Combat is an essential element to the roleplaying game experience. It is the source of the exciting action scenes and often yields the amazing feats for which Worlde of Legends™ heroic adventurers are known. A balanced FRPG game will have a good mix of roleplay and combat, allowing players to learn more about their Adventurer's personality and have a great time engaging the enemy in combat.
In Worlde of Legends™, combat encounters are defined as “any encounter which has a high potential of leading to physical or majikal combat”. There are many different situations in a combat encounter and almost as many ways to deal with them. Sometimes whipping out a sword and swinging it around is not the best way to handle things. On the other hand, sometimes it is.
Sometimes it is better to try to talk your way through a situation. This may lead to both parties agreeing to leave each other alone and go their separate ways. More often than not, depending on your GameMaster, it still leads to physical combat.
Other times it is better to simply run away. Dead adventurers are not fun to play and do not contribute much to the rest of the party. If the adventuring party is greatly outnumbered or overpowered, it may truly be better to flee.
Other options include surveying the situation and setting up a trap or ambush or using tactics such as sneaking in after dark or avoiding the encounter completely. Options such as these usually still lead to physical combat but take more planning and can be more fun that just charging in and hacking and slashing everything to bits.
But experienced players all agree that sometimes it truly is a whole lot more fun to charge in, weapon in hand, spells and enchantments at the ready, and open up a giant can of whoop-ass on the bad guys. Whether seeking justice, vengeance, or just trying to save your own neck, tabletop gaming combat is not only fun to play but is also one of the biggest parts of the game.
Each combat encounter in Worlde of Legends™ is divided into rounds of gameplay which are FIVE (5) game-time (not real time) seconds each. Everything an Adventurer does during combat, takes place during these combat rounds. Each round is divided into ten, one-half-second segments.
An Adventurer may only perform one action per segment (with the exception of free actions) and only has as many actions allowed by his/her Encounter Action Maneuvers (EAM). A combat encounter will always utilize one or more combat rounds.
Six (6) combat rounds equates to one sequence or half-minute of game-time (again, not real time) while twelve (12) combat rounds equates to one Turn or minute of game- time.
An Adventurer can only make a certain number of attacks with his/her weapon per combat round. The number of attacks which can be made is determined by the Weapon Action Maneuvers (WAM) identified for each level of Mastery for the weapon being used.
If a weapon (including hands for those who practice Týnj'Naz) is used to make an action with intent to attack (inflict damage or otherwise cause harm) a foe, the action is considered to be a Weapon Action Maneuver (WAM). Each adventurer has a specified number of WAM he/she may use in each combat round as determined by his/her Mastery Rank and the type of weapon being used.
Defending against attacks (parry) or using a weapon to perform mundane actions (such as cutting a rope with a sword) are not considered weapon actions.
When attacking an enemy, in Worlde of Legends™ roll a d20 (the lower the better); and subtract your adjusted Attack Roll Modifier (ARM) from the number rolled on the d20. This tells you what Defense Factor (DEF) you hit. The number on the die is referred to as the "natural" roll, and the number rolled minus ARM is referred to as the "modified" roll.
Yes, you read that correctly. In Worlde of Legends™, the goal is to roll LOW. Yes, we realize that makes all of your “charmed” dice, that you may currently use, practically useless. We apologize for that. At least now you have a use for all those dice that you don’t use because they roll too low!
Here is an example of an attack roll: You have a modified ARM of 8. You roll a natural 9 on d20. When you subtract your modified ARM from the die roll, you hit Defense Factor 1. Your GameMaster will tell you if that is a successful hit or a miss. It’s that simple.
Once it is determined that an attack is successful, the player will roll damage dice (usually d4, d6, d8, d10, or d12) to determine the amount of damage inflicted on the enemy.
Sometimes during combat, an adventurer is "in the zone". Dodges are perfect. Parries ring sharp, steel against steel. Attacks land truer than true doing critical damage. Yes, Critical Hits definitely do happen in Worlde of Legends™.
