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Combat is an important part of the game - sooner or later, your characters will have to fight for survival and their combat skills will make all the difference between life and death. The following rules have been designed so that you can quickly resolve the results of blows and damage and, at the same time, determine where characters are hit and how badly they are hurt. The examples will help you to learn how to conduct combat - it might be a good idea to fight out a few simple encounters before running your first game.

The Scene Of BattleEdit

When adventurers encounter foes, the gamesmaster will need to make an impromptu scene of battle. This can be done on any small area of table - a square foot of so is generally all that is required. If the fighting is taking place inside a room or building, you can indicate the position of walls, doors, windows, furniture, etc. There are several ways of achieving this and you can opt for any method that appeals to you.

Paper ground plans: a piece of paper can be used as the scene of battle and any pertinent features may be drawn onto it.

Model scenery: Actual model scenery can be used, including walls, doors, and other items made from card or whatever.

Improvised scenery: Scenery may be improvised from card, books, or anything at hand.

Positioning and DetectionEdit

Once the scene of battle has been established, the gamesmaster can position the combatants, using models to represent the various characters and creatures. It is not strictly necessary to have models for all, or even any, of the participants - pieces of paper or other improvised counters will do. Models, however, look much better, especially when skillfully painted and converted.

The placing of the pieces is always left to the GM - even the players' own characters should be positioned as you indicate. Players will often be tempted to place their models in an advantageous situation incompatible with what they have previously said and done - don't let them get away with it! You should also place the players' enemies. If you are unsure as to where exactly to position antagonists, roll what seems a suitable dice to establish the distance between them. 4D6 yards is a fairly reasonable distance at which to begin a confrontation. In dark or underground settings, bear in mind the maximum visibility distances. See the summary chart below for details.

The positions of wandering creatures must be determined randomly. Work out how many possible directions the creatures can be coming from and roll an appropriate dice. For example, in a corridor opponents can be coming from either in front or behind the adventurers - roll a D6. 1, 2, or 3 indicates the creatures are approaching from in front; 4, 5, or 6 that they are approaching from the rear. Outdoors, nominate one direction as twelve o'clock and roll a D12. The score indicates the position from which the creatures are approaching in terms of a clock face.

It is also important to take into account who can see what. If one side can sneak up to the enemy undetected, they will gain the advantage of Surprise, while if neither side knows that the other is there, the encounter might never happen! A lot of this will depend on the circumstances - whether there are any walls, trees, or buildings in the way, for example - and you will have to make your own decision in each case. In the dark, either at night or in unlit underground passages, Night Vision will play a great part. The following chart should be useful in such cases:

Summary Chart Of Night Vision Distances

Basilisk

20 yards

Jabberwock

20 yards

Bat

15 yards

Lizardman

30 yards

Bat, Giant

20 yards

Orc

10 yards

Beetle, Giant

20 yards

Orc, Black

10 yards

Cat, Wild

20 yards

Owl

50 yards

Dragon

20 yards

Owl, Giant

50 yards

Dwarf

30 yards

Pack Wolf

15 yards

Eagle

20 yards

Rat

10 yards

Elemental

As daylight

Rat, Giant

20 yards

Elf - Wood

30 yards

Rat, Rock

15 yards

Elf - Sea

20 yards

Scorpion, Giant

10 yards

Elf - High

20 yards

Skaven

30 yards

Fimir

15 yards

Snake

20 yards

Fox

10 yards

Snotling

10 yards

Goblin

10 yards

Spider, Giant

10 yards

Gnome

30 yards

Stoat

10 yards

Halfling

20 yards

Troglodyte

30 yards

Hobhound

10 yards

Undead

As daylight

Hydra

20 yards

Wolf

15 yards

More About RoundsEdit

The round is the basic unit of time used in combat, as well as in other situations where it is important to keep track of a lot of things that are happening all at once. During a round, a character can accomplish roughly what a real person would be able to do in ten seconds. Of course, confusion, panic, and indecision all play a part, so don't expect a character to achieve very much during a round.

Obviously, if an adventurer was fighting an Orc, in reality they Orc and the character would move at the same time, swap blows simultaneously, and do whatever they wanted to do all within the same brief ten second space. However, for practical purposes we deal with each combatant in turn.

The Order Within the Round: During the ten second round, each character takes an individual turn. The character with the highest I has the first turn, followed by the character with the second highest, then the next highest and so on. Monsters, NPCs, hirelings, and all characters, whether on the GM's side or the players' side, take their turn in strict rotation.

Characters may elect to go later in the round than their I indicates, but may never go earlier. They may wish, for example, to see what someone else is doing before they commit themselves to an action. I indicates the earliest time in the round when characters can act, but does not force them to act at that time.

Where opponents have the same I score, their actions will take place at the same time. So, if two such characters were fighting and one killed the other, the 'dead' character would still get his attack.

ActionsEdit

Once you have established who goes first, the next thing is to find out who does what. Here is a list of basic options. There are plenty of other things that characters might (and will!) try to do in a round, and GMs should judge each case on its individual merits and decide whether the character will be able to perform a given task in ten seconds or less, bearing in mind the circumstances at the time. Players should have a free choice of action for their characters at any time, but you must make sure that the action is possible; no flying through 2-foot-wide pipes, no arm wrestling with dragons, and no sudden references to skills, trappings, or other ideas that the character doesn't actually have...

Move: Rules for movement are given in the section on Moving. If this brings characters into base-to-base contact with an enemy, they are engaged and may only follow the move with the combat or flee combat options.

Charge: Characters who are not already engaged may initiate combat by charging. To do this, characters must be within their M score, in yards, from the target of the charge. Therefore, a character with a M score of 3 could charge from a maximum distance of 3 yards. Having moved, the character may then strike a blow in the normal way. Charging characters receive a +10% modifier to WS scores for the first blow they strike in combat.

Missile: So long as characters are not already engaged in hand-to-hand combat, they can fire a missile weapon, such as a bow or crossbow, or throw a spear, axe, or other throwing weapon. Normally, only one missile attack can be made during a round (there are exceptions - see the Missile Weapons Chart).

Combat: In hand-to-hand combat, characters may strike as many blows as they have A.

Magic: Most magical operations take an entire round to put into effect.

