Heimr Tabletop RPG Core

Document maintainer: Brian Bors

About this document

This document is written for people familiar with the basic concepts of Role Playing and Tabletop Role Playing. No previous knowledge about Heimr is required to understand this document.

For any campaign taking place in the Heimr setting, extra documents are available in which skills, conditions, rules on character creation and rules about NPCs can be found. These documents, as well as the Heimr Tabletop RPG Core can be found at http://www.heimr.nl/rulebooks/.

Introduction

This document, the Heimr Tabletop RPG Core, features the basic rules needed to run a tabletop role playing game. This document has been designed without a specific setting or theme, so that it can be used in a variety of games from sci-fi to high fantasy. Because this document is written independent of any specific theme, it is recommended to use modules to extend this core document with additional features to include such things as weaponry, technology and armour.

The Heimr Tabletop RPG Core is designed to be fully compatible with the Heimr LARP Core, so that you can easily take characters from a tabletop game and play them in a live action role playing game. The LARP core rules, and the Tabletop core rules are based on the same concepts. The biggest difference between the LARP rules and the Tabletop RPG rules is that in Tabletop conflict is resolved using dice rolls, where as in LARP conflict is resolved by the skills of players.

Document status

This document is in development. The document as you find it on this wiki will be a living document. This document will be updated as new ideas develop. Stable playable versions of this document will be published in PDF format for people to use in their games. The version stable release is currently being prepared.

Characters

Characters in the Heimr Tabletop RPG are similar to characters created for the LARP. They have hit points, willpower, skills, conditions and items. In addition to these, the Tabletop RPG core also has two additional properties which are used in dice challenges: Attributes and abilities. Rules about Hit Points, Willpower, Skills, Condition and items can be found in the LARP rules documents but the rules for attributes and abilities are explained here as they are only used in the tabletop version of Heimr to simulate some of the challenges a LARP player would normally face with their out of character skills (like swing a foam sword).

Attributes

Attributes are fundamental properties of a character, they are relatively hard to change and train when compared to abilities and most likely won't change much during the campaign. Attributes effect every roll your character makes. You can either roll an attribute directly, or you can roll abilities, which are based on attributes. For more information on dice rolls, see Abilities. The set of six attributes mentioned below is the standard used in most Heimr roleplaying campaigns, however a DM may choose to use different sets of attributes for their campaign. For example if a campaign will gloss over combat and focus on political intrigue DM's might choose to have more social attributes (like "manipulation" or "composure") and "Strength, dexterity and stamina" might simply be folded into "Physical" and if a campaign will feature players as members of a football team, certain physical attributes that are less important in combat might come to the fore or split up from main attributes (like "Kick strength" vs "run strength" or "accuracy" vs "reflexes")

There are six attributes in the Heimr Tabletop RPG core:

Attribute Short Group Description
Strength str Physical A character's way to exert force
Dexterity dex Physical A character's motor skill and hand-eye coordination
Stamina sta Physical The way of a character to exert herself over a longer period of time.
Intelligence int Mental The ease with which a character can plan, learn, reason, solve logical problems and remember.
Sociability soc Mental The ease with which a character can interact and communicate with others.
Empathy emp Mental The way a character recognizes and to a lesser degree shares feelings of others.

Abilities

Abilities are things that all characters can do to some extend, but how good a character is at them can vary greatly. Differences occur either because characters have a natural advantage through their attributes or because they have trained that ability.

For instance someone with a high intelligence will naturally be better at intelligence based abilities like maths or history. Secondly if someone has trained in an ability, such as maths will make she better at it, even if she has less intelligence.

Things such as using a type of weapon, entertaining a crowd, running, sculpting, waiting tables and mathematics can all be considered abilities. There is no fixed set of abilities (although there are a lot of examples later in this booklet), although some DM's might give a set of abilities that will be relevant during this campaign. Players should only write down those abilities in which they have training, or which they will need frequently. Example sets will be available too.

Abilities are relatively easy to train up when compare to attributes.

Using the grid

Both inside and outside of combat, players use a grid of at least three by three squares. Each square in the grid represents a location. While moving around in the game, players should move character identifiers of the characters they control, to indicate the current location of a character. During combat this helps to get a general feeling of where characters are in relation to each other and their surroundings. Outside of combat the grid helps players to keep track of where all the characters are, and thus who they can talk to.

Locations

Every square in the grid represents a location. One square could be "north of the forest" or "in building A" or "In town X". Outside of combat it does not even matter if the squares are in the same relative position to one another. You can easily have adjacent squares representing locations that can only be reached by moving through a different square. Outside combat the GM designates empty squares as new location available for characters to enter. The squares in a grid do not indicate any specific size, but rather a location. Different locations have different sizes.

Squares in the grid are identified just like on a chessboard, going from A1 to C3 (in case of a three by three grid). GMs can choose to use a larger grid if they find the number of characters in play can't accurately be represented on the grid. For a normal four player game the three by three grid should be large enough.

Borders

Characters are free to move anywhere within a location. Locations are separated by borders. So to go from one location to another, you have to cross the border between those two locations. Outside of combat, a location can have any number of borders. During combat, each location has no more then four borders; the squares up, down, left and right. Borders often represent barriers. A border could be a door leading to another room, a road leading to another town, a castle wall or a river. All barriers in the game must be borders between two locations.

There are three types of barriers. Barriers like doorways, that limit the number of people who can move through them at the same time. These are called movement limits. Secondly, there are barriers that are crossing challenges, such as a rope bridge, which require players to make a dice roll to see if they can pass it. And thirdly there are structural barriers, these are things like walls. Which you will have to either bust through or climb over. Details of barriers are given in the chapter on Environment.

Combat grid

During combat, all locations represented on the grid are in the same relative position as the squares are on the grid. This means that if two characters move in the same direction (for instance north), the character identifiers will also move in the same direction, regardless of which square they move to. So if moving left on the grid means a character moves to a location in the north, any character moving to north will move their character left. And any character moving south will move their character identifier to the right. This makes it much easier to retain an overview of the combat situation.

