Friday, January 27, 2012

[Fuse Friday] System and Magic Duels

Fuse is a game setting I plan to publish. I’ll be talking about it most Fridays.

I recently mentioned I haven’t committed to making Fuse a Savage Worlds setting. The reason I haven’t cemented my system choice is twofold: 1) the setting is more important to me than the rules, so I want to make sure I’m not giving anything up when designing the system; and 2) I have concerns regarding the value of having Fuse with rules included, which I can’t do with Savage Worlds. That said, I will be presenting a lot of Fuse stuff with Savage Worlds in mind, since I’ve been heavily entrenched in the system for almost nine years. It’s what I know these days.

And speaking of which...

Kristian Serrano and I were chatting about magic duels the other day. It turned into a brainstorm session. Kristian is a Savage like me, so the rules we discussed were in that context.

I’m of two minds about duels at this point. On one hand, I think a magic duel could happen in the blink of an eye. Two practitioners lock eyes, they match wills, and one of them relents or falls. It would all happen in an instant--a single action in a combat round. On the other hand, it could be a multi-round thing that could be interrupted by the environment or other combatants. Let’s take my ideas in turn...

Instant Duel, Just Add Eye Contact

Both characters agree they’re dueling; neither duelist may move nor take any other action this round. The character with initiative holds his action till the slower practitioner is up, and then they begin the duel. There may be a +1 bonus on the first roll-off for the practitioner with a higher initiative card. This is an opposed Spirit contest. The loser takes a level of Fatigue, two if the winner got a raise. Repeat this roll until one practitioner falls. Incapacitation does not kill the loser, unless the winner calls for a Finishing Move. All this happens and resolves during a single round. No one in the combat sees anything, but the eerie eye contact of the practitioners.

Another possibility is an opposed Dramatic Task, first to five successes wins. Character death would still be a choice for the winner.

Protracted Duels for the Nosy Onlooker

These could work like the above two methods mentioned, but it would occur over multiple rounds. This would allow for more complications in terms of environment and the other combatants.

Edges and Hindrances

In either of the above cases, Edges and Hindrances would be created to allow players and GMs to create expert duelists.