ARRGS – Combat

Combat is a particular type of Scene that is made up of a highly specialised and structured series of Skill checks that simulate the complexities of multiple opponents fighting using a variety of weapons and strategies.

Structure

Combat is just one type of Scene that forms majority of the action packed life of an adventurer. A Combat Scene is further subdivided into a number of rounds. Each round represents a unit of time usually no longer than 6 seconds in duration, during which every character involved in the combat gets the opportunity to perform Actions and react to the Actions of others (via Reactions).

Within a round, a character acts on his Initiative score and may decide what to do with his Actions (usually using 3 Action Points, and as many additional Swift or Immediate Actions as allowed).

The basic structure of combat is as follows

  1. Determine the Initiative order of all combatants in the combat.
  2. Determine if any combatants are surprised. If so a surprise round begins.
  3. The round ends, all combatants go through the End of Round.
  4. A new round begins, all combatants act in Initiative order as the GM counts down from the highest Initiative to the lowest.
  5. The round ends, all combatants go through the End of Round.
  6. Repeat stages 4 and 5 until all combatants on one side are prevented from taking action (dead, incapacitated, etc).

Surprise Round

Combatants that are unaware of the possibility of being attacked (because they are not aware of any enemies nearby, or they do not see those about to attack them as enemies), are considered to have the Surprised condition. If an opponent is aware of any enemy then they are ready for an attack and do not have the Surprised condition.

If any combatants have the Surprised condition at the start of the Combat Scene, then a Surprise Round takes place. During the Surprise Round, combatants with the Surprised condition may not perform any actions, all other combatants may use Actions equal to their allotted number of Action Points minus 1 and up to their allotted number of Additional Action Points minus 1 .

A Round

A round is subdivided into an infinite number of slots (as many as required), which correspond to the Initiative scores of each combatant. The GM starts at a number equal to the highest Initiative score of any character in the combat and counts down to 0. Any character with an Initiative score equal to the number the GM is on may take their Character Turn. Those characters with equal Initiative scores act in order of their Dexterity Score (or the highest result of a 1d6 dice roll).

A Turn

Every character has a turn during a combat round which is taken in order of his character’s Initiative (compared to the other combatants involved in the combat).

On a character’s turn he may perform a number of Actions equal to the number of Actions Points he possesses and a number of Additional Actions (used as Swift or Immediate Actions) equal to the number of Additional Action Points he possesses. A character suffers a -2 cumulative Circumstance penalty for each Action Point (or Additional Action Points, in any combination) he uses above a limit of 3.

Actions and Action Points

Actions represent an activity that take up a number of units of time and activity as determined by the number of Action Points that are required to perform the Action. A character receives 3 Action Points as standard (others may be gained or lost through Options, Magic, Equipment, etc).

Whenever a character performs an Action he reduces the number of Action Points he has remaining that turn as indicated by the Manoeuvre being performed. If a character does not have enough Action Points left to perform an Action then he may not do so. A character does not have to use up all his Action Points in a turn, they are not carried over to subsequent rounds (unless he uses an Action to specifically do so).

A character may use Additional Action Points to perform additional actions. These additional actions are subdivided into two categories; Swift Actions which are used on the characters turn, and Immediate Actions which are used during another characters turn whenever the opportunity presents itself (these are triggered by certain events or by Opportunity). When a character performs a Swift or Immediate Action he reduces the numbers of Additional Action Points he has remaining that round as indicated by the Action being performed. If a character does not have enough Additional Action Points left to perform an Action then he may not do so. A character does not have to use up all his Additional Action Points in a turn, they are not carried over to subsequent rounds.

Lastly are a group of actions known as Complementary Actions, these actions are not considered Actions by themselves, they do not reduce Action Points or Additional Action Points and must be performed as part of another Action being performed (if a character cannot perform Actions then they also cannot perform Complementary Actions)

Multiple Actions: Using more than 3 Actions Points or Additional Action Points (in any combination) in a round incurs a cumulative -2 Circumstance Penalty to all subsequent Actions performed. 

Skill Checks

Combat, like any other Scene requires a heavy use of skills to determine the success or failure of an outcome. The primary use of skills in combat is in Attack and Defence, and there are two ways of using a skill; in an Action or Reaction fashion. Action checks require the character to roll a 1d20 dice and add modifiers to obtain the Check Result, it is used most often to perform an Attack manoeuvre in combat. Reaction checks use a base result of 10 and add modifiers to obtain the Check Result, this is most often used in Defence manoeuvres in combat.

Criticals
Any check that achieves a natural, unmodified roll within the Critical Range of that check may achieve critical success. The character must first perform a Critical Confirmation roll which is another Skill Check (with the same modifiers), if the Critical Confirmation roll achieves success then the character gains the Critical Bonus, if the Critical Confirmation roll is within the Critical Range then the character gains the Critical Bonus and may attempt another Critical Confirmation roll to gain another Critical Bonus.
Critical Range: The Critical Range of any check is by default a natural 20 on a 1d20 dice roll. This Critical Range can be modified by Options, Magic, and Equipment, for instance many weapons have a greater Critical Range (19-20).
Any time a check is rolled, if the natural result (before any modifiers) is within the Critical Range, then the character must roll a Critical Confirmation check which, if successful, grants a Critical Bonus to the character.
Critical Bonus: A Critical Bonus is obtained by achieving critical success on a check. The Critical Bonus is a 1d6 (this can be increased or decreased by other effects such as Options and Magic) which may be applied to any one supplementary roll related to the check being performed that achieved critical success. A supplementary roll could be the damage roll made after a successful Attack check, or the Progress Roll of a Skill. 

