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Regarding Text Combat - A Tutorial

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Regarding Text Combat - A Tutorial

Tips: 0.25 INK Postby Lord Saladin on Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:47 am

Introduction

Text combat is all about pitting one character against another in a fight. There are primarily two types of text combat: Speed-based and Turn-based. This isn't taking into account all the various rulesets that have been developed over the years. Speed-based is generally done in the chat, and is all about who is able to type the fastest. Turn-based is what you will find most of here on RolePlay Gateway, and what this tutorial will focus on.

As the name suggests, each player takes turns in describing their character's actions, with the hope of their character emerging from the fight victorious. How they achieve this is determinable by the style of fighting, and the abilities of a character. By its very nature, though, text combat also tells a story. Even if that story is only the progression of the fight.

We will be looking at the stages of a fight, various 'best practices,' some standard rules, and the different 'types' of combat.


Why Take Part in Text Combat?

It can be fun, that much is for sure. Testing your character against another. Testing your own logical thinking against another player. It most definitely can be fun.

It's something different. A sometimes welcome break from your more standard story-telling RPs. It also allows you to play your character in a different kind of environment. As well as that, moving out of your comfort zone can push you to new levels, which is always nice.

Competitive rather than collaborative. Competition is nearly always healthy, as long as it isn't taken far too seriously. It will help you to push your writing, your character and the other player. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, and text combat can be another welcome break from 'standard' roleplay.


The Stages of a Text Fight

The Introduction

This stage is often the part in which people are prone to put forth the most effort. I have often wondered why this is the case; after all, it is only an introduction: The fight doesn't actually start until after this.

The introduction is just that. It is an opportunity to introduce your character, the setting for the fight and any potential background for your character being there, engaging in the fight. So, what information should be included here?

The most important thing to introduce is your character. How you do this is up to you, but there are a few points that should be covered: Your character's appearance, the presence of any visible weapons, if your character is wearing armour, the external demeanour of your character. Basically, you need to give the other player all the stuff their character will see and be able to make note of. Sure, maybe the other character won't notice your character's cocky walk, but not saying your character walks like a cocky bastard is a little unfair. After all, you are still playing a role. :)

The setting should also be made clear in your first (introduction) post. Where is the fight taking place? Include that, as it's important, as well as any special conditions: Obstacles laying around, the weather, time of day, any other people in the area. This way, your opponent can be clear about exactly what is going on where they are.

Adding a background story to the fight certainly creates an extra depth, but it is purely optional. What events led your character to this time and place? How did those events influence his/her desire to fight? It can be nice to have some history to your fight, but don't worry if there isn't any. It can be perfectly reasonable to just fight for fighting's sake.

A few things to consider when writing your introduction:

*Do you really need to include every minute detail? If you do, you have wasted so many tools you can use later to add interest to your posts.
*Unless agreed otherwise, you should not mention your opponent's position or appearance. In a way, that is God Modding, or taking control of the other player's character. The exception to this, of course, is if you have agreed something beforehand, or your opponent has posted before you.
*The introduction isn't generally an opportunity to attack your opponent. Although, again, if you've discussed and agreed upon something else, that's fine.


Attacking

For at least half of the fight, you will be doing this. This tutorial isn't designed to teach you what attacks to use, so we'll be looking at the methodology of attacking in text combat. Firstly, we'll deal with melee combat (that is, martial arts and basic weapons).

Your character is attacking your opponent's character. Your character will use a specific weapon, or part of his/her body, to attack a certain part of the other character's body. That much is clear. As such, you need to describe this to your opponent. Just remember that the other character will see what your character is doing, describe as such.

For example: "Saladin punches Ravinter" doesn't really give enough information. With which hand is Saladin punching? What type of punch? Where on Ravinter is he punching?

"Saladin throws a straight punch with his left hand to Ravinter's face" does the job much better. It gives exactly what the other character would see, and as such means the other player can respond accordingly.

There are certain levels of detail not needed, however. For example: "Saladin throws his left hand towards the face of Ravinter, the angle being parallel to the ground, wrist slightly bent after a slight twisting, so that he would strike with the first two knuckles of his hand." That is just too much detail. For obvious reasons.


Magic

Magic can play a pivotal role in text combat, and is mostly used for attacking in some way, so we shall look at it here. Just make note that most of the pointers here will apply to using magic as a defence too.

The key point in magic usage is preparation. The more preparation used, generally, the more powerful the magic will be. So, what is a preparation? It is a turn that you use to prepare the spell/power/whatever. If you prepare an attack for two turns, in theory it will be twice as strong as an attack using just one preparatory post.

