Revised FIGHT Guide - Playtested, 2nd Draft

TL;DR: Group had issues with FIGHT!, player and I made a revised version which simplifies the system overall, we would absolutely love feedback and criticism, and perhaps the attached document might be one you find useful.

Revised FIGHT Guide

Injury Charts

Notable Changes:

  1. Clarified move interactions, primarily by combining/eliminating some moves, and modifying others to have more standardized interactions.
  2. Adjusted wounds and wound penalties to make a slightly less lethal combat, suitable for parties that want to wear their scars and risk death, but not be completely terrified of a difficult fight.
  3. Clarified positioning rules and adjusted die advantages and obs, to mitigate potential snowballing of positional advantages, and create more opportunities for counterplay.


My group was involved in a multi-system “Sliders”- type game, wherein we would have multiple concurrent character sheets per character, depending on what world we had found ourselves in for that session/arc/chapter. This resulted in a game where the players were constantly learning multiple systems, and more or less mastering them on the fly, but the two primary (and purposefully thematically opposed) systems they were operating in were a modded Pathfinder 1.0 and Burning Wheel Gold.

About halfway through the game, I realized that even though we had spent quite a lot of sessions in BWG, we remained relatively illiterate on FIGHT!, taking what were sometimes complicated routes in order to avoid using that system. They loved Duel of Wits, and were pretty quickly fluent in some of the more arcane spokes of BWG, but kept dodging FIGHT!. After a couple forced encounters wherein I tried to present it as a viable option for large-scale, serious combat, it became clear that it just wasn’t clicking. This was a group that did not shirk crunch, and vocally wanted a nice, tactical, brutal combat system, but FIGHT! wasn’t working.

As a response, one of the players and I spent a few weeks working on revised rules for the system, which have been linked above. We playtested it in some controlled settings, and then introduced it to the game proper, where we were able to teach it and run it inside of half a session. It’s been a really successful hack by our standards so far, and we’re eager to share it with some other players, and see if anyone has any ideas for improvement, or notices any potential problem areas which we have yet to encounter.

Thank you very much!

This seems interesting! I might bring this one on my next game, and if players agree, I’ll give proper feedback. Thanks.

Avoiding Fight! is not a bug, but a feature of BWG.

I’ve heard that sentiment echoed a lot, but I think it’s sort of a flippant response to a pretty complicated thing. BWG is pretty clear that Fight! is dangerous and, at best, a last resort, but it’s still there. There’s still exhaustive instructions and pages of text on how to do it. Our problem wasn’t that we were mad that we had to do it, it was that when it finally came down to it, we just couldn’t nail down how.

This hack is just a simpler version which takes - I think - an order of magnitude less time to really grok.

In the old forums we had a Fight! subforum where we would hold tournaments and so on every now and then, both to work out the kinks of Fight! for ourselves and also as a how-to guide for people who wanted to wrap their heads around a tricky subsystem. I wish that were still around – we had some great times, and I know a lot of people found it useful.


Oh man. Let’s request a new Fight! sub-forum. I’d love to do that.

That sounds like a post for Setting Up Shop.

Edit: for the old forum.

I heard there was a new edition of BW out. Are these Fight! house rules in response to the new edition or the previous one?

I’ve always shied away from BW because it has a bit of reputation of being hard to learn. Is the game really that complicated?

My oppinion. Not if you start with the hub and don’t add too muchof the other rules first.

Start with stuff like resources and circles. But leave fight! Use bloody versus in stead.

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Thanks Aedhwish

Are these Fight house rules in relation to the newest print edition or the older one?

I was not aware that the newest print edition made significant Fight! changes, I thought it was mostly organizational stuff and errata, but to answer your question, this was in response to Burning Wheel Gold.

Ok thank you

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