hard-stat only once with basic improvement.

Please, Brainers of the Digital Maelstrom, help me figure this out... You are my only hope!

Thanks,

Dave

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 09:02:38 PM »
If you are trying to kill someone in a straightforward fight then generally you are seizing their life by force (and once you have it, you are ending it.) Or you could seize something else by force, and as long as they are opposing you you can just focus on doing tons of Harm to them while you go about your other business. Alternately, you could use other moves to get yourself in a position in the fiction in which simply shooting them in the head or otherwise killing them would be trivial.

For example, you could pull out your gun and Go Aggro on someone to let you tie them up -- then kill them if they let you tie them up, because what are they gonna do about it at that point? Of course, if they think you are just going to kill them, they will probably choose to suck it up rather than go along with your demands -- but if you have a big enough gun then sucking it up is the equivalent of getting shot in the head, so you just killed them via Harm anyways. This is less effective than seizing their life by force because on a 7-9 result they can get out of your way instead -- but if you are a -1 hard +3 cool Battlebabe, then this is probably still your most effective route to killing someone.

In the bunker example, it depends on what sort of opposition you have. If there are armed people defending the bunker, and they are willing to fight you for it, then you are probably seizing it by force -- if you stand outside the bunker with your rocket launcher and grenades and shout out 'clear out of there, or I'll turn your bunker into an ez-bake oven!', that would probably be Going Aggro.

Part of the difficulty distinguishing the two (for me, at least) is determining whether the PC has sufficient positioning to Go Aggro. I mean if the moment the PC steps up to the bunker to deliver her threat, the guys inside open fire... there was no chance to Go Aggro -- it's seize by force or nothing. In order to Go Aggro on someone you have to take the initiate to threaten them before they are ready to just straight-up fight you.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 09:06:04 PM by Daniel Wood »

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 09:15:30 PM »
@Daniel: Thnk you for your replie.
But you basically say that combat is either Go Aggro or Seize by Force, moves that both roll+hard. Which means that Battlebabes cannot fight at all... And by their definition I thought that's what they do: Kill people and look hot while at it.

I am completely confused!

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 09:20:06 PM »
The way I understand it, Go Aggro is when you are threatening them and prepared to kill them in order to make it work. It's not so much used to straight up kill someone, but to get them to do something or else.

If a character wanted to just kill a dude, Seize By Force (where you are seizing their life) seems like the way to go.

And if your Battlebabe isn't so great at that, I guess the think to do is position yourself to be Acting Under Fire (where the action you're trying to do is to shoot/stab/chainsaw someone, so the result is to inflict harm as established), or take Ice Cold and Go Aggro.

I've given this a bit of thought after playing a Battlebabe for my first session. He missed a few rolls and got pretty badly beat up before I was in a position to Act Under Fire, and from there I extricated myself from things relatively unscathed (i.e. living). I'm going to be a bit more careful about how I get into fights in future :)

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 09:25:47 PM »
@Daniel: Thnk you for your replie.
But you basically say that combat is either Go Aggro or Seize by Force, moves that both roll+hard. Which means that Battlebabes cannot fight at all... And by their definition I thought that's what they do: Kill people and look hot while at it.

I think you're over-theorizing, and play will clear up your worries. Even a -2 to a stat doesn't mean you can never do the thing effectively. It's not like, a wizard in D&D who has a 3 STR and can't even grasp a sword. The differences aren't as dramatic as all that.

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 09:32:32 PM »
Plus - in my experience - missed rolls usually lead to terrible and awesome events.

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 09:47:13 PM »
If plain killing is Seize by Force, that means that every other type (except for the Driver outside a vehicle) is better at fighting than the Battlebabe... Which does not make sense at all.
Unless you call it only "The Babe".
The point is not that some rolls will fail... The point is, that, at fighting, the Battlebabe will fail more often than all others.
It's like a DnD wizard unable to cast spells, or a 40k Space Marine unable to kill...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 09:56:23 PM by schlaghund »

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 09:57:40 PM »
Well, even Vincent says in the book that Battlebabes are better at getting into trouble than out of it.

More seriously, you can inflict harm by acting under fire, and nobody is better at that than a Battlebabe. And the custom weapons are pretty nasty, if you want them to be.  And if you take Merciless, that's more harm. Or take Perfect Instincts and be sure to read the situation before you head into it.

It's not that Battlebabes are bad at killing, they just need to set things up right.

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 10:30:57 PM »
Well, even Vincent says in the book that Battlebabes are better at getting into trouble than out of it.

That's okay, they don't have to be as good at it as Gunluggers.

More seriously, you can inflict harm by acting under fire, and nobody is better at that than a Battlebabe.  (...)

So "I shoot that f****r in the face" can be interpreted as Acting under Fire?!?

If that is so, it makes things easier... Okay, the Babe is not good at Going Aggro or Seizing by Force, but for that she can use her hotness to seduce or manipulate. (And if that fails she can still Act Under Fire to kill that SOB... Not to get her will done, but to avenge the insult of being resisted).

Example: Bloody Mary wants to get The Dingus from Butch and tries seduce/manipulate. Due to some reason, the attempt fails (the tank top didn't really suit her).
Furious with anger over this insult, Mary draws her .69 Pacifier machine carbine ready to turn Butch into a stinking pile of dog food. The options are:
Seize by Force: If successful, she gets The Dingus but Butch might survive in case of a weak hit.
Act Under Fire: If successful, Butch gets fed to Rex the dog the next morning, but on a weak hit she might blast The Dingus into shreds as well...

Pleeeeeeease tell me this might be okay!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 10:38:35 PM by schlaghund »

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 10:46:24 PM »
Acting Under Fire inflicts harm if that's what you're trying to do.

