how do you handle combat? feel free to share a scene or two!

#1

what’s your combat like in your stories? are they grand, flashy displays of magic explosions everywhere, or are they more close and personal with clashing of swords?

usually i’m always a sucker for a good duel with longswords in some arena-type area. cliche and tropey to high hell but damn if it isn’t cool lmao. i prefer harsh realism, and punishing either character if they slip up with permanent injuries that’ll last them a good chunk, or the rest of their story

you can even share an excerpt of combat if you’d like, maybe someone would like to criticize it!

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#2

nah. well, i’ve only really written one but it was bloody as fuck. punching, kicking, telekinesis. it wasn’t in a flashy way though. it was kind of close and personal i guess but on the more gruesome side

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#3

telekinesis? were people throwing stuff at each other?

#4

no the fight was more of a one sided thing

the girl is like really damn powerful and the guy is a human so basically, it wasn’t even a ‘fight’ it was more of the girl beating up the guy. it was definitely fun to write tho oof

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#5

i see i see, combat is usually fun to write, even in instances like that

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#6

tell me about it. it gets hard though, especially when you’re trying to prolong the whole combat scene because it’s interesting but with prolonging it, you’ve also got to make sure it doesn’t get too repetitive.

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#7

yeah definitely, especially in duel type scenarios. i think at that point it comes down to who’s more skilled, naturally if it’s a very one sided fight it’ll be over before it’s started, but if they’re evenly matched i find it’s easier to keep it going, plenty of parries and deflecting, and little tricks unique to the character sometimes

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#8

yeah, that’s so true. i’ve never really written a combat scene where both parties were completely equal but i’m kind of excited to now

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#9

it’s really fun, the combat scene im writing now is between my mc and an undead soldier he found on a battlefield. my mc was a soldier himself back in the day and has gotten into a lot of fights since so he’s had time to keep that skill level, so they’re just about evenly matched except the part where the soldier can’t die

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#10

the soldier can’t die? how will the fight end then?

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#11

Depends on the situation, but I try to stay away from gory details.

I have parts from mass battle with flying boulders, billhooks and shield formations, to people crawling on the ground trying to kill people before the opponent gets the upper hand and kills them. So both flashy and more down to the ground things.

Since we follow a company leader that has healing magic, some injuries are healed before they get permanent, but you can’t heal a person whose brain was pierced with the piercing end of a battle hammer. Still, I’d say I’m on the less gritty part of the spectrum and a bit more on the cinematic part.

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#12

kinda weird to explain bc it involves my complicated magic system so i’ll try to keep it brief

in the soldier’s sword is what’s called a gem of balance, which stores energy based off chaos or order. death has a lot of chaotic energy around it, so when the soldier died, chaotic energy went into the gem until it had enough to sustain itself permanently from all the dead bodies around it, and with an infinite amount of chaos, he was able to return from the dead

if he’s disarmed, the sword can’t feed on him, and the energy will go away. the mc discovers this by literally cutting off his hand in the fight, and notices his black veins start going away and he looks more human. it ends with the soldier coming back to his regular human form

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#13

oooooo that sounds really interesting

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#14

i feel that, i’m also a fellow cinematic combat writer. the story i’m currently writing doesn’t feature massive battles but one in future certainly will

glad to see a lack of swords, as much as i am a sucker for a quality swordfight, it’s good to see different weapons used in battles

#15

thank you, i’ve had the idea in my head for awhile so i’m excited to finally get a use for it haha

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#16

The main weapon is definitely swords and shields here (tower shields for mass battle), but that’s partly because they use anti-magic shields in their shield formations to keep windblasts, fire torrents, thrown boulders and the like from having too big of an impact. Since the weapon isn’t covered in anti-magic (pricey) they stick with swords that aren’t as weak to fire magic or any other magic attack that can break them.

Mass battles have some really interesting aspects once magic is added to it. Stuff like making and changing the environment is some of the most interesting things to deal with.

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#17

i see i see, very interesting. magic definitely adds a lot to the typical siege, fantasy creatures as well can be added in. some armies in my world have griffin riding units that carry boulders and bombs over the wall and drop them in to start burning shit down. stuff like that always appealed to me in fantasy battles

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#18

Oh~ so you’ve added the struggle for air superiority.

Honestly I couldn’t wrap my head around the consequences of flight magic since magic isn’t that rare of a thing in my world.

What is generally used as anti-measure against these griffin riding units in your world?

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#19

ballistas usually get the job done, that or a good volley of arrows

magic is quite rare in my world, even after it becomes less of a taboo thing (i.e the magical elves invading and saying “hey guys we have magic and so do you kinda”), so they just tame the griffins to carry a boulder and wear a saddle and off they go

as for magic, pretty much anything would knock them down. lightning would stop them in their tracks, fire would burn their feathers and fur up, water would make them heavy, air would blow them the other way, etc.

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#20

Up until now, the major fights mostly involve one-on-one duel featuring various superpowers, but there has been one “Boss Raid” mode. Three against one: a big muscular gunslinging undead, an athletic girl with alien-powered energy-based/light superpower, and an intangible ghost with a literal electric guitar vs a lazy giant scorpion with a hax ability of instantly shutting down people’s superpower with his stinger tail. A bit like RPG (considering that each of the three fighters has their own role: tank, crowd control, nuker) despite the book isn’t trapped-in-an-RPG type of thing.

There has also been a duel against a summoner type person, so it ends up as 1 vs 5 (4 mooks, 1 boss).

There is flashy magic involved such as in dragon vs hydra fight, but choreography is not my main focus. Sure, magic and explosion make the fight cool, but I care more about the build-up and context behind the fights (which is why I’m unlikely to share a fight excerpt across various threads because the impact is all lost without following the story from the very start). Barring random encounters to let people know that the characters aren’t roaming in a totally safe area, major fights generally have prior build-up, especially the later ones.

Due to the nature of my book, it’s impossible for the character to suffer permanent damage because their power source is a race of parasitic aliens that turns the host’s blood into something like extremely potent stem cells (due to this, nobody can age). Most of the time, the fight immediately kills one of the fighters. There’s one exception so far, but again, the stem cell nature. MC lost an arm in a fight, but she can regrow it…only that it’ll take a long time and she has to train very hard due to her recent contact with the alien.

The only dire consequence I have for the fight is when someone explains his/her ability to his/her foe (y’know, classic battle shounen trope). What will happen? “Thanks a lot for the information!” exploits the newfound knowledge Also, there is a dire consequence for stock shounen hero kind of characters (those loud, rash, hot-blooded idiot teen hero). Lacking experience and mostly relying on asspulls/nakama power won’t get you far.

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