Adapting menu-based conversation into menu-based combat

I’d like to adapt Simple Chat from a menu-driven NPC conversation extension to a menu-driven combat system, rather than devise a multitude of variables, objects and verbs — then design and balance a system of combat, stances, postures, ripostes, and so on. I’d like the combat to run more like a narrative than a war game anyway.


Obviously, I must change the names of the menus and verbs, so it would be compatible with Simple Chat itself. I must also include (on the combat table?) any effects of the maneuver — ex: your attack pushes the enemy into the adjoining room.

Are there any obvious pitfalls to this? What is the proper protocol for crediting the original author for the structure I’m building on?

Before you do anything with Simple Chat, be aware that it discards the parser and halts the turn structure, so that an entire conversation (or any sort of exchange) takes place within the space of a single turn. If that’s not a problem for you, go ahead, but otherwise you might consider using the Questions extension instead.

Either way, I think there will be very little effective difference between a spoken exchange and an exchange of blows, as it were. Keeping track of combat state is also very similar to keeping track of a conversation’s context. It’s a lot of work either way, regardless of what extension you use. I don’t think there’s anything out there that will do it for you, although you may want to look at the “Attack” and “Postures” extensions.

“Attack” is not on the I7 site, but you can find it here: … eased.html

Thanks, capmikee. Writing and planning narrative forks will take time but I think it’s more satisfying (if it works, that is). Menus cut down on guess-the-verb roadblocks, and scripted combat choices mean I only need to concern myself with the battles that matter to the story (rather than modeling combat like a war game and balancing a range of power levels). There won’t be warrior-vs-shopkeeper combat, so why concern myself with combat modeling and hit points?

I’ve never looked at “attack,” but it sounds like it won’t be so useful to you.

I wonder if there are any CYOA-like extensions for I7? That sounds like what you’d really need.

I’ve always wanted to see a game that had a more qualitative description of combat. I’ve heard it discussed a few times, and it may have been done, but I’ve never come into contact with it. Good luck!

There’s an interesting fight scene in Pytho’s Mask, by the way. As I recall, you don’t get so much choice about how the fight proceeds, but you do control what you say to your opponent as it goes on.

No, definitely not. ATTACK is only useful if you want RPG-style combat.

Simple Chat by Mark Tilford should be able to handle this perfectly.

if my adaption of Simple Chat into Simple Combat doesn’t pan out, I’ll check into it. This is a game project I’ve wanted to do for a while, but for which I have not yet found or made the extensions for functions I want. I’ve got as far as swords and knives which have scabbards and sheaths, which automatically recognize which weapon you’re trying to sheathe and where to put it; and I have a modified extension of Bulky Items that only allows the player to carry heavy objects when at least one of his hands is free (that is, when weapons are sheathed and items are stowed in a sporran). It calculates the difference in one-handed strength versus two, as well.

The idea is to make a Conan-style big manly warrior adventure, carrying off slave princesses over one shoulder while fighting the enemy. The puzzles, therefore, aren’t about carrying an inventory of fiddly bits, keys, newspapers, string, zorkmids, vases, inflatable rafts, etc., nor about gaining XP or levels. You’re already at the top of your game; thus your combat puzzles should be tactical and narrative, not stat-crunching or XP-grinding. That’s my goal, anyway.