In combat, potential is the difference between life and death. Each action taken spends potential but it is only recouped at a fixed rate. Spend too much potential on an action and the character will have nothing left to defend themselves with. Each player needs two areas next to their character sheet to hold potential. One is the bank where unused potential is kept and one is the spent pile for used potential.
Characters do not always start combat with all their potential in their bank. Each character's readiness for the fight is decided by the group based on the situation.
A character who is 100% ready for a fight will have all their potential available when combat starts.
An unprepared character will have some dynamic potential already in their spent pile.
Someone caught completely by surprise, for example if they were sleeping, would begin the combat with all their dynamic potential in the spent pile.
Combat is divided into rounds. During a round each player and all opponents have a turn. At the end of each turn the player or Game Leader nominates the next person to have their turn. This must be someone who has not yet had a turn this round. If everyone has already had a turn the round finishes, a new round begins and the player may nominate anyone except themselves.
Players and Game Leaders can override the nomination process by seizing the initiative. This costs potential and success is not guaranteed.
Whenever a character takes an action they must spend potential, one per advantage being used. Static advantages cost static potential, dynamic advantages cost dynamic potential. The used potential is moved to the spent pile.
Characters may take any number of actions during their turn, which ends only when they run out of potential or decide to stop. At the Game Leader's discretion characters can also take minor actions, such as dropping objects or speaking, without spending potential.
During their turn a character may recoup two dynamic potential tokens. Recouping moves potential tokens from the spent pile into the bank. Characters may act and recoup in any order during their turn. They may also split their recoup, allowing them to recoup one dynamic potential token, then act, then recoup their second dynamic potential.
A character wishing to recoup more dynamic potential or to recoup static potential may choose to do nothing. By taking no actions and spending no potential during their turn, the character has a chance to rest. This allows them to recoup three tokens. The character may also choose to recoup static as well as dynamic potential tokens.
Any combination of static and dynamic tokens may be recouped but the total number of tokens moved from the spent pile to the bank cannot exceed three.
Characters move by taking actions. If they have an advantage with the Movement keyword they may use it in combination with other advantages for a single large movement.
Most characters have to rely on a potential action for movement. This costs one dynamic potential and players have a choice to either mosey or run.
A mosey (or walk) is guaranteed movement, the equivalent of rolling 3 on the dice.
Run is less predicable but can take you further. Roll 1d6+0 to the determine the distance moved.
Characters may move several times in a turn by taking multiple movement actions, switching between moseying and running as desired.
Any time a character is attacked (by an opponent or a trap or anything which endangers the character) they have a resistance action to protect themselves. The resistance action is the same as a normal action, requiring potential to be spent on advantages which are appropriate and available.
The resistance may involve passive defences, such as armour, or the more active protection of dodging or parrying. It can also involve counter-attacks with weapons, including returning fire. Anything which reduces the threat or makes it harder for the attacker is a valid form of defence. The resistance action must make sense for the type of attack and the advantages used in defence must be compatible with each other.
Each character has a free resist advantage listed on their character sheet. This advantage can be used in a resistance action without spending potential. The chosen free resist is fixed and players cannot change the advantage without consultation with the Game Leader and a suitable retraining period for their character. As with any other advantage used in an action, it must be available and be appropriate for the situation. Common free resists include armour, weapons and abilities such as Dodge. These are suitable against some forms of attack but will be inappropriate against other dangers such as magic or poison gas.
If a character is unable to defend themselves due to a shortage of potential, lacking a suitable free resist or being unconscious, they always have a resistance score of one. Note this is a score of one, not one dice, so a character caught out like this is almost guaranteed to be hit by the attack.
The resistance action's score sets the target which the attacker must beat. If the attacker scores less than or equal to the resistance the character escapes unharmed, but if the attack exceeds the resistance the character is hurt. How hurt they are is the difference between the two rolls, known as the degree of success.
Characters who are hurt by attacks must discard green Life advantages by placing an X or similar mark next to the advantage on the character sheet. Discarded advantages are not available and may not be used in actions until they have been recovered via healing.
The injured character must discard Life advantages whose total CP value equals or exceeds the damage (the degree of success). The player may choose the Life advantages they wish to discard for the damage. As well as considering the CP value of advantages it also worth considering the usefulness of the advantage. Sometimes it is better to discard one high value advantage than two lower value advantages.
Players cannot discard part of an advantage. Even if just one point of damage is taken, a whole advantage must be discarded.
Keywords In Combat
There are several keywords which are important in combat. Full details are in the Core rules along with a complete list of keywords, but the most important are:
- Aid Other
- Help an ally with their action
- Aid Resist
- Help an ally defend themselves
- Take an action during someone else's turn
- How far away the target may be before giving situation bonuses to the opponent
- Adds an ongoing status effect to the target.