Take-up: Characters can draw a weapon from a scabbard or pouch, or open a bag and take out an item, such as a flask of water or a handful of coins. Putting away such an item also counts as a take-up. The GM may optionally decide to allow instant take-up, so that the action takes no time at all; this will speed up the game, but there are times when it can be more interesting to treat take-up as an action. For example, a large and unpleasant monster is bearing down on the party and one character has an item in his rucksack which will deal with it. It might be buried at the bottom and take longer to find. The character rummages frantically through his rucksack and, meanwhile, the monster is getting closer...

Whether you allow this or not depends on what sort of a game you want. If you want a fast moving, exciting, but slightly abstract game, then it is best to allow instant take-up. If you want a more realistic, but inevitably slower game, then you might rule that items are not immediately to hand can only be taken up on a successful I test or that they take D6 rounds to find.

Drop: Remember, each character has only so many hands and cannot hold a torch and a weapon in the same hand. Putting away items, sheathing swords, or even swapping hands, is equivalent to a take-up action. Often, players will want their characters to simply drop something that they are carrying in order to get round this problem. This is acceptable, but a dropped item may suffer damage. Dropping an item takes no time at all, and the character is free to perform any other action.

Dropped candles and torches will go out 75% of the time. Dropped lamps and lanterns will go out 50% of the time. A lamp or lantern which does not go out has a 25% chance of catching fire, causing a pool of burning oil 2D4 feet in diameter, lasting for D4 rounds. This causes 2D4 W per round.

Damage on other items can be left to the GM to determine under the circumstances.

Initiative and SurpriseEdit

In an encounter, it often happens that adversaries are met suddenly, without prior warning of their presence. For example, robbers might burst out from behind bushes. Sometimes adventurers will be able to attack their own enemies in a similar way. This is called surprise.

If characters or creatures are confronted by opponents of which they were previously unaware, they will be surprised. Characters will be aware of opponents if they hear them, if they see them (or their lights) or if they detect them by magical means, but not if they merely think someone/thing might be there.

Surprised characters and creatures may do absolutely nothing for one round, whilst their enemies have a 'free round' to act in. Often, both parties will be surprised, neither expecting the other to be present. In such a case, both sides stand and gawp for the equivalent of a round and then rounds continue as normal.

AmbushEdit

In an ambush, either the adventurers or their enemies are hidden and gain surprise automatically. The sequence runes as follows:

  1. Hidden characters/creatures reveal themselves - denoting the end of a round
  2. The ambushers have a free round
  3. Normal rounds continue

Bursting Through DoorsEdit

When characters burst through a door into a room, they may surprise anyone or anything in the room. This depends on several things: whether the inhabitants of the room have been forewarned by sentries or alarms, how quiet the party has been in approaching the door, and so on. Obviously, if the party has spent the last fifteen minutes hammering the door down, anyone on the other side of it is unlikely to be surprised when it finally bursts through! You should use your own judgment in these cases, but it's usually just a matter of common sense.

Effective Initiative (optional)Edit

In a single round of combat, characters and creatures make actions in descending order of I scores. However, there are modifiers to this (for charging, winning, etc.) which can vary on a round-by-round basis, so that I scores change in terms of determining order of actions. Equally obviously, though, the basic I score for a creature does not change with these modifiers. The best way of looking at this, which enables us to tackle other problems, is to use the term Effective Initiative (EI) to denote the temporary level of this characteristic due to modifiers.

For example: Helmut the Warrior, with I 45, is fighting a Skaven warrior (I 40). On the first round, he missed his blow, while the Skaven nicked him for 1 W of damage. The Skaven is now considered to be winning this combat (see below). This gives the Skaven a +10 modifier to I on the second round. We can say that, for the second round of combat, the EI of the Skaven is 50 and Helmut's EI is 45. This makes a crucial difference, since the Skaven will now strike a blow before Helmut.

Using EI allows the gamesmaster and players to run combat much more smoothly, as we shall now see.

'Effective Initiative' ModifierEdit

Consider two creatures in combat. Neither has any advantage for charging or having surprise; one has I 55 and one has I 54. Clearly, there will be little difference between how swift they are to act and the optional EI modifier suggested here reflects this. Prior to each round of combat, but after players have called their planned actions, the GM determines randomly which side in the fight has a slight edge, due to the variability of reaction times. This is determined using D6 and D10. If the D6 is 1-3, the PCs have an edge, if 4-6 their enemies do. The result of the D10 roll is added to the EI score on the side which has the slight edge.

For example: Helmut (I 45) and his friends Skallier the Elven Ranger (I 63) and Ragnerek the Human Ranger (I 39) are fighting three more Skaven (I 40). At the start of the fight, the GM rolls 1D6 = 2, showing that the PCs have an edge, and 1D10 = 7, so that each character may add +7 to EI this round. Now the EIs for the three adventurers are 52, 70, and 46, respectively, so that all three can act before the Skaven. This may make an important difference, since Ragnarek gets promoted in the striking order.

This simple optional modifier increases the uncertainty of events, so far as creatures with reasonably well-matched basic I scores go, while making sure that creatures with considerably better I scores than their opponents will keep the advantage that the larger difference should mean.

Multiple AttacksEdit

For this purpose, the EI system is highly useful. Combats which involve creatures with varying numbers of multiple A can be tricky for the GM to handle. Should a creature with I 40 and 2 A strike with both before a creature with I 35 and 5 A? This again seems implausible. The EI system offers a simple way out.

The formula is easy. Divide a creature's EI at the start of the round (basic I, optional modifier, any modifier for winning, etc.) by the number of A which it can make. Its blows will then fall at regular intervals throughout the round.

For example: Serafin, an Elven Assassin with I 70, is facing an Ogre, with I 30. The Elf has 3 A, the Ogre has 2. Using the optional I modifier, the GM determines that the Elf has an EI bonus of +2 this round, for a total EI of 72.

The Elf's three A take place at 72, 48, and 24: the two replies from the Ogre at 30 and 15. Thus, the sequence of A is: Elf, Elf, Ogre, Elf, Ogre.

Fractions equal to or greater than one-half are rounded up, fractions below one-half are rounded down (so with EI 70, A would take place on 70, 35, and 18).

This is not too time-consuming a system to use, because multiple A only apply to hand-to-hand combat and not to missile fire or magic, What's more, it's not difficult for a player to make this division of blows, since the maximum number of A for PCs is 4, anyway (our Assassin is one short of this maximum).