Dice challenges

Most of the challenges put to the players will be resolved by dice roles. The Heimr Tabletop RPG Core uses one six-sided die (d6) and multiple ten-sided (d10) dice, where number range 1 to 6 or 1 to 10. Every dice roll in the Heimr Tabletop system follows the same basic format. To make a dice challenge in this system you need to know two things, the consistency (C) of the challenge and the potential (p). These values can be either positive, zero or negative. The dice challenge works as follows:

You roll one d6, and any number of d10 equal to the consistency of the dice challenge. If the consistency is less then zero, use the number in the consistency (with -3, you roll three d10). From that, if the consistency is more then zero, use the result of the highest die. If the consistency of the dice challenge is less then zero, use the result of the lowest die.

If you have a consistency higher then zero and you roll 10 with multiple dice, the bonus is the number of dice with which you roll 10, minus one. If you have a consistency lower then zero and you roll one with multiple dice, the penalty is the number of dice with which you roll 1, minus one. Then add the potential to get the result of the dice challenge.

Which translates into the following rules:

  • if (C) is higher then zero: highest dice(1d6, (C)d10) + bonus for every extra 10 + (P) = result
  • if (C) is zero: 1d6 + (P) = result
  • if (C) is less then zero: lowest dice(1d6, (C)d10) – penalty for every extra 1 + (P) = result

Side note:

  • The closer a consistency is to zero, the more random the result. The further away from 0, the more consistent the result.
  • A consistency of 5 is very likely to get a 9 or 10 as the highest die. (67%)
  • A consistency of -5 is very likely to get a 1 or 2 as the lowest die. (89%)
  • If the consistency is less then zero, your can't roll 7 or higher as the lowest die, since you always roll one d6.
  • You can only have a result of zero or less, if the potential is less then zero, or if the consistency is less then zero and you roll one on multiple dice.
  • When choosing between increased consistency or potential, think of consistency as reducing risk, and potential as creating opportunity.

Some examples:

  • C: 3, P:3. You roll: 1, 4, 9, 10. So the result is: 10+0+3 = 13
  • C: 5, P: 6. You roll: 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 10. So the result is: 10+1+6 = 18
  • C:0, P:0. You roll: 3. So the result is: 3+0 = 3
  • C:4, P:3. You roll: 1, 1, 2, 4, 6. So the result is: 6+0+3 = 9
  • C: 2, P: -3. You roll: 3, 10, 10. So the result is: 10+1-3 = 8
  • C: -4, P: -4. You roll: 1, 1, 1, 4, 9. So the result is: 1-2-4 = -2

Situational penalties

There are a lot of things that can result in characters functioning under less then optimal conditions. For instance a character might be fighting in darkness, or they might have a hangover while trying to solve a puzzle. Under these circumstance the GM should give players situational penalties. A situational penalty reduces the consistency of a dice challenge. For example if a character has a situational penalty of two on a dice challenge with a consistency of three, the dice challenge must be rolled with a consistency of one (3 – 2 = 1).

Situational penalties can be applied to abilities, attributes or even attribute groups (physical and mental). If a situation penalty is applied to an attribute or attribute group, all abilities base on that attribute are also effected. So if a character has a penalty on the dexterity attribute, the athletics ability is also affected.

Challenge requirements

When characters oppose each other in any kind of challenge, they will both roll and compare the results. But when a character is faced with an environmental challenge, such as climbing a tree or picking a lock, they must roll against a predefined value. This is called the challenge requirement (CR). Characters roll an ability or attribute to see if they can overcome the challenge. For this they have to roll a number which is equal to or higher then the CR.

Failing a CR might, depending on what the challenge is, have negative consequences. For instance failing a CR on climbing a rock wall could result in a character falling and injuring themselves.

Most CRs do not have these kind of consequences. When characters make a CR, this means they attempt to the best of their ability to pass the challenge. Characters are allowed to re-roll a failed CR at the cost of one willpower for each roll. This is because they are attempting to push themselves beyond their own (previously shown) limitations.

Dice rolls on attributes

When rolling for an attribute (for example a strength check), the GM decides the consistency (how many dice the player gets to role), based on how reliable the type of activity can be accomplished. For example arm wrestling is an activity which is fairly consistent (4 to 6). The strongest person is most likely to win. Therefore a high consistency is applied. An activity that has a higher degree of uncertainty, such as gauging the emotions of a character with sociability has a lower consistency (0 or 1).The attribute it's self is used as the potential of the check.

Effects

Effects are ways in which a character is influenced by the game. Effects can be called by players (only with a corresponding skill) and by a Game master. Effects have a number associated to them, this is either two (as in seconds) or one (as in point). If a number is called with the effect, use this number instead of the default. For example "Stumble four" is a stumble effect that lasts four seconds and "hit two" is a hit effect that costs two hit points. The following effects are known in this system:

  • Hit You lose one hit point. If this effect is called after you are hit with a weapon, the effect replaces the normal damage done.
  • Drain You lose one willpower.
  • Fall You fall to the ground. After two seconds you can stand up again.
  • Drop You let go of the item in the hand, it drops to the ground, after two seconds you can pick it up again.
  • Stumble You stumble away from your opponent. See Effects during combat for more details.
  • Daze You are disorientated. You can not attack, defend or use a skill in this state. See Effects during combat for more details.
  • Break This effect can be called on items. If the break effect is strong enough the item is destroyed. See Items for more on destroying items.
  • Bind This effect is called on a body part. Binds can be done on the following location:
    • Hands: You cannot pick up any items or use your hands. Keep your hands together.
    • Arm: Keep your arm attached to whatever it is touching at the moment.
    • Feet: You can not walk or run, keep your feet together. You can only jump or crawl.
    • Leg: Keep your leg attached to whatever it is touching at the moment.
    • Body: You can not move from your current position.
  • Weaken Your character feels ill for two seconds. During this time Skills cost one willpower in addition to the normal cost of the skill.