Optional Rule – Degrees of Success
Optional Rule – Degrees of Success
All skill checks have varying degrees of success or failure, both major and minor. To achieve a minor success a skill check result must be equal to or greater than the DC by up to 10 points, a minor failure occurs when the skill check result is less than the DC by up to 10 points. To achieve a major success the skill check result must be greater than the DC by 10 points or more, a major failure occurs when the skill check result is less than the DC by 10 points or more.
The individual skill check determines the results of major and minor success or failure, although the GM is free to determine their own consequences for success and failure. If the GM does not wish to use this optional rule then use the results of a minor success for every check result that exceeds the DC, and use the results of a major failure for every check result less than the DC.

The formula for a Skill Check is as follows.

Skill Check: Check (1d20 or 10) + Skill + Ability Bonus + Inherent modifier, + Augmented modifier, + Assisted modifier, + Magic modifier, + Tech modifier, + Size modifier, + Circumstance modifiers, – Check penalty

Action checks are made whenever a character indicates his desire to do something as part of his turn. A character indicating he wishes to attack an opponent requires an Action check. Reaction checks are made in response to actions and checks performed by other combatants or effects involved in the combat.

Attack

An Attack is any action or reaction that attempts to adversely effect an opponent or combatant in some way, it can take the form of a variety of manoeuvres, from a thrusting spear, to a thrown rock, to a spell cast, to a dragon’s breath.

Attacks are split into 3 broad categories; Melee, Ranged, Spell. Each category has its own variation of the Skill check which affects the Ability modifier and the Inherent modifier used in the check

A Melee Attack usually uses the Strength ability modifier and the Melee Weapon skill. A Ranged Attack usually uses the Dexterity ability modifier and the Missile Weapon skill. A Spell Attack usually uses the Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma modifier, and the Arcane, Nature, or Religion skill. The Ability and Inherent modifiers associated with each check are subject to change with justification, but ultimately the decision is up to the GM. For example a dragon breathing a cone of fire could be considered a ranged attack or a spell attack and so use the Arcane, Missile Weapon, Nature, or Religion skill, but the strength of the breath is determined by a dragon’s internal power and so could be argued that it’s Constitution modifier should be used as part of the attack.

In order to perform an attack, the character and opponent must be within Line of Sight and Line of Effect, the target of the attack must be within Range or Threat Range of the attack. If these conditions are met then the character performs the appropriate Skill check and if that Skill check Result is equal to or greater than the target’s Defence check Result then the attack succeeds and the target incurs whatever effect the attack imposes (be that a Damage Roll or a spell effect or other effect).

Defence

A Defence is any type of Action or Reaction that attempts to preserve the combatant from the effects of an Attack. It takes a variety of manoeuvres, such as using armour to deflect a blow, or the body’s natural agility or strength, or the mind’s will to resist an effect.

Defence is split into 3 broad categories; Fortitude, Reflex, Willpower. Each category has its own variation of the skill check as it affects the Ability modifier and the Inherent modifier used in the check.

A Fortitude check usually uses the Constitution or Strength modifier and the Athletics skill, a Reflex check usually uses the Dexterity or Intelligence modifier and the Acrobatics skill, a Willpower check usually uses the Wisdom or Charisma modifier and the Discipline skill. These ability modifiers and the skills used are subject to change with justification, but ultimately the decision is up to the GM. For example a wise character may use his ability to predict an opponent’s attacks to help him dodge the blows, thus allowing him to use his Wisdom modifier for a Reflex check.

Attacks

An attack is a means of targeting an opponent (or an ally) to inflict an effect upon him. No use of a skill is a guaranteed success, no matter how well trained a character is, as a result anytime a character swings a sword, fires a bow, casts a spell, there is the possibility of failure.

As mentioned above in Skill Checks, an Attack is essentially a Skill Check and follows all the same rules for Skill checks but with additional rules specific to Combat Scenes.

The formula for a Skill Check is as follows.

Skill Check: Check (1d20 or 10) + Skill + Ability Bonus + Inherent modifier, + Augmented modifier, + Assisted modifier, + Magic modifier, + Tech modifier, + Size modifier, + Circumstance modifiers, – Check penalty

If the character uses an Action that performs an attack of some sort then he rolls 1d20 and adds the modifiers above. If a character is Reacting to the Action of another character (or the environment if it is a trap for instance) and that Reaction involves a Skill check, then the character uses the base value of 10 and adds the modifiers above.

If the Attack check result is equal to or greater than the (presumed) Defence check result then the Attack succeeds and deals damage (requiring a Damage Roll) or some other effect is inflicted as detailed in the attack. If the Reaction check result is higher than the Action check result then the attackers Action check has failed (alternatively if the attackers Action check result is lower than the Reaction check result then the attack has failed).

Area Attacks

Area Attacks are a special category of attack that may include all other types of attack (Melee, Ranged, Spell), which affects an area larger than a single square.

Area attacks usually occur as a result of a spell being cast which has an Area component, or as a result of a creature of Gargantuan or greater size performing an attack (a creature’s weapons are normally 2 or 3 size categories smaller than the wielder and so a Gargantuan creature’s weapons would affect an area larger than 1 square.

To perform an Area Attack perform the Attack check as normal, but against the value of 10 (the Defence check of the target square – not the occupant of the square). If successful the attack strikes the target square and other squares in the area of effect, the Attack Check is rerolled and then compared against the appropriate Defence check of all occupants of those squares. If the Area Attack misses the target square then it randomly strikes another target square (roll 1d8 to determine the compass point direction, starting at North, and roll 1d4 per Range Increment to determine the number of squares it moves in that direction) and the Area Attack is then resolved as normal (reroll Attack check and compare to Defence checks of all occupants of squares within the area of effect).

Threat Range

All characters threaten an area around them and when an opponent acts carelessly within that area (provokes an Opportunity Action), then the character may perform an Opportunity Action to exploit that carelessness.

