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Author Topic: High Noon Showdowns and Iaijutsu Duels  (Read 5309 times)
Ian Christiansen

Posts: 24

« on: October 21, 2008, 01:19:15 PM »

Hi guys,

I've got a query regarding situations where one would draw and attack in a single motion, as per the situations in the topic title. I've got a Wild West game running right now on a forum site, and we've come to a showdown scene. Here's my conundrum though:

Drawing a weapon = 1 action
Aiming a gun = 1 action (side note: wouldn't this apply to all missile/projectile weapons?)
Firing a gun/weapon = 1 action

Now I understand the bit about firing without aiming at -2 dice. I'm kinda thinking to allow the draw/shoot action at -4 dice maybe, but that's a pretty heavy penalty. I do want to allow it however, because you see it all over the fiction. Hell, in some of my favorites Ol' Clint draws and fires about three rounds in as much time as anyone else gets their shooter out of its holster!

Aside from all of that, the Sorcerer involved in the duel has a demon gun that can give him Fast. Fast says that it allows a character to do 'a little bit more' in a combat round, but it specifically states it does not grant him two actions. Drawing and firing is at least two actions, three if the character aims as well. I agree that Fast should give an advantage all right, and it does on initiative at the least, but I don't think that the quickdraw duel scenario should only apply to Sorcerers with Demons and the Fast ability.

The other way I'm thinking to run it is as a two-round Draw, then Shoot Combat. I reckon about a half second per round is appropriate in the situation, as the guy in the Wild West fantasies is usually dead in about 0.89 seconds.

Iaijutsu duels could work the same way I suppose, though they would be even faster I think, and twice as lethal. You don't wing someone in a close-quarters katana fight!

Any thoughts, feedback, or experiences with these situations?

 - Ian

Posts: 1429

« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 01:53:58 PM »

Hi Ian,

For drawing and shooting in the same action, I'd just stick with the -2. And let Fast negate that.  Otherwise, I'd just run it as an ordinary complex conflict with special attention to what exactly the players announce as their "actions."  It seems to me that Will based actions would be highly appropriate.  But don't restrict players to the same action.  Like don't force, a draw roll, a shoot roll, in a sequence.  Just let them declare actions and let the system work its magic.

For example,  consider this:

Player A: I unnerve him with my steely gaze (rolls Will)
Player B: I just draw and shoot. (rolls Stamina, maybe with -2)


Player A goes first.  Player B faces choice, Abort or defend with 1 die.  If he Aborts then what you have is two guys staring at each other for round with one guy clearly more stressed than the other (depending on outcome).  If he doesn't abort and fails then Player A gets to roll all his victories over onto his defense against the shot and if he succeeds then you most likely have the shot gone wild while Player A stands there looking gritty as all hell.  On the hand Player B may persevere through all his roll an Player A ends up with a bullet in him despite his gusto.

Now consider what happens if Player B goes first.  Now Player A can Abort or roll one die.  I think the most interesting outcome to consider here is what happen when Player A rolls one die, fails but Player B then fails to defend against the Will roll.  I'd read that as Player A takes the bullet but does so in an unflinching manner that unnerves the hell out of Player B.  That means Player A can roll over his victories onto his next action which might very well be, "and now I draw and shoot."

Or both players from the get-go may just be like, "Hell with it, we draw and shoot."  Roll Stamina.  Run the system.

This allows for the full range of dramatic effect beyond just "who draws", "who shoots", "who gets hit."

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 07:12:42 AM »


Jesse has nailed the basic principles involved - use the announced actions rather than a pre-ordained 'combat sequence' as the guide.

The only tricky bit is when a character is performing a single action in which both Cover and another descriptor are both implicated. You get a "free roll" for this purpose, basically picking one to augment the other, which takes no in-game time. Again, since rolls are action-driven, obviously both descriptors are 'obvious' in the action for this to be used. Anyway, so you roll the first one against some handful of GM dice (use the little chart in the resolution section for that), and if successful, its victories become bonus dice for the second, 'real' roll.

Notice that Fast is not necessary to do this, but it might provide some leeway for the details of the first descriptor to be more complicated if that's what you're going for.

With Jesse's post as a foundation and this bit as modifier, you should be armed for extremely strong "draw!" situations.

Oh yes - and if both characters are just standing there, both committed to shoot "if the other guy does," not backing down, then go ahead and roll with the basic attacks. I do this in con demos all the time to show how the system does not permit stalling.

Best, Ron
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