Battle Tournament!

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Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:32 am

Hi All,

I know there's a decent amount of sparring that goes on in game, and I'm planning to organize a tournament to make friendly non-lethal combat a more official thing for those that want to participate. This will be everyone's chance to show off their amazing combat prowess.

The location will be the Brawler's Retreat. I haven't set a date yet as I'd like to work out a lot more details first. Namely, the rules and divisions.

I see this as an elimination tournament. Players are paired and fight. The winner of each battle advances to the next round within the division while the loser is eliminated.

I have two issues that I'm struggling with. One is that I would like all to be able to participate on somewhat equal ground and therefore I think divisions are necessary.

We could certainly break the divisions by melee/ranged skill level. For example something like, 0-500 skill, 500-1000 skill, 1000+ skill. Another option is to require use of the tutor command but this does not make sense to me at all in this type of setting and different fighting styles/weapon choices would certainly cause problems and imbalances.
In the end, I'm hesitant to break it down by skill level as I'd like the people who have more skill to be able to use it (It's only fair) although I don't want to discourage newer players from participating. I'm thinking that grouping players by similar skill levels for initial matches might be a good idea and at least allow some younger players to get in an extra match or two. Any thoughts?

In the theme of NON-LETHAL combat and to make matches more exciting for the audience, I would like to limit weapons to those that will not one-hit. I think that guns, warmauls, some polearms, and some other two handed weapons will have to be out if there is a weaker weapon within the same class. Since I'm really only experienced with brawling and brawling weapons, if someone is knowledgeable about weapons, your input would be valuable.

Anything that is area effect will certainly be disallowed. Stealth and hiding will also be disallowed (the idea is that this is an open arena battle so there is no where to hide. Instant death attacks will also not be allowed (coup, assassinate, etc). Animates/minions will also not be allowed as this is intended to be one on one combat.

If everyone thinks it's a good idea to not divide by skill, I would want at least two divisions: The options would be unarmored - lightly armored and moderately armored to heavily armored or non-magic user/magic user divisions. If anyone has a strong preference, please let me know. A free for all with no divisions is also a possibility and is least biased.

Rules regarding magic use (I think there will need to be some) will be determined after the divisions are sorted out.

What does everyone think? What would make this most fun?

I'd also like to gauge interest. If you know for sure that you would want to participate or even volunteer a services (prizes, healing, etc), let me know here.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Alexander » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:49 pm

I will volunteer healing and revitalization as much as I am able, schedule permitting. I can heal up to moderate wounds via thaumaturgy.

If there is an issue with using thaumaturgy in support of such an event, I would appreciate a word saying as much, and I will withdraw my offer. Considering the event appears to be decidedly non-lethal and more in the vein of friendly competition rather than some kind of gladiatorial bloodbath, I imagine it would be similar to providing healing during any other sporting event during which injuries are likely to occur, which I imagine would be within the bounds of the thaumaturgic guidelines.
(Alexander clenches a fist momentarily, then stops and calms himself with visible effort.)
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:01 pm

Thanks for volunteering your help, Alexander. This is certainly not a bloodbath and combat will be stopped once either a moderate or bad wound is sustained. You are correct in that it is intended to be a sporting event.

That being said, I have always stopped combat for bad wounds or above in the past while sparring and it hasn't seemed to be a problem. I think this is probably the max acceptable level of wounding and we will certainly need a thaumaturge or two to take care of injuries (although there is also an infirmary located in the brawler's retreat close by). I hope this event does fall within guidelines for thaumaturges.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:03 pm

Non lethal will be difficult with real weapons, When I like to spar I tend to go with wooden weapons, Rudis, walking stick, carved spar, ect. However, a tournament would be more interesting if done with your prefered, favorite weapons to add some ingenuity into the mix... I dunno.

What'd be really lovely is to prove average, gm made specially blunted weapons of your choice for the tourney competitors, functioning the same as a real version of the weapon but at a fraction of the damage.

I don't like separating people by skill levels like that. It will eventually come to something similar, but just out and out saying "Your swords is over 500, head left" feels off to me. Hmm. Maybe a preliminaries round? it'd require some GM help, but you could fight matches of advancing difficulty against npcs of all sorts, and your section could be determined by how far you get.

