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Combat Basics [OLD] 
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Post Combat Basics [OLD]
Combat in Penetrator is fairly straightforward. Any time a character wishes to enter combat, or is affected by combat (such as being attacked), either a new combat or one currently going on, they make an initiative roll. This roll is either Wits+Reflex, if they haven't chosen an action yet, or the lower of Wit or Reflex + the relevant skill they're using (such as Firearms for a shooting a firearm). This roll is only made this one time when they join the combat.

If this is the start of combat, whatever the highest number of points rolled is, each character that rolled that result is considered to be acting. It is their 'turn'. For each character that rolled less points than this, they gain a "Wait Score" equal to the margin of difference. Multiple characters can have their turns simultaneously.

The character who's turn it is may declare an action. If there are multiple characters who's turn it is, start with any one character and each character declares their action. Once each character has chosen an action, starting again in the same order, each character may choose to change or clarify their action, or to pass. This rotation continues until each character has passed, indicating they are settled on their currently declared action.

At this point, each action is resolved, by rolling appropriate dice and comparing points to build margins and applying effects. For simultaneous actions, there are several basic outcomes:

Multiple actions that do not conflict
Examples may include multiple people all shooting the same target, multiple people shooting different targets, but not each other. People running away or jumping over things, or other actions. The basic idea is, though, that none of the declared actions can be affected by the success or failure of the other actions. No special adjudication needs to be done here, just roll all the actions in any order you like.
Multiple actions that conflict directly
This situation occurs when one or more actions is directly opposed by one or more other actions, such as: One character trying to run away, while another tries to trip him. Also, one character trying to shoot another character, while another tries to disarm him. For situations like these, roll each action, and then compare any successful action to any successful actions that had opposed it. If the opposing action's points exceed it, consider it a failure. Then resolve any remaining successful actions.

Note: Two characters shooting each other simultaneously is not a conflict of actions. Both characters can be successful and both can die. The actions are only in conflict is one succeeding actually cancels the other one. For example (again) if you are shooting a target and someone's disarming you, obviously you can't shoot while disarmed. However, you can be disarmed whether or not you shot well. So, in that case, the disarm conflicts with the shot, even though the shot doesn't conflict with the disarm.
Multiple actions that conflict indirectly
Perhaps you simply have multiple actions that can't all actually happen at once, even though they wouldn't technically stop each other. Such as, two character trying to push another character. One's trying to push the target under a bus, the other is trying to push the target off a cliff. Obviously the target can't be in 2 places at once. So, just as in the previous section, roll all actions, and compare the conflicting ones. The one with the highest point total wins.

Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:05 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Once any possible conflicts in action have been resolved, responses should be declared. For any attack that can be blocked, parried, countered or dodged, those responses may be used. You may have additional responses available depending on your character's gear, as well as more basic options, such as falling prone, or calling out verbally.

For each response, roll the appropriate dice and compare it against the action it is responding to. (if any)

Resolve and apply all effects.

For each action and response that has been taken, the performing character accrues a "Wait Score" with a value based on the action taken. This is the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, each character (including the ones that just acted) lowers their wait score by 1. The next turn consists of the actions of any character who now has a Wait Score of zero. If no characters have a wait score of zero, continue lowering all characters Wait Score by 1 until one or more characters have a zero Wait Score.

A standard action, such as firing a couple shots or taking a swing at someone, accrues a Wait Score of 5. Most response actions will accrue a Wait Score of 2. This is called the action's "Speed". Actions may also have an action type of: Instant, Response, Slow or Extended.

An Instant action is something like throwing a punch of firing a gun. It happens right away and effects are rolled immediately. These types of actions are taken only on the player's turn.

Responses also happen right away and are rolled immediately, however, they may be taken whenever appropriate.

Slow actions are actions that are taken right away, but take a little while to take full effect, this can include administering a poison to a target or activating machinery. Since the characters don't know right away the result of their action, the dice are not rolled for it until the action actually completes. This isn't always the same as the action's Speed, though. The specific timing for these types of actions will be explained in the action's description.

Extended actions are actions which happen incrementally, such as repairing damage to an engine while a fight rages around you, putting out a fire, or defusing a bomb. The action may require several rolls and may or may not have a time limit. Usually each roll has a Speed and the action continues each turn until either a certain number of successes are accrued, or until some failure condition is met.

Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:14 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
For actions that inflict damage to a target in Penetrator, usually referred to as 'attacks' ;) , there are several important stats to note. Most of the time, these will be determined by the weapon used by the attacker:

Penetration - This is a measure of the ability of the attack to cut through various materials and to punch through targets.
Damage - This is a measure of the attack's power and the size of the area on the target that it affects.
Type - Attacks may consist of Piercing, Slashing or Ballistic damage. There can also be special damage types such as fire, plasma or lasers.

What about Bashing?? Sorry, this isn't QUITE Dungeons & Dragons. 'Bashing' in Penetrator is relegated to a different set of effects known as "Impact Damage." This will be covered later. Any attack who's Penetration is 0 or less is also considered "Impact Damage."

'Special'-type attacks may or may not have a Penetration score, and may or may not have additional special effects, depending on the specific special attack type used.

For normal attacks that do have a Penetration score, damage works as follows:

The Point margin accrued by the attacker against the target is considered the attack's "Accuracy". The attack inflicts a "Wound" to the target with a rating equal to it's Damage multiplied by its Penetration. For normal attacks with Penetration of 1 or more, this is considered "Trauma". The total of all ratings of all wounds a character has is their Trauma Total. When a character's Trauma Total exceeds either their Vigor or their Discipline (whichever is higher), they take the difference as a penalty to their actions due to pain and injuries.

Once their Trauma Total exceeds 10, they must roll their Vigor+Discipline to cling to life. This roll must be repeated every time the character takes additional damage, as well as every in-game minute that passes. Quite literally, 'every minute counts'. The character must achieve a number of Points on this roll equal to or exceeding the number their Trauma Total exceeds 10 by, or they are "Dying". The character may still be brought back from the brink by proper medical attention such as CPR, defibrillators, Emergency surgery or other measure. If they receive none of these things, they are surely dead, though. If the character's Trauma Total ever reaches 20, they are immediately counted as "Dying" and only high-tech intensive care can bring them back, such as a medical facility capable of medical stasis, nano-surgery and other such high-level procedures. Characters that reach 30 trauma are beyond even this, having been reduced (mostly) to a fine paste.

Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Now how do you stop this from happening to YOU?

Simple! Armor and Cover!

Armor in Penetrator, like attacks, has several useful stats:

Protection - This is a measure of how hard it is to punch an attack through this armor. This directly resists Penetration.
Resistance - This is a measure of how thick or durable the armor is. This directly resists Damage.
Coverage* - This is a measure of how completely the armor covers the body's vital areas. This directly resists Accuracy.
Durability - This is a measure of how much punishment the armor can absorb before losing its effectiveness.
Padding - This is a measure of how much Impact the armor can protect its wearer from.

*Coverage will be rated from 1-10 or noted as "Full". 10 Coverage and Full Coverage are both "Full Body Armor", the only difference being that "Full" Coverage armor has no chinks or weaknesses that could possibly be exploited. On a perfect 10/10 roll, Coverage 10 armor could still be bypassed. You CANNOT bypass "Full" Coverage armor.

Additionally, armor may be Hardened or not, and may or may not have additional effects, such as life support, fire resistance, or any number of fantastic extras. Armor may have differing Protection, Resistance or Padding stats for different types of attacks. For instance, a 'bullet-proof vest' may offer decent Protection and Resistance against ballistic attacks, but not against slashing or piercing knife attacks. This will be noted in the armor's description.

For Cover, that's pretty much anything you can stand behind, and it will have Protection, Resistance and Durability of it's own. It's Coverage will be based, mainly, on how well you're hidden behind it. Usually cover will not offer padding. Dumpsters and brick walls weren't designed to be cushiony-soft.

When an attack hits a target behind cover or wearing armor the first thing you should check is if the Accuracy of the attack exceeds the Coverage of the Cover, if so, check the Armor's Coverage. If both have been exceeded, the attack ignored these and is counted directly, as noted above. However, if either the Cover or Armor's Coverage exceeds the Accuracy of the attack, apply them. Use Applicable cover first, then Armor.

When applying Armor or Cover, first, compare Protection vs Penetration. If the numbers are equal, or if the Protection is higher, the attack is stopped and does not penetrate the Cover or Armor. If the Penetration is higher, the attack penetrates. If it has penetrated Cover, move on to either the next applicable piece of cover, or if there is not more intervening cover, to the Armor, and lastly to the target. The attack may, however, be modified by the Cover or Armor it has hit.

