7 thoughts on “Anyone have a less lethal version of the combat move to share? :)”

  1. I mean, combat was deadly but the people who end up dead often aren’t the protagonists, so I see why someone would want their PCs to be a bit more resilient.

    When I wrote Sagas I was pretty tired of both hit points and plot armor mechanics which is mostly why the harm move works the way it does. (That and making the male cycle of upholding honour more explicitly punishing.)

    Two simple things you can do to soften it up as a MC:

    -change the move and replace deadly wounds with gnarly injuries and dismemberment so you’ll end up with less dead PCs but more people with missing eyes and fingers, severed arms, hobbled feet, disfiguring burns etc.


    -be more liberal in interpreting the “the MC decides when” part of the move: maybe you survive and keep going for months or even years somehow, so the PC gets some closure and then you kick the bucket because of a complication or failure related to your old injury

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, people.

    How about the concept of “burning” through your fate? You know, you come unscathed a couple times from death, and this goes piling up and up, until the time you know this will be your end. How to implement that? Perhaps tweaking Endure Grave Harm so it’s Wyrd-based and it burns you Wyrd (-1) each time you die ? Don’t know hmmm….

  3. “You can decide to avoid the death by making promise to Odin / Thor / norns … The promise must have a specific form (“I promise to build you a shrine”, “I promise to kill the white priest that preaches against you”, “I promise to have feast in your name once a year for the rest on my days”). If you violate your promise, gods gain 3 bonds with you.”, or something along these lines?

    At the same time, this is something you would want to use once or twice, not as a general rule to make combat less lethal.

  4. How is the combat supposed to be lethal? Granted, in my game we’ve not had more than a couple of them, but to me, dying in combat seems to require

    1. failing the physical challenge and failing grave harm. Quickly calculated, that gives me a chance of 17 % to die, assuming no bonuses on young or from bonds, which is quite unlikely in my experience.

    2. getting 7-9 from physical challenge and picking honourable and win the challenge, failing tempt fate, and failing grave harm. Again 17 % after the choices, assuming no bonuses.

    3. getting 7-9 from physical challenge and picking don’t tempt fate and honourable, and failing grave harm. 42 % after the choices, assuming no bonuses.

    I’m not complaining, mind you! In our game yesterday, the Shieldmaiden opted to lose the challenge, and the grave harm was 7-9 and created a shitload of drama and good play. It’s just that, unless you have combats all the time, those don’t seem too small odds to me.

    …do people play this with a lot of combat?

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