[RSBMats] AAR: A New Challenger Appears III ! Bonii Happens!

There'll be blood on the streets,
and tears in the sheets.
We're back to the dirty, dusty rough octagon out behind the Pilot off I-40, and bringing the hard joy that being handled roughly by large men can bring. Yes, more Red Streets, Blue Mats, More fighting, more grabbing, more manly hugs. Frankly, this thing has been a slash-writer's dream so far, and I'm shocked someone hasn't started already.

When last we left our little tableau, our hero, A'yero, had exchanged a few blows with the big, Sambo-wrestlin' sumbitch The Other Guy, right in the middle of the dirty circle of dirty, filthy men, cat-calling and goading. (Men, this is slash-ariffic.) Neither man has really broken out the depths of his true power (ie. last cycle we forgot / neglected / passed on using the Bonus Dice mechanics). A'yero went for an early aggressive move, but despite a lucky couple blows, TOG shrugged it off. TOG came back and went for the lockup, though the smaller guy just barely slipped out and both of them were left standing, glaring at one another.
(Aside: After a night thinking on it, I think my analysis regarding the way the turn sequence works -- or fails to -- hinges on the fact that the act of choosing the sequence is embedded within it in the text, which just buggers it all to shit by implying it's repeated for every fighter on every one of their Movement Phases. That can't be right. But if we just break the act of selecting the turn sequence order out from the sequence itself, things make a lot more sense. Well, some. So that's what's going to happen, here; sequence selection followed by entering the Labyrinth of Tables, which may or may not end up going through a Maneuver Table or Lockup Table.)
So let's get to it ...

A Fight? Let's Go!

We set up exactly as we did last round, with both fighters in the center of the octagon. We roll that glorious 1d6 to set the sequence.

A'yero: 6, TOG: 4. Huzzah! A'yero is going to go first, thank Hades.

There's no reason for A'yero to move out of the center at this point. It's time to open his can 'o whupass! Or at least as much of a can as he has -- TOG's is actually bigger. Since the zone is occupied, and he knows TOG is the grabby-kind, he's just going to go for straight-up strikes and hope that his superior ... er ... heart(?) ... can make all the difference.
Moving on into the Maneuver Table, we get an opposed Savvy roll where Bonus Dice can jump in. Let's see how many of his 21 Bonus Dice TOG decides to burn on this one. We roll them all, and anything that comes up adds to his already hefty pool of 6.

Holy crap. Not a single roll of 1.

( 2 + 5 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 6 + 6 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 6 ) = 80

Well, lucky A'yero, who is going to dump 4 of his big 14 Bonus into this Maneuver; we really need a big success. 5 Savvy, -1d6 for being Slow, +4d6 for Bonus Dice, gives him 8d6 in the Maneuver Table test.

A'yero: 2 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 2, 6 honkin' successes. Holy Christ. TOG: 2 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 2, 5 successes. Both of them get -1 successes for the other being Wary or Guileful, and the +6 Speed each of them has cancels out, too.

Second verse, same as the first, for this lad, despite putting some grunt into it. A'yero is back on being the Attacker and heads in, head on. (Not that I see anywhere that going in head on seems to make a difference.

Time to crank out some extra hardness. This is big, really big. We go to the Attack Table ... where TOG is really likely to burn Bonus Dice much harder. In fact ...

TOG throws all 21 Bonus Dice, looking for 1s and 2s. 3 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 6 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 3 + 6 + 4 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 2 + 5. 5 to burn. Holy crap. That brings him to 16 Bonus Dice.

A'yero is on the attack, and won the Maneuver Table, which gives him his Savvy +2, so starting at 7d6. He only has 10 Bonus Dice left, but knows TOG is going to throw a total pool of 11d6. This could get really ugly, so he only throws 2 Bonus Die in the pool, raising his to 9d6 and dropping him to 8 Bonus Dice.

A'yero: 5 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 1 + 2 + 1, 6 successes! TOG: 3 + 1 + 4 + 3 + 1 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 6 + 4, only 4 successes! Only 4 successes!
An illustration of how to compare the attacker...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With 2 successes, A'yero pushes TOG back, out of the center of the ring, right back toward the redneck toughs looming in the background with blood in their eyes. Oh, this could get damned ugly. Off to the Location Table and Damage Table!

2d6 gives us a 3 + 3 = 6, so a solid shot to the Chest! And damage! Which, unfortunately for us, is a Strength check looking for 1 - 3 as successes and it doesn't look like you can add Bonus Dice to it, judging by the Table itself. Let's see, flip back to the start ...  Nope, only on Table rolls. Poor A'yero.

The little dude breaks out his massive, swingin', hungus 3d6 of Strength and throws it! It's everything he's got!

A'yero: 4 + 2 + 3! It's ... 2 successes! That ... could have been a lot worse. Ooooh, yeah. It is a bit worse. Remember, A'yero's fighting above his weight class, so he takes a -1 success drop in his already piddling damage. 1 success! Still better than no successes! That's a solid 1 point of damage to The Other Guy's chest! Bringing it ... down to ... 5.