A critical hit occurs when the player rolls a natural 1 on his attack roll. If a player rolls a natural 1, he/she must then roll a d12 and consult the Critical Hit Damage Chart to determine the amount of damage done to the enemy. The critical hit damage ranges from double the rolled damage to double max weapon damage to reducing the target to 1 health point.
Other times, things don't go so well. Dodges are off balance, parries keep missing, and fumbling attacks don't even come close to hitting the target. Sometimes you might even hit a comrade instead of an enemy. Epic Fumbles are definitely present in Worlde of Legends™.
An Epic Fumble (often called an epic miss or a critical miss) occurs when the player rolls a natural 20 on his attack roll. If a player rolls a natural 20, he/she must then roll a d100 and consult the Epic Fumble Chart to determine what happens. Epic Fumble effects range from tripping over one's own feet to hitting a companion to hitting one's self. If a player fumbles on a called shot, it has no additional effect other than that listed on the Epic Fumble chart unless the GM chooses to add something.
Inevitably, an Adventurer who is engaged in combat must not only land some good blows but also defend against blows from the enemy. Natural ability to dodge, skill to parry, and armor have an impact on how effectively a character is able to defend against enemy attacks.
Each Adventurer has a Defense Factor which determines how easy or difficult it is to hit them with a weapon and inflict damage. It represents an adventurers ability to dodge blows and (with the help of his/her armor) turn damage causing blows into harmless blows. An adventurer's Defense Factor is exhibited by a number of 12 or less, where lower numbers represent better (harder to hit) defense factors and higher numbers represent undesirable (easier to hit) defense factors.
An Adventurer modifies his/her defense factor appropriately for the type of armor he/she is wearing since it contributes greatly to preventing damage.
Worlde of Legends™ Adventurers dodge blows often. It is an integrated part of the WoL™ Combat System. When an enemy attempts to hit an Adventurer but misses, usually one of three things has happened: the enemy just had poor aim, the enemy hit but not significantly enough to cause damage, or the Adventurer dodged the blow.
If an Adventurer is without a weapon and has no choice but to dodge blows, he/she may attempt to do so. Each successful enemy hit can be dodged only if the Adventurer makes a successful Agility Attribute check on 2d12 with a 4 point penalty for melee weapons and a 8 point penalty for missile weapons. Rolling the modified Agility or less successfully dodges the attack.
Parrying a Hit
An Adventurer may attempt to defend him/herself by parrying successful enemy hits. A weapon parry can only be done with a weapon (including weapon forms as with the Týnj'Naz Weapon Block) and uses as many Weapon Attack Maneuvers (WAM) as would normally be used to attack with the weapon.
In order to parry, an Adventurer must call the parry to the GameMaster as soon as the successful attack is made. Then the Adventurer must make an attack roll with his current weapon's ARM against the enemy's successful hit.
To successfully parry, the Adventurer's attack roll (in this case a defense roll), modified by ARM, must be equal to or less than the successful hit roll of the attacker.
In the game, initiative is representative of how long it took the Adventurer to make preparations and be in "ready" mode during each combat round. This preparation time before ready mode may include drawing weapons, setting a fighting stance, mentally focusing on the task at hand, determining a course of action, and more.
At the start of each combat round, initiative must be determined for each adventurer and each foe. The GM should announce "Roll initiative." Initiative is rolled at the beginning of each combat round. Worlde of Legends™ believes that it doesn't make sense for an Adventurer to take action on the same segment of each round. Events and circumstances and the nature of a battle may cause (or allow) an Adventurer to take action sooner or later than he/she did in the last combat round. Adventurers are not the hands on the battlefield clock. Although RPG combat is technically turn-based, WoL™ Combat isn't a strict turn-based style but instead offers flexibility for when actions can be taken.
Since there are 10 segments in each round, this is done by each player rolling d10 for his/her adventurer and the GM rolling d10 for each foe.
