Combat Rounds

In a combat round, every character and monster who isn't dying or otherwise helpless has a turn in which they can take actions and recoup potential. Once the last person has taken their turn the combat round ends and a new round starts.

Character Turns

In each character's turn they recoup potential and may carry out multiple actions. As long as the character has potential to spend they can take as many different actions as they desire. Each turn lasts as long as needed, only ending when the player does not wish to act or has no more potential to spend.

Before Anything Else

Once a character has the initiative but before they can act, several things may happen. These events, if applicable, happen in this specific order.

  • Any full round actions the character started last turn are completed and resolved.
  • Potential placed in anticipation but not used is moved into the spent pile.
  • Status effects with a Start-Of-Round keyword take effect, attack or otherwise activate.

In their turn characters take initiative actions which may have in-game effects such as movement, or meta-effects such as doing damage, recovering life advantages, applying status effects or other action effects. They may also make potential actions and, at the Game Leader's discretion, free actions. Characters may find themselves making resistance actions during their turn if they are the victim of an opportunity action, a passive danger such as a trap, status effects or other forms of attack.

All actions require potential to be used and moved to the spent pile after the action is complete.

As the gang of five ruffians closes around him, Lord Peter assesses his chances. Fortunately he had seen them approaching and was fully prepared for the fight, with all four of his dynamic and both his static potential in his bank. Another bit of good news is that he recognises the type of men - dockhands and drunks, no doubt hired a few minutes ago by Mr Big to rough him up. With no loyalty to their employer and cash in their pockets, Lord Peter is sure they will run as soon as they get hurt.

Once the ruffians are within arm's reach, Lord Peter lashes out. He spends just one dynamic potential on his Boxing (1d6+2) and attacks the first man. Reassuringly the thug can only manage 1d6+0 in defence and, with a good dice roll, Peter's fist crushes the man's nose. Crying in pain, the ruffian staggers back into the fog and out of sight. Lord Peter's years in the gym pay off as he strikes out three more times at three different opponents, each time using just one potential on his Boxing advantage. One ruffian is knocked out cold, another is vomiting after being hit in the stomach but the third got lucky and avoided his blow.

Lord Peter has now spent four dynamic potential and his bank has just two static potential left.

Moving In Combat

Characters are free to move while in combat by using potential actions or advantages with the Movement keyword. They can move past enemies and away from foes they are fighting without restriction or hindrance. Movement is only dangerous if the character attempts to move through a square occupied by an enemy or a foe has an Opportunity advantage.

Recouping And Acting

Characters can recoup a number of dynamic potential from their spent pile to their bank each turn and may do so at any point during their turn. Players may not move more dynamic potential than is allowed by their recoup score. Recouping can be split into separate moves, allowing the the character to recover some potential and act before recovering more. The sequence of recouping and acting is entirely up to the player but the amount of dynamic potential recouped during a turn cannot exceed the maximum allowed by their recoup score.

With three thugs down on the ground and two left standing, Lord Peter has no dynamic potential left. It is time to recoup. He moves two dynamic potential from his spent pile back to his bank before choosing to spend one more on a final strike. Lord Peter gets eight, his maximum, while the poor ruffian scores one, his minimum. With a mighty uppercut the aristocrat lifts the thug into the air and the dockhand is unconscious before he hits the ground.

Now with only one dynamic potential in his bank and one ruffian still standing Lord Peter considers going for broke but opts to play it safe. Not knowing who else is hiding nearby in the darkness, having some potential left is the wise move. Lord Peter signals his turn is over and the remaining thug starts their turn.

Characters who have potential in their damage pile may move it into their spent pile by using their recoup. Moving one token out of the damage pile is the equivalent of moving two tokens from the spent pile. Only dynamic potential can be moved this way unless a character decides not to act.

Do Nothing

A character does not have to act during their turn, they can opt to do nothing. Instead of acting the character takes a moment to assess the situation, gather their thoughts and plan ahead. As the name suggests, while doing nothing characters cannot take any actions which require the expenditure of potential or the rolling of dice. Free actions are at the Game Leader's discretion but anything that requires attention or a modicum of thought should not be allowed. Characters can recoup and may anticipate.

In return for taking this moment to catch their breath, characters gain two benefits. Firstly they can recoup one additional potential, i.e. a character with a recoup score of two may recoup three when doing nothing. Secondly they may recoup static as well as dynamic potential. This can be in any combination allowing players to recover all static and no dynamic, no static and all dynamic or some static and some dynamic. Potential (including static potential) can be moved from the damage pile when doing nothing. The total number of potential recouped cannot exceed the character's recoup score plus one and moving either type of potential token from the damage pile counts as moving two tokens.

Corvell and Drax are battling a horde of goblins and green corpses already litter the ground in front of them. The next wave of attackers is some way off and it is Corvell's turn. The wizard has two dynamic potential left but no static potential which is bad news as many of his magic abilities need it.

Corvell decides to do nothing and let the Goblins come to him. More importantly it allows him to recoup some static potential. Normally the wizard recoups two potential so by doing nothing he can recoup a third. He only has two static potential so he moves both his static tokens and one dynamic token from his spent pile and into his bank.


Characters can choose to anticipate with advantages by using unspent potential. If they anticipate correctly they automatically recover potential, effectively using the advantage for free. However if they do not use it, the potential is spent with no gain.

At the end of their turn, a player can anticipate by placing potential tokens on the advantages they expect to use. At any point before the start of their next turn the character can use those advantages in resistance actions or opportunity actions. Once used, the anticipated potential is moved immediately to the bank rather than being spent. The action can contain advantages that were not anticipated and the potential for these is spent in the normal fashion. Not all anticipated advantages need to be used in a single action.

