The single great constant to
role-playing games is combat. There will be opponents in your path who can be dealt with
in no other way. For this reason the combat rules of any role-playing game are always
important. This game is no exception.
Although we present an
entire section on combat it should be noted that combat skills are no different than any
other skill. The skill percentages are obtained exactly like a non-combat skill. The only
difference is the amount of detail we have gone into. Feel free to go into as much detail
with, say, pilot skill if you happen to be running fighter aces during the Battle of
Britain. Much to our regret it would be nearly impossible to provide as detailed rules for
each skill. The rule book would be huge and full of information that would be rarely used.
We hope that by understanding the combat rules, you will begin to
see ways in which the concept of skill percentages and skill roll differences can be
expanded to determine physical results.
Combat in ETERNAL SOLDIER can be divided into two basic
areas--physical melee and missile fire. Physical melee can be considered to consist of the
following aspects--basic attacks, parrying, dodging (defense), and grappling (wrestling,
judo, etc.). Missile fire can be considered to consist of these aspects-- shooting, thrown
weapons, and dodging (defense).
Hit determination in melee is, at its most basic, simply a matter of
rolling to see whether or not a player's roll on a D100 is less than or equal to the
character's skill percentage in the combat skill being used. If it is, then the attacker
has successfully landed a blow on the defender.
Let's assume that Grunar the Ugly has a Skill
Percentage of 72 in Two- Handed Weapons, 60 in One-Handed Weapons,
and 30 in the exotic combat skill of Mounted Lance. Grunar must roll
a 72 or lower to hit with his two-handed Sword, a 60 or lower to hit
with his long sword, and a 30 or lower to hit with his mounted
In many cases a weapon will have a weapon
bonus. The weapon bonus should be added to the character's chance of
success in the combat skill being used. For a two-handed sword the
weapon bonus is 20 so Grunar would have a (72+20) 92 to hit with his
A character's chance of parrying with any
given weapon is equal to the character's skill percentage with that
weapon plus any weapon bonus the weapon might have. The two-handed
sword has a weapon bonus of 20, so Grunar's chance to parry with his
two-handed sword is (72+20) 92. When he parries he must roll a 92 or
lower to succeed.
A character's defense percentage is the
character's chance of dodging a blow physically. That is, it is the
character's chance of successfully ducking (or jumping back, or
aside, you get the idea). If we assume Grunar to have a Skill
Percentage of 40 in the combat skill of Defense then Grunar must
roll a 40 or below on D100 to successfully dodge a blow.
Grappling, based upon the character's
wrestling or judo skill, is the technique of fighting with holds,
throws, trips etc. Though like other melee skills in many respects,
the effects induced by grappling are not based on damage but rather
on holding the opponent. Thus it will be dealt with later, after the
others are more fully explained.
In all of these cases there will almost always be adjustments to the
character's chance of success. These will depend on such things as whether or not the
character is attacking earlier than he or she was really prepared to, waiting for a better
opening, the condition of the defender (prone, tiny, surprised, etc.), the condition of
the attacker, and many other things. A chart later will sum up many of the adjustments to
the character's combat percentages. For now we will look at two of the most important
adjustments--Quick Attacking and Setting Attack.
You will recall from the initiative section how it is determined
precisely what segment a character acts in. You will also recall that it was mentioned
that it is possible to adjust this segment forward, albeit at a price. This is where we
will discuss that phenomenon, known as Quick Attacking.
When a character opts to Quick Attack he or she is opting to act
before the segment in which the character's next action was supposed to take place. When a
character quick attacks consult the chart below to find the penalty he must take on that
Grunar is using the two-handed sword
he has a 92% chance of hitting with. He is scheduled to attack in
segment 27, but decides that he will Quick Attack, swinging in
segment 24. He is swinging 3 segments early, so his adjustment is
-60. Grunar has a (92-60)= 32% chance of hitting now.
A character cannot Quick Attack in a way that will result in the
character acting in the same segment as the character's last action, or earlier than the
character's last action. If a character's last action was in segment 13, character's next
action CANNOT take place earlier than segment 14.
Let's bring back Aknar and Beauregard. We'll change their stats
around this time, and flesh them out as more complete characters. We won't be worrying
about damage; let's just watch the way the initiative and combat systems tie together.