The number rolled on the d10 determines when the participant has initiative and may begin to use his/her EAM/WAM. The lower the number, the sooner an adventurer has initiative.
Following is the normal sequence of events in a Worlde of Legends™ combat encounter. These events should occur every round during the encounter.
1. Determine initiative for all participants (roll d10).
2. Actions are taken in order of initiative (Negatives, Zeros, then Segments 1-10).
3. Combat Round Ends.
This section contains an introduction to a combat scenario and one round of simulated combat gameplay. This should help both GameMasters and players begin to get a feel for how the combat encounter should flow. Once a GM and group have played together a few times, a rhythm will develop, and all the little things that happen will start to come naturally, allowing the combat sequences to flow quickly and easily.
The Legendary Heroes
Race = Daelkýn Heumaera
Primary Ability = Quarterstaff Specialist
HP = 28
DF = 4
ARM = 5
Mastery Damage Bonus = +3
Race = le’Háreh - High Elf
Primary Ability = General Weapons Mastery
HP = 36
DF = 2
ARM = 6
Mastery Damage Bonus = +4
Race = le’Fást - Wood Elf
Primary Ability = Týnj'Naz Mastery
HP = 30
DF = 3
ARM = 5
Mastery Damage Bonus = +3
The Ominous Foes
4 Ork Guards
3 Male, 1 Female
Primary Ability = General Weapons Mastery
HP = 20
DF = 3
ARM = 5
Mastery Damage Bonus = +2
Búktáknúk - Ork Sháman
Primary Ability = Faeth Majik
HP = 30
DF = 2
ARM = 5
Mastery Damage Bonus = +2
And Thus the GameMaster (GM) Begins:
“As you enter the dimly lit chamber, it’s rough rock walls reaching high to the vaulted ceiling overhead, the torches on the intricately carved torch stands suddenly flare brighter. In the far end of the room, in an ornately carved stone chair, you see what is obviously Búktáknúk, the Ork Shaman who is the leader of the Ork band that dwells in these caves. On either side of him, two to a side, are four well armored Ork guards, armed with clubs and swords. Hanging on a leather thong around Búktáknúk’s neck is what can be no other than the Stone of Ver’Rák.
‘Why uglies kill Orks?’, Búktáknúk yells in broken, heavily accented common.”
“We’ve come for the Stone.”
“‘Why need my rocks? Plenty rocks outside in under big blue high ground.’ says Búktáknúk, with a somewhat puzzled expression on his face.”
“No. We’ve come for the Stone around your neck - the Stone of Ver’Rák.”
“You have two choices: either you give us the Stone or we take it.”
“Búktáknúk thinks it over for a brief moment, rubbing his fingers casually over the multi-faceted surface of the blue Stone, then pointing in your direction, says, ‘Vak trok med bo klaht.’ The six ork guards begin moving toward you brandishing their weapons in a threatening manner. Roll initiative.”
COMBAT ROUND 1
Initiative is rolled as follows:
Andril: 2 - 1 = 1
Dranus: 1 - 2 = -1
Ork 1: 2
Ork 2: 8
Ork 3: 9
Ork 4: 3
“I attack guard 4 with my sword.”
“Roll to hit.”
Rolls d20 with natural roll of 8, subtracts his modified ARM of 6 from it for a modified roll of 2. “I hit Defense Factor 2.”
“That’s a hit.” Rolls a parry attempt which hits DF 3. “He attempts to parry, but fails. Roll your damage.”
Rolls d10 with a natural roll of 8, adds weapons mastery bonus of 4 to it for a modified roll of 12. “12 points of damage”
Segment 0 Initative
“Alright.” He marks the damage down. “Zeros.” No one responds.
Segment 1 Initative
“Ones. Fire an arrow at Ork Guard 3.” He rolls d20 with a natural roll of 2, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of -3. “I hit Defense Factor -3.”
“That’s a hit. Roll damage.”
Rolls d8 with a natural roll of 5, adds weapons mastery bonus of 3 to it for a modified roll of 8. “8 points of damage”
“Damage noted.” He marks the damage down.
