Lost World Adventures
Handling a violent encounter between the heroes and the bad guys in a story can be tricky stuff. So many details; everything going on at once. Timing is everything. Can they draw their weapons in time? Who’s fighting in front of whom? How far can an arrow fly? What crazy, desperate options do the players have anyway? How long will a miracle take to make any difference?
For the most part, the Lead Player is encouraged to answer these questions in the quickest way possible and with whatever common sense he/she has at their disposal. At any given moment, of course, the LP should have a perfect mental picture of what is going on in the story and be able to communicate it to the players in detail.
To keep things fair, however, it is important to track the movement of every character engaged in the battle as long as the battle lasts. We must also keep the action distributed and fair by evenly giving every character the chance to commit acts of daring, rage, cowardice and the whole mess of fun and interesting things that happen during the heated moments in any good story.
A ‘battle’ is begun when any character attempts to attack another that is aware of the attack. This does not include ambush or sneak attacks (see Non-Combat Mechanics). The battle is ended and play is returned to normal when the last attacker runs out of targets or decides to cease attacking.
When a battle begins, the game switches from story mode to battle mode. In battle mode, whenever the LP feels it necessary (which will be most of the time), a mat or map representing the location of the fight is placed onto the play surface. Here the game becomes more like a board game. The mat should have a square grid or a honeycomb grid on it and a basic representation of the location including barriers, obstructions, hills and drop-offs, danger zones, open terrain and anything else the LP thinks could be important to the outcome of the fight. It could be anything from a piece of paper with a hand-drawn grid on it to a fully crafted 3-dimensional model of the scene, but it has to be divided into little areas each big enough for a character to occupy with arms outstretched.
The characters, good guys and bad guys both, can be represented by coins, pawns from other games, paper cutouts or fully detailed miniature sculptures.