A character has a Threat Range Minimum and Threat Range Maximum attribute which is most often determined by the Size Category of a creature. Any opponent provoking Opportunity Actions between the minimum and maximum Threat Range distance around a character can expect to be attacked by that character (providing the character has Additional Actions remaining this round).

If a character is wielding a weapon with the Reach attribute or is otherwise under the effects of something that bestows a Reach attribute upon him, then he may use this Reach attribute to artificially increase his Threat Range (both minimum and maximum values are affected by the same amount), by performing the Change Reach manoeuvre (see Actions).

Ranged Attacks

Some attacks can be made at a distance because the weapon can be thrown, or it fires a projectile, or it is a spell or other ability with a Range attribute.

Range Increment: All ranged attacks have a Range Increment, this is the distance at which attacks are most effective. Attacks made outside the Range Increment suffer a cumulative -2 penalty to the Attack Check (applied as the Range modifier) for each multiple of the Range Increment they exceed after the first. So, for example, a weapon with a Range Increment of 3 squares is used to make an attack at a distance of 10 squares. This Attack check suffers a -6 Range modifier, the first 3 squares are within 1 Range Increment and suffer no penalty, squares 4-6 suffer a -2 penalty, squares 7-9 suffer a -4 penalty, and squares 10-12 suffer a -6 penalty.

Vitality and Damage

Vitality

Vitality is an abstract concept that acts as a measure of a character’s physical and mental condition, determined by the HD rolls performed when a character gains a level in the Primary Class. Performing any Action drains 1 vitality from a character (or more if indicated by the Action or any Conditions) as it consumes a portion of energy, being struck by an attack can drain greater portions of vitality as it cuts and bruises a character as well as using up a character’s mental resolve.

A character has two Vitality attributes; Current Vitality and Total Vitality. Whenever a character suffers damage this reduces the character’s Current Vitality, any form of revitalisation (from Taking a Break, or a Revitalisation spell) will increase the character’s Current Vitality up to a maximum of the Total Vitality. If a character’s Current Vitality is reduced to 0 or less it gains the Disabled condition. If a character’s Current Vitality is reduced to a negative amount equal to his highest Ability Score then he is Dead.

Damage

An attack usually has a negative effect upon a character’s vitality, inflicting “damage” to reduce that vitality. Damage is an abstract concept that represents a combination of exhaustion, bruising, minor cuts, and morale loss. Experienced characters (those with a higher Primary Class Level) have greater vitality because they are more physically and mentally conditioned to dealing with injury, exhaustion, and stressful situations, and so can last longer in combat.

Vitality does not represent serious physical injury (broken bones, severed limbs, impalement) or mental injury, these are more appropriately represented by conditions that are acquired during combat but which can also adversely affect vitality.

Damage is determined by a Damage Roll which uses a dice indicated by the weapon (or spell) used for the attack, and adds all the same modifiers and penalties applied to the Attack Check.

Damage inflicted always has a type (as indicated by the weapon or spell used for the attack); Acid, Bludgeoning, Cold, Electricty, Fire, Negative, Piercing, Positive, Slashing, Sonic. An attack may have more than one type associated with it. Attacks used against creatures with Damage Resistance or Damage Vulnerability to one of the Damage Types, can increase or decrease the amount of damage inflicted by an attack. 

Damage Resistance

A creature may have Damage Resistance to one or more of the Damage Types. Damage Resistance is represented by the formula DR n/xxxx, where n represents the value of the Damage Resistance and xxxx represents the Damage Type the resistance applies to. For example DR 10/Slashing means the creature has Damage Resistance of 10 against the Slashing Damage Type.

When a creature is damaged by a Damage Type to which it has Damage Resistance, the creature reduces the final result of the Damage Roll (after all modifiers have been applied) by the value of the Damage Resistance.

If a character possesses multiple Damage Resistance to different Damage Types, and suffers an attack that inflicts damage of those Damage Types, then he applies the highest value Damage Resistance only.

If a character possesses Damage Resistance and Damage Vulnerability and suffers an attack that inflicts damage of those Damage Types, then the character applies Damage Resistance first to reduce the final Damage Roll result, then he applies Damage Vulnerability to increase the damage inflicted.

Damage Vulnerability

Almost all creatures are vulnerable to one or more types of damage, some creatures (notably Humanoids) are vulnerable to nearly all types of damage.

If a creature has Damage Vulnerability to a particular Damage Type, and damage is inflicted upon it from that Damage Type, then the target creature suffers 150% of the damage inflicted (multiply the final Damage Roll result by 1.5).

If an attack has multiple Damage Types and one or more of those Damage Types matches the Damage Vulnerability of the target creature, then it still suffers only 150% of the damage inflicted.

Disabled

When a character is reduced to 0 Vitality, it is assumed that the mental and physical toils have rendered the character incapable and he therefore gains the Disabled condition. A character with the Disabled condition is restricted in his actions and may perform only 1 Action per round (not including a Full Round Action), if the character performs a Standard, Swift, or Immediate Action then he must perform an immediate Fortitude Defence check, failure means he loses 1 further vitality point, loses the Disabled condition, and gains the Dying condition.

Dying [n]

A character with the Dying condition is assumed to be near death due to physical injury, and or exhaustion. A character with the Dying condition is restricted in his actions and may perform only 1 Action per round (not including a Full Round Action), if the character performs any Action (including any Reaction check) then he must perform an immediate Fortitude Defence check, failure means he loses 1 further Vitality point (per number in the parenthesis), and gains the Unconscious condition. At each End of Round, the character must perform an immediate Fortitude Defence check, failure means he loses 1 further vitality point (per number in the parenthesis). If a character succeeds on two consecutive Fortitude Defence checks related to the Dying condition then he reduces the value in parenthesis of the Dying condition by 1. If a character reduces the number in parenthesis of the Dying condition to 0, he no longer has the Dying condition and instead gains the Disabled condition.

