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Combat Basics 
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Post Combat Basics
Generally speaking, most people's first experiences with role-playing game will be with something like D&D or similar, combat-oriented games. That being said, given that people tend to want to play a game with more adventure than a normal, modern life has, combat is a staple of many role-playing games, even ones that don't revolve around it.

Initiative
In Penetrator, like many other games, there is a certain set of rules around combat, beginning with rules for who is attacking, who's defending and in which order these things happen. Unlike most, things in Penetrator are allowed to happen at the same time, though.

The first step to combat in Penetrator is establishing your characters in the initiative order. 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 made when they join the combat or when they switch to using a new skill.

The number of successes rolled for each character is then recorded and that is their number in the order of combat for each round. The character with the lowest number choses their action first. For ties, have the tied players roll off with 1 die each to determine who is considered higher in the order.

The number of successes rolled for each character is then recorded and that is their number in the order of combat for each round. The character with the highest number choses their action first. For ties, the tied players roll off with 1 die each to determine who is considered higher in the order.

Surprise/Unaware
When speaking of surprise attacks or ambushes, there are two distinct possibilities in narrative: an attack that catches the defending character completely flat-footed and unaware, or an attack that surprises the character, but offers at least a slim possibility to mount a defense. An attack by a concealed character undetected by the defender that happens either fast enough, or in a manner than will not be detected until the attack has struck home, will follow rules for attacking an Unaware Defender, while an attack that merely surprises the defender or catches them unprepared for defense will follow rules for Surprise Attacks.

An Unaware Defender may or may not have an initiative score as they may or may not already be engaged in combat, but they are not afforded the chance to mount a defense against that attack.

A Surprise Attack will generally only happen at the beginning of a combat scene, because once the characters are engaged in combat, they are now prepared for defense. You may still catch a character in combat unaware, but if they are aware of the attack, they should be as ready as they can be to defend, already. In situations where characters are caught surprised by a combat, they are considered to be at 1/2 their rolled Initiative number for the first round of combat (rounded down).


Sat May 14, 2011 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Actions
Actions in a combat round are considered to happen in the span of only a few seconds. The number of seconds is not hard and fast, but consider it to be about 3-5 seconds per combat round. Some actions may take longer than this to accomplish and are then declared in one round, but may not be resolved until some subsequent round. All actions, however take varying amounts of concentration and time to perform. A character's Initiative Number notes how quickly they START acting, but not exactly how quickly they are able to perform their action.

For determining the timing of resolution of an action in combat, you will add a certain number based on the type of action to the character's Initiative Number. That is when the action completes. Generally actions take one of 3 types:

  • Standard Actions Normal actions that are chosen and then resolved in one round of combat.
  • Free Actions Very quick or inconsequential actions that do not take an action to resolve and finish instantly.
  • Extended Actions Actions that take longer than a few seconds to finish and span several combat rounds.
  • Reactions Actions that are quickly executed in response to another action or situation.

Standard Actions work exactly as described for action thus far, while Free Actions are simple things like releasing hold of an item, speaking a couple words, or setting a toggle through AR display or other actions which take no real concentration or time to complete. These actions may be taken at any time, even out of normal initiative order and complete instantly.

Extended Actions, however are declared like Standard Actions, and take a certain amount of time to complete, but the time to complete an Extended Action includes a number of rounds that must pass before it completes. Depending on the nature of the individual action, the character may be unable to take any other actions before this action completes.

Reactions, however, are a bit of a different thing. Reactions are actions that are taken as a reflex, based on another action or situation, such as dodging a punch of parrying with a weapon. The Reaction is taken and completes instantly whenever prompted, although Reactions will have a time requisite too. The Reaction is not declare until the Action it is reacting to resolves and it may delay the resolution of your action. If you have already acted this round, add the reaction's time to your Initiative Number for the next round, which may change the order you declare your action for that round, as well.

Simultaneous Actions
Any two Actions that complete on the same number are considered to be Simultaneous. Simultaneous may be either conflicting or non-conflicting.

