For convenience fights are turn based, during each turn each party member gets to perform one action, these combat turns are called rounds and last 10 seconds. Combat with weapons is a series of manoeuvres, feints, thrusts and parries. The spectacle is very different depending upon whether the opponents are evenly matched or not.
Between two equal opponents the outcome will often be decided by who gets tired and makes the first slip allowing an effective strike in. During this period there will have been many strikes to the body which are only partially blocked or with little force due to the location or angle of strike sliding off the armour, these cause minor cuts and bruises which are accepted as part of battle and heal quickly. All these strikes fatigue the defender just a little bit more until eventually the parry is missed and a killing blow is made. Of course there is always the chance that a telling blow may be made before the combatants are fatigued due to a surprise move by the attacker or bad judgement by the defender.
With two unequal opponents the story is very different. It doesn't really matter how skilled each side is, the battle tends to be short and swift. Stamina plays little part in the outcome, instead the superior skill and greater aggressiveness finds, or more likely creates, an opening in the defences which provides the opportunity for a quick kill. This is as true for a 5th level attacking a 1st as it is for a 10th attacking a 5th.
Armour of course plays a part in this. A minor hit to an armoured person will not cause them any damage, in fact a heavily armoured person is likely to use their armour to block a blow in order to draw the opponent forward and open up holes in their defence for a killing blow. Armour absorbs damage from a hit, the better the armour the more it absorbs. A knight in full plate could safely ignore a knife wielding attacker unless he gave them enough time to slip the knife between the plates. This is unlikely to happen in a normal combat situation.
Makes it easier to hit by crashing through opponents blocks
Gives more damage when you hit
Makes blocking opponents attacks easier
Makes it easier to hit by avoiding opponents blocks
Makes blocking / avoiding opponents attacks easier
You roll to strike an opponent and then if you hit (>= their defence) you roll to see how much damage has been caused. Damage is absorbed by protective armour. any damage that gets through armour causes bruising or cuts depending upon the weapon type.
Your attack skill is the skill in the weapon. Each weapon is associated with either strength or dexterity,
Some melee weapons are easier to manipulate than others and have longer range, this is considered in their bonus to hit. The ranged weapon equivalent is accuracy, Some weapons are simply better than others.
Round down at the end of all calculations.
To hit skill =
(Weapon Skill + STR x modifier + DEX x modifier + weapon bonus ) /2+ size
Arming sword is cut and thrust weapon so has a multiplier of 1 x Strength and 0 x Dexterity
To hit skill =
(Weapon Skill + DEX + weapon accuracy )/2 + range.
Damage changes level at different ranges, the further away the lower the damage (the weapon has slowed).
Attacks with spells / prayers
See magic attacks
If you hit the head you may get an extra stun effect edpendent upon the damage given.
Creatures struck on a vital location may be susceptible to a stun effect. Some spells and creasture abilities also cause stuns, dazes or freezes. Only bludgeon weapons (or similar effects) can actually cause an actual stun, pointy and slashing weapons cause lesser effects on unarmoured face parts (the face). Other mechanisms other than damage operate on a stun like effect such as waking up or surprise rounds.
- END (12) to reduce the effect
- The effect last until the end of the characters next turn
- Cut & pierce weapons max out at 'Dazed'.
- Chop weapons max out at 'Stunned'.
- Bludgeon can cause a knockdown
|Damage suffered||Bludgeon||Chop||Cut /
|10+||Knockdown||PRONE + STUNNED|
Auto hit in melee
- Errol takes a 10SP hit to the helm with a hammer. Helm reduce the damage (1/3) so he suffers 3SP
so he may:
- Take 3SP and make a save vs 'Dazed'. He rolls a 12 (Just Made It) so it is reduced to 'Frozen' OR
- Uses a hero point to reduce damage to zero so he doesn't need to make a save
- He then takes a dagger to the open face doing 12 damage . As it's a dagger (pierce) he cannot be knocked down or stunned so even a normal pass will drop it to 'Frozen'.
