Phases of Play

Declaration, Movement & Resolution

The flow of time and events on the tactical display are divided between the “Declaration & Movement Phase” and “Resolution Phase” of play.

To begin the battle or tactical sequence, at the beginning of the first CS, the player representing the character at the top of the GM’s Initiative roster (or the character whose action creates a condition of Surprise, as applicablebegins the first part of the process of the “Declaration & Movement Phase”.

In this Phase, each player must announce his character’s intended action, if he has one, as the GM must do for the NPC’s, beasts, monsters, etc.

The players’ and GM’s statements indicate the course of action on which the character (PC, NPC, beast, as applicable) is embarking at that moment.

The Declaration marks the point at which an action only begins. This is why the Declaration is completed first.

Once a player or the GM announces the intended action of a PC or NPC and confirms it, that character is committed.

The action must be announced because all on the field of engagement are able to witness as he assays it, due to the fact that in most cases what he is trying to accomplish is likely to be readily apparent, at least in general terms (barring the use of subterfuge or Stealth).

This gives those who are moving and within close enough proximity of a foe a chance to change their course and take the opportunity to intercept if they can arrive before the Resolution Phase when the foe’s action is implemented and resolved, and perhaps prevent the foe’s action from being completed.

However, an action such as casting a High magick (cantrip) has no tell-tale action associated with it, allowing the PC to simply hand the GM a note in lieu of making a verbal statement.

  • IF such a character is making no physical action, it is the GM’s job to field any questions regarding that character’s action and respond that “it appears he is doing nothing at all”.
  • IF such a character is making a physical action in conjunction with the High magick, he is responsible for stating it out loud in the same manner as the rest of the characters’ players.

After the player announces his character’s desired action, his Declaration is complete and he may execute any Movement he wishes for his character, as desired. At this time the participants may move about on the tactical display, as desired, to bring them into an appropriate proximity to pursue the actions to which they have committed themselves.

The Declaration & Movement phases are conducted together for EACH character, in turn according to the Initiative Roster, until all have made their declarations and any desired movement, all participants on the Initiative roster who are eligible having taken their turns.

The Resolution Phase of play then begins.

In order according to the Initiative Roster again, the results of each stated action are addressed in the Resolution Phase, challenges are resolved (as applicable) by the rolling of dice, and the effects immediately implemented, especially any adjustments to the tactical display to reflect those effects, as needed.

ONLY those players whose characters have made actions concluded in the CS at hand that must be resolved one way or another may participate in the Resolution Phase.

A player should never be allowed to roll the dice to determine success or failure BEFORE he gets his turn according to Initiative in the Resolution Phase of play.

All actions having been dealt with, those allowed a second action in the same CS by their Rate of Action (RoA) are then handled in exactly the same fashion and order, from greatest to least using the same Initiative already established.

After those actions are resolved, those allowed a third action in the same CS are then handled. This proceeds until all actions (and movement) allowed in the CS have been announced, resolved and implemented.

A PC with multiple actions in a CS can move as desired – a little or a lot – following the Declaration for each action, as described above, normally, so long as he has not reached his maximum for the CS.

It is the player’s responsibility to keep track of the passage of time in the tactical situation and make sure that his character gets any extra actions to which the character is entitled as they come up. If he misses an opportunity, he has no one to blame but himself. The GM may aid in tracking extra actions, but the final burden rests with the player.

Once all actions allowed for the CS have been disposed of in this manner, the CS is ended.

Dice are rolled for Initiative again.

A new Initiative Roster is jotted down.

Play proceeds through the new CS again exactly as described above, then on to the next CS after that, and so on, until the objective of the conflict has been met, OR the PC’s have bested or been bested by their opponents, OR one side or the other breaks off and retreats.

The player and GM both must realize that in the case of characters that are slower than average, the “loss” of an action or the postponement of the actions allowed does NOT indicate that the character stands around in a daze doing nothing waiting to take each action. What it means is that the player must declare his character’s action in the first CS like everyone else and his character requires the length of time that must elapse until his action is allowed for him to COMPLETE it. That is what the character is occupied with during the time those around him are completing their own actions, howsoever long he must wait.

.

Movement and Actions are intended to be fluid and malleable tools for allowing inter-woven and simultaneous actions to mesh as easily as may be in a situation where only one can act at a time, each taking their turn.

Depending on the nature of the action to which a character is committed, full movement may be carried on through the duration of an Action (CS), or it may be restricted in extent (GM’s discretion). Some movements are only considered partial and are not counted against the total distance covered in a CS, and may be added to another movement or a smaller action. The Rise, Drop and Turn movements are good examples of these, and can be added on to the beginning of a normal move or used to conclude one. In the same vein, some actions are considered small enough they can be performed while pelting down the green at full speed, such as drawing a weapon, snatching or Grabbing up a readily available adjacent object in passing, or retrieving some small object from a convenient belt pouch.