Segment 2 Initative
“Twos.” No one responds.
“On 2's, Ork Guard 1 engages Talis, attacking with his sword.” He rolls d20 with natural roll of 6, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 1. “He hits Defense Factor 1.”
“That hits. I’ll try to parry.” She rolls d20 with natural roll of 9, subtracts her modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 4. “Parry DF 4?”, she asks hopefully, knowing that it failed. The GM shakes his head no. “Fails. What’s my damage?”
Rolls d10 with natural roll of 6, adds weapons mastery bonus of 2 to it for a modified roll of 8. “8 damage, Talis.” He looks around the group. “Anymore 2's?” No response.
Segment 3 Initative
“Threes.” No response.
“On 3's, Ork Guard 4 attacks Andril with his club.”
“I sling my bow around and pull my quarterstaff out.”
“Okay. That takes 2 EAM, so you’ll have your quarterstaff in hand and ready to use on 5's.” He rolls d20 with natural roll of 14, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 9. “He misses, hitting DF 9.”
Segment 4 Initative
“Fours.” No response.
Segment 5 Initative
“Ok. Fives. I have 3 WAM, so I’m going to Týnj’Naz punch on fives and follow with a spin kick on sixes and sevens. Oh, and I’m going to use a Ké damage bonus of +3 to each attack.”
“OK. Roll to hit for your punch. Which Ork?”
“Ork 1.” Rolls d20 with natural roll of 7, subtracts her modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 2. “I hit Defense Factor 2.”
“That hits. Your hand attack caught him by surprise and he couldn’t parry in time. What’s your damage?”
Rolls d4+1 with natural roll of 4 + 1 = 5, then adds the Mastery bonus of 3 to it for a modified roll of 8. “8 total points of damage.”
“Got it.” He marks down the damage. “Any more fives?”
“I’ll do an overhead strike with my quarterstaff to Ork 4. It takes 2 WAM so it won’t actually hit until sixes.”
“Alright. Andril swings his quarterstaff up and over the back of his head, and..."
Segment 6 Initative
"Sixes. Andril swings his quarterstaff forward and down trying to crack a little Ork skull. Go ahead and roll to hit Andril.”
Rolls d20 with a natural roll of 6, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 1. “I hit Defense Factor 1.”
“The Ork tried to dodge, but instead of moving to the side he just ducked, so, that’s a hit. Roll damage.”
Rolls d8 with a natural roll of 7, adds weapons mastery bonus of 3 to it for a modified roll of 10. “10 points of damage.”
Writes down the Ork’s damage, realizing that it is dead. “The Ork looks up at you somewhat stunned, then his eyes roll back and he falls over to the floor, blood running from his left nostril.“
”Okay, Talis, before we finish your spin kick, I need everyone to make a Perception check on 2d12.”
Everyone rolls 2d12 vs their Perception Attribute (PER): Talis failed, Dranus passed, and Andril failed.
“Dranus. You notice that Búktáknúk has started chanting and holding forth his sytlized battle axe holy symbol of Onthá, his Divinity.”
“He’s casting a spell. I’ll use the rest of my EAM to charge him.”
“Okay. Hmmm.” He measures the distance between the miniatures on the battle mat. “You have half the round left, so you will be able to reach him on 9's.”
“Any more sixes as Dranus takes off toward the Shaman?” No response.
Segment 7 Initative
“Sevens. Talis, roll to hit on your spin kick.”
Rolls d20 with natural roll of 5, subtracts her modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 0. “I hit Defense Factor 0.”
“That hits. He sees it coming and attempts to parry with his sword.” Rolls d20 with natural roll of 6, subtracts the modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 1. “Your foot slips in right under his blocking sword. What’s your damage?”
Rolls d6+1 with natural roll of 5+1=6, then adds the Ké bonus of 3 to it for a modified roll of 9. “9 total points of damage.”
