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Combat

Combat Basics


Combat in Realm of Strife is turn based and takes place in a Turn Order that is determined a the beginning of each new combat or encounter. In the event that one faction within the combat was able to set up some kind of Ambush or surprise attack, everyone within the ambushing faction will get one free round before combat reverts to the basic Turn Order rules.

While each playable character or GM controlled foe/character must act in Turn Order (highest to lowest), one character per side may forfeit their sequenced turn and choose to act last (often referred to as “going to the bottom of the queue”)

A player characters turn (as well as GM controlled NPCs and foes) is typically comprised of some combination of movement, an instant and an action. However at times a player may be required to surrender their whole turn to accomplish something. These various elements of a turn are summarized as follows:

Whole Turn

If something states that it requires a ‘Whole Turn’ then it is the only thing that character may do on their turn. 

Recover: Surrender whole turn (no movement, instant, or action allowed) to regain 1 HP, often referred to as “taking a hit point”. Not to be confused with Resting outside of combat. Recovery may also remove certain CC effects, or can be a CC effect in and of itself.

Whole-turn Skills: Some Primary and Secondary Skills may require you to surrender your entire turn. Some common examples would be Prayer of Faith and Meditation (Focus).

Sprint: move at double your natural (ground) movement speed, taking into account any movement penalties, slows, or other movement impairing effects, and ignoring any kind of speed boost or buff. Sprinting immediately ends your turn. While sprinting all passive effects are prevented (i.e. Bull Charge, Flying, etc) with the exception of Trample. Sprinting while Hidden is allowed, however it simply cancels out the half movement effect of Sneaking (moving while hidden)

Hide: In order to Hide in combat a character must be our of Line of Sight of any opponent and surrender their whole turn to do so. See Hiding and Sneaking for details.

Move

All movement in Realm of Strife is stated in table-top inches, where 1  tabletop inch is approximately equal to 5 feet or 1.5 meters of real-world distance.

Regular Move: move a number of tabletop inches equal to your movement stat, according to any and all restrictions or bonus.

Charge Move: a straight line move that brings a character into base contact with an enemy is considered a Charge and may grant additional effects depending on a variety of skills.

Disengage Move: Using a regular move to willingly leave base contact with one or more foe is considered Disengaging from Combat. A disengage move is assumes the character turns their back to the foe to leave combat, allowing them to make free attacks against you. 

Instant

An instant can be thought of as a quick action or reaction that can be used at any point during your turn, but only once. Instants can be carried out before, after, or during movement.

Skill Instant: The most common form of Instant is simply any Primary or Secondary Skill labelled as an Instant.

Out-of-Turn Instant: An out-of-turn instant is typically a reaction to an action taken by an opponent and is not done during your own turn, however it prevents the use of an instant on your following turn. Common examples would be Reversal (Focus) and  Swift Kick (Stealth)

Quick Action: In the context of Realm of Strife Combat rules, a player action that can be made quickly is not an Action at all, but rather an instant. A quick action is a non-skill related instant such as retrieving/consuming an item that was easily accessible (i.e. drinking a potion stored in belt slot), simple interactions with environments and objects (i.e. opening an unlocked door),  or battlefield communications (i.e. calling out a command to troops or ordering a foe to drop its weapons and surrender). Quick actions typically do not involve a dice roll of any kind to succeed.

Role-play Instant: Role-play instants can be thought of as snap decisions or quick improvised actions or  reactions to environments, plot twists, and situational challenges. It’s not practical to have a rule set for every possible improvised idea a player may come up with. If a GM feels that a particular Role-Play instant is not guaranteed success they can ask a player to make a stat test. If a stat test is used in combat to determine the outcome of player improvisation or role-play, it is typically considered an instant. A good rule of thumb is that stat tests that do NOT require prolonged physical exertion or some form of active opposition, can typically be considered a Role-play Instant. An exception to this rolling to spot a hidden target (see Detection).

