- Initiative: All characters roll initiative to determine order of actions.
- Action: On their initiative each character gets to attack and/or move. They can attempt anything that can reasonably be completed within 6 seconds. What counts as reasonable is determined by the storyteller.
- Attack: Power or Grace + Combat + Focus.
- Defense: All aware Melee opponents get an opportunity to defend themselves from an attack. This takes the form of an opposed roll. Power (Parry) or Grace (Dodge) + Combat + Focus.
- Multi-Defense: There is a penalty for multiple identical defenses per round. This represents the difficulty of maintaining defense in the face of multiple attacks. The penalty is equal to the number of times a given defense has been used in a round -1. IE: A 2nd dodge is at -1.
- Damage: Damage is determined by the quality of the hit and the quality of the weapon. Successful hits deal the base weapon damage +. For every 2 points the attack exceeds the defense the attack inflicts an additional damage. (2=1, 4=2, 6=3, 8=4, 10=5, 12=6) [Variant Rules: Damage = Weapon with bonus only for exceptional spread or via trait OR Damage = Aspect used + Weapon].
- Critical Rolls: A critical success occurs when two tens are rolled. A third d10 can then be rolled and added to the value. A critical failure occurs when two ones are rolled.
- Environmental Roll Modifiers: Environmental features of a battle can add bonuses or penalties. Environmental Roll Modifiers include things like high ground, outnumbered, sun position, snow, rain, fog, darkness, damaged gear, tight quarters, unsteady ground.
- Armour Soak: Armour absorbs an amount of damage equal to the value indicated. An S1-B2-P3 armour soaks 1 slashing, 2 bludgeoning, or 3 piercing damage based on the attack.
- Non-Lethal Combat: Unarmed attacks do 1D or 1/2 Combat + Focus. Characters can take non-lethal (NL) damage equal to their standard Health pool. NL damage regenerates at Power per round. Filling or exceeding Health pool indicates a knockout. Any NL damage over pool maximum is converted to standard damage at 1/2 value.
- Surprise Attack: Triggers an opposed Stealth vs. Perception. If target succeeds they get their defense. If not attacker rolls and gains bonus damage.
Attacks made using a ranged weapon such as a Bow, Crossbow, or Canna are handled differently from melee. This is because it’s far more difficult to defend against these weapons. To determine how to treat a ranged attack, first determine the range at which the attack is occurring. For this purpose there are two types; Point Blank and At Range
Point Blank: If the target could make a melee attack against the attacker they are at Point Blank Range. Ranged attacks against Point Blank targets are treated as an opposed roll like any other. The target can attempt to either dodge the attack or parry the attacker’s weapon before they can get a proper shot off.
At Range: If the target of the attack could not make a melee attack against the attacker they are considered At Range. Characters At Range do not get a defense roll. Instead the attacker needs to make a successful check against a difficulty set by the circumstances of the shot.
An At Range attack consists of an Attack Roll (Grace + Combat + Ranged Weapon Focus) versus a difficulty determined by the Storyteller. The difficulty takes into consideration factors including the movement of the attacker and target, cover, visibility, range, weapon difficulty, method of attack, and any other penalties deemed appropriate. If the attack exceeds the difficulty it is a hit. If it ties with, or is lower than the difficulty it is a miss.
Setting the Difficulty
The following factors need to be considered to generate the difficulty of an At Range attack.
- Movement: It is considerably more difficult to hit a moving target, and even more so when the attacker is moving as well. The faster both targets are moving the more difficult the shot.
- Cover: Most trained combatants seek cover when arrows or bullets start flying. It is difficult to determine the exact position of a target behind good cover, particularly when the cover is substantial. Mechanically, cover both increases the difficulty to hit a target and offers a soak to any damage based on the coverage and the sturdiness of the cover. While it is difficult it is still possible to shoot through cover and the weaker the cover and the more powerful the weapon the less effective cover is as a defensive strategy. Each time a piece of cover takes more damage than its full soak the soak of the cover is reduced by one. Cover soak is in addition to any armour soak the character may already have and damage is absorbed first by the cover.
- Visibility: Adverse conditions such as fog, rain, smoke, and technologies such as Light Cloaks increase the difficulty of a ranged attack.
- Distance: Hitting a target at a distance other than close requires deflection or ‘leading the target’ by predicting their future location and the drift and drop of projectiles to match. The further away a target, the more skill is required to hit them. At Range targets are further broken down into Close, Medium, Long, and Extreme which are determined by the weapon being used. More powerful weapons such as Canna have longer ranges.