An example of a preparation post: "Saladin weaves threads of Fire and Air, channelling Saidin through his being."

Saladin, here, hasn't attack, but is preparing to do so. It allows the other player to be aware of an impending attack. Whether you let the character know is dependant on the magic, I suppose. As a general rule, I will always make it visible that a preparation is taking place. Even if the preparation itself cannot be seen. Like this:

"A white aura burns around Saladin as he starts to channel Saidin, threads of Fire and Air being woven together unseen."

The aura signifies that Saladin is preparing something, the comment of being unseen is for the other player. It lets him/her know that the threads themselves cannot be seen.

As for the actual attack... You need to be sure that the opponent knows what the effects of the attack are, how long they will last, and also what their character will see.

"Saladin shoots a fireball at Ravinter" isn't quite enough information. Also make sure that it is clear your preparation has finished.

So, for example: "With the weave now complete, Saladin had created a small ball of fire, much the size of a tennis ball, and shot it towards Ravinter's torso. The heat of the ball would be enough to sear the skin of Ravinter, and would dissipate on impact."

It gives enough description for the player, and describes what the character would see.

A note on attacking: While common convention says that you should simply describe the effects of the attack SHOULD it hit, you should be aware of what is termed 'closed style' posting. This is where you write as though the attack is successful. It is not god modding, as you can perform what is called an interrupt. This will be explained in the next section.


Blocking, Evading and Counter-Attacking

These concepts are easy enough to understand, to be honest, so I won't be going into a great deal of detail. There are just a few points to be made. Once again, we'll look at hand-to-hand/weapons fighting first.

Time and realism. In the amount of time it takes for someone to punch, will you really be able to take the dagger from under your cloak and use it to stab between the knuckles of the other person? Maybe if you are super-fast, yeah. But generally speaking, no you won't. This may be roleplay, it may be turnbased, but basic laws still apply. The same goes for any action.

Description. Again, you need to be telling your opponent exactly what their character will be seeing. But don't go overboard on the description.

Counter-attacks. When countering an attack, please consider what a counter actually is. It is a block or evasion followed by an attack. Detail your block/evasion, then make your attack, following the guidelines above.


Magic

Evading magic may or may not be possible. In the example above, Saladin throwing a fireball at Ravinter, it would be possible. Other times, you may have no choice but to block. On that note, you need to also take into account preparations. An attack that has four preparation posts behind it simply won't be stopped by a block with no preparations. Sure, the effects may be lessened, but it won't be stopped.

So, how can you work with this? Your opponent should have given signs of an attack for your character to see. From these signs, they may or may not know what the attack will be, but should be aware of an attack upcoming. Maybe you can work with a generic all-round blocking spell? That is one way around this.


The Interrupt:

Mentioned earlier, I will discuss this now. Your opponent may have written a closed post, or described a flurry of attacks (especially in hand-to-hand combat). That doesn't mean, however, that the attack will in fact hit, or that every attack in the flurry is successful. You can 'interrupt' their post.

As an example flurry attack: "Saladin threw a left jab at Ravinter, followed by a right hook, which was punctuated with a left knee to the gut."

Okay, three attacks in one. But shown as one attack. If you block the jab, it has interrupted the flow of the attack. Maybe the right hook would still be thrown, but not the knee. You need to look at the attack posted, judge what effect your interruption would have, and then continue as normal.

Perhaps a better way of demonstrating the interrupt is like this:

"Saladin ran forward towards Ravinter, his hand rested on the hilt of the sword. When reaching a few feet from Ravinter, Saladin would draw the sword, aiming to slash at the chest of Ravinter."

"Ravinter, seeing Saladin run forwards, followed suit, noting the hand rested on the hilt. Ravinter's hands dropped, and as he collided with Saladin, swept for his legs. The dropping of the hands was designed to stop movement of Saladin's sword-arm when the two collided, such was their positioning."

There we go. Ravinter successfully interrupted Saladin's attack. That should clear it up for you. If not, feel free to ask.


The End of A Fight

Whether it is one character dying, being knocked unconscious, or a certain criteria having been met, the fight will eventually come to a close. that final blow by the victor can often be a biting one, carrying much bitterness and upset. -=Sigh=- None of us like to lose. But, common courtesy would say that, rather than simply saying "Good fight" in an OOC comment at the end or not posting at all, write some sort of In Character confirmation. The final thought of your character as he falls to the floor, his life-blood draining from his neck as a result of your opponent's deftly positioned knife throw.

