Many ways to fight

So I want my player characters to

Bring the pain = Go Aggro from AW
Fight fair = hack and slash
Lash out = ??

Lash out isn’t the same kind of thing, it aims to do harm but without a coherent objective beyond the harm itself. It also can Kick off combat like Go Aggro. Any suggestions on how to differentiate from hack and slash?

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“Fight fair” sounds like initiating and following through with combat. Things like duels, war, etc.

“Lash out” to me sounds like anger (or other emotions) giving way to violence. Something like a bar fight, vengeful fury, overreacting to an insult…perhaps connect “lash out” to strength or emotional triggers while “fight fair” is triggered by social or strategic vectors?

To give a better example, lash out would be less strategic than fight fair, but much easier to trigger, either through instinctual response to an ambush, tapping into fury, or choosing to escalate an argument.

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This is an interesting consideration. Can you tell us more about how you distinguish Bring It from Lash Out? Just describing that in more detail might reveal some of the answers.

In Bring it violence is a means to victory or domination

In Lash our violence is not a means to anything except hurting the thing you’re lashing out against

Nice! I think that gives you some pretty clear distinctions already. Are you writing these up as PbtA moves, or some other format?

Lash Out seems to kinda mirror Monsterhearts “Lash Out Physically” which is a physical move with emotional consequences?


When I hear “Bring It”, I think Defend.


To be a bit crass, it sounds like “come at me bro”.

Very confrontational, but not directly being violent.


That was the vibe I got as well – “inviting” violence rather than that directly perpetrating it. “Bring the Pain” might be closer to “Go Aggro”?

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Ok I’ll write Bring the pain above for want of a better title. Partly I want to just say Go Aggro but that’s the wrong jargon for my tastes. “Escalate to violence” would be fine but violence may already be underway

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For what it’s worth, I find go aggro to be difficult in practice because it combines unlike things (for example, using a threat of violence and actually attacking someone, even unexpectedly).

If you’re going to separate violence into several moves, this is worth some careful thought.

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Yeah, Go Aggro is a threat of violent action if they don’t capitulate to your demands. If they give in, you de-escalate and there’s no bloodshed or property destruction. It’s always read to me like a bit of Dogs in the Vineyard design philosophy carried forward.


The version from the new Burned Over hackbook makes this even more clearly a persuasion move, I think, not necessarily a physical violence move. Something like, they might end up at your mercy, but it’s up to you what you do with that power.

I personally like that! Not sure how it squares with the plan for this game, though.


Agreed with the above: Lash Out sounds like Lash Out Physically from Monsterhearts (and MH2). Worth checking that out if you haven’t!