Action

Taking an Action is typically the most significant portion of your turn, and allows for direct interaction with foes, allies, or environments. There are several different types of Actions that can be made, however once completed, Actions always ends your turn.

Attack Action: Make a melee or ranged attack with the weapon equipped in the main hand. This could be a regular attack or a Skill-based attack (Primary or Secondary Skill) that requires a weapon. If an off hand weapon is equipped, a regular attack may also be made with the off-hand weapon (see Multiple Attack Actions). The off hand attack does not benefit from any skill-based attack selected for the main hand, unless the Skill specifically says otherwise. Unarmed Focus attacks are an exception to this rule.

Skill Action: Use a primary (or secondary) skill available to your character as an action. The most common form of this would be casting a spell,  but it applies to any Skill (Primary or Secondary) that is not directly tied to making an attack with a weapon. A skill action, such as casting a spell, does not allow for an off hand attack even if a n off hand weapon is equipped.

Disengage Action: If you have not already moved, you may choose the disengage action to willingly and safely leave base contact with an enemy without granting them the ability to make a quick attack against you. If choosing a Disengage Action, you may only move up to half your regular movement, as you are assumed to be backing way from combat in a defensive manner.

Full Action: A Full Action is one that is not directly related to combat, yet requires enough consideration or effort as to consume that portion of your turn. This can be thought of as the longer form of a ‘Quick Action’ and may in some cases require a dice roll of some kind. Typical examples of a Full Action would be retrieving/consuming an item that is not readily accessible (i.e. drinking a potion that was stored in your backpack), in depth interactions with environments or objects (using a key to unlock a chest while in combat), or carrying on a conversation in combat (i.e. several question and answers going back and forth).

Role-play Action: Role-play actions are similar to Role-play Instants, except that they require additional contemplation, decision making, time or effort. This is often due to the action being actively resisted and contested by a foe or environmental effect. If a GM determines that a particular improvised action would require a Stat Roll-off, it is almost always considered to be an Action.

Combat Rolls


Typical Physical Attack

A typical Physical attack is one made with a weapon. More specifically, a physical attack is any instant or action (with the potential to cause damage or other effects) made with a weapon, body part, or other such instrument that has a solid physical substance/form to it or that fires, throws, launches, or shoots a projectile with a solid physical substance/form.

For typical physical attacks use the following order of rolling:

1.) Ward-Off: (Close Combat only) if opponent is wielding a weapon with the Ward-off attribute, an Initiative stat roll-off takes place, proceed to step 2 only if the Ward-off fails

2.) To hit: roll a d100 against the opponents AC, with the following outcomes (see Combat Penalties for more details)

Critical Miss typically a flat 5% chance (i.e. rolling between 1 and 5, before modifiers, on the d100 hit roll aka a ‘natural’ roll) which places the character into a Vulnerable state
Miss rolling equal to or less than the target’s AC after applying modifiers (can be further broken down into Dodge or Armor Save for some applications; see Glossary for details). If combat modifiers/penalties result in a hit roll being less than or equal to 0 the attack is an automatic miss, regardless of the targets AC.
Hit rolling greater than the target’s AC after applying modifiers
Critical Hit a percentage chance on the high end of the d100 hit roll to do double damage, as a function of agility and many other effects such as weapon bonuses, enchants, affinities, etc (i.e. a 12% crit chance would be rolling 89+ on the d100 before modifiers aka a ‘natural’ roll)

2b.) Parry/Block: opponent rolls to parry or block if possible. This must be rolled at the same time as the hit roll. Critical hits cannot be parried or blocked.

