Terrouge E-zine Archives
Fighting in the ROC
One of the things that many parents notice about Redwall is the violence. The bloodbath at the end of Mossflower between Martin and Tsarmina isn't exactly children-friendly. But hey? We do the exact same thing in our Redwall world, if not worse. Giant wars between powerful clubs and one-on-one duels betwixt two rivals speckle our otherwise dull recipe making and mission writing.
"What exactly is fighting?" is a common question many people new to the online Redwall world ask. Its pretty easy to start a brawl in school or on the street if desired, but how do you do it over a network of telephone wires?
How It Works
Let's say that Posy and Snot get into a fight. Posy wants to kick Snot in the stomach. There are two ways to do this: the fair way, and the cheating or "auto-hit" way. Each method works on the same principle, which is that you write what you do. Two asterisks one either side of a message help show that what is being written is actually done by the character. For instance:
**Posy sends a flying kick at Snot's fat stomach.**
**Posy hits Snot's fat stomach with a flying kick.**
There is a very minute difference between these two, but it changes the result. In the first message, Posy doesn't actually hit Snot. The action is only directed towards Snot. In the second message, Posy hits Snot. This means that no matter what Snot may say afterwards, he still gets hit with the kick and flies back into the wall Matrix-style. Some auto-hits like **Snot cuts Posy's head off with his scimitar** end a fight without any fighting at all. The general rule of thumb is to simply ignore whatever this kind of Snot may say. People then ask, "Hey, then if I use the first way, how do I kill my opponent?"
The answer is that Snot has to let Posy hit him. This means he can reply with either **Snot falls back from the kick** or **Snot dodges the kick**. An honorable warrior lets their opponent hit him or her 50% or more of the times an attack is sent at them. A cheap person would dodge anything sent after them. The trick about fighting is to send an attack that has no conceivable escape. If the person plans to fight fair then he'll let himself get hit. Some people may say, "What? The other guy has to let me hit him? That's so stupid!" Not really. The same applies to you. You have to let your opponent hit you too. Trust me, this procedure works.
Sometimes there are exceptions. There are several clubs that teach and support fighting with magic. Whether you fight with or without spells like fire blasts and energy shields is up to you, but if your opponent disapproves then its tough luck. Most Redwallers agree that if its not in the books, it shouldn't be on our boards or chatrooms. Some vermin on the ROC fight a different way, which is basically anything goes. Dragonphoenix the Mystic of INSU stated simply, "Its kill or be killed." "We play to win, not fairly," says Nightclaw Addersfang. When it comes right down to it, there is no "right" way to fight. Find a style that you and your opponent are comfortable with, and you're all set.
How It Compares
Our Redwall and Brian's Redwall are two completely different worlds, and the fighting reflects that. There are several similarities, however. Let's take species differences for one. In Brian's Redwall a tiny mouse can kick the crap out of a maniacal wildcat, respectively. In the ROC a shrew has the same chance of winning a battle as a full-grown wolf. Unlike real life, size doesn't matter. This is a plus in two ways, the first being that everybody has an equal chance to win and the second being that you can choose any species you want to fight with.
Sometimes, the species choice does give a limitation to your combat. Everybody has the stereotype in their mind that vermin fight more aggressively. What the books teach us we sometimes ignore. I've seen vermin healers and goodbeast screaming, hacking machines. Of course, when we stay in character we must follow this unwritten rule. Kiyia Swiftfyre said, "Vermin normally start fights more often, but goodbeasts defend a lot. Vermin are more aggressive; they are more willing to fight. I think they fight more." Vermin do start wars more often, but this latest one between INSU and Lord Brocktwig's Abbey turns the tables on our impressions. It just shows you can't expect the same thing every time.
We differentiate our fighting from the books in other ways as well. I again quote from Kiyia, "The fighting in the books always ended with the goodbeasts winning, at least in the full wars. On the ROC, vermin win sometimes rather then never." I'm sure that everybody and anybody reading this has seen a vermin win a fight. This is a good change from the "good guys always win" attitude Brian has shown us. In real life, do the "good guys" always win?
In Martin the Warrior and The Long Patrol fights were huge battles involving hundreds of creatures. In our wars no more than two dozen people fight at any one time. Once in a war between two giant clubs only ten or so members from both were actually fighting. What does this imply? I think it means that more people should get involved and fight for their club's honor and their own, which brings us into the next question: what's so great about fighting that make people fight in the first place?
What It Does
Fighting has a huge aspect on the ROC, and it accomplishes any number of things. Cateye from EOU said, "Well I think it accomplishes settling arguments, and its amusement. I mean, what does watching TV accomplish?"
Well, there are plenty of things that turn a meek straight-A human into a bloodthirsty rat warrior. When fighting, the combatants defend the honor of their club or themselves, as mentioned above. This is usually how club vs. club battles get started; one club tries to prove its better than the other. Sometimes the clubs are just bored or a member of one has insulted another. Either way the fighting starts, and the victory prize is glory and usually more members. The site's reputation is also improved.
People also fight to relieve stress. After just having two midterms and your best friend moving away, a good old grog fight at the local tavern can do wonders for a weary soul. As a fencer IRL, I know that after a bout (especially one you've won) you feel refreshed and ready to take on new challenges. The feeling is an invigorating one. There's nothing like an adrenaline rush to get your mind off your life troubles. It works like a drug without the bad side effects. Some people even fight just to improve their writing abilities. In chatroom battles the words fly thick and fierce, and quick thinking means whether your char gets a sword in the gut or not. Fighting seems a lot more exciting than your old word scramble now, doesn't it?
In conclusion, fighting enriches our ROC experience. It fills up the boredom that appears while waiting for sites to update. It also increases the ROC's replay value. If an old veteran has answered every Redwall trivia question known to man and created enough season names to last several decades, why come back? To fight. Just like a good multiplayer video game, it makes the fun last. Of course, it isn't the perfect pleasure. Many in-character parents and friends have been lost in the action, and it may be a factor in all these acts of violence in teens and kids going on recently. Woodren Swiftsword of the Mossflower Liberation Army stated simply, "Fighting on the ROC is just fun in most minds. Sometimes it gets out of hand, and insults start to fly. I think that fighting shouldn't be taken too seriously." No, it shouldn't, but in the meanwhile Posy and Snot are having a heck of a time.