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Old 08-09-2018, 09:17 PM   #1
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

"Entering the starting hexes, armed and ready to meet your opponent as he enters from the opposite-end of the arena..."

The above is the typical Melee Combat Scenario we all play, and although I have not played the following variations below - these are just random thoughts, and *not playtested* - I am sharing these variations here; hoping you might add some too.

Combat Scenario #1: 1-on-1. "Where's My Knife?"

Opponents enter from *opposite sides* of the arena unarmed and unarmored. There is *one* ST-appropriate (suitable for use by either combatant) hand-weapon laying on the ground in the center most hex of the arena. You know what to do.

Combat Scenario #2: 1-on-1, plus 1. "Here Kitty, Kitty":

Opponents enter armed from the *same side* the the arena, but not engaged. The far-side exit is open, and will only allow *one man* to pass through, and then the portcullis immediately comes down, cutting off the exit to the other contestant. On the turn after the contestants enter the arena (Turn #2), a Lion is released into the arena from the same entry side that the contests enter from, and then that gate is locked.

Combat Scenario #3. 4-on-4. "Center Breakout":

A team of 4 offensive contestants start in the center megahex of the Melee arena map. The opposing team of 4 defenders has 2 defending men stationed at each opposite end of the arena, with each subgroup of 2 defenders blocking their respective exits in the starting hexes. Secretly, *only one* of the exit gates is unlocked and will let offensive contestants pass to escape. Flip a coin to reveal if the exit gate the first offensive man tries is the open gate or the locked gate.

It takes a man one action phase to try the gate to see if it will open, and is the only action he may take that turn. He may open the gate on the same turn he tries it - *if * it is unlocked - but he may not pass-through until his next movement phase. The defenders will not flee, and of course, they fight to the death. An offensive player only "wins" by exiting the arena, not for killing defenders; and a defending player only "wins" only by killing an opponent.

Combat Scenario #4: 6-on-1, "Blind-man's Bluff":

You start at the entry hexes armed with a ring of invisibility and a dagger in one of the far entry hexes. Your goal is simply to escape through the far exit of the arena, OR, survive in the arena for 8 turns. Your opponents, stationed at the far end of the arena are 6 in number and they are armed with spears.

Combat Scenario #5: 4-on-2, "Monkeys-in-the-Middle":

On either side of the center MH of the Melee arena map are 2 Half-Ogres. Each is ST 25, DX 11, IQ 8, MA 10, and they each wield two weapons; a spiked club and whip (Range 3, 4, and 5 - see TFT:AM page 8). The Half-Orges are each chained by the ankle to a heavy iron spike in the center of the arena, and the length of the chain limits their movement to anywhere inside the central Mega-Megahex; so they cannot enter and occupy the far Megahexes at the far ends of the arena.

Your team of 4 starts at one end of the arena in the entry hexes. Your goal is to simply cross the arena and exit on the far side - but wait, there is a catch!

Somewhere, hidden beneath the sand of one of the single arena hexes, is the key which will unlock the far-side gate to the exit. In order to search under the sand floor for the key in a single hex, a figure must first kneel in the hex to be searched, and then spend his net action phase searching instead of fighting. Figures who are searching may do nothing else that turn, and may only search one hex, one time; and each hex may only be searched once, regardless of who searches it.

To search a hex, the GM rolls 3d6. For first hex searched the *to find* roll needed is 3, the second hex searched the *to find* roll is 4 or less, the third hex searches needs a 5 or less, until the *to find* roll would equal 18; but the figure must still spend a turn digging the key out of the sand while kneeling.

Combat Scenario #6 4-on-4,"A Draining Experience":

Play sets-up and starts as a standard 4-on-4 combat - with everything normal - except that the sandy Arena floor slopes downwards towards the single hex in the middle of the center Megahex.

Underneath the central single hex of the Melee map, is a hole that takes up the entire hex. There is a trap door over the hole, which is opened remotely 3 turns after combat begins. When trap is opened and the hole is exposed, it creates funnel-action which begins pulling the sand and everything on the arena floor (including the contestants) towards it.