The GM can then go through actions for PCs and their opponents, simply going through in order of descending EI as normal. The only difference is that second and third A, etc., will occur later down the list, with some monsters and PCs entering the fray more than once. The effect of this system is to 'even out' multiple blows, so that no one can inflict a huge number of A due to high I before an opponent, even one with multiple A itself, can attempt one strike.

Actions in multiple A sequence cannot be delayed; they will simply be lost. In the example above, if for some reason the Elven Assassin had not used his EI 72 A, he would have been left with only two, which would occur at the normal times - EI 48 and EI 24.

Note finally that extreme differences in I will remain protected with this system. For example, our Elven Assassin will still land all three of his blows before a Giant (I 20) could land any of his five. This is not unreasonable, because the difference in I is very large indeed and the reaction time of the creatures is so different as to make this plausible. Of course, when the Giant gets going, it doesn't half rain down a torrent of violence, but I (and EI) is essentially the ability to react quickly, not to strike many blows (that is determined by the creature's A characteristic).

A Simplified SystemEdit

A faster, albeit less realistic, variant on these rules for multiple A is to use the same basic I and order of A as above, but apply modifiers for winning, charging, surprise, etc., to the individual A and not to the I score to create an EI each combat round. This way, the GM and players do not have to change the EI round by round. This option is, as noted, faster, but it tends to have a strongly negative effect on characters or creatures with multiple A who have an indifferent I score to begin with.

Take-Up ActionsEdit

Drawing a weapon for use should definitely take time! The following rules should be used:

Two-handed weapons and bows of all sorts will take a complete round to draw. If the bow is not loaded, the loading time should be added as well.

Shields and bucklers take a round to ready for use, if not already strapped to an arm.

Hand weapons, if drawn, result in a loss of EI (see below). The penalty should vary with the size of the weapon. A knife or dagger can be drawn quickly and results in an EI loss of only -10 (assuming the weapon is close to hand). Drawing a sword or other larger-size hand weapon results in an EI loss of -20. Obviously, these penalties to EI only apply on the combat round on which the weapon is being drawn.

You will need to decide how long it takes to draw other weapons, reflecting the importance of how ready to hand a weapon is. For example, a whip wrapped around the waist would probably take a full round to ready for use; but if it were carried looped in a stout leather strap-holder on a belt, it could be retrieved more quickly, resulting in an EI loss of only -20. Weapons carried in a backpack will take longest of all to retrieve for use.

Pack Items: How long it takes to get an item from a backpack depends on how much stuff is in there already! Since, by and large, the more items there are inside a pack, the higher the total encumbrance (ENC) value, a reasonably simple rule can be used:

It takes one round to open up the pack (this includes taking it off one' back, if it is there). Then, to find an item takes one round per 30 ENC units of things inside the pack or part thereof.

An important note is that EI loss from take-up actions is taken into account after working out when multiple A are completed. This may well lead to the loss of one or more A from that multiple A sequence.

Multiple OpponentsEdit

Generally, it is impossible to switch A between opponents in hand-to-hand combat in one round, but at least one A is lost per switch or more if the GM rules that several yards or more must be traveled. For example, a character with three A fighting two Goblins could strike once at one, turn or move to fight the other (losing one A), and then get one blow at the second enemy.

Changing A doesn't have to be declared in advance. For example, if a Warrior unexpectedly inflicts a massive critical hit on one enemy, he can then change his intended action (to strike again at the same enemy) and, instead, try to hit another target with any A he has remaining. However, letting fly missiles at different aimed-at opponents in missile combat is not possible.

Initiating Hand-To-Hand CombatEdit

Characters within their standard move distance of an enemy may initiate combat by moving into physical contact with them. This is the normal way to initiate hand-to-hand combat.

Charging: Characters moving into combat over a distance which is equal to or less than their M characteristic, in yards, are deemed to be charging. They may both move and strike a blow - with a bonus of 10% to WS - in the same round. Charging means that the character has a certain psychological edge and will derive a physical advantage from the force of impact.

Being Charged: Characters with low I scores will frequently find themselves charged before they have a chance to react. Because their opponent has initiated combat, they cannot move during their individual turn unless they wish to flee combat. Sometimes, combatants have equal I score - in which case, they can both charge at the same time. When this happens, both characters count as charging and receive the appropriate bonus.

Combat: Once in combat, characters will usually continue to battle it out with their opponent until one or the other is killed or forced to flee combat. Characters may flee from combat during their individual turn if players announce their intention to do so at the beginning of the round - the characters can be assumed to have turned away without striking a blow.

This should be regarded as a last resort, however, as fleeing characters will almost certainly be struck as they turn.

Characters can be represented by models which can be moved into base-to-base contact when characters enter combat.

Characters may only strike blows and/or parry within the area designated as the front of the model. This will vary depending on the shape of the base and the direction the model is facing. When a character charges, they player moves the model so that the front of its base touches the nearest edge of the opponent's base. The opponent's model may then be turned to face the attacker. If the target is surprised or is already engaged in combat, it may not be turned to face the charge. Charging characters must move straight towards their target. They cannot sneak around the back and then charge during the same round - although they may position themselves in one round and then charge in the next. Where it is debateable whether a charger should go for the front, side, or rear of an opponent, the gamesmaster must apply common sense.

Combat ProcedureEdit

During their turn, characters may strike as many blows against the enemy as they have A. A blow can be struck by any weapon held in either hand, but holding additional weapons does not increase the number of A. The character with the highest I strikes first. Characters with equal I scores strike blows simultaneously, except that characters who are winning may always strike first if I are equal.

To work out whether a blow hits and causes damage, proceed as follows:

  1. Roll a D100 to see if the character's blow hits. If the roll is equal to or less than the character's WS, a hit is scored. Otherwise, the blow misses and nothing happens.
  2. Hits cause damage on the target. To determine how much, roll a D6, add the attacker's S and deduct the victim's T.
  3. Determine where the blow has landed. To do this, take the number rolled to attack and reverse the two figures (for example, if a player rolled 27, reversing the numbers would give 72) and consult the following table:
01-15 Head
16-35 Right Arm
36-55 Left Arm
56-80 Body
81-90 Right Leg
91-00 Left Leg

Note that this diagram refers to humanoid creatures on foot; when fighting mounted or non-humanoid creatures, refer to the sections Mounted Opponents and Non-Humanoid Opponents as appropriate.

