Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beer Money for Brawls

The other night we were short players for our weekly DCC RPG session, and we played Zombies!!! and a game of Beer Money. It occured to me that Beer Money (and Lunch Money, I guess, but I don't own that) can be used for rules in a bar-room brawl. In a standard game, everyone starts with 15 tokens that represent money or life, but this easily could represent hit points or constitution (stamina). A Beer Money attack can do anywhere between 1 and 7 points of damage, but typically between 1 and 3! Which is very much the standard damage of an unarmed attack in most D&D games (and their derivatives). Without going into the details of the game, there are attacks, defences and special maneuvers available, all are randomly determined by card draws. One player initiates an attack that can be avoided if a defensive card is available, if not the target takes damage as indicated by the card. There are special moves and combinations--most of those are initiated by a "grab". Example moves are kicks, sucker punches, piledrivers and Fists of Fury. Rounds are quick and simple, though some of the special cards can get confusing when first played. But after a couple rounds, it becomes fast and furious.

Here are some preliminary rules, let me know what you think:

Beer Money Brawling Rules

The judge plays any NPCs and also gets 5 cards. A player that joins the brawl gets 5 cards per standard Beer Money rules. On their turn, as determined by standard RPG initiative rules, they can attack a target with a Beer Money card or do anything their character can do normally on their turn (these actions are determined normally per RPG rules). The target of a Beer Money attack may counter or defend themselves with an appropriate Beer Money card (using standard Beer Money rules), if they can't, they take damage in hit points as indicated by the card. No attack or damage rolls are made. All characters use their standard hit points, but any points lost to Beer Money attacks are considered non-lethal.

Beer Money Weapon Cards can be blocked and dodged as usual per Beer Money rules, but regular RPG weapons use standard RPG rules to resolve hits and damage. Basically Beer Money cards can only be played and countered by Beer Money defense cards. RPG actions are determined normally.

All characters may add their strength modifiers to this Beer Money damage (minimum damage of 1, for those with negative mods.) In the case of Fists of Fury, this is added to the total damage.

Redemption and Self Help cards can be played normally, healing 2 or 4 hp as indicated by the card.

Class rule exceptions: 

Fighters can add any strength and class damage modifiers to the damage. (DCC RPG Warriors have a huge advantage here.)
Magic-users and clerics can use magic. They have to play a Dodge card to cast a spell, or risk free attacks. If a magic-user attempts to cast a spell without playing a Dodge card first, any nearby characters can play a Basic Attack Card (or make a free attack per standard RPG rules if they exist, e.g. Opportunity Attacks, etc.).
Clerics can play Redemption or Self Help to freely heal themselves or others, they can also use their magical healing in place of restoring only 2 or 4.
Thieves and other sneaky types can sneak or hide per usual RPG rules, if successful they can play a Beer Money card that can't be avoided with a Dodge or Block! (or sneak-attack/back-stab per RPG rules.)

Optional Rules:

Fisticuffs - Upon agreement, all brawlers can use their Constitution (or Stamina) scores in place of hit points. This will make the fight resolve faster, especially if characters have lots of hit dice.

Fight Club - (Some classes are just better at fighting)
Fighters (Warriors) get an additional card (6 instead of 5).
Thieves and Clerics get the standard 5.
Magic-users (Wizards) get only 4 cards.