[.9] Flurry 3

Tantarus

Squire
I find it really hard to playtest such a vague rule. The way the rule is stated does not agree with statements mythic made early in the first page. I honestly am not sure how to play a rule that you "just get the feel of". Everyone is going to feel different about pacing and speed issues.
 
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Graham Wolsey

Scholar
Denver Staff
Marshal
I've played a rule very similar to this one in other LARPs, but to everyone that hasn't please played it before making up your mind. I know some people that prefer this style, I'm just not one of them. Maybe you will be!
 

Ruki

Scholar
I'm sure it's a bit slower than you are used to in the states, but this isn't going to change the game into a turn based system like some people may feel/think. There is still very much a speed/flow/rhythm to combat.

But I feel like I'm doing more harm than good in this discussion with the poor way I'm describing the system. So I'll remove myself from this discussion. Sorry!
 

Avaran

Baron
After a few days/weeks, I have some more thoughts on Flurry.

From the OP in this thread, attempting to clarify:
Attack up to 3 times and then just pause. Let you[r] opponent respond in kind. Allow each other to call your defenses. Take a step back (helps eliminate charging) take a breath.
When we say "reset your stance" this means check your footing, check your charge distance and make sure your opponent does the same.
For reference, here is the Flurry rule as-written, copy/pasted from the 0.9 rules document:
This is intended as a constant change to Alliance combat in which players take no more than three consecutive attacks (weapon strikes and/or packet attacks) before pausing and resetting their combat stance. All players involved in a combat should adhere to this rule.
As someone who has never played Alliance with a Flurry rule, I am forced to read what is there and come to conclusions based on that.

First, it must be stated that the rule does not say "unless you both feel comfortable", it does not say, "unless you are more experienced", it does not say, "at your discretion". It says the rule is Constant - meaning it doesn't change and is always in effect - and that ALL players should follow the rule ALL of the time.

Second is no defined time limit from your third attack and when you can attack that same target again. There are only physical and visual queues like "letting your opponent reset their stance/move feet, call defenses, adjust positioning, etc. What happens if your opponent doesn't do that? Do I have to wait for them to meet all of the criteria before attacking again? Do they have to move their feet/reset their stance? Do they have to attack me before I can attack back? What about when fighting multiple foes? The literal writing is 3 straight attacks are allowed from the same attacker, regardless of target, regardless of the method of attack, and regardless of temporal transience until the one?/both?/all three? targets reset their stance, check their footing, and call defenses.

To-wit, as written, this underlined part shouldn't be allowed:
For a monster: You can attack multiple opponents 3 times each. Attack one, then switch your target and attack 3 more times, rinse and repeat.
That is four attacks in a row from that monster without "pausing and resetting their combat stance" and without letting their opponent respond in kind, without allowing each target to call their defenses, without taking a step back (which helps eliminate charging) and taking a breath.

If that is to be allowed, it needs to be re-written to be more clear on what is allowed and when it is allowed.

It is often brought up that very few players actually use these forums, and therefore very few players have access to people who wrote the rules and therefore "know what is intended".

For someone new to the game and only reading the ARB, at no point would they read that Flurry rule and came to the conclusions about combat that are outlined above.

And what about when they do ask? Are you going to like having to answer "Oh, it doesn't actually mean that, it's just understood that this what it really means, it's just not clearly written." followed by a lengthy explanation of what is actually means and how it actually plays?

Finally, it is a rulebook, with rules, not a guide book with guidelines that we can pick and choose to follow when they "feel right" because there is an arbitrary understanding between combatants that they may be more comfortable with faster-paced combat.

We don't ever allow physical body contact in a fight, even when people are comfortable doing so. We wouldn't allow to martial artists to just go at it because they want to. We don't allow shield bashing even if both parties are 'okay' with it. The combat rules needs to be solidly defined (one of my big frustrations with charging is that the person has to 'feel' like they are being charged, which is fine, but makes for a inherently difficult situations when one party feels they are being charged while another is upset because in their mind, they were never in any danger of making any contact and were fighting safely. This happens, it makes people upset on both sides, and I can see this rule doing the same kinds of things.