The trap is opened first at the start of Turn #4; and each figure must roll 3d6 vs ST to maintain their footing (before they move or stand-still), or they are shifted one hex closer towards the hole at the beginning of their Movement Phase; and cannot move for that turn as they fight the flowing sand for secure footing.

If any figure gets within 2 hexes of the hole (being the ring of hexes which surround the center Megahex) they must roll 4d6 vs ST to resist being sucked one hex closer to the hole at the start of their turn. If any figure gets within 1 hex of the hole (being within the center Megahex), they must roll 5d6 vs ST to resist being immediately sucked onto the hole-hex.

Any figure which ends up on the hole-hex, at any time, will be quickly sucked down the hole with the flow of falling sand; that is, unless they can make a last-ditch saving roll of 6d6 vs ST... which allows them to crawl out on their hands and knees, but leaves them one hex from the hole-hex, which requires another 4d6 vs ST roll to resist at the start of their next turn.

Figures trapped down in the hole can continue to try each turn to climb out of the hole, until the end of Turn 8.

The hole will effectively drain all the sand out of the Arena after 8 turns, in which case play resumes normally, as the hole is now filled with sand to the top, with any figures lost down the hole, suffocated and buried alive - and, you still have to fight any opponents still remaining in the arena... how draining!

*Remember*: figures who fail their saving roll at the start of their turn, move 1 hex closer to the hole, and cannot move that turn; but they can use their weapon on their action phase.

Combat Scenario #7: 1-on-8, "Hogan's Alley":

Hand-weapons only (No bows, thrown, or poles). The center strip megahexes are clear. The strip of megahexes on the left and the right-hand sides of the arena each have a mystery occupant, shrouded in shadow, standing still and silent in the center of each megahex (total of 8 figures,; 4 on the left, 4 on the right). Place a counter *face down* in the center of each occupied megahex to represent these mystery figures. Your task is to engage each figure, put a minimum of 4 hits on each figure (hits that penetrate armor/defenses and cause damage as injury) as quickly as you can, and move to the next mystery figure. Important: You may *only* disengage from a figure without reprisal *ONLY AFTER* you have put *at least 4 good hits* on him - they will not leave their hex - the idea here is for you to "Stick And Move".

Each time you enter a new occupied megahex, you engage a mystery figure. Roll the occupant of each hex from the Fighter Table on page 5 of Death Test, or use the Fighter Generation System on page 7 of Death Test 2. These figures will not leave their respective Megahex; but be careful, using a forced retreat against you, you could activate another figure unintentionally at the same time. Track the number of turns it takes for you to successfully dispatch the 8 different enemy-targets, *and then* exit the arena as quickly as you can. This is a timed-contest, with any and all remaining enemy figures activated, able to move freely and attack at the start of Turn #13; so get out fast, and try to beat your last time.

Combat Scenario #8, 3-on-3, "The Gilded Cages".

One fighter from each side starts in the entry hexes at opposite ends of the arena. On either side of each fighter, to your left and right, are cages - each holding an enemy fighter from the other team. You goal, being uncaged, is to either kill your uncaged opponent before he can release his companions who are in the cages in your entry hexes, or, you can try to free your companions from their cage(s) at the opposite end of the arena, to help you eliminate any enemies on the arena floor. A figure inside a cage is considered "safe", and may not be attacked while in their cage, nor may they attack from inside their cage; and may do nothing but yell and bang on the iron bars until they are freed - *unless*, you can back a foe up to a cage occupied by one of your team mates, who can then reach thru the bars and strangle the foe while holing him. It takes one action phase to open a cage, and you must be adjacent to it to do so.

Combat Scenerio #9, 1-on-1 to 4-on-4, "You're All Wet".

The arena has an overhead cage roof installed at the height of 10'. As the combatants enter the arena, ports are opened in the side retaining walls, and water is pumped into and begins to violently flood across the arena floor. During turns 1-2 the water is at ankle height, turns 3-4 the water is knee high, turns 5-6 the water is waist high, turns 7-9 the water is chest high, turn 10-11 the water is overhead, and on turn 12, the water is overflowing through the overhead grate, trapping any contestants under water to drown like rats. Incur the increasing DX penalties as the water-level rises through each stage as the arena continues to fill with water. Only if all on one side are dead will the valves be shut off and the arena drained, allowing the victors to exit alive and wet.


