Enter The Combat Swipe File Contest – Deadline Feb 27

Roleplaying Tips reader Adam made the following Tips Request recently:

“The other issue is coming up with descriptions that aren’t repetitive after the 3rd combat.”

I have the same problem. And it’s time to fix it for everybody.

Let’s do a new contest.

The prizes will be MyInfo software and some PDF GM books.

You can enter multiple times for a chance to win more than once!

Here’s how to enter

Fill out a short combat description for each item in this block:

  • Melee attack success:
  • Ranged attack success:
  • Spell attack success:
  • Defense / miss:
  • Insult / challenge:

One or two lines for each is perfect.

For example:

  • Melee attack success: “Your weapon whistles through the air and opens an angry wound in your foe’s brow.”
  • Ranged attack success: “With a loud THOINK! your missile penetrates your foe’s armour and he screams in pain and rage.”
  • Spell attack success: “As the dying words of your incantation float into the air, there’s a sudden sizzling sound followed by a brilliant flash. Your foe staggers and grunts in pain.”
  • Defense / miss: “Your foe’s foul breath almost overwhelms you as he laughs heartily at your feeble swing.”
  • Insult / challenge: “You think that’s tough? I’ll show you tough! Watch out puny bug, I’m about to step on you.”

I’d like your entries to contain one description for each item in the block so I get a good balance of answers. I’ll edit the entries and repost them for us all to build our swipe files with.

Entry deadline is Feb 27, 2012.

I can tell this is going to be a fun contest. Bring on your combat prose, gory descriptions and best trash talk!

Johnn Four

Here’s the contest entry block again. Just copy and paste into a new comment:

* Melee attack success:
* Ranged attack success:
* Spell attack success:
* Defense / miss:
* Insult / challenge:


    Since i suspect most of these entries will turn into a big “who can describe the most massive crit” contest, here’s my stuff, for when you roll min damage or miss by a mile.

    Melee attack success: Your whiffs past with almost no resistance but torn clothes and a shallow cut on the skin beneath confirm the hit.

    Ranged attack success: The target winces in pain as the grazes their thigh and embeds itself in the floor behind.

    Spell attack success: A bolt of screams towards your target but it seems to fizzle and shrink in on itself as it goes. In the end, the impact is marked only by a hissing sound and a small grunt.

    Defense / miss: You try to bluff your awkward attack off as a feint, but no one is buying it.

    Insult / challenge: If your skill were half as sharp as your blade i might feel threatened. If your wit were half as sharp as your skill i might feel insulted. I’ll wager that weapon hasn’t seen a whetstone in months.


      Doh! It thinks i’m making up my own html tags.

      Let’s try again:

      Melee attack success: Your {weapon} whiffs past with almost no resistance but torn clothes and a shallow cut on the skin beneath confirm the hit.

      Ranged attack success: The target winces in pain as the {projectile} grazes their thigh and embeds itself in the floor behind.

      Spell attack success: A bolt of {energy} screams towards your target but it seems to fizzle and shrink in on itself as it goes. In the end, the impact is marked only by a hissing sound and a small grunt.

      Defense / miss: You try to bluff your awkward attack off as a feint, but no one is buying it.

      Insult / challenge: If your skill were half as sharp as your blade i might feel threatened. If your wit were half as sharp as your skill i might feel insulted. I’ll wager that weapon hasn’t seen a whetstone in months.


    * Melee attack success:
    The torchlight glints off the cruel blade of your axe as it arcs through the air, biting into your foe’s neck with a satisfying Tchunk! Your forearm and face are soaked crimson in the resulting warm arterial spray.
    * Ranged attack success:
    Your crossbow bolt slams into the bandit with so much force he is staggered by the impact and spins wildy 90-degrees, barely avoiding the blazing brazier behind him.
    * Spell attack success:
    The sickly green orb you’ve conjured hurtles towards your foe, smashing into him, like a wave upon the rocks, absolutely drenching him in acid. He lets out a howl of pain as tendrils of smoke steam from his bubbling armor and skin.
    * Defense / miss:
    With a mighty grunt, you thrust your spear at the Ogre’s exposed belly. But with surprising agility, the creature sidesteps your lunge and you stumble forward, off-balance from your attack.
    * Insult / challenge:
    You call that a sword? That’s not a sword, THIS is a sword!


