We don’t use a mod-guided or dice roll system here to determine how a fight will play out. Instead, we strictly leave it to the roleplayers. This means that it’s between you and your roleplay partner to determine how the fight will end and how events will play out. We recommend that you discuss the fight beforehand with your roleplay partner and decide who will win before the fight gets too far along. Discussing an outcome beforehand will definitely help it play out a bit smoother.
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive, little guide on body types, fur, skills, and other little things to note when writing fight roleplay.
What's The Difference Between...
Speed & Agility + Reaction Time
Speed refers to how fast a dog can run; and agility refers to nimbleness, such as keeping speed while changing directions and running corners to dodging things. Just because a character is very fast does not mean they are agile! Reaction time is also something to keep in mind - it refers to the ability to not only notice something happening, but the ability to react to it. Note that not every reaction is an instant, perfect dodge. Some characters may notice something happening, but not be quick enough to react to it or know how to. Reaction time is something that can both dull and grow better with age and experience.
Mental Strength & Physical Strength
Mental Strength refers to how a character uses their intelligence in combat. This may mean they're able to think quickly on their feet in the heat of the moment, or, if given time, create a flawless plan based on what they know. They may know where to bite or be able to recognize various combat moves. Characters with a high mental strength often have a faster reaction time. Physical Strength refers to a character's physical ability. In most cases, it means how strong they are (able to push around or pick up things), though it can also refer to being able to do physically straining activities for a longer amount of time. Characters with good physical strength does not mean they're automatically superior in combat, but instead that their attacks tend to be 'heavier' and may do may damage.
Tough Body & Pain Tolerance
Toughness refers to an ability where a character will not likely take damage easily. Be it blunt force damage because they're physically large (ex. being pushed around, headbutted, slammed against the ground) or bite damage because their fur is thick. Pain Tolerance refers to a character's ability to handle pain and keep on fighting through it. While this does not remove the damage taken and there's definitely a risk of dying/losing consciousness from blood loss, they're unrelenting.
Example: Fido may not take damage easily, but he's not a fan of pain and will usually quit once actually injured; or Fido may get injured just like any other, but will continue to fight through the pain.
Powerplaying, Godmoding, and Metagaming
There are three huge types of bad roleplaying associated with fight roleplay. We want to make members aware of these so that they can avoid, whether purposely or accidentally, falling into one of these pits.
- Powerplaying refers to a character not giving another time to react to even describing what their attack does to them - or, in simplicity, taking control of another person's character.
Example: Brute charged forward and bit the other dog on the shoulder, which broke his shoulder bone and left him dazed.
- Godmoding refers to making your character perform unrealistic feats or making them 'all powerful', such as dodging everything or multiple things in rapid succession or just making them supremely powerful.
- Metagaming is when your character knows something that they’re not supposed to know or have no way of knowing. If discussed with Staff beforehand of how they would know or if they can know, it's okay!
Size effects a lot of things, but being bigger does not automatically mean you’ll win the fight. Typically, big characters are powerful: they have thick muscles and strong bites. However, in most cases, they are slow-moving. Be it reaction time, speed, agility, or otherwise stamina, they have a lot of weight on them!
This doesn't stand true for every dog breed, however, as some are bred to keep their large size and maintain their agility. Breed size standards exist for a reason; they're the sizes at which the dog performs the task they were bred for best. The larger the dog, the bigger the bones, which means that they'll be harder to break by biting!
Smaller dog breeds can be just as fearsome though! They're typically fast and able to zoom in and zoom back out. While they may be easier to injure and their bites might not do as much damage, they're harder to hit and can rebound quicker because they're lighter on their paws.
Any bite hurts, but some bites definitely hurt more. While many sources of 'dog bite forces' are unreliable, it stands true that most Bully and Mastiff dog breeds tend to have higher bite forces, which means that their bite hurts more. Keep in mind that small terriers likely aren't going to be crushing any bones of other dogs.
The idea that any dog breed's jaws lock is a myth. Furthermore, dogs’ jaws are not like vice grips. They can keep on clamping down and biting, but their 'bite force' can only go so high. It's the initial bite that more than likely has the most force/most damage done, not the tightening of the jaws afterwards.
