V: Crushing Combat!

This Chapter tells you every single thing you need to know about how to MAKE A FEW DOZEN CORPSES. Bashing stuff is one of the cornerstones of any adventure, and every combat follows the Phases presented below.

Phase One: Initiative
Everyone involved in the combat rolls an Initiative test. This is a Senses (Agility) Skill roll (If you don’t have the Senses skill, then simply roll an Agility test). The order of Initiative goes from highest to lowest. Ties are always won by the player. Initiative is rolled only at the start of battle, with the same order being used for the entire combat.

Phase Two: Take Action!
During your turn, you gain a FULL ACTION, which can be broken up into two HALF-ACTIONS. On your turn, you can either take two Half-Actions, or one Full Action. While the following list is not all inclusive, it gives some ideas on what the various actions can be used for.

With a Full Action you can…
-Take a five foot step and attack someone
-Defend yourself in combat, granting Disadvantage to all attacks made against you until your next turn
-Activate a Secret that requires a Full Action (if you have the Mystical Blood Boon)

With a Half-Action you can…
-Draw or sheathe 1 Weapon
-Draw or stow 1 Shield
-Use an item (Drink a potion, activate an item, etc)
-Move your Speed in feet
-Stand up from a prone position
-Activate a Secret that requires a Half-Action

Example: Dave is running from the authorities once again. On his turn, he gets a Full Action and ponders his options. Dave can either stand and FIGHT THE MAN using his switchblade (A Full Action), or turn tail and run as fast as he could in a full retreat (using two Half-Actions to move double his speed), or take some more steroids (a Half Action to use an item) and then stash the steroids up his butt when he inevitably gets captured (another Half Action to use another item), OR he could take some more Steroids (a Half Action) and then turn and run 30 Feet (using his other Half Action as a Move Action). Whatever will Dave do?

Phase Three: Damage
Each weapon has a damage die type. The larger the weapon, the more potential damage it can do to someone, and therefore, the larger the damage die type used. When you hit someone in combat, you roll the damage of your weapon and add (or subtract) any relevant modifiers to that roll. No matter how many penalties you might have to a damage roll, a successful attack will always deal at least 1 damage, even if a negative result is rolled.

·         Light Melee Weapons: If your close combat weapon deals d6 damage or less, you would add your Strength or Agility modifier to the damage roll with this weapon (whichever one is better for you). Lighter weapons benefit from accuracy more so than brute force. Any melee weapons that deal d8 or more damage add your Strength modifier to all attack and damage rolls.
·         Ranged Attacks: Mostly all Ranged weapons add the user’s Agility modifier to all attack and damage rolls, unless you are using a throwing weapon that is bulky, like a throwing hammer or ball and chain. In that case, add your Strength modifier to all damage rolls.

Triumphs in combat: If you Triumph on your attack roll, roll damage twice and use the highest result.

Blunders in combat: If you Blunder on your attack roll, you lose your next action. Perhaps you accidentally toss away your weapon and need to retrieve it, or you lose your balance so badly that you need some time to recover. Until you act next, all attacks made against you gain Advantage, as you have just become an easy target.

Ranged Weapons in Close Combat: Generally speaking, it is difficult to shoot at someone when they are engaged in close combat with you. Ranged Combat attacks made against targets engaged in close combat with you suffer Disadvantage. You can take the Steady Aim Edge to negate this penalty, though!

Taking Energy damage represents small bruises, cuts, and non-lethal blows, while Wounds signify more serious and even life-threatening damage. Whenever you take damage, as long as your Energy Pool is not reduced to 0, you are banged up and maybe a bit worse for wear, but generally unharmed. When your Energy pool is reduced to 0, you are in danger of suffering Wounds. Stars can suffer 3 Wounds safely. Upon suffering a 4th Wound, they are Knocked Out.

Whenever you take damage that would reduce your Energy Pool to less than 1, you are in danger of suffering a Wound. When this happens, roll an Endurance Test. The Difficulty of this test is equal to the amount of damage remaining that was not “paid” in Energy.  If you succeed at this roll, then you do not suffer a Wound and are still in the fight. If you fail this roll, then you mark off a Wound on your Character sheet.

Example: Dave is being beaten by a woman who has enthusiastically rebuffed his crude affections. Dave has 2 Energy remaining in his Energy Pool, and was just kicked in the nards for 25 damage. 2 of this 25 damage was “Paid” in Energy, but Dave has 23 damage left to account for. Dave must succeed at an Endurance test at difficulty 23. If he succeeds, he does not take a Wound. If Dave fails this roll, he suffers one Wound. Ouch!

Triumphs and Wounds: If a Triumph attack would cause you to make a Wound Check, then you automatically fail the Wound Check (don’t even roll) and take a Wound. Triumph attacks are serious business!

Effects of having 0 Energy: When your Energy pool is reduced to 0, you cannot spend Luck Points for any reason. Youch!