It not only gives closure from the fight, it makes it complete. A full story.


A Few Best Practices

*Take time with each post. Make sure it is written well and makes sense. That way, you can be sure that the fight goes smoothly as your opponent knows exactly what is going on.
*Remember your audience. Just like any other roleplay, a text fight will be read by you, your opponent, and possibly other people too. Remember that. Keep it entertaining.
*It's a story, not a text-book. Generally speaking, we don't need to read the medical terms for different parts of the body, or the quantum mechanical reasoning behind why your single-prep fireball is stronger than my single-prep defence. This is roleplay, it isn't a graduate-level discussion. Also: See above point.
*Keep to the rules agreed beforehand.
*Don't be a dick. Okay, so you don't agree with what your opponent just did? Discuss it with them. Come to a solution. Move on. Nine times out of ten, a judge isn't even needed when asked for. Just work together. After all, are you both not working together to do your hobby?
*Generally speaking, make one attack and one defence PER POST. Or one counter attack.
*Don't interfere in someone else's fight. Unless, of course, you are asked to do so by both parties. Whether that is in an IC or an OOC sense.
*It's only for fun. Remember this.


Text Combat Inside a 'Normal' RolePlay

All good stories need conflict. And what is roleplaying if not story writing? Sometimes that conflict can result in fighting between characters. Basically, you can follow this guide for when these situations arise. But please take the following into account:

*You are working together this time, not competing for victory. Plan out the fight in advance. Not move by move, that's boring, but enough to know the general flow of the fight.
*Don't let the fight 'become' the roleplay. That will ruin it for everyone else.
*Get it over and done with. I don't mean rush the fight, or let it not take natural progression. But, don't drag the fight on longer than it needs to: There are other people involved in the roleplay and they don't necessarily want to read you and the other guy fighting for seven pages.

Any questions at all about text combat, or roleplaying in general, ask them. To me, to someone else, I don't mind. Just remember, if you don't ask, you'll never know. Almost no question is too stupid to ask.
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Please tell me now what life is, Please tell me now what love is... Again, tell me what life is.

Tiko says: Saladin: Damn it, leave my hole alone.

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Re: Regarding Text Combat - A Tutorial

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby DA_SHADOW_PHOENIX on Tue May 22, 2012 11:19 am

*tears streak down my face* That was beautiful!
"Oh, there's some bubble wrap over there not being used? I'll just leave it alone."-Said: No one, EVER.
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Re: Regarding Text Combat - A Tutorial

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Alpha23 on Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:37 pm

Lord Saladin wrote:Introduction

Text combat is all about pitting one character against another in a fight. There are primarily two types of text combat: Speed-based and Turn-based. This isn't taking into account all the various rulesets that have been developed over the years. Speed-based is generally done in the chat, and is all about who is able to type the fastest. Turn-based is what you will find most of here on RolePlay Gateway, and what this tutorial will focus on.

As the name suggests, each player takes turns in describing their character's actions, with the hope of their character emerging from the fight victorious. How they achieve this is determinable by the style of fighting, and the abilities of a character. By its very nature, though, text combat also tells a story. Even if that story is only the progression of the fight.

We will be looking at the stages of a fight, various 'best practices,' some standard rules, and the different 'types' of combat.


Why Take Part in Text Combat?

It can be fun, that much is for sure. Testing your character against another. Testing your own logical thinking against another player. It most definitely can be fun.

It's something different. A sometimes welcome break from your more standard story-telling RPs. It also allows you to play your character in a different kind of environment. As well as that, moving out of your comfort zone can push you to new levels, which is always nice.

Competitive rather than collaborative. Competition is nearly always healthy, as long as it isn't taken far too seriously. It will help you to push your writing, your character and the other player. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, and text combat can be another welcome break from 'standard' roleplay.


The Stages of a Text Fight

The Introduction

This stage is often the part in which people are prone to put forth the most effort. I have often wondered why this is the case; after all, it is only an introduction: The fight doesn't actually start until after this.

The introduction is just that. It is an opportunity to introduce your character, the setting for the fight and any potential background for your character being there, engaging in the fight. So, what information should be included here?

