Balancing Fight!

Hey guys,

We seem to have some balancing issues with Fight!. I know game balance is not as relevant in BW as it is in more traditional games so i’ll try to make myself clear here. When we get into Fight!, wich is rare, it seems to either go super fast as super easy for the PC (1 exchange, 1 exchange and a half and it’s done), it kinda goes exponantial and makes the whole Fight! conflict a little weird because too easy. Or, it’s not necessarly hard but it’s looooooooooong and grindy as hell, like the PC’s grind the monster’s armor till they start to damage it and slowly get at it (many exchanges…). Sometimes the monsters are just oo powerfull as well. We mostly have issues designing a balanced Fight! that makes for a good experience without making it easy on ourselves or just making it too long and difficult. We have problem finding the middle ground. Any tips? Have you encounter the issue in your sessions?



There are some old threads on this subject that I think had some good advice.
Thor’s post in this thread
Kublai’s 2nd post in this thread
Those might be a good place to start.

You really can’t use Fight very well for the kinds of fights you get iconically in D&D. Weak enemies don’t do a little bit of damage and then die; they are likely to just die. And strong enemies are likely to be overwhelming. Where Fight shines most, in my opinion, is when the outcome is and should be uncertain. Fights between equals where either side has a real chance of victory are exciting and tense, but they also probably don’t happen constantly.

As far as how to balance things, eyeball the player characters’ skills and stats and go for something roughly even. For a hard fight add a few; for an easier fight subtract one or two points from critical skills/stats.

The closest thing to a long, challenging, winnable fight would probably be against something without armor, with very high PTGS so most landed Strikes inflict superficial or light wounds, and a reasonably high attack skill with low power so it’s mostly inflicting superficial and light wounds regularly but rarely anything more serious. That gives the beastie time to throw out some inconvenient damage while being killable. It’s also probably not a very interesting fight, just a slugfest.

I guess you could spice it up by having it try to grab (Lock) people and drag them away or something.

I would agree with Wayfarer. I think where you can really make Fight! shine is in a duel or small highly climatic engagement (such as party vs BBEG and his henchman). For almost any other situation I would say bloody versus, or just rolling works better.

I think it is also important to choose your fight in accordance to your storyline. We made the mistake of over using the fight mechanics, busting out the fight rules for something that colud and should have been handled by vs. or bloody vs. instead. Doing so caused some scenes to drag out, while making the fight seems underwhelming.
That left us somewhat unprepared for how the first “real” fight went off and it all just felt wrong to the group. The story dictates how important the conflict is to the big picture. That helps me to determine what game mechanic to use at each juncture in it

Thanks ctrail good stuff with the links. Thanks to everyone as well.