Conflicting Actions
Conflicting Actions are Actions that actually oppose one another, or oppose each other by disrupting the ability of the actions to complete. Directly opposing actions are situations such as one character trying to grab something that another character is also trying to grab. Additionally, you may find a situation where one character's action invalidates the other's. Such as a character trying to grab a vase when another character shoots it. In these case, simply have both characters' players roll for their action, whoever has the higher margin of success (if successful) succeeds and negates the other's action. In some cases the losing character's action may still have an effect, such as with shooting the vase, the shot is still fired and the bullet may strike another target.

Non-Conflicting Actions
Non-conflicting actions are when two or more simultaneous actions may all complete without disrupting each other. Or without directly stopping or negating each other. In this case, all actions complete as normal. This also includes cases where the actions may seem contradictory, but won't necessarily STOP each other. In the case of two characters shooting at each other, even if one character kills the other, it's still likely they will have both fired and possibly hit each other, as the shots were simultaneous.


Sat May 14, 2011 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Attack
In Penetrator, the action should follow a somewhat "cinematic" bent, however, not in the manner that most games mean cinematic, more in the manner that people that aren't familiar with RPGs would think it. As in, the action should unfold like in a movie. The characters are over-the-top, the guns and explosions are absolutely epic, and the hits are just brutal. If this game had sound, you'd need a sub woofer to play it properly.

Some standard attacks that a character in Penetrator can use, from various weapons are:

Any Firearm
Single Shot - Just as it sounds. Standard action, no modifiers.
Suppressing Fire - Firing your weapon in a semi-controlled manner into a target area to threaten and frighten potential enemies in that area to keep them pinned to cover. Extended Action, rounds as desired, limited by ammunition. The attacking character makes a normal attack roll against a desired target area. The area is treated as a cone 1m wide at Short and Medium Range, 2m wide at Long range and 4m at Extreme Range. There are no penalties to the attack roll and at least 3 rounds are considered to have been fired from a semi-auto weapon, 2 bursts from a burst-capable weapon, or a full round of fire from a fully-automatic weapon. Log the number of successes on the attack roll. For burst weapons, the 2 bursts may be spread into 2 contiguous cones (i.e: 2m at Short & Medium Range, etc), and for Fully-automatic weapons, each 3 rounds may be spread into it's own contiguous cone (1m at Short Range for each 3 rounds). Any person entering this cone immediately has an attack rolled against them with a Die Pool equal to the initial Successes rolled, plus +1 per round in the cone. A target hit by a round from the cone 'absorbs' that round removing it from the cone for further targets entering the cone, unless the round Penetrates the target without lost momentum. The Suppressing Fire roll is rerolled each round that the fire continues. The suppressing character does not take a Recoil penalty for the initial roll for Suppressing Fire, the rolls for subsequent Rounds, or the subsequent rolls against targets entering the affected area, however, they take double Recoil penalty on their next attack, and -4 Initiative until their next Action.

Semi-auto Firearms
Double-tap - Pulling the trigger twice in quick succession. Usually firing on the same target with both shots, but 2 separate targets may be fired on at a penalty. Standard Action, second shot takes normal recoil penalty, if fired on a separate target double recoil penalty. -4 Initiative until next Action.

Burst-capable Firearms
Focused Burst - Firing a short 3-5 round burst (depending on the weapon's capabilities) trying to hit 1 target with all of the rounds fired. Standard Action, -2 Initiative until next Action. Full recoil Penalty applied to initial attack, double recoil penalty for any attack next round, Wound level stages up at 1 less success needed than normal. If necessary successes are already 1, then attack gets +1 base wound level.
Spray Burst - Firing a short 3-5 round burst (depending on the weapon's capabilities) trying to hit multiple targets with the rounds fired. The entire attack takes the full Recoil Penalty, and each attack after the first accrues a cumulative -2 penalty, and -1 for each meter between targets at Extreme Range, -2 at Long Range, -3 at Medium Range and -4 at Short Range. For targets spread between multiple ranges, use the highest penalty applicable. Number of targets possible to be engaged limited by rounds fired. Next attack suffers double Recoil and character suffers -4 Initiative until next Action.

