4. Combat (2)
Basically this describes the sequence when attacks are executed. Mostly this is defined by the range factor (cf. Chapter 7.3. Weapons in the Player’s Handbook). That means that the weapon with the furthest reach will be the first to attack, i.e. take the initiative. After all, a longbow certainly can attack an opponent much earlier than a shortsword.
If two weapons (and characters) have the same range factor, the players of these characters (which may include the GM) roll 1d10 each. The one with the lowest number has the initiative.
The initiative is irrelevant when parrying an attack. Whenever an attack succeeds, the character may parry, no matter what his position in the sequence of attack is.
The wielders of magic are also dependent on the sequence of attack. But theirs is a slightly different matter: Normally a wizard or priest can execute one spell or blessing per round. (Exceptions are noted in the relevant rules.)
Each spell or blessing is also assigned a range factor, so they can be easily fit into the sequence of the “regular” attacks. (Note: Since the magic system isn’t finished as of March 2001 when this book was finished, none of these range factors or the spells are available yet. We will release a special add-on as soon as the magic system is ready for use.)
If a wizard or cleric is attacked while casting a spell, he needs to roll a check whether his spell was finished prior to the attack or interrupted: For this the player of the character rolls 1d10 and adds the spell level of the current spell (or blessing level). The attacker also has to roll a 1d10. If the attack is non-magical, there is of course no spell level to add to the result.
The die with the lowest number takes the initiative. (As you can see, this puts an advantage to the good old regular weapons. Without a spell level added to the result of the roll, they naturally tend to be lower than the wizard/cleric’s roll.)
This is very important since an injury affects whether a spell or blessing can be executed. A wizard’s spell is automatically interrupted, while a cleric can roll a willpower check to see whether she can execute the blessing.
In combat, a successful attack doesn’t score equal damage all across the opponent, but rather the damage is focused on a certain body part, i.e. a hit zone. This makes quite a bit of sense: Consider that cutting open someone’s arm usually doesn’t affect the legs directly. (Of course the pain troubles the entire person.)
We have alredy mentioned the hit zones on humanoid creatures, but there are more beings on Gushémal, and each main category must have its own set of hit zones. That we will deal with in this section. Below you will find several tables for each of these categories. With these tables you can deduce which body part was hit in an attack.
To use these tables, roll two ten-sided dice. One defines the row, the other the column of each table. With these easy coordinates you can read what the character has managed to hit.
This table applies to normal humanoids of all sizes, including humans as well as alreus or dwarves.
The following table applies to creatures which are roughly humanoid but deviate from the norm. One example would be ratpeople, which have unusually powerful hindlegs and nearly useless arms.
This table applies to winged or insectoid creatures with a body length of more than 3 feet.
For these creatures you don’t require a table since they do not have more than a single hit zone. They are too small for any sensible distinctions to be made. Hitting them hard, there is a pretty good chance of killing them.
Under this category you can find any kinds of small animals, ranging from a mouse to a small dog. (And, yes, there can be reasons for attacking a small dog. The creature might have rabies or be ensorceled into a poisonous creature. Should it be a regular, healthy small dog, the GM should definitely dock any player experience points for attacking the poor little thing.)
This category begins, obviously, where the previous one stopped. Animals in this category are large enough to warrant several hit zones being assigned to them.
Their size starts roughly at a German shepherd’s dog or a wolf and includes all animals larger than these, including such as gargantuan as the thymbairs of Robhovard.
In the above tables, we have abbreviated the various hit zones. Here you will find the explanation for what each entry stands for.