- Skill: An unskilled shooter (a character with no relevant focus skill in the weapon) has a harder time hitting a target and the difficulty of all ranged attacks are doubled. Even a character with skill in a given weapon needs some time to become familiar with it and for the first three attacks the difficulty is increased by two.
- Condition: Not all ranged weapons are made equal. Poor quality or needlessly complex weapons increase the difficulty of a shot by two.
- Armour: Well designed armour is the key to surviving a ranged attack. If a shot hits the armour absorbs the amount in piercing soak.
Ranged Attack Difficulty Table
|Is the target moving?||Stationary 5 / Normal 10 / Sprint 12|
|Is the attacker moving?||Stationary 5 / Normal 10 / Sprint 12|
|Is the target in cover?||Partial Cover 12 / Full Cover 15|
|Is the target visible?||Visible 2 / Obscured 4 / Impaired 6 / Hidden 10|
|How far is the target?||Point Blank (Defensible), Close 0, Medium 2, Long 4, Extreme 8|
|What is the weapon condition?||Unfamiliar Weapon 2 / Poor Quality 2 / Complex 2|
|Is the attacker suffering other penalties?||Stress, Injury, Status Effects|
|Cover Soak||Weak(4), Adequate(6), Superior(8)|
Valen has trained his longbow Hartsbane on the Urpan running towards him. The beast sprints forth, spittle flying and an inhuman howl rising from its throat, but Valen is stationary, carefully drawing his breath and the arrow. The Urpan has no cover, is entirely visible, and Valen waits for him to enter medium range before firing. This makes the difficulty of the shot 21 (Valen Stationary 5 + Urpan Sprinting 12 + Visible 2 + Medium Range 2 = 21). Valen rolls a 16 + 7 (Grace 2 + Combat 3 + Archery 2) for an attack of 23. The arrow hits the target square in the chest. Hartsbane is a composite longbow and does 5 damage + 1 for the difference. The Urpan survives the blow but is gravely wounded and is now moving at a slower pace as it enters close range making the difficulty of the following shot 17. Valen rolls an 11 + 7 = 18, hitting the Urpan in the throat and it rolls to a heap at his feet. Unfortunately Valen did not see the other Urpan sneaking up from the side. He narrowly dodges a swipe and fires his bow at the new threat but it is at Point Blank and gains a defense. Valen rolls 7 + 7 to attack and the Urpan rolls a defense of 17, knocking the bow aside. Valen draws his short swords and prepares for a messy fight.
The attacker declares they wish to disarm the target and makes a Disarm check using Grace or Power + Combat + Focus Skill: Disarm. The target of the disarm makes a normal defense check and one of the following outcomes occurs:
- If the attacker beats the defense they disarm the target, knocking their weapon out of their hands and necessitating an action to retrieve it.
- If the spread between disarm check and defense is greater than 3 the attacker has actually removed the weapon from the target and is now in possession of it.
- If the defense is successful the target maintains their weapon.
- If the spread between the disarm check and the defense is 10 or more points in the defenders favour they defend so skillfully that the attacker is disarmed, or if unarmed, they are knocked off balance (-3 to their own defense)
Note that some weapons are specially designed for disarming and add to the disarm roll while some equipment is designed to prevent disarming and can nullify this attack.
The attacker character can make a Grapple check using 2d10 + Power. On each of the grappled character’s turns they repeat this check. The winner of this check can do one of the following:
- Inflict +1 damage with a small weapon
- Inflict 1/2 their Power in lethal damage
- Use their opponent as Full Cover against ranged attacks
Multiple Attack Actions
An attacker with sufficient skill looking to overwhelm their opponents defenses with multiple attacks in a single turn can make a barrage or multi-attack. When making a barrage the player declares their intention as well as the number of attacks they’d like to make. The player then makes one attack roll at a penalty equal to the number of attacks being made. The maximum number of attacks that can be made in a turn is equal to 1/2 the characters Combat and the Focus skill being used. For example, if a player declares a barrage of 3 they must have a Combat + Focus of 6 and take a penalty to their roll of 3. The enemy makes a number of unpenalized defence rolls equal to the number of attacks. Any defence roll that falls under the attack is a hit but if no attacks land then the attacker suffers a penalty to both their defence and attack the next round equal to the number of rolls forced on the enemy.
