How would you role play spar damage?

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How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Dranso » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:11 am

I don't often spar or get into pks (I actually don't think I've been in a pk for six or seven years) but when I do spar I'm never very sure how exactly I should rp the damage done. When I say spar I mean a bout between opponents in the Fields of Triumph for example. Should I role play getting lacerated and spilling blood, getting bruised and knocked out, being near death and my opponent's ability to stay their last swing the only thing that saves my life? Or should I rp no blood being spilt, a hit as a strike on armor doing no real bodily harm, and a stun as being knocked to the ground without being knocked unconscious? What are your thoughts? Feel free to extend this to any class.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by hasryn » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:05 am

It really could ve either or. Depending on the races and slognments involved. The strong survive the weak perish. Or hey that was a jice ringing blow im gonna have a bruise to remember that by. Ive done both in the past.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Areia » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:12 am

I've personally always tended much more toward the former of the two, mostly because it's more realistic-ish kinda sorta in my head. I mean, in actual RL, you wouldn't be using a regular sword to try to harm a fully armored opponent in the first place; plate armor as I understand it was crafted specifically to pretty much neutralize anything that wasn't either very thin and stabby or very massive and polearm-y. But since the norm is to ignore that bit outside of friendly spars, I just naturally ignore it in them too and end up imagining a very bloody and very dangerous engagement, different from a fight to the death only in that whoever wins doesn't take that last strike. I also tend afterward to RP my character's being injured enough that rest and gear reparations are needed, just as I would after coming home from battling goblins or what have you.

There is gear available in game that would facilitate a more training session-y feel to the RP of spars also, things like wooden practice swords, breakable lances, etc. for those who might prefer that sort of vibe from a spar, which makes me think even more that if you're using an actual sword, you'll be inflicting real, potentially serious damage as far as RP goes.

It's ultimately up to those involved, though, I think. I wouldn't ever be like, "Hey, that's wrong!" if I saw two folks sparring and smoting no real injury. With casters, on the other hand, I probably would. Killmode stun or no, I feel like magic is magic, and there's no way to lessen the impact of meteors falling on your opponents head. Funny enough, killmode stun is not remotely garunteed to save someone from dying when magic is involved, so ya. I know it's technically a bug, but in my mind it's very fitting.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Oengus » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:16 am

A great question.
I've always believed (like the Society for Creative Anachronism) that mauls and other brutish blunt weapons are off limits for demonstrations and spars. Why? There's no way to hold back with them, you're going to really badly injure someone if you hit them with a warhammer.

For that matter. Blunted and wooden weapons are used so you -don't- badly damage someone, accidentally or otherwise.
In the case of live steel however - at least in a friendly spar - generally the armor is the first to be damaged. If you're getting hurt through your armor it could be the stinging force of a blow, or perhaps a blade found its way through some segmentation of armor.

Earnestly my opinion is thus: not RPing your injuries is a sense of unbelievable egotism in many cases. No one wants to see their noble hero get hit with a bat by a troll or stepped on by a big angry tree. But if it happens, it happens, and for sake of realism and creativity it can be difficult to balance in a fantasy world like Faerun.

On that same token, if you're badly injured you can visit any priest with so many available it is much like a Medieval 7-11. It's very difficult to embrace your limitations, I'm not perfect by any means in this regard, yet I try very hard to accept the flaws and the bloodshed.

Even blunted weapons can break skin and bones or even knock teeth out. Though not everybody can or will have the chance to spar with some of these weapons, if sparring is your thing - you will still find that almost everyone looks down on foam weapons for a nice battle-ready Starfire sword or other similar weapon made for full contact with a blunt edge. Also, chainmail is really burdensome no matter what you do when you are wearing it. Plate is a lot easier to sit in since it kind of props you up in it, but I digress.

Be mindful of the weapons you use in a spar and your opponents armoring. It's also a lot like professional wrestling in the sense that sometimes, you get a guy in the ring who just refuses to act like he's hurt, that's called a no-sold hit - like Hulk Hogan's super armor. When that happens in a match things get more intense as people really try to hurt the other guy to put on a good show, or at least express their displeasure with the opponents decision to forego theatrics for their own ego.

Try to imagine how it would feel if you were struck in the real world. If someone wants to swing an enchanted greatsword at an opponent, and each participant chooses to pretend that it wouldn't completely ruin them on contact, that's fine. The scene is already in progress so it's not really worthwhile to slow up the roleplay with a lesson about how pain hurts - just keep the story rolling. Sometimes the best thing we can do is be an example unto others.

In and of itself, going to killmode stun is open to interpretation: either you are using parts of the weapon that would not fatally injure someone or you are withholding your strength as to knock the opponent unconscious rather than fatally wound them. A slap from the broad side of a blade, a skullcracker on its pommel, even a hilt (bell guards!) could deliver nonlethal damage. After all, there is a surrender command to yield before you are beaten within an inch of your life into unconsciousness.

