4.2 During Combat in FUDGE Deryni
Combat Round DefinitionA Combat Round is a short period of time in
which combatants attempt to injure each other or a variety of other actions.
Combat is broken into rounds to make it easier to determine the outcome of a
fight. The actual time isn't set in stone, but it is about 3 seconds (pi
seconds actually. Why else would they call it a combat "round?").
During this time, each participant can do a small series of actions. Usually,
these amount to an attempt at attack and an attempt at defense. The GM is the
final arbitrator on how long an action takes, and whether or not any other
actions may be taken.
Using the one attack, one defense as a determiner as to what you can
accomplish is a good guideline. That is because in three seconds, figuring out
more than that would be very hard to do.
Each action must be done with a different item or ability. That means you
cannot defend with your sword and then attack with it, although you may use a
different item or ability in the place of either the attack or the defense.
Using a shield or a second weapon is usually the case here.
Actions in combat are almost always Opposed, even if the other participant is
unaware of the attack. This is for simplicity's sake.
Combat Round Order
- Determine who's fighting who. Combat is broken here into groups. Each PC
is in his/her own group for most purposes.
- In each group, figure out who has the greater weapon length. If there is
an advantage in weapon length, that participant gets a +1 to Initiative.
(Example: Bob has a Greatsword, and his opponent a Dagger. Bob gets a +1 to
- Compare Initiatives of the participants. The highest is given the choice
of making his action first, or holding it to react to things that happen that
round. If the Initiatives are a tie, than the combatants make an Opposed roll
off Initiative until there is someone with an advantage. Unless conditions
change, this Initiative will be used throughout the entire combat.
- Example 1: Bob is fighting a bandit. Bob's Initiative is Good, while
the bandit's is Fair. Bob chooses to strike at the bandit first, forcing him
to defend with his sword.
- Example 2: Bob is fighting a bandit. Bob's Initiative is Good and the
bandit's is Fair. But Bob knows from last round that his friend is sneaking
up on the bandit and plans to do something. Bob chooses to wait, and sees
that his friend runs the bandit through from behind. Bob then spends his
action to run over to the next target, and is in place the next round rather
than having to spend that round running.
- Example 3: Bob is fighting the new target, whose Initiative is also
Good. They roll an Opposed roll, and Bob ends up with a Mediocre, while the
bandit is at Great. The bandit goes first and Bob has to react rather than
control the action.
- The Attacker defines his attack (which Skill used, description of the
attack), and the Defender determines whether or not he will defend himself,
and how. Special Attacks or Special Defenses must be declared at this time.
- Find results of action:
- If a Defense is used, make an Opposed roll of Attacker's Skill (frex,
Broad Sword or Unarmed Combat Skill) vs. Defender's Skill (frex, Shield
Skill or Dodge Skill).
- Defender wins or ties roll: Attack is successfully defeated (blocked,
dodged, etc). and the Defender may make an action if applicable.
- Attacker wins roll (and attack result was at least Poor): Attack gets
by defense. Note the Relative Degree between the attack and the defense.
Go to Section
4.3 -- Damage and Wounds to apply damage. If the Defender is still
alive, then he may take his action, if applicable.
- Attacker rolls Terrible or less: Miss.
- If there is no active Defense, than the Attacker rolls 2 FUDGE dice and
determines how good an attack he makes. If the attack was at least at Poor
level, then RD is calculated from Poor, and then go to the Section
4.3 Damage and Wounds to determine the results.
- Finish all groups in this manner, than return to Number 1 for next round.
- Keep in mind that Special Attacks must be declared before dice are
rolled, when all actions are determined.
- Called Shots: This is where you attempt to hit a specific
location. In FUDGE Deryni, much about combat is abstracted, and so called
shots are better as a mechanism in a more detailed system. But, even in
FUDGE Deryni, there will be times when hitting a specific location is
important and necessary to the situation. With normal attacks, it is assumed
that a strike is meant to kill--aiming for torso or head or some other
killing blow. Attacking the arm or hand or some other small specific area
requires a Called Shot.
In order to perform a Called Shot, specify where the Called Shot is aimed
for when attacks are announced. Results are determined as if it were a
normal attack, taking into account all normal modifiers, unless the Called
Shot is actually an attempt to Disarm or Knock Out the Opponent, both of
which are special cases. See their sections below.