As for the idea itself: I love it, so much. I've been pondering doing something similar for some time.
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Alexander » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:16 pm

A possibility for acquiring weapons of lesser lethality is to ask participants to seriously abuse a weapon beforehand and then set it aside for the competition. When weapons become heavily damaged, their damage output decreases dramatically, as experience with one poor over-used longsword has taught me. This is most efficiently done by using the weapon against creatures with heavy armor or natural resistances. Copper weapons will become damaged especially quickly, and so may prove an ideal material choice.
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:21 pm

Magic: it's very powerful, but I'd allow most of it thanks to the drawbacks (namely constant energy loss and inability to use it effectively while armored). However, some example of outlawed magics might include: Aoe, fears, and some other hard to defend against things (like mummer skills). Magic is also very capable of doing quite heavy damage at range, perhaps a limitation on using magic in position avoid? Some magicy types chime in with suggestions here.

Dirty tricks: These might be the stealthy types strongest tricks when in a fight where they can't hide. I think over use of these might be outlawed, but one or two here and there probably wouldnt be noticed even in a real tourney. Perhaps using more than one or two in succession would net you huge boos? I dunno I hate to take away a great weapon of those who worked for their stealthiness.

Range: Almost all ranged weapons have damage at the level that it would be hard to allow them in, but perhaps bows could be ok'd as long as practice arrows are used, crossbows and guns would be out. It's hard to "blunt" a rock, but if smaller ones were used slings might be allowed.

Disarm, feint, ect: I support the use of these, but they'd have to be monitored slightly in some cases (ie can't pick up someone's weapon once it's disarmed and store it for the whole fight. People have a hard enough time picking their weapons up while under attack already.)
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:24 pm

Alexander wrote:A possibility for acquiring weapons of lesser lethality is to ask participants to seriously abuse a weapon beforehand and then set it aside for the competition. When weapons become heavily damaged, their damage output decreases dramatically, as experience with one poor over-used longsword has taught me. This is most efficiently done by using the weapon against creatures with heavy armor or natural resistances. Copper weapons will become damaged especially quickly, and so may prove an ideal material choice.

A fine idea. Have each participant submit a request for their prefered weapons, and a copper version of them will be broken to bits and used for the actual fights. The actual breaking should likely be left to someone besides the competitors to do, to avoid any cheating of any sorts( "Mines heavily damaged!" *actually is only scuffed*)
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Xyra » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:33 pm

Alexander wrote:A possibility for acquiring weapons of lesser lethality is to ask participants to seriously abuse a weapon beforehand and then set it aside for the competition. When weapons become heavily damaged, their damage output decreases dramatically, as experience with one poor over-used longsword has taught me. This is most efficiently done by using the weapon against creatures with heavy armor or natural resistances. Copper weapons will become damaged especially quickly, and so may prove an ideal material choice.

I'm honestly surprised there aren't more training weapons in the game. They seem to be being worked on with the various wooden weapons, though they have an oddity of you wanting the lowest quality possible so as to provide as little damage as possible.

I think it'd be nice if, instead of straight up wooden weapons, there were actually dedicated 'training weapons' in which high quality actually provided less damage by virtue of being made properly (no odd sharp bits or splinters poking out and the like). Then the tournament organizer could hire someone to provide a few sets of training weapons, and maybe be on hand to make extras if it turns out one particular weapon is extra popular.

Training weapon discussion aside, I like the idea of the contest in general. I'm conflicted about how to set up the initial pairings and such. On the one hand, you don't really want to do the standard sports thing of having high ranked people battle low ranked people, because the fights won't be interesting at first, and it means no one with a skill under a thousand or so really has any incentive to even join up. On the other hand you don't want to pair up the strong at first and weak at first because then the 'finals' may end up being someone with 3000 skill vs someone with 400 or something if they come from opposite ends of the bracket.