The most important thing to introduce is your character. How you do this is up to you, but there are a few points that should be covered: Your character's appearance, the presence of any visible weapons, if your character is wearing armour, the external demeanour of your character. Basically, you need to give the other player all the stuff their character will see and be able to make note of. Sure, maybe the other character won't notice your character's cocky walk, but not saying your character walks like a cocky bastard is a little unfair. After all, you are still playing a role. :)

The setting should also be made clear in your first (introduction) post. Where is the fight taking place? Include that, as it's important, as well as any special conditions: Obstacles laying around, the weather, time of day, any other people in the area. This way, your opponent can be clear about exactly what is going on where they are.

Adding a background story to the fight certainly creates an extra depth, but it is purely optional. What events led your character to this time and place? How did those events influence his/her desire to fight? It can be nice to have some history to your fight, but don't worry if there isn't any. It can be perfectly reasonable to just fight for fighting's sake.

A few things to consider when writing your introduction:

*Do you really need to include every minute detail? If you do, you have wasted so many tools you can use later to add interest to your posts.
*Unless agreed otherwise, you should not mention your opponent's position or appearance. In a way, that is God Modding, or taking control of the other player's character. The exception to this, of course, is if you have agreed something beforehand, or your opponent has posted before you.
*The introduction isn't generally an opportunity to attack your opponent. Although, again, if you've discussed and agreed upon something else, that's fine.


Attacking

For at least half of the fight, you will be doing this. This tutorial isn't designed to teach you what attacks to use, so we'll be looking at the methodology of attacking in text combat. Firstly, we'll deal with melee combat (that is, martial arts and basic weapons).

Your character is attacking your opponent's character. Your character will use a specific weapon, or part of his/her body, to attack a certain part of the other character's body. That much is clear. As such, you need to describe this to your opponent. Just remember that the other character will see what your character is doing, describe as such.

For example: "Saladin punches Ravinter" doesn't really give enough information. With which hand is Saladin punching? What type of punch? Where on Ravinter is he punching?

"Saladin throws a straight punch with his left hand to Ravinter's face" does the job much better. It gives exactly what the other character would see, and as such means the other player can respond accordingly.

There are certain levels of detail not needed, however. For example: "Saladin throws his left hand towards the face of Ravinter, the angle being parallel to the ground, wrist slightly bent after a slight twisting, so that he would strike with the first two knuckles of his hand." That is just too much detail. For obvious reasons.


Magic

Magic can play a pivotal role in text combat, and is mostly used for attacking in some way, so we shall look at it here. Just make note that most of the pointers here will apply to using magic as a defence too.

The key point in magic usage is preparation. The more preparation used, generally, the more powerful the magic will be. So, what is a preparation? It is a turn that you use to prepare the spell/power/whatever. If you prepare an attack for two turns, in theory it will be twice as strong as an attack using just one preparatory post.

An example of a preparation post: "Saladin weaves threads of Fire and Air, channelling Saidin through his being."

Saladin, here, hasn't attack, but is preparing to do so. It allows the other player to be aware of an impending attack. Whether you let the character know is dependant on the magic, I suppose. As a general rule, I will always make it visible that a preparation is taking place. Even if the preparation itself cannot be seen. Like this:

"A white aura burns around Saladin as he starts to channel Saidin, threads of Fire and Air being woven together unseen."

The aura signifies that Saladin is preparing something, the comment of being unseen is for the other player. It lets him/her know that the threads themselves cannot be seen.

As for the actual attack... You need to be sure that the opponent knows what the effects of the attack are, how long they will last, and also what their character will see.

"Saladin shoots a fireball at Ravinter" isn't quite enough information. Also make sure that it is clear your preparation has finished.

So, for example: "With the weave now complete, Saladin had created a small ball of fire, much the size of a tennis ball, and shot it towards Ravinter's torso. The heat of the ball would be enough to sear the skin of Ravinter, and would dissipate on impact."

It gives enough description for the player, and describes what the character would see.

A note on attacking: While common convention says that you should simply describe the effects of the attack SHOULD it hit, you should be aware of what is termed 'closed style' posting. This is where you write as though the attack is successful. It is not god modding, as you can perform what is called an interrupt. This will be explained in the next section.


Blocking, Evading and Counter-Attacking

These concepts are easy enough to understand, to be honest, so I won't be going into a great deal of detail. There are just a few points to be made. Once again, we'll look at hand-to-hand/weapons fighting first.

Time and realism. In the amount of time it takes for someone to punch, will you really be able to take the dagger from under your cloak and use it to stab between the knuckles of the other person? Maybe if you are super-fast, yeah. But generally speaking, no you won't. This may be roleplay, it may be turnbased, but basic laws still apply. The same goes for any action.

Description. Again, you need to be telling your opponent exactly what their character will be seeing. But don't go overboard on the description.

