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8.  Combat 

Every RPG uses rounds to denote how much time passes, and that there is a certain limit to the actions a character can take in a specific amount of time. Obviously, you can’t walk across half the continent, write a book, and learn how to speak a foreign language within half an hour.

But the ordinary rounds have no place in combat. Time seems to slow down when the adrenaline is pumping through your veins, thought and action pulse faster.

Accordingly, there are combat rounds – far shorter than the ordinary rounds, quicker and faster paced. Whereas a normal round may cover half an hour, a combat round covers something like half a minute.

 

8.1. Armed Combat

Engaging an opponent with weapons is an elementary part of every role-playing game. It’s a serious business, adventuring in a fantasy world, and you’ll be facing threats left and right. Better to face them down with a blade in your hand!

Note: This version is still in a germinating phase – meaning that combat is kept at a minimal level. The system is likely to get enhanced time and again throughout the coming months, pushing it closer to a final version that will be fully satisfactory – while still being easy and quick to learn.

8.1.1. Weapon Mastery

In order to use a weapon, a character has to learned the proper ways of employing it. Easy to understand since you can’t just go into battle with a long sword, when all you’ve used before is a kitchen knife. Or you’ve never fired a crossbow, and you expect to be a dead-shot at your first attempt.

How much you have learned to use a weapon of your choice is represented by the level of Weapon Mastery: 

  Level Price  
 

Level 1
(depends on class)

-  
 

Level 2
(1 - 50)

1,000 EP  
 

Level 3
(51 - 74)

2,500 EP  
 

Level 4
(74 - 99)

5,000 EP  
 

Level 5
(100 - 150)

10,000 EP  

Table 22: Weapon Mastery Levels and Prices

Whenever a character needs to fight with a weapon, he needs a base attack value. This value is defined by the class chosen for the character.

Each attack value and each Weapon Mastery Level apply only to the weapons category for which they were bought! A dagger and a long sword are entirely different, and therefore the character has to learn how to handle each weapon category distinctly. (On the other hand, similar weapons can be used with the same attack value. Cf. 7.3. Weapons)

A fighter has the highest attack value, i.e. 25%.

If a player wishes to increase this value, she will have to invest experience points. 50 EP will increment the attack value by 1%.

Let’s assume the player wants to raise her fighter’s base attack value from 25% to 50%. For that she will have to spend 1,250 EP. (This applies to all classes)

 

The player can only increase the character within the level of the PC’s Weapon Mastery (cf. level description above). Each class starts at level 1, with a pre-set base value:

  Class Base Attack Value  
 

Fighter

25 %  
 

Cleric

20 %  
 

Thief

15 %  
 

Wizard

10 %  

Table 23: Weapon Mastery Base Values

If the player wishes to enhance beyond level 1, he has to purchase Weapon Mastery Level 2. At this level, fighters can improve their base value on all weapons. Priests and thieves can choose 10 weapons on which their base attack may be increased, wizards can choose only 5.

On those weapons, the characters can increase their base attack up to 50%.

For further improvement in the base attack, the next Weapon Mastery Level must be purchased. This not only requires the EP listed above but also a person (PC or NPC) who has already achieved this level on the desired weapon and is willing to teach the character.

8.1.2. Defense: The Total Attack Penalty

Each character has “automatic” defenses – the armor he wears, his agility, or perhaps a kind of magical protection. The composite of this is called the total attack penalty. An opponent has to get through this in order to strike a successful blow.

You have to add the following:

·         The attack penalty of the armor (cf. 7.4. Armor)

·         The character’s agility bonus (cf. 3.2. Agility)

·         Any kind of magical protection

The sum is the total attack penalty.

 

An example: A character is wearing leather armor (AP = 15), has an agility value of 46 (agility bonus = 4), and has no magical protection of any kind (0):

15 + 4 + 0 = 19

So the character has a total attack penalty of 19.

 

8.1.3. Attacking an opponent

When a character attacks another one, two values have to be compared to see whether the attack is successful – i.e. the character hits his target.

The first is the attack value (see above), the second the total attack penalty. Subtract the total attack penalty from the attack value, then roll a percentage check against the result.

 

For instance, let’s say the character has an attack value of 55. His opponent has a total attack penalty of 17. We subtract 17 from 55:

55 – 17 = 38

The character has to roll a percentage of 38 or below to strike successfully.

