Impractical Applications (The Fight Which…)

You’d think this fight would be energy-in.

It’s a culminator—maybe not of a full plotline, but at the very least of a good large bit of effort. It’s been giving me not only topics but even a guest post from one of my players. It’s got somewhat hazy laws of physics, and people doing absolutely brilliant things involving carnivorous piranha walnuts, clever uses of anticoagulant, killer origami, coral fortresses, and transformations into giant squids. In a few hours, I’ll love it to bits. When I’m in the middle of it, I want to be anywhere else.

Part of the problem is that it’s hard to really adjust for character strength. The opponent has one really scary tactic that the PCs were doing an annoyingly good job of neutralizing for most of the fight—which did make it easier (not having to figure out what to do with eight attacks a turn has its uses), but also took away a lot of my original visuals. On the plus side, figuring out how to implement countermeasures made for some nice visual niftiness on my end. And we have… well, the two big scary people whose mechanics I occasionally find myself having trouble wrapping my head around, and the relative newbie who is not a combat specialist, and I’m trying to make sure they’re all challenged at about the same level.

Part of it is that I can’t see them, so it’s really hard to tell if the fight has the weight I want it to have. It’s a culminator… but on the other hand, I have at least one player whose battle banter is going the “you’re just a speedbump” route, so I’ve had to actually make sure that there wasn’t some level of truth in it.

And part of it is that fluid fights like this one, in this system, tend to result in a lot of number-juggling and ad-hoc mechanics. What exactly does one roll when the hamster is crafting a school of carnivorous walnuts, or the crafter is turning her notebook into a flotilla of hungry jellyfish? What does one do when attempting to get out of a grapple involving long prehensile appendages of various sorts by having one’s own entangled appendages acquire the ability to drain the blood from one’s grappler’s entangled appendages?

It’s fun… but I think I’m running my next game in something FATE-based. Let me focus on the fight rather than the mechanics. And I need to crash. Maybe we’ll finish next week.

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