The Dying condition can be acquired multiple times (from being dealt mortal blows multiple times for instance), each time the number in parenthesis increases (beginning at 1 when the condition is first acquired), this affects the loss of vitality a character incurs at each End of Round and whenever he performs an Action (a character bleeding from several stab wounds loses more blood when he exerts himself than a character with only one stab wound).

Death

A character dies when it reaches Negative vitality equal to its highest Ability Score. When a character dies it may no longer interact with the world unless it is restored to life somehow.

Unconscious

A character with the Unconscious condition is, as the name suggests, unconscious. He may not take any Actions, and all Reaction checks the character is forced to make (as a result of the Actions of others) are considered to have a result of 0 and automatically fail.

A character with the Unconscious condition may perform a Fortitude Defence check once per hour, if successful they wake up. A character with the Unconscious condition naturally wakes up after 8 hours. A character with the Fatigued, Exhausted, or Dying condition may not wake up until those conditions are removed.

Movement

At its most basic, moving a character requires the Movement Manoeuvre or some other manoeuvre that indicates movement by a character, and allows the character to move a number of squares equal to his Movement Speed in a chosen Movement Category. For most creatures (except flying animals), the rules for movement do not get more complicated than that, but when technology and vehicles are introduced, movement becomes a tactical and much more complex affair.

Skill Check: Check (1d20 or 10) + Skill + Ability Bonus + Inherent modifier, + Augmented modifier, + Assisted modifier, + Magic modifier, + Tech modifier, + Size modifier, + Circumstance modifiers, – Check penalty

Like most tasks, moving requires a Skill Check to determine if the task was successful or not. However, when a character uses a natural Movement Category (one innate to his form, such as Walking for most humanoid creatures, Flying for avian creatures, etc) then this check is performed passively (take 10 as the result of the d20 roll and add modifiers to determine success).

Movement Category: Movement can be divided into the following Movement Categories (and their associated Skills used for the Skill Check); Walking (Acrobatics or Athletics), Burrowing (Athletics), Flying (Acrobatics or Athletics), Swimming (Athletics), Climbing (Acrobatics or Athletics), Space (Acrobatics or Athletics). If a character is controlling another creatures or machine to facilitate its movement, then the Skill Check is always Piloting.

Movement Speed: Movement Speed is the distance in squares that a character can move using a single Movement Manoeuvre. Each Movement Category for a character has its own Movement Speed

Manoeuvrability: Manoeuvrability represents the agility of a creature when it moves, and in game terms is the number of 90 degree turns a character can perform during a Movement Manoeuvre. Since most creatures have a Manoeuvrability of 10 in their natural Movement Categories, this statistic is ignored and a creature can move and attack in any direction during combat.

If vehicles are used during combat then Manoeuvrability becomes important as almost all vehicles have a lower Manoeuvrability and so can only move in certain movement patterns (with a limited number of 90 degree turns), in these circumstances it is necessary to keep track of the direction a vehicle is facing to determine the direction of it’s attacks. If a creature/vehicle has a negative Manoeuvrability then it represents how many turns must elapse before that creature/vehicle can perform a single 90 degree turn (for example, -2 Manoeuvrability means a 90 degree turn can only be performed every 2 turns).

The Manoeuvrability of a creature is reduced by the current Movement Increment value, so the faster a vehicle is moving the less it can turn. This usually does not affect creatures (who have a Manoeuvrability of 10 and a maximum Movement Increment of 4 or 5 and so can still turn in any direction they wish even if they are running at maximum speed).

Acceleration Rate: The Acceleration Rate represents how quickly a creature/vehicle may increase or decrease their speed (as multiples of their Movement Speed. In order to move beyond the Movement Speed (in squares), a character must perform the Accelerate/Decelerate Manoeuvre as a Full Round Action. By using this Manoeuvre, the character may increase (or decrease) his Current Movement Increment value by an amount equal to (or less then) his Acceleration Rate, up to his Maximum Movement Increment value.

Movement Increment: Split into Current Movement Increment and Maximum Movement Increment, the Movement Increment is how many multiples of the Movement Speed a character may move using the Accelerate/Decelerate Manoeuvre. A character that suddenly increases or decreases its Movement Increment beyond its Acceleration Rate (for instance, due to hitting a wall while moving at speed, or being violently accelerated by some other force) loses 1d6 Current Vitality per Movement Increment difference.

If a character moves more than 1 Movement Increment in distance he suffers a cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty to all Skill Checks (moving faster makes it difficult to perform other activities) for every Movement Increment beyond the 1st. Any combatant targeting the character with an attack suffers a -2 Circumstance penalty to the Attack check for every Movement Increment beyond the 1st that the character moved in that round (or the last round if he has yet to take his turn in this round, it is harder to hit a fast moving target).

As an example, a human has a Movement Speed of 5 and an Acceleration Rate of 2. On his turn he can either move up to 5 squares using a Movement Manoeuvre as a Move Action, or alternatively he can use the Accelerate/Decelerate Manoeuvre as a Full Round Action to move between 1 and 15 squares (1-5 is 1 Movement Increment, 6-10 is 2 Movement Increments, 11-15 is 3 Movement Increments). He chooses to move 12 squares and suffers a -4 Circumstance penalty to all checks until the next End of Round and any combatant that targets him with an attack suffers the same Circumstance penalty to Attack Checks until the next End of Round. If the character fails to use the Accelerate or Decelerate Manoeuvre in the next round to move between 1 and 3 Movement Increments worth of distance, then he loses 2d6 Current Vitality.

Difficult Terrain [n]: Difficult Terrain is a square a character can move into, but that movement is inhibited somewhat by obstacles such as; broken ground, heavy undergrowth, steep inclines, obstacles (chairs, tables, unconscious characters).