I should be able to read a rule and understand both its intent and its mechanical aspects without having to ask clarification. I don't feel that is too much to ask. The Flurry rule does not meet this standard currently. I feel the current explanation of "at least 1 second between attacks, weapon swings have to be 45+ degrees at the elbow, and are encouraged to be on different parts of the target's body (shoulders then legs, then hip, then back, then arm, for example).

I also feel that better enforcement of the "no machine gunning" rule would help a lot, as would the enforcement of "if I can't understand what you're saying, I don't have to take your effect/skill and your effect/skill is in fact expended".

If you are swinging so fast that you cannot
announce the damage fast enough to keep
up with the swings, then you are “Drum Rolling”
or “Machine Gunning.” Your opponent
should count all of that as one or maybe two
hits.
A weapon swing should progress between
45 to 90 degrees. If you are merely moving your
wrist back and forth to cause your damage, then
you are not fighting correctly and may be subject
to disciplinary action.
Consecutive hits upon the same spot on
the body only count as one hit. You must vary
your hits on your target in order to prevent
machine gunning. For instance, a double hit
upon the right shoulder requires that the victim
take damage only once. However, if more than
two seconds elapses between two scored hits
or if a different location has been hit, then the
damage is taken. For instance, if a warrior
quickly hits the right shoulder, then hits the
shield, and then hits the right shoulder of his
victim, the victim is required to take damage
twice.
I think the above is quite clear. And I think the following buttons it up nicely:

Page 94 of the PDF ARB:

Clear damage “verbals” will be enforced.
If the victim cannot understand the damage
called, he or she does not have to take the damage.
Warriors must pronounce their “verbals”
just like spellcasters must pronounce their spell
incants.
 

Muir

Fighter
I really, really wish those rules were clear and cleanly enforced at all times.

The concept I strive to fight by is a simple one of sportsmanship. If I am swinging so fast that I can barely get my verbals out, I am displaying poor sportsmanship (and possibly cheating), because I am not able to effectively acknowledge being hit or to meaningfully vary my striking locations. I am also fighting unsafely, because at that speed if an opponent stumbles or unexpectedly advances, I may have trouble pulling a blow to keep if from landing with inappropriate force.

Plus, of course, that sort of fight is absolutely no fun for most of the NPCs we generally fight. Getting rapid fire beaten down for 16-20 hours over a couple days while your own attacks never seem to do much because PCs are well defended and not acknowledging their hits is incredibly frustrating for them. So they speed up, and stop acknowledging hits, which frustrates the PCs in turn. Death spiral ensues until either the fighting stops for the night or marshals have to start reining people in.
 

Izzy

Newbie
The concept I strive to fight by is a simple one of sportsmanship. If I am swinging so fast that I can barely get my verbals out, I am displaying poor sportsmanship (and possibly cheating), because I am not able to effectively acknowledge being hit or to meaningfully vary my striking locations. I am also fighting unsafely, because at that speed if an opponent stumbles or unexpectedly advances, I may have trouble pulling a blow to keep if from landing with inappropriate force.
Hi Muir, I congratulate you on bringing up something that has driven me to stop lurking and actually post.

First you indicate that attacking fast displays poor sportsmanship /cheating. This would indicate a local cultural point of view where you believe the game should have slower combat. I think this is viewed differently in different chapters as some local cultures enjoy a fast paced fighting game. Calling this poor sportsmanship / cheating is trying to press your culture onto another who may not agree with you. Using the terms you chose if rather inflammatory. I would encourage you to review your labels in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork that will be needed to find a common ground in a future rule set.

Secondly you bring up safety concerns where you indicate that because you are fighting fast you are inherently fighting unsafe. You indicate that you might have trouble pulling a blow to keep it from landing with inappropriate force. Physics tells us that force is mass times acceleration. So perhaps if you choose to use a heavy weapon it may not be safe to fight with any fast swings, this isn't limited by a flurry, ever swing you take has this same risk. Now if you choose to use a light weight weapon you can use a lot more acceleration and still swing safely. This again isn't limited by flurry as every swing will be subject to this law of physics. So if you find yourself having do decelerate your swings before hitting to ensure a safe swing, you probably should look into the tools you are using. This will allow you to not have to concern yourself about striking to hard if an opponent stumbles or unexpectedly advances.