Each creature creates a threatened area around it according to its size and weapon reach. They can attack anyone in this area. If closing through a threatened area the side with the larger threatened are will get an free opportunity attack.
If you are in a threatened square and perform a two handed action or otherwise distracting action other than melee attack/defend, you must use dodge defense
- Read a scroll...
You can disengage from an opponent without any consequences as a minor action. It is assumed that you are not actually standing within easy reach of their weapon so you can move backwards a step using a mionor action. However, You cannot use a melee attack and disengage during the same turn without suffering an opportunity attack.
Some actions that you do when within melee distance will provoke an opportunity attack by the opponent. This is a minor action attack at combat disadvantage. The target can't use feats like riposte if the attacker misses.
Opportunity attacks occur when
- You move into a threatened area without appropriate defence/attack
- Unarmed against an armed opponent
- Move past a creature's threatening area (cannot pass a creature blocking a passage)
- Read a scroll (attacked at advantage rather than disadvantage)
- Retrieve a stored inaccessible / dropped item (not a potion/wand on your belt...)
Alternatively the opponent may forgoe the free attack and on their next initiative take combat advantage (for when they find it difficult to hit you normally).
If multiple creatures attack another one then they make life much simpler as the defender can't watch all of them all the time.
Each character attacks with a +1 bonus.
At greater than short range missiles cannot be thrown or fired with a flat trajectory. At long range they need 1/2 the height.
When firing at range the difficulty increases rapidly (by the inverse square law). In addition with hurled weapons applying greater force means that you lose the fine motor control of you muscles reducing your accuracy even further (for simplicity this is not modelled for different ranges but included in the general negative to hit bonus for hurled weapons).
If firing at a packed group rather than an individual it's always counted as short range.
Missile fire into combat
Missile fire into combat is dangerous for both fighting parties . Friendly characters will only fire when the opponent is significantly taller than their friend or they are standing to one side.
The opponent gains a defence bonus of "cover %" according to the percentage covered by the friend.
If firing from the side then the cover bonus is halved; you are still trying to avoid your friend and movement during melee could mean they step into the line of fire.
Any miss has a 20% chance of hitting your ally. A fumble always hits your ally.
With cover only locations above the ally may be aimed at, without aiming though random movement means you might hit any location.
Thrud the barbarian is firing past Errol at an Ogre (normal ranged defence 12).
From the back Errol provides 60% cover (+3) which gives the Ogre a defence of 12 +3= 15
Missiles which miss their mark have to land somewhere. Missiles up to medium range are thrown with force and are travelling in more or less a horizontal direction, at long range however they are lobbed or arced and are travelling at about 45 degrees. Therefore if the missile misses, the final impact point will depend upon the flight arc.
Most missile misses are assumed to have gone sailing harmlessly overhead, stuck in a shield or bounced harmlessly away, however flasks of oil or gas have to land somewhere (though they may not break).
The distance missed by is the amount the skill check failed by multiplied by the miss distance.
The direction missed by is rolled randomly (d12 or arrow die).
Missiles lobbed at a character that miss will land 4' beyond the target + the miss distance (in a random direction)
Defence - Melee
In melee a character may either parry a blow, dodge it or be so aggressive that the other creature is always on the defensive. Parrying uses the weapon or shield to block the attacks as the character advances whereas dodging uses athletic ability to get out of the way and the character generally moves backwards. Creatures make opportunistic attacks or ignore the defenders parying either through lack of intelligence or in the belief that their attack is so devestating that the defender will be more concerned with their own safety than attacking.
Fighters will generally use the parry ability and rogues and mages the dodge ability. It is not possible to use both skills at the same time.
The base armour is the armour covering your torso.
Parry ( Attack is the best defence)
The best form af defence is attack. The stronger your attack the less chance the opponent has to create an opening of their own.
The parry skill is a combination of other skills which are learned as the character advances in weapon training. Parrying requires a weapon (or chair leg or something to put in the way of the swinging lump of steel coming towards your head, not your arm unless you want it cut off).
