Questions about Fight!

I’m a relatively new BW Gm, I want to introduce the Fight rules in my ongoing game and have planned a short introduction for it to explain to my players and somewhat test it out. Now while preparing for it I was confused on some of the details, I hope these are not extremely easy to find information that I somehow have missed. A short explaination about these would be extremely helpful. I’m sure I will add some further questions after testing it with my group.

  1. Block & Strike: Do the bonus dice from a equipped shield aply to the Block portion or do they only apply to Block and Counterstrike?

  2. Great Strike etc: Lets say I have Reflexes of two, I want to Great Strike what do I actually script, do I have to script Great Strike twice and then No Action? Or can I script No Action in the second volley and get another action in the third volley?

  3. Choosing Weapon: Before each exchange you choose the weapon you are fighting with, this means from the weapons you are holding currently right? (so the sword i’m holding or my free hand etc. not weapons still on my belt)

  4. Counterstrike: It says Counterstrike doesn’t test vs Block, Avoid and some others, does this apply only to the defense part or also to the Strike portion?

  5. Steel: Does hesitation from Steel tests “stack”? What i mean by that: If i get wounded while already hesitating, do the additional hesitation actions just get added to the duration? Or does the higher one count?

  6. Wounds: Wounds do reduce Reflexes, so if i get a 1D wound penalty in the first volley of an exchange do i lose my next action or can i choose which of the remaining ones I lose?

  7. PTGS: 3 Su wounds count as a Li wound, does that mean i remove the Su wounds and add a Li one in the PTGS or just handle it as that. Also what happens if i receive more then 3 wounds of a type, does it still apply to its tier or does it go one stage up? (since there are only 3 spaces in the PTGS)

  1. They do. Treat Block and Strike as the Block action and the Strike action fused together, and you should be good. You get shield dice to Block, Block and Strike is Block… And Strike.

Great Strike – Great Strike – No Action
No Action – Great Strike – Great Strike

I don’t know if there’s any provision preventing scripting an No Action between the Set Up and the Strike, but it may not be wise.

  1. Yeah. Or a spell on your tongue. Spells and missiles kinda cheat, I think, in that you can position with a spell that isn’t threatening anyone yet, but it’s kind of a trade off in that once you shoot your shot, you’re exposed.

I have let a player engage with a weapon they didn’t have drawn yet – kind of using the logic of spells and missiles – and that was probably a mistake.

I definitely made’em script two Draw Weapons to bring the weapon into the fight, and so should you.

  1. It applies to both portions. Counterstrike is fundamentally defensive. If the enemy doesn’t attack, you spend the action waiting to respond to an attack that never comes and the fight moves on.

  2. The way I run it, they stack. Most folks here probably run it the same way. I’m not sure if there’s any text in the books on this, though.

  3. You ignore the loss to Reflexes from wounds until the next Exchange. BWG Pg. 433

  4. I think the two Superficials disappear and you get a Light (and an accompanying Steel test). I think that conversion only happens with Superficials to Light. You’re not likely to see many people accumulating more than a couple Light+ wounds. They are far too likely to be run-off, incapacitated, or discouraged before that happens. Remember that die penalties from wounds effect Steel tests.


(Looks like I missed @Gnosego 's excellent reply. My apologies!)

Hi @notmebutet !

1. Block & Strike: They apply to the Block portion of Counterstrike (BWG p480 / 481).
e.g. a 2D Target shield would add +2D to the block/defensive part of your action. No adding 2D to the attack!

2. Great Strike: Both are fine.
Since you choose how to split your Actions over the Volleys (providing you’re splitting as evenly as possible), you can script:
(V1) Great- (V2) (V3)-Strike!
(V1) Great- (V2)-Strike! (V3)
(V1) (V2) Great- (V3)-Strike!

3. Choosing Weapon: Correct.
I’d not let you Position with a weapon you’re not holding. If you’re holding a long sword, then, to my mind, you could choose to position with the sword (weapon length: Long), or hands (weapon length: Shortest).

4. Counterstrike: If there’s no test, nothing happens from your side.
Counterstrike is waiting for your opponent to attack, so that you can counterstrike. If you’re not being attacked, then you cannot counter-attack.

5. Steel: I believe that it stacks.
If you’re being hit whilst Hesitating, might I suggest Run Screaming or Beg for Mercy as your next Hesitation action?

6. Wounds: We’ve always played that you play out the rest of the Exchange, and then reduce your Actions from the next Exchange. Thanks @Gnosego for the page ref (p433).

7. PTGS: Remove the 3 Superficial wound and replace with a Light wound (BWG p488 “Three Superficial Wounds”).
You can keep receiving Wounds of all different types until you fall over, you lucky thing!
NB: If one of your Stats is zeroed by Wound penalties, no amount of successful Steel checks will keep you going. Time to lie down for a bit (BWG p489 “Zero Stats = Incapacitation”).


That’s right! I beat you! I am the greatest! Wahahaha!


Hey guys, thank you so much for the in depth answers, these were really helpful and exactly what I was looking for. I’m sure my upcoming Fights! will go swimmingly now with this new wealth of information. Else I’ll consult here again.


I’m back with a couple more questions. I have to say I really like the variety of combat that Fight! brings to the table. The fights we’ve had so far went completly different to what I expected, but were a lot of fun. Now I have some more details to acquire about:

  1. Vying for Position: Two combatants with long swords are engaging. One of them chooses his fist for positioning. Can he still fight the exchange with his sword without disadvantage, although he lost the positioning test?

