As a recreation about martial artist heroes, motion scenes—particularly people who contain fights of some form—are a key element of the narrative of Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Sport (AL). Its distinctive fight system can current distinctive challenges for first time GMs, and even to those that already are acquainted with the PbtA design principle! So let’s dive in with 5 recommendations on the best way to run nice fight.
You already know that fight in AL is structured in exchanges. These exchanges are extremely structured, with combatants selecting their approaches first, then resolving in a particular order—Defend & Maneuver first, then Advance & Assault, and eventually Evade & Observe—and with the PCs going first and the NPCs going after. To this point, fairly just like fight in most RPGs, proper?
Effectively, one of many fundamental differentiators between Avatar Legends and different RPGs relating to fight is that in AL there’s the distinct risk to do one thing in between fight exchanges apart from preventing. On this window PCs can set off different strikes, equivalent to the fundamental strikes or playbook strikes, that normally aren’t obtainable throughout an alternate. Possibly The Daring needs to assess the scenario to offer steering to their fellow companions? Or The Prodigy needs to problem an opponent? Or maybe The Successor needs to motive with the villain, thus triggering a transfer like persuade and even information and luxury?
All of those in-between-exchanges’ strikes not solely match the Avatar Legends fiction completely, however lets you keep away from the customarily tedious and repetitive nature of fight in different RPGs. Particularly of their first few fight exchanges, don’t overlook to remind your gamers about this window and provide going into one other alternate immediately solely if it matches the fiction and they resolve to not do one thing else in between exchanges.
One other dying knell to enjoyable and interesting combats in video games is once they’re static. You’re preventing the identical bunch of goons for what looks as if an eternity, in the identical house and with no main, noticeable adjustments all through the struggle.
To counter this, don’t be afraid to shake issues up a bit each occasionally. The villain escapes and now the PCs should resolve the best way to greatest use their turns throughout the next fight exchanges: do they carry on preventing the villain’s goons or do they go after the villain (by utilizing a fundamental approach equivalent to Seize the Place to meet up with them, Smash, and even Bolster or Hinder to impede their escape)? This may create an especially dynamic and enjoyable expertise for everyone on the desk, as there’s now a brand new layer to the fight.
As one more instance of the identical philosophy at play: have a number of combats operating in parallel. Use one alternate order—i.e. the identical method resolves for all combats on the similar time—and, on this method, you may have some characters in a single place—e.g. defending a village—whereas others are on the market preventing the invaders. This makes it doable to current layered and attention-grabbing conditions with out overwhelming the gamers (or your self).
One of the vital essential guidelines in Avatar Legends is that not each confrontation ought to find yourself in a fight. An addendum I might add is that, even when a fight occurs, not all combats must be the identical.
Some combats will probably be dramatic fights towards monologuing villains, sure, however you too can have quick engagements towards goons that assist to spice up the PCs morale (and/or to offer new gamers some low-stakes combats to be taught the system); duels resolved “to the primary blow” (whoever inflicts the primary situation); and even conditions wherein preventing is a type of presentation/attending to know one another via non-verbal means.
All of those—and the various extra you may most likely consider/give you—will let you insert very important motion scenes in the midst of in any other case action-less conditions.
On this sense, keep in mind that Avatar Legends is, at first, a recreation about martial artist heroes. The “martial artist” half is a key element of its authentic fiction—and most likely the expectations of all gamers on the desk!
In my expertise, inflicting fatigue and situations till an opponent cannot take it anymore must be solely one among many choices obtainable in a fight. Most opponents ought to produce other avenues to be defeated, equivalent to debilitating them to the purpose of shedding their management (marking one particular situation, for instance) or the victory situations of the struggle itself must be such that PCs can win with out having to spend 10 exchanges hitting somebody time and again. This may typically be achieved by establishing situations wherein the fight is about greater than “preventing to the dying”, equivalent to stopping a ritual, releasing a prisoner, or maintain a sure place till one other occasion happens.
Plus, more often than not it is mechanically extra environment friendly to defeat opponents by difficult their beliefs, particularly via the “Check Steadiness” fundamental approach—though that makes them extra harmful, as they get extra strategies every alternate when their stability monitor strikes.
Lastly, strategies and mixtures are enjoyable and all, however always remember that fight is simply one other a part of the general narrative of an Avatar Legends recreation. As such, I typically prefer to refer different gamers—and myself—again to that narrative with a easy query: “What does that appear like within the fiction?”
Keep in mind to explain what every approach and transfer appears to be like like in that narrative second. Sure, you Strike at somebody, however what does that appear like? Do you utilize a fireplace kick, an ice dagger, or a blast of wind? This can be very dependent in your particular coaching however, even then, you may select to make use of new descriptions as your character grows and adjustments and even add variations to your description relying on the present fictional scenario. This concentrate on the narrative will improve your expertise of utilizing the fight alternate framework in Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Sport.
Fight exchanges are extraordinarily enjoyable and versatile! They might look overly sophisticated however, in actuality, they’re a tremendous framework so as to add that extremely essential motion element to your recreation! Give it a strive as written, be affected person together with your gamers (and your self) and, with apply, you’ll get probably the most out of them very quickly!
Writer: Helena Actual (she/her)