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PVP 101: How To Take A Measured Hit

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
A lot of this material is covered in other excellent guides, but it seemed like a good time to trot this one out again.

A false dichotomy is a fallacy where something can be one thing, or another, but never in between. False dichotomies are really, really important in duelling/PVP.

Lord Bill unleashes a Spear of Midnight Black. It's a rare, deadly technique used for impaling. Master Hal thinks he has two options.
  • Absorb the energy of the Spear and let it shatter harmlessly against his broad chest. He glows with Pure Light of Radiant Righteousness, OR he senses it coming and sidesteps easily, OR he does something else that negates the hit entirely.
  • Get hit and die.

Lord Bill throws some debris into the intake of Master Hal's podracer. Master Hal thinks he has two options.
  • Subsume himself in the Force, sense everything coming, deflect it perfectly and save the fragile podracer, OR go sideways with perfect timing, OR otherwise avoid the hit entirely.
  • Podracer engine explodes.

Lord Bill has, over several posts, managed to get Master Hal's lightsabre away from him, and tries to chop a defeated Master Hal's head off. Master Hal thinks he has two options.
  • Duck, OR absorb or block the lightsabre blade using the Force, OR otherwise avoid the hit entirely.
  • Die.

Lord Bill launches an immense shockwave at Master Hal. Master Hal thinks he has two choices.
  • Somehow be invulnerable to the wave.
  • Get smashed.
As someone who's written hundreds of fights in the last twelve years, let me submit my opinion that, in all these cases, BOTH OPTIONS ARE WRONG. It's OK to spent a post or two entirely blocking or avoiding a hit, but no more than a post or two. Rather than trying to justify an overpowered or improbable response, these options come to mind.

  • Dodge the Spear, but it carves a line in your ribs or the side of your arm. That arm is now slower and your concentration is split, but you can keep fighting and you're not dead.
  • The podracer eats some of the debris, and a plume of smoke trails out of the engine. Maneuverability and speed are a problem until you can put out the fire.
  • Duck the lightsabre, but it takes off a chunk of your scalp. Phenomenally painful burn, but you're not dead yet.
  • Negate part of the shockwave and get tossed around a bit.

I've literally seen people leave the board because they, or their opponents, didn't know how to take a measured hit. See, most people look at every one of their opponent's fight moves as one of these two options -- this is the layer beneath what we've just looked at.

  • 'My character's a specialist/very aware/well trained/in a better position. He should be able to deal with this easily.'
  • 'Man, I can't reasonably avoid this, this sucks, he must be a cheater.'

Both of these are wrong. If you can't reasonably avoid a reasonable attack, deal with it. That's physics. If you think you should be able to deal with the attack easily, there's a problem, and that problem is you.

Apprentice Biff attempts to mind trick Lord Evil. Lord Evil is a Master-level mental specialist. Lord Evil thinks he has one choice.
  • Laugh it off.

Lord Evil's writer is wrong. Here's what you do.
  • "Lord Evil grimaced as Biff's mind trick interfered with his focus, and the mental assault he was preparing faltered for a moment. 'That was unwise,' he growled, and prepared to use his advanced technique."

One is a respectful response, the other isn't. If Biff is a Knight, Lord Evil's best move is to take the hit -- have the mind trick distract him long enough that he doesn't launch his attack that turn. And when his next turn comes around, Biff will (ideally) respect that Evil took the hit, and will take one in turn. And Biff will lose and not feel sad or angry or frustrated about it.

Turns out good sportsmanship and good storytelling are pretty closely linked. Wheaton's Law. It's a good thing.

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Ashin Varanin said:
Both of these are wrong. If you can't reasonably avoid a reasonable attack, deal with it. That's physics. If you think you should be able to deal with the attack easily, there's a problem, and that problem is you.
Even if the rest of this post was crap, which it isn't it's fantastic, this line alone is worth all of my likes.


This is dumb. Everyone knows thats duels and hit taking are both arbitrarily decided by the magic cat people of Arathym. I consider this entire post to br blasphemous and am therefore reporting it.


Professor of Alchemy
Fabula Cavataio said:
One of the problems with using retardedly deadly weapons like lightsabers and blasters and grenades is that people often think that even acknowledging an enemy attack means you have to be horribly crippled by it.

This is a mistake. And it friggin' ticks your partner (not your "enemy") off.
This is a reason I enjoy making Sith Swords. People aren't as afraid to take a cut.

Ashin Varanin

Professional Enabler
@sabrina @Maria Zambrano

Force Scream is involuntary, yes. I know of two people who can do it deliberately, one pretty nuts (Darth Isolda) and one specially and experimentally trained (Eldoc Quasat). It normally manifests as some telekinetic battering but mostly a ton of mental 'noise', making it hard to focus.