The following two are reaction effects. These can be used in response to effects.

  • Resist The effect of an attack was negated / blocked / resisted.
  • Miss An opponent's attack didn't do damage and the effect was resisted.

Health

A character's health is of critical importance. Once a character has zero or less hit points, they become injured, which will likely require medical attention. You can restore hit points by taking a short rest, as long as you are uninjured.

Short Rest

By taking a short rest, a character will restore hit points to it's maximum and regain the free use of their rested skills. You can only be restored by a short rest, if your character has one or more hit points remaining. The short rest must be uninterrupted for at least five minutes of in character time. If a character makes any dice challenges or uses any skills, the short rest is considered interrupted.

Injury Effects

When a character is hit with an attack that causes an injury, they receive an effect based on what body part got hit by the attack. The effect lasts as long as the character is injured. Characters can have additional effects from injuries, if they are hit on multiple body parts while injured. The effects are as followed:

Either arm Drop item
Leg(s) Fall
Torso Daze

Injuries

There are three levels of injury, depending on how low your HP is. The three levels are:

HP Resulting injury
Bloodied 0 or -1 This injury requires treatment. You can't take a short rest
Mangled -2 or -3 The character dies in 10 minutes, and falls unconscious half way through (5 minutes)
Mutilated -4 or -5 The character falls unconscious instantly and dies after two minutes

Some skills allow characters to be Stabilized. When a character is stable they are no longer dying and regains consciousness. Moving the injured body part will reopen the injury. Restart counting your injury from zero when this happens.

Abilities

Abilities have been briefly introduced in Characters. Abilities are based on attributes and characters can train in them. Also there is no fixed set of abilities. Players write down the abilities of their characters as they gain training in them.

To make a dice challenge with an ability, you need to know the consistency and potential of that ability. For this, you will need the base values and the ability training. There are two types of ability training, trained consistency and trained potential. Both the consistency and the potential of an ability have a base value. The base values represents how good a character is in that ability, without the benefit of training. To get the actual consistency and potential, add ability training to the base value. So:

  • Base consistency + trained consistency = consistency
  • Base potential + trained potential = potential

For some dice challenges, items bonuses or situational penalties might be applied. For instance, a large shield will give a bonus when blocking, and darkness might give a consistency penalty to combat rolls.

Players will only need to write down abilities on their character sheets if their character has trained in that ability, if they have an item that requires that ability or if they are frequently used.

Consistency of abilities

The base consistency of an ability is predefined, and is the same for every character. This value may vary quite a bit from one ability to another and depends on how reliable people untrained in that ability can perform in it. The base consistency will be provided by the GM.

Base consistency should range from -2 to +3. Where -2 is an ability which people are naturally bad at, until they gain training (such as lock picking). A base consistency 0 ability is an ability that untrained characters can do well, but which requires some luck to get right (such as throwing a weapon). A base consistency 3 ability is an ability that has very little luck involved. You can either do it, or you can't. Things such as calculations and knowledge would be abilities with a base consistency of 3.

Potential of abilities

The base potential of an ability depends on what attribute(s) the ability is derived from. If the ability is based on one attribute, the base potential of that ability is the same as the attribute. For example if a character has a strength of 2, the base potential of their brawl ability will be 2. This also means that when the attribute changes, the base potential of derived abilities also changes.

If an ability is derived from multiple attributes, the base potential of that ability becomes the average of those attributes, rounded down. So with an attribute of 0 and 3, the average is 1.5, rounded down, so the base potential becomes 1.

Because ability checks are based partially on attributes, an intelligent character will find herself being better at abilities that involve reasoning through a problem, even if she has never encounter a similar problem before.

Standard abilities

There is a small set of standard abilities, one for every attribute. The standard abilities will be useful in most games. In addition to these, the GM should add extra abilities, based on the kind of campaign. The persuasion ability for example, will cover all useful bases when playing a campaign which is heavily combat centred. However for a game which will hold a lot of politics, other attributes concerning social interaction (such as intimidation, bluff and expression) might be added.

The six standard attributes are as followed:

Attr. Description
Brawl Str This ability is used to punch, kick and grapple. When facing an opponent without a weapon, use brawl.
Agility Dex Jumping, climbing and dodging is done using this ability. This ability can be used during combat to dodge attacks.
Survival Sta Hunting, tracking, as well as lasting through the hardships of the weather and the pains of thirst and hunger are done through this ability.
Perception Int To notice things that might not be obvious, you need perception. With perception you can attempt to spot hidden enemies, find hidden objects and discern traps.
Persuasion Soc Persuasion is used to convince other characters of what you are telling them. When using persuasion, you will also need to provide a sound argument (one that does not contain obvious falsehoods).
Insight Emp Insight is used to discover the emotions of other. It can also be used to spot lies and to discern intent others are attempting to hide. Insight will often be rolled opposed to persuasion.

In addition to these six standard abilities, GMs should aim to have between ten and fifteen additional abilities in their campaign. These abilities should either be taken from modules or written by the GM. The GM should strive to inform all players of the abilities they might use, so players can use them during character creation.

Because non-standard abilities might overlap, GMs should always have players roll specific abilities rather then more general abilities, when either one might be applicable. For instance if there is an intimidation ability in the game, whenever a player attempts to intimidate another character, this ability should be rolled, rather then the more general persuasion ability. Even if the character might be better at persuasion then intimidation.

Experience points

During a game, characters will play through encounters and challenges. When characters overcome these encounters, they will get the experience points (XP) equivalent to that encounter. Experience points will be divided among the characters present during the encounter, rounded down to a whole number (for example 10XP divided among four characters, means 2XP per character with 2 remaining). The remaining experience points can be carried over to the next time characters gain XP. So that the 2 XP they earned doesn't get lost.