3) Damage/Effect: if hitting or critical hitting, roll damage, and/or apply guaranteed effects

4) % Effects: roll percentiles (d100) or resolve stat rolls for weapons or attacks that have a chance to apply additional effects such as stun, dismount, disarm, silence, or any other ‘on-damage’ effect

Typical Non-Physical Attack (Casting)

A typical Non-Physical attack is one that is a Spirit or Faith Power, often referred to as “Casting”. More specifically, a non-physical attack is any instant or action (with the potential to cause damage or other effects) that does NOT require contact with a solid physical substance/form or projectile, even if the source of the attack is fired, thrown, launched, or shot by something or someone with a solid or physical substance/form (i.e. a Wand).

For typical non-physical attacks use the following order of rolling:

1.) To hit: roll a d100 against the opponent’s Resistance (appropriate to the type damage or attack), with the following outcomes (if the attack is a non-physical projectile Dodge can be added to Resistance i.e. Missile-type Powers)

Critical Miss / Failure typically a flat 5% chance (i.e. rolling between 1 and 5, before modifiers, on the d100 hit roll) which places the character into a Vulnerable state
Miss / Resisted rolling equal to or less than the target’s Resistance after applying modifiers (can be further broken down into Dodge or Resist for some applications; see Glossary for details). If combat modifiers/penalties result in a hit roll being less than or equal to 0 the attack is an automatic miss, regardless of the targets Resistance.
Hit / Success rolling greater than the target’s Resistance after applying modifiers
Critical Hit / Cast a percentage chance on the high end of the d100 hit roll to do double damage, as a function of intellect/wisdom and many other effects such as weapon bonuses, enchants, affinities, etc… (i.e. a 12% crit chance would be rolling 89+ on the d100 before modifiers aka a ‘natural’ roll)

1b.) Block: opponent rolls to block if possible. This must be rolled at the same time as the hit roll. (only applies if the attack specifies that it can be blocked, i.e. Missile-type Powers). Critical hits cannot be blocked.

2.) Damage/Effect: if hitting, or critical hitting, roll damage, and/or guaranteed effects

3.) % Effects: roll percentiles (d100) or resolve stat rolls for weapons or attacks that have a chance to apply additional effects such as stun, dismount, disarm, silence, or any other ‘on-damage’ effect

Physical Attacks that also have a Non-Physical effect/portion of damage

Some attacks or abilities combine a physical and non-physical portion of damage and/or effects (i.e. Spirit Powers with the Melee Strike Archetype, Bow Casting, etc…).

For simplicity it is generally assumed that weapons that have Craftings & Enchants that provide passive sources of Non-Physical Damage are treated as a Typical Physical Attack (i.e. attacking with a Battleaxe of Greater Nightfall is treated as a standard physical attack, that just happens to do extra Shadow based damage if it actually hits). However, if the target has a particular weakness to a type of non-physical damage that damage may still be multiplied (i.e. A light based creature might take regular damage from the physical portion and double from the Shadow portion of a successful hit with a Battleaxe of greater Nightfall).

For typical physical attacks that also have a Non-Physical effect/portion of damage, use the following order of rolling:

1.) To hit: use the same d100 hit roll for both the physical portion vs AC and the spirit portion vs Resistance, but assigning separate modifiers to each (including critical hit)

Critical Miss typically a flat 5% chance (i.e. rolling between 1 and 5, before modifiers, on the d100 hit roll); so long as one of the two portions of the attack is a Critical Miss, the entire attack is considered a critical miss, which places the character into a Vulnerable state
Miss rolling equal to or less than the target’s AC after applying modifiers causes the entire attack to fail (unless otherwise stated), however if only the non-physical portion rolls equal to or less than the target’s Resistance treat it essentially as a typical physical attack that has successfully hit
Hit rolling greater than the target’s AC after applying modifiers ensures that the physical portion hits, however if the non-physical portion is also grater than the target’s Resistance after modifiers, both portions hit
Critical Hit critical hits and their effects use the same d100 hit roll, but apply their associated effects only to the specific portion that critically hit (i.e. if the physical portion critically hits it would double ONLY the physical portion of the damage, and vice versa)

2b.) Parry/Block: opponent rolls to parry or block if possible. This must be rolled at the same time as the hit roll. Any portion of the combined attack that is parried or blocked has no effect. Critical Hits cannot be parried or blocked.

