Berra — Wrestling Practice 05
????, Sea Season
1626, Sea Season, and nobody has been arrested for letting the Storm Bull wrestle.
This wrestling match went on for a looooooong time, and got confusing, and those rolls were all within the game rules and without the crits and specials it might still be going on.
“Well that was energetic. I say.” Xenofos pipes up.
Varanis turns her gaze on her cousin. The feral look is still there.
“Are you looking to have a go too?” She asks with a wild grin.
“It was over quickly. Which is good.” Berra smiles lazily, perhaps still a little on edge.
“I have usually not left the palestra first. Even when it would have been prudent.”
Varanis reels, as if struck.
“If Urox wants the Earth to move, he can shake it,” says Berra, who might not have heard what Xenofos just said.
“So I am game.” Xenofos smiles.
Varanis turns on her heel and walks a few steps away.
Berra sips beer says nothing.
Varanis turns back to her cousin. “Esrolian rules?”
(( Xenofos inspires himself with his own love for Ernalda and the Earth, not nearly as heavy as Rajar’s, but still a normal success. ))
Varanis shucks the wet tunic and trousers. She’s down to a loin cloth and tattoos.
There is some tutting from the crowd, and head-shaking from a couple of the women. Berra looks down, shaking her head slightly as the wet tunic comes off. It does not seem to be in quite the same tempo as the watching crowd, and she looks more amused.
Varanis nods her readiness. She rises up on the balls of her feet, ready to move.
Snakelike Xenofos grips Varanis’ wrist. (( Normal Success, left arm ))
Berra drinks her beer, and watches the bout, and casts her eyes about from time to time. She is more interested in finding out who is watching them, than in watching. Either that, or she is wondering where the mostly naked Storm Bull has gone, and whether this will be anyone’s fault.
Varanis easily dislodges the grip, switching it into an attempted wrist lock. (42 on parry and 25 on attack).
Easily set aside in turn… Followed by sweep on right leg (successful parry, successful attack.)
(( GM considers: given the choices of ‘limb’ and ‘not limb’ we could examine that roll and maybe make it make more sense. Like, you can swap any limb for another, or any body for another. They are functionally the same, so grabbing for an attacking hand and not one behind the body makes sense here. ))
Varanis refuses the leg and tries a counter sweep, but misses. (( Successful parry, failed attack ))
And Xenofos misses his attempt at a counter counter sweep…
Lightning fast, Varanis changes the attack, going for a grappling grip around her cousin’s waist. ((Successful attack))
Broken by dropping low… Followed by an attempted headlock. (( Successful parry, successful attack ))
Varanis ducks her head easily under his grip, flowing into the movement, and once again closes the gap to grapple his torso. ((Successful dodge, critical grapple to chest))
When gripped Xenofos hooks his left foot behind Varanis’ right knee. (special parry, normal grip on right leg)
(( Both of these people know enough about wrestling to make sense of the rolls, which cannot be said for everyone. The ruleset being playtested here would give a bonus for the critical attack, but Xenofo luckily managed a special parry, almost getting free. We briefly experimented here with ignoring the parries (or dodgges, or defensive movements, or whatever they were) in favour of streamlining the throw attempts. This speeded up getting to the throw attempts, but at the cost of people not being able to break away. ))
She twists to unlock his leg from hers, her grip on his hips holding strong as she attempts to take the balance from his stance and drive him to the ground.
(( Two successful throw attempts cancel. At about this point, it has become difficult to keep track of which round it is. This might be easier by voice or in the room, but it’s very hard in text scroll. A round indicator or strike-rank tracker would really help. ))
Rajar arrives back… eating something about the size of a dinosaur leg and drinking beer.
Xenofos is moving moving moving and keeping his weight low… And soon the wrestlers are free from each other again. His next attack goes for the head but misses by a league.
Berra stands up to peer into Rajar’s cup, and top it up from hers.
As he tries to put Varanis into a headlock, her hand snakes out to grab his left wrist in an attempt at another lock.
“Anyhow,” says Berra to Rajar, “It’s been a while. Nobody’s fallen over, but a lot of people are watching her chest instead of her moves.”
(( Here, the competition devolved for a while into just dice rolls and a bit of brief explanation. We considered abandoning parries and then things fell out in Xenofos’ direction. ))
A Nice high toss towards the sky.
With a twist.
Varanis hits the ground hard, the air forced out of her in a rush. For a moment, she just lies there, staring up at Orlanth.
Xenofos looks a bit dazed by the result of the throw.
Berra looks over, her beer ready to hand over to Rajar, but does not immediately rush over.
Xenofos walks over to Varanis to see if she is ok and again offers his hand to aid the opponent to get up.
The Vingan begins to laugh. It’s wheezy, but it’s laughter nonetheless. “Oh hells,” she manages between gasps and giggles. “They don’t have a bathhouse.” She accepts the hand and rises with less grace than usual.
Berra looks at Rajar. “The water bucket got… you know what… you be the judge of your own conscience here. And I’ll hold your beer while you think about it.”
Varanis picks up her wet tunic, looks at it, looks at herself, and bursts into gales of laughter again.
“Dead giant lizard anyone?” asks Rajar generously.
Berra puts up her hand for dead giant lizard. “Is this going to make me sick for more than two hours?”
During this match, the gamemaster went for tea and painkillers, joined the army, had a successful military career, and was writing up memoirs by the time the bout was over. It was long, and that length made it into a ‘you roll this and I roll that’ contest, and not a fight. It was (in the GM’s opinion) only interesting in that the players all know each other and were rooting for each other and were interested in the play test. Having to chain together several grappling wins while someone else is trying to stop you is hard.
It may be that these rules are not in fact designed for wrestling matches. Grappling is probably going to be rare in most games, and could be more to do with grabbing swords and wrestling down single opponents than going out to the practice field all the time.
However, if the scene GM were to run this for real, it would be based much more on inflicting pain or damage, or at least, inability to move. CON rolls would start to feature if things slowed down. A wrestling match might take several rounds IRL, but the repeated pausing to roll put the emphasis on the RNG, not on the action.
The players seemed to feel that the wrestling was heavy on the dice but the order of rolls was correct.