During downtime, characters can spend XP to improve their abilities. The amount of XP you need to gain one point of ability training for either consistency or potential is the total XP spend on the previous two levels, starting at 5. So:

New height of ability training 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
XP cost 5 10 (5+5) 15 (5+10) 25 (10+15) 40 (15+25) 65 (25+40) 105 (40+65)
Total cost 5 15 30 55 95 160 265

Attribute progress

Attributes can not be trained, they improve while you are training your abilities. Every attribute has a progress value, which works like a kind of XP. It is based on how much the abilities that are based on it have been trained. Every time you increase an ability training by one point, increase the attribute progress of the attribute associated with the ability with one. If an ability is based on multiple attributes, you can choose which attribute you want to increase the attribute progress of.

Once the attribute progress reaches a certain value, the attribute is increased by one. How much attribute progress is required depends on height of the attribute. When an attribute is increased, the attribute progress of that attribute becomes zero. Don't forget to update the base potential of your abilities when changing your attribute.

New attribute value -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 or more
Attribute progress required 8 6 4 6 8 10 12

Combat basics

During combat, characters take turns to move against their opponents. The order in which characters take their turns is based on how high they roll initiative. During their turn character's can perform Combat actions, such as move, draw an arrow, make an attack, charge an enemy, etc.

Even though characters take their turns in sequence. In the game world, the turns of players occur almost simultaneously. Every turn lasts two seconds.

Initiative

At the start of every combat, participants throw initiative to determine in what order they will take their turns. The character with the highest score starts, down to the character with the lowest score, who goes last. The initiative roll uses the character's dexterity as his consistency, and the number of willpower a character has as it's potential. When players roll the same initiative, the player with the highest willpower goes first.

Delaying and readied actions

Players can change the order in which their characters take turns by declaring at the start of their turn, that they will delay until after or just before another character. This character is then moved in the initiative order to where they specified.

In addition to delaying your turn, players can ready one combat action. The combat action will occur as soon something the player specified to happen occurs. This is called the trigger. A trigger can for instance be: an opponent enters this square. The readied action could be; make an attack against that opponent. The action always occurs after the trigger, and can only occur if the character (as opposed to the player) becomes aware the trigger has occurred.

After the trigger has occurred, the readied action takes place. This can occur anywhere in the turn of another character. When a trigger occurs, the readied action is performed, and the initiative order is changed. The character with the readied action is moved to the turn before the character who triggered the action. If the trigger doesn't occur until the next turn of the character with the readied action, the readied action is lost.

There is a subtle difference between a trigger based on something happening, and a trigger based on a character intending for something to happen. You might trigger an attack when someone attacks you. Because your readied action is always after the trigger, you will be attacked first, and then do your attack. Or you can trigger as soon as you become aware that a character wants to attack you. In that case you need to attempt to predict your opponent's move. Your opponent must make a roll to attempt hiding the attack, which you can make a dice challenge against. Persuasion versus insight should be used for this. If you do not pass this dice challenge, you will still know by the time you are attacked, but you do not make the first attack.

Melee attacks

There are two types of attacks, melee attacks and ranged attacks. A melee attack is done using a melee weapon, such as a knife, an axe or a sword. To do these kinds of attacks, characters must be near each other. Characters can only attack each other with melee attacks when they are in the same square.

When a character attacks another character, place their character identifier together in the square. Multiple characters place together like this during combat are called a combat cluster. Characters remain in the combat cluster either until they are pushed out, move outside the square, or move outside the cluster.

Ranged attacks

With ranged attacks you can attack targets in the same square or in a different square. Range weapons have a maximum range. If the distance between the attacker and the target is greater then the range, the target can't be attacked. If a target is in a different square then the attacker, there is a situational penalty equal to half the distance to the target, rounded down.

The distance is counted by taking the shortest number of turns required to move, climb and/or jump down to the target. Movement is only possible along horizontal or vertical axes. So if the target is in a diagonally adjacent square, you need to move one horizontal and one vertical, and so the distance is two. The shot will thus have a situational penalty of one on consistency (half the distance). If the target is higher, the number of turns it would take to climb to that height is included in counting the distance. If the target is lower, there is no distance cost since jumping down is a free action.

When using a ranged attack against a target in a combat cluster, you have a situational penalty on consistency, equal to the number of characters in that cluster. If the target manages to dodge the attack, you must re-roll the attack for another character in the combat cluster, now with the situational penalty decreased by one. Keep re-rolling until all characters in the combat cluster have dodged, or until a character is hit or the attack is blocked (rather then dodged). Decreasing the situational penalty by one every roll. The order in which targets are selected, is the same as the initiative order, starting from the original target.

Effects during combat

Most of the effects last two seconds. Because a turn lasts two seconds, most effects will influence your character for one turn. Longer Effects last more then one turn. The number of turns an effect lasts is easily calculated by taking half the effect's duration, rounded down. So an effect of five seconds will last two turns.

Stumble

If your character is in a combat cluster while hit by stumble, the character is moved out of the cluster. While stumbling, you can not use ranged attacks, and you can only make melee attacks against characters that are in a combat cluster with you. Because of this, you can only make a melee attack while stumbling, if you are attacked first.

While the effect lasts, you can not move in one of the directions of the locations you are in (left, right, up or down). This is the direction from which the effect came. If multiple directions could be applicable, the player causing the effect choose which direction. This can happen if the characters are in diagonal direction to each other, or if they are in the same square.

Daze

You can not take any actions during your turn, and you can not make defensive rolls until the daze effect has passed. If the daze effect is an odd number (1, 3, 5, etc.), you can not defend until the start of the turn in which the effect ends, as opposed to after the turn you are last effected.

Fatigue

Players must keep track of how fatigued their characters are. Characters with poor stamina will get tired quickly, which will impair their effectiveness in combat. Any roll based on a physical attribute has a Challenge requirements equal to the fatigue, on the result before adding potential. This means that the roll must be equal to or higher then the fatigue of your character. For example, if a character has a fatigue of 7 and rolls 6 (not counting potential) this means the action automatically fails, even if the challenge would have been 7 or higher when adding potential. If this is an attack, the opponent does not have to defend.

