1. The Challenge
Advantage goes to the character initiating combat, unless a condition exists that would prevent this. The Storyteller will determine whether or not a situational bonus should be given to the attacker – if so, it is declared.
2. The Attack!
(!) WEAPON SKILLS: The attacker will roll the dice associated with their skill level in the Weapon or Weapon Family skill they are using and add their skill level as a bonus.
Example: Novices will roll 2d6+SL to attack.
(!) SPECIAL WEAPONS: Some weapons may have a modifier due to either their exceptional quality, material or something supernatural such as a blessing or curse. A superbly balanced weapon might have a modifier toward an attack, while a weapons with a superior edge might have a modifier toward the damage the weapon does.
(!) FLOURISHES: Depending on the situation a flourish may be possible, increasing certain elements of the attack or damage at the expense of stamina and or Faith. Flourish attempts must be declared before the attack.
The defender will attempt to defend themselves by rolling the dice associated with their skill level in Combat Defense plus the skill level as a modifier. A tie will go to the defender.
Example: Novices will roll 2d6+SL to defend.
(!) A tie goes to the defender.
(!) SHIELD: IF the defender has a shield, they may utilize the dice roll associated with the skill rank and type of shield being used to determine their defense bonus. Skill level is not added.
Example: A Novice with a Light Shield will roll 1d4 and add the result to defense.
IF the attack is successful, the attacker will roll for damage.
Example: A player whose character is a Novice in the Combat Form they used will roll 2d6 and add their skill level in that form as a modifier.
(!) COMBAT FORM SKILLS: The attacker will roll the dice associated with the Combat Form they are using and add their skill level in that form to determine potential damage.
(!) CRITICAL: IF the attack succeeds in their attack by double (12 to attack versus 6 to defend), the attacker may roll the damage dice associated with the next whole skill tier of their weapon skill (Novice becomes Journeyman) to determine the damage dealt.
(!) ARMOR: IF the defender is wearing armor, they may roll the dice set associated with their skill level in that armor with no modifier.
Example: If the defender is a Novice in Light Armor, as an example, they would roll 1d4 to attempt to mitigate some of the incoming damage.
The remainder of damage is deducted from the defender’s Health pool.
(!) A player character is considered ‘falling’ when they reach zero Health and, if not healed before the start of their next turn, will become incapacitated. An incapacitated player character is still able to move at half their assigned speed and may perform a withdrawal or standard action as normal, but may not participate in combat until their Health is restored above zero.
(!) If a player character continues to take damage while incapacitated, they are considered unconscious and unable to act by themselves at negative half of their Vigor attribute value and are considered dead should their Health drop below negative Vigor.
Example: If a player character has 14 Vigor, they are unconscious at negative seven and dead at negative fourteen Health.
4. Subsequent Attacks – Surprise!
IF there are player characters hidden or out of range at the start of combat, the Storyteller may allow them to take an action, including either movement or an attack prior to determining initiative order. This is optional and is at the sole discretion of the Storyteller.
(!) During this situational round, ranged attacks are counted as surprise attacks against the target, from which they are unable to defend. Surprise attacks may not critical and the target may still utilize armor to mitigate damage sustained, unless declared otherwise by the Storyteller.
Turn order is determined by the Storyteller at the start of combat. In most cases the Storyteller will determine this order by considering the placement and readiness of the player characters and NPCs in the scene, however may ask for a die roll to randomize the event. If a dice roll is necessary, Storytellers may ask for a Reflex skill check to determine turn order.
6. Normal Attack Round
The first player character in the order is allowed to declare their target and intent, if attacking or moving. They are also allowed to abstain from combat and attempt to move or declare that they are saving their turn until after a specified condition has been met.
(!) IF a player is abstaining from combat for the time being, they must declare their intent and actions. If they are adjacent to or within reach of a potential enemy combatant and declare that they intend to run, that play may be subject to attacks of opportunity. The Storyteller will roll for the enemy combatant to determine the probability of them allowing this action unimpeded.
If the enemy combatant decides to take the attack of opportunity, the player character may roll to defend against the attack as normal but loses the ability to return the attack until next round. If the attack is successful, the player character is also unable to continue running.
(!) IF a player is declaring that they are saving their turn, they must declare a specific condition that, once satisfied, will resume their turn. Example: “I’m going to wait and see what our fighter does.” It cannot be generic.
For each attack, the defender is allowed to roll defense unless a condition exists which would prevent them from doing-so. (!) An example of one such condition would be a flourish that causes the defender to become stunned for the remainder or the round.
Each character’s turn is broken down into a fairly standard roleplaying game formula:
(!) Move Action > Move Action > End OR
(!) Move Action > Standard Action > Move Action > End OR
(!) Full Round Action > End
Once each character in the combat initiative order has completed their turn, this completes one round of combat and the next round begins.
Either in victory or defeat, all combat situations must eventually come to an end.