A charater's defence skill (parry) is
10 + armour + ALERT + size + shield + (weapon skill + weapon bonus)/2
Dodging instead of parrying
If you do not have a weapon (weapon/shield/chair leg) to threaten or block the opponent with but want to stay within range, perhaps to pummel or make a touch attack you dodge instead, avoiding blows by twisting and turning. The weapon bonus of anything you wield can still help your dodge if you have nothing the bonus is counted as -2.
11 + armour + ALERT + size + Dodge skill/2
Sometimes you may not want to attack but just try to defend yourself without retreating (you are at the edge of a lava pool and have nowhere to go.) In this case you get a bonus to your parry roll.
Whichever defence used method you gain +2
Defence - Ranged
Anything at a range is easier to miss with a throw than when striking directly, however you may not use any parrying ability instead the characters only defence is size, movement (perpendicular to attacker) and hiding behind stuff (such as shields). Otherwise the chance to hit depends upon their distance and movement. Most propelled weapons also have a natural bonus due to the speed and ability to hold and aim, this is taken into account in the weapons bonus to hit.
The defence value is given in the missile accuracy table
Note that shields use the ranged shield modifier, not the melee modifier. This is purely dependent upon shield size (i.e. whether you can fit behind it) and not any training.
12 + armour + ALERT + size + spot skill/2
This is assuming a combat situation and hence everyone is dodging as much as possible even if not directly in combat themselves (unless they need to be still, e.g. archers). Out of combat (walking down a corridor, road...), you don't continuously dodge at full speed as it would be very exhausting so your dodge does not count (DEX still does).
If you are trying to get out of the way and stay out of the way (turn tail and scarper) you:
- gain an initiative of 1
- Use the defence +2 for not attacking.
Concealment is where the target is harder to identify but there is little or no hard stuff in the way to stop missiles for example bushes or other undergrowth. Once spotted concealment equates combat disadvantage.
A bonus of +1 is give to the defence for each 20% of cover
When a hit is scored the damage a location roll is made to determine if they are wearing armour where you hit. The armour absorbs some portion of the damage and any excess is subtracted from the targets stamina and wound points.
The potential damage is affected by the weapon, skill, strength and any buffs.
The damage level to roll is given by:
Base weapon damage level for skill 1
+1 level for each additional skill level
+1 level for each point of strength
+1 or 2 levels for quality weapons
+1 level for each size category different to racial norm (e.g. enlarged / shrunk)
- Roll all the dice indicated
- Discard the die with the lowest value
- Total the rest as damage
An viking axe used at skill level 3 does d8/d4 damage
A hero point causes either :
- Double damage
- Maximum damage
- Automatic hit (unless aiming for a specific location).
Some creatures are particularly vulnerable in specific critical locations. Humanoids are potentially stunned on head strikes. Other creatures unless otherwise noted suffer maximum damage.
|2*||Fumble||Fumble table or scene specific|
*If you have an overall negative modifier on the skill check this is counted before determining the dice result. Thus attempting to use a ranged weapon whilst running (-4) will fumble on a 2-6 on the dice.
Creatures that cause special damage such as spider poison only do so if they penetrate your armour.
Unarmed combat includes the arts of both brawling and martial arts. Some techniques may be used in either and some only when performing the highly trained martial arts.
Brawling is the unsophisticated form of unarmed combat where antagonists use whichever techniques comes to hand, this includes left hook, elbow smash and throwing people against the wall or through the window. Brawling is (generally) only used where both participents are unarmed as if one is armed you are setting youself up to receive serious damage as you close, this is not lost stamina for receiving minor knicks and scratches as you parry and dodge, this is deliberately coming into range of the pointy end of their weapon.
When brawling you are not yet in close combat then any armed defender gets to
- Strike first @ advantage
- Weapons cause x2 damage (plus normal advantage rules)
- Use their normal defence roll
When moving in to close combat against an armed opponent you attack at disadvantage
You select to either pummel, grapple or rugby tackle.
A standard brawl attack is:
DEX + Brawl + 2x size category difference vs dodge
Martial artists are trained in the quick attack so suffers no penalties against armed opponents. It also includes locks and holds groin strike, arm lock, neck twist and strangle holds.