In addition to having a situational penalty, a character's fatigue increases when they are performing physical activities without the opportunity to take a breather. This happens for example while a character is running, fighting, climbing or swimming. Every dice challenge includes a roll with one D6. If the value of the D6 is lower then the fatigue of a character, the fatigue is increased by one. Fatigue can not be higher then twenty or lower then one. Because of this, players can keep track of fatigue using a D20 die.

Example: A character has a fatigue of four. With the D6 she rolls three, this means for the fatigue is increased to five.

Base fatigue

When characters get the opportunity to take a breather, their fatigue returns to it's standard level. This standard is called the base fatigue. Returning to base fatigue only takes a few seconds, up to half a minute or so maximum. The base value of fatigue is four minus the stamina attribute of a character. So:

  • 4 – stamina = base fatigue

A character with a stamina of three will have a base tiredness of one (4 – 3 = 1) and a character with a stamina of -2 will have a base tiredness of six (4 - -2 = 6). Both fatigue and base fatigue can not be less then 1. So even if you have a stamina of 4, base fatigue is still 1, not 0.

When a character's fatigue is higher then six, they will gain one fatigue point every time they make a physical roll. This is because you can never throw seven or higher with a D6. For some characters, reaching this point will take many rolls. A character with a base fatigue of seven (stamina of -3) will have one extra fatigue every time they roll, because they can never throw seven with a D6. And because the fatigue is a challenge requirement, it will very quickly become impossible to make any successful actions.

Chasing

Chasing characters is done purely on the basis of fatigue. Based on the kind of terrain characters are chasing each other on, the GM decides what attribute or ability to roll. Characters take turns rolling this dice challenge. If a character rolls three or more points higher then her target, she moves one square closer. If the a character rolls three or more points lower then the target, the target moves one square further away. During the roll in which the chaser would surpass the chase target, he or she can take an action against the target instead of moving ahead of the target. The grid should be used to keep track of the distance.

When one of the characters fails to pass their fatigue check, they are unable to continue the chase. If this is the target, this means the chaser will reach the target. If this is the chaser, this means the target has escaped. You can not lower fatigue during a chase, only by standing still can fatigue be restored to it's base.

During the chase, the GM can present the chase target with terrain decisions, for instance the target might decided to climb a building or to jump in the river and continue the chase swimming. This way the chase target has the opportunity to choose a terrain favourable to their abilities. This makes determining an escape route important in choosing a location for battle.

Fatigue during combat

During combat you'll be making many different rolls. Most importantly for attacking and defending. All the physical dice challenges you make (any roll based on a physical attribute), can increase your fatigue. Your fatigue can only increase by one every turn. This includes any action you take during your turn, and any defensive roll you make until the start of your next turn.

Because of this, the more physical dice challenges you have to make, the greater the chance you're fatigue will increase. This opens the possibility for multiple attackers to wear down a much stronger opponent, until his fatigue is so high he will be unable to defend himself. By taking a breather (see List of combat actions) characters can lower their fatigue.

Moving from one square to another doesn't increase a character's fatigue, because it doesn't require any physical dice challenge. Only if there is a challenge requirement based on a physical attribute can fatigue increase while moving. When characters are chasing off the grid, their fatigue does increase. If you use a ranged attack against a target in a combat cluster, and have to make multiple dice challenge, only the first dice challenge can effect fatigue.

Combat Actions

Combat actions are the things you do during your turn in combat. There are four types of actions, each taking up a different span of time. With combat actions you do things like move to different locations, attack opponents and use skills.

Action Types

During their turn, characters can perform actions. There are four types:

  • Standard You can have one standard action during your turn.
  • Free You can take as many free actions as you like. But you can not use the same free action more then once during the same turn.
  • Ongoing An ongoing action is a standard action that ends your turn. If you do an ongoing action, you receive a consistency penalty of two on all defensive rolls until the start of your next turn.
  • Upcoming An upcoming action is a free action that ends your turn, and is continued as a standard action in your next turn. An upcoming action can be interrupted if you are attacked, if you receive an effect, or if you use a skill. If this happens, the upcoming action is cancelled. You do not lose the standard action of your next turn when this happens. If your upcoming action was not interrupted, you can decide to cancel the action at the start of your next turn.

Some actions can occur simultaneously. You can only use one simultaneous action per turn.

List of combat actions

The following is a list of the combat actions you can take during your turn. For some of these actions a more complete description is available in this and the next chapter.

Attack and defence related actions

  • Weapon attack Standard:
    Make an attack roll for the weapon you wield. If you wield one weapon in each hand, you can make an attack with both weapons. See Weapon attack.
  • Use a skill -:
    The action type depends on the skill you use. Some skills can not be used as a combat action. Make sure the skill prerequisite is met before using the skill. You can only use or prepare for the use of one skill at a time.
  • Brawl attack Standard:
    Use your brawl ability to make an attack on an opponent to grab them or do 1 HP damage. See Brawl attack.
  • Charge Ongoing:
    Use the Move action to go to a different square and make a melee weapon attack or brawl attack against an opponent in that square. You can not charge across a border if it has a challenge requirement.
  • Guard Free:
    Block an opponent from moving to a different square or attacking an ally. See Guarding.