  1. Deduct the value of any armour from the amount of damage to give the actual damage caused. So, for example, a character wearing a helmet worth one point of armour is hit on the head for three points of damage, which equals 3 - 1 = 2 points of damage caused.
  2. The damage received is deducted from the target's W characteristic. (A seperate space is given on the record sheet for players to record W. As W may be recovered later, it is messy and rather inconvenient to alter the W column of the profile itself.) Any critical hits are noted.
  3. The effect of any critical hits is resolved on the Critical Hit Chart appropriate for the body area struck.
  4. If the attacker has more than 1 attack, repeat 1-6 above for each blow in turn.

Targeted BlowsEdit

The rule here applies to both aimed hand-to-hand blows and to sharpshooting with missile weapons. If the attacker specifies a body location which he is specifically attempting to hit, there is a penalty to the WS or BS roll as appropriate; this is:

Location Modifier
Head -20
Arm -20
Body -10
Legs -10

The attacker must specify which arm he is trying to hit. It is not possible to specify arms without choosing, for the area between them is comprised of the upper body and the arms together cannot be taken as a single area for targeting.

If the targeted blow misses, it does not strike any other body area.

The penalties noted above are negated if the attacker can take advantage of surprise and also if the attacker is striking at a prone target (optionally, at an entangled target, if striking at the entangled body location). The large penalties for arm and head hits, greater than those which usually apply for small targets, reflect the fact that creatures protect their heads and their weapon-using upper limbs by reflex and conscious actions, making them especially hard to target a blow upon.

To Hit ModifiersEdit

In some situations, it can be easier or more difficult to hit an opponent, for various reasons. The chart below lists the most common instances, but there will be many other situations during the course of a game when the gamesmaster will wish to modify a character's chance to hit an opponent. You should feel free to impose modifiers as you see fit, taking the examples below as guidelines:

Charging +10 A character who initiates combat during that round by charging receives the +10 bonus for that round only.
Advantage of Ground +10 Characters who are higher up than their opponents - standing on a table, at the top of a flight of stairs, or on a sharp rise of ground, for example - can claim this bonus. It cannot be claimed just because one character is taller than another.
Winning +10 If a character won the previous round of combat against the same opponent, include this +10 bonus (see Winning and Losing below).
Obstacle -10 Opponents behind a hedge, wall, or similar obstacle are harder to hit. In some cases, they will be impossible to hit, but assuming that combat is possible, include a -10 penalty.
Using a Weapon Wrong-handed -10

Characters are assumed to be right-handed unless the player states otherwise during the generation stage and makes the appropriate note. Blows struck with the left hand suffer this penalty. This does not apply if a character has the Ambidextrous skill.

Unarmed -20 Creatures which normally use weapons suffer this penalty when trying to kick, punch, etc. This does not apply to creatures with normal unarmed attacks, such as bite, claw, etc., or to characters with unarmed combat skills, such as Street Fighting or Wrestling.

Prone and Static TargetsEdit

Targets which are not moving are considerably easier to hit than targets that are dodging, weaving, and hitting back. Prone and static targets, such as doors, treasure chests, and sleeping or unconscious enemies can be hit automatically and damage caused is doubled. When attacking a prone or static creature, characters can choose the body area they wish to strike and hit it automatically.

ParryingEdit

Any character carrying a suitable weapon may attempt to parry against a damaging blow. Roll a D100 - if the score is less than the parrying character's WS, then D6 damage has been stopped by the parry.

Characters who attempt a parry lose their next attack whether or not the parry succeeds. Characters can attempt to parry as many blows in a round as they have A, but each parry attempted uses up one A. Characters can only attempt to parry each individual blow once - a character with 2 A can not parry twice against the same blow.

Weapons suitable for parrying are:

One- and two-handed swords, maces, axes, and flails with handles; shields; spears; staffs; all parrying weapons - bucklers, sword-breakers, left-hand daggers, etc.

Characters are allowed to parry with shields, even though shields are normally treated as armour. This does not affect the armour value of the shield in any way. Because shields are fairly large and cumbersome, characters parrying with a shield lose all of their following attacks. However, the size of a shield and its ability to absorb punishment does mean that the parry stands a better than average chance of success. Characters parrying with a shield may add +20 to their WS for purposes of the parry.

Creatures controlled by the GM do not usually parry, but those with an Int of over 30 may parry if you wish.

Unarmed CombatEdit

Blows: Creatures which normally use weapons may fight unarmed, but are less effective. They suffer a -20 penalty to hit and a -3 penalty on the damage they cause.

Remember that all unarmed attacks are to stun, whether the attacker likes it or not.

Armour: Unarmed combat damage is also modified by armour.

  • If the target is wearing metal armour, the armour value is doubled; 1 point of armour counts as 2, 2 as 4, etc.
  • If the target is wearing leather armour, 1 point is added to the armour value; 1 point of armour counts as 2, 2 as 3, 3 as 4, etc.

Grapples: An unarmed character may elect to grapple rather than cause damage. The -20% modifier to WS still applies (unless the character has Wrestling skill). If the attack is successful, the opponent must make a successful Dex test or be immobilised in a hold.

Once the opponent is held, both characters count as prone targets and neither may undertake any action except maintaining or resisting the hold. The holder has the option to loose the hold at any time, but while the hold is maintained each combatant must make a S test every round.

  • if both combatants succeed or both fail, the hold is maintained for that round and nothing else happens.
  • If the holder succeeds and the held character fails, the holder has the option to apply pressure, causing damage as for a normal blow.
  • If the holder fails and the held character succeeds, the hold is broken and the held character escapes.

Winning and LosingEdit

Once the round is over, it is necessary to calculate who is 'winning' each combat. In a straight one-to-one fight, the character causing the most damage is deemed to be winning - the other character is said to be losing. A character who is winning a combat gains a +10 attack modifier on the following round only.

This still applies where a single character is fighting more than one opponent. Characters can only be said to be winning if they have caused more damage in total than they have received. Where the amount of damage caused/received is equal (or none), neither side is winning.