So to answer the question more thoroughly, I would say I generally take soft tissue damage which gradually worsens along with repeated blows to the same hit location, and just how much I invest in the damage pose is balanced upon the attackers emote to begin with and the results of the dice - respective to the weapon used and the armor worn on the wounds location. The whole point of armor class is that you must somehow overcome the armor, and the higher the AC goes the more difficult it becomes to do so. I'm also a fan of roleplaying the clang of armor being struck for rounds that do not imply a dodge was made but a blow was evaded. I must agree with you Areia, it's rather unsporting to just play off a massive loss of hitpoints as a boo-boo. I hope sharing this long-winded opinion of mine helps.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Yemin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:55 pm

I tend to try and rp injuries on the rare occasion I spar.

I don't have a sparring character anymore. or at least, not one that will do it often. But I remember on Xand I used to try and at least give a smote at the end to the effect of dizzy from bloodloss.

I view the FK IC sparring attitude to be far bloodier than what you would have here on earth. To Xand, there's no issue using his flaming +2 sword on someone in a friendly spar because there is literally a cleric down the road. or so he believes.

This extends and effects other facets of rp as well on my other characters. Injury, death that sort of thing. My characters generally are far less afraid of these things because they either can heal themselves or know that most injuries can very quickly and easily be healed. that's not a slight against the game mind you. it is siply how the FR super DND characters are.

I know that RL if I could walk 5 minutes down to the pharmacy and get a cut heeled, I'd be far less risk averse and more willing to do things that caused pain if I knew that pain would almost always be taken away fairly soon.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Hadwyn » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:53 pm

In a similar vein to Areia and Oengus, I think much depends on the characters and equipment involved in the spar. While I have done spars with the specialty equipment and RPed appropriately, it is something my character rarely uses for a number of RP reasons. To the character that I have that participates in such activities, sparring is a test of skill and should only be held back within certain limits. He allows other characters to impose certain rules and, if he knows an opponent is over-matched, generally takes small steps in the code to prolong the spar, either by using lesser equipment, +defense, etc.

I have always RPed during the spar element of a bought the amount of energy drained as I went though displays of blood or the hobbling of an individual body part, if one was especially damaged. Difficult bouts look to take more out of him than easier ones. When he loses, while good-natured, he usually limps about more than normal. The length of time it takes to heal naturally is pretty restrictive, but by terms of time passing in the game we are talking hours. I have had difficulty at times with repeated bouts and healers immediately (and graciously) coming to the characters' aid. At some points, I have RPed still being stiff and sore and others, less so. I try to avoid ever feeling completely invigorated, even though the magic may indicate such.

Sparring is always a matter between those participating. If you come upon a bit of a crowd, definitely try to make it worth their time to enjoy it. You can be a bit more lenient if you are just two individuals, unless it is a situation between a master and apprentice and teaching is involved. However, if you are sparring at any point, you should at least pose every few passes.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Harroghty » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:21 pm

Echoing some points already made: I take the game environment, the type of combat, and some thought to the character into account. To summarize, I tend to play injuries down or not drag their mention past the immediate time after the combat. I do like to, when possible, smote about damage during the spar and think about what that hit to the arm might look like or whatever. It's worthwhile to be dazed, bloody, and bruised after a combat, but you're probably right as rain 30 RL minutes later (if not sooner).

We often ignore weather in this game because the compressed game to real time ratio means it moves too quickly to reasonably respond to each shift. Likewise, this is a game where injuries which would in real life take months to mend take only hours. The severity of injuries in general is therefore diminished (never mind that it's a world where one's arm can be magically grown back for a few coins). Because of all of this, I tend to treat injuries more lightly generally.

The type of combat guides my decisions about what the physical impact might be. We may not all drop our best gear to grab wooden wasters and mouth guards for friendly spars, but I like to assume that my character's friends are not trying to cripple him. Therefore, in a friendly spar I might minimize the damage done verse a life-or-death struggle with a mortal foe.

When I was at the Infantry Officer's Course there was an instructor who won the Navy Cross (this the second highest award for valor that a US Marine can win). One day he said something like, "I think my wrist is broken so I only want to run the obstacle course once today instead of twice." And it was, and he did. Our personal tolerance for injury is more than likely far less than that of our characters whose whole lives revolve around mortal combat and its trappings. I think that they might have less dramatic a reaction therefore.
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Re: How would you role play spar damage?

Post by Rakthar » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:26 am

I agree with Harroghty, most of the time when i spar, and i spar a lot on this forum name equivalent PC, a healer is always around the corner, pain is something they endure daily, so tolerance is also on the roof, while the spar is going on, pain, heavy injury, and what comes with that, are acted out, having to take a kneel for heavy injury in a short span of time, spitting globs of blood, all that is cool, and as dwarfs gonna be dwarfs, mine keeps the marks and lashes he cherishes, for being milestones of a sort of another.
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