Movement related actions

  • Move Standard:
    Go to a different location. This might require a passing challenge requirements. Or leave a combat cluster, while remaining in the same square.
  • Run Ongoing:
    Go to a different location which does not require passing a challenge requirement. Until the start of your next turn, you can not be charged from the location you ran away from. Two characters running after each other starts a chase.
  • Climb Ongoing:
    Your character moves one height up or down. Anything other then stairs or a ladder will likely have a challenge requirement. If you fail the challenge requirement you fall. Unless you reach the top or bottom of what you are climbing, you are in a climbing position. You must have at least one free hand to climb.
  • Jump down Free:
    You jump from a higher position to a lower position in the same square. See Environment about falling damage.
  • Drop prone Free:
    Your character is now in a prone position.
  • Crawl Upcoming:
    While prone, move to another square. You enter the other location as part of the standard action during the next turn. You can only use crawl if you have been in the same square from the start of your turn. Because of this you can only crawl once every two turns. You can not crawl to a square if there is a challenge requirement to pass.
  • Hide Free:
    You move somewhere in your location to a place where you have concealment against opponents you wish to hide from. Roll survival to become hidden. This becomes the challenge requirement perception checks have to overcome. You can not hide from an opponent if you were in the same combat cluster at the start of your turn, or from opponents who attacked you with a ranged attack during their last turn. You can not hide while you are in a combat cluster.
  • Dodge Standard: If you know a ranged attack is coming, you can ready your dodge defence. If you do this, you receive a potential bonus of two to your dodging roll.

Item related actions

  • Draw a weapon or ammunition Standard:
    Draw a weapon or ammunition you carry. The item must be easily accessible. If not, use Draw an item instead. This combat action can be done simultaneous with a move action (but not a charge).
  • Put a weapon or ammunition away Standard:
    Sheath or put away your weapon, and store your ammunition in a place where it is easily accessible for you to draw. This combat action can be done simultaneous with a move action (but not a charge).
  • Drop item(s) Free:
    Drop any number of items your character holds in their hand.
  • Get an item Ongoing:
    Take an item from your pouch, beg or any other place it is stored. Or pick an item off the ground, off a table or any other place it may lay in your location.
  • Hide or conceal an item Ongoing:
    Conceal or hide an item you hold, so that an opponent can not see it.
  • Swap items Free:
    Move an item (such as a weapon) from one hand to the other, or swap the item from one hand with the item in the other hand.

Other actions

  • Taking a breather Ongoing or upcoming:
    Reduce your fatigue by two. Fatigue can not be lower then the base fatigue.
  • Observation Free:
    You can do one of three things:
    • Roll perception on a square to spot anything or anyone that might be hidden there. If you are in the same location, you gain a bonus of two to potential. If the location borders your location you have a bonus of one to potential.
    • Roll perception on a character to see if they carry a hidden item.
    • Roll insight on an opponent to gage their willingness to fight (or surrender).
  • Speak Free:
    You can speak a few sentences to whomever is near you, giving them instructions, negotiating with them or threatening them. The GM might require you to roll a sociability based ability.

Weapon attack

There are two types of weapon attacks, melee attacks and ranged attacks. Which type of attack you can do depends on the weapon your character is wielding. You can make an attack roll for every weapon you wield while making the weapon attack action. You can only attack one target per action. At the end of every character's turn, they must roll their next defence. Because it would be obvious to your character how good your opponents are currently defending themselves, you can ask how high a character's defence roll is, before choosing the target of your attack.

How many weapons you can wield depends on the weapon. Characters have a sword hand and an off-hand. Some weapons require both hands to wield it. Other weapons can only be wielded in the sword hand, or in either hand. One and a half handers can be used either in your sword hand, or with both hands. In the medieval armoury module, examples are given of how this might work. Other themes or settings might work different.

Brawl attack

With a brawl attack you attempt to punch, kick or grab an opponent. If a brawl attack hits, the target receives either a hit 1 or bind effect. You must decided which effect before rolling. To do a brawl attack, roll the brawl ability. You need one free hand to do the bind effect. Just as for weapon attack, you can ask your opponent's defence before choosing a target. If the attack was equal to the defence, or was one less then the defence, the attack can be considered a 'hit', but it wasn't strong enough to effect hit points.

Attacking an opponent who wields a melee weapon with a brawl attack is very dangerous. In order to make a brawl attack you must get close to your opponent. The only way to do this is to get past his or her weapon by dodging an attack. If in his last turn your opponent made a melee weapon attack against you, which you successfully dodged, you can roll the brawl attack.

If your opponent did not make a melee weapon attack against you in his turn, or you didn't dodge the attack, doing a brawl attack gives the opponent the opportunity to make a melee weapon attack against you, as if they had readied that action. If you do not dodge the weapon attack, you can not roll the brawl ability and the brawl attack fails. The provoked attack does not change the initiative order.

If you have an opponent grabbed using bind, you can not make any defensive rolls. You can choose to release the bind at any time. The body part you bind is the one you roll for with the brawl challenge. If you have an opponent grabbed, you can stop any of their actions that require a physical dice challenge, by rolling the brawl ability. The result of your brawl roll counts as a challenge requirement for the action. If your opponent passes the challenge requirement, the bind effect is lost. In addition, the bind effect also ends if you receive an effect, or if the character you have grabbed successfully attacks you.

Targeting a body part

The D6 that is included in every attack roll, determines what body part is hit with the attack. This influenced where characters receives their injury and how they are effected. The following table shows what body part is hit based on the result of the die:

Body part Torso Sword arm Other arm Right leg Left leg
D6 result 5 or 6 4 3 2 1

Rather then simply attacking an opponent wherever you can hit them, you can target a body part for your attack. Targeting a specific body part has a consistency penalty of two to the attack roll.

Defence

There are three ways to defend against attacks. Characters can either dodge, block or parry an attack. When defending against an attack you roll an ability. If the defence score is equal to or higher then the attack score the attack misses. You must roll defence before knowing the result of the attack roll.

Dodging is done by rolling an agility check. To block an oncoming attack, you need some kind of shield and roll the ability needed to use your shield. You can only parry against melee attacks. To parry an attack you must wield a weapon and roll the ability you use for that weapon.

Defending against multiple attacks

If you are attacked multiple times before your next turn, you will receive penalties to your defence rolls. The more you have to defend, the bigger the penalty will become. For dodging and blocking, there is a consistency penalty of two, every time you use that defence. So if you dodge three times between your turn and you want to dodge a fourth time, you will have a consistency penalty of six (2x3=6). Every type of defence has it's own penalty. So dodging multiple times will not get you a penalty on blocking. And blocking multiple times will not create a consistency penalty on dodging. For every melee weapon you wield, you can make only one parry roll between turns.