    Melee attack success: Result- 1st attack near miss, 2nd attack critical hit- With a single step, and a nimble swing, your bastard sword arcs toward the nape of your opponent’s neck. He brings his weapon over to prevent the blow from connecting just in time, but too far. Deftly you pull your stroke in just a few inches, barely making contact with his blade, and thrust it straight through his left eye. His body locks up, twitches as you withdraw your blade, in a moment he falls, still writhing, but not for long…

    Ranged attack success: Result- low damage roll after leaving melee. As Hrothgar slams into the orc, pushing him back, you pick up your bow and swiftly loose an arrow at the orc chasing Aesa. It’s arc dips too low and pierces the outside of his right thigh. Too high to pierce anything but a little muscle.

    Spell attack success: Result- successful transformation- “Vah bein sha’bannah!” The end of the incantation echoes through the hall. Edward stops short, his body jerks unnaturally. He doubles over and a gentle glow begins to emanate from his body. It brightens for the next few moments, and his cry of surprise becomes an annoyed “meow!”. The light dims and in Edward’s place is a small calico cat, sunning himself in the light coming through the window.

    Defense / miss: result- stunned but not badly injured- Alain’s lance slowly dipped, too slow to be aiming for the body. He was aiming for the head. The instants pass with agonizing slowness. At the last moment you bow your chin and turn your head, just a little. Alain’s lance’s point dips with you. It takes you on your right cheek, knocking your head back, but it skips off the lower rim of your visor and races on behind you. The impact leaves you unable to move for a few moments, somehow the clenching of your legs keeps you in your seat.

    Insult / challenge: General Gihm looked from the Orc warrior to his dwarf clansmen. He lifted his battle-axe high above his short shoulders. “Now you will hear our demands! You and your people will leave immediately! If you stay, you will face us in battle, and if you face us in battle, then by high summer, we will strew the mourning sod of this forsaken land with your bleeding corpses!” “Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!” yelled the Dwarves at Gihm’s back.
    “We await your answer.” Gihm’s mouth twisted in disgust, and he turned back to his tent, trailing his fur cloak behind him.


* Melee attack success: “Dropping low under his attack, you stomp heavily on his toes. While he starts with pain, you drive forward, sinking your blade into his gut. His dying breath feels noxious on your ear before you kick him off your blade and move on.”

* Ranged attack success: “You spin at the sound, and the knife leaves your fingers as if it had wings. It flies true, but your assailant ducks at the last second, so that the knife buries itself in his shoulder instead of his neck. He glares murder at you but keeps coming.”

* Spell attack success: “Arcane words and light reach a crescendo in your hands. With a whisper of your will, you unleash the power as a lightning bolt that sizzles through the air to make your enemies dance and die.”

* Defense / miss: “You move in with a sharp flurry of blows, but his sword blocks yours each time with a ringing of steel and sparks. He meets your eye between the blades and smiles slowly.”

* Insult / challenge: “Don’t make me laugh. You’ll never be the half the man your mother was.”


* Melee attack success:The edge of your blade bites deep, leaving a gushing wound.
* Ranged attack success:Your arrow/bolt/spear flies true. It whistles through the air, and punches through ______’s armour.
* Spell attack success:The arcane power surges from your body, leaving the tips of your finger’s tingling as it mangles your foe.
* Defense / miss: You strike well, but your blow glances off the brutes well placed armour.
* Insult / challenge: “I’ll oil my blade with your blood, and gamble with your bones.”


* Melee attack success: “Your weapon slices across your foe’s chest. He screams in rage, clutching his breast as blood pours down his torso. You notice a ragged bit of flesh on the floor. It appears to be a nipple.”?

* Ranged attack success: “Your bolt whistles across the distance with the blur of a hummingbird’s wings and sinks into your opponent’s thigh with a sickening THWACK!”?