Characters winning a combat can be assumed to be forcing their opponent(s) into a defensive posture, being beaten back before a hail of blows. To indicate this, the model representing the losing character is moved away from the winning character by two yards (i.e., the model is moved 1"). The opponent has not turned and run away, but has stepped or shuffled back in the face of the onslaught. If it is not possible to move back, then the model remains stationary, but is still losing.

Characters who are winning a combat may press the attack by following their retreating opponent, in which case the model(s) is moved at the beginning of the next round (irrespective of turn order) so that both models are still in base-to-base contact again. The winning character dos not have to press the combat, but can move away or perform other actions - there is no penalty for this. If the winner decides not to press his attack, the losing character is temporarily thrown off-guard and may not do anything in the remainder of that round other than turn to meet a fresh attack.

FleeingEdit

Characters may flee combat voluntarily or may be forced to do so by a critical hit for example. Characters who are forced to flee combat do so on the next round, in their normal individual turn - but are considered to be fleeing from the moment the result is rolled. For characters to flee of their own volition, the player must have declared that the character is doing so at the beginning of the round and the character is considered to be fleeing from that moment.

Fleeing characters turn their back to the enemy and move directly away from the combat. The move can be at cautious, standard, or running rate - but is intended to place the character beyond harm and so will usually be a run. Many of the critical hit chart flee instructions specify a move rate - usually cautious. Whatever the move rate, the character may do nothing else that round.

Any characters or creatures fleeing from combat are open to attack. Each opponent may strike one blow at their back, no matter how many A they have, and regardless of normal turn sequence. These 'free' attacks are resolved normally, with a +10 bonus for winning. Since the target's back is turned, no parrying may be attempted and shields provide no protection. Other armour gives protection as normal.

During the round in which an opponent flees, the victor must remain stationary - or at least do no more than turn to meet a fresh charge (assuming the character has not been surprised) or continue to fight normally if engaged by another opponent. The attack against the fleeing character is free and the victor may make the normal number of attacks against any other opponents.

WeaponsEdit

There are many different kinds of weapons, but they all tend to have the same basic purpose and very similar effects. The effect of most weapons is dependent on the individual skill of the wielder rather than on some property of the weapon itself. However, some weapons are especially difficult to use and these are called specialist weapons. Specialist weapons can only be successfully employed by characters with the appropriate Specialist Weapon skill. Unskilled characters attempting to use specialist weapons are considered to have a WS of 10 and the gamesmaster can impose a Risk test or some other penalty if there is any chance of the unskilled character being hurt. Weapon modifiers are summarised in the table below.

Ordinary weapons include the following:

Specialist weapons include the following:

Weapon ModifiersEdit

Weapon modifiers are optional to the main rules. Do not use them if you feel they would slow down the game or make procedures over-complex. An experienced GM and players may find them useful.

The following chart lists the modifiers for a range of weapons. The modifiers are as follows:

Weapon

Initiative

To Hit

Damage

Parry

Hand Weapon

-

-

-

-

Knife/Dagger

+10

-

-2

-20

Spear*

+10/+20

+10**

-

-

Improvised Weapons

-10

-

-2

+10

Bastard Sword

-10

-

+1

-

2-Handed Weapon

-10

-

+2

-

Halberd*

-10/+20

-10/0**

+2

-

Quarter Staff

-

-

-1

-

Flail

-

-10

+1

-10

2-Handed Flail

-20

-20

+3

-10

Rapier

+20

-

-1

-

Buckler

-

-

-2

+20

Left-Hand Dagger

-

-

-2

-10

Sword-Breaker

-

-

-2

-10

Lance***

+20

+10

+2

-20

Net

-

-10

-

-10

Fist Weapon

-

-10

-1

-

Whip

-

-10

-2

-20

* Spears and halberds receive a +10 I bonus during the first round of combat and during subsequent rounds if the user is winning. If their opponent is mounted, they receive a +20 I bonus during the first round of combat and subsequent rounds if winning.

** Against aerial combatants only.

*** The lance is only fully effective when mounted and charging. In all other circumstances, the butt end of the lance is used with the same effect as a Hand Weapon.

ArmourEdit

Armour absorbs damage. When characters are hit, the number of W caused is reduced by any armour they are wearing on the body area struck. A record of any armour worn should be kept on the character sheet together with any associated reductions to movement. See the section on Armour for more details on the various types.

Additional DamageEdit

Sometimes, a lucky or powerful blow will penetrate right to the very vitals of a target, causing greater than normal damage or even death. When any creature rolls to 6 on the damage die (before all modifications), there is a possibility that such a blow has been struck.

The player rolls a D100 a second time; if the number rolled is equal to or less than the character's WS, additional damage has been caused. Another D6 is rolled and the result added to the first die roll.

If the second die roll is also a 6, don't make another WS test, merely roll another D6 and so on until a number less than 6 is scored.

The total damage is modified in the usual way, adding S and deducting T and armour to get the damage caused. Additional damage is only caused on an unmodified roll of '6'. A character cannot use Luck skill to cause additional damage.

Critical HitsEdit

A target can absorb damage up to its W total without penalty. This characteristic represents a 'buffer level', and only once this has been destroyed is real damage incurred. Damaging blows which exceed a character's W total are referred to as critical hits and often incapacitate or kill the target.

Critical FumblesEdit

When a character fails an attack roll by rolling higher than his or her WS and rolls a double, a critical fumble has occured. Thus, for example, a character with a WS of 45 will fumble on a roll of 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00. When a fumble occurs, make a note of the number rolled and consult the relevant table.

StunsEdit

Characters may declare that they are going for a stun before they strike a blow. They should be aware, however, that unless they have the Strike To Stun skill, the chances of successfully stunning an opponent in hand-to-hand combat are minimal. The procedure is bascially the same as for normal combat. First, the character must roll to hit - with a penalty of -20 to WS if he or she does not have the Strike To Stun skill. Next, damage is calculated as normal, except that the hit location of an attempted stun is always considered to be the head, and thus only head armour and/or shields are taken into account. Note that the victim will not lose any W points, unless the result of the D6 damage roll is a natural 6. In this case, additional damage must be calculated as normal (see Additional Damage above). Only the additional damage is subtracted from the victim's W score which represents the possibility of accidentally hitting someone too hard! The modified result of the first D6 roll (i.e., D6 plus S minus T and any head armour/shield) is then multiplied by 5 to give a percentage chance of inflicting a stun. If the attacking character has the Strike To Stun skill, this chance is increased by +20. Note that if a character has the opportunity to sneak up on someone from behind, the chances are greatly improved - the victim may, at the GMs discretion, be treated as a prone or static target, and is thus hit automatically and the chance of being stunned is doubled. The number of minutes for which a stunned character will remain unconscious is determined by rolling a number of D10. The number of dice to be rolled is equal to 10 minus the victim's T.

