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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Palladium Game System: How I Would Redo it! Part 3: Combat Overview

I continue this series of my own personal not to be used without my written consent but I will give it to ya for some credit a cookie. Maybe I am using that Creative Commons thing. I dunno. Except I am continuing on my endless diet and as thus, must generally be cookie less.

(Updated with MORE STUFF on December 10)

Combat Basics: Characters have 2 actions at low levels in combat. Each round of combat is considered to be 10 seconds in duration. Each square or inch is considered to be 2 meters(or 6 feet). You can select the following action options and resolve them one at a time in any order the active character chooses.

Move 4 squares (or inches) in a cardinal direction, or 3 squares with any form of diagonal movement. (Obviously if you use inches and a tape measure just follow that as it is.)

1 Action Actions:
Snap Attack. Normal attack check.

General Action: Something you can do while still being able to do other things in a 10 second timeframe. Reload or unjam a weapon, say something more complicated than a short sentence, start a car, ect.

Defensive Maneuver: Make a defense check to appropriately attempt to avoid being hurt by any enemies attempting to do hurty things to you. Its generic. Consider it to be everything from trying to stay in cover in a hedgerow to parrying a close combat attack with your sword to launching chaff from your jet fighter. If you succeed anyone attempting to hit you or do something to you has their stat reduced by 5. This remains on until your next turn or someone hits you. A natural 20 rolled on this check gives the enemy a +5 to hit you till your next turn. Your fancy footwork or mad parrying failed and you tripped up somehow.

Believe in Yourself: Make a Ki check to: A:) Transfer Ki into your Life Points B:) Make your next action an automatic success C:) Turn a Tech 1 attack into a Tech 2 attack (only good against Tech 2 Damage Targets). If you pass the check roll 1d6. This is how many Psionic Points you spend in doing this. If your roll takes you to negative Psi Points you take 1d6 Damage Points in damage for every point under zero you went.

2 Action Actions:
Aimed Attack: You steady your aim and if applicable get an extra reserve of strength for this attack. It is then just treated like a normal Snap Attack, except you have +5 to your check and to your damage.

Burst Attack: If your weapon can burst fire you may do a Burst Attack. You do +3 to your check and to your damage, plus add one extra die of damage based on whatever is the highest damage dice your weapon uses as a single shot. (So a 3d4 weapon would do 4d4+3 damage on a Burst Attack. A 1d6 + 2d8 x10 damage weapon would instead be 1d6 + 3d8 x10 +3.)

Guard Action: You prepare to do a 1 action action IF something simple happens to you. Your action is considered to happen before whatever happens does anything else. (Such as if an enemy shoots at you you will fire back at him. If you were to say "Attack and enemy if he comes within 5 squares of me" as soon as an enemy finished a move action that brought them within 5 squares you would then be allowed to attack, then the enemy would do any other actions they had to do.)

Psionic Action: Make a Psionic action. This could be to use a Psionic skill of any sort unless the skill says it takes more than a round.

3 Action Actions: (Yes I know most PCs only start with 2. Some things require more skill and training!)
Location Targeting: as a Snap Attack with an additional -5 to your penalty for purposes of hitting, but instead of doing normal damage, if you hit you do half damage if you make your check. However if your D20 roll is a 1-4 you do no damage to the target but you destroy what you were aiming at that you could realistically hit. (If a guy with a flight pack is charging at you, you probably can't see his flight back. ) This can be anything from a head shot on a zombie to hitting sensors on a giant crab robot with a sensitive mono eye to taking out a car tire. Note it is up to the GM to decide the exact results of the attack.

Full Round Actions: These are anything that either takes your character's full attention for the round, or something that is a continuing action. Like repairing a car or picking a lock or powering some ridiculously overwrought mega attack that the enemy is dumb enough to not bother you while you are doing it. It is GM's decision what happens if you get hit during this.

Full Auto: A Full Round Action requiring at least half the remaining ammunition in a weapon capable of Full Auto fire. This attack uses all ammunition in the weapon, and is counted as a Burst Attack, except it does 1d4+1 of these attacks that may be spread to any one target, and or any other targets within 1 square (2 Meters) of that target as long as the target is visible. Each attack has to be rolled to hit like a normal Burst Attack. If you were to say, have 3 as your number of attacks with this action you could attack a target and 2 adjacent targets, put all 3 on the original target, or split them up any other way desired.

