Fantasy Realms Alternative Combat/Damage System

By Joseph W. Teller

The current combat system used in the Fantasy Realms mechanics are designed to present results in play for a specific style in gaming, which may not suit all players and game managers, and which is not well suited for combats with a large number of characters involved in the action, or necessarily for all game genres. Because of the semi-modular nature of Fantasy Realms, it is possible to replace it with a system better suited to a more combat intensive gaming style.

The following system is one such alternative. It is not necessary to use it for all combats, you can choose to use the standard system for combats of small numbers of characters, and utilize the alternative one when you have large numbers of characters involved to streamline playing speed.

In order to adapt to a more combat intensive style, it is necessary to change from a chart-based attrition system to a more numerically oriented system to track wounds inflicted in combat. This is achieved by the creation of a calculated attribute, that is an attribute that is not part of the character's initial creation system but is derived from the values of existing attributes. It can thus be used for existing characters without major revision of concept or design, and is primarily intended as a record keeping tool for the Game Manager.

This calculated Attribute will be referred to as the character's Mortality attribute. Wound damage values will be counted against this value, and when the value of wounds received equals or exceeds the Mortality attribute of the character the character has been slain.

The character's Mortality is based on taking the Health value of the character (and no modifier is applied for Traits that add to or reduce health for special circumstances) and the Spirit of the character, adding them together and adding to this a Scale Value.

The Scale value modifier is based on the scale system first used in Perilous Earth, which has to do with the size of the character compared to a 'normal' human range. Although scale is not generally used in T'Phon it is easy enough to adapt into a T'Phon game if a need is felt to use the combat intensive system.

A human in the 5' to 7' range of height is considered to be standard and would get a Scale add to their Mortality of 50 points. Thus a human would normally have between 52 and 66 mortality points.

Creatures, beings and size shifters have different Scale adds to their Mortality, as per the following revised scale tables.

Size Less Than Mortality Add PERC Mod. for Attackers (ranged)
1' 5 -4
2' 10 -3
3' 20 -2
4' 30 -1
5' 40 0

Notice that the above includes the existing scale modifiers to reduce opponent's ability to perceive a smaller character, but that the old damage enhancement system for damage inflicted on a smaller that human target is removed, as it is no longer used.

The following table is for larger than normal scaled beings and creatures, and again draws from the initial scale system used in Perilous Earth. The Mortality column should be used by characters that change size by use of Pliability or other Super Traits and spells, but not the rest of the columns, since pliability has its own mechanic for those parts..

Size Greater Than Mortality Add PERC mod for attackers HTH Damage Roll Mod
7' 55 +1 +1
8' 60 +2 +2
9' 65 +3 +3
10' 70 +4 +4
11' 75 +5 +5
12' 80 +6 +6
13' 85 +7 +7
14' 90 +8 +8

Attacks made with the intent of coshing do NOT actually do normal damage, instead a d20 is rolled by the attacker, and if the result is odd (and the target is not wearing head armor, has a Toughness less than 7 and does not have a Trait that protects against coshing) then they are coshed, otherwise the attack is a near miss with no additional affect. Coshing is for HTH and hand weapon attacks primarily, and cannot be performed with missile, gun or energy based attacks.

The use of the Mortality attribute makes combat a little different in application. After an attack has been made successfully the usual d20 is rolled and the attacker's BODY (for HTH and Hand weapons) or COORDINATION (for missile, thrown or firearm weapons) is added with the weapon's damage base to the die. The target's Toughness (and also armor toughness or other protective modifiers) is subtracted from the total and the remainder is the initial wound value. If this value is less than 1 then there is no damage received from the attack.

The wound value accumulates a wound score against a character's Mortality attribute. Any single attack that does 1/4 or more of their total Mortality will stun them and knock them prone (thus if a blow against a character with a Mortality of 52 does 13 or more in wounds they are stunned for an action and must make a coordination roll or be knocked prone). If a character's accumulated wounds are equal to 1/2 their Mortality then they will be at a -2 to all die rolls until they can heal (this includes rolls on skills, attributes, to do damage etc).

Any single attack doing 75% or more of a Character's Mortality Attribute in damage will always result in the unconsciousness of the character from the shock of the damage. Thus for a character with a Mortality of 52 they would be knocked out by an attack that does 39 wound points. A character with a Mortality of 66 would suffer this from an attack doing 50 wound points or more.

A character that has sustained wounds equal to 75% or better of their Mortality must make a Spirit roll at the start of each round of combat to remain conscious. This applies to combat and strenuous activities only.