Fully-Automatic Firearms
Searching Fire - Against a hard-to-hit target, searching fire is used to 'walk' the rounds onto target. The initial rounds are not expected to hit, but to provide a reference point for the subsequent rounds as aim is gradually adjusted and the later rounds hit the target. Extended action, number of rounds as desired my shooter and limited by ammunition. Recoil applied at start of attack, +1 bonus to attack each round Searching Fire is continued (starting at +1 for initial attack), max +4 bonus. On the round Searching Fire is ended -2 Initiative until next Action, and next Action suffers from double Recoil penalty. Continuing Searching Fire, but selecting a new target reset the Searching Fire bonus to +0, but does not incur an Initiative penalty or double Recoil.
Focused Fire - Firing a long burst or stream of rounds and trying to hit 1 target with all of the rounds fired. Extended Action, number of rounds as desired my shooter and limited by ammunition. Full recoil Penalty applied to initial attack, double recoil penalty for any attack next round (or continued Focused Fire) , Wound level stages up at 1 less success needed than normal. If necessary successes are already 1, then attack gets +1 base wound level. If engaging a different target next Round, add Recoil Penalty again. -2 Initiative until next Action after ending Focused Fire.
Spray - Firing a long burst or stream of rounds trying to hit multiple targets with the rounds fired. Uses the same rules as a Spray Burst, just with more bullets.


Defense (Reactions)
Defensive reactions may be taken against any attack that leaves possibility of reaction time. This counts as any non-firearm projectile attack such as bows, slingshots, etc, fired from longer than medium range, any thrown weapon, and ANY attack made from melee range. Defensive reactions may be made as long as your Initiative is higher than 0 and will modify your Initiative for the next round (or the remainder of the current round). If you have 0 or less Initiative on your action, you do not get an action. Your Initiative penalties reset on your next action, whether that is at this round or the next.

Dodge - An attack? Move out of the way. DONE. (-1 Initiative) You may roll Reflex+Speed, or your applicable melee attack skill vs the opponent's attack to attempt to negate their attack.
Parry - An attack? Move IT out of the way. (-1 Initiative, -2 to roll) Roll your normal attack pool as a defense roll with a -2 penalty. If successful, the attack is deflected. If applicable, any damage that would normally be inflicted to the parrying object is at -3 Penetration and -1 Wound stage. However, if this is still enough to penetrate the object, the defense is considered wasted with no effect. If the attack parried was a melee attack, if your next attack targets the subject of your parry, they are at a -2 to their defense roll.
Block - An attack? Move something into the way. (-1 Initiative) Roll your normal attack pool as a defense roll. If successful, the attack is blocked. If applicable, if the damage that would normally be inflicted to the blocking object if enough to penetrate the object, the defense is considered wasted with no effect.
Riposte - An attack? Move something pointy into the way...and into the attacker. (-2 Initiative, -2 to roll) You make one attack roll, which counts also as your defense roll. The target of the attack roll may make a defense reaction as normal. This maneuver takes your next attack, whether that be your attack for this round if you haven't yet taken it, or your attack next round, if you have. If you would not normally have enough Initiative left to make your next attack, then you receive an additional -2 to the attack.
Counter-attack - ATTACK! ...oh that's what you were doing? My bad. (-2 Initiative, +2 to roll) You forfeit your defense option, and next attack to make an attack on the target, with a +2 bonus to the roll. Risky moves like this are generally unexpected and hard to prepare for. The target may make a defense reaction as normal.

Attack Modifiers
Melee Range (No Modifier)
Short Range with a Ranged Weapon (+1)
Medium Range with a Ranged Weapon (No Modifier)
Long Range with a Ranged Weapon (-2)
Extreme Range with a Ranged Weapon (-4)
Moving at a Walk while firing (-1)
Moving at a Run while firing (-4)
Moving at a Sprint while firing (-6)
Firing from a stable position (Sitting, propped against a wall, etc; +1)
Firing from Prone or similarly extremely supported position (+2)
Previous Round spent aiming (Cumulative +1, up to max of +4)
Target moving at a Walk while firing (-1 at Medium range only)
Target moving at a Run while firing (-2 at Medium Range, -1 at Short or Long Range)
Target moving at a Sprint while firing (-3 at Medium Range, -2 at Short or Long Range, -1 at Extreme Range. At Short through Long Range, the target may also roll their Speed as a defense roll.)