If the Attack's Penetration is 2 or more LESS than the Protection it hit
The attack meets the Protection and is stopped cold. Neither the Protection or anything behind it takes the attack's Damage.
If the Attack's Penetration is 1 LESS than the Protection it hit
The attack is stopped by the Protection, and the Protection is slightly damaged. The Protection's Durability is decreased by the 1/2 attack's Damage, minus the Protection's Resistance.
If the Attack's Penetration is equal to the Protection it hit
The attack is, just barely, stopped by the Protection. The Protection's Durability is decreased by the attack's Damage, minus the Protection's Resistance.
If the Attack's Penetration is 1 or more MORE than the Protection it hit
The attack penetrates the Protection, just barely. The Protection's Durability is decreased by the attack's Damage. The attack then hits the next Cover, Armor or Target in it's path with Penetration of 1 and it's Damage is decreased by this Protection's Resistance.
If the Attack's Penetration is 2 or more MORE than the Protection it hit
The attack penetrates the Protection. The Protection's Durability is decreased by the attack's Damage times 2. The attack then hits the next Cover, Armor or Target in it's path with 1/2 it's initial Penetration.
If the Attack's Penetration is 3 or more MORE than the Protection it hit
The attack blows clean through the Protection. The Protection's Durability is decreased by the attack's Damage times 2. The attack then hits the next Cover, Armor or Target in it's path with it's full initial Penetration.

Once the attack impacts it's target (if it does), it deals it's Damage, multiplied by any remaining Penetration, as noted in the section above. This is for fleshy targets, or targets that otherwise are either soft, or have vital areas. For hard, inanimate targets, without vital parts, they will
take Damage times 2 at most. Certain targets may have limited vital parts or soft areas, and may have a higher cap, as noted in their description. Human or biological targets have no limit to the damage multiplier.

Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:20 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Impact Damage! Promised several posts ago, now we'll get into it! Basically any attack with Impact zero, or that has been stopped by a piece of Cover or Armor becomes Impact Damage. For hand-held weapons Impact Damage will usually be equal to the Might of the wielder, while for firearms, the Impact Damage will be equal to the Damage+Penetration of the attack.

The Impact Damage will be reduced by the Padding of a target's armor, if present. For targets standing behind cover, Impact may throw cover around or transfer kinetic force into other objects. Any object not nailed down and/or not left entirely intact by the attack will transfer Impact to object touching it and may be moved backwards by the force of the attack.

For most objects, impact will move the object backwards roughly as far as someone of that Might could have thrown that object. If there is an object or target in this path they will take 1/2 the Impact damage imparted to that object. If the object was designed to be moved easily, such as being on wheels or casters, the object will move 2x the usual distance, and for impart FULL Impact damage for the first half of that distance. If that target was, however, in direct contact with the object, it will take FULL Impact Damage from transferred force. Also, for objects too large to be moved, if the target was in direct contact with the object and the object took Damage from attack, then the target will still take 1/2 Impact from the attack.

Impact gets applied as "Shock" rather than Trauma. The Shock Total works identically to the Trauma Total, except that instead of the end results being death, it instead results in loss of consciousness. The caveat is, that once Shock reaches 30, the victim must begin rolling to avoid death, and at 40 Shock, the victim is in as dire straights as a victim with 20 Trauma. 50 Shock is the equivalent to 30 Trauma and death is unavoidable. The victim's body has simply been pulverized into a bloody, incoherent mess at this point. Additionally, any single impact dealing more than 10 Impact denotes an impact strong enough to cause actual damage in crushing, tearing and lacerations. So, any Impact of over 10 becomes Trauma for the difference. So, an Impact of 15 would actually be a Trauma of 5.

Hardened Armor is the best defense against Impact damage (other than not getting hit in the first place). Hardened armor will have a Resistance rating for Impact Damage. Hardened armor completely negates Impact damage to it's wearer up to this rating. Any Impact over this rating will still have this rating subtracted from it, as well as any padding present. Any Impact over the Resistance will cause Damage to the Armor's Durability. Hardened armor is very hard to come by and usually consists of only upper-end military hardware.

Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:41 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
That sounds simple so far...what's the catch? Conditions! When you take suffer a Wound, any Accuracy the attacker had in his attack's margin (over your defense), generates Conditions in addition to the Wound you suffer. There are basic Conditions and Effects Accuracy can cause, and then any modifications the target has, such as cyberware, bioware or whatever may add additional Conditions or Effects that may affect the target. Also, specialty weapons may be able to inflict specialty Conditions or Effects. This list is only for Humans. Vehicles, devices, animals or anything else may have it's own list, or be subject to Conditions and Effects at the GM's discretion.

