Combat

Components of Combat
Most combats consist of very similar components using very similar timeframes. These components are as follows:

Combat Skills and Styles

  • Houserule- Combat techniques are purchased as either skills or styles. Combat skills are purchased as Advanced Skills. Learning the combat style ‘Dual Wield’ costs the same skill points as learning ‘1-Hand Axe’. The Adventurer must have the skill prerequisites that the Combat Style requires.

Specific Combat Styles are held dear to various organizations, such as guilds and orders and are only taught to members of such. Combat Styles also have Maneuvers that are specific to that particular style.

Adventurers trying to decide what sort of Combat Skills to select should consider the following:

  • Combat skills are Advanced skills. Combat Styles are taught as Advanced skills, and must be learned initially from a Teacher
  • Two handed weapons normally grant an advantage in both inflicting and parrying damage.
  • Shields allow the user an extra single Parry Combat Action per round, as well as protecting against missile attacks– which most other weapons cannot parry.
  • Using a two weapons style (Dual Wield) typically permits the wielder a +1 Combat Action per round and maintains their effectiveness if one weapon is pinned, entangled or dropped. Secondary off hand weapons must be one size category equal to or smaller than the main weapon. (Only small or mediumweapons may be used in two weapon styles.)
  • One handed weapon skills do not typically give an extra Combat Action, but allows one hand free for either using a shield, or casting Sorcery spells and touch-range spells.
  • Brawl Combat Skills have few direct benefits save that the user is always able to fight and protect themselves when lacking a weapon and can freely combine unarmed attacks with any other combat skill at no penalty. A Brawl attack can be made with any part of the body, except for the torso. Thus limbs, wings, tails and even the head can be used.

Combat Style Prerequisites
Many combat styles have a minimum skill prerequisite that a character must possess- typically skill level 50+.

  • 51-75 | Professional Tier
  • 76-100 | Expert Tier
  • 101-125 | Master Tier
  • 126+ | Grandmaster Tier

Combat Rounds
Combat is divided into rounds to ease book keeping. Each round represents a period of five seconds during which time Adventurers can perform their full number of Combat Actions.

Each Combat Round begins with the participant (Adventurer, adversary or monster) with the highest initiative acting first, spending one of his Combat Actions. This is followed by whoever has the next highest initiative and so forth until the participant with the lowest initiative has acted. Then, if anyone still has any Combat Actions remaining, the cycle repeats until all available Combat Actions for all available participants have been spent.

At this point the round ends. If the participants are prepared to continue fighting, a new round begins; if they withdraw from combat or cannot continue to fight, the combat is over.

In a Combat Round an Adventurer can:

  • Act a number of times depending on his Combat Actions available.
  • Move a distance, usually a number of meters, equal to his Movement score.

Initiative
Who acts first and the order of action is crucial in combat. Initiative is the method of determining in which order the participants act. Initiative is measured in Strike Ranks and rolled at the start of a fight, remaining in play unless something occurs to force Initiative to be re-rolled.

Movement in Combat
In a Combat Round, an Adventurer may move up to his standard Movement allowance.

  • Movement is divided across all of the Adventurer’s Combat Actions.

Each Combat Action may include all, some or none of the Adventurer’s remaining Movement in addition to an attack or other action. The total amount moved may not exceed the Adventurer’s Movement (except when Sprinting).

Combat Actions
Combat Actions (CA) are used when attempting any kind of activity during a combat; for example, to attack, defend, change engagement distance, cast spells and so forth.

When a Combat Action is spent, it is gone; Adventurers therefore need to assess how they use CA according to the nature of the opponent and the odds being faced.

How an Adventurer’s Combat Actions are used is completely up to the player, who may be as aggressive or defensive as he wishes When combined with Initiative, CA take on a dynamic nature; since how they are used can depend on the order of when one acts in the round.

For example, Brynhild is forced into a fight. She has 3 CA and has rolled a better Initiative than her opponent. Going first she decides to attack and the foe succeeds in parrying. Both have used one CA for that round.

Then it is the opponent’s turn and he counter-attacks, forcing Brynhild to parry. Now both have used two CAs.

Since the lowest Initiative has been reached but both combatants still have a Combat Action remaining; the GM cycles back to the highest Initiative again– allowing Brynhild to attack a second time that round. Her opponent again parries the blow and the round ends, since both foes have no more Combat Actions remaining. Thus going first allowed Brynhild to use her CA to attack twice and parry once.

The following are activities an Adventurer can attempt by spending one Combat Action during their turn. Cast Spell, Evade and Parry are special in that they can be used at any time during the Combat Round as a reaction to an incoming threat.