Your best bet may indeed be to have a novice, adept, and expert division, but instead of simply putting people in one or the other purely based on an OOC skill number, perhaps have them do a quick spar against someone with reasonable defenses, and have them grouped based on how many hits they get out of 20 or something like that. Top third go into expert, bottom third into novice, and rest into adept. That would be a fairly reasonable way to divide the people (tactics none only, obviously for the attackers), and would allow for little luck aberrations where someone seems more or less skilled than they really are.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:40 pm

I love the idea of dedicated training weapons where higher quality results in less damage, but on the wooden weapon example, lower quality is mostly for lower rolls, rather than lower damage. And while I could see the "avoid sharp bits" example for higher quality meaning lower damage, I can't see the rolls being lowered at all by higher quality, and when the lower quality ones would do more damage... it would still be more efficient to just get a wooden weapon of terrible quality.

For skillgain at least. But for just sparring, these weapons would be beyond perfect.
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:10 pm

Thinking about this more, I think a free-for-all with no divisions is probably the best idea. We'll bracket people based on how close I feel they are to hitting a pre-appointed target (probably myself unless the GMs are able to provide something such as npcs) in a qualifying round. I will then bracket by skill. To prevent a low skill from fighting a high skill in the final round, winners may have to fight a more or less challenging opponent in the second round and beyond. I will try to procure small prizes for anyone who makes it to the second round or beyond, but I hope newer players will not let this format keep them from entering. The goal is to have fun!

I'm concerned that there may not be enough participants to have fairly even divisions as well.

Regarding practice weapons, I like the idea of GMs providing heavily damaged copper version of weapons to reduce damage (or even players damaging these weapons themselves). I think this would only need to apply to weapons with a max damage of over 40 per strike. Can arrows currently be made without a head (i.e practice arrows)? Would this reduce damage to the point where it would not be a fair fight for ranged users? Are then any bow types with low maximum damage? No guns or very heavy weapons allowed. Slings will be allowed as they will not kill a target unless it is a very lucky strike to the eye. Maybe we could supply a crate of "fair and sanctioned" weapons of different types and combatants will get to choose based on their preference...

Training/wooden weapons currently do not span the full range of weapons and I don't think it's fair right now to ask heavily overworked GMs to take on more coding for this.

Magic will allowed as long as it is not AOE, no more than 2 channels are used (to reduce damage), it is not a mummer or other fixed chance disabler, etc. I doubt templars would participate (and monks can't) but if it is within guidelines, thaumaturgy for the purpose of healing one's own wounds during combat would be disallowed. Anyone using these abilities will be disqualified. Again, no minions will be allowed. No stealth will be allowed.

We also want a fair fight, but dirty tricks will be allowed as long as they are not excessive (i.e. a couple during the battle or what procs in tactics: dirty tricks). This will be judged by the combat officiator. Those practicing excessive use of dirty tricks or anything else (including successful spamming of disablers like tackle or potentially things like tangle root) judged to not be within the spirit of the tournament will be given a warning and the match will be stopped. Once the match is continued, if that technique is used after, the combatant will be disqualified.

Matches will be stopped once a combatant becomes either exhausted or badly wounded.

Anything I'm missing here? How does this plan sound?

I already have an artisan volunteer to provide a weapon or leatherworked item of exquisite quality or greater (may have time to provide a masterful but at least exquisite) to the winner. I'm hoping we can get some additional prizes as well.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Xyra » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:18 pm

Arrows can be made without proper arrowheads via using 'sharpen arrow' and it (is supposed to, never tried it before) lower the damage, so that might make them fairly doable.

All in all a tournament like this is somewhat difficult to pull off at the moment because of the lack of training/practice weapons. Still, it sounds like there are enough means out there to make it happen, just going to take a bit of doing. Hopefully when the GMs eventually get around to it (you know, after rewriting the entire world cause they're busy and awesome and doing so much) we'll have proper training weapons to do a non-lethal battle a bit more easily.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:22 pm

I've been told that they are working on non-lethal combat and was actually told at one point that a tournament like this may need to wait until then. I'm not saying that this will be risk free, but I think it is still doable and got word that this could be supported to some extent. Besides, I like the idea of a little bit of risk... accidents happen, afterall.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Kunren » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:05 pm

Acarin wrote:Thinking about this more, I think a free-for-all with no divisions is probably the best idea. We'll bracket people based on how close I feel they are to hitting a pre-appointed target (probably myself unless the GMs are able to provide something such as npcs) in a qualifying round. I will then bracket by skill. To prevent a low skill from fighting a high skill in the final round, winners may have to fight a more or less challenging opponent in the second round and beyond. I will try to procure small prizes for anyone who makes it to the second round or beyond, but I hope newer players will not let this format keep them from entering. The goal is to have fun!

