How Lethal is Combat Meant to Be?

There you are - in the depths of Motherlode Mine, bits of dust fall from the ceiling as the aftermath of the explosives which you had set off earlier. Before you is a small pile of gold and a gigantic Mooshu skiff. Bonnie Anne and El Toro are backing you up, and Bonnie's hand is on your shoulder. For the past year, she'd mentored you on pirately ways. 
"There she is," Bonnie says to you softly, pointing to the ship, "The Santa Oro." 
"And there's the Armada!" Toro cries out, pointing to the figure revealing itself from the shadows. Clad in gold and navy blue, Deacon stands directly between you and your treasure, piece of the Map in hand. Wordlessly, he points his gun.
Ahoy, pirate! You've come a long way, haven't you? However, you're faced with quite the dilemma. See, sparkshooters are supposed to hurt quite a bit. When you get hit, though, you don't seem to feel more than a thud that sends you back and scrambling back to your set battle position. What!?
(Also, sorry for the overuse of the vignette in the pictures. I just had too much fun. 4/29)

It was back on April twelfth that I had written a reminder in this post to write on this topic, though all of the above was written today (the twenty-sixth). On my way through the messageboards, I stopped by and took a look at a very interesting thread, titled "How Lethal is Combat Meant to Be?". I thought it was clever and joined the conversation.
ShadowsBetween started off, "A lot of the "hunt animals" missions specifically seem to imply that you're not just bonking things on the noggin, since you're often asked to bring back pieces of them. Or just "cull their numbers," which also kind of implies you're not leaving survivors." This proved a very good point; though not implied specifically, many of our pirate's missions are meant to take out a certain number of enemies and not leave them to run away or wake up when we're done. However, there is no implication that we're really going in for the kill.
Virtuous Anne Radcliffe came up with a very creative solution, creating a rare powder that when applied erases the memories of all attacked and destined to wake up. In a following post, I named it Ancient Krokotopian Memory Powder. However, coming up with such a solution would tie up most ends. While that isn't so good for a writer that likes starting at loose ends, it makes so much sense that I don't know why it hasn't been implemented yet. That was posted around the time when I joined the conversation. My conclusion was that while the missions seemed to suggest blowing things to bits, they just couldn't be specified that way to keep things PG.

While I still await another post on that thread a few entries later, I started to think a little more on the topic: what about our own pirates? No matter the kinds of blows, we still seem to be A-O-K until we're at last defeated. While anything too scary would have to remain in the slightly twisted minds of the pirates (and the writer - beware!), it's sometimes a little aggravating to realize that our pirates will be slightly blown back by any and all hits. This is why I do try to incorporate more pain and reaction into my own fan-fiction, as real pirates did hurt others and get hurt themselves. With that point in mind, I rely on the realistic points, which ties us back to the Deacon scenario.
Sparkshooters work like guns do, so it's not a surprise that my character's knives work like they do on the other side of the screen. The snakes bite and the scorpions try to use their tails. It's a little obvious that the IRL ties with combat are realistic, and so are the scenarios. Which pirate would flounce in front of Deacon claiming that he and his troops won't cause pain in the first place? Isn't that why we were trying to avoid the Armada in the first place?

Think about it, and Keep Traveling!

(post written on 4/27


  1. I always thought that it depends what they ask us to do. If they ask us to "cull their numbers"... Well... That's what we do. If we're trying to get information, we go until they tell us. Their HP might not be how much they actually have, just how much it takes to "defeat" them.


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