Rules: Combat

How to kill things


One of the things this system was intended to do was speed up combat, as a result each attack is resolved with a single roll which determines if the opponent was hit and how much damage they took.

When characters are unaware of an attack the attackers difficulty is 5.

When characters are aware the combatants go in the order of most skilled first adjusted for position of advantage and held actions. In the case two characters are tied they go simultaneously unless one is holding back.

Attack roll is made against the Reflexes of the target. If the reflexes is rolled exactly the attack does the listed damage, if more is rolled the difference is added to the damage done. Once damage is calculated subtract armor rating and anything remaining is applied to the target’s hit points.

Once everyone has gone move on to the next round noting any changes in initiative order.

Often players want to do many things in a single round, this is possible but the more they do the more vulnerable they become. Defenses and attacks assume 1 action is taken (move, or attack, or ready a new weapon, or reload, or cast a spell).

A character may move up to 1/2 the listed movement and do any other action (besides move) and it counts as 1 action still.

If a character does more than 1 action, such as move full movement and make an attack they take a 1D penalty on all rolls for the round and all their defenses are lowered by 3 (1D) as well (even willpower as they are more distracted).

A character can move more than once in a round with each movement counting as another action up to a maximum of 4 moves. A character moving 4 times their listed movement and taking no other actions would take a 9 point defense penalty.

Other Actions
A character may drop a weapon freely, but to put one away or pull a new one from a typical location takes an action, as does loading a weapon. This limits the effectiveness of bows and crossbows as the require 3 to 4 actions per shot.

Casting a spell with components requires an action per component so a spell listed as requiring V, S, and M components requires three actions to cast (all three can be done in one round, but at a penalty).

Getting up from a prone position requires an action.

Improved Defense
A character taking cover gains a bonus to the reflex defense depending on how much cover they have.

Light cover like ducking behind a rock or tree give 5 points of defense.

Heavy Cover like being between parapets on a castle or using an arrow slot gives 10 points of defense.

Total cover like staying out of sight or using a protected firing port gives 15 points of defense.

Explosions and Suppression Fire
Sometimes the only real defense is to not be there in the case of fireballs and lots of machinegun fire. A character exposed in a suppression area still takes half the base damage for an attack even if their reflexes are higher than the attack value.

Using guns for area suppression creates a cone effect which is very effective at stopping enemy movement but generally consumes a lot of resources. The attacker uses an action and 5 shots of ammo per 5 foot width the suppressed area (multiple attackers can work together to suppress larger areas) and makes one attack roll which is used for everyone moving through the suppressed areas, those hit take damage as per the normal combat rules while those missed still take 1/2 the listed damage.

A character in a suppressed zone may avoid taking damage by being completely out of the line of sight, but that means not being able to make any attacks in that direction.

Spells and Explosives generally have a set value and everyone in the blast radius takes full or half damage based on their reflexes (area spells don’t get extra damage for casting rolls like targeted spells do). If a creature has Spell Resistance the cast check must be compared to it and if the cast check is lower the creature takes no damage (this only applies to spells and not to conventional explosives).


When a character (player or npc) drops below 1/2 hit points they become bloodied dropping speed and all skills to 1/2 (3D becomes 1D+2) until the character is healed back to over 1/2 hit points.

Burst Fire
A character may fire bursts from full auto weapons, a burst uses 5 shots and adds increases the roll to hit by 1D (usually increasing damage done as well).

Vehicle Combat
A person operating a vehicle making evasive maneuvers uses their vehicle operation skill modified by the vehicle’s size and handling as a reflexes defense (Fine+8, Dimunitive+4, Tiny+2, Small+1, Large-1, Huge-2, Gargantuan-4, Colossal-8, Colossal II-16, Colossal III-32, Colossal IV-64).

Characters in a vehicle may attack from the vehicle but take a penalty equal to the vehicles movement (cautious = 0D, Standrad = -1D, Double = -2D, Tripl -3D, Quadruple -4D, evasive maneuvers another -2D).

Position of Advantage
When an armed character faces an unarmed character they get a 1D bonus for advantage. When both opponents are unarmed the large opponent gets the advantage. When one opponent is behind the other they get the advantage (assuming the target is aware, but can’t turn around, if unaware the target gets no defense instead).

Held Action
If you declare an action to be triggered by a future even you take that action simultaneously with the triggering event when it occurs (If anyone moves I shoot the hostage, I’m going to shoot anything moving in that door/window, etc.).

Aiming is an example of taking your time, you spend one round not moving or fighting to carefully line up a shot giving a 1D bonus to hit (can be done with melee assuming the target is unaware or can’t move).

Rules: Combat

Arcane Empire Gcconklin