I'm concerned that there may not be enough participants to have fairly even divisions as well.

Regarding practice weapons, I like the idea of GMs providing heavily damaged copper version of weapons to reduce damage (or even players damaging these weapons themselves). I think this would only need to apply to weapons with a max damage of over 40 per strike. Can arrows currently be made without a head (i.e practice arrows)? Would this reduce damage to the point where it would not be a fair fight for ranged users? Are then any bow types with low maximum damage? No guns or very heavy weapons allowed. Slings will be allowed as they will not kill a target unless it is a very lucky strike to the eye. Maybe we could supply a crate of "fair and sanctioned" weapons of different types and combatants will get to choose based on their preference...

Training/wooden weapons currently do not span the full range of weapons and I don't think it's fair right now to ask heavily overworked GMs to take on more coding for this.

Magic will allowed as long as it is not AOE, no more than 2 channels are used (to reduce damage), it is not a mummer or other fixed chance disabler, etc. I doubt templars would participate (and monks can't) but if it is within guidelines, thaumaturgy for the purpose of healing one's own wounds during combat would be disallowed. Anyone using these abilities will be disqualified. Again, no minions will be allowed. No stealth will be allowed.

We also want a fair fight, but dirty tricks will be allowed as long as they are not excessive (i.e. a couple during the battle or what procs in tactics: dirty tricks). This will be judged by the combat officiator. Those practicing excessive use of dirty tricks or anything else (including successful spamming of disablers like tackle or potentially things like tangle root) judged to not be within the spirit of the tournament will be given a warning and the match will be stopped. Once the match is continued, if that technique is used after, the combatant will be disqualified.

Matches will be stopped once a combatant becomes either exhausted or badly wounded.

Anything I'm missing here? How does this plan sound?

I already have an artisan volunteer to provide a weapon or leatherworked item of exquisite quality or greater (may have time to provide a masterful but at least exquisite) to the winner. I'm hoping we can get some additional prizes as well.


I agree with most all of this, but have a few problems. I am horrifically against only weapons with over 40 damage getting the copper/heavily damaged versions, light weapons have their own strength and would get massive advantages over the larger weapons if they were allowed to remain undamaged while heavier weapons were penaltied so harshly.

Also, slings. It may be true that they can't one shot without an eye shot, but they can do upwards of 80 crush damage from a distance with a large stone, if there is no way to reduce that a bit id personally outlaw them.
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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Xyra » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:13 pm

You could disallow ranged weapons entirely. I mean, yes, it would suck for those people who specialize in them, but there really aren't any real world examples of head on ranged combat being used in a practice/tournament setting, and the reason is more or less the exact problem we're encountering here, which is that it is very hard to make them anything less than devastatingly dangerous.

As for weapons, I think they should all be of the same brand. If you're doing heavily damaged heavy weapons, the light weapons should be heavily damaged as well, unless you're talking about disallowing weapons that do over 40 damage entirely, which would be virtually all weapons to my knowledge.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:37 pm

Well, the 40 was a random cutoff, but the idea would have been to disallow weapons that do risky damage. Lighter weapons usually come with more strikes, so I think a heavily damaged version of those would be fine as well. I still want to entirely the outlaw warmaul, etc.

I think the best way to go about this is to have a crate full of heavily damaged weapons covering each of the possible categories besides guns and have combatants pick one prior to starting each match, and then return to the crate when done so the next combatants can use them. I think a whip and maybe even staves could be included in the crate without being heavily damaged though as they do very little damage on their own.

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Re: Battle Tournament!

Postby Acarin » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:41 pm

Anyone know if smaller rocks are available for slings that do less damage? Maybe this is something a sling user would have to come in to the tournament with. I don't want to disallow slings entirely if avoidable (they're kind of nasty for heavily armored people so it could make things fun watching a lightly armored sling user take on a heavily armored guy). I don't know of many who use slings though so maybe this isn't a big deal.

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