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Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,812 posts.

Wolf Fighting.

Curious about how to go around Relic Lore with a score to settle? Want to start up a fight and take back what was yours to begin with? Dare to try and prove that your character is the top dog on one side of the Mountain of Dire? Is there a rank challenge on the rise, wanting to defend your home from unwelcome rogues, or wanting to settle an argument with a scuffle once and for all by force? Then you've come to the right place!

For more information about wolf behavior (dominance and submission maneuvers), please see the Wolf Behavior library article.

For information about RoW's structured fighting system, please see the Fighting System library article.

* all photos © Monty Sloan / dawnthieves.de

(This post was last modified: Jul 06, 2018, 06:55 PM by Sahalie.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,812 posts.

Fight Theory.

A subordinate wolf ducks down
in submission to its superior.
First things first... There are three things to consider:

  • Attacks are simply what they are. Your wolf attempts to injure or gain hold of part of the other wolf. Attacks should always have attempted consequences — and you should never assume that your wolf made their mark - doing so is considered powerplaying! Realistically (without using RoW's Fight System), only a wolf with high Physique points in Strength and Speed will be able to attack with consistent success. Keep in mind that a wolf's claws are blunt, and not used as "weapons."

  • Evading comes in response to an attack, meaning that your opponent misses. Realistically, wolves with high Speed points can evade more easily than others, but unless they have the Stamina to back it up, they will become fatigued and take more hits as the fight progresses. Sometimes, even if your wolf evades, they can still take minimal damage.

  • Counter-attacks can act as defensive maneuvers (like attacking to prevent your character from getting hit) or they can come after your opponent's attack (like attempting to tackle the other wolf after their attack missed). Wolves with high Stamina points will be able to counter-attack well for the duration of most fights.

For Example (without the use of RoW's Fight System):

Wolf A: (Attack) Lunges for Wolf B's throat, thinking that if he gets the hold, he'll be able to use his size to wrestle his opponent to the ground.

Wolf B: (Evasion) Using a majority of his Speed and Stamina, he leaps out of the way, taking only a scratch from his opponent's jaws to his neck. (Counter-attack) Turns quickly, leaping at Wolf A in an attempt to tackle him.

Wolf A: (Counter-attack) Opens his jaws to intercept Wolf B as he deals with the force of being tackled, hoping to get hold of Wolf B's ear, which is dangerously close to his mouth.

Wolf B: Yelps in pain as Wolf A bites down on his ear. (Counter-attack) Snaps at Wolf A's throat, hoping to get him to release his hold... (etc.)

Typically, an issue between two wolves would be settled through posturing, but if neither wolf gives in they will be prone to provoking physical attacks.


When it comes to pack wolves challenging for a rank within a pack, blood is not often drawn. In general deaths are extremely rare (on RoW, when your wolf's Health Points reach -10, they are considered deceased) as it is wholly natural for a wolf to submit to a stronger individual.

Left to Right: A yearling lays down on her side and reveals her white belly to respect her Leader's authority over her; A high-ranking wolf asserts his dominance over two subordinates; Two males participate in a scuffle by jaw-sparring; A low-ranking wolf holds still as their superior locks their jaws on the back of their neck - a common way to assert dominance over another pack member.

(This post was last modified: Jun 29, 2015, 04:17 PM by Valeria.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,812 posts.

Body Physique & Posture.

Secondly, size up your opponent. Compare their character's size and Life Points to yours. Remember: Wolves with higher Skills in fighting, along with their Physique points, are more inclined to win a rank challenge or fight. Differentiate where their strengths are and where your strengths lie. Are they quicker on their feet? Stronger? Leaner? Write how you think your wolf will consider  their offensive or defensive tactics — a large, Strength-dependent wolf may try to use force just as a small, Speed-dependent wolf might rely on their reflexes to evade oncoming attacks. More often than not dominance matches and scuffles are all about posture. It is very seldom that blood is drawn or violent action is taken.

Keep in mind that without Stamina to back it up, Speed and Strength quickly become useless.