  2. Aggresive stand + Counterstrike: On aggressive stance it says +2 Ob for Counterstrike does this apply twice, for the strike and the defend?

  3. Taxed Stats: For some interactions there are the opponents Stats listed as the Obstacle, for example Push or Lock. In these cases what happens if the opponents relevent Stat is taxed or otherwise reduced? Is the base value or the reduced value used?

  4. Lock: I was wondering if a person is no longer incapacitated after a fighter releases his lock, although one or more of his stats were reduced to 0 through the lock

  5. Spells: When casting a spell in combat, can you interrupt your Cast Spell actions and script something different like a Avoid, or must the casts be consecutively?

  6. Charge: When failing this action you have to Stand and Drool for your next action. Does this apply to your next scripted action or just the next volley. So what happens if I scripted No Action for the next volley, do I get around this punishment?

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  1. Nope. He’s out of position at the wrong distance for his sword so he takes the penalty.
  2. Ah, the perennial question: Only way to have it make sense is if it counts for both halves.
  3. Use the current exponent value (max minus tax or injury) for these obstacles.
  4. I don’t quite follow. The Locker chooses to release someone. They may continue to hold their captive even after the fight ends.
  5. You may interrupt your casting, but you’re not going to be happy about it. See the Spell Interrupt rule.
  6. Your next scripted action converts to S&D.

Thanks for the swift reply Luke, I really appreciate it.

Sorry about that, I botched that sentence. What I meant by that: Once the incapacitated fighter gets released, are the reductions to his stats persisting and he is basically unconscious. Or can he get up and keep going.

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The Locked dice are restored once the lock is released.


I’ll hop in with two tid bits of my own.

Regarding positioning with a weapon not in hand:

Part of winning position is successfully threatening your opponent with your weapon so that they may not advance or successfully diverting their weapon so that you can break past. In general, keeping the business end trained on your opponent is safer, and doing otherwise is risky and situation (Feint, Aggressive stance, the like).

Regarding releasing an incapacitated opponent from a lock:

According to Zero Stats = Incapacitation (BWG 489), incapacitation via physical stats leaves the victim conscious, albeit in a sore way. They should be able bounce back right away when released. Since Lock only affects physical stats, that’s the end of it. If you release an opponent incapacitated by a Lock, they’re no longer incapacitated.

However, Lock seems like the action for stuff like choke holds too, and they’d be a little different.


First of all, incapacitation via mental stats represents loss of consciousness. If you allow asphyxiating Locks to affect mental stats, they can knock their victims out. Unlike being released from a joint lock or pin, lack of consciousness is a little sticky:

If a character is knocked unconscious and it matters how many beats, volleys, etc. it takes them to come to, call for a Steel test. They’re out for as long as they hesitate.

Outside of extended tests, you can Say Yes as well. Do they get up right after the roden assassin is kicked off of them? Yes! Can they lock the unconscious guard in the Lord’s chamber before she comes to? Yes! Can they expect her to stay down for the entire heist? No, people don’t really stay unconscious for that long unless they’re injured.

Which leads to the guidelines: if a nonplayer character is choked unconscious by someone inending to kill them, they’re dead; If by someone who doesn’t intend to kill them but hasn’t done this before, roll the DoF. On a 1, the character is dead anyway. If a player character choked them, they have one chance to save their victim from certain death with an appropriate medical skill test (ye olde CPR).

Conventional wisdom is that a choke hold can kill within thirty seconds. In a Fight, that’s a very long time. To take a page from the Star Systems hack rules for being on fire (p.118), one exponent per volley/exchange seems to be a good rate of advancement for a death countdown.

So here’s a rule you can use:


You may script Choke instead of Lock. Choke functions identically to Lock, except the attacker tests at +1 Ob and Choke reduces mental stats and social skills in addition to physical stats and fighting, shooting and magical skills.

Once all of a character’s stats are reduced to zero by a Choke, they fall unconscious. At the end of the next exchange after they fall unconscious, they take an Incidental wound as from their attacker’s bare fist. At the end of every following exchange, this wound advances one exponent, all the way to Mortal, at which point the character is dead (or spends Persona to miraculously recover).

If the Choke is released, the wound is set at its current exponent. Choking wounds do not bleed, but otherwise function like ordinary wounds. Each successful Choke against the character inflicts its own wound.

You may switch between Locking and Choking by scripting the opposite action. Test against the victim with current accumulated penalties, but reset to the results of the new Lock or Choke. For example, when switching from a 3D Choke to a Lock, if you roll 1 MoS, the new Lock is 2D rather than 3D. Switching to a Lock from a Choke counts as releasing the Choke.

So, a chokehold from someone with B4 power against someone with B4 stats and B10 Mortal Wound will kill them in around 25 to 30 seconds, assuming an exchange is around 3 seconds. Right in line with the data.

I recommend restricting Choke to Martial Arts, Garrote or its own skill.


There is also Damaging Locks in the Codex for making Locks hurt.

To contextually the incapacitation via Locks it can be handy to consider when a Fight! should end and that the winner gets to decide the lover’s fate due to Let it Ride. So, if we’re in a Fight! and you Lock me up until I can’t move, I am incapacitated and the Fight! is over. What happens to me is up for you to decide. I can’t fight back; the result of our conflict rides.

On the other hand, let’s imagine you’re fighting me and three of my buddies. You Lock me up. Great, but the Fight! continues. When my buddies brain you and send you Running Screaming, I’ll be let go and fine. Maybe you’ll get back into the Fight!, in which case I’ll be up and ready to go.


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