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Heng benjamin
Heng benjamin's picture
Opportunities as combat action
opportunity, action sequence, combat

Hi guys!

I now have mastered my share of (short) games (somewhere beetwen 10 and 20) and I start to have a good handle of the system. 

However, I have a lot of trouble with opportunity during combat (we're not speaking of the classic "you seduce the lady with your flashing style"). I want them to be two well spent raises, so it would be worth their real cost. However, I'd like to keep as much of the actual damage to duelist and maneuver (even if the the occasional backstab may occur). 

The main exemples that comes to my minds are :

-disarming the vilain (does it cost one raise to get the sword back? )

-making the vilain fall (what are the mecanical effect for a prone character?)

-getting inside/outside the reach of a vilain

-flanking him?

Right now, I kinda judge it on the interest of the fight. If it's already lost by the opposing party, I allow easily the players to take prisonner, to deal fatal blow... however, I don't want them to be badly disapointing when it fails miserabily against Monsieur (all hail the Empereur's brother), so something more consistent over games would be better.

Thanks for your advices.



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Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

If you click on the tag [opportunity] it brings a few more discussions we had here that may offer some inspiration



TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

The guidelines on Opportunities are pretty vague, which while being a good thing as they provide a lot of leeway in terms of what a GM will or won't allow, can be a bit frustrating for both players and GMs.

I think the thing to bear in mind that what you listed are the sort of things that would come up in a more tactically-orientated RPG, where as the writers of this RPG intended for the player characters to be a lot flashier and dramatic in what they use Opportunities to do.

Disarm itself is a tricky situation, as you could treat it as an Opportunity, or simply an application of Pressure.  Me, I prefer using Pressure, as it just seems cleaner and simpler on top of working within the existing rules framework.  If the target simply retrieves their weapon, that's the one Raise and the Pressure effect of being disarmed ends.  If they attack with Weaponry, then that's two Raises as they quickly reclaim their weapon (or draw a secondary one such as a dagger) and then make a hasty attack.  Or they change their approach to attack using Brawling (which only presents a problem for Heroes since Villains don't suffer the Raise penalty for swapping approaches).  Granted, disarming your foe is, in an actual swordfight, a whole lot harder than Hollywood would have you believe, especially if facing an opponent that has any real idea of what their doing.  Though I suppose you could set up a disarm as an opportunity, spending one Raise to establish the target's grip on their weapon isn't secure, and then spending the second Raise to actually implement the Opportunity and knock the weapon away, but it just feels simpler to use Pressure as I outlined above.

Knocking a Villian prone would also (to me) work better as a form of Pressure, with the Villain having to either spend a Raise getting to their feet, or two Raises to both attack and get to their feet.

As for avoiding/evading a Villain's reach, I would again look to Pressure, in that your efforts to stay out of reach either frustrate the Villain's attacks as you keep darting away at the last moment (game effect: Villain only spends 1 Raise, pretty much wasting the action) or they have to put forth extra effort to jab at you or predict where you'll move to and strike there (game effect: Villain spends 2 Raises and gets to make a successful attack).

Flanking is a tough one, and could work as an Opportunity in that you're setting any ally up to slip past the target's defenses, but runs into a bit of an issue in that the other Hero has to spend a Raise of their own to gain the benefit, meaning they can't attack on that Raise.  If you've got Team Player, I suppose you could spend two of your own Raises to set up a flank so that another Hero can just get the benefit right away.  Honestly, I'm tempted to say that flanking would be more a strictly narrative thing and not provide any concrete bonuses.

Mulling the notion over, I get the feeling that the intent for Opportunties was more that they be employed in Risks and Dramatic Sequences, and perhaps less for purely combat-orientated Action Sequences.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Heng benjamin
Heng benjamin's picture

Thanks for the insight.

I didn't dare to use the Pressure rules in such a casual maner.

However, my players didn't seems to be big fans of the pressure (but they're always throwing me dirty looks when I use it), so I was looking for something else.

I had my own take on it since I bought Blood and Honor to have a better grasp of John Wick style (as a dlesigner), and get one cool idea:

an opportunity can create a situation (open a flanking position, throw a metal bar in the fire...) such as an other can use it later (same round or not) to get 2 bonus dice on his next approach (taking advantage of it).

Exemple: Round one, Reinhard duels Jean René while Lucas fight with the brute. He uses one opportunity to shoot a fallen blade in the lit foyer, blade first.

With his last raise, Reinhard pulls the burning blade from the flames.

Round 2, Reinhard bash Jean René with the blade and try to brand him: he get 2 bonus dice on his approch (maybe more if he got flair and new skill bonus).


What do you think? Is the second raise really required? Are the raises from flair and new approch enought ? Do you sometimes award more than one dice for flair?


Now, another idea: would you allow some really cool idea to create a  mecanically useless opportunity (great tactical idea for instance, or a very cool way of showing off..) to get the player a hero point (remembe, we're talking about a brilliant idea, not just a cool stunt)?


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