Counter-attacks. When countering an attack, please consider what a counter actually is. It is a block or evasion followed by an attack. Detail your block/evasion, then make your attack, following the guidelines above.


Magic

Evading magic may or may not be possible. In the example above, Saladin throwing a fireball at Ravinter, it would be possible. Other times, you may have no choice but to block. On that note, you need to also take into account preparations. An attack that has four preparation posts behind it simply won't be stopped by a block with no preparations. Sure, the effects may be lessened, but it won't be stopped.

So, how can you work with this? Your opponent should have given signs of an attack for your character to see. From these signs, they may or may not know what the attack will be, but should be aware of an attack upcoming. Maybe you can work with a generic all-round blocking spell? That is one way around this.


The Interrupt:

Mentioned earlier, I will discuss this now. Your opponent may have written a closed post, or described a flurry of attacks (especially in hand-to-hand combat). That doesn't mean, however, that the attack will in fact hit, or that every attack in the flurry is successful. You can 'interrupt' their post.

As an example flurry attack: "Saladin threw a left jab at Ravinter, followed by a right hook, which was punctuated with a left knee to the gut."

Okay, three attacks in one. But shown as one attack. If you block the jab, it has interrupted the flow of the attack. Maybe the right hook would still be thrown, but not the knee. You need to look at the attack posted, judge what effect your interruption would have, and then continue as normal.

Perhaps a better way of demonstrating the interrupt is like this:

"Saladin ran forward towards Ravinter, his hand rested on the hilt of the sword. When reaching a few feet from Ravinter, Saladin would draw the sword, aiming to slash at the chest of Ravinter."

"Ravinter, seeing Saladin run forwards, followed suit, noting the hand rested on the hilt. Ravinter's hands dropped, and as he collided with Saladin, swept for his legs. The dropping of the hands was designed to stop movement of Saladin's sword-arm when the two collided, such was their positioning."

There we go. Ravinter successfully interrupted Saladin's attack. That should clear it up for you. If not, feel free to ask.


The End of A Fight

Whether it is one character dying, being knocked unconscious, or a certain criteria having been met, the fight will eventually come to a close. that final blow by the victor can often be a biting one, carrying much bitterness and upset. -=Sigh=- None of us like to lose. But, common courtesy would say that, rather than simply saying "Good fight" in an OOC comment at the end or not posting at all, write some sort of In Character confirmation. The final thought of your character as he falls to the floor, his life-blood draining from his neck as a result of your opponent's deftly positioned knife throw.

It not only gives closure from the fight, it makes it complete. A full story.


A Few Best Practices

*Take time with each post. Make sure it is written well and makes sense. That way, you can be sure that the fight goes smoothly as your opponent knows exactly what is going on.
*Remember your audience. Just like any other roleplay, a text fight will be read by you, your opponent, and possibly other people too. Remember that. Keep it entertaining.
*It's a story, not a text-book. Generally speaking, we don't need to read the medical terms for different parts of the body, or the quantum mechanical reasoning behind why your single-prep fireball is stronger than my single-prep defence. This is roleplay, it isn't a graduate-level discussion. Also: See above point.
*Keep to the rules agreed beforehand.
*Don't be a dick. Okay, so you don't agree with what your opponent just did? Discuss it with them. Come to a solution. Move on. Nine times out of ten, a judge isn't even needed when asked for. Just work together. After all, are you both not working together to do your hobby?
*Generally speaking, make one attack and one defence PER POST. Or one counter attack.
*Don't interfere in someone else's fight. Unless, of course, you are asked to do so by both parties. Whether that is in an IC or an OOC sense.
*It's only for fun. Remember this.


Text Combat Inside a 'Normal' RolePlay

All good stories need conflict. And what is roleplaying if not story writing? Sometimes that conflict can result in fighting between characters. Basically, you can follow this guide for when these situations arise. But please take the following into account:

*You are working together this time, not competing for victory. Plan out the fight in advance. Not move by move, that's boring, but enough to know the general flow of the fight.
*Don't let the fight 'become' the roleplay. That will ruin it for everyone else.
*Get it over and done with. I don't mean rush the fight, or let it not take natural progression. But, don't drag the fight on longer than it needs to: There are other people involved in the roleplay and they don't necessarily want to read you and the other guy fighting for seven pages.

Any questions at all about text combat, or roleplaying in general, ask them. To me, to someone else, I don't mind. Just remember, if you don't ask, you'll never know. Almost no question is too stupid to ask.

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