Common Folks and Wounds: Whenever an Extra is reduced to 0 Energy, they are immediately Knocked Out or killed (Attacker’s choice). These cannon-fodder are rarely challenges for true heroes! Only the toughest adversaries (Stars and Co-Stars) should be able to Suffer Wounds. Co-Stars can suffer 1 Wound safely, and are immediately Knocked Out when they suffer a second Wound. Extras have 5 Energy, no matter their Endurance Score, and Co-Stars have 25 Energy, no matter their Endurance Score.

Healing Energy while Wounded: You cannot regain Energy in any way as long as you are suffering from any Wounds. You must heal any and all Wounds you are currently suffering from before your Energy pool begins to recharge.

If you ever suffer a fourth Wound, you are Knocked Out. Chances are you will wake up strapped to some perilous death trap, or kidnapped by some nefarious villain or creature. When you become Knocked Out, you remain so for 11 Hours minus your Endurance Stat Score, or until you are revived by someone with medical training. Anyone with at least 1 level in the Heal Skill can spend a Full Action to revive a Knocked Out patient. A Knocked Out person awakes with 3 Wounds and 0 Energy.

Lasting Injury: Each time you are Knocked Out due to sustaining 4 Wounds, your character gains a lasting souvenir of the encounter, whether it be a nasty scar, or even a severed limb in a setting where such injuries can be healed using magic or technology. This quest to heal a severed limb should be the focus of an adventure all its own. If a Player Character is Knocked Out, allow them to choose whether they want a scar or more dramatic injury. Players who choose to lose a hand in defeat and choose to go on a grand quest to seek a mystical healing spring that can regrow that hand should be rewarded with +2 Bonus Experience for adding some drama to the adventure. This Bonus Experience is applied to EACH adventure that the character gets through with their harrowing injury, and this Experience boost is lost when the Wound is healed.

Character Death: Your character is a Star, and all Stars are potent heroes with unlimited potential, and it takes a lot to truly kill off a person like that. Stars don’t normally die unless they sacrifice themselves in a truly selfless manner or through some vastly extraordinary circumstance. This doesn’t mean that you should carelessly fling yourself into battle against incredible odds or take truly stupid risks just because “You’re a Hero”, but a real Star should never die in some petty skirmish or because of a few bad dice rolls.

Heroes are special people who can use sheer determination and willpower to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Once per day, you can spend a Free Action to use a Second Wind, immediately regaining 3d4 Energy. You cannot use a Second Wind if you are currently suffering from even any Wounds.

Lost Energy isn’t gone forever, and returns over time. There are several ways to regain Hit Energy…

-Natural Healing: 8 Hours of uninterrupted rest and relaxation automatically refills your entire Energy Pool to its maximum. You cannot do anything strenuous during this time.

-Medical Care: If you are under the care of someone with the Heal skill, you can regain Energy (and possibly Wounds) much faster than healing normally. Check out the description of the Heal Skill for more in depth rules.

-Healing Items: You can immediately regain lost Energy and heal inflicted Wounds by making use of a Healing Item (Healing Potions, Stimpaks, etc). The stronger the Healing Item, the more Energy you regain. Healing Items are detailed fully in the Equipment section for your particular setting.

Look, man, I’m not really interested in compiling an enormous list of every sort of weapon that you might possibly stumble upon in whatever whacko game you are playing, okay? So, let’s do this nice and simple-like…

Weapons are categorized into damage die types, as presented below. Your specific setting will have a more detailed list of the available weapons that are likely to be wielded according to your setting, but here is a general guideline.

Melee Weapons
·         1 damage: Unarmed attacks (add Strength or Agility Modifier to attack and damage rolls)
·         D4 damage (Cost-25): Switchblade, Dagger, Brass Knuckles, Baton, Small Club, Whip, etc  (add Strength or Agility Modifier to attack and damage rolls)
·         D6 damage (Cost-50): Shortsword, Rapier, Combat Knife, Bowie Knife, Light Mace, Staff, etc  (add Strength or Agility Modifier to attack and damage rolls)
·         D8 damage (Cost-100): Longsword, Heavy Mace, Spear, Machete, Battle Axe, etc  (add Strength Modifier to attack and damage rolls)
·         D10 damage (Cost-250): Trident, Halberd, etc  (add Strength Modifier to attack and damage rolls)
·         D12 damage (Cost-500): Greatsword, Greataxe, Greatclub, Lance, etc  (add Strength Modifier to attack and damage rolls)

Basic Ranged Weapons
·         D4 damage (Cost-25): Sling, Throwing Star, etc
·         D6 damage (Cost-50): Javelin, Throwing Hammer, Shortbow, etc
·         D8 damage (Cost-100): Longbow, etc
·         D10 damage (Cost-250): Crossbow, Black Powder Pistol, etc
·         D12 damage (Cost-500): Black Powder Rifle, etc

Advanced Ranged Weapons
·         2d4 damage (Cost-250): Light Pistol, etc
·         2d6 damage (Cost-500): Average Pistol, Submachine Gun, Shotgun, etc
·         2d8 damage (Cost-750): Heavy Pistol, Hunting Rifle, Assault Rifle, etc
·         2d10 damage (Cost-1,000): Sniper Rifle, Heavy Assault Rifle, etc
·         2d12 damage (Cost-1,500): Bazooka, Rocket Launcher, etc

Weapon Qualities
Not all weapons are created equally, and just because a weapon shares the same damage die as another doesn’t mean that they function in a similar capacity! Listed below are Weapon Qualities that can be applied to whatever arsenals your campaign allows.