“Got it.” He marks down the damage. “You hear his ribs crack as your kick knocks him off his feet. He doesn’t seem to be moving. The Shaman is still chanting. Any more sevens? ” No Response.
Segment 8 Initative
“On 8's, Ork 2 bends at the waist and charges at Andril, his spiked helm, headed toward Andril’s right front side. He’ll reach you on 9's, Andril.” He checks his notes. “Búktáknúk’s chanting seems to be gaining momentum and getting louder.“
”Any more Eights?” No Response.
Segment 9 Initative
“On Nines lots of things are happening so let’s take them in the order they started.”
“Dranus, you’re running toward the Shaman who is standing in front of the stone chair. What exactly are your intentions when you reach him?
“I just want to slam him to try to interrupt his spell casting.”
“You’re only a few feet away from him, charging at full speed, when suddenly, he seems to have just vanished. Where he was standing you now only see a thick, solid stone chair. What do you do?”
“I try to stop before I slam into the chair.”
“As you try to stop, your feet sliding on the stone of the chamber floor, you suddenly hit something tough and bulky and hear a loud grunt noise. Then, when you’re quite sure your face is going to be planted into the back of the stone chair, you suddenly stop about a foot or so from it. You hear another grunt. What do you do now?”
“I use my last action this round to feel between me and the chair. What do I feel?”
“You feel around and, though you can’t see it, feel what you’re pretty sure is a large nose, wide thick lipped mouth, and two eyes.”
“Heh. Guess I got him anyway.” Everyone chuckles.
“Okay, Andril. You have Ork 2 who has been charging at you, bent at the waist, his spiked helm barreling toward you. He reaches you, and...” Rolls d20 with natural roll of 5, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 0. “He hits DF 0.”
“Ouch. I try to parry with my quarterstaff.” Rolls d20 with a natural roll of 4, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of -1. “I parry DF -1.”
“As the Ork barrels toward you, you manage to spread your hands on your quarterstaff and position it at just the right level so that he slams into it instead of you. Since your quarterstaff is majikal, it didn’t break. Roll a d6 please.”
Rolls d6 with a natural roll of 4 “It’s a 4.”
“Okay. The impact with your quarterstaff does 4 points of damage to him, and he reels back several feet, dropping his butt to the floor, obviously a little dazed.” He marks the damage down.
“Ok. Also on 9's, Ork 3 attacks Talis with his sword.” Rolls d20 with a natural roll of 17, subtracts his modified ARM of 5 from it for a modified roll of 12. “He swings wild and doesn’t even come close to hitting you.”
“I taunt him by saying, in Orkish, ‘Stupid Ork! Your mother was a fat, ugly pig.”
“He growls at you, and spits at you barely missing.”
“Dranus, you feel whatever is beneath you squirming and trying to push you off, apparently trying to get out from beneath you. Do you have any more EAM this round?”
“Anyone else on 9?” No response. “Alright, then. Tens. Anybody got anything on 10?” No response.
“Dranus the thing beneath you continues to struggle and almost gets out but is seemingly stopped by the sides of the stone chair. "
Segment 10 Initative
Tens." No response.
"Okay. If no one else has anything...” He looks around at each player, all of which are shaking their heads ‘no’. “Then next round. Everybody roll initiative.”
There you have it - a basic walkthrough of one round of WoL™ combat. Hopefully after reading through this example, you have a better understanding of the the whole combat system including attacks, defense, and damage.
Toward the end of the combat round, there were many things happening at the same time. This can be somewhat difficult to keep up with as a player and even more so as a GameMaster. It is very important that GM’s keep track of health points and initiatives throughout the combat encounter. Our DOWNLOADS page offers a Combat Tracking Tool (Excel Spreadsheet) to help you keep up wth it.
Also, notice in the example how the GameMaster put in a little detail here and there so that the player whose Adventurer was engaged in combat could create a better visual image of what was transpiring. Your GM may or may not add small details like that so if you’re not really sure of exactly what is happening, be sure to speak up and ask.