In tactical situations, the differences between the characters and their foes, their skills and physical resources are thrown into sharp focus. From the beginning to the end of any tactical sequence, the movements and actions of the characters must be accounted for so that all are held to the same standards to ensure that the relative capabilities of each are represented accurately on both sides. Every character and beast involved in a tactical or combat situation is described by the same Tactical Attributes: Zone of Control ( Zone ), Initiative Modifier, Rate of Action, Movement Rates, Physical Resistance, Magick Resistance, depending on the GM, perhaps also Body Points .
Zone of Control (Zone)
Your character’s Zone of Control, or Zone, is the approximate area he occupies on the Tactical Display. It describes the space in which your character is assumed to be dancing and shifting about and making small, simple maneuvers like a single (but significant) sidestep, advance or back step while still remaining relatively in the same place for the purposes of battle.
It is very important to understand that your character is NOT the marker or figure used to represent his Zone on the tactical display.
Your character’s Zone of Control is defined by his Reach.
Reach = [(STA, raw) ÷ 4]
This measure is treated as a diameter, in feet.
Your character’s Zone of Control also determines the size of the circle or octagon (GM’s discretion, see “Preparing for Battle“) you must cut to use as the base for mounting the marker or metal miniature figure you are going to use to track your character’s whereabouts on the Tactical Display during tactical contests\armed combat.
To calculate this, (Zone x 25) = base size in Skirmishing scale (25mm); (Zone x 10) = base size in 10mm scale and (Zone x 5) = base size in 5mm scale.
The base Zone figure is used one its own primarily for the purposes of wielding weapons of Size 1 (one) or for unarmed combat: Pummeling (Boxing) and other attacks with body parts like kicks and kneeing and for Grappling/Wrestling.
Zone plus Weapon Size together determine the requirements and restrictions on engaging foes in battle, although the specific type of weapon may also influence the rules for use in engagement.
It is very important to understand that your character is NOT the marker or figure used to represent his Zone on the tactical display. Your character is no chess piece to sit idly in the middle of the space he controls, but is assumed to be constantly drifting and moving about in his Zone, shifting and looking about to keep track of both comrades and opponents. This is considered to be especially true when engaged in battle in the melée, dancing from side to side, shuffling forward and back in response to his opponents movements, always on the move himself, as anyone would be who is engaged in a contest that has life-or-death consequences.
Your character’s Zone may be restricted on the sides when the character fights in formation, shoulder-to-shoulder or back-to-back with his comrades to prevent his opponents from making flanking attacks, or when he is hemmed in fighting in narrow confines, such as in an alley or hallway.
Rate of Action (RoA)
The Rate of Action defines the amount of time your character requires to complete and recover from an “action” of some kind (a somewhat amorphous concept the GM can get a good grasp on by looking over the roster of allowed actions, and of fractional actions that can be combined, in rules under Tactical Play & Armed Combat, following), so he may act again as soon as his body’s resources allow. These rules emphasize the fact that time is of the essence in these situations and the character’s are racing against those who would oppose them and see them maimed or dead rather than allow them to succeed. The higher your character’s AGL, the shorter the length of time he naturally requires to complete his actions, and by virtue of this fact, the more often he is able to move/act again, continuously. Since native speed is governed by AGL (dictates Movement rates), some characters naturally get to act more frequently than their slower counterparts. This is especially true of a great many beasts, most of which are faster than the standard set by/for human folk.
Tactical situations and combat are conducted in a continuous series of Pulses, each roughly one second each in game world time, so the time needed to accomplish various tasks, including moving from point to point across the Tactical Display, are governed and tracked by these means.
RoA’s are based on a standard of 10 Pulses for the average man to complete an action, derived from the fact that a skilled archer can nock and fire a bow with accuracy roughly 6 times per minute (60 seconds ÷ 6 actions = 10 Pulses).
Pulses are used to regulate the characters so their actions and movements mesh in a way that reflects the simultaneous, continuous, and especially their overlapping nature in as realistic a manner as possible while still imposing enough order on what is inherently a chaotic situation for the GM and players to be able to keep track of what is happening as it develops.
They are commonly counted or referred to in groups of 10, each equaling a Combat Segment, 6 to a minute, but CS’s don’t normally affect the flow of time in tactical game play except in a general fashion, to determine how long a battle took or is taking, or to count the duration of a number of effects of magickal charms, and the more lengthy incidences of special effects like Bleeding, Stun and Unconsciousness in play. It is suggested in Preparing for Battle that the GM take a pen or highlighter of some sort and mark every 10th row of boxes on the Time Sheet used to track the characters involved so he can reference this information at a glance.
