Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Melee for Metalheads Part 1: Getting Close Enough to Kick Ass

Since some of my players have lousy eyeballs or poor attention spans or both, and they happen to play fighters, I'm re-writing my melee house rules just for them.

Dude, a fight broke out! All those slavering monsters want to eat your lungs or something. Go kick some ass!

Where am I?

Either you're "engaged in melee," meaning you're standing toe-to-toe with some other guy that wants to kill you - or some slavering monster that wants to eat your lungs or something - or else you're "not in melee," meaning you can mover around a lot more freely so you can decide who you want to go toe-to-toe with. Or maybe throw stuff or something, whatever.

But if you're not in melee and you want to be, you need to get moving.

How Far Can I Move?

If you just want to move around the battlefield and not do anything else, you can run up to your Exploring speed. That's useful when you're chasing or running away from the monsters. 

If you want to do something useful, like charge into melee or pull a flask out of your pack, you can only move your Encounter speed. That's way slower than running, but at least you can still attack.

If it's your ass that's getting kicked, you can try to leave melee, but the monsters might not let you off the hook. You can either withdraw, which means you back away but you're still ready for a fight, or you can retreat, which means you just want to get the hell out of here.

If you withdraw, you only move half your Encounter speed, but if a monster advances you get First Strike - you get to attack it on its own turn and maybe kill it and be all, "You shoulda just let me walk away."

If you retreat, you get to move your full Encounter speed, but if a monster advances you're boned - it gets +2 AP and ignores your shield. But hey, if the monsters don't advance on you, you're not in melee anymore, and you can run for your life or drink your potion or whatever you wanted to do.

And if the monsters chicken out and try to get out of the fight, you can let 'em go or you can advance on 'em at full Encounter speed, and try to cut 'em down while they flee your awesome wrath. Just pay attention to if they're withdrawing or retreating, so you know if they've still got some fight left in 'em.

Next time: how to kick all the ass. 

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