Difficult Terrain applies a penalty to Movement Speed to any characters moving into the square, equal to the [n] value in parenthesis. A character may always move at least one square, even if he only has a Movement Speed of 1 and that square is Difficult Terrain. Difficult Terrain may be ignored if the character is using a Movement Category (such as Flying) that allows him to bypass the feature making the terrain difficult.

Impassable Terrain: Impassable Terrain is, as the name suggests, impassable. Characters cannot move into the square or pass through it. Impassable Terrain does not apply to all Movement Categories, and so a character may still be able to move into or through the terrain if he can bypass the feature that makes the terrain impassable (at GM’s discretion).

Combat Actions

Actions are a broad category of different activities a character may perform during a Combat Scene; Standard Actions, Complementary Actions, Swift Actions, Immediate Actions.

Each Action category represents a varying amount of time and energy expenditure, and each category has a number of different Manoeuvres that can be performed to achieve a specific outcome.

A character begins a turn with 3 Actions Points that can be used for any combination of Standard Actions desired, and a number of Swift or Immediate Actions (as determined by the Additional Action Points attribute of the character). A character may perform any Standard Action as a Swift Action, in which case it costs Additional Action Points as indicated instead of Actions Points.

Using any Action (except for a Complementary Action which is not really an action by itself), reduces Current Vitality by 1 point. Using more than 3 Actions Points or Additional Action Points (in any combination) in a round incurs a cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty against all subsequent checks used that round.

Complementary Actions

A Complementary Action is not an action by itself, and does not represent anything significant being performed that could affect the outcome of combat. As a result it does not use any Action Points on its own and instead is performed as part of another Action. For instance, you can perform a Complementary Action as part of the Movement Manoeuvre, and as part of an Attack Manoeuvre to attack with your sword. You may also perform a Complementary Action as part of a Swift or Immediate Action if so desired. If you do not wish to take any Actions (i.e. stand still and do nothing) but still wish to perform Complementary Actions, you are not prevented from using your other Actions to do nothing and perform a Complementary Action as part of that.

Complementary Actions include tasks such as dropping an item, dropping to the floor, speaking (within reason, a lengthy diatribe or commentary is not included), drawing a weapon, etc. You may perform as many Complementary Actions as other Actions you perform in a round.

Opportunity Actions: Performing a Complementary Action does not provoke an Opportunity Action by itself because it does not constitute an action in isolation, however, the Action it is performed as part of may provoke Opportunity Actions.

Standard Actions

Most Standard Actions require a Skill Check and provoke Opportunity Actions.

Aid Another Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to assist another combatant in some other form of activity. The character performs the same Skill Check to be assisted (with Charisma modifier in place of the usual Ability modifier), if the check result is equal to or greater than the Difficulty of the Scene then the character grants an Assisted modifier to one adjacent, nominated combatant. The Assisted modifier is equal to +1 per 5 points the Skill Check result exceeds the Difficulty of the Scene. The Assisted modifier is granted to the next Skill Check (of the same type as the one performed by the Character) of the adjacent, nominated combatant until the next End of Round.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Attack Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to affect another character in some way (not necessarily; as the name implies, to physically hit them although in some cases that is correct). The character must first decide whether to perform a Melee, Ranged, or Spell Attack, the target of the attack must be within Threat Range or the Maximum Range Increment (of the weapon/spell/ability they are using), and meet all other requirements to perform the attack.

Spell Attacks are special in that each spell has a base difficulty to cast successfully (equal to 5 per spell level), plus the Defence check result of the target of the spell. Characters who do not wish to resist the effects of a spell (because it is a beneficial spell cast by an ally) can be said to have a Defence check result of 0, in these cases the spellcaster need only beat the base difficulty to cast the spell successfully (see Magic section for details on casting spells).

The character then performs the Skill Check associated with the chosen type of attack, if the check result is equal to or greater than the opponent’s Defence check associated with the attack (Reflex Defence for Melee and Ranged Attacks, any specified Defence for Spell Attacks) then the attack succeeds and the appropriate effect is inflicted. If a target offers no defence (for example an ally submitting to a spell cast upon him) then the spell is successful unless the Attack Check result is a natural 1 (which is always a major fail), or is less than the base difficulty needed to successfully cast the spell.

Action Points: 2

Special: A character may perform subsequent, repeated attacks immediately after the first using the same weapon and all the same modifiers used for the original attack but these subsequent attacks cost 1 Action Point each. The character may not perform any other action between the first and repeated attacks (if he does he must perform the Attack Manoeuvre again at a cost of 2 Action Points if he wants to attack again). A character may used the Attack Manoeuvre to perform Melee, Ranged, and Spell Attacks providing he is able to do so (there are enemies within range, he has enough ammunition or spells to perform the attack).

Any character performing additional attacks may incur the cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty for using too many Action Points in a round.

Opportunity Actions: Performing a Melee Attack Manoeuvre does not provoke Opportunity Actions (unless the character is unarmed). Performing a Ranged Attack Manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions. Performing a Spell Attack Manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions.

Major Success: Achieving a major success with the Attack Skill Check allows the character to forego the loss of 1 Vitality for performing the Action.

Minor Success: Achieving a minor success with the Attack Skill Check allows the character to perform the attack as detailed.

Minor Failure: Achieving a minor failure with the Attack Skill Check allows the character to perform the attack but deals only 1 damage (if any damage is dealt), if a spell is cast that does not deal damage then the spell effect is minimal (all numeric values are as though a 1 was used for every parameter)

Major Failure: Achieving a major failure with the Attack Skill Check means that the character fails to perform whatever attack was attempted, he drops his weapon or consumes the spell slot used to cast the spell but without effect, and in addition the character suffers an additional loss of 1d6 Vitality (above that usually incurred for performing a Standard Action).