Body posture is unquestionably important in these matters. Here are key points to be aware of as the line is drawn:

Posture Guide
Overall Frame
Be mindful of your character's footing and how they manage to keep their balance. As a rule of thumb (or, rather paw), it is generally suggested to continually attempt to keep your wolf's posture and stance higher than their opponent as submissive wolves typically lower themselves in submission. Once your wolf is on their back and/or reveals their underside and belly, it is usually game over.
Domineering wolves, at first, will have their head raised up high, but upon engaging in combat, lowering the skull will protect the neck when the shoulders are hunched forward. An intimidation tactic might include the raising of the hackles (fur along a wolf's neck or nape), which make a wolf appear larger and bulkier in size. Wolves who submit will lower their head along with their body.
In order to protect the eyes from injury and damage it is suggested to narrow or half-close them. This will create a sort of tunnel vision as your wolf focuses upon and targets their opponent; doing so will also protect the eye if their rival attempts to bite or swipe a paw your character's face, thus preventing blindness. A dominant wolf may also stare intensely as a means of intimidation. Wolves who have been bested in a fight or scuffle will break eye contact and turn their head as to avert their gaze away from their opponent's face.
Aggressive or angered wolves turn their ears forward to express their temper but, if they aren't careful, opponents may easily target them. It is suggested to pin them back defensively upon engaging in a physical fight. When a victor has been declared, the defeated wolf will lower its ears and keep them lowered.
The jaws are your wolf's primary offensive weapon and are often utilized for: biting, expressing dominance, expressing submission, and jaw-sparring. To snap one's jaws is to express definite vexation and is used as a form of intimidation. Curling the upper lip up back reveals your character's teeth and makes a growl seem all the more powerful up front. As a fight or scuffle comes to an end, the muzzle will smooth out and the lips will conceal all teeth; a fearful wolf will extend its tongue and lick at the air and its nose while whining or whimpering. The pack wolf who acknowledges their new superior will lick their chin or brush their muzzle, nose, and lips to the underside of the dominant wolf's throat and lower jaw.
Like the cranium, tails are also held upright in a dominant fashion and may curl over their back. When prompted to attack it may be held straight out as the fur along your character's back bristles and their hackles rise. A wolf defeated in a scuffle or fight will lower their tail (a gesture that wordlessly says, "I surrender.") and sometimes dramatically curl it between their legs and out of sight.

Defeated or yielding wolves will often signal the fight has come to an end or draw when they are no longer able to stand, expose their underbelly to the victor, or turn tail and run.


It is easier to envision a thread if you think of each post spanning over a few seconds. Your character will not have time to wait for an attack unless they have successfully evaded and stepped a good distance away.

Try to keep it to one (1) new attack and/or one (1) defensive move per post, and not rush ahead any further than that. Things will be clearer if you take it slow, one moment to the next.

Left to Right: The Lowest member of a pack flashes her underbelly to her superiors to assure them of their superiority over her; As a subordinate seeks to lick his superior's chin, another submits by laying on his side and pinning back his ears; Despite being pinned and close to losing a scuffle, a wolf attempts to use his jaws in one last desperate attempt to become the victor; A superior wolf asserts his dominance over another by stepping over a yielding subordinate.
(This post was last modified: Jun 29, 2015, 04:22 PM by Valeria.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,812 posts.

The Setting.

Pay attention to the thread setting; have your wolf scope out the landscape and be mindful of the weather and seasonal environment. Things that are so easily overlooked, such as:

  • Is the ground stable enough for sure footing (hard-packed snowbanks, cold soil, stony ground, etc.) or treacherous to tread (marshland mud, ice patches, fresh snow, etc.)?
  • Are there trees available to provide cover or become possible obstacles for an opponent?
  • Are there certain landmarks or distinct landscape features — a fallen log, a sizable boulder, a patch of tall grass, a slick depression in the mud — to utilize or avoid?
  • Is it raining (which may hinder your character's sight) or foggy (which might make it easy for a surprise attack)?
  • If the sun is out, is there possibility of a glare from certain angles?