I have enjoyed foam boffer fighting for over 20 years both in systems with even a lighter touch than Alliance and with heavier hits than Alliance, as long as the weapons have been safely constructed, you are striking in a safe location and you take into account the weight of your weapon you do not need to be concerned about the safely of your striking. Should you find yourself concerned with any of those items I would be happy to share by fighting culture with you, should you be interested.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Hi Muir, I congratulate you on bringing up something that has driven me to stop lurking and actually post.

First you indicate that attacking fast displays poor sportsmanship /cheating. This would indicate a local cultural point of view where you believe the game should have slower combat. I think this is viewed differently in different chapters as some local cultures enjoy a fast paced fighting game. Calling this poor sportsmanship / cheating is trying to press your culture onto another who may not agree with you. Using the terms you chose if rather inflammatory. I would encourage you to review your labels in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork that will be needed to find a common ground in a future rule set.
I'm not necessarily against your entire post, but I'm kinda against this specific point. I think Muir was trying to point out that sometimes combat gets too rapid to the point where it's unintentionally breaking the rules.

1) As a Marshal, I've seen this happen a number of times. Combat gets intense, players ramp up accordingly, and before they know it, they're breaking the rules just because they're not dialing it down to a legal level. This rarely results in warnings, unless a player has to be repeatedly corrected over several events.

2) Verbals need to be clear and understandable to be legal. That's not culture, that's the rule. If they aren't clear and understandable, they're a flub. Edit: And if they aren't spoken such before the effect is delivered, they are also a flub.

I genuinely believe that, as someone who has also called Muir out for being inflammatory, that this point he made wasn't intended to be so.
 

Muir

Fighter
Pretty much exactly as Draven says. Fighting quickly is fine. Fighting so quickly you cannot clearly finish your verbals before an attack lands is not, and is in fact against the rules. Having to 'pull' a shot is a simple result of the nature of latex weapons. A standard boffer in good repair requires an exceptional amount of force put behind it to really hurt, as they have a huge safety factor designed in. A thinner-edged latex weapon, no so much. They need more control of which edge you're striking with, and where, to avoid shots that occasionally sting.

In my experience, this happens most often in big field battles. Players and NPCs are fighting hard, so they stop taking time to acknowledge hits in favor of getting out another damage call. Both sides then start getting frustrated because their attacks aren't having any apparent effect, and begin trying to hit more often in order to make up for that perceived lack of effect. As speed ramps up further, verbals get garbled or simply not finished before a shot lands, shot locations start to vary less because the strikes need to be faster, and everyone involved becomes less able to actually take what's hitting them because they're focused on offense and may honestly not have even heard it. It gets even worse when one side outnumbers the other, or a Big Bad is out and the Kings of Town are trying to wail on it.

I tend to duck out of the big Saturday Night Fights because that sort of fight simply isn't fun for me.
 

Saephis

Squire
If someone isn't finishing their incant/call/verbal before delivering the attack, they aren't following established, existing rules. Call your fellow players, PC and NPC alike, on it.

Creating a new rule will only create another avenue to forget, overlook, or otherwise not follow.
 

Billin

Newbie
It takes 19 hits to put an opponent with 150 body/armor down by swinging 8's. It takes 3 flurries in order to land a hit. Each flurry takes approximately 6 seconds. That fight would take almost 6 minutes to conclude. This is WAY too long.
I would like to say that I don't think 6 min is way too long. If you have two experienced fighters that are in heavy armor it should take time to finish the fight. That's the point of having lots of heath/armour. If I see someone in platemail I am not expecting them to go down fast. So your statement that a 6min fight is too long is a matter of opinion, one that is valid but not everyone shares.

But I do agree that a spellcaster coming along and "double tapping" the fighter can be a problem.
 
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