All unarmed attacks are to stun.

Mounted CombatEdit

Striking Mounted Targets: Will a blow strike a mount or rider? This will depend on the relative heights of the creatures involved. The question can be resolved fairly easily using a D100:

Attacker Horse-Sized Mount Larger Mount
Creature less than 10' tall 01-40 Rider 01-20 Rider
41-00 Mount 21-00 Mount
Creature 10' or more 01-50 Rider 01-50 Rider
51-00 Mount 51-00 Mount
Rider on Mount 01-50 Rider 01-50 Rider
51-00 Mount 51-00 Mount

In combats where both sides are mounted and where the mounts also have attacks, the mounts will also have two potential targets. In such a case, the mount follows this procedure but adds 10% to all rolls. It is harder to attack a higher target with the additional weight and encumbrance of a rider.

Slain Mounts: Riders whose mounts are slain roll a D100:

01-70 Dismounted - may continue to fight on foot with no ill effects.
71-90 Thrown - calculate damage as for a fall of D4 yards. Rider is thrown in a random direction.
91-00 Trapped under mount - take one point of damage for each S point of the mount. May attempt a S test each round to crawl out from under the mount. Until free, trapped riders count as prone targets.

Non-Humanoid OpponentsEdit

Many of the creatures that appear within the game are basically humanoid and the normal hit location system can be used where necessary. This also applies to quadrupeds such as horses, arms counting as forelimbs, legs as rear limbs. Other creatures may be basically amorphous or unlikely to wear armour, in which case it is not necessary to know where a blow lands unless you are applying the injury rules to these creatures.

In other cases, the gamesmaster must use his own judgment. Here are some general guidelines for dealing with hit locations on non-humanoid creatures:

Winged humanoid Use humanoid hit location table; 25% of arm hits are on wings, as are 75% of body hits from rear.
Octopus Use D10; 1-8: tentacle, 9-10: body.
Multiple heads Use hit location tables for basic form; head hits are distributed randomly between heads. A critical hit to a head which would kill a single-headed creature will put the affected head out of action (reducing Int, WP, and possible other characteristics at the GMs discretion), killing the creature only if all the heads are destroyed.
Flightless bird Use humanoid hit location table; all arm hits become body hits.
Snake Use D4; 1-3: body, 4: head.
Centaur Use humanoid hit location table; 60% of body hits are on horse body, 40% on humanoid body. Leg hits are always on forelegs unless attack is from rear.
Hydra 90% of hits are on heads (equal chance of each), 10% on body. Reverse percentages if attacking from rear.
Tails Hit locations for tails are not given because tails are usually only liable to attack from the rear. When a tailed creature is attacked from behind, the tail is struck whenever the hit location table indicates a head hit.

Especially Tall OpponentsEdit

It isn't easy to hit a giant's head if you are only 3' tall! Where there is a height difference of 10' or more, a smaller character may attack only the legs of the target, plus any attacking limb or head. Hits scored on other parts of the body are re-rolled.

Special Attacks From Large CreaturesEdit

Some large creatures have special attacks which take the form of bites, tail-lashing, etc. Details on these attack forms are given in the Bestiary.

Attacks From Flying CreaturesEdit

Because of the way they move, it is possible for flying creatures to dive into and then climb out of combat all in the same round. Fight a normal round of combat at the point of contact. Attacked characters may always attempt to parry - even if they have already taken their individual turn within the round. Characters may strike back at their attacker only if they have not already taken their individual turn within the round. They can do this even though the flyer may have actually moved on and is no longer in physical contact during its individual part of the round. It is assumed the two antagonists swap blows as the flyer passes, although I order is observed as normal.

Flying creatures may leave a combat at any time they wish. They are not considered to be fleeing and do not receive a blow as they leave (as would ground opponents).

This applies only to cases where a flying creature is attacking a creature on the ground - combat between flying creatures is resolved in the same way as combat between grounded creatures.

Missile FireEdit

Missile weapons are used at a distance. They include any weapon which is thrown (e.g., axes, darts, and spears) or which fires a projectile (e.g., a bow, crossbow, or gunpowder weapon).

Combat ProcedureEdit

Unlike hand-to-hand combat, characters' A characteristics have no effect on the number of missile attacks they may make during a round. Using a missile weapon breaks down into three distinct actions: Draw/Load, Aim, and Fire/Throw. It normally takes one round (ten seconds) to draw/load, aim, and fire/throw a missile weapon. Some missile weapons, such as crossbows and gunpowder weapons, take longer to prepare and fire, while the repeating crossbow can fire more rapidly. Load/fire times are specified in the Missile Weapon Chart.

Draw/Load: This includes taking an arrow from a quiver or a throwing knife from a bandolier, loading and cocking a crossbow or gunpowder weapon, and so on. In some cases, such as crossbows and gunpowder weapons, loading takes place in a seperate round from aiming and firing. These need not be two successive rounds; characters can walk around with loaded crossbows if they wish (see Carrying Loaded Weapons).

Aim: Characters firing missile weapons must be able to draw a straight line to their target. They cannot fire around corners or through walls! The target must also be within the range of their weapons. Aiming normally takes place in the same round as firing, although it may take longer if the target is at extreme range (see Firing at Extreme Range).

Fire/Throw: When a missile is fired or thrown, hits are determined in the same way as for hand-to-hand combat, except for using the BS characteristic in place of WS.

To establish whether a shot hits, roll a D100. If the score is equal to or less than the shooting character's BS, the shot has hit. If the die roll is higher than the skill, the shot has missed.

When a character is firing into a group of creatures and is not trying to strike an individual target, BS is increased by +5% per additional creature in the group above one. Thus, if the group is of three creatures, the firer gets a +10 bonus to BS; if of four, it is +15; and so on.

Hit LocationEdit

Hit location is determined in the same way as for hand-to-hand combat.

DamageEdit

Damage is determined in the same way as for hand-to-hand combat. The effective strength of the weapon is used instead of the S of the creature firing it; this is given in the Missile Weapons Chart.