Multi-attack can only be used against a single target unless the character also has the Dual or Multi-wielding fighting style.
If the target is killed during a multi-attack the attack action ends; the character cannot redirect their barrage at another opponent unless they have Dual or Multi-wielding fighting styles.
Jarvy and Goud are in a knock-down drag-out fight.
Jarvy throws a flurry of blows at Goud. Jarvy’s player Nat declares “I’m doing a multi-attack with 4 attacks”. This is possible because Jarvy’s Combat + Unarmed Striking is +8. Nat rolls the attack and gets an 18 but because she made 4 attacks this gets reduced to 14 (18-4). Eli must now determine if Goud was able to avoid the attacks and rolls Goud’s defence 5 times
Roll 1: 15 = No Hit
Roll 2: 17 = No Hit
Roll 3: 11 = Hit (weapon + 1 damage)
Roll 4: 15 = No hit
Roll 5: 12 = Hit (weapon damage)
Goud is hurt but not out so he returns with a flurry of his own but only 3 attacks. Eli rolls Goud’s attack and gets 14 and reduces it to 11 for the number of attacks. Nat rolls Jarvy’s defence 3 times
Roll 1: 15 = No Hit
Roll 2: 19 = No Hit
Roll 3: 21 = No Hit and Riposte
Not only has Goud earned himself a penalty of -3 to his next round of attack and defense, Jarvy sees an opening in his flurry and can take a shot.
It’s not easy to hit a target from the saddle; take -3 to melee attack rolls against un-mounted enemy but add +3 damage if successful. Multiple attacks add -3 for each attack. Ranged attacks from a mount are also more difficult but it is up to the ST to determine the penalty to the attack roll. Mounted combat penalties can be eliminated with the Cavalry trait.
In less dire fights (e.g. bar brawls) every character can take an amount of non-lethal (NL) damage equal to their standard health score. Characters regenerate NL damage equal to their Power per round. A knock-out occurs when the excess successes of an attack meet or exceed the remaining NL damage. At the end of NL combat combatants convert any remaining NL damage to standard damage at ½ value.
Overwhelming Attacks and Flow
If a contested attack exceeds defense 10+ the character can make an additional attack. Additional attacks can be chained but each one must overwhelm the targets defense by 10+1 per additional attack (1st attack 10, 2nd 11, 3rd 12, and so on).
Overwhelming Defense and Riposte
If a contested defense exceeds the attack by 10+ there is the option to riposte or take an immediate action. Number of possible ripostes is the lower of Grace or Combat score.
Except in exceptional cases or where otherwise stated, attacking an unaware enemy always triggers an opposed Grace + Stealth vs. Perception check between the attacker and the target. If the target succeeds in their perception they are able to mount a defense, though they may be limited to dodging if they do not have a weapon in hand. If the target fails their perception check however, the attacker must still roll the attack. On a critical failure the attack both fails and the target gets a riposte. All other rolls are assumed to hit and bonus damage is applied as follows:
As a standard attack but if successful the enemy is knocked prone rather than injured and takes a penalty on their next action equal to the spread of the trip.
Fighting styles are an optional character customization which represents a preferred approach to combat. Their are potential advantages and pitfalls to each style and though any character can move between the various styles they know a combatant can only utilize one style at a time during a given round; they cannot, for example, attack one handed but switch to two handed for damage. Combatants have a default fighting style but can declare a change to their style at the beginning of a round (dropping their shield or weapons, or drawing a secondary weapon, etc). The effect lists provided for various styles are not meant to provide inspiration, not be comprehensive. Players and storytellers are encouraged to consider other possibilities that may make sense for a given scenario.
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Striking
The combatant uses their limbs to strike enemies. Examples include punching, kicking, head-butting, palm strikes, and use of knees and elbows.
Advantage: This style requires no additional equipment and maximizes flexibility, mobility, range of motion, and balance.
Disadvantage: The combatant is unable to parry weapon attacks without equipment or specialized focus skills/traits. They can still dodge attacks.
Mechanics: The characters attacks inflict bashing damage equal to the spread between attack and damage (without this style attacks only do a flat damage bonus of 1/2 Combat+Focus).
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Grappling
The combatant uses close fighting techniques to clinch or gain leverage over an opponent, trapping, choking, or causing injury. Examples include joint locks, choke-holds, submission holds, throwing, and pinning.