If the die roll for damage was a 13 before all the calculations, then the GM is expected to add a Manager's Special to the effect of the attack. The manager's special is additional 'insult to injury'. The target having damage inflicted on them may suffer damage to their armor (losing 1 point of armor toughness if wearing such), damage to their weapon (losing a point of its damage infliction ability if they have one), accidentally becoming disarmed (if using a weapon), tearing or other damage to their clothing (making it useless, and possibly embarrassing), damage of a shield by a point, breakage of some other item they are carrying, crippling of a limb (Broken bone - if such makes sense from the attack), etc.

If the die roll for damage was an 8, then the normal damage is ignored, and only a manager's special is applied to the target.

Bleeding if a wound was inflicted by a bullet, bladed weapon (knife, sword, etc), chopping weapon (Axes), or other affect that leaves a bleeding wound then that wound may cause a continued loss of Mortality if untreated. Every 10 rounds (1 minute) that pass with the wound being untreated by First Aid or magic the player must roll a HEALTH roll for the character, and if the result is not 15 or better the character will continue to bleed, scoring an additional wound point worth of Mortality until making a successful roll or being treated.

Healing Rules must also be handled differently when working with the Mortality system of combat and damage. Applying first aid to a wounded character within an hour of being wounded successfully will reduce the number of wound points by the Skill Rank of the character applying first aid right away. You can only apply first aid to a character once in 24 hours. This does not mean that the wound vanishes, but its presence no longer affects the character's activities.

Additionally a character will recover wounds by rest and sleep, if their wounds are not too severe. A character with wounds less than 1/2 their Mortality attribute will heal one wound point per Health attribute point they possess over a night's sleep or a day of bed rest (this does not apply to wounds that were originally more severe and have healed below 1/2 their Mortality).

Characters that have suffered more severe damage will heal slower, though it is difficult to truly represent real-world concepts of physical damage and trauma in any mechanic. Damage levels of 1/2 or greater than the character's Mortality rate will heal at a rate of 1/2 the character's Health Attribute for each nights sleep and full day of bed rest (if they can't rest but can sleep they only get 1/4 of their Health Attribute in healing).

Characters that receive no medical attention with an hour of being wounded may suffer from infections (see the standard infection rules regarding this). Characters who are under a Physician's care can heal slightly faster, once each day the Physician successfully makes their treatment roll, getting an additional point of healing. First Aid does not help after the initial hour from being wounded, except to help prevent infection.

Since specific types of effects may injure a specific locale (such as a spell that can break a bone) this too must be considered in regards to the effects on healing. A broken bone (such as a leg or arm) would count as 10% of a character's Mortality, but would heal much slower than the above rules. A crippled limb/Broken bone will heal properly only with the help of a Physician and only heals at a rate of 1 point every week. This is actually relatively fast, but it is difficult to deal with such mechanically otherwise.

If you wish to use the standard healing system and convert damage from one system to the other, you can assume that a character that has suffered damage equal to 75% or more of their Mortality has suffered a severe wound under the standard system. For Lesser damage, every 10% of their Mortality in damage would count as a full wound, and less than 10% would count as a minor wound.

Damage greater than 1/2 the character's Mortality can have scarring effects. A Health roll is necessary to determine whether this occurs, after the wound has healed. Magical healing prevents scarring. Fire damage modifies the chance by a -2 to the Health roll involved.

Healing magic works a bit differently than listed in the spell listings, as per below, for Perilous Earth:

Wound Closure & Healing of Flesh & Blood: Will heal upto 10% of the target's Mortality per casting, with the usual casting limitations.

Boneset : Will heal three points of a crippled/broken bone/limb.

Healing Sleep & Healing Slumber : Will fully heal broken/crippled bones/limbs and other damage, upto 1/2 the character's Mortality in a nights sleep.

Healing abilities are also associated with several Super Positive Traits, and they should (in Perilous Earth) be handled in the following methods:

Animalisim: Animal Healing, which has 4 sub-effects based on difficulty.

(-4) Minor will heal upto 10% of mortality

(-6) Full Wounds will heal upto 25% of Mortality

(-8) Cripple Limb Heal (one, completely)

(-8) Serious upto 50% of Mortality

Healer :

Cause Minor - Inflicts damage equal to the character's POWER

Cause Full - Inflicts damage equal to the character's Power *2

Heal Minor - Heals up to 10% of Mortality of target, but not crippled limbs/broken bones

Heal Minor & Full - Heals upto 25% of Mortality

Heal Minor, Full, & Serious - Heals upto 50% of Mortality

Restore Life - leaves revived target at a 75% of Mortality wounded.

Personal Awareness:

Heal Minor - Heals upto 10% of Mortality

Heal Full Wound - Heals upto 25% of Mortality

Heal Serious Wounds - Heals upto 50% of Mortality.

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