Fighting School of Insults

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Saunatonttu
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Fighting School of Insults

Post by Saunatonttu » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:38 pm

Some of you might know that I am quite keen on the Monkey Island series of computer games by Lucasarts and now Telltale Games. So with the Tales of Monkey Island thingy now started, I remembered something I have kinda been planning for quite some time...

In the games swordfights are done by insulting your opponent, there are insults and counter-insults and the wittier duelist wins the day. Example if you opponent opens with "You fight like a dairy farmer!", the counterinsult "How appropriate, you fight like a cow!" would give you the advantage in the fight. Anyway...

To base a fighting school on that. Either Threepwood School (after the protagonist in the series, Guybrush Threepwood) or Gilbert (or Gilberto) school after Ron Gilbert, one of the creators/developers.

I am thinking of havin something like the Kender taunting ability as a move for each level of secret passes, of advancing effectiveness.

Starting with something like a "Your Mother!" insult, that only gives a very minor bonus, maybe just automatic initative cause the opponent is busy being angry as a basic pass, then a difficult pass that has actual wit in it and works as a regular kender taunt "If an intelligent creature that can understand the language in which the kender speaks is taunted by one, he must make a saving throw vs. Spells (wisdom bonus applies), or he will attack wildly for d10 rounds, -2 to hit and +2 on AC during that time" or maybe that should be just the master stroke... And the Death Move would be the Ultimate Insult, something so vile and personally effective the opponent basically loses all will to live and just gives up (it would be up to the executor of the death move to decide if he then runs the opponent through or lets him live as mere ghost of his former self, but killing is frowned upon in this school).

And the PC using the passes must roleplay the regular insults, of course, cause that will add amusement at the table. :)

But what then? That's only one pass per difficulty level. There should be a couple of more, of course. One insult level would probably make the opponent unable to use a secret pass the next round (or a couple of rounds)? But so far I have no more real ideas for more moves. Not every move needs to be an insult, but they probably should be offending to the opponent in some way...

EDIT/DISCLAIMER: Oh! And if anyone helps me brainstorm this, or even submits actual moves, I'd like to ask for permission to use the stuff in a one-shot, free PDF zine thingy that is pirate/savage coast/freeport themed and will include this fighting school when it is finished.
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Havard
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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Havard » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:24 pm

Interesting idea.

I would tie this to charisma somehow. Perhaps being able to add your cha bonus to AC or as an attack bonus if a good insult is roleplayed.

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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Saunatonttu » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:31 pm

Good idea, having charisma give some bonus in this school should work. And probably a charisma requisite or Etiquette NWP requirement (so you know HOW to insult the opponent, social faux pa's are important to know when insultin)

To talk a bit about the "game design" side of the school - i'm trying to avoid "extra damage" as much as possible here, most if not all of the secret passes should have something to do with lessening the opponent's combat ability because he gets angrier and angrier, so this is very much a "defensive" style of fighting school compared to the ones in the SC books, except the Moncorvo school.
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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Havard » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:32 pm

And ofcourse, it works differently at sea.... ;)

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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Saunatonttu » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:42 pm

Of course :D

Starting the actual writeup...

Gilberto School

The Gilberto school originated in the small Pirate Isles south of the Savage Coast, but has since spread to the mainland. It focuses on insulting the opponent with witty remarks, making him mad enough to lose concentration. The school encourages non-lethal ends to duels, as it is a greater humiliation to lose and live than it is to die. To be a member of this school, a PC must have Charisma of at least 13 or use a slot in the Etiquette non-weapon proficiency (it's necessary to know the societal norms so one can properly insult an opponent).

Basic Passes

1d4

1 Your Mother: during a combat the swordsman makes a generic insult that really shouldn't annoy the opponent, but delivers it so perfectly that the opponent automatically loses initiative next round and suffers a -2 penalty to his next attack roll.
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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Gawain_VIII » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:04 am

Not what you're looking for, but I couldn't resist...

The classic orc insult: "Your mother was an elf and your father took baths!"

...and my personal favorite (said to a minotaur): "Your mother was a hamburger. Moo!"

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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by agathokles » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:10 am

Mechanically, the following effects (from the existing schools) can be used:

Basic
+2 AC penalty (opponent goaded into foolishly aggressive actions)
Opponent is forced backward 1d4+2 steps (IIRC, that's what happened in the Monkey Island game)
Save vs. paralysis or flee
Distract the opponent and snatch an object from his person

Difficult
Wisdom roll at -6 or confused and lose all attacks
Save vs. paralysis at a -2 penalty or flee

Master
-2 to hit and initiative, +2 to AC for the rest of the combat (opponent loses concentration)
the insult sticks, and will be associated to the opponent for a long time as a mark of infamy
Save vs. paralysis at a -4 penalty or flee

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Saunatonttu
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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by Saunatonttu » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:35 am

Good ideas there, I especially like the "the insult sticks, and will be associated to the opponent for a long time as a mark of infamy" one. Thanks a bunch, I will take these well into consideration when making the final writeup of the school :)
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Re: Fighting School of Insults

Post by agathokles » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:29 pm

Saunatonttu wrote:Good ideas there, I especially like the "the insult sticks, and will be associated to the opponent for a long time as a mark of infamy" one. Thanks a bunch, I will take these well into consideration when making the final writeup of the school :)
Thanks, that was my translation of the Master Seal pass of Moncorvo school (i.e., Zorro's "Z"). I had left one sentence incomplete, BTW, I've completed it now...

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