Detailed Method

Use this option to resolve competitions in round-by-round detail without playing out each second. For instance, a boxing round is three minutes long. Played out a turn at a time, this would be 180 seconds of combat! Not only is that too long to game out, it's unheard of for fighters to be active for every single second of a match. Realistically, each fighter will spend most of the round circling, evaluating and probing his opponent. These rules provide a snapshot of the "action" while allowing for round-by-round drama.

When using this method, fights consist of lulls, during which the contenders rest and circle, and flurries, when exchanges of blows take place. The GM should roll secretly for the length of flurries and lulls; realistically, fighters don't know how much of an opening they have to press the action. This also adds tension as a close fight nears its end without a decision.

Each round starts with an initial lull lasting 4d seconds. Then roll 2d to determine the length of the first flurry, 4d for the next lull . . . and so on, until the round ends. During a flurry, play out combat normally using the rules in the Basic Set. If both parties retreat, step out of each other's reach, or Do Nothing, an early lull occurs (roll 4d for duration). The fighters step back to take a breath, are separated by the referee (if there is one), or otherwise disengage. During a lull, fighters may Change Posture, Do Nothing, Evaluate, Move, Ready, or take appropriate free actions.

A fighter may also attempt to extend a flurry by pressing the fight. If both sides wish to press, the action continues for another 2d seconds without the need for a roll. If only one competitor wishes to press, roll a Quick Contest of Tactics. If the pressing fighter wins, the flurry continues for seconds equal to his margin of victory. Otherwise, a lull begins immediately.

Assess fatigue after each round - or after every two to three minutes, if the contest doesn't have rounds. Use the costs under Fighting a Battle (p. B426). Always deduct FP spent on Extra Effort in Combat (p. 131) immediately, though.

These rules allow fighters to battle for fairly realistic periods of time. The GM may wish to lengthen or shorten lulls and flurries, depending on the contest. Bare-knuckle boxing matches sometimes took dozens of multiple-minute rounds, with the action coming fast and furious for brief periods, followed by long lulls of little action or extended clinching. For these types of matches, roll only one flurry per round. Pressing to extend a flurry may be the only way to score a victory against a reluctant foe, and a wily fighter may be able to stay in the ring with a tougher foe . . . if he can survive the flurries!

Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

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