Dogs who attack others with thicker fur, such as some shepherds or livestock guardian dogs, will typically have a harder time trying to get their jaws through it to land a bite. It works in a fashion similar to a lion's mane!
Similar to thick fur, skin folds make biting into anything vital or dealing deeper, more lethal wounds a lot harder. This is typically more relevant towards the neck or jaws and is a 'natural defensive' mechanism in breeds such as Bulldogs, Sharpeis, Bloodhounds, some mastiffs, etc.
Your character's personal morality can play into how a fight may play out. They may be unwilling to fight younger opponents or already injured dogs. Sometimes, they refuse to take 'cheap shots' while others may fight down and dirty and will use any means necessary to win. Some fight with the intent to kill each time, while others don't.
The Environment can have some place in combat. Fighting on familiar territory can give your character an advantage during a fight. The space of the area, nearby humans, or fighting on concrete vs grass can all be factors that may affect a fight. It'd feel much worse to be slammed down on concrete than on grass! Fighting on sand may tire out a dog unfamiliar with it quicker. If there's ice on the ground, larger dogs may have a harder time getting around. Rain or darkness may make it harder to see darker-furred dogs, while the heat would tire out both dogs (especially if one has thicker fur) easier.
- Unlike cats, dogs’ claws are typically blunter and not made for scratching through fur or inflicting damage!
- Try to avoid ‘stacking’ multiple actions in your character’s post (see example below). We recommend a maximum of two actions per post as this gives your RP partner time to react, counterattack, dodge, or get injured within their post without it being too complicated or confusing! Short, direct posts are encouraged during fight threads!
Example: Brute lunged forward, aiming to sink his teeth into the other dog’s shoulder. If not, he’d aim another attack for their foreleg.
- When writing posts for your fight thread, try to be as clear and direct as possible. The overuse of metaphors, imagery, or inner thought can sometimes confuse your thread partner and make your character’s actions not very clear!
- If choosing to allow your opponent’s attack to land, make sure to mention the damage done! If the attack did major damage, you should be referencing it throughout your fight. If your character sustained a large or deep wound, it’s going to affect them throughout the rest of the fight!
- Keep your character’s energy level and sustained injuries in mind! If they’re bleeding heavily and thrashing around a lot, there’s a good chance they’ll eventually start to get woozy and stumble!
- In order to get better at fight roleplay, try to think about your character’s fighting style and incorporating it more into the roleplay! Do they bulldoze their way through and take hits, hoping to wear down the other dog without much violence? Are they fast, landing delicate blows and hoping to bring them down over time? Are they a dirty fighter? Are they relentless? Or do they take time to think about their attacks? This also helps you flesh out your own character more!
- Don’t be afraid to roleplay out combat scenes even if you’re not great at them! Practice makes perfect! Sometimes keeping an open conversation with your roleplay partner is a great way to give yourself more freedom to write a dynamic scene. Discussing attacks before you reply can help with the awkward clunkiness of fight RP replies!
- Fight roleplay threads are the only time we allow you to use the future tense in your posts! Future tense allows you to detail what your character does without really saying whether their attack was successful.
Example: Bolt growled and jumped towards his opponent. Upon impact, he would bite down on Clara’s shoulder, aiming to draw blood and perhaps throw off her balance.
Describing Your Character's Injuries
Describe its depth, how much it hurts, how it’s interfering with your character, what it looks like, how much it’s bleeding (barely? thickly? how is it coating your characters fur?), whether the wound is dirty with things like dirt, sand, or snow. Help your readers get a visual of what’s happened to your character and how their new wound is affecting their performance.
Describing the Severity of Attacks
You want to convey the severity through action verbs and your character’s actions in their post. You’re limited in what you can say happened, to avoid godmoding and powerplaying, but at the same time, you have a lot of freedom with the words you choose to use! Saying the word 'nip' sounds far lighter in contrast to 'crunch'. If your dog is shaking their head back and forth, that's likely going to do more damage than just biting down once and letting go! It also depends on where you strike them, too! Just remember CTS! Clear, thorough, and simple!