Brittle: Normally applied to improvised weapons that are not made to serve as permanent combat implements, such as shovels, wooden baseball bats, or pool cues. On a Triumph OR Blunder attack, this weapon shatters into a useless explosion of splinters and is rendered useless.

Versatile: This weapon can be used either one or two handed. Using a Versatile weapon two handed adds more oomph to attacks made with the weapon (at the cost of using a second hand) and deals +1 damage.

Two-Handed: You must use two hands to use this weapon normally. This does not grant the +1 bonus to damage for using a Versatile Weapon two handed.

Bulky: This weapon is abnormally hefty. You must have a Strength score of 6+ to wield this weapon. This weapon is so unwieldy that it grants the wearer Disadvantage on all Initiative rolls. This weapon takes a Full Action to ready instead of a Half Action.

Daze: When this Weapon Triumphs on an attack roll, the target is knocked loopy, and only gains a Half Action on their next turn instead of a Full Action. Applies exclusively to blunt weapons like maces or sledgehammers.

Reload: This weapon is complex and time consuming to reload, requiring a Half-Action to be spent in order to ready it to be fired again. Mostly used for archaic weapons like Crossbows or Black Powder weapons.

Parry: This weapon is adept at being used to deflect incoming melee attacks. Applies mainly to weapons like Rapiers or Parrying daggers. Gain +1 Defense against all melee (and only melee) attacks when wielding a Parry weapon.

Radius (Number): This weapon damages all targets within (Number) feet of impact. For example, a weapon with Radius 5 deals damage to all targets within 5 feet of the area of impact. Mostly applied to grenades.

Automatic: This weapon launches numerous projectiles at the target, decreasing the chance of missing. All attack rolls made with this weapon gain Advantage. This weapon does not apply the user’s Agility Stat modifier to damage, due to the general randomness of burst-fire.

Brutal: This weapon yields particularly gruesome results and deals more damage than normal. All damage rolls with this weapon gain Advantage. Most often applies to sinister weapons designed for hacking up meat, like Machetes and Meat Cleavers. Gross…

Burn: Whenever this weapon Triumphs in combat, the target suffers 2d4 damage at the start of each of their turns for 3 turns. Applies mostly to weapons like flamethrowers.

Spread: The weapon fires in a cone, attacking and damaging all targets within said cone. Mostly used for shotguns, blunderbusses and flame throwers. Pretty much always applies to ranged weapons.

Impact: This weapon’s damage increases the closer it hits the victim. At long range, the weapon deals 3d4 damage. At normal range, this weapon deals 3d6 damage. At close range, this weapon deals 3d8 damage. Normally applies to shotguns or blunderbusses. Pretty much always applies to ranged weapons. This weapon does not apply the user’s Agility Stat modifier to damage.

Whenever someone tries to murder you in combat, the difficulty of their attack rolls is equal to your Defense. Your Defense is determined using the following formula:

·         10 + Agility OR Intellect Modifier + Armor Modifier + Shield Modifier + Bonus Modifier.

Benefits of high Stat ratings: In regards to Defense, someone with a high Agility benefits by being quicker on their feet and able to easily evade dangerous incoming attacks, where someone with a high Intellect benefits by being able to anticipate their opponent’s next attack by analyzing their attack patterns and whatnot.

The following list details the protection granted by certain levels of armor. Keep in mind that in order to wear more protective armor, you are required to purchase the Armor Training Boon.

·         Armor Modifier +1 (Cost-50): Reinforced Clothing, Cloth Armor, etc
·         Armor Modifier +2 (Cost-100): Trench Coat, Leather Armor, etc
·         Armor Modifier +3 (Cost-150): Studded Leather, etc
·         Armor Modifier +4 (Cost-200): Chain Mail Shirt, etc
·         Armor Modifier +5 (Cost-250): Full Chain Mail, etc
·         Armor Modifier +6 (Cost-300): Scale Mail, etc
·         Armor Modifier +7 (Cost-400): Half Plate, etc
·         Armor Modifier +8 (Cost-500): Full Plate, etc

Armor Restrictions: If you wear Armor with an Armor Modifier above +3, you gain Disadvantage on all rolls made to move silently or sneak about undetected. Furthermore, armor that grants you an Armor Modifier above +3 does not allow you to add your Agility Modifier to your Defense score.

Using a shield adds a straight bonus to your Defense score. If you use any kind of shield, you cannot use that hand for anything else but holding the shield.

·         Shield Modifier +1 (Cost-50): Small Shield, Buckler, etc

·         Shield Modifier +2 (Cost-100): Full Shield, etc

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