Advantage: This style requires no additional equipment and can be used to effectively engage, restrain, gain compliance from or subdue a single target.
Disadvantage: The combatant is unable to parry weapon attacks without equipment or specialized focus skills. A combatant in a grapple is vulnerable to attacks by others and must choose between maintaining an effective grapple, using their captive as a shield, or actively defending themselves.
Mechanics: The character can make a Grapple check using 2d10 + Power + Combat + Grapple Focus. On each of the grappled characters turns they repeat this check. The winner of this check can do one of the following (note these differ from the options available for an unskilled Grapple):
- Inflict +2 damage with a small weapon
- Inflict their Power in damage (lethal or non-lethal at the grapplers choice) against unarmoured or lightly armoured targets.
- Use their opponent to block one melee attack but release them from the grapple
- Use their opponent as Full Cover against ranged attacks
- Gain +2 to rolls to the next roll to maintain the grapple
- Inflict a Broken Bone or Dislocated Joint injury on a human combatant
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Reciprocal
The combatant uses their opponents attacks against them, pulling them off balance when they strike, pushing them when they retreat, and intercepting their attacks before they can land.
Advantage: This style requires no additional equipment and maximizes flexibility, mobility, range of motion, and balance. This style is highly defensive and useful against opponents who might be otherwise overwhelming.
Disadvantage: This style is highly defensive and does minimal damage.
Mechanics: The character must forgo their attack action during their turn to use this style. Whenever the character successfully defends in the following round they can do one of the following to an attacker:
- Render the attacker prone
- Disarm the attacker (On a spread of greater than 3 the defender takes possession of the attacker’s weapon)
- Knock the attacker off-balance, inflicting a-3 penalty to defense for next round of actions
- Inflict Grace in damage against
The combatant can only use each condition once per round; rendering only 1 enemy prone, 1 disarmed, 1 off-balance, and inflicting harm on another. While using this style the combatant does not suffer a penalty for defending against multiple attacks and this style can be used prior to the the first round of combat if the character is aware of their opponent.
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Relevant Weapon (e.g. Longsword, Dagger, etc)
The combatant uses one weapon wielded in one hand, using their other hand for balance. Examples of weapons that style can be used with everything from daggers and gladiii to rapiers and longswords.
Advantage: This style is considered default or standard style and leaves one hand open for other actions.
Disadvantage: This is considered the standard style and suffers no particular penalties.
Mechanics: The character wields a single weapon in one hand. This is considered the standard style and suffers no particular penalties or advantages.
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Relevant Weapon (e.g. Spear, Claymore, Kleaver)
The combatant wields one large weapon using both hands. Examples of weapons that require the use of this style include staffs, spears, great swords, and some Tollam weapons; (Power of 4+ to wield such weapons one handed). Some weapons such as bastard swords can use either One-Handed or Two-Handed.
Advantage: This style adds additional control and power to attacks and makes disarming them harder.
Disadvantage: This style can limit the combatants range of motion, flexibility, and mobility and occupies both hands. The lack of an off-hand can reduce the stability of the combatant, making trips slightly easier.
Mechanics: On their turn the character can choose to do one of the following:
- Gain a strong grip adding +1 to damage and +3 to defense against disarms.
- Make a sweeping strike, attacking two enemies in one attack. The character rolls one attack and enemies roll separate defenses. This attack does 1/2 damage.
- Gain momentum, adding a +1 bonus to their next attack. This can be repeated up to 3 times for a maximum bonus of +3. This cannot be combined with a sweeping strike.
A character using this style is at -1 against Trip attacks
Weapon and Shield
Prerequisites: Combat 1, Focus in Shield
The combatant pairs a weapon with a shield used to block and parry blows. Examples of paired weapons include longsword and shield, spear and shield, or axe and shield.
Advantage: This style offers the combatant additional protection from attacks and can be particularly deadly when used by a group to create a shield wall. This style also grants the bearer a stable center of gravity, adding stability, though this can be lost if overextended.
Disadvantage: This style can limit the combatants range of motion, flexibility and mobility and occupies both hands. The lack of an off-hand can reduce the stability of the combatant, making trips slightly easier.
Mechanics: In addition to the regular bonus to parry attacks based on the shield type used or cover provided against ranged attacks (based on shield type), a character using this style can also do the following:
- Make a bonus shield bash attack, shoving an enemy or hitting them with the edge of the shield. This attack can either inflict damage equal to 1/2 the spread between attack and defense or knock an enemy off balance. This can only be done once every other round.
