Combat in Simple contests and other stuff.

From: Michael Cule <mikec_at_...>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 15:27:18 +0100

These are the initial notes about my proposed reform of HW combat.

HERO WARS VARIANT RULES. These are intended to eliminate many of the more 'cinematic' rules of HW and create a grittier, more focussed and easier to use system. It eliminates the Action Points/Extended Resolution System entirely and uses a series of simple resolution systems instead. Let us start with the focus of many an rpg: combat.

RETURN OF THE SON OF HIT POINTS. All characters have Body ability. This may either be based off an existing ability rating (such as Big, Healthy, Strong, Large: all animals should have their Body based off Size if nothing more appropriate is available) or be taken from the default. Default for normal humans i.e. non-warrior types, should be 15 and 20 for trained warriors and soldiers. Having lower than the usual number because of such a trait as 'Frail' or 'Aged' or 'Sickly' is a flaw. Body can be raised in the normal way. Warrior characters can always raise their Body ability at the cheaper rate, as if they have 'used it during the episode', since they most likely have. Non-warriors need to provide some story based excuse to gain the lower rate, such as special training courses or excercise.

There are three levels of Wound that a character can take: Minor, Major and Mortal. From Body we derive the number of wounds a character can sustain at each level 'paying' the cost with Body. Each point of Minor Wound Capacity costs 1 Body, each point of Major Wound costs 3 Body, Each point of Mortal Wound Capacity costs 5 Body. A character should always purchase at least one Wound at each level if possible but is otherwise free to purchase however many he likes at each level. A default starting human begins with

Minor: 4
Major: 2
Mortal: 1

And a starting warrior should start with

Minor 4
Major 2
Mortal 2

The effects of wounds are as follows

Each MINOR WOUND reduces all ability scores by 1 per wound. Each Major Wound has damaged some major physical system (arm, leg, eyes, brain) without being immediately fatal. A bump down is suffered for each Major Wound.

If a character has lost all his MORTAL WOUNDS then he is dying and may only act if he has some sort of Final Dying Strike ability and successfully uses it. If he has suffered a MORTAL WOUND but still has MORTAL WOUNDs left then he will normally fall unconscious but may use strong will or other appropriate abilities to stay in action doing a skill check (with penalties for all accumulated wounds) each time it is his turn to act. Otherwise he falls senseless.

COMBAT Each phase of combat a person may attack one other person but may defend against more than one taking the standard -3 penalty. Roll a simple contest between the two and impose the following effects:

Marginal defeat: Target is slightly wounded or dazed and at -1 for the next round.
Minor defeat: Target suffers a Minor Wound. Major defeat: Target suffer a Major Wound. Complete defeat: Target suffers a Mortal Wound.

If a target takes a wound and has already lost all his wounds at that level then the wound becomes the next higher level that still has wound levels to take. In this way, a Minor Wound on an already seriously injured opponent could become a Mortal one.

AUGMENTATIONS: Enhancements work as in the original system.

Edges and Handicaps work as follows. If a roll is made that defeats your opponent, i.e. imposes some sort of defeat on him and if that roll is also under the number of the edge or handicap then the edge or handicap has effect. An edge boosts the level of victory (not the die-roll result but the type of defeat your opponent takes) by one level and a handicap reduces it.

So with an edge effect a Marginal defeat becomes minor and a Minor becomes Major. OPTIONAL RULE: A complete defeat in combat that is boosted becomes an Instant Kill.
And contrariwise a Complete Defeat becomes a Major and so on.

Loaning action points does not happen in this system.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Mystic (and other) Strikes.

I would see this as an all out attack in which the attacker does not defend but may loose points in the ability if he fails. I don't think anything more complex than that is warranted.

Berserker Magics.

The disadvantage of not being able to easily leave the state mean I don't think we need any more special rules for a berserker. He gets his edge and that's it.

Getting Augmentations from Magic.

I'm against the current rules which make getting clobbered by the Gods is nearly as likely as getting blessed. Let's say rather than what's on p 134

Marginal Defeat: All magical effects are -1 for the rest of the scene. Minor Defeat: All magical effects from this source are at -1 for the next week.
Major Defeat: All magical effects from this source are unavailable until a ritual of purification can be performed. Complete Defeat: Target suffers penalty equal and opposite to the bonus being sought.

Michael Cule

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