Hits at long range cause one less point of damage. Hits at extreme range cause two less points of damage. T and armour deductions are made as normal.

Additional Damage: Additional damage is caused in the same way as in hand-to-hand combat.

Critical Hits: Critical hits resulting from missile fire will be rarer than those resulting from hand-to-hand combat. For general purposes, the Sudden Death Critical system can be used; the gamesmaster may use the Detailed Critical system if desired, although some of the effects may need adapting slightly.

To Hit ModifiersEdit

A character suffers certain disadvantageous modifiers under some circumstances - if the target is a long way off, especially small, and so on. Typical modifiers are as follows:

Firing at a small target -10 Generally, anything under 1' high and long counts as a small target
Firing at a large target +10 Generally anything above 8' tall (Giant, Ogre, Troll, etc.)
Firing from a moving mount -10 Such as a horse or from a wagon
Firing at a running target -10 Moving at full running speed
Firing at evading target -20 See below
Firing at long range -10 Target is at long range for the weapon being used, as defined on the Missile Weapons Chart
Throwing improvised missile -10 Such as stones, pottery, chairs, etc.
Target in soft cover -10 The target is partially hidden by vegetation, woods, or trees
Target in hard cover -20 The target is partially hidden by stone or brick work, walls, or battlements
Firing at extreme range -20 Target is at extreme range for the weapon being used, as defined on the Missile Weapons Chart

An evading target is one which is running at full speed, but which is also taking evasive action by zig-zagging and dodging. This will usually only happen with creatures smart enough to do it (an Int test may be used if the GM is unsure about this), but it offers PCs the chance of making a safer retreat from bow-using enemies. An evading target only travels 75% of the distance of one at full running speed, due to the irregularity of its course (e.g., with M 3, full running speed is 48 yards per round, evasion speed 36 yards per round). In all other respects (e.g., for suffering Risk tests, enforced slowing each round due to fatigue, etc.), evasion counts as full running speed. You can also impose further modifiers at your own discretion.

Ordinary And Specialist WeaponsEdit

As with hand-to-hand weapons, missile weapons fall into the two classes of ordinary and specialist weapons. Specialist weapons can only be used effectively by characters with the relevant Specialist Weapon skill; unskilled characters attempting to use a specialist wepon do so with an effective BS of 10 and the gamesmaster can impose a Risk test on some other penalty if there is any chance of the character hurting himself by misusing the weapon.

Ordinary weapons include the following:

Specialist weapons include the following:

Firearms include the following:

ArtilleryEdit

Missile Weapon ChartEdit

 

Range

 

 

Weapon

Short

Long

Extreme

ES

Load/Fire Times

Short Bow

16

32

150

3

1 round

Normal Bow

24

48

250

3

1 round

Long Bow

32

64

300

3

1 round

Elf Bow

32

64

300

4

1 round

Crossbow

32

64

300

4

1 round to load; 1 round to fire

Crossbow Pistol

16

32

50

1

1 round to load; 1 round to fire

Repeating Crossbow

32

-

100

1

Fires 2 shots a round; Magazine holds 10 bolts; 8 rounds to refill magazine

Sling

24

36

150

3

1 round

Staff-Sling

24

36

200

4

1 round to load; 1 round to fire

Javelin

8

16

50

C

1 round

Spear

4

8

25

C

1 round

Dart

4

8

20

C

1 round

Throwing Knife

4

8

20

C

1 round

Throwing Axe

4

8

20

C

1 round

Blowpipe

12

24

50

1

1 round

Lasso

8

16

30

-

1 round to throw; 2 rounds to recoil

Bolas

12

24

50

1

1 round

Bomb

5

12 20

6

1 round to light fuse and throw

Incendiary

5

12

20

F

1 round to light fuse and throw

Improvised

2

6

10

C

1 round

ES - The Effective Strength of the weapon

C - The S of the thrower should be used in place of the Effective Strength of the weapon.

F - This weapon causes normal fire damage.

Note that the Repeating Crossbow has no Long range: any target over Short range is taken as Extreme.


Firearms ChartEdit

Ranges

Weapon

Point Blank

Short

Long

Extreme

Load/fire times

Arquebus

3/4

30/4

60/4

300/3

2 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Blunderbuss

3/5

24/3

48/3

250/2

3 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Duck-foot♦

3/4

8/3

16/3

50/2

2 rounds/barrel to load, 1 round to fire

Duelling Pistol

3/4

8/3

16/3

50/2

2 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Henricus Salus

3/4

8/4

16/4

50/3

2 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Jezail

3/4

36/3

72/3

400/2

3 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Pike Gun

3/4

12/3

24/3

50/2

2 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Pistol

3/3

12/3

24/3

50/2

2 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Swivel Gun

3/6

24/4

48/3

100/2

4 rounds to load, 1 round to fire

Volley Gun♦

3/4

12/3

24/3

50/3

2 rounds/barrel to load, 1 round to fire

Numbers under Ranges are range in yards/Effective Strength.

♦ These weapons fire multiple shots - see individual weapon descriptions.

TimekeepingEdit

As most missile fire does not take place within the same sort of close confines as hand-to-hand combat, it is not always convenient to use formal rounds and models to represent it. For example, if a group of adventurers is standing and firing at an advancing group of Goblins, there is little to be gained in going through the process round by round. It is often easier to work out how long it will take for the target to come within combat distance and allow the firers an appropriate number of shots.

Firing At Extreme RangeEdit

Firing at targets at extreme range will take a whole round longer than normal. This is to allow for the added difficulty of aiming at distant targets. This penalty may be discounted, at the gamesmaster's discretion, if the character is firing indiscriminately into a large group of opponents. This is in addition to the -20 attack roll modifier for firing at extreme range.

SharpshootingEdit

Firers may try to fire at specific parts of a target (head, chest, arm, etc.). This may only be attempted at short range and firing will take a whole round longer than normal. The player nominates the target body area. Modifiers to the targeted area are as listed for Targeted Blows above. Shots which miss will miss altogether; they will not hit another area or individual.

Carrying Loaded WeaponsEdit

There is no reason why characters shouldn't be allowed to wander around with arrows permanently nocked to their bow or throwing axes ready to throw. In these cases, it is easiest to assume that aiming and firing takes an entire round - the character is not allowed to squeeze in an extra shot or throw! Having a weapon ready to throw or fire does mean that the character will be quick to react to some sudden danger, however, so the character can claim an I bonus of +10 for missile fire during that round.