So, in your example, after the seduce attempt fails whether Bloody Mary is acting under fire depends on what Butch is going to do.

If Butch is all "I don't like being messed with, so I'm going to hack you with a machete" and Bloody Mary pulls out her gun to stop him.... that's acting under fire to shoot him dead, and if you succeed you'd inflict harm. That's on account of inflicting harm is the whole point of your action.

But if Butch just shrugged and turned away, then trying to kill him might be Seize by Force (or, looking through crosshairs, maybe Butch is just dead. Bam!).

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 10:56:16 PM »
Just my 2 cents, but I'd also keep in mind that Battlebabes don't need to be doing straight up killing in the face to be good in battle.  In the game I'm MCing, our Babe has so far only killed one person - but that wasn't really a battle.  In a charged situation, zie fixed the target with Dangerous & Sexy and so I let hir just go wild - no resistance, so not even a roll.  

I'd be tempted to disallow your suggested uses of Acting Under Fire unless there were specific reasons to let you, so it didn't just become interchangeable with GA and SBF (e.g., fix someone with D&S and then AUF to avoid attacks from her fellows while you do the slaughter).

But you could cause a lot of havoc without having to be up in their faces like a Gunlugger.  Forex, I'd allow

- dance through the battlefield and get them to catch each other in the crossfire
- pull that lever and drop that thing/activate that laser/etc.
- draw attention to yourself with fatal grace while the Gunlugger makes with the shooting
- shake that guy grabbing you off and (maybe) put a blade in his gut for his troubles
- what was that thing the fight was about?  Grab it and laugh.

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 12:30:24 AM »
Don't forget about the battlebabe's playbook moves!  They are some sweet shit!

For the basic moves (and all the moves, actually) don't forget that to do it, you have to do it.  So no, a battlebabe can't be "acting under fire" to shoot someone just because the player wants to roll+cool.  You've got to roll for the move you're actually doing.

I'd like to ask a related question that I'm kind of surprised hasn't surfaced in my own game.

Say a character goes all out after some dude, guns a blazin'.  "I'm seizing this motherfucker's life by force!" the player says.  He rolls and hits and one of the options he picks is "you take definite hold of it."  Does that mean he can now just kill the bastard, regardless of how much harm he's actually done?

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 01:01:46 AM »
Say a character goes all out after some dude, guns a blazin'.  "I'm seizing this motherfucker's life by force!" the player says.  He rolls and hits and one of the options he picks is "you take definite hold of it."  Does that mean he can now just kill the bastard, regardless of how much harm he's actually done?

Good question. The answer to this will probably clear up any confusion I have left between Go Aggro/Seize by Force.

Well, shit, let me take a stab: If CJ, my gunlugger friend, is all, "I want to kill that motherfucker. I'm pulling out my sniper and pulling the trigger," I as MC would say, okay, SBF, make your hard roll. He makes it and chooses, among other things, "take definite hold of it." I'd either just say the NPC is dead, which seems by the book but maybe not that interesting, or, better yet, say, "yeah, you cap him, you see a spray of blood from his left shoulder and he's writhing on the ground bleeding. You have time to go over to him, and he's helpless, it's really easy to kill him, what do you do?" If he says, "yeah, I go over to that fucker and stomp on his skull," I say, "great, he's dead." Don"t even need to apply harm, right?

But what if he chose "take definite hold of his life," and hasn't inflicted enough harm to kill him? Like:

What if you've seized Dremmer's body by force, you've tied him up, but haven't inflicted harm, and you have no weapon except your fists (1-harm). Can you kill him by strangling? In this case I'd probably say no. "Taking definite hold of his life," is just that, but you can only end the life if you're able to inflict enough harm, right?

This is creating a question in my mind between the harm-mechanics of a particular weapon and the ability to take a life, as defined by "take definite hold." Can you only kill by "take definite hold" if you're capable of inflicting the requisite harm (which makes sense to me, although usually if you're capable of inflicting enough harm to kill after the choice to "take definite hold," you're capable of doing it during the move by just inflicting harm or "inflict[ing] great harm), or can "take definite hold" apply to a life, even in the absence of enough harm? My interpretation is that the latter doesn't hold. If during the resolution of SBF, I've inflicted 1-harm on a dude (and that's all I can do per my weapons and his armor), and also seized his life by force, then I can freely go up to him and inflict another 1-harm, moving him from "cosmetic damage, pain," to "wounds, likely fatal." But then can the player inflict another harm and then another, definitively killing him, because he's seized the NPCs life? I'm confusing myself. I don't think it's this complicated.

I think the answer is that, always, what you're trying to do has to follow from the fiction. If you have a dude, from SBF, definite hold and all that, then you can't just kill him with your fists. You gotta pull out a gun or a knife or something, but that won't require another roll: you already won the privilege to do as you see fit with him by "taking definite hold".
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 01:07:55 AM by Hans Otterson »

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 01:07:17 AM »
If they're tied up and helpless, it doesn't matter if you're unarmed or your harm rating is whatever. If you want to strangle the captive, that's it. The character made their move to seize them, and tied them up. Really, what can the victim do?

Re: Combat & Combat Types: Help, I don't get it!
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 01:09:05 AM »
I think you're right, Mike. I'm getting bogged down in Harm mechanics when I should probably see that it makes sense, that if you've totally physically dominated someone, harm doesn't matter anymore and you can strangle & kill him.

I think, regardless, it's good practice to say, "okay, you've got him." He's writhing on the ground or he's tied up or whatever. "You wanna kill him? What do you do?" It's not another move, but you've gotta say what you do with this life you've seized by force. If you take it, fine, but you gotta say.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 01:10:59 AM by Hans Otterson »