Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 124: Inspiration for Combat Heavy Games

Main Topic

Every role playing game is about resolving conflicts that players face and one question each game has to answer is about how important physical combat will be to the game.  When you are designing a campaign or session around a combat heavy focus, the difficulty is more about how to ensure that the characters are appropriately challenged.  The type of combat can take many forms from invoking RPGs’ origins in wargaming to hong kong action cinema inspired personal tournament, but these are the things to keep in mind when designing them. 

Just because your game is combat heavy doesn’t mean it is devoid of other themes.  War stories often center around the loss of innocence and horrors of the war while self discovery and the hero’s journey can be literally mapped onto some tournament structures. 

Some great inspiration for combat heavy games include:

Mortal Kombat or Mortal Kombat 

Saving Private Ryan

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Sin City

Adventure Time/Bravest Warriors

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future

Starship Troopers

My Hero Academia

The Eye of the World Series by Robert Jordan

Kimetsu no Yaiba

The Immortal Iron Fist

Tournament arcs are easy to set up and when they are double elimination create a perfect Hero’s Journey, and military fiction based RPGs make ongoing combat an easy way to explore the darker and more trying themes that combat, and war, provide. 


Incongruence noun

in·​con·​gru·​ence | \ ˌin-kən-ˈgrü-ən(t)s  , (ˌ)in-ˈkäŋ-grə-wən(t)s  \

Definition of incongruence


Definition of incongruity

1: the quality or state of being incongruous

2: something that is incongruous


Late Latin incongruentia, from Latin incongruent-, incongruens + -ia -y

First Known Use: 1610

Look-up Popularity

Top 3% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – The Witcher RPG I literally just got a copy of the book from Noble Knight Games that was done by R. Talsorian Games. I am really excited to get into this book. If you are a patron you will get to see my whole writeup for the book. 

      Jupiter’s Legacy Part of the Millarverse. It is a great look into combat and how it can affect your mind and what the world can think of you.

Joules – Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga, original and Fullmetal alchemist Brotherhood)

Guard-a-Manger – Invincible – The Amazon Prime adaptation of the Robert Kirkman Comic Book Invincible has one full season under its belt. A fresh take when it started on super heroics and an exploration of a coming of age story in bad situations (so far).  If you know the comic book, you will probably know where it is going to go in the next 2 seasons already greenlit. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

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