At the start of the character's next turn, any anticipated potential which has not been used (i.e. is still placed on the advantage) is immediately moved to the spent pile. This is the cost for incorrectly anticipating.

Spotting the zombie, Belle rapidly changes her plans. Escaping out the back of the house had seemed like a good idea but now, face to face with a zombie, she isn't so sure. Tackling the zombie by herself would be dangerous with just a single bite leading to a fatal infection. Knowing her fellow survivors are not far behind her, all she needs to do is to buy time by defending herself.

Belle has two unspent dynamic potential and no static available. She ends her turn by placing one dynamic potential on each of her Toughness and Headbutt in anticipation, and doesn't have long to wait before the first zombie attacks with 2d6+1. As the zombie tries to bite her she fights back, using her Leather Jacket and both her Toughness and Headbutt for 3d6+4. The jacket is a free resist so costs no potential and the potential used in anticipation moves back to her bank. Now the zombie manages a second attack for 2d6+1. Belle has used both her anticipated advantages but thanks to anticipating she now has two unspent dynamic potential and spends them on her Weapon Expertise and Kitchen Knife. This is more than enough to keep the flesh-eater at bay.

It is Belle's turn again and she knows this round will be tougher. Shouting for her fellow survivors to "Hurry the fuck up!" she recoups two dynamic potential. Spending one potential to back away from the monster and towards her companions, Belle places her second potential down, in anticipation, on Toughness.

Just then, a shotgun roars, the zombie's head explodes and the other survivors come running out. It's Belle's turn again and she has not used her Toughness so the potential used in anticipation is wasted and moved to the spent pile. Recouping two dynamic potential, she sets off in pursuit of the group.

After Everything Else

A character's turn ends when they have completed all the actions they wish to or are able to take. At this point any status effects which have a effect duration of either a round or an action and that have been on the character since before the start of this turn come to an end. The player may now nominate the next person in the initiative sequence.

In Other People's Turns

Generally a character cannot act during another person's turn but there are exceptions. Other than their timing they are handled no differently from any other form of action and any potential used moves to the spent pile. Taking actions out of turn does not make it the character's turn and anything dependent on the character's turn such as recouping or status effects does not apply.

Resistance Actions

Characters will need to perform resistance actions when targeted by the effects of opponents' actions. This uses potential but the character may use their free resist advantage at no cost if it is appropriate to the situation. The free resist advantage may be combined in an action with other advantages the player spends potential on, including advantages that have been anticipated with. The free resist can be used in any number of separate resistance actions but, like any other advantage, it can only be used once per action.

A character may make multiple resistance actions during other people's turns, using potential in each. If the character lacks potential, their free resist is not appropriate or they simply do not wish to act, they have an automatic resistance score of one. Advantages used in resistance actions do not have an effect except when an advantage specifically states that it does has an effect when used in a resistance action. For example, a grenade can be used in a resistance action but the effect, Blast (xd6), does not apply.

Opportunity Actions

An opportunity action interrupts the normal sequence of play, allowing a character to act outside of their turn. This is only possible if the character is using an advantage with the Opportunity keyword. Opportunity actions are resolved normally, including the expenditure of potential, and once completed the normal sequence of play resumes.

Opportunity advantages can only be used under certain circumstances known as trigger events. For example, the Retreat advantage can only be used when a foe moves towards the character. Each advantage specifies a particular trigger and unless the circumstances fit, the advantage cannot be used. The character must be aware of the trigger - for example the Retreat advantage cannot be used if the character doesn't notice the foe approaching. Each opportunity advantage also identifies the scope or effect of the action allowed, preventing a character from using a Retreat advantage to attack a foe or from using a Back Stab advantage to run away.

It is up to the player with the opportunity advantage to ensure they pay attention and declare their action at the right time. If the player whose initiative turn it is has already played another action or recouped potential, the opportunity has been lost. Each player may only make one opportunity action per trigger event even if they have two opportunity advantages that apply. Multiple different characters may make opportunity actions triggered by a single event and these are resolved in the order in which the players declared their wish to act. Once an action is declared, characters must act even if the situation has been changed by another character's actions.

Opportunity actions do not cascade. That is, opportunity actions never trigger other character's opportunity actions.

Aid Other / Aid Resist

The two keywords, Aid Other and Aid Resist are special forms of opportunity actions. They allow characters to act outside of their turn in order to assist another character in either an initiative action (Aid Other) or a resistance action (Aid Resist). Without these keywords it is not possible for a character to assist other characters in actions during a combat round.

The assisting character rolls their own dice and adds their dice modifiers. The total is added to the action score of the character taking the initiative or resistance action. The grand total of both characters' actions is used to decide whether the action was successful or not.

The assisting character's action and advantages must be appropriate and beneficial to the character making the initiative or resistance action. Some Aid Other and Aid Resist advantages specify how the characters can assist or under what circumstances they can help. Using these keywords removes the situation bonus added to the resistance for multiple characters working together. The assisting character may grant other situation bonuses to the opponent. Factors such as range may be important and any situation bonuses are calculated normally, just as if the assisting character was taking an action on their own. Multiple characters with Aid Other or Aid Resist advantages may all work together on a single action.

Potential is spent normally by the assisting character. In the case of Aid Resist, they may use their Free Resist advantage for free as part of the resistance. However their advantages have no effect, just as they would if they were making a resistance action themselves. Despite being part of the resistance action, the assisting character is not affected by the attack if the assisted resistance fails. Only the original target suffers the consequences.

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open/mechanics/core/combatrounds.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/30 18:05 by tregenza
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