Wound Modifiers
For any roll requiring concentration or Physical exertion, Wounds inflicted on the character will hamper their efforts as well. The character will receive a penaltay based on their highest level wound, +1 for each additional wound.

Minor: No base penalty
Moderate: -1
Serious: -3
Critical: -6
Mortal: -10
Unsurvivable: NO


Sat May 14, 2011 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
Damage
Damage is applied on a scale as noted in the Damage system reboot AND FIXES!!! thread (Minor, Moderate, Serious, etc).
Wounds are tracked separately for each given injury. Any one injury may threaten the victim's consciousness or life based on it's level and a collection of wounds will likely do so.

Each wound of Moderate level will automatically build the victim's Shock Pool by +1.
Each wound of Serious level will automatically build the victim's Shock Pool by +3 and Death Pool by +1.
Each wound of Critical level will automatically build the victim's Shock Pool by +6 and Death Pool by +3.
Each wound of Mortal level will automatically build the victim's Shock Pool by +10 and Death Pool by +6.
Each wound of Unsurvivable level will automatically build the victim's Shock Pool by +ALL OF THE DICE and Death Pool by +10.

Conditions
Bleeding - The most common condition - Intensity variable from 1-10. Each intensity reduces the duration from 5:00 by 0:30. 10 intensity results in the bleed compounding once a round. Each time the bleed compounds, you add +1 to both your Shock and Death Pools.
Concussed - Resulting from blows to the head or explosive shock - 3/6/10 - At 3 the victim takes penalties to concentration and coordination while in effect (-3). At 6 the victim cannot act without passing a concentration check against a pool of 6 and still takes a -3 to concentration and coordination. At 10, the victim is insensible and unable to act.
Deafened - Resulting from blows to the head, damage to the ears or brain, or loud sonic effects such as explosions - (1-5) Penalties to auditory perception while in effect. At 5 the victim is completely deafened.
Blinded - Resulting from blows to the head, damage to the eye or brain, or bright light effects such as lasers - (1-5) Penalties to visual perception while in effect. At 5 the victim is completely blinded.
Crippled - Resulting from nerve or tendon damage to a limb resultant from nearly any injury type - (3/6/10) At 3 heavy penalties to limb use (-6), or unable to use limb while in effect. At 6, limb is unresponsive and interaction with limb causes intense pain. At 10, the limb will require surgery to correct.
Broken - Resulting from bone or cartilage damage from nearly any injury type - (3/6/10) At 3, heavy penalties to use, or unable to use affected body part while in effect (-6). At 6, the limb is unusable and interaction with the limb causes intense pain. At 10, the limb is mangled and will likely require amputation unless treated swiftly.
Punctured - Condition resulting from over-penetration of an attack. Attack continues through target with possibly diminished effect. Automatically produces Bleeding of -2 intensity (minimum 1), though is treated as +2 intensity for first-aid purposes.

The base Condition Value of a Wound is set by the base Damage of the weapon, modified by armor/cover.
For each damage level this is:
Minor - 0
Moderate - 1
Serious - 3
Critical - 6
Mortal - 10
Unsurvivable - 15 (Usually this won't matter)

Additionally, each grade increase to the attack based on success margin will add +1 to the base value.
In most cases, the defender will chose how to allocate the Condition Value to conditions for the wound. However, if the attacker choses to 'call' the shot (-2 penalty), the attacker than allocates the points.