Change Reach Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to increase his Minimum Threat Range and Maximum Threat Range attribute by an amount up to and including his Reach attribute, or he may reduce his Minimum and Maximum Threat Range attribute back to its original value. Any change to Minimum and Maximum Threat Range remains until the end of combat or until the Change Reach Manoeuvre is performed again.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Charge Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to move as per the Movement Manoeuvre, and perform a melee attack (as per the Attack Manoeuvre) at the end of the movement against an opponent within your Threat Range. You must have line of sight to your target at the start of the manoeuvre, and move in a straight line at least 2 squares.

If a character meets all the requirements above then he gains a +2 Circumstance modifier to the Attack Check made as part of the Charge Manoeuvre, but suffers a -2 Circumstance penalty to all Reflex Defence Checks until the next End of Round.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Performing the Charge Manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions as normal for moving as per the Movement Manoeuvre, and for the type of attack performed as per the Attack Manoeuvre (a melee attack only provokes Opportunity Actions if the character is unarmed).

Control Spell Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to control a spell as determined by the detail of the spell. These spells usually involve summoned creatures or persistent effects.

In order to control a spell using this manoeuvre you must have line of sight to the spell effect (the summoned creature or effect created by the spell) and must be the controller of the spell. You begin as the controller of any spell you cast. If the spell has another controller, you must first usurp control of that spell using the Counterspell Manoeuvre before you can control it using the Control Spell Manoeuvre.

If a spell has a duration of Concentration, then the spell effect persists only if the controller uses the Control Spell Manoeuvre to control it, ending as soon as the next End of Round is reached and no Control Spell Manoeuvre has been used in that round to control the spell.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Counterspell Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows a character to end or seize control of a spell being cast or controlled by another combatant. This manoeuvre does not cast a spell but uses the energy required to power a spell to cancel or seize control of another spell.

The character must be able to act while the spell to be countered is in effect, or be able to act while the spell is being cast (usually only possible as an Immediate Action or if the Ready Manoeuvre is used). The character must select a spell he possesses of the same school as the one being cast by an opponent, and of equal spell level or higher than the opponent’s spell, and the character must have a spell slot ready to use containing this spell. The character performs an Attack Check (using his casting skill – Arcana, Nature, Religion) against the opponent caster’s reaction Attack Check (using the opponent’s casting skill – Arcana, Nature, Religion).

The character must be within Close range of the opponent casting the spell (or the spell in effect), or be the target of the spell being cast (spells with a Target of Area do not target individuals). If the check succeeds, the spell being cast (or in effect) is cancelled immediately in a harmless puff of smoke, or if the spell is already in effect (i.e does not have a duration of Instant) the character is now in Control of the spell and may take other actions to redirect it using the Control Spell Manoeuvre. If the check fails the spell is cast as normal or continues to take effect as normal as desired by it’s original caster. Whether the Counterspell Manoeuvre is successful or not the character expends a spell (of same type and equal or higher spell level) and may not later use the spell or the spell slot used to store it (until a Rest has occurred and the spell slot replenished).

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Defence Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to steel himself for some incoming attack in an attempt to ward off it’s effects. This manoeuvre usually counts as a dodge against an incoming attack that the character is aware of and has prepared for, but it could equally be the mental or physical preparation for an incoming effect (such as a fear spell or a poison). Usually it is only possible to use this manoeuvre during an enemy’s turn as it requires a successful attack to be performed in or to resist its effects, thus it could be performed in conjunction with the Ready Manoeuvre or as part of an Immediate Action.

When the character is subject to a successful Attack Manoeuvre, he may perform a Defence Check (using Fortitude, Reflex, Willpower, whichever is appropriate to the attack in question) against the attacking combatant’s Attack Check. If the Defence check is equal to or higher than the Attack check, then the previously successful attack has now failed.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: No

Disarm Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to replace the effects of a melee Attack Manoeuvre that would normally deal damage, and instead force the opponent to drop an item he is carrying (usually a weapon or shield).

The character must perform an Attack Check against the target’s reflex Defence Check as normal. If the Attack Check result is greater than or equal to the reaction Defence Check result, then the character may select an item that the opponent is carrying and force him to drop it onto the floor. For every 5 points that the Attack Check result exceeds the Defence Check result, the character may place the item 1 square’s distance away from his opponent.

The character must choose an item that is visible, and not hidden within another item (like a backpack, although he can remove the backpack itself). This manoeuvre may not be used with Area Attacks, and may only be used with an attack that deals damage to a single, targeted individual.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Dismiss Spell Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to dismiss (end) any spell that is still in effect that the character has previously cast. The character must be in control of a spell in order to dismiss it (i.e. another character has not seized control of the spell – see ARRGS – Magic). If another character is in control of the spell, you must first usurp control of that spell using the Counterspell Manoeuvre. If a spell is dismissed it ends immediately unless noted otherwise.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: No

Miscellaneous Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to perform an unspecified interaction with an object or the environment. It includes actions such as picking up an object, dropping to the floor, drawing a weapon, strapping a shield to your forearm, opening a door, shoving a crate, sliding down a bannister, swinging from a chandelier. Some of these interactions may require a Skill Check (as determined by the GM) in order for the interaction to be successful.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Most Miscellaneous Manoeuvres do not provoke Opportunity Actions unless the interaction requires a Skill Check to determine success.

Mount Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to mount or dismount a creature that is one Size Category larger than himself (larger creatures may require scaling/climbing first in order to perform this manoeuvre and as such will require an appropriate Skill Check and possibly a Movement Manoeuvre to move up the creature. This manoeuvre is also used to begin piloting a vehicle.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Movement Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to move up to his Movement Speed (multiplied by his current Acceleration Rate) in a chosen Movement Category that he possesses and can use. The character may move through any square that is not impassable and must end his movement in a square that is unoccupied or contains a creature 3 Size Categories or more difference in size.