Accuracy         Condition/Effect
10               Brain/Spinal/Neurological Injury         
9                Abdominal Damage                Chest Cavity Damage
8                Loss of Limb         
7                Shock         
6                Organ Damage (Auto Digestion/etc)         
5                Heart Failure/Damage            Respiratory Arrest/Lung Damage/Breathing Impairment
4                Eye Damage                      Hearing Loss/Inner Ear Damage
3                Sprain/Dislocation/Fracture         
2                Stun                            Internal/External Bleeding/Blood Vessel/Arterial Damage
1                Pain                            Excised Wound

The way these conditions work is simple. When you take a Wound, you must describe exactly how that Wound has effected you physically. A higher-Accuracy Wound is one that has hit a more vulnerable area of your body, or hit a vulnerable area more severely. When a Wound is taken, the Defender must 'spend' off all of the Accuracy of that attack on Conditions. Additionally, the Accuracy of the attack sets the Severity of those conditions. When marking a Wound on your sheet, include the Conditions inflicted by that Wound below it, and make note of their Severity. Any Condition you take will be the same Severity (equal to the Accuracy of the attack), but they still 'cost' only their listed number of Accuracy. Example: Johnny Hardline takes a bullet to the guts from an Accuracy 4 attack. He decides to spend the 4 Accuracy on Pain(1) and Fracture(3), explaining that the bullet hit one of his ribs, breaking it and didn't penetrate fully into his abdomen. Regardless that Pain cost him only 1 Accuracy and the Fracture only cost him 3, they are both marked down as Severity 4 Conditions.

For each Condition, Severity stages the Condition's effects upwards if the Severity is above the Condition's listed cost. This may mean that the effects of the Condition are worse, they happen more frequently, or that, possibly, they are permanent (until your character can get advanced medical treatment to remove them). Any Condition who's effect is Permanent should be noted in the Permanent Effects list on your sheet, as well as below the Wound. It may be removed from the Wound list when it is either initially treated or healed, but is not removed from Permanent Effects until it is fully treated and neutralized. Below are descriptions of the various Conditions and their effects:

Pain - The Wound is extremely painful for some reason. More so than normal. In addition to the usual Wound Penalty to actions of -1 die per 2 points of Trauma, this Wound also penalizes all actions by this Condition's Severity, or double it's Severity for actions performed directly by the wounded body part.

Excised Wound - A chunk of your flesh has been removed by this attack. The size and location of the missing chunk is determined by the Condition's Severity. Severity of 1 to 5 indicates a small-to-medium sized hole in your flesh in an extremity or non-critical location. 6-10 Severity indicates that the excision has affected a muscle or bodily structure useful or critical to certain actions, such as a hole in the cheek or damage to the tongue preventing proper speech, or possibly damage to a muscle weakening a certain limb, hand or foot. This Condition is likely to leave some sort of scar or disfigurement, and anything of Severity 6 or more will be a permanent effect. Removing the Permanent Effect requires reconstructive surgery or procedures of some sort.

Stun - The Wound you have taken has afflicted you with Acute Shock Syndrome. You are disoriented, confused and unlikely to be able to act with coherent thought for several turns. Any time your character wishes to take an action while effected by this Condition, they must make a Vigor+Discipline roll, penalized by the Condition's Severity. If they succeed, they may take their desired action. If not, they simply flounder about randomly and ineffectually, confused and daze. A character under this Condition's Effects is likely unaware they have been injured, or at very least unaware of the extent of their injuries, likely assuming them to be minor. This Condition is always temporary and loses 1 point of Severity per 2 minutes.

Internal/External Bleeding/Blood Vessel/Arterial Damage -
Eye Damage
Hearing Loss/Inner Ear Damage
Respiratory Arrest/Lung Damage/Breathing Impairment
Heart Failure/Damage
Organ Damage (Auto Digestion/etc)
Loss of Limb
Chest Cavity Damage
Abdominal Damage
Brain/Spinal/Neurological Injury

Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:40 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:22 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Now that you've duked it out, gotten a few battle-wounds and you're slumped in the backseat bleeding while your girlfriend cries over you and your buddy rushes you to the hospital...about that: healing. How is that done?? Every time you receive a Wound from damage, you should mark it down, as well as what sort of wound it was. Was it a bullet-wound? A wound from a knife? Where did it hit you and how? Be as detailed as you like, as long as it matches up with what got played out in-game.

When you finally do get to that hospital and you'd love to get those wounds treated, the first step is to cover any Conditions you're still suffering from...(to be continued - forgot to add conditions description. LOL!)

Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:41 pm
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