Firearm Reload TimesEdit

Firearms are nerve-wrackingly slow to reload. By making sure that you enfore the reload times, you can make your players realise very quickly that Dirty Harry would have had a very tough time in the Old World. In the end, a lot of characters won't be able to stand having to do nothing but reload for a couple of rounds while the Nasties are bearing down on them and gunplay will end up being more or less restricted to the first round of combat.

If you want to be really mean, you might have characters make a Dex test when reloading under stress (e.g., with several Orcs thundering towards him); according to the severity of failure, he might suffer one of the following problems (GM's choice):

  • -10 I modifier on the firing round;
  • Need to spend an additional round reloading;
  • Automatic misfire;
  • Forgot the powder - gun produces a heart-warming click but nothing else;
  • Forgot the shot - a loud bang, but no damage;
  • Left the ramrod in the barrel - gun fires normally, doing 3x normal damage, but cannot be used again until the ramrod is recovered.

DampEdit

Gunpowder won't function at all if it gets damp. So the PCs have to be very careful where and how they pack it. There are all sorts of opportunities to soak our heroes' powder and put their firearms out of action for a while - driving rain, swollen rivers that must be crossed, and so on. Powder which is actually in a weapon is especially prone to damp. And, of course, the more securely powder is stowed, the longer it takes to unpack. On the other hand, if a character comes up with the idea of stowing the powder inside his shirt and keeping a Protection From Rain spell going all the time, you should let him get away with it. Such ingenuity deserves to be rewarded.

MisfiresEdit

Bombs and gunpowder weapons are subject to misfires. Any natural roll of any double (i.e., 66, 99, 00, etc.) made when rolling to hit indicates that a misfire has occured. Roll a D100 and consult the relevant chart:

Gunpowder Weapons
01-20 Partial burn. Not all the powder catches; range and effective strength are halved (rounding fractions up) for this shot only.
21-50 Charge fails to ignite; no need to reload, fire as normal next round
51-70 Charge fails to ignite; must reload to fire
71-80 Slow burn or 'hang fire'. The priming goes off, but nothing else seems to happen. However, the weapon will fire in the following round, with potentially dangerous consequences. Anyone who is stupid enough to look down the barrel of a gun which has hung fire takes an automatic point-blank head shot.
81-90 Flash in the pan. The powder around the touch-hole ignites in a bright flash, but the gun does not go off. The gun must be reprimed before it can be fired again; this takes one round. The firer suffers a -10 penalty to his BS on the reprimed shot due to an understandable degree of nervousness about what is to happen next...
91-99 Burn-round. The powder catches, but the shot is either insufficiently wadded or a little too small for the barrel. The net result is that the heat of the burning powder welds the shot into the barrel. The weapon is now useless and has a 50% chance of exploding if anyone tries to use it again.
00 Charge explodes causing an automatic hit on the user and destroying the weapon
Bombs
01-50 Bomb fails to explode
51-80 Bomb sputters; roll a D6 every round - when a 6 is rolled, the bomb explodes
81-95 Bomb explodes half way between thrower and target
96-00 Bomb explodes in thrower's hand

Flying CreaturesEdit

Fliers as Targets: When firing at a flying target, ranges are increased by one step. Short range is treated as long, long range is treated as extreme, and no fire is possible at extreme range.

To calculate the range of a flying target, add the horizontal and vertical distances together. The result is treated as the range. In fact, it will be longer than the distance between the shooter and target, but this simulates the difficulty of firing upwards.

Fliers Using Missiles: Flying creatures can throw or fire missiles down from any height. Count the range as the horizontal range only; disregard the vertical distance. Missiles always reach the ground - there is no maximum range as such. However, missiles thrown from heights of over the weapon's maximum range are assumed not to hit, unless they are boulders being thrown at buildings.

Air-To-Air Missile Fire: When two flying creatures exchange missile fire, the lower of the two is treated as being on the ground and adds the horizontal distance and vertical distance to give the range. The higher of the two uses horizontal distance only.

Two flying creatures at the same level exchange missile fire as if they were both on the ground, subject to the shorter ranges as set out above.

Flying Mounts: Missile fire by creatures mounted on fliers is subject to the normal -10 penalty for firing from a moving mount.

Missiles In Melee CombatEdit

The easiest rule to employ here is that missile weapons can be used in melee, but characters cannot reload them. It simply isn't possible to slip a bolt into a crossbow and draw the string taut for firing when a stinking Ogre is trying to smash your brains out all over the floor with a whacking great club. Instinctive attempts to evade such a fate makes the concentration and discipline needed for reloading a missile weapon impossible to sustain.

Weapons such as a throwing knife or throwing axe may be used, but it is unlikely any character would need or wish to do this, for they could strike a friend by mistake (see below). When firing into melee combat, it is assumed here that a firer wishes to hit a specific target (or at least to avoid one!); if this is not so, use the rules for firing at a group above.

Firing into hand-to-hand combat is obviously possible, but the character may have problems hitting his intended target. The chance of such a mistake occuring is 5% per additional creature within the group fighting. The GM determines randomly which creature is hit in such cases. If the firer's BS is not very high, no extra roll should be needed to find out whether an unintended target was hit. One can simply add the appropriate number to the upper end of the range.

For example: Helmut is being set upon by four Goblins and Ragnerek the Ranger is 200 yards away, across very rough terrain. Ragnerek is a good shot with his longbow, with BS 55, so even with the extreme range penalty (-20), he has a moderate chance of a hit. His player rolls a 44, a miss.

Since adjusted BS is 35 and there are 4 'secondary targets' (3 other Goblins and Helmut), a roll between 36 and 55 (4 x 5% = 20% added above the BS of 35) indicates someone has been hit. This roll of 44 therefore means Ragnerek has hit one of them; the GM rolls a D4 to determine who is hit and one of the other Goblins goes down with an arrow through his guts. Ragnerek nocks another arrow and hopes his luck will hold. So does Helmut.

Once it has been determined that a target has been hit, the normal procedure for hit location and damage is followed. For the purpose of these rules, a group is defined in the normal way; i.e., a separation of 4 yards constitutes another group.

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