Because of this, if you are attacked multiple times between your turns, it will likely be advantageous to use different types of defence. Character using a shield will have a big advantage over characters without shields while defending, since they have an extra way to defend themselves. Your defence uses are restored again at the start of your next turn.

Positions

Positions are states a character can find themselves in during combat.

  • Prone Your character lays on the ground. The only way to move around is by crawling. While prone you have a consistency penalty of two for all attacks and defences. Ranged attacks against a prone target have a consistency penalty of two.
  • Helpless You cannot perform any action or defend yourself in any way.
  • Sleeping You are prone and helpless. You wake up if you are hit by an attack. The only action you can take is make perception checks when something happens around you. Waking up to a soft sound has a challenge requirement of nine. Waking up to a louder sound has a challenge requirement of five.
  • Unconscious You are prone and helpless and can not wake up from this state without medical attention.
  • Concealed Some (or all) of your opponents can not see you directly. But unless you are also hidden from them, they do know approximately where you are. Opponents from who you are concealed have a consistency penalty on attack rolls against you. How high the penalty is depends on how effective the concealment is. You can not be concealed from opponents who are in a combat cluster with you.
  • Hidden Some (or all) of your opponents do not know where you are. You can not be hidden from an opponent unless you are also concealed from them. You can not be attacked, unless the attacker knows you are hidden. If your opponent knows you are hidden, you can only be attacked with a luck shot. The opponent rolls a D10 before the attack roll. Only if he or she rolls 10, can they make an attack roll. The attack has a consistency penalty of one plus the penalty from being concealed. If you are hidden from an opponent, you receive a bonus potential of two, when you charge them or make a ranged attack against them.

    Every time you make any soft sound while hidden, your hide challenge is reduced by two. Making it ever easier for your opponents to find you using perception. Soft sounds include whispering, shooting a bow or blowgun or throwing a weapon. Louder sounds such as speaking, shouting, weapons clattering, etc. give you away.
  • Climbing You have a consistency penalty of two on all defences and attacks. If you are hit by an effect and climbing had a challenge requirement, you must make a new roll to see if you can hold on. Note that the position "climbing" is different from the climb action. You do not have to climb up or down every turn you are in a climbing position. You can even make an attack while in the climbing position, unless holding on requires the use of both hands. While in this position you have a consistency penalty of one to attack rolls. Because climbing requires one hand, you can not wield a shield and a sword at the same time while climbing.

Pre-rolling defence

Opponents can see how good your defensive stance is. So you should pre-roll your defence, preferably at the end of your turn, and as soon as you've used your last pre-rolled defence. You must decide which defence you use before the attack roll. The attacker chooses their target based on how someone is defending, not the defender based on how he's being attacked. The only exception is when you've parried and an opponent decides to attack you with a ranged attack. Since you can't parry a ranged attack, you must roll either dodge or block after the attack was declared, but before the attack was rolled. The parry you rolled must be used as a defence against the first melee attack. Fatigue only changes when you use the defence roll to oppose an attack.

Guarding

You can protect people, locations or objects from your opponents by guarding them. When you guard, your opponent can not reach whatever it is you are guarding without first having to get past you. By guarding you can stop one opponent from getting to their target, or you can intercept a ranged attack. When you are guarding an ally, and an opponent intends to attack them, the attack will be directed to you instead. If this is a ranged attack, the attack moves on to it's original target if you successfully dodge the attack. Blocking a ranged attack stops it.

The guard ends once you've intercepted one opponent. Once the guard ends, other characters can freely get to whatever was guarded. If multiple characters are guarding the same target, the order in which characters defend is the initiative order, starting at the character attempting to reach the target. Only the first guard can respond to the attack. Because of this, when you are defending a single target it requires one attacker more then there are guards to get to the target.

Borders can be guarded from either side. If the guard is in the same square as you, you can not cross the border, since the guard will intercept you. If the guard is in the other square, you can go across the border, but if you charge, the guard intercepts your attack. The guard ends if you move across a guarded border.

Guards can not respond to characters hidden from them. So if you are hidden from a guard, that guard can not stop you from reaching your target. You can also get past a guard by outmanoeuvre him. The guard can make an attack against you as a free action. You must dodge this attack. On this dodge roll you have a consistency penalty of one.

Forced movement and restraint

Some characters can not move by themselves, or do not want to be moved. To move or stop characters from moving, the following rules apply:

  • One character can move a willing character with a leg injury
  • Two characters can move a character unable to stand and resist
  • Three characters can move an unwilling bound character
  • Four characters can move an unwilling character

Environment

Editor note: This chapter isn't finished yet.

Combat does not happen under ideal circumstances. The environment can have a great impact on the outcome of a battle. Those who know the environment they fight in, can have a great advantage. Any number of things, such as having the high ground, knowing where to hide your archers and knowing the escape routes can make all the difference between victory and death.

Difficult terrain

Some types of terrain are more difficult to manoeuvre in. Things like mud, loose snow, low water, sloping and tall grass make it more difficult to fight in. Characters moving in difficult terrain will either have to be more careful where they step, or are slowed by the ground they walk on. This effects how fast they can respond to opportunities and threats coming their way. Characters standing on difficult terrain have a consistency penalty of one to melee attacks, parry and dodge. Difficult terrain is a property of a location. This means that any character in that location will be effected by the penalty. Multiple locations of a battlefield can have difficult terrain.

Movement limits

Some borders, like doorways or thick vegetation can not be crossed with many characters at the same time. These limits form barriers, that can be used to hold off a larger force. Allowing defenders to deal with fewer opponents, while others have to wait. Movement limits will be specified by the GM as part of a battlefield.

The count of the limit starts at the first character who moves through the border. This character counts as the first on the limit. As soon as the limit is reached, no more characters can move through the border. The count is reset to zero at the start of the first character to move through.