In order to determine a character’s RoA, read the result listed for the character’s AGL score, in the “AGL” column of table 7-1.
7-1. Rate of Action, by AGL
|AGL||Rate of Action|
|1||1 action every 60th Pulse (6th CS, or minute)|
|2||1 action every 30th Pulse (3rd CS)|
|3||28 per action|
|4||26 per action|
|5||24 per action|
|6||22 per action|
|7||1 action every 20th Pulse (2nd CS)|
|8||18 Pulses per action|
|9||16 Pulses per action|
|10||14 Pulses per action|
|11||12 Pulses per action|
|12-14||10 Pulses per action|
|15-17||9 Pulses per action|
|18-20||8 Pulses per action|
|21-23||7 Pulses per action|
|24-26||6 Pulses per action|
|27-29||5 Pulses per action|
|30-32||4 Pulses per action|
|33-35||3 Pulses per action|
|AGL||Rate of Action|
|36-38||2 Pulses per action|
|39-41||1 action every Pulse|
|42-47||+1 every 10th Pulse|
|48-53||+1 every 9th Pulse|
|54-59||+1 every 8th Pulse|
|60-65||+1 every 7th Pulse|
|66-71||+1 every 6th Pulse|
|72-77||+1 every 5th Pulse|
|78-83||+1 every 4th Pulse|
|84-89||+1 every 3rd Pulse|
|90-95||+1 every 2nd Pulse|
|96-100||2 actions every Pulse|
See also “The Order of Play” and “Character Actions,” in the rules for combat for a complete run-down of the rules governing character actions and the proper use of the RoA in tactical contests and combat situations.
Initiative Modifier (Init. Mod.)
During the course of all tactical situations or armed battles, the order in which the participants get to take their turns in play is established by a die roll, but this is not sufficient to the cause in and of itself. While the degree to which one is ready to act under such conditions is not a guaranteed constant, the character’s native attributes should always have a direct effect on that readiness. This accomplished by means of the Initiative Modifier.
The character’s Initiative Modifier is equal to (AWA att. mod. + HRT att. mod.). INIT Mod. = AWA Mod + HRT Mod
This is added to the die roll every time an Initiative roll is made, at the beginning of each CS.
Physical Resistance (P-RES)
The P-RES score comes into play by measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against either physical forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way. The character’s P-RES represents the character’s ability to survive extreme bodily stress and shocks without becoming numb, passing out, or dying. Such shocks would include receiving a heavy damage blow in combat, losing a limb, being exposed to extremes in temperature, being poisoned, and so on. P-RES also represents the character’s ability to maintain consciousness in the face of great pain, extreme fatigue, or strain, his ability to tap the deep reserves of his body’s energy without giving in to lassitude, or to fight the lethargy caused by blood loss without sinking into unconsciousness.
Base P-RES is equal to a character’s [(CND + STR + HRT) ÷ 3].
- To this, either add 1 point for every point of (modified) STA above 20, OR subtract 1 point for every point of (modified) STA below 20, as applicable. The STA must be adjusted for Build before this modifier is applied.
- An attribute modifier must be determined for this score in the same manner used for the Primary Attribute scores (see table 4-6., previously).
- IF the character is a member of any of the Warrior or Huntsman Trades, he is granted a bonus of (1 per 4 TR’s).
Magick Resistance (M-RES)
The M-RES score comes into play measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against magickal forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way, especially those that affect his emotions, senses, or other faculties and capabilities of his physical body. The character’s M-RES is the measure of both the character’s will to survive and his maximum auric and bodily resistance to the vibrations of hostile magicks, an expression of the integrity of his soul and will to resist the unseen influences of those who would compromise him or do him harm. All magicks targeted specifically at living creatures or beings may be resisted. M-RES stands as the DV a practitioner of magick must overcome once his magick is successfully cast in order to affect his target(s), in the same manner that Defense DV’s establish the difficulty with which a foe may be struck with a weapon in battle, and resolved using exactly the same dicing method.
Base M-RES is equal to the character’s [(HRT + CHM) ÷ 2].
An attribute modifier must be determined for this score in the same manner used for the Primary Attribute scores (see table 4-6., previously).
- IF the character is a member of one of the magick-wielding trades (ANY Druid trade, Mystic, Witch or Wizard), he is granted a bonus of (trade SL) to his M-RES.
