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BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture
Brute on brute combat

So as I scribble down notes for an adventure, a rules question emerges. How does one handle brute on brute combat? 

I expect the heroes will be exploring an island with their crew of sailors. If they command their crew to fight other brutes, how exactly does that work? I don't recall seeing it covered in the text, 

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Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Thanks, @BluSpong for bringing this up.

We could even have "brute-on-brute" combat during the "ship-to-ship" boarding actions.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

LibrariaNPC's picture

I think I'd approach it in one of the following ways:

  • Hand-wave it to have all of the brutes being distracted by each other and no one is taking damage (and leave it to the heroes and villains to make the difference in their own actions), 
  • Have the brutes deal a flat amount of damage to each other at the end of the round. I wouldn't go for the full Strength, though (because at that point you're killing all Brutes in one turn). Perhaps 1/2 Strength? Flat 1 wound?
  • Have it based on the number of raises the party spent? I'm really just trying to pull ideas out the the air here. . .

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Salamanca's picture
End of the round, the brutes eliminate each other from the conflict on a one for one basis. If you don't want to be technical, you can just presume they occupy each other for the whole fight and remove their ability to effect things. The important stuff should happen to and because of the heroes. The brutes are just background noise.
BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture



Not a fan of the 1:1 thing because it doesn't fit the genre. Plus, it pretty much makes packing a crew of brutes the best offense for non duelists.

Typing all this on my phone is annoying, but right now here are some things I'm thinking about:

Brie squads should be another weapon the players can employ. Keep the story focused on the heroes, not their gear.

All things being equal, two brute squads of equal strength will do 1 "wound" to each other each round. Any additional damage must be forced by the heroes.


LibrariaNPC's picture

I have two concerns with the ideas of the brutes just washing each other out damage-wise:

1) The brutes can be the crew of a ship. Take them away because of a single combat at sea, and how are you going to keep moving?

2) Brutes can be hired muscle via Favor or Wealth, and having them just cancel another squad feels like a waste.


I do lean towards the Brutes just occupying each other and making no progress against each other as background noise. 

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Salamanca's picture
Keep in mind that removed from the combat does not mean killed. It does not have to be fatal to lose the fight for brutes. I like this idea of having the squads deal 1 wound a turn. I prefer the idea of the larger squad dealing an extra wound ( and heroes maybe needing to get involved to change the outcome of that)
Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I had this come up one time (during the quickstart, Alexi's character employed his leadership to convince one of the guard squads to turn on the Sabat and help the players.)


I generally had them engage one of the other brutes and have them lock things up fairly evenly. Until Alexi started rolling warfare risks to direct them, at which point they essentially just became a tool for the player himself to contribute to the fight.


I think that's the important part to remember, brute squads aren't supposed to be terribly impressive, they're a hoard of mooks to be mowed down, and they definitely shouldn't be overshadowing the real heroes and villains in a fight. The players can make them more effective by directing them to do useful things, but they're essentially props, set dressing for the players to do cool stuff with.

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

OK!  Now that I'm back at the office and not left with trying to type out whole paragraphs on my phone, I've had a chance to assemble my notes on Brute on Brute combat.  Most of this has been covered or suggested already in this thread, so consider this a cohesive thought on the matter.

I expect all of this to be tested tonight, so I'll report back on how it works and whatever holes reveal themselves.

Bradley's picture

The way I would do it is that if the squads were of equal strength, they occupy each other and do no damage. If one has a greater strength, then I would have the weaker one take a wound a round until it got to a point where I felt the difference in strength and steadily loosing numbers would just break the morale of the weaker squad.

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