2.) Damage/Effect: once it has been determined which portions of the attack hit and/or critically hit, roll damage, and/or apply guaranteed effects

3.) % Effects: roll percentiles (d100) or resolve stat rolls for weapons or attacks that have a chance to apply additional effects such as stun, dismount, disarm, silence, or any other ‘on-damage’ effect

Combined Damage

In the rare case that an attack simply states that it inflicts BOTH physical and non-physical damage (or even two different types of non-physical damage), with no distinction between the two components, then when rolling to hit, simply use the lowest applicable AC or Resistance that applies in that situation. Unless the attack is stated to be a Spirit or Faith power, use standard melee combat modifiers and ranged combat modifiers as applicable.

For simplicity it is generally assumed that weapons that have Craftings & Enchants that provide passive sources of Non-Physical Damage DO NOT count as combined damage/effect, and unless otherwise stated are treated as a Typical Physical Attack.

Damage and/or Healing Bonuses


All damage or healing bonuses are applied to a single ‘hit’ roll. If that hit roll effects more than one target then the bonus is divided evenly between all targets. Standard rounding rules apply, with the exception that any decimal number less than 1 is rounded up to 1. This rule applies across the board unless otherwise specified by a specific ability, such as when an ability calls for a ‘separate hit roll for each target’ (i.e. Multi Spells)

Some examples of damage bonuses divided evenly:

  • A mage with +2 spirit damage, hits 6 targets with an Arcane Torrent (a Rain-type Power). There is a single hit roll, but 1 of the 6 target resists the power. In this case the total damage bonus is divided evenly among all 5 targets that were hit. 2/5 = 0.4, therefore each target takes +1 damage in addition to the damage done by the Arcane Torrent.

Some examples of damage bonuses applied to each target:

  • coming soon

Disengaging from Combat


The rules for disengaging from Combat were developed as part of the ‘Armsman package’ backer reward for Michael “Ragar” Branham (Phoenix, Arizona) from the 2014 Realm of Strife Kickstarter Campaign.

Any model that willingly moves out of base contact with an enemy on their own turn is considered to have Disengaged from Combat.

Doing so grants that enemy a free basic melee attack with any weapons they currently have equipped. If dual wielding or otherwise being able to attack more than once under normal circumstances (i.e. a creature with a separate bite and claw attack), both attacks may be used. Each equipped weapon can only be used once per turn in this fashion (i.e. if a model is dual wielding and is surrounded by 4 enemy models in base contact, all of which disengage on the same turn, he/she may only attack once with the main hand weapon and once with off hand weapon, thus two free attacks, NOT on each disengaging target per weapon which would be eight free attacks.)

If a model is forced to leave base contact against their will or under compulsion, they are NOT considered to have Disengaged from Combat.

For clarification, moving out of base contact from any of the following means is NOT considered Disengaging from Combat:

  • If a model chooses to Roll With the Blow
  • Knock-back effects
  • Fear or other psychological effects
  • Taunts or taunt effects
  • Mind control or similar effects (i.e. Curse of Control, Curse Torment, etc)

NOTE FOR HONOR CLASSES:
Many honor classes would see it as very dishonorable to strike at a fleeing target and would likely lose honor for doing so. GM discretion is advised when Honor classes choose to take the free basic melee attacks granted by an enemy disengaging from combat.

It is possible to be prevented from disengaging from combat through certain abilities or situational restrictions (GM discretion).