Uh, yeah. Hey, A'yero, this strategy might now work, dawg.
A'yero moves into the strike like a mongoose, landing a series of elbows to The Other Guy's chest that are so vicious, the big man staggers back. If anything, TOG looks winded, having gritted his teeth and borne what, for a lesser man, would have been brutal. But he's slapped bitches around who were bigger than this little dude. He dusts off the front of his wife-beater dismissively.
But now we go over to TOG.
TOG don't play 'dat. But what does TOG play? Let's ask the Table. He's starting in an unoccupied zone and has a Savvy of 6. 1d6 of 4 gives us 1 passed die, so since he has 16 Bonus Dice, he won't catch his breath. He doesn't have the Leap or Flyer Signatures (no luchdaor action here!), he just moves back to A'yero and goes right into Maneuver. Easy-peasy. And we go back to the Maneuver Table! (And the same setup we started with.)

How much Bonus does TOG bring to the table? 2 + 5 + 3 + 4 + 6 + 4 + 6 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 4 + 2. Just the 1. He's down to 15 Bonus. That's a total pool of 7d6. A'yero starts with Slow, so 4d6 and can't live with that, so pulls two more hard-won Bonus out to bring him up to 6d6 and leave him with 6 Bonus.

TOG: 5 + 4 + 6 + 3 + 6 + 1 + 3, so 3 successes. That could have been much, much worse. A'yero: 4 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 5 + 6. 2 successes. It got worse.

Now TOG is the attacker, and goes in head on. Apply directly to forehead!

We're back to finding out how much Bonus TOG throws on the Attack Table. 6 + 1 + 5 + 5 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 2 + 5 + 2 + 1 + 6, looking for 1s and 2s, so ... 4 Bonus to the Savvy , building a pool of 10d6 and leaving 11 Bonus. Dayum.

A'yero, man ... this is looking really bad for you. 5d6 pool from his Savvy to start, vicious doesn't count because he didn't win on the Maneuver Table, and ... hey, there's something that'd be affected by being head on, right there in the Attack Table: one Signature, Quick Reflexes, gets +1d6 if fighting head on. Huh. Sadly, not applicable at all. A'yero's down to 6 Bonus. It's time to risk it all, folks. No Bonus. 5d6 ... No, 4d6 because he's Slow. Good gravy, it's about to get red and chunky.

TOG: 3 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 5 + 5, 2 successes. 2 successes? With that monster pool? WTF, mate? A'yero ... 4 + 3 + 1 + 2. 3 successes. 3 successes! This kid has heart for miles, if not a lot of stamina! He has stamina for whole feet!

Speed cancels, Wary cancels Guile, so ... 1 success advantage for the kid!

"Both characters immediately retake the Attack Test. All Bonus Dice lost."

Oh. Well then. Back to the Attack Test, and TOG picking his favourite Bonus Dice on 1s and 2s.

TOG: 3 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 5 + 3 + 5 + 3 + 5 + 5. 2 Bonus Dice? OK. Leaves him with 9, and an Attack Pool of 8d6.

A'yero's ridin' high, man, and he has a plan. So this is how it goes down. 4d6 and no Bonus, still ridin' the pure road. He still has 6 Bonus to throw on his next try.

TOG: 3 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 5 + 1, for 4 Attack successes. Ut-oh, Scraggy. A'yero: 1 + 3 + 6 + 6, for 2 successes. Now, this is going to hurt.

Firstly A'yero gets thrown back a zone, himself, back toward the circle on 'necks. That's ... not as bad as it might be. But now we go off to Hit Location and Damage.

4 for Location, that's a strike to the left arm ... and no Damage! No damage! A'yero, you lucky son of a bitch, you blocked that shot!
The Other Guy sneers at the diminutive Latino before simply hard-charging back into him! A'yero seems to throw himself out of the way of a charging bull, but manages to make it look effortless. TOG gets right in his face and brings up a fist that makes mountains shake and kinky prostitutes charge double, then brings it down in a brutal cross-strike, which the agile A'yero steps deflects back and deflects with his own forearm. Breathing space? Maybe.
Somehow, I got the feeling that A'yero was a lot more mis-matched in this fight than it's turned out to be ... but it's still ugly. He's gotten lucky, real lucky, but luck never holds out forever. Can A'yero turn it around, maybe get a handle on this guy? A'yero only has 6 Bonus Dice left of his initial 14, but The Other Guy is swimming in 9 -- but started with 21. He's also taken a single shot to the chest, for what it's worth. (Hint: not a lot.)

Game-play is going a lot faster, now that I'm starting to internalize the rules and have a general idea of what is coming next.  I'm sure resolving one of the special attacks like Choke Holds or the like will slow me down a bit, but so far, getting better.

Next exciting episode, does A'yero squint his eyes? Does TOG cry out for mercy? Does someone get sodomized with a big, blunt pipe? (Well, that'll happen regardless.) Tune in next time to find out!
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