The effects of a Called Shot will vary depending upon the situation and
final determination is up to the GM. It takes an Incapacitating blow to
break the one in question or otherwise render useless any part of the body.
A blow to a limb that does Near Death or Dead level of wound will sever the
limb in question but will translate into a lesser wound overall.
- Knocking Out Opponents: Sometimes it is better to render your
opponent unconscious rather than merely killing him. Occasionally, this is
done just by Incapacitating him or bringing him Near Death through
wounds--in other words, hurting him enough to keep him from moving. And that
is what Knocking Out Opponents is all about, after all.
In order to knock out an opponent, you must do exactly an Incapacitating
Wound in a manner designed to render unconscious. You must declare this as
your attack, and define how you plan to do this (frex, using the flat of
your sword to bludgeon). Make the attack, but also make a Strength check to
"pull your blow." A Good Strength check will allow you to prevent hitting
too hard. Figure out damage as normal, based on the Attack vs DL (assuming
the attack was successful at beating defenses). An Incapacitating wound (or
better, if the Strength check is made) knocks the opponent out.
This is not a sure method by any means. Too little damage merely wounds
the opponent. Missing the Strength check will kill him if the damage is too
great. If the opponent is already injured, he may die anyways. Be prepared
for that possibility.
- Disarm Tactics: A Disarm is where you attempt to knock the
opponent's weapon from his hand, rather than attempting to hurt him. To
perform a Disarm, the tactic must be announced when all tactics are
announced. If the Defender resists, make a Skill vs Skill check, with the
appropriate modifiers below plus any for other normal combat activities
(such as wounds). If the Attacker wins, then a Strength vs Strength check is
made (with only normal modifiers). If for some reason the Defender is not
attempting to stop the disarm, then the Attacker makes his Skill check (with
disarm and other modifiers), with a Fair or better result succeeding.
- -1: Disarming a one-handed weapon (Broad sword, Dagger)
- -2: Disarming a two-handed weapon (Great sword, Quarterstaff)
- -3: Disarming a weapon or item that is strapped on (Shield)
- Keep in mind that Special Defenses must be declared before any dice
are rolled, when actions are determined.
- Dodge: Dodging allows you to move out of the way of an attack.
However, by doing so you must spend some time getting yourself reoriented,
and thus have a -1 to any other actions performed this round, and a -1 to
your Initative next round, in addition to any modifiers. (Penalty is applied
to all actions following the Dodge, not including it).
- Acrobatics: Acrobatics allow you to Dodge also, but an Acrobatics
maneuver is easier to recover from. A Good result or better will allow you
to continue without additional penalty. Fair or lower, treat as if it were a
normal Dodge. Description of the Acrobatic attempt is important however, as
limited space or otherwise hampered movement will prevent some types of
acrobatics, and the action must be acrobatic in nature, otherwise it
is simple a Dodge. In other words, ducking is always considered a Dodge,
while tumbling out of the way is an Acrobatic action.
- All-Out Defense: This is where the Defender makes no other
actions besides defending himself. He can defend against up to two attacks
without penalty (after that, see the section on Additional Defenses). If the
Defender only has to defend against one attack, he gains a +1 to his defense
this round, and a +1 to his Initative and Attack the next. This represents
watching your opponent for an opening. If any bonuses used by choosing
All-Out Defense are not used as listed above, they are lost. (In other
words, you may not keep them across additional rounds).
- Additional Defenses: Sometimes it is important to try and defend
against more than one attack. You may substitute a defense for your attack
(See All-Out Defense, above), and/or you may choose to try and defend
multiple times. For each additional attempt at defense, a cumulative -1
penalty is applied. Making Additional Defenses is not always possible, due
to surprise or location, and the GM is the final arbitrator on that issue.
Using Deryni powers in Combat
- The characters in the books talk much about how hard it is to use Deryni
Powers effectively in combat. Although that seems to be as much a literary
device as it is an actual problem, the following rules help to keep the game
in the same feel as the books.
- Using or maintaining Deryni powers (including Heightened Senses) incur a
-1 penalty to all other actions that round, and the use of the power itself.
- Any active actions (actual fighting, running, yelling commands) require
a Meditation check to keep the power active (also at a -1).
- Also, you cannot get back Power fatigue until you rest after combat.