Some examples are:

Name Limit
Single door 2
Thick vegetation 2
Double door 4
Window 1
Ladder 1

Crossing challenges

Crossing challenges occur when characters might find it difficult to cross a border. For instance if they have to climb or jump. The GM will provide a challenge requirements for the players to meet. If they fail the character can not go across the border, and characters fall prone.

Crossing CR
Window 5
1.5 meter jump 1
2 meter jump 3
2.5 meter jump 6
3 meter jump 9
Rope swing 4

Structural barriers

Structural barriers make it impossible to cross a border. Barriers can always be destroyed, but most of the time players will not have enough destructive power with them to break down a barrier. All barriers should have a toughness number so players could break them down.

Structure Toughness
Regular door 2
Strong door 4
Regular gate 6
Wooden wall 4
Stone wall 6

Height

Standing higher then your opponent gives you a significant advantage during combat. There might be a height difference within a square, or between squares characters can take advantage of. You can freely move around as long as the height difference is no more then one, which is somewhere between a meter and one meter fifty. You can attack characters with melee who are one position higher or one position lower. Attacking with melee against a target who stands higher has a consistency penalty of one. Attacking with melee against a target who stands lower has a consistency bonus of one.

When there is a height difference of two or more, you must climb to get to that height. If this height difference exists between squares, you must climb to the right height before you can enter the square. These climbs may be difficult or nearly impossible, for instance when faced with a defensive wall with a height of four. In that case you'll need some sort of ladder to get up. Most climbs will have a challenge requirement. If you fail this challenge you will fall from the height you attempt to reach. For every climb action, you move one height up or down. In addition, when you are hit with an effect or an attack, you must make a climb check with a consistency of one to see if you can hold on.

When you fall or jump from a height of two or more, you must make an agility check to see if you become injured from the fall. The challenge requirement for jumping is two times the height difference. So with a height of 4, the requirement is 8. The challenge requirement while falling is two plus twice the height, so with a height of 4 the requirement is 10. If your character fails this challenge requirement their HP is reduced to three minus the height from which you felt. So, falling from a height of six will reduce you to -3 HP. Wearing armour does not protect characters from fall damage. The injury you receive is to the legs, and to the torso if reduced to -4 or -5 HP.

Challenge requirements for climbing:

Challenge requirement
Ladder or stairs none
Rope ladder 2
Rope 4
Rock face 6
Steep rock face 9
Tree 5
Stone wall 11

Concealment [90%]

Concealing from your opponents can be important for many different reasons, such as ambushing them, retreating when you are injured, or to avoid getting hit by their ranged attacks. Unless the GM specifies what direction your concealment is effective in, concealment will work against any opponent, except those in a combat cluster with you.

Any kind of concealment requires some relatively large object of some density. How dense an object is determines how effective it is as concealment. Merlon on a castle wall for instance, are specifically designed to provide concealment against oncoming attacks. Because they are solid stone blocks, it is very hard for an archer to hit someone hiding behind them. Where as something like tall grass will not make much difference to the archer.

Extreme weather and darkness also provide concealment. One that can be gained anywhere on the battlefield. Lighting, such as a torch or a camp fire can be used to avoid darkness. Torches light everything at a distance of one, and a camp fire over a distance of two. Any kind of roof helps against the concealment extreme weather provides. A complete inability to see the opponent provides a concealment of three, like in a blinding sandstorm, underground cave or moonless night. Darkness or extreme weather improve the effectiveness of other concealment.

Examples of concealment:

Name Effectiveness Height
Thick tree 2 4 or more
Wooden cart or crate 2 1
Shrubbery 1 1
Stone merlon 5 2
Wooden table 3 1
Tall grass 1 1
Darkness 1 to 3 Not applicable
Extreme weather 1 to 3 Not applicable

Modules

Blind spots module

When defending against multiple ranged attacks coming from different squares then the character is in, the ranged attack creates a blind spot of three squares, opposite the direction of the attack, until the character's next turn. The character gets a defence penalty from attacks coming from the blind spot. This blind spot can be increased if another ranged attack comes from a different square, not yet inside the blind spot.

Characters receive a penalty of 5 on their defence consistency from ranged attacks coming from a blind spot, as well as from melee attacks by characters who, in that turn, entered the square of the character from the direction of the blind spot. In this situation it is advantages for a melee fighter to delay their turn until after the ranged attack.

Examples of blindspots

When the combat is on a grid larger then 3x3, more then three squares can become a blind spot. The blind spot expands at a 90 degree angle. The blind spot must always run across a straight line or a diagonal line. When the attacker is not on a straight or diagonal line from the defender (such as in 4x4 example 1), the attack is counted from the closest straight or diagonal line. If the distance is the same, the attacker can choose if the attack is closer to the straight or the diagonal line.

Characters can choose not to defend against an attack. If this happens the attack doesn't create a blind spot (in case of ranged) and doesn't reduce the defence (in case of melee). Obviously this is a costly decision as the attack will always hit, but taking the hit might in some cases be better then the disadvantage of the defence penalty.

Medieval armoury module

Editor note: Work in progress.

Weapons

Weapon type Range Dmg. Bonus Wielding Abilities
Light weapon Melee 1 P+2 Either hand Knife fighting
Dueling
Medium weapon Melee 2 P+3 One or two hands Dueling
Swordmanship
Shield and sword
Great weapon Melee 3 P+5 Two hands Swordmanship
Pole arm Melee 2 P+4 Two hands Pole arms
Bow 6 3 P+1 Two hands Archery
Crossbow 4 3 - Two hands Archery
Throwing weapon 1 1 - Sword hand Throwing
knife fighting
Blowgun 2 0 P+1 Sword hand Blowguns

Shields

Shield type Bonus Penalties Wielding Abilities
Buckler - - off-hand Dueling
Swordsmanship
Sword and shield
Small shield P+2 TODO off-hand Sword and shield
Medium shield P+3 TODO off-hand Sword and shield
Tower shield P+5 Sta -1 off-hand Sword and shield