Performing a Movement Manoeuvre requires a Skill Check to determine success (Athletics or Acrobatics for Walking, Climbing, and Flying, Athletics for Swimming and Burrowing), although this Skill Check is most often resolved passively when using a character’s Natural Movement category.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Performing the Movement Manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions whenever a character leaves or enters another square.

Ready Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to save up his Action Points, to be used at a later time essentially swapping his Action Points for Additional Action Points. Normally Immediate Actions require a trigger to be used (usually when an Opportunity is provoked), but in this instance the character may decide upon his own trigger (such as if a certain opponent begins casting a spell, or if an opponent uses the Charge Manoeuvre)

Using the Ready Manoeuvre does not alter a character’s Initiative Slot in any way, it merely allows the character to gain Additional Action Points and use them when he desires.

Opportunity Actions: Performing the Ready Manoeuvre does not provoke Opportunity Actions by itself, although the manoeuvre performed as an Immediate Action as a result of the Ready Manoeuvre might provoke Opportunity Actions.

Reload Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to reload a crossbow, sling, firearm, or other weapon that requires a semi-complex procedure to make it ready for use again (as indicated by the weapon).

Action Points: 1 (or more as indicated by the weapon)

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Reposition Manoeuvre

The Reposition Manoeuvre allows the character to replace the effects (usually damage) of a melee Attack Manoeuvre (made as part of an Attack Manoeuvre, or Charge Manoeuvre) , and instead move an opponent in a direction of his choosing.

The character must perform a melee Attack Check against an opponent’s Reflex Defence Check as normal. If the Attack Check result is greater than or equal to the reaction Defence Check result, then the character may move his opponent 1 square per 5 points that his Attack Check result exceeded the Defence Check result, in any chosen direction away from himself. If this Manoeuvre is used as part of the Charge Manoeuvre, then the opponent must be moved in the direction of the charge.

You may not move your opponent through impassable terrain or solid objects. If the opponent is moved into a square occupied by another solid object (or creature) of one size category less or greater, then both suffer 1d6 loss of Vitality (Bludgeoning Damage Type) and the movement of the opponent ends.

You may not perform the Reposition Manoeuvre against a creature 2 size categories or more larger than yourself.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Performing the Reposition Manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions. The creature being moved as a result of this manoeuvre provokes Opportunity Actions as normal for leaving and entering squares.

Sidestep Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to move 1 square (and only 1 square), ignoring all penalties to Movement Speed, but not conditions that prevent all movement (such as the Immobile or Helpless conditions).

Action Points1

Opportunity Actions: No

Standup Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to stand up, thereby removing the Prone condition.

Action Points: 1

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Sunder Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to replace the effects of an Attack Manoeuvre that would normally deal damage (Melee, Ranged, Spell), and instead deal that damage to an item the target is wearing.

The character must perform an Attack Check against the target’s Defence Check as normal and appropriate for the type of attack. If the Attack Check result is greater than or equal to the reaction Defence Check result, then the character may deal all the damage to an item of his choosing carried by the opponent.

The character must choose an item that is visible, and not hidden within another item (like a backpack, although he can deal damage to the backpack). This manoeuvre may not be used with Area Attacks, and may only be used with an attack that deals damage to a single, targeted individual.

Items that suffer 50% damage gain the Broken condition. Items that suffer 100% damage are destroyed.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Trip

This manoeuvre allows the character to replace the effects of a melee Attack Manoeuvre that would normally deal damage , and instead trip the opponent, causing them to gain the Prone condition.

The character must perform an Attack Check against the target’s Reflex Defence Check as normal. If the Attack Check result is greater than or equal to the reaction Defence Check result, then the opponent is knocked to the floor and gains the Prone condition.

An opponent receives a +1 Circumstance modifier to his Defence Check for each additional leg it possesses above 2. Certain weapons grant the attacker a Circumstance bonus to Checks made to perform the Trip Manoeuvre.

Action Points: Yes

Opportunity Actions: Yes

Major Failure: You gain the Prone condition instead of your opponent.

Withdraw Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre allows the character to move up to his Movement Speed away from the nearest enemy (or largest group of enemies). as per the Movement Manoeuvre This does not provoke any Opportunity Actions for the movement.

Action Points: 2

Opportunity Actions: Performing the Withdraw manoeuvre does not provoke Opportunity Actions at any point during the movement (even if he enters or leaves a square in another combatant’s Threat Range.

Swift Actions

Swift Actions represent an increased expenditure of effort and energy, performed within a shorter span of time than a Standard Action. A Swift Action can be performed at any point within a character’s turn (not during another character’s turn – that requires an Immediate Action).

A Swift Action may only be performed if the character has any Additional Action Points left, and reduces the number of Additional Action Points by the amount the Manoeuvre indicates. Using a Swift Action may incur a cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty to all subsequent checks if the character has exceeded the use of 3 Action Points or 3 Additional Action Points in a round.

A character may perform any manoeuvre from the list of Standard Actions, plus any additional Swift Action manoeuvres he possesses as a result of his Class or Universal Options, or spells affecting him, or any items that he has equipped.

Immediate Actions

Immediate Actions represent an even greater expenditure of effort and energy than Swift Actions. An Immediate Action can be performed at any point within a round, even during another character’s (ally or enemy) turn. In order to use an Immediate Action, first a trigger must be met (usually when Opportunity is provoked, but can also be defined by the Manoeuvre to be performed).

A character need simply announce his intention to perform an Immediate Action when the trigger is met, the most common use for performing an Immediate Action is when an opponent provokes an Opportunity Action.

