In regards to H&S, how often do you have players roll as a 1:1 correspondence of their blow by blow beads vs zooming…

In regards to H&S, how often do you have players roll as a 1:1 correspondence of their blow by blow beads vs zooming…

In regards to H&S, how often do you have players roll as a 1:1 correspondence of their blow by blow beads vs zooming out and extrapolating maybe 2 or 3 beads and then rolling as more of an indicator of overall momentum in battle?

9 thoughts on “In regards to H&S, how often do you have players roll as a 1:1 correspondence of their blow by blow beads vs zooming…”

  1. It really depends on how the player narrates it. If they say “I swipe my sword at Orc 1” then it’s “Blow by blow”. But if they narrate something like “I thrust my sword at the orc in front of me and use the momentum of withdrawing it from his bloated belly to elbow the one behind me hard in the face.” then the roll is more about the momentum of the battle (IMO).

  2. As Brian Holland said. I’ll usually run things blow-by-blow, unless I decide it’d be refreshing to zoom out or unless the player narrates otherwise (e.g. attacking “the orc” or attacking “all the orcs.”). Scope is important!

  3. Yup, what they said.

    I think it’s largely dictated by how you, as the GM, set up the scene, too.

    A generalized description of a group of foes (“There’s like a squad of five riders trying to circle around the flank of the main force. They haven’t noticed you. What do you?”) is more likely to draw a high-level response from the player (”I charge into their flank swinging left and right with my long sword!”).

    A zoomed in specific description of one or two specific foes (”The seargent leads with a shield punch then quick stabs low, under your guard, what do you do?”) is more likely to elicit a specific blow-by-blow response (“I’ll spin past him as he makes with the shield bash and stab my blade into his neck.”)

    Basically, the level of detail you use when making your GM move sets a level of expectation that the player usually responds to.

    But not always. A cagey, confident, clever, and/or assertive player might take you blow-by-blow GM move and describe how they use the seargent’s momentum to send him reeling over the edge of the cliff while you ballustra lunge at the lieutenant who thought he was out of your reach.

  4. I tend to like it zoomed out a little more, like passes in a fencing match or a Shaw Bros. kung fu movie. So probably 2:1 I treat Hack n Slash as an exchange of blows and then combatants breaking apart to catch their breath and re-assess the situation. Gives more leeway for moving the spotlight around and teammates to interject with Aid, Defend, etc.

  5. I’m sorry but I am not sure I understand your question as I play in French and for me “bead” is something you get from an oyster, but it seems your question and the answers might be of interest to me… could you (or someone else) be so kind as to explain the original inquiry in a more obvious way ?

  6. Hmm. I’m running over in my brain the H&S’s we’ve seen in the past few sessions. In most cases, the move was triggered by the PC declaring something that was basically a single, specific attack. “I’ll stab him in the throat.” (They do a lot of throat-stabbing, my players.)

    But how it got resolved depends on awful lot on what the dice said.

    A clean 10+ with enough damage to drop the foe: yep, throat stabbed. They go down, , what do you do?

    A clean 10+ but not enough damage to drop the foe: maybe just the one stab, like they said, but the guy got their arm up or flinched and so it drew blood but not, y’know, throats. In one case, though, it was a big slash with a sword, blocked high by the guys’ mace, then the heavy booted him in the gut and sent him staggering (low damage roll). So the described single attack turned into an exchange of blows.

    On a 7-9, the single attack almost always becomes an exchange of blows. In one case, one PC charged and tackled a soldier (trying to stab him in the throat, of course) and got a 7-9 and rolled crap damage. Tackle him she did, but she took a shield rim in the face and they ended grappling on the ground with his sheild between them and her trying to drive the knife into soldier-boy’s throat.

    In a different case, the heavy was taking down a nemesis and got a 7-9, rolled like 3 damage but the guy had 2 armor and only 1 HP left, and did like 6 damage in return. So his general description of “I step in yelling and just run him through” turned into that guy like gabbing the heavy’s blade at the hilt and pushing back while stab-stab-stabbing the heavy in the side with his dying (blood-gurgling) breathes. It was ugly.

    On a miss, depends entirely on what I do for a move. At least one case, the ranger tried stab a guy and he grabbed her, swung her around, and smashed her head against a log cabin wall (damage) then ran for cover. So… exchange of blows. I think there was another case, though, where the PC rolled a miss and I had his attack work as described (throat stabbed) but escalated the situation with the granary catching on fire.

  7. Funny you guys say that about beat, because I originally typed ‘beat’, but changed it to ‘bead’ because I didn’t want to confuse anyone with ‘beat’ meaning to hit someone, as I was asking about H&S. But, oh well.

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