Running a good old fashioned tavern brawl is always fun every now and then! But how do you run a brawl or a non-lethal combat encounter without just ignoring damage? In today’s video, I talk about running a tavern brawl from a unique perspective using different rules. So, next time you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons, or any tabletop roleplaying game, try these tips to make your tavern brawl that much more fun!

How do you run a brawl/punch up or a non-lethal combat encounter without having to
ignore damage?

I am getting my inspiration for this video from the Brancalonia book and adding in some of
my own thoughts as we go.
• The first idea is that your character can only take 6 hits before falling unconscious.
o OR number of hits = con mod. Fighters can stay in the thick of it longer than
folks with low constitutions.
o Each hit reduces AC by 1 – to represent the slowly increasing fatigue of
o Brawling is unique – it is not traditional combat and characters are not
considered to be ‘in combat’.
o You cycle through NPCs – this means the ‘mob’ can take 6 hits. 1 mob per PC.
• Proficiency + Strength Modifier – there is no training for this kind of chaos and no
fancy moves as all attacks are attacks of opportunity rather than calculated combat
• Always inform your PCs – before the game starts, at session zero, tell them that you
will be using this system.
• Props = damage. Using props from the scene make it cool, and deal an extra 1 hit,
however take 1 round to prep.
• Guards should respond – but slowly and cautiously.
• Keep the pace up – arrest and prison will slow the game down and possibly cause
complications that you don’t need.
• Magic is illegal. Although the effects are slight, it is still a violation of the ‘Brawlers
code’ and is the same as drawing a weapon.
o Criminal behaviour – the moment a weapon is drawn or a spell thrown, it is
now combat which is illegal in most civilisations.

• Why roll? If there is no chance of failure or impact on the PCs, then NEVER roll. It just
slows the game down.

Catch a new video every Monday on our YouTube Channel, on how you can enhance your role-playing games!

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