* Spell attack success: “You stand with your hands raised in expectation as you finish your invocation. As the last syllable leaves your lips, a second of silence fills the air around you. You feel your clothing subtlely shift and raise off your skin by a fraction of an inch, and then a loud ZZZZZZZT! fills the air as you feel a ball of energy gather and rush from between your outstretched hands. Although you see nothing, your enemy drops to his knees, roaring in agony as blood pools in his eye sockets. He begins to vomit black bile and blood.”?

* Defense / miss: “Your raise your shield, but it does little to block your foe’s swing. She alters her trajectory at the last moment and the blow smashes into your wrist. You feel the crunch of bone as the shield falls, your hand still attached to the strap, but no longer to your arm.”

* Insult / challenge: “You think I am afraid to die? What is life but suffering? No, friend, I welcome Death, but Death has refused my embrace too many times. Perhaps she will welcome you more kindly!”


* Melee attack success:
“Seeing the opening, you quickly wheel driving your weapon into the side of your opponent’s knee. He falls as his support is knocked out from under him.”

* Ranged attack success:
“From behind your place of cover, you draw back and fire. Across the din of the battle, he never knew what hit him.”

* Spell attack success:
“Tracing the runes, you beckon the ethereal forces to do your bidding. With a crack, they rip into your opponent, turning his insides into hamburger.”

* Defense / miss:
“The skill of your opponent surprises you as he repeatedly parries your strikes, putting you further off-balance.”

* Insult / challenge:
“You hit like a girl! Oh-s**t! You are a girl?”


Melee Attack Success: You deflect his attack with your sword and smash his face with your free hand.

Ranged Attack Success: As your opponent raises his weapon, you pull a flintlock from your belt and loose a round into his chest.

Spell Attack Success: Arcs of lightning streak from your fingers, engulfing your opponent and sending him into convulsive spasms.

Defense/Miss: You lunge through his defense, too quick to stop. A tremor is sent up your arm as you realize your blade is blunted and stopped dead on his armour.

Insult/Challenge: Bring some friends, I’ll wait.


Melee attack success: As you strike, your opponent raises an arm, absorbing the hit that would have otherwise inflicted an heavy wound on him. However, you can distictly feel your blade smashing on your opponent arm. As he retracts the art, you clearly see a trail of dripping blood falling from his wound

Ranged attack success: Your dart hits the giuncture between two chunks of armor, impaling itself into your opponent flesh. Your enemy gasp for the pain, rapidly pulling your dart out of the wound.

Spell attack success: Your Ray of Enfeeblement flies trought your enemy, hitting him over and over, every strike sapping your opponent strenght as negative energy drains him.

Defense / miss: Even if your mage clothing offers little or no protection, you succeed into misdirection your opponent blow, waving your vest to make difficult to pinpoint your exact location

Insult / challenge: Even if someone like it hot, nobody likes it THAT hot!


    Melee Attack Success: Even with your little clumsy gnomish hands, you manage to stick your magestaff into the eye of the orc, which roars in pain.

    Ranged attack succes: Despite the crossbow recoil, you manage to at least make the dart fly in a straight line, hitting the amorphous mass of the ocre ooze

    Spell Attack success: Resisting the urge to blow the whole door with your disintegration, you aim the green ray directly through the locket, guiding it to the guard behind it. It is with a mischievous smile that you wave your hand to the thief, now free to picklock the door, now guarded only by a little pile of dust.

    Defense: Thanks to your short stature, your tower-shield completly cowers you, while the volleyn of arrows bounces upon the shield metallic surface

    Insult/challenge: My grandmother hits harder than you, and she’s dead! Well, actually being a vampire may give some advantage, but let’s not discuss upon the details.


Melee Attack Success: You grasp your sword by the blade and swing, causing the pommel to dent your enemies pauldron. His collarbone cracks and you feel the satisfying reverberations as they make their way up your sword.

Ranged Attack Sucess: The first two rounds of your burst thunk into the wooden table he has taken cover behind. The third, however, strikes through his shoulder and you can see the bullethole in the wall behind him.