- Extend cover or use a defense for one other person
- Form a shield wall with at least two other individuals wielding large shields. This wall counts as full cover for the purposes of ranged attacks and melee attacks against the wall are made using 1d10.
Character’s with shields must sacrifice their shield bonus to defense to make a multi-attack. When extending the attack like this the combatant suffers a -1 against trips and disarms on the subsequent round.
Prerequisites: Grace 2, Combat 2, Focus in Relevant Weapon, Ambidextrous
The combatant wields a pair of weapons, one in each hand. Examples of combinations of weapons which are effective with this style include daggers, short blades, hand axes, or gauntlet weapons. This is a particularly difficult style to master.
Advantage: This style allows the combatant to make multiple simultaneous attacks from different angles or parry attacks using either hand. It also becomes twice as difficult to fully disarm the combatant.
Disadvantage: This style reduces the power and control behind any given attack and necessitates a frequently unstable centre of gravity in order to facilitate attacks. It requires a high degree of awareness and exceptional coordination or training to use this style effectively.
Mechanics: The character gains the following bonuses to multiple attack actions and defenses:
- When making a multi-attack the penalty is reduced by 1. For example. if the character makes 3 attacks the penalty is 2, 4 attacks at -3, and so on. Paired with the ambidextrous trait a character using this style can effectively make 3 attacks against a target each round without penalty.
- Penalties for multiple defences in a round are also reduced to 0.
- This style allows the character to make their multi-attack against multiple targets, rather than the normal single target.
The character suffers -1 against disarms and trips while using this style.
Prerequisites: Grace 2, Combat 2, Focus in Relevant Weapon, Multidextrous
The combatant wields weapons in four or more limbs. This style is available exclusively to quasihumans such as Bellator, Tamaa, and select Heliar. Examples of weapons which are effective with this style include Bellator Ghollu, Tamaa Needles, and Heliar utilizing Raptor Reaper style bodies.
Advantage: This style allows the combatant to make multiple simultaneous attacks from different angles or parry attacks using any hand. It also becomes four times as difficult to fully disarm the combatant.
Disadvantage: This style reduces the power and control behind any given attack and necessitates a frequently unstable centre of gravity in order to facilitate attacks. It also requires a high degree of awareness and exceptional coordination or training to use this style effectively.
Mechanics: The character gains the following bonuses to multiple attack actions and defenses:
- When making a multi-attack the penalty is reduced by 1. For example. if the character makes 3 attacks the penalty is -2, 4 attacks at -3, and so on. Paired with the multidextrous trait a character using this style can make 3 attacks without penalty.
- Penalties for multiple defences in a round are reduced to 0.
- This style also allows the character to make their multi-attack against multiple targets, rather than the normal single target.
The character suffers -1 against disarms and trips when using this style.
Prerequisites: Grace 1, Combat 1, Focus in Archery
The combatant uses a bow to attack their enemies. Examples include long, short, composite, and recurve bows but does not include crossbows.
Advantage: Dedicated archers may lack the range and stopping power of a Canna but they make up for this in reload speed and indirect fire.
Disadvantage: Archers are at a disadvantage to defend themselves against melee attacks and attempts to disarm them.
Mechanics: The character can make indirect attacks, arcing shots over cover with an appropriate increase in difficulty. The character is vulnerable to melee attacks and suffers a -3 to defense in melee and -2 to Disarm.
Armour protects by soaking up the damage that would normally injure or kill the wearer. As any soldier can attest though, this damage can quickly accumulate, leading to structural weakness that need to be addressed by a skilled craftsmen. Armour condition is tracked via a trait called Armour State. This state decreases with each battle where the armour was struck by an enemy blow.
- Armour type determines how many uses a given piece of armour can survive without maintenance before it is considered broken and requires repair
- Each battle an armour sees *use* in adds a step to its degradation.
- Once armour reaches full degradation it is considered broken, providing 1/2 soak and double penalties for athletics until it is repaired.
- Ticks can be removed with regular maintenance checks. Some craft focused callings can perform group checks.
- The Self-Repairing/Enduring special trait for exotic and tech armour removes amour state as the armour is designed to endure more abuse than any individual adventurer can hope to survive.
|Armour Type||Base Armour State|