The Fighting Styles of Forthright Open Roleplay have gone through several iterations as we’ve been building the game. We’ve been aiming to distill the fundamental gameplay down into truly different tactical choices without overlap. Back in the day we started with 15 (!), and the currently-available Open Beta 0.04 has 10. For 0.05, we acted on feedback we’ve gotten from playtesters and condensed even further:
- There are now only three ranges: Close, Far and Extreme. Close is within “run and punch” distance, so about 30 feet. Far is “attack with a ranged weapon” distance, but too far to run and punch. Extreme is “too far away to attack.”
- The One-, Two- and Three-Star variations are gone. You pick your Fighting Style and that’s what you get, you don’t have to worry about what you can advance to at the start of play.
Fighting Styles now give a character an amount of Luck representing how much damage they can take or avoid before suffering a permanent Injury, a Range of attack, a Damage die for that range, and a single Boost that gives them a special ability that helps define their tactical approach.
- Deadeye: 20 Luck, 1d10 Far Range
- Duck and Cover: Your target cannot use the Counterattack Exploit from Far Range.
- Guardian: 40 Luck, 1d8 Close Range
- Challenge: You can force the target of your attack to fight only you until the end of combat. You can release a Challenge before the end of combat when you reach 0 Luck.
- Juggernaut: 30 Luck, 1d12 Close Range
- Terrify: When your damage reduces your target to 0 Luck, you can apply any unused damage to any enemy in Close or Far Range.
- Scrapper: 30 Luck, 1d6 Close Range
- Dance of Battle: You can apply your damage to two different targets in Close Range.
- Tactician: 20 Luck, 1d4 Close/Far Range
- Command: You can direct an ally to attack in your place. They use your Fight Check and their damage and range. Targets can (their choice) Exploit you or your ally.
For all characters, attacking outside your specialized Range gives a Damage die of 1d4. Which means a Deadeye attacking a Close target does 1d4 and a Juggernaut attacking a Far target does 1d4. These damage dice identify not the type of weapon you wield, but the ability with which you wield it. So, a Deadeye is simply more talented with attacking at range, even with a pea-shooter of a weapon, because the Deadeye knows where to aim to maximize effect. A Juggernaut, on the other hand, is all about dealing heavy hits up-close, but isn’t great at the more delicate art of aiming at things far away.
These Fighting Styles are much tighter and provide the core elements of gameplay. What about the Fighting Styles that have gone away?
- Caller was very popular, and is now represented by the Tactician. Protagonists will be able to purchase Minions with Boosts, replacing the Beast from previous iterations of the system.
- Scrapper now combines the Scrapper, Deadshot and Reaper into a single role. Against a single target, the Scrapper is most effective applying Hinders such as knockdowns, disarms, etc. Against multiple targets, the Scrapper excels at light damage. The removal of the Medium Range band made the Deadshot redundant.
- The Destroyer and Sharpshooter were combined into the Deadeye, and Power as a mechanic was removed from the system. While potentially interesting, we found that Power only slowed down play by requiring tokens for basic attacks and not providing the Destroyer with its full potential until late in a battle. While this gave the Destroyer the ability to always be a fight-ender, it made them weak until the fight was already on its last legs. Not too fun.
- The Pacifist has gone away because it did not fit comfortably with the other Fighting Styles. While we loved the concept, we found that in play it was often clunky and caused dissent and frustration among groups where there was a combination of Pacifists and other Fighting Styles.
So, what do you think? Let us know! And thank you for reading 🙂