Spell Attack Sucess: The thick black grease you conjured covers the floor directly in front of your charging foe, and seeing this, he attempts to vault over the mess. Rather unsuccesfully, he falsely times his jump and ends up face down in black gunk.

Miss: You make several wild swings at your opponent, and he deftly dodges backwards from your unskilled blows, a wry grin appearing on his face. But you know better, having scouted this clearing before the battle. He has backed himself onto wet grass and unsure footing.

Insult: When you speak it sounds like an accident. Please stop.


?Melee attack success:
You leap into the air, viciously driving your weapon behind your opponent’s collar bone as you narrowly miss his skull.
?Ranged attack success:
You slowly sqeeze the trigger and send your bolt arcing over the melee chaos, striking squarely through an opening in your target’s armor.
?Spell attack success:
You lower your hand to witness the carnage wrought by your mere gesture and utterance. The smell of burnt flesh assails your nostrils as you gaze at the charred, smoking bodies left in the wake of your power.
?Defense / miss:
Your overzealous lunge is deftly sidestepped by your dexterous opponent.
?Insult / challenge:
Your life is about to become like a halfling vampire: short and sucky


*Melee attack success:
Sidestepping your opponent’s clumsy lunge, you slice open his undefended arm.

*Ranged attack success:
Your sling whirs as it picks up speed. With a flick of the wrist, you send the stone smacking your target in the jaw with a solid thunk.

*Spell attack success:
As the orbs of energy leave your hand, you laugh as your target desperately tries to take cover moments too late. The orbs unerringly seek him out and are painfully absorbed into his body.

*Defense / miss:
Your opponent smashes the edge of his shield into your weapon, narrowly deflecting your blow.

*Insult / challenge:
You leave your defenses wide open, like your mom does her legs

Randall Newnham

?Melee attack success: “Your weapon’s flashing arc terminates directly in the enemy’s chest with a crunch.”

?Ranged attack success: “Though flying lower than you intended, the missile shatters your opponent’s knee, pitching him face-first into the ground, unmoving.”

?Spell attack success: “The ray leaps from your hand, strikes your foe and traces a crooked, briefly glowing line across your foe’s chest… a scent of singed flesh assaults your senses.”

?Defense / miss: “Your grip on your weapon falters, almost imperceptively… you recover gracefully, making it seem like a toying swipe.”

?Insult / challenge: “You come bearing weapons, children? I accept this gifts, that I may bestow them upon the least of my minions. As a token of goodwill, I will not even require you to grovel upon your way out.”


So who are the winners?

Allan Treebeard

* Melee attack success: You duck underneath your foes wild attack lashing out as your blow connects with their kneecap with a crunch

* Ranged attack success:Your aim is true as your foe doubles over in pain clutching their stomach in agony, blood collecting in their hands

* Spell attack success: Your hands trace symbols of power through the air, they flash for a moment before fizzling back into the void. Your foe clutches their head in agony, defenseless before your mental assault

* Defense / miss: Your weapon rings in your hand as your foe brings up their defense just in time.

* Insult / challenge: The monster’s roar resounds through the air, echoing off the walls and your ear drums before settling in your heart…

Rohit Ramnath

Melee attack success: You hit, He parries, He hits, you parry and you realize he has left himself open… Swipe… HIT!

Ranged attack success: By the time the TWANG from your bow is heard, an arrow has lodged itself in your opponents armor/chest/back

Spell attack success: Sizzling Yellow light envelops your arm… It is shaped into a bolt which flies forth and strikes true

Defense / miss: You slash with your sword. CLANG! You hit him square in his chestplate… No damage

Insult / challenge: You couldn’t hit water if you were on a boat!

Johnn Four

Hey all,

I’ve been away and offline, which was a very weird feeling.

But I’m back and have just finished randomly drawing the giveaway winners and have emailed them.

The winners were:
1) Rikard M
2) Vlad the Impal0r
3) Hayley H

Thanks again to everyone who entered. Now I start work on compiling the swipe file for you. Stay tuned to the newsletter for updates.


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