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Forums » RP Discussion » Combat rolepaying tips (add your own!)

I'm by no means an expert; these are just some things I picked up over the years when I used to do martial arts (and from weird Google searches). Hopefully they can be useful!


- certain parts of the body are absurdly prone to bleeding, as anyone who's ever gotten a broken nose or split lip could tell you

- if your character likes having a tongue, during a fight they should keep it behind their teeth and their mouth closed

- putting a character into shock won't necessarily save them. The body goes into a shock as a last-ditch effort to keep itself alive, not so it can physically retaliate against an attacker

- instances of people flipping cars or punching out windows when adrenaline kicks in are actually quite uncommon. Adrenaline can be a life-saver for sure, but once it wears off a person is often shaky, sweaty, dizzy, nauseous, and possibly has a headache

- arteries spurt (they have a higher pressure to pump blood out of the heart); veins don't

- the urinary system is controlled by muscles; when a person dies they lose control of said muscles. Your dead OC would probably pee their pants. My condolences.

- your character should block bladed strikes with the outside of their forearm (less muscle to cut through) and block blunt-force strikes with the inside of their forearm (more padding)

- as a general rule, humans are easily manipulated through pain. Your character doesn't need to go through the hassle of trying to break their opponent's entire arm when breaking their nose or pinky would probably do.

- our bodies are weakest where joints meet

- how to punch: never throw your arm straight out, keep a slight crook in the elbow (otherwise it can overextend the joint); tilt your wrist slightly to the right or left depending on your handedness (otherwise you jam your wrist back into its socket); keep your thumb tucked outside your fist (otherwise you can break it/your other fingers when you hit something solid). An alternative is the sun fist, which directs the force of the punch downwards and (in my opinion) hurts more to be hit by.

- don't punch someone's face. You know what messes up your hand-skin? Teeth.

- elbows are a much better alternative! They're sturdy, sharp, and can be thrown out in tighter quarters than a punch. There's actually a whole system of martial arts based around it called Systema

- your character doesn't need to meet force with force. It's often much easier (and safer) to simply move out of the way, or direct their opponent's momentum back against them

- in general, fights are brief. Most people don't have the stamina to all-out brawl for more than five minutes. Fights can be sweaty and ungraceful and gross.

- loose muscles move faster than tight ones

- breathing out when you strike temporarily tightens your abdomen to protect against counterstrikes

- where your character looks tells their opponent what they're planning to do next, so mind their eyes!

- punching a blocker or bag feels different from a person


Please correct misinformation, ask for clarification, or add your own tips.
Ivy Stormborn (played by RedLantern)

-Defense sprays can be a pretty nice addition to a fight,

- If your character can't retaliate it can still flee and go looking for someone else to do the job

- When in a distance range, nothing can beat a good Taser discharge, for example. Sparse chances that you're going to miss if you're a norman human being.

-Arms can be turned against the opponent, just, it does not happend that much if your regular mugger is only a delinquent and your regular defender is a normal witted person.

-Scream, it does good for: Adrenaline, oxygenation, getting people attention, and "battle-readiness", it's not an hazard if warriors and the likes are pictured having a battle scream or the like.

-Acting confident: When it time of need, remember it's your life that is on the line. It'snow or never.


Cheers!;)
Gunshots: I have seen some stories where folks shrug off a gunshot and keep going because "adrenaline", reality of it is that no matter how angry you are a bullet to the chest, or really anywhere, will hurt and possibly knock you out cold with shock.

A pistol round roughly hits with the force of a boxer's punch, and while I have seen some guys take one and keep going it took them awhile to stand back up.

Goes back to the above, adrenaline is awesome, but it is not the cure all in a fight and afterwards you will feel it. Stomach cramps (it shuts all body systems unimportant to the fight down), headaches, and really just general pain and fatigue are common after an adrenaline rush for prolonged time.

If it hurts with adrenaline, which chunks of lead entering you will, once it wears off you will wish you were dead.

Don't fall for the FPS lies! XD
To clarify, there are many safe ways to punch the face, but beginners should avoid it when they don't have the proper hand protection.