The Combat Round:
As mentioned its 10 seconds. Initiative is determined by rolling a D20 for each side and the side with the most winning Physical Checks gets to move and activate a unit first. Then the loser moves one and it alternates till everyone has gone with the winning side going before the last units of the loser side. With odd numbers divide up who goes together to balance it out. (Like if it were a 5 to 2 battle and the 5 number went first, they would have 3 units going, then 1 of the loser, then the last 2 of the winner side, then the last loser. If it were the other way, the winner would use 1 then the losers would use 3 then the winner would move their final unit, then the losers move their last 2.) With odd units its up to the players and GM to determine how they want to divvy things up. Low to high numbers doing things, high to low, or whatever other solution works best.

Initiative lasts for the entire combat encounter.

An Attack Check is done by rolling the appropriate stat check and as in normal checks, rolling equal to or under the stat. In combat as in normal checks you raise your stat by the positive modifiers, and reduce it by the negative ones with the final modifier being no more than + or - 10. A natural rolled 20 is a critical failure and any remaining actions that unit had this round is lost. A natural rolled 1 is a critical hit, which either does maximum possible rolled damage, or in the case of Damage Level 1 attacks against a Damage Level 2 target, the attack damage is rolled as normal and is considered to be the Damage Level 2.

Damage: Most things have Damage Points. Some things using supernatural or ultra high tech construction have Level 2 Damage Points.

Normally damage is simple. When something takes enough damage to have 0 points left it is disabled or knocked out. If it goes into negative damage a Physical Roll must be made with whatever the damage taking it beyond 0 is as the negative modifier. If it passes the roll it is still alive or repairable. If it fails the roll it is either unrepairable or dead. For things that do not have a Physical attribute like armor, its Physical score is counted as 5, 10, or 15 depending on the quality of the item.

L2 Damage: As mentioned L2 Damage is for the ultra supernatural and the ultra high tech. Like Godzilla or Cthulhu or giant transforming robots. L2 Damage weapons do their normal adjusted damage times 10 to normal L1 Damage sources. L1 Damage to an L2 Damage target is reduced by 90% meaning 10 points of L1 damage does 1 point to an L2 target. (While a L2 Damage weapon doing 10 points does 100 points to an L1 target.) Round down for purposes of dividing up the damage.

As mentioned a Critical Hit ignores these restrictions and effectively makes an L1 attack an L2 one.

Some Combat Modifiers:
Range Weapons Range: Short Range: +5 to hit and damage, Medium: Normal to hit and damage, Long: -5 to hit and damage.

Cover: 1/3rd cover: -3 to hit. 2/3rd cover: -6 to hit. 90% cover: -10 to hit.

Target Speed: -1 to hit for every 10 squares moved this round.

Dual Wielding Weapons: -5 to hit and damage for the dual wielder's attacks.

Single handed weapon used in 2 hands: +3 to hit and damage.

Indirect/Scatter Attacks: These attacks have a normal attack, but may scatter with targets with 100% target having a -10 to hit as in 90% cover. If the attack misses, the attack scatters in a random direction 1 square (2 Meters) for every point you rolled over your attribute.

ARMOR: Armor takes damage (and sometimes reduces or increases the wearer's stats beyond normal maximums and minimums) before the wearer does. Though for every 10 points of damage the armor takes the wearer takes a point of damage that is not part of the total damage just received. In the case of L2 armor this means an L1 attack has to cause 100 points of L1 damage (making it 10 points to L2 targets) to cause 1 point of wearer damage. This damage point is always considered to be at the Damage Level of the target.

When an armor reaches 0 any remaining damage goes to the wearer inside, or the wearer's personal armor in the case of vehicles, ect. This damage going internal is counted as whatever level it was otherwise, meaning if 5 points of L2 damage gets through a suit of armor to the L1 damage wearer they are taking 50 points of damage. Likewise, if 5 points of L1 damage breaks through to a L2 wearer they will just ignore the damage.

Hand to Hand/Ram Damage: Normally for a human sized character it is D4 damage. Half human sized is D3, Quarter is D2. One and a half human sized is D6, twice is D8, triple is D10, quadruple is D12, more than quadruple is D20. Weapons override these close combat attacks, though weapon damage is increased by 1 for every die type over D4.

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