What If We Really Fought Using a Turn Based System?

This is for those RPG fans out there, but the rest of you can stay for the drinks and the free food.

We’re all in some way familiar with the turn based system of combat; it’s the most basic gaming system known to the gamer community. You go, they go, and you go again. The battle ends, and it starts up again somewhere else. This method of doing things can be said to add to the slow paced nature of the RPG, or perhaps is the slow paced nature of the RPG. But I was wondering to myself, what if the characters themselves in the game had to hash out how to fight in a turn based system? Here’s what I came up with.

Two Computer generated people, one The Hero and the other The Enemy Soldier [TES], are squaring off against the other. The hero is just learning how to wield his sword, and the soldier has basic training and some combat experience. The Hero wants to knock out the soldier and TES wants to incapacitate the hero so he’ll get reward, promotion, and girls. But, in this harsh world, they must be fair so they have to figure out who goes first in this fight.

TES [flexing and drawing his automatic rifle]: Yeahhh, I’m going to kick your butt, newbie boy. Just stand right there and let me have my fun. [He takes aim and is about to fire when, just as he pulls the trigger, there is a clicking sound as if the gun is out of bullets. He looks at it curiously.] What the $@#%? I just loaded this thing. Why isn’t it working?

The Hero: Cause I haven’t had my turn yet.

TES: Turn? There’s no turn. What are you on?

The Hero [sighing with exasperation]: Sheesh, don’t they teach you henchmen anything these days? The natural order of the universe is that all combat is organized via taking turns. I go first, because I’m the hero, and then you go, and then I go again.

TES [looking at The Hero as if he just stated that his nose hairs are really a vibrant orchard lovingly tended by microscopic gardeners]: What the hell are you talking about? That’s not how a fight works. Look, I’ll show you. [He grins evilly, reverses his weapon, and attempts to charge at him with the butt raised to smack the hero in the face. He doesn’t get far, however, as he is knocked back and falls to the ground. He gets up and looks at The Hero with suspicion.] “You a mage or something, kid?”

The Hero: Nope. Just it’s my turn and then you can go.

TES [sighing]: All right, all right, whatever.

[The Hero draws his sword, runs at TES, and slashes at him. TES bends to the side slightly at the impact but does not fall over nor is there any blood or damage to his clothing. TES starts to laugh]

TES: What the hell was that? You buy that sword at Rubber World or something?

[The Hero points up above TES’s head to where the number “20” can be seen slowly fading back into nothingness.]

The Hero: That’s how much damage you took.

TES [looking confused]: Damage? But I’ve still got my limbs and all! When you hit me I should’ve been bleeding on the frickin’ ground!

The Hero: Not in this fight. The most you’ll do is collapse when I’ve beaten you.

[TES smiles once of those smiles that only really works well on a shark.]

TES: That’s what you think, kid, because now it’s my turn and I’m gonna put so many holes in you they’ll be able to use you for a sieve.

[TES takes aim and pulls the trigger while The Hero stands with his legs spread and his sword ready as if he’s going to attack but does not. The gun fires and the number “25” appears above the Hero’s head as he bends forward for a moment before standing up again and grinning at TES.

The Hero: Nice shot!

TES [looking aghast]: Who the hell are you, kid?

The Hero: Told you. I’m The Hero.

TES [looking prepared to blubber]: But you’re still standing after I drilled you!

The Hero: Yeah, and I took damage.

TES [throwing down his weapon and walking away]: I didn’t join up for this chocobo crap…

[As he tries to leave, though, he hits some invisible barrier and falls down while uttering “ouch!” and a few other four letter words. He stands up and glares at the hero.] “What is this time?”

The Hero: You can’t walk away from a battle, you have to Run Away.

TES [really looking confused now]: Just run really fast or what?

The Hero: You have to turn around and just run really fast in place for a bit and then you could run off or, depending on how it turns out, you might have to stick around and try again your next turn.

TES [reaching down and picking up his weapon again]: I’m not running from you, shortcake.

The Hero: Have it your way. [The Hero runs at him, cuts him with the sword, and TES falls down and disappears quite neatly. The Hero continues on.]

The Hero: Too bad. I liked the guy too.

The End.

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