Combat Penalties


Combat penalties usually reduce the chance to hit your target. These can include a variety or environmental, weapon or armor effects, as well as the following cases:

  • Moving and Shooting: when using ranged or reload-ranged weapons you suffer -5 to hit for every inch moved that turn (airborne Kayden and other flying such flying characters are assumed to be in constant movement, resulting in a further -5 to hit)
  • Dual Wielding: If dual wielding anything beyond 2 small weapons WITHOUT the Dual Wield Secondary Skill, both the main-hand and off-hand weapons suffer from the Clumsy Weapon Effect, at a penalty rate of -10 per size of weapon. (i.e Small = -10, Medium = -20, Large = -30, X-Large = -40) and also cannot cause Critical Hits.
  • Wielding a weapon that the PC has not been trained in (no Weapon Proficiency): The weapon suffers from the Clumsy Weapon Effect, at a penalty rate of -5 per size of weapon. (i.e Small = -5, Medium = -10, Large = -15, X-Large = -20) and also cannot use any of the weapon effects for that weapon (i.e. Parry, Cleaving, Ward-off, etc…). For shields, the Block percentage is divided by 4 (minimum 5%) and can be used to attack as a Shield Blow, but does not have the associated stun chance and suffers from the Clumsy Weapon effect as with other untrained weapons. For thrown weapons the range is cut in half.
  • Wearing armor that the PC has not been trained in (no Armor Proficiency): Each piece of untrained armor suffers -1 armor value and counts as both Noisy and Stiff (see Armor for details), stacking with any other pre existing Stiff or Noisy penalties.

Multiple Attack Actions


In some cases it may be possible to attack more than once as a single action. The most common occurrence of this would be if equipped with a both a main-hand and off-hand weapon (referred to as Dual Wielding). In which case the action is considered to be complete once both weapons are used. Unless otherwise specified special abilities can only be applied to the main-hand attack. (i.e. A soldier armed with a long sword (main-hand) and Dirk (off-hand) that elects to use Hawk Strike as his action, applies Hawkstrike only to the long sword, however may still use the Dirk as a regular attack in the same action). Unless otherwise specified, an action based power/spell takes the entire action and cannot be paired with an off-hand attack.

There is a wide variety of methods to increase the number of attacks that PC might have as a single action (i.e. secondary skills, certain abilities, enchants, etc) however there is a global restriction:

No combination of skills and/or weapons and/or craftings/enchants can ever allow a PC to exceed the following restrictions (where an ‘attack’ is considered to be any action with a to-hit roll or auto-hit that has the potential to cause damage):

  • maximum 4 attacks per action
  • maximum 3 attacks total on the same target, per action
  • maximum 2 attacks (with the same weapon) on the same target, per action

This is sometimes referred to as the 4-3-2 rule.

These restrictions do not necessarily apply to NPCs or Enemies.

Direct damage instant skills do not count towards the 4-3-2 rule.

Combat and Class Mechanic Summaries


Under normal circumstances the follow rules apply:

  • Vigor is returned to max amount after combat ends, provided there was a reasonable break between battles (i.e. time to catch your breath)
  • Honor oaths and virtues must be decided at the start of each new combat; code points are replenished after combat ends, code stacks however are lost
  • Fury at the end of a combat, current Fury immediately decays to half, and unless another battle immediately follows within 2 minutes (in-game time), all Fury is lost.
  • Spirit carries over after combat and can only be regained by resting (regain equivalent amount compared to HP); however, HP can also be used to power abilities (with the exception of the Healing spell archetype)
  • Faith carries over after combat and can be used outside of combat but each faith power can only be used once per day. Can use Prayer of Faith (or equivalent Tier 0 power) while resting (but will only count as a half rest) to gain only one Faith per day.
  • Stealth begins every combat at zero unless characters announce well beforehand that they are electing to hide (note: this may result in slowing your party down, depending on the situation, as is most cases Stealth classes have reduced movement while hiding)
  • Focus carries over after combat and can only be regained by through Meditation (or other similar skills)
  • For all classes: HP carries over after combat and can only be regained by using potions, bandages/first aid, receiving heals, or Resting