The Laws of Combat

Physical combat is probably the most common conflict in Exterminis: Reign of Destruction. It seems like characters are always getting into trouble, and that trouble almost always leads to weapons being drawn. Combat in E:RoD is very fast, and very deadly. Characters can die before they even know what they are doing, and there’s no coming back from the grave.

Combat is meant to be quick and easy to resolve more than it is meant to be realistic. More than any other area of the game, combat can easily get bogged down in too many details. Try not to let that happen. Don’t think about it like a chess match, with slow, meticulous moves. Think of it more like the card game war, but with dice.

The first step is to determine initiative, or when combatants get to take their actions. This is a simple count down from 100, and characters act when their speed score is called. When the count down reaches zero, the round is over and the next round begins.

*Optional Initiative Rule: Instead of everyone having a set score (and therefore always acting in the same order), some Gamemasters prefer to make initiative more varied, to better reflect the chaos of combat. To do this, have the players roll their Perception Die Code at the beginning of each round, and do the same for the enemies. Everyone acts in order from highest roll to lowest.

To make a martial attack, the attacker rolls their Weapon Attack die code, then adds any modifiers. The defender rolls their Weapon Defense die code and adds any modifiers. The highest total “wins.” If the attacker rolls higher, then the attack hits and damage dice are rolled. If the defender rolls higher, then the attack misses. Ties are awarded to the defender, although players may spend a karma point to win the tie instead.

Example of Combat

Kara and Jade are facing off after a particularly nasty insult. Kara is a Warrior with a speed of 75 and a Weapon Attack code of 3d6 +4. Jade is also a Warrior, with a speed of 60, and Weapon Defense code of 3d6 +2.

Kara attacks first, because her speed score is higher.

Kara rolls a 16, and adds 4, for a total of 20. Jade rolls a 12, and adds 2, for a total of 14. The attack hits. Kara is using a greatsword, which is a large weapon. The damage for large weapons is 1d12 plus the strength modifier. Kara’s strength score is 95, so she rolls 1d12 and adds +4 for her Strength. She rolls an 8, for a total of 12, so Jade subtracts 12 points from her hit point total, leaving her with 68 Health Points.

Combat Modifiers

Certain situations can alter the martial attack and martial defense rolls, giving characters bonuses or penalties to their rolls. A few of these are listed below:

Blinded: A character who cannot see suffers a -10 penalty to all physical attack rolls. In addition, they lose their Agility modifier to physical defense.

Difficult Terrain: Characters who are on muddy or rocky ground, in snow, on shifting sand or surf, or in extreme weather suffer a -2 penalty to all attack and defense rolls. This penalty may increase to -4 or  -6 for incredibly difficult environments. These bonuses are negated if both combatants are equally hindered by the environment.

Invisible or Hidden: Characters who are invisible or hidden get a +10 bonus to all attack rolls, and the defender cannot use agility to defend.

Multiple Attackers: Each additional attacker (up to five) gives all attackers a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Paralyzed/Sleeping: Attacking a character who is paralyzed or asleep grants an automatic hit and automatic max damage to the attacker. This attack always frees/awakens the defendant.

Restrained: Characters who are restrained cannot attack, and cannot use their agility modifier to defend.

Surprised: Characters who are surprised can not use their agility modifier to defend.

Special Combat Results

  • If the attack roll is twice the defense roll, it is considered a critical strike, and the damage total is doubled.
  • If the attack roll is at least 4x the defense roll, the defender is automatically killed.
  • If the defense roll is twice the attack roll, the defender gets an instantaneous counter attack.
  • If the defense roll is at least 4x the attack roll, the attacker is paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.

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