- For Hearth-Witches and Hedge-Wizards this bonus is awarded at a rate of (1 per 2 trade SL’s),.
- For WiseWomen and CunningMen this bonus is awarded at a rate of (1 point per 4 trade SL’s).
POT (The Potence of Blows)
The puissance or magnitude of an attack is called its Potence (POT): this includes melee blows, poisons, magicks, incendiaries, locks and traps, etc.
For Melée Weapons
The base POT of a blow:
- For a weapon wielded one-handed is equal to [(modified STA + STR) ÷ 4].
1-hand BASE POT = (Modified STA + STR) / 4
- For bastard swords and other hand-and-a-half weapons (GM’s discretion) it is [(modified STA + STR) 2] x 0.75.
E-rated, 1 OR 2-hand BASE POT = [(Modified STA + STR) ÷ 2] * 0.75
- For two-handed weapons it is (STR + modified STA) ÷ 2.
2-hand BASE POT = (Modified STA + STR) ÷ 2
- The Damage Bonus (DB) of the weapon used is added to this. This includes Hurled weapons.
POT of Blows = base POT + Damage Bonus of Weapon
Weapon Damage Bonus (DB)
|Damage Bonus by Size & Weight Class|
This table does not take into account the variable STR and STA of those wielding the weapons, however.
Optional Rules: Weapon Damage Multipliers
The main virtue of a weapon in combat is represented by its “Damage Multiplier” (DM). The DM governs the amount of damage inflicted by virtue of the properties of a weapon itself, a combination its edge(s) and/or point and/or weight.
The DM is determined by its Weight Class and Size (determined by the wielder’s own height), as shown on the Weapon DM table, following.
Alternately, the GM may opt to use the Damage Multipliers (DM’s) from the following table, instead, with which the Damage Bonus (DB) despite the fact they are
|Damage Modifiers by Size & Weight Class|
The DM’s are applied to the Base POT inflicted by any given weapon (according to its type) to determine how much damage the weapon itself generates in its own right,
The result is called the Damage Bonus (DB).
The DB’s for weapons even of the same type are expected to vary a bit from character to character, highlighting the fact that each weapon is crafted and chosen to both fit the wielder and take advantage of his specific CRD, STA and STR scores.
IF a character picks up a weapon for which he has skill but was not made to fit him, he may find himself inflicting less damage with it, OR find that he has a penalty to wield one made for a larger/stronger character, even if he is Abe to inflict a little more damage.
Your character most likely has a different POT for the blows struck with each specific weapon he wields, varying even more if he can wield a given weapon Either 1-handed OR hand-and-a-half.
The POT for the blows delivered with each (and for each use if a given weapon can be wielded in more than one mode) should be recorded in the spaces provided on the Character Record Sheet for the player’s easy reference during play.
The Damage Bonus (DB) generated by a DM is subtracted directly from the Damage Resistance (DR) of any armor struck when a blow is landed.
IF the foe struck wears no armor over the BP Area struck, it is simply added to the POT of the blow and subtracted from the foe’s BP’s in that area, normally
Effective weapon Size for determining DM’s and DB’s on the table above for the weapons of over-sized foes (ogres, trolls, giants, etc.) is determined by dividing actual weapon Size by [(wielder’s height, rounded to the nearest 0.25) ÷ (5.75, average human)], rounding to the nearest whole number.
Weight class remains true to the type of weapon.
In other words, the weapons of over-sized foes are related to the weapons wielded by common human folk and assigned DM’s accordingly. Applying them to the greater STA and STR scores of the larger foes generates POT in damage that accounts sufficiently for the difference in Sizes.
For Missile Weapons
Missile weapons do NOT get the benefit of character STA is determining the POT of the damage an arrow, sling shot, etc. inflicts.
- The Base POT of damage inflicted by manual bows is equal to your character’s full STR score.
- Hurled weapons and slings are allowed half this, after the fashion of weapons wielded one-handed.
- Sling staffs are allowed (STR x 0.75) in Base POT of damage.
Bows are always treated as Light in Weight Class, and granted DM’s determined by Size, normally, except in the cases of crossbows, which are mechanical devices.
The DB generated for bows (any and all types) is added as if the target were unarmored, and the total damage handled in the same manner as Piercing/Thrusting attacks.
The DM bonus some arrow types are granted is added to that normally allowed the bow in hand, applied to the Base POT in damage inflicted as a Piercing attack, normally.