An Immediate Action may only be performed if the character has any Additional Action Points left, and reduces the number of Additional Actions by the amount indicated on the Manoeuvre. Performing an Immediate Action causes the loss of 1 point of Vitality and may incur a cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty to all subsequent checks if the character has used more than 3 Action Points or Additional Action Points (in any combination) that round

A character may only perform manoeuvres from the list below, plus any additional Immediate Action manoeuvres he possesses as a result of his Class or Universal Options, or spells affecting him, or any items that he has equipped.

The Ready Manoeuvre allows a character to perform any defined Standard Action as an Immediate Action (and allows him to convert Action Points to Additional Action Points in order to do so) whenever his predefined trigger (chosen at the point of performing the Ready Manoeuvre) is met.

Opportunity Manoeuvre

The Opportunity Manoeuvre may only be performed when an opponent provokes an Opportunity. Opportunity manoeuvres are an attempt to interrupt the opponent’s action.

A character may perform any manoeuvre from the list of Standard Action manoeuvres that can target and affect the opponent provoking the Opportunity. The manoeuvre chosen must be within range of the opponent (choosing a melee Attack Manoeuvre to interrupt an opponent 5 squares away is not possible unless the target is within your current Threat Range), and must not provoke Opportunity Actions itself.

If the Opportunity Manoeuvre performed prevents the target from performing the manoeuvre that provoked the Opportunity Action originally (by inflicting the Unconscious or Stunned condition or killing him outright), then the original Action that provoked the Opportunity is wasted (i.e. it is used up, but without effect).

When the Opportunity Manoeuvre is finished, the flow of play returns to the character that originally provoked the Opportunity Action and he may continue the rest of his turn as normal (if he is able). If his original Action was successfully interrupted then he is considered to have used that Action but performed nothing with it, he may continue to use other Actions if available.

Appendix

Ability Modifier: An Ability modifier is the total modifier of a character’s ability score.

Assisted Modifier: An Assisted modifier is always a bonus provided by someone or something other than the Action or Reaction being performed. For example being proficient in skills can provide an Assisted bonus in other Skill checks. Actions performed by other characters in combat can assist others and provide an Assisted bonus. Certain items can also provide an Assisted bonus when used.

Augmented Modifier: The Augmented modifier in combat can be determined by a variety of things, usually as a result of Template Options or augmentations that increase a character’s performance in specific circumstances, most often however, the Augmented modifier is provided by magic items or tech items used or worn by the character.

Check Penalty: A Check Penalty is a penalty applied to all checks (Action and Reaction), usually as a result of characters wearing armour, which exhausts the body and mind and thus affects all checks (Skill, Attack, Defence, etc).

Difficult Terrain [n]: Difficult Terrain applies a penalty to the Movement Speed to any character moving into that square, equal to the value [n] in parenthesis.

Inherent Modifier: An Inherent modifier is usually applied as a result of Options that increase the natural capability of a character. Class and Universal Options usually provide Inherent modifiers to checks.

Magic Modifier: The Magic modifier is provided by magic spells cast upon the character during combat.

Circumstance Modifiers: There are other modifiers that can be applied to checks during combat, however these types of modifier are not applicable in all situations.

Range Modifier: Attacks performed at range have a Range Increment; a number of squares distance outside of which it becomes more difficult to attack. For every Range Increment of distance (in squares) beyond the first, the character suffers a cumulative -2 Circumstance penalty to the Attack check.

Size Modifier: Size modifiers are applied due to very large or very small sizes of creatures which makes certain actions more or less difficult.

Large creatures apply the Size Modifier as a bonus to all Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma checks (including related rolls such as damage), they apply the Size Modifier as a penalty to all Dexterity checks (including related rolls such as damage).

Smaller creatures apply the Size Modifier in the opposite manner (Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma as a penalty, and Dexterity as a bonus.

This means that large creatures are better at attacking and dealing damage, while smaller creatures are better in Reflex Defence. If all creatures are the same size there is little point in applying the size modifier because all creatures will be boosted and penalised equally.

Magnitude Modifier: A Magnitude modifier is a more extreme version of the Size modifier (and replaces it when creatures of different magnitudes are involved in the Action-Reaction), and represent a difference in size and technological or magical development that is 10 or more times greater than normal. Creatures normally range in size from 10 cm to a hundred feet, however, what happens when characters try to fight truly microscopic enemies or a tank or an aircraft carrier, or a spaceship the size of a country, or a lesser or greater or even over deity. The end result is the magnitude modifier, applied in place of a Size modifier as a multiplier (or divisor) of between x2 and x5 (a multiplied of x1 is applied for those of the same magnitude and is thus ignored as it does not modify the result). When all other modifiers have been added, multiply the result by the magnitude modifier to obtain the final Check Result. A x2 magnitude multiplier might be applied to a car or tank, a magnitude multiplier of x3 might be applied to an aircraft carrier, a magnitude multiplier of x4 might be applied to a star destroyer sized spaceship. Ultimately the size of the magnitude multiplier is up to the GM and is a combination of technology difference and size. As a general rule larger (or greater) opponents find it harder to attack smaller (or lesser) opponents and so apply a divisor to their Attack and Damage checks, larger opponents also find it harder to perform Reflex Defence checks against Smaller opponents, and find it easier to perform Willpower and Fortitude Defence checks against Smaller opponents. The rules are opposite for Smaller opponents who find it easier (and thus apply multipliers) to Attack, Damage, and Reflex checks against Larger opponents, while finding it more difficult (and thus apply divisors) to Fortitude and Willpower Defence checks.

Tech Modifier: The Tech modifier is provided items used by the character to perform the action in question.

Threat Range: Divided into Minimum and Maximum values, the Threat Range is the distance (in squares) around himself, that a character threatens. When a combatant within the minimum and maximum Threat Range performs an Action that provokes Opportunity Actions, the character may exploit the opportunity and take action against him (by performing an Opportunity Action with the combatant as the target).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s