  • Attack: The Adventurer can attempt to strike with a hand-to-hand weapon or fire a missile at an opponent.
  • Cast Spell: The Adventurer can attempt to cast a spell.
  • Change Distance: The Adventurer can attempt to change the range at which he is fighting, either closing with his opponent or putting distance between them.
  • Change Stance: The Adventurer can shift from standing to prone or vice versa and anything
    in between.
  • Delay: The Adventurer may pause to assess the tactical situation. This changes his Strike Rank to the number when he finally does act. If no action is taken before Strike Rank reaches zero, then the Combat Action is lost.
  • Do Nothing: An Adventurer can decide to simply spend his Combat Action doing nothing useful.
  • Evade: Adventurers can attempt to dive or roll clear of missiles or a charging attack. This action can also be declared in advance of an anticipated attack (see Parry). The CA available on the character’s next Strike Rank following an Evade attempt cannot be used to make an Attack. This penalty carries over to a new round if the Adventurer uses his last available CA in a round to Evade.
  • Mount/Dismount: The Adventurer can mount or dismount a riding beast.
  • Move: If unengaged, tthe Adventurer may move his full movement rate.
  • Outmaneuver: The Adventurer can engage multiple opponents in a group Opposed Test of Evade skills. Those who fail to beat his roll cannot attack him that Combat Round.
  • Parry: The Adventurer can attempt to deflect an incoming attack. As well as being a reactive response, this action can also be declared in advance of an expected attack by adopting a defensive stance. However, once committed, the CA cannot be converted back to any other type of action and is lost if not used before his next Strike Rank occurs.
  • Ready Weapon: The Adventurer may draw, sheath or reload a weapon. Dropping a weapon costs no CA. However retrieving a dropped weapon within reach costs two CA: one to retrieve the weapon and a second to return to a readied stance.

Combat Maneuvers
After both sides have rolled for attack and defence, compare the success levels of the attack and parry Skill Tests. Differences in levels of success are calculated by how many steps lie between the two. In other words, if both combatants roll a critical, then the difference between them is 0.

The Levels of Success table summarises the differences in success levels depending on the attacker and defender’s rolls.

Gaining a level of success over an opponent allows the combatant to perform an opportunistic Combat Maneuver. Combat Maneuvers can be used to put down an opponent quickly, or render them helpless in some other way. Combat Maneuvers encourage tactical thinking and, in theory, encourage the adoption of less lethal combat resolution.

See the Combat Maneuvers section for more info.

Damage and Wound Levels

If an attack strikes successfully, it causes damage according to the damage rating for the weapon.

The rolled damage for the weapon or attack is modified in the following ways:

  • Add or subtract the Damage Modifier for the Adventurer making the attack.
  • Modify the damage from any weapon enhancing (or reducing) magic.
  • If parried, reduce the damage appropriately.

If a Hit Location is armoured (physically and/or magically), subtract the Armour Points value.

Minor Wound (Hit Location has positive Hit Points): Minor wounds are cuts, scratches, bruises and contusions. They hurt, they may bleed but are not significant enough to slow down or hamper the victim.

Serious Wound (Hit Location is Zero Hit Points or Below): If a location is reduced to zero Hit Points or below, the victim receives a Serious Wound. The location is permanently scarred and the victim cannot attack (but can still parry or evade) for the next 1d3 Combat Actions due to being stunned or distracted by the pain of the wound.

  • An Adventurer suffering a Serious Wound to a limb must immediately make an Opposed Test of his Resilience versus the successful attack roll of his enemy.

Failure results in the limb being rendered useless, until the location is restored to positive Hit Points. If a leg, the victim drops prone. If an arm, he drops whatever he is holding unless the object is strapped on (use common sense here).

  • An Adventurer suffering a Serious Wound to the Abdomen, Chest or Head must immediately make an Opposed Test of his Resilience versus the successful attack roll of his enemy.

Failure results in unconsciousness for a number of minutes equal to the amount of damage sustained in the attack causing the Serious Wound. First Aid or Healing skills can be used to help an unconscious victim regain consciousness but he will not be able to rejoin any combat until he has received further healing to the Seriously Wounded location.

Major Wound (Hit Location has lost twice its starting Hit Points)
If a location is reduced to a negative score equal or greater than it’s starting Hit Points, the Adventurer receives a Major Wound. The location is permanently maimed and the Adventurer is immediately incapacitated, unable to continue fighting.

A limb is considered to be severed, transfixed, shattered or ripped off by a Major Wound; dropping the Adventurer prone, physically incapacitated.

  • The Adventurer must immediately make an Opposed Test of Resilience versus the successful attack roll of his enemy.

Failure results in unconsciousness from the agony. If a severed, punctured or ripped-off location is not treated within a number of minutes equal to the Adventurer’s CON+POW, the Adventurer dies from blood loss and shock.

The victim of a Major Wound to the Abdomen, Chest or Head drops unconscious, totally
incapacitated.

  • The Adventurer must immediately make an Opposed Test of Resilience versus the successful attack roll of his enemy.

Failure results in an instant and gratuitous death (decapitated, chopped in half, impaled through the heart, torn apart and so forth). If he survives and the location is not treated within a number of rounds equal to half the Adventurer’s CON+POW, he still dies from blood loss and shock.

Since most Major Wounds require some form of surgery or major magic to heal, the sufferer will
be very unlikely to recover from a major wound in time to rejoin combat.

Combat

Lands of Brixia Davidb_S