Author Topic: Microlite74 Fists of Fury - Unarmed Combat & Improvised Weapons  (Read 2781 times)

Offline randalls

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Re: Fists of Fury - Unarmed Combat & Improvised Weapons
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 11:00:44 am »
I'm new to Microlite74, but not to D&D. Combat is not all about weapons and armour. Sometimes there are fistfights - tavern brawls, kidnap attempts, surprise attacks at night, escape attempts from prison. Microlite74 doesn't seem to cater for these. The aforementioned editions of Microlite74 only offer: "Unarmed Combat - A Fighter/Adventurer with this special ability does 1d6 damage with his bare hands (instead of the standard 1d2 bare handed damage)."

[Note: my apologies for the long delay in answering this. We are in the middle of a major remodel and days go by where I only have enough access to my PC to (try to) stay current with job-related stuff.]

Standard bare-handed damage is 1d2. It works well in game, although it certainly does not simulate reality well. In reality most fights are short (whether with weapons or fists) because fighters tend to tire quickly even if unwounded. TSR D&D and close variants do not attempt to simulate short-term/combat fatigue. Neither does Microlite74.

The Unarmed combat expert does a lot of damage with his/her fists. if it seems too much to you, cut it to 1d4 or even 1d3. the point was to make the unarmed combat specialist game-effective. Even so he is less effective than a fighter specializing in melee or ranged weapons.

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I certainly know which side I would want to be on during a medieval battle if a Regiment armed with just their fists fought against a Regiment armed with swords.


A regiment full of adventurers (leveled fighters) with or without unarmed combat is not something the rules are intended to support. A regiment would be composed of the same types of (0-level) warriors in the hirelings section.

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Of course, there is the option of a Grapple Attack (p5 of the Extended Edition, Version 3.0), but that doesn't seem very likely in most fights. Most people want to punch, kick, bite, and head-but their opponents to death, before their opponents can do the same to them.

All of those are covered by regular unarmed combat (damage 1d2). If you want detailed (instead of abstract) rules for fist fights, you are free to create them or borrow ones you like from another game.  If you come up with some good original rules that can be released as open game content, I'd e happy to add them as optional rules in a future supplement.  Your suggestions seem like a good start for such rules.

Offline Half-Orc-Assassin

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Fists of Fury - Unarmed Combat & Improvised Weapons
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 05:32:39 am »
During the long winter months, there isn't much to do and all us orcs are a bit bored and annoyed. You humans think spending Xmas Day with your relatives is bad, but just try spending three or four months of the year crammed into a small, damp cave in the mountains with your entire tribe. Its crowded, noisy, and only warms up when there was beans for dinner. Privacy and toilet-facilities are non-existent and someone always seems to step on someone else in the dark, because that someone else used the torches as easy firewood. Then we all beat both of them until they shut-up.

In good years there's a lot of important works of art brought-up from the lowlands. Inspirational paintings, ornamental tapestries, ancient religious icons, wooden busts and statues of heroes and kings - it all burns a treat for breakfast, dinner, and tea. It's all carted-up during the Summer Raiding Season. Don't worry. We don't waste anything. We cook the horses with the wood from the carts. More food means we can make more orcs. We melt down all the metal from the carts and horseshoes and turn it into swords, spears and axes for the new orcs to use. Then we go raiding in the Summer. Life is good in summer, but there are only the beatings to look forward to in winter.

One night, my cousin sat next to me by the fire. We had fought together in many raids and he had once been hit by an arrow, instead of me. He howled when we broke the shaft off and never liked me ever since, just because I laughed as hard as the others. I had just thrown a picture of some green-looking human-woman smiling on the fire and the paint was bubbling nicely. The smell of the paints was making me feel light-headed. I don't know why he thought he could steal the heat from my works of art when he could have just burned his own or maybe someone else's. I can't stand thieves, so I turned round and smashed him straight in the mouth.

This caused him a firm 1d6 damage to his teeth, sending his few remaining front fangs skittering across the floor. I had ignored the nearly useless light pick I use for mining as it's wicked-looking spike can only do 1d4 worth of damage. Of course, only orcs can perform unarmed combat because only we read by firelight as we burned Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery and Special Version I. Law-abiding humans have only read the Extended Edition and think they know all there is to know. My cousin cursed like the devil, spitting blood all over me, he picked-up a rock and brought it firmly down on my head with both hands. It bounced-off harmlessly as we all know rocks can't hurt anyone.

