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Hobbit 81
Hobbit 81's picture
Combat Dynamics and creativity
game rules

As a lot of people, I just GMed my first 7th Sea session, and as a lot of GMs, I had a few doubts about combat and damage.

My two players (a Vesten Sjoroveer and an Eisen Ungetumjager) were fighting their way through a raided pirate ship. The eisen warrior decided to take the ship´s captain, while the vesten had to deal with his hulkling first mate.

In the Approach Phase, the monster hunter decided to knock the captain out with a huge club. Soon it was clear it would be several rounds before the captain was defeated, simply because both attacker and defender keep spending raises to give and prevent wounds.

On the other hand, the vesten captain chose a more creative approach: he wanted to cut off a rope from the ship and trap the charging first mate in a net (or sth like that). Since he had a lot more raises than the pirate, he solved the whole combat in one single round.

Now, is it ok by the rules? In the second case, I couldn´t even demand more raises from the vesten, since I don´t remember any rules about difficulties. As a matter of fact, I even felt obliged to give him a couple of creativity dies for flair: it was very creative solution, and totally under the swashbuckling genre.

It´s was a great session, but I´m afraid my players might get used to use ´creative´ solutions to prevent combats against stronger antagonists. Did I miss something?


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Salamanca's picture
Nope, you have it about right. The options are to possibly let the first mate cut his way out, charge a consequence to the vesten to avoid the rigging when it falls, or maybe allow a Dodge to avoid the trap (probably at an increased cost of a couple raises and maybe a danger point). But if i were you, I would be happy the players are giving you creative ideas in a fight. They are very in line with the intended style of play. This game isn't a combat simulation, it's a story engine and if a fast, one punch fightakes a great story, that is a good thing. My last demo, the players found 5 ways on their sheets to avoid or stop combat. They still had fun, they just didn't do any fighting.
Hobbit 81
Hobbit 81's picture

"This game isn´t a combat simulation, it´s a story engine."

That´s a great reminder! I think this really hit the spot. However, I think using consequence to create a extra challenge is a good option. I don´t want my players having the "easy way out" every time.


Salamanca's picture
The key unwritten rule is always to say yes to what the players want to do. Then show them the consequence of not thinking the whole thing out. Sometimes it works entirely in their favor. Sometimes it mostly works but with a complication. Sometimes it goes wrong in 7 directions. John Rogers used to talk about his TV show, "Leverage" and say the best plot were when the heroes did such a good job they made bigger problems for themselves. The trick is to let them get away with it enough to keep doing it.
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