Here are some environmental things to also consider as you and your wolf scope out their battlegrounds:

Time of Day
MorningMost wolves are just waking up at this time, preparing their rested bodies for the day to hunt, travel, patrol, etc. Early morning light provides just enough light to highlight the landscape. It is also one of the quietest periods of time until the seasonal songbirds began to wake up; any sounds battling wolves might make are prone to being overheard.
AfternoonThe sun reaches its highest point during the day and shadows almost disappear as its rays beat down upon Relic Lore. In the Summer, the afternoon heat may quickly sap dark-pelted wolves of energy when engaged in strenuous activity. Sounds made during the day may be easily overheard on a particularly warm afternoon.
EveningThe temperature begins to drop and the sun begins to set as the moon begins to rise. Packs may have a routine they keenly stick to; be mindful of where members might be or where rogues might use the cover of darkness to their advantage when crossing territorial lines. Sounds made during the evening might sound muffled to even the most vigilant at a distance.
NightWolves' eyes were designed for night vision; any available light is reflected in their eyes, making the sense of sight possible in the dimmest moonlight. Sudden movement is still quick to spot; and, due to the reflection of light, eyes shine in the dark.

Time of Year
SpringHormones usually run strong this time of year as potential mates and growing families take the opportunity to expand their families. Both male and female wolves alike are prone to being provoked into a fight, especially if a character of the same gender dares to come close to their significant other. Fur is also bound to practically fly as wolves start to shed their thick winter coats.
SummerIn the heat of the Canadian Summer, most wolves opt to undertake energy-taxing activities at night when the air is much cooler and the weather is much more pleasant against a short-haired pelt.
AutumnAs wolves start to prepare for winter, their thick winter coat begins to grow in. The weather becomes much cooler and certain trees all over Relic Lore start to shed their leaves (making for some possibly slippery battlegrounds!).
WinterWinter is typically the time when a wolf actively rests and only expends energy if they absolutely have to. Pack wolves might particularly have an advantage here as they have usually stored up resources to last the winter. There is also the growth of a wolf's thick winter coat to consider. Cunning locations to set a fight also become available at this time of year: frozen over lakes and ponds, rivers with a thin layer of ice along its banks, hard-packed snow banks, flat expanses of snow-covered ground that might potentially cause snow blindness on a sunny cloudless day, and powdery snow that makes the ground hard to shuffle through.
(This post was last modified: Apr 11, 2014, 06:54 AM by Angier.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,812 posts.

Life Points & Ribbons.

As a reward for becoming the victor or the honorably defeated, life points eligible for such adrenaline-driven events are as follows:

  • Win a Fight: +50 points (Skills)
  • Draw a Fight: +30 points (Skills)
  • Lose a Fight: +15 points (Skills)
  • Participating in a Scuffle: +10 points (Skills)
  • Participating in a Rank Challenge: +35 points (Pack)
  • Completed Thread with New Wolf: +30 points (Development; thread must be >10 posts)
  • Completed Thread: +20 points (Development; thread must be >10 posts)
  • Completed Thread with a Pack Mate: +30 points (Pack)

Also, please note, a fight is a formal challenge and consists of 5-6 posts in which two or more characters are actively fighting against one another. A scuffle is an informal event consisting of 2-3 posts with no formal challenge issued in which two characters actively "spar" over the possession of something valuable. Threads must have a minimum of 10 posts total and be completed in order to be eligible for Life Points.

In special circumstances, please be aware of these Life Point values as well:

  • Leave a Pack: -100 points (Pack)
  • Become Leader of the Pack: +100 points (Skills)
  • Lose Leadership of a Pack: -80 points (Skills)
  • Gain a Role in a Pack: +70 points (Skills; see all available pack roles here)
  • Demonstrating a Pack Role (Guardian): +10 points (Skills; thread must be >15 posts with 6+ posts of your wolf guarding what is theirs)

In addition to Life Points, Ribbons relating specifically to fights and scuffles might also be up for grabs:

  • Fight Club: Participate in a "mod-confirmed" fight.
  • Rebel: Participate in 5 "mod-confirmed" fights.
  • Enemy of the State: Participate in 15 "mod-confirmed" fights.
  • En Garde!: Obtain and dole out a Critical Hit during a turn.
  • My Own Worst Enemy: Suffer a Critical Miss during a turn.
  • One-Hit KO: Win a "mod-confirmed" fight with a Critical Hit.
  • Underdog: Win a "mod-confirmed" fight against an opponent that has 200+ LP more than your character.
(This post was last modified: Jun 29, 2015, 04:18 PM by Valeria.)