Enjoy; but remember, these have not been playtested, so no warranty for serviceability is expressed or implied; user assumes all risk of injury or fatality.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 08-17-2018 at 03:11 AM. Reason: Typo and Clarification and Updates
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:39 PM   #2
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Not really a spatial/tactical variant, but here's a brief description of my favorite way to run Melee arena combat campaigns (i.e., where combatants are followed through multiple fights and players run teams of gladiators): Combatants may only enter the arena with objects they have either taken off a defeated opponent or won as a prize in a match or tournament. Some matches give a weapon, shield or armor to the winner (this is how the community of all gladiators in the campaign get equipment over time). In some cases, the prize equipment is in the arena for the combatants to fight over. Prizes can also include a mount, pet wolf, etc. But the interesting bit is that you start the campaign naked with no weapons, and over time what you fight with depends on who you've defeated and/or which special prize events you've won.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:09 AM   #3
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Three players. Each bids a number of attributes. The low bid (split ties randomly) gets a character with that many attributes, in the centre of the map. The other two players are allied, each gets a standard character and they start in opposite arrival areas.

Last edited by David Bofinger; 08-10-2018 at 12:13 AM. Reason: maybe melee isn't 32 points?
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:42 AM   #4
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Randomly or otherwise determine whether the Melee or Wizard map is used. Each of 2n players, where n is a positive integer, bids. The n players with the lowest bids (randomly split ties) each get Melee characters with the following changes: total attributes of each character sum to the highest bid among them, and the character also has an IQ of at least 8. Other players get Wizard characters of 32 points. Either determine teams in advance, or randomly after character selection, or all Melee characters on one side and all Wizard characters on the other. Optionally, Wizard characters may cast one spell on themselves in the turn before battle commences.

Last edited by David Bofinger; 08-10-2018 at 12:43 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:57 AM   #5
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

As many players and teams as seems appropriate. The map is nineteen megahexes in a hexagon. The central megahex is at a lower level than the upper and anyone attacking down into it gets a height advantage, similarly the outer twelve megahexes are at a higher level. At the end of each turn after the first two consider all the characters standing upright within the central megahex. If all of these characters are from the same team then that team wins. At the end of each turn the ring of six megahexes (not the central megahex and not those adjacent to the walls) rotates 60 degrees clockwise, moving characters with it.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Oo, another favorite I've done with groups who have established rpg campaign characters: A casual evening when we run a 'rumble' - an all against all arena fight among the PC's (where everyone gets to 'respawn' at the end - this is just for fun). You learn a lot about a game when everyone involved is genuinely trying to win!
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:36 PM   #7
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Added Combat Scenarios #4 & #5 to the OP.

JK
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:53 PM   #8
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Added Combat Scenarios #4 & #5 to the OP.

JK
These are fun! I particularly like #5. How do you imagine the ogres using their club and whip combo? The are too stupid to know Two Weapons talent (or Whip, for that matter. Edit: I now notice you gave them IQ 8, though 'canonical' ogres are limited to 6...)
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:07 PM   #9
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
These are fun! I particularly like #5. How do you imagine the ogres using their club and whip combo? The are too stupid to know Two Weapons talent (or Whip, for that matter. Edit: I now notice you gave them IQ 8, though 'canonical' ogres are limited to 6...)
Right Lars, I did not intend them to use the 2 weapons in tandem (ala' 2 Weapons talent), but rather to simply indicate that they can, and will, strike at range with the whip, or can go to the club for regular engaged combat. And I did not want to dictate one weapon as "ready", so to leave that choice up to the GM.

I took the Half-Orges directly from Guy's GrailQuest adventure, as Guy's version of the Half-Orge are a better overall design than a typical Ogre for combat against wizards who might wish to confound them with spells.

Thanks for catching that I left out the word "half"; I have fixed it.

So yes, these 2 enemies are indeed the two Half-Orges from GrailQuest - being the two sons of the sorceress Lunn, the witch of the marsh - fighting in the TFT Arena is their day job. ;-)

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 08-10-2018 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:00 PM   #10
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Combat Scenario Variations for the Melee Arena

Added Combat Scenario #6 to the OP.

JK
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