In fact, beginners should avoid real fights altogether.
Ilmarinen Moderator

Adrenaline is often bad in a fight, especially to an inexperienced fighter (to whom you'd think it'd be most helpful). An adrenaline rush directs blood away from your brain, making you think less clearly. You are more likely to flail or do something stupid. It can also make you feel sick and shaky, but not always. I've heard that if you're untrained, the adrenaline rush can make you freeze. It DOES give you some extra strength, but at a cost!

Also, punching sounds nothing like it does in the movies.
Tar

- Hitting someone in the head with a blunt object is more likely to kill them or leave lasting damage than 'simply' knock them out. Any time someone gets knocked unconscious it's a serious injury.

( Also, might I recommend this little gem of a resource? http://howtofightwrite.tumblr.com/ )
I'd like to add, that any kind of combat in roleplay compared to writing on your own is pretty hard to pull off nicely, because there's two of you. To get that nice flow, read each other's replies carefully, and don't ever just assume that you will land a hit. Let the other character have a chance to dodge, react or defend themselves.

Nothing kills the fun as Godmodding or metaplaying does.
Ivy Stormborn (played by RedLantern)

Avalon wrote:
Gunshots: I have seen some stories where folks shrug off a gunshot and keep going because "adrenaline", reality of it is that no matter how angry you are a bullet to the chest, or really anywhere, will hurt and possibly knock you out cold with shock.

A pistol round roughly hits with the force of a boxer's punch, and while I have seen some guys take one and keep going it took them awhile to stand back up.

Goes back to the above, adrenaline is awesome, but it is not the cure all in a fight and afterwards you will feel it. Stomach cramps (it shuts all body systems unimportant to the fight down), headaches, and really just general pain and fatigue are common after an adrenaline rush for prolonged time.

If it hurts with adrenaline, which chunks of lead entering you will, once it wears off you will wish you were dead.

Don't fall for the FPS lies! XD
That is a pretty good reminder! XD
Ivy Stormborn (played by RedLantern)

Tailbone wrote:
- Hitting someone in the head with a blunt object is more likely to kill them or leave lasting damage than 'simply' knock them out. Any time someone gets knocked unconscious it's a serious injury.

( Also, might I recommend this little gem of a resource? http://howtofightwrite.tumblr.com/ )
Quite a lot of stuff to dig in I would say, ressourcefull should be the word. xD
Ilmarinen Moderator

I went to a panel at a con about this--I will try to track down my notes and see if there's anything in there that's worth mentioning :3
Here's a big one: discuss the combat system you will be using with your partner(s) before you start the actual fight. Should hopefully prevent a lot of drama and arguments.
Ivy Stormborn (played by RedLantern)

Bad advice of the night:
I say you go out a punch a guy, just to see how it goes.
Or you could go for your little brother, they're kind of useful at times, see? ;)

Get fired in 3.2.1...
This is fantastic!

I have questions about approaching, during, & ending combat without agreed stats and dice rolls between two+ writers.

Friends and colleagues, how do you handle that?
Discussion beforehand on who leads?
Decided outcomes and consequences?
.the.MILK.theef. wrote:
This is fantastic!

I have questions about approaching, during, & ending combat without agreed stats and dice rolls between two+ writers.

Friends and colleagues, how do you handle that?
Discussion beforehand on who leads?
Decided outcomes and consequences?

I like somewhat discussing stuff before it happens, at least to get a general vibe. That may include who wins the combat, for instance!

Though I tend not to have that much player character VS player character writing, as the characters I play are often viciously powerful and thus not really interesting to write combat for, unless it's a good vehicle to show off character traits, setting info or character arcs.

But yeah, if combat between my character and another person's does happen, I like to discuss who should win, if there are important beats or abilities that I or they want to see or use, how experienced each character is with this or that kind of fighting etc.

For instance: in a recent RP my character Remmi Delauna, who is more experienced in combat to the death than probably more than 99% of characters on the site (she can die and fight another day, after all), lost a friendly submission match because she's not actually that good at *not* swiftly killing her opponent. I discussed that sort of nuance with my roleplay partner, wrote Remmi fighting as well as she could but losing in the end, from a broken tail.

We didn't necessarily decide "Remmi will lose" but we did discuss submission matches being her weak spot, and I decided she would call the fight out after suffering too much damage (and before being forced to inflict a lot of it).
Not mine per se, because I suck at fighting RP and try to refrain from doing so.. But, I have some pins I saved from Pinterest that I found that might be useful for those who do like fighting RP!!

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