Creatures may continue to use natural weapons whilst being brawled (their teeth do not disappear in a puff of logic). Humans may use daggers, knuckle dusters...
This is diving at someone/something in order to bring them down there is little skill here, you are just running at someone
If you hit then
Stun save vs Dodge =
+2 x size (difference)
+ speed category (above walking pace)
+ brawl skill difference (no stat)
Multiple attackers add to the effect roll as per flanking.
This includes punches, kicks, elbows and other high impact attacks.
- You can't pummel against metal armour.
Grappling includes takedowns, locks, chokes, throws and escapes. It is more about causing pain and disabling somenone than causing damage.
If both parties are grappling then they automatically end up in at least a hold. You choose you attack type
- Throw someone to the ground, against the wall, over the table...
- Thrown 5', Stun save (minimum dazed), No damage, May also run someone into a wall, through a ground floor window (no instakill)...
- Causes damage each round. Roll once and keep the same damage each round.
Will submit when all SP are lost.
- The opponent may only make reasonable skill checks or an escape roll, (attack with small weapons, cast spells...)
- All skills at disadvantage
- Opposed brawling (Use STR or DEX)
- Both parties end up standing apart.
- If any damage is taken more than the grapple damagethe lock is broken
Grappled people may still grapple or pummel back. Unlike sports competitions you may freely elbow an opponent in the face or knee them in the vitals.
Once grappled the opponent can no longer use any weapon larger than a dagger as they are too close.
Two weapon fighting
Fighting with two weapons can only be done with those marked as "off hand use". Any weapon in the off hand takes -2 penalty in addition to the 2nd action penalty for using both hands. (The trait ambidexterity removes this). Two wepoan fighting cannot be done without the "two weapon fighting" feat.
See the Mounted Combat skill
If you don't have duck and weave you may still attempt to get past people however evading a foe by moving through his space means they get a free attack at +4 on you, if you are hit then your way is also blocked. This action takes a full round.
Charging gives you a bonus to hit and damage but lowers your defence as you are not as nimble, you need to be at charging speed (x3) and then speed up as you get close to gain the damage bonus. After hurling a weapon on approach you need easy access to your primary weapon as you have to draw and ready it. Charging in you make yourself an easier target as you can't easily dodge.
As you are charging forward the modifier for hurling on the move (-3) is not counted. You may target a creature 5' either side of your charge taking a -1 penalty.
- Minimum charge distance is 20' at triple speed.
- Triple speed <= 30' = 2seconds = lose 1SP
- Defence -2
- If you hurl a weapon you need to draw & prepare your main weapon for combat
- Drawing your weapon and preparing it takes 2s (30')
- 20' for normal damage.
- Drawn and prepared melee weapons gain +3 to hit & x2 damage (1 attack then normal initiative)
- Hurled weapons at x3 speed get x2 damage (this requires +10' run up, over 30' requires an additional SP)
Two feats help in hurling a weapon and charging
Quick draw will halve the time/distances to draw and prepare a melee weapon after hurling a missile.
Hurling charge will let you hurl and charge without incurring a 2nd action penalty.
Pop-up missile shots
If popping up from cover to take a shot this is three actions, manouver, spot and shoot. Spot difficulty is a 9, failure indicates there was no foe close enough to where you were looking for you to react to. The advantage is that only enemies waiting for you to pop up at that location may target you. They can fire irrespective of initiative.
All NPCs and creatures have morale. Characters determine their own morale, they generally know when to run (that the ones which are still alive). Morale is rolled on 2d10. Each NPC will have their own morale however if their master or leader is present it will be modified by their leadership ability.
Morale will only fail when it looks like the characters side may lose the battle. Morale checks are made in the following circumstances.
- Obviously heavily outgunned after an initial clash
- 50% casualties
- 75% casualties
- Leader killed (-3 on die roll)
Disengage and retreat running
Panic drop weapons in hands and run
Throw down weapons and plead for mercy / berserk attack if no escape
Berserk - will attack anyone in their path of retreat with weapon in hand.