The system of actions and movement are designed, however, to place constraints on slower characters so those that are quicker have a visible and noticeable advantage.

Because of a certain amount of disparity in the frequency of actions between some characters, some may seem to be effectively forced to a standstill while others continue to act. This merely reflects the differences in physical resources between them. Some are faster than others and able to accomplish more over the course of the same period of time, illustrating the ability of the quick to run circles around the slow. This effect may even be heightened by the use of magick to hasten a character’s movement.

This taking of turns in the Declaration & Movement phase, and again in the Resolution phase, is very important for the fact that using the RoA’s and Initiative of all combatants on both sides of a conflict together on the same Roster balances and intermixes the characters and their foes as fairly and realistically as possible, according to their relative scores and skills to keep conflicts that should otherwise be a relatively even match from being played out too biased in either side’s favor.

This practice, while more fair and realistic, may not allow the PC’s or their foes to engage or break away from one another as easily or cleanly as they might wish, should things go badly for either side.

The scores and skills of both PC’s and foes must be considered.

Breaking off from a foe when one has closed into the melée, and especially in close combat, may be a little more complicated than in ranged combat. It may be handled by turning and making a mad dash if one has a clear avenue of retreat, but doing so may allow the foe a parting shot as the character leaves, or provide an opportunity to pursue while still swinging on him, or allow one of his compatriots the same opportunity (as applicable). The character can always try and maneuver some sort of obstacle between himself and his foe to cover his retreat, preventing ready pursuit or reprisal, or throw some sort of obstacle over onto the foe to similarly retard pursuit or reprisal, eliminating the danger inherent in turning his back. Whether or not a character or party that has chosen to break away to retreat is then pursued is entirely up to the GM and his view of the opponents involved, their attitudes, dispositions and, of course, whether or not they think they are fast enough to catch up to the retreating PC’s and then beat them. A battle can hardly be renewed with the PC’s if their opponents cannot catch them, regardless of how badly those foes might want to take the battle to its ultimate final conclusion.

Movement and Actions are intended to be fluid and malleable tools for allowing inter-woven and simultaneous actions to mesh as easily as may be in a situation where only one can act at a time, each taking their turn.

Depending on the nature of the action to which a character is committed, full movement may be carried on through the duration of an Action (CS), or it may be restricted in extent (GM’s discretion). Some movements are only considered partial and are not counted against the total distance covered in a CS, and may be added to another movement or a smaller action. The Rise, Drop and Turn movements are good examples of these, and can be added on to the beginning of a normal move or used to conclude one. In the same vein, some actions are considered small enough they can be performed while pelting down the green at full speed, such as drawing a weapon, snatching or Grabbing up a readily available adjacent object in passing, or retrieving some small object from a convenient belt pouch.

The system of actions and movement are designed, however, to place constraints on slower characters so those that are quicker have a visible and noticeable advantage.

Because of a certain amount of disparity in the frequency of actions between some characters, some may seem to be effectively forced to a standstill while others continue to act. This merely reflects the differences in physical resources between them. Some are faster than others and able to accomplish more over the course of the same period of time, illustrating the ability of the quick to run circles around the slow. This effect may even be heightened by the use of magicks to hasten character movement.

This taking of turns in the Declaration & Movement phase and then the Resolution phase is very important for the fact that using the RoA’s and Initiative of all combatants on both sides of a conflict together on the same Roster balances and intermixes the characters and their foes as fairly and realistically as possible, according to their relative scores and skills to keep conflicts that should otherwise be a relatively even match from being played out too biased in either side’s favor. This practice, while more fair and realistic, may not allow the PC’s or their foes to engage or break away from one another as easily or cleanly as they might wish, should things go badly for either side.

The scores and skills of both PC’s and foes must be considered.

Breaking off from a foe when one has closed into the melée, and especially in close combat, may be a little more complicated than in ranged combat. It may be handled by turning and making a mad dash if one has a clear avenue of retreat, but doing so may allow the foe a parting shot as the character leaves, or provide an opportunity to pursue while still swinging on him, or allow one of his compatriots the same opportunity (as applicable). The character can always try and maneuver some sort of obstacle between himself and his foe to cover his retreat, preventing ready pursuit or reprisal, or throw some sort of obstacle over onto the foe to similarly retard pursuit or reprisal, eliminating the danger inherent in turning his back. Whether or not a character or party that has chosen to break away to retreat is then pursued is entirely up to the GM and his view of the opponents involved, their attitudes, dispositions and, of course, whether or not they think they are fast enough to catch up to the retreating PC’s and then beat them. A battle can hardly be renewed with the PC’s if their opponents cannot catch them, regardless of how badly those foes might want to take the battle to its ultimate final conclusion.