My dagger (1d4) was getting in the way so I tossed it to one side and readied my fists for another attack. Laughing like nails down the blackboard, I gave him a low-blow to his stomach, scoring another 1d6 of damage and rupturing his heart. His eyes crossed and he dropped-down dead. I reached for my bib and cutlery as my crew unwrapped the pots in preparation for the customary funeral rites. Being a traditionalist, I opted for ketchup. My cousin would have wanted it that way. Besides, mayonnaise is so new-age and brown sauce just overpowers the flavours. We ate well that night and used the arrowhead we found as a toothpick.


I'm new to Microlite74, but not to D&D. Combat is not all about weapons and armour. Sometimes there are fistfights - tavern brawls, kidnap attempts, surprise attacks at night, escape attempts from prison. Microlite74 doesn't seem to cater for these. The aforementioned editions of Microlite74 only offer: "Unarmed Combat - A Fighter/Adventurer with this special ability does 1d6 damage with his bare hands (instead of the standard 1d2 bare handed damage)."

This nominally makes fists more dangerous than the likes of Daggers, metal Gauntlets, light Picks, and Slings. It also puts fists on a par with various axes, blunt instruments, pole arms, and swords. I don't know if people are picturing a fistfight with Rocky Balboa, but those fights would take-up half a film before a (short) speech at the end. No-one died. If the Referee's had thrown a couple of Daggers into the ring, then there might not have been all the sequels.

I certainly know which side I would want to be on during a medieval battle if a Regiment armed with just their fists fought against a Regiment armed with swords. I am wondering if I have missed something, bearing in mind the words, "... instead of the standard 1d2 bare handed damage ...". Is there a rule in some forum posting or other edition of the rules. I have looked, but if it exists then I have missed it. Perhaps someone can help me here.

Of course, there is the option of a Grapple Attack (p5 of the Extended Edition, Version 3.0), but that doesn't seem very likely in most fights. Most people want to punch, kick, bite, and head-but their opponents to death, before their opponents can do the same to them. Real fistfights are chaotic, tiring, and fast. They don't last long, because only trained athletes can make them last longer than five minutes and then only with frequent breaks. Wrestling an opponent who is determined on trying to kill you is just too dangerous and formal when your life is on the line.

I don't want to be one of those people who post pointless questions without offering any suggestions. What I can say is that I think think there needs to be a paragraph about this. Fighting Class characters should be limited to 1d3 damage, while all others retain 1d2 damage. Strangling, punching or kicking someone to death takes a long time, so this is going to be about attrition rather than the sudden blow of a dagger. Of course, the first round of unarmed combat should have a Strike Speed of 2, while all others should have a Strike Speed of 8 against the same opponent. This is to reflect the facts that people take time getting into the right position to start a fistfight, but once they do they have to be really close to their opponent and can't stop fighting until one side has lost. It also helps deal with what might happen if an unarmed opponent is facing an armed opponent.

I don't know how this fits with the Monk optional character class, but it might be best to keep them separate, as the Monk has been turned into a living weapon following years of dedicated training in unarmed combat, while everyone else picked up what they know from playground, tavern or barrack-room fights. Remember, most armies only first started training their soldiers in unarmed combat during the Second World War. Before that it was all bayonet training and boxing matches as sporting contests. Only the working-classes that soldiers were often drawn from used their fists to settle their personal disputes, while the middle classes used the law, and the upper classes used swords or pistols. Criminals were marked by using anything unfair that came to hand, such as hidden weapons, kicking people when they are down, or using broken bottles.

I'm guessing that the GM needs to be specifically allowed to rule on the effects of improvised weapons - gravel/sand/small objects thrown at the eyes (leading to reductions in Strike Speed), chairs (-2 Strike Speed, two-handed weapons, roll 1d4 for number of uses before broken, 1d4 damage), chair legs/pokers (use or throw as clubs), broken bottles/sharp implements (1d4 damage, 1d6 at GM's suggestion for special cases), hitting with a rock (-1 Strike Speed, 1d4 damage single-handed, 1d6 damage two-handed). Improvised weapons are considered broken/unusable/knocked from the hand following a Critical Miss against an opponent armed with a medium or heavy weapon.

Can anyone suggest where I should look for further details or suggest something better? I would appreciate whatever advice or input people care to offer.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 05:06:32 pm by randalls »

 

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