Withdrawing from melee?

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Johann
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Withdrawing from melee?

Post by Johann »

Hi there!

I'm in the process of setting up my first S&W campaign and have some questions. Here's another one:

What options to get out of melee are there? I am used to acceotung opportunity attacks from 3e and have also heard of fighting withdrawals (AD&D?), but how does S&W (Complete, but other versions as well) handle this?

Best wishes

Johann

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merias
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Re: Withdrawing from melee?

Post by merias »

Welcome Johann! Are you planning a S&W Complete campaign? Complete only addresses the case of retreating from combat - and suggests a +2 free attack against anyone doing that. This comes from the original game that allows +2 for rear attacks or fleeing enemies.

My own house rules on this are based on B/X, which gives the +2 attack against anyone fleeing combat (at twice the combat move rate), but also has a fighting retreat at half combat movement out of melee, with no free attack or bonus, but allows the attacker to move along with the retreat and continue melee if they want. So it's safer but not a sure thing.

Johann
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:31 am

Re: Withdrawing from melee?

Post by Johann »

I plan on using Continual Light, not least because it's available in German. A translation of Complete is in the works and I'll probably import spells and other stuff.

I'm really keen on S&WCL's 1-minute round, d6s only for hp and damage, and conservative ability bonuses (i.e. +1 at 15 and that's it).

I'd also like to have phased initiative (with declaration of intent, separate missile and melee phases etc.).

Going quite hard for old school mechanics, as you can see.

I'm not familiar with the other S&W variants. Where do they stand in these matters?

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merias
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Re: Withdrawing from melee?

Post by merias »

I haven't read SWCL in a while, but what you describe is essentially S&W White Box (WB) with the alternate combat sequence. Core/complete have a few other combat options as well.

If you want to take a look at WB, the recommended starting point these days is White Box FMAG, which is a cleaned-up version of the last (3rd) printing of the WB rules. There is a post with links to all the PDFs here:

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4

Johann
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Re: Withdrawing from melee?

Post by Johann »

Do you have to declare fleeing or withdrawing beforehand? When does it happen?

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merias
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Re: Withdrawing from melee?

Post by merias »

What I do is just have each player tell me what they are doing that round as they do it. So no pre-declaration and no phases. I've tried phased approaches but I like the simplicity of "one action per combat round". I allow half-movement to happen before or after the action (player's choice), except in the case of fleeing, which is considered both an action and a move, and allows their opponents a free attack at +2 as they run away - even if the PCs lost initiative and their attackers have already had an attack that round. So the possibility exists for the attacker to get two attacks if PCs lost initiative, then turn tail and run.

In the WB alternate combat method, the order is spells, missile, melee, movement (each phase in initiative order) and all spells have to be prepared ahead of time. So this gives a slight advantage to spellcasters who pre-declare spells as they will get them off first.

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