 

Note: You have to announce which body part you are attacking. As you can see in the character sheet, each character’s hit points are spread across several body parts – or sections, if you will. There is the head, the arms, the legs, and the torso. Each has its own amount of hit points and can be hit separately.

8.1.4. Parrying an attack

After an attack has passed the total attack penalty, there’s still one more line of defense left: the parry. That means the character uses his weapon to try and deflect the blow.

There is only one possible parry per combat round. That also means, should the character be assailed by more than one attack per combat round, he can only try to parry a single attack! The player has to choose and announce which attack is parried.

 

To find out whether the parry was successful, roll a percentage check against half the attack value of your weapon – the one with which you parry. (The attacking weapon is not important.)

For example, if your defending weapon has an attack value of 55, your parry value is at 27 (rounded down). So you have to roll 27 or below to have your parry succeed.

If it does, your character takes no damage. Otherwise your opponent may roll the damages, and you have to deduct the hit points from your character sheet.

 

8.1.5. Rolling for damage

Every weapon has been assigned a damage value. (You can read them in the table in 7.3. Weapons.)

A battle axe, for instance, causes a 2d10+4 damage. That means you roll 2 ten-sided dice, take the sum and add another 4 points on top. That is the amount of hit points that you have to deduct from your character’s hit points in the assigned body part.

If your opponent rolls, say, an 8 first, then a 6, the sum is 14. To that you’ll have to add 4:

8 + 6 = 14

14 + 4 = 18

That means, the assigned body part has just taken 18 hit points worth of damage.

8.1.6. Range or Who gets to attack first

As you have noticed when reading the list of weapons (cf. 7.3. Weapons), each is assigned a range factor. This factor implies how far the weapon can reach – a crossbow obviously has a wider range than a sword. Therefore it can cause damage long before the blade can get close enough to reach its target.

The highest range factor always opens a combat round.

If two or more weapons have the same range factor, the players roll out the sequence with a 1d10 roll.

 

Take note that projectile weapons (SH) cannot be used in close combat, except as blunt weapons. (And slamming your precious longbow over an opponent’s head won’t do much to enhance its value, so you’d better keep them out of the fight.)

 

8.1.7. How many hit points do I have anyway?

To determine the hit points of your character, you need to do a few calculations first. The hit points are a combination of the attributes Strength, Constitution and Agility.

First add the attribute values. Note the sum, it is the total sum of your hit points.

Please note that your character has hit points for several parts of the body. (Take a look at the schematic figure in the character sheet, you’ll see how the figure is divided.) There is a table next to it which lists each body part and the percentage of the total sum:

  • Head:          10%

  • Torso:          40%

  • Arm (each): 10%

  • Leg (each):  15%

  • TOTAL       100%

That means the hit points for e.g. the head are 10% of the total sum.

Calculate the hit points for each body part and note it in the sheet.

 

Example:

A character has the following attribute values:

  • STR:...   35

  • CON:... 56

  • AGI:...   62

The sum of these values is 153.

 

According to the table, the head has 10% of these 153 hit points, so you have to divide the total by 10:

153 / 10 = 15.3

Round the result to the next lowest integer number. In this case, that would be 15. Write that number in the head on the character sheet.

Since each arm also has 10% of the total, you can write the result (here 15) in each of the arms.

 

Each leg has 15% of the total, therefore you have to calculate:

153 / 100 * 15 = 22.95

And yes, the result is rounded down as well, to 22. Write the result in each of the legs on the character sheet.

 

The torso has 40% of the hit points – which also means that this body part accounts for all the hit points not yet spread among the other body parts.

It is very likely that there is some disparity. By rounding down all the other values, hit points can be “lost”. So you need to add up all the hit points you just wrote down and subtract that sum from the total hit points:

15 [head] + 15 + 15 [arms] + 22 + 22 [legs] = 89

153 [total hit points] – 89 = 64

Therefore, 64 is the number of hit points the torso of your character receives.

You can also check the result by calculating

153 / 100 * 40 = 61.2 (rounded down to 61)

As you can see, there are three hit points which had been “lost” before.

 

8.2. Unarmed Combat

There are no limits to unarmed combats, as far as class or race are concerned. Everyone can engage in fisticuffs, no questions asked. And most people are more adept at this than wielding a blade the right way!

Of course, a sword can cause quite a bit more damage than a fist…

 

The damages taken in unarmed combat are temporary only. After two days, all injuries are healed up.

This damage needs be noted separately from the damage taken from armed combat; they are not comparable.

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