Life & Death
Once a character has accrued a number of wounds, they may find their life or continued consciousness at risk. Once your Shock Pool exceeds the lower of your Discipline or Vigor, or when your Death Pool exceeds your Vigor, you must begin roll against these pools periodically to retain consciousness or life, respectively. Shock Pool rolls must be made immediately and again following any round in which you partake of any strenuous physical or mental activity, or upon any new increase to your Shock Pool. The result of a failed Shock roll is that the character falls unconscious. Death Pool rolls must be made immediately and again upon receipt of any increase to your Death Pool and periodically based on the character's highest level wound. The result of a failed Death roll depends on the character's highest level wound.

Rolls are made with Discipline+Vigor. The GM rolls the appropriate pool against the character. The character or another examining that character may attempt a Medicine roll to determine if the roll was passed or failed. Otherwise the results of the GM's roll are kept secret.

Minor - No automatic re-rolls required. On failure, something has gone horribly wrong. Perhaps the character has suffered a freak stroke, or ruptured a delicate yet important blood vessel. Death will occur in roughly 30 minutes if the character doesn't receive medical aid.
Moderate - No automatic re-rolls required. On failure, something has gone wrong. Perhaps the character has suffered damage to blood vessel or damage to a vital organ. Death will occur in roughly 20 minutes if the character doesn't receive medical aid.
Serious - The character must re-roll every 20 minutes. On failure the character has sustained damage to a significantly dangerous degree to require immediate care. They will expire without medical aid in 10 minutes.
Critical - The character must re-roll every 10 minutes. On failure the character has sustained critical damage and requires immediate care. They will expire without medical aid in 5 minutes.
Mortal - The character must re-roll every 5 minutes. On failure the character has been dealt a mortal blow and will pass on without medical aid in a number of rounds determined by a Random Roll (minimum 1 Round after the roll is failed).
Unsurvivable - The character must re-roll every Round. On failure the damage to the character is untenable and they have passed on by the end of the current round.


Sat May 14, 2011 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Combat Basics
First Aid
First aid may be applied to any wound inflicted on a character given the character has the appropriate tools to treat the wound. This can be as simple as some cloth to stuff into a bleeding wound, or as complex as the tools needed to set & splint a broken leg. The roll receives a penalty of the Condition Value of that wound, and bonuses based on the gear being used. The time required for the roll can just be a simple action, in regard to pressing some padding against a wound to stem bleeding, or a longer complex, multi-round action for splinting a leg. Success may alleviate or remove the Condition associated with the Wound (if possible based on the Wound and the gear involved), and reduces the Wound's Shock and Death Pool penalties by 1 stage (e.x: A Serious Wound normally gives +3/+1 Shock/Death, after successful first aid it only adds +1/+0, like a Moderate Wound). In the case of Minor Wounds they become Inconsequential and are thus removed. A Wound may not have First Aid successfully applied to it more than once. Also, failed attempts at First Aid raise the difficulty of further attempts by +1. A Botch may do worse than this at GM discretion. A treated wound no longer adds to the Shock or Death Pool for purposes of determining when rolls need to be made, though still add to the Pools for purposes of any actual rolls made.

Healing
Modern (read: Futuristic) medical technology has advanced enough in terms of medical nanite repair, bio-scaffolding, vat-grown organs, cybernetics and stem-cell replication that nearly any damage short of extensive physical dismemberment can be successfully an quickly treated if the victim (or the pieces of the victim) is transported to a medical facility before too much cell-death occurs. Based on studies by MIT this should give the rescuer roughly 2-4 hours to transport the remains to a medical facility before the victim's cells become nonviable due to mitochondrial death. So, you can be brought back to life from nearly any wound...to be later murdered by medical bills.

Natural Healing
Inconsequential wound healing isn't much of a concern, the effects of the wound dissipating as quickly as the swear words you uttered when it happened. Minor wounds should heal in about a week and Moderate wounds should be mostly gone by about a month's time. All these time-frames assume that the wound is properly cared for, kept clean and covered. Improper wound care could result in infection or longer healing times, permanent scarring or worse. Serious wounds will have extended healing times without medical care, ranging from several months to a year based on the recovery conditions of the character. Critical, Mortal and Unsurvivable wounds all require medical supervision to heal, and healing times are more dependant on the medical gear used than anything else.


Sat May 14, 2011 3:58 pm
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