The damage inflicted by crossbows is fixed due to the fact that they are machines and have to be able to be cocked and reloaded by common foot soldiers in the field. The POT of the blows they inflict is noted in the notes concerning them, following the Weapons equipment lists.
Wound Threshold/Damage “Soak”
Wound Threshold = [(modified STA) + (STR)] ÷ 10
The point at which any physical trauma is considered great enough to inflict lasting damage is called the “Wound Threshold”. It is defined in terms of Body Points, discussed previously.
A character or creature is said to “Soak” (soak-up) the BP’s in damage up to the Wound Threshold.
A character or creature can “Soak” the first [(modified STA) + (STR)] ÷ 10 points of damage inflicted on him.
The Soak is subtracted along WITH the protective value of clothing/armor (DR) worn over the AoD/BP Area struck.
Where the BP’s a character Soaks simply are not counted or recorded as damage, those points ARE included when counting the damage suffered for purposes of determining the Wind loss due to being struck (see “Determining Wounds & Their Effects” in the combat rules).
The Threshold/Soak does NOT apply when the character takes a blow directly to the flesh by means of a pointed or edged weapon, only when hit by a blunt instrument like a mace, or in the case of a Piercing attack that, by its nature, breaches the armor.
OR when the blow (regardless of the weapon/cause) has passed through armor without breaching it.
Body Points (BP’s)
For the Basic game, injuries are reduced to simple Levels of Wounding. After the character has been struck a number of times, he is assessed a Level of Wounding. The Levels of Wounding are Light Wounds, Serious Wounds, Grievous Wounds and Mortal Wounds, respectively. These are explained in detail in the rules for determining damage from successful strikes in battle, in the rules headed “Tactical Contests & Armed Combat”, following “Task Resolution”. The number of hits a character can take before he is assessed at each of these depends on how big he is (STA) and the armor he is wearing. IF this treatment strikes the GM as too simplistic, “Body Points” are provided as an alternative. Body Points are numerical values representing the amount of physical abuse a character can withstand before he falls unconscious, and/or he dies. When a character suffers an injury, no matter the circumstances, it is reflected on the Character Record Sheet by subtracting the appropriate number of points from the BP’s. BP’s are equal to the character’s [(modified STA) + (CND) + (STR att. mod.)].
BP = STA + CND + STR Mod
To these a one (1) point bonus are added per 4 trade SL’s for each of any of the Warrior or Huntsman trade, Assassin, (druid) Smith or Fiana trades, Brigand-Knave or Highwayman-Knave, Mariner, Farmer or Husbandman trades, Smith-Farrier (Craftsman-Blacksmith), Smith-Weaponsmith and/or Smith-Armorer trades, Acrobat (including those taken as Petty Skills, as applicable), or similarly physical trades in which the character has been trained (GM’s discretion).
In addition, a bonus of one (1) point is added for each of the character’s Weapon skills (NOT including crossbows), and his Brawler (etc.) skill, any and all Petty Skills with which he is equipped which appear on the roster for the Athlete bundle (as applicable), as well as the Contortionist/Escape Artist skill, and/or Shield skill.
- IF the “Wounds” system strikes the GM as too simplistic, “Body Points” are provided as an alternative. Body Points are numerical values representing the amount of physical abuse a character can withstand before he falls unconscious, and/or he dies. When a character suffers an injury, no matter the circumstances, it is reflected on the Character Record Sheet by subtracting the appropriate number of points from the BP’s.
The simplest way of handling Body Points is to deal with them as a single, undifferentiated pool, all hits being counted against that single number, and armor ratings similarly being attributed to all areas of the body equally. BP’s handled in this manner should be noted in Full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 values and recorded in the first four of the five boxes provided for BP’s on the Character Record Sheet. These correspond to the Levels of Wounding used (Light, Serious, Grievous, and Mortal). The fifth box provided is for recording damage suffered. Recorded in this fashion they can be more easily used to keep track of the character’s state of health and accurately apply any modifiers to AV’s and/or DV’s that may accrue in play.
A somewhat more complex approach to Body Points is to divide the bodies of PC and/or NPC creatures and/or beings into different areas and derive values for them from the base number, as shown on the following table.
BP’s handled in this manner should also be noted in Full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 values for each BP area and recorded in the first four of the five boxes provided for BP’s on the Character Record Sheet. These correspond to the Levels of Wounding used (Light, Serious, Grievous, and Mortal). The fifth box provided is for recording damage suffered. Recorded in this fashion they can be more easily used to keep track of the character’s state of health and accurately apply any modifiers to AV’s and/or DV’s that may accrue in play.