Q&A: Multiple Monsters

Trying to plot out a fight scene. My character’s fighting vampires and has to keep three of her friends safe. I’m planning to have her putting up a decent fight, but ultimately losing when another person arrives to help and together they manage to fight the vampires off. How many people do you think would be a realistic number of vampires to confront her at first?

One might be too many. So, a few problems your character needs to solve. First, you’re not dealing with other humans, they’re facing supernatural monsters. Second, they outnumber her. Third, she’s not their target.

The vampire problem is going to depend on your setting, and possibly the specific variety of vampires from your setting that your characters are facing. If these are mindless blood fiends that will scamper after any warm, moving body, your character could probably protect her friends by drawing them off.

However, if your vampires are fast, intelligent, supernatural predators with centuries of experience backing up their hunting, she might be completely screwed. One could be far more than she can handle, and more could easily be a death sentence for them all. Or undeath sentence, depending on their goals.

Depending on what she’s facing weapons may be able to even the playing field, (just remember, your vampires might be packing).¬† The more experienced and powerful your vampires are, the less likely weapons will be enough. On-her-feet creativity may be help, but, again, it depends on what the vampires have seen and experienced.

Dealing with multiple human opponents is always a serious risk. Even for a practiced martial artist, getting into a fight with two or more foes is not a good idea. While your focus is on one foe, it’s easy for another foe to flank and shank you. This is considerably more difficult when you’re facing things that aren’t human.

Usually, weapons are one of the ways you can seriously skew the balance for situations like this. Multiple unarmed attackers aren’t going to have a good time going after someone with a handgun and CQC training.

One of the easiest methods for dealing¬† with multiple attackers is to control your environment so they can’t come at you simultaneously. If you’re facing ten foes in a tight corridor where they can only come at you single file, the ones behind them are, basically, irrelevant. In an emergency, densely packed crowds can serve a similar function, if you keep moving, and can track the attackers.

This is, also a function of classic infantry combat. The total volume of forces you bring to bear is less important than the number you can actually get into contact with an enemy.

When you’re alone, controlling the environment and, “juggling,” your foes by controlling who has the opportunity to attack is the only safe way to handle multiple foes.

I should probably put, “safe,” in scare quotes, because this is still quite dangerous, with very little margin for error.

If you actually pay attention, you’ll frequently see this at work in a lot of martial arts films. Jackie Chan will maneuver one foe into another, use a door to block an attack, or bounce over a car to restrict the potential vectors for attack. It looks good on film, but isn’t that far removed from how you can actually employ these tactics. Positioning so that enemies will get in each other’s way is a basic element of threat management.

Now, here’s where things get really difficult. Your character isn’t the target. She’s trying to protect her friends. This means a lot of conventional juggling tactics won’t work, because one or, maybe, two enemies will break off and engage her, while the rest will keep going. Obviously, if you’re positioned in tight quarters where they can’t push past, that’s less of an issue. Still doesn’t deal with the vampire problem, where they could just shove her out of their way, but still.

Again, weapons are a way to make this more viable. Your vampires are less likely to try to shove their way past an improvised flamethrower, or shotgun loaded with flare shells. Though, it’s worth remembering your character doesn’t share their immunity to bullets and they may be carrying guns.

Regardless, your character probably can’t juggle foes the way she would if she was their target; meaning she needs a different plan.

With your scenario, advanced planning, and controlling the environment is far more important. If you know you’re going to be attacked by multiple opponents, you need to pick places where you can control the avenues of attack, limit access, have options to fall back, and ultimately a goal which will put you in a safe environment or a defensive position that you can hold until help arrives (or until daybreak).

If your characters are being pursued, that’s not going to be easy, but, it should give you some ideas to work for.

At this point, the only resource your character starts with are her friends. So, plan accordingly.


This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.