Aknar has a STR of 15, and AGI 15, and a DEX of 13. He carries a
long sword at his side. He has (with his base) 11 skill points in One- Handed Weapon, for
a Skill Percentage of 78.1. With the weapon bonus of 15 for a long sword he normally has a
(78+15)=93% chance of hitting. He also has (with his base) 9 skill points in basic
Hand-to-Hand, for a skill percentage of 63.9. Aknar also has 10 skill points in Defense,
for a percentage of 75.
Beauregard carries a two-handed sword. He has a STR of 17, an AGI of
8, and a DEX of 12. His 14 skill points in Two-Handed Weapon, give him a percentage of
79.8. With the weapon bonus of 20 for a two-handed sword he normally has a (79+20)=99%
chance of hitting with is two-handed sword. He also has a dagger. He has 10 skill points
in One-Handed Weapon, for a total of 57 as a skill percentage.
Segment 0 arrives as the characters draw their weapons. Aknar has a
Draw Class of VI on his long sword, so he will have it drawn on segment 4. Clumsy
Beauregard will have his clumsy Two-handed sword drawn on segment 11, due to its slow Draw
class of IX.
Aknar has a Speed Class of VII on his long sword, so his attack will
take 5 segments. He will be able to attack on segment 9. He does so. He rolls a 42, which
is less than his 93% chance of hitting. "Ouch," says Beauregard, relieved that
we're not paying attention to damage.
As segment 11 rolls around Beauregard finally gets his two-handed
sword out and prepares to attack. Since his two-handed sword is Speed Class IX, it
requires 11 segments to prepare an attack. He will be prepared to attack in segment 22.
In segment 14 Aknar decides to hold his attack preferring to set
attack for a while and take aim on Beauregard's neck. He sets attack for two segments (he
knows Beauregard won't be ready to attack until 22), and gets a +20 to his chance of
hitting in segment 16 for a total of 98%. Beauregard breaks out in a cold sweat. Aknar
swings with a roll of 03, for a critical hit. Beauregard, knowing it would now require a
critical dodge or parry to avoid the blow, decides to risk the damage and save his attack.
Aknar gets a 75 on the Critical Hit table: "Attack two segments early next
time." This means that Aknar, who would normally be prepared to attack on segment 21
next, will now be prepared on segment 19. Beauregard is now wounded even more.
When segment 19 arrives, Aknar doesn't attack, choosing to set
attack once again.
Beauregard was not really going to be ready to attack until segment
22, but he's seen the way this is going. He's been hit twice and hasn't even swung yet. He
decides to Quick Attack two segments early, in segment 20. This means he will be attacking
at -30 to his chance of hitting. He now has a (99-30) 69% chance of hitting. He makes his
swing, rolling a 91, missing. It's never pretty to see a grown barbarian cry.
"That's it!", Beauregard says, throwing his weapon down in
segment 21. He reaches for his dagger. The dagger has a Draw Class of III, so it will take
Beauregard 4 segments to draw the weapon. He will have the dagger drawn in segment 25.
In segment 21, Aknar swings rolling a double 00, 100, a fumble. (Oh
my, how convenient for the authors.) He rolls on the fumble chart and finds that he drops
his weapon. Picking up a weapon at his feet is a Speed Class VIII action. It will take
Aknar 5 segments. He will have his weapon back in segment 26.
Segment 25 arrives and Beauregard has his dagger out. It has a Speed
Class of IV, so it takes Beauregard 5 segments to prepare it. He will be ready to swing in
Segment 26 is here, and so is Aknar's weapon. He begins to prepare
his swing, and it will be prepared in segment 31.
Segment 30. Beauregard has a One-Handed weapon percentage of 57, and
the dagger has a weapon bonus of 5. He has a total chance to hit of 62. He rolls a 10, his
first hit of the fight. Aknar decides to parry. He is parrying one segment prior to the
time in which his weapon would have been prepared (31) so his parry is at -10. He gains
his weapon bonus of 15 to his chance of parrying. His total chance to parry is (78+15-
10)=83. He rolls a 21, deflecting Beauregard's blow. Beauregard will be ready to attack
again in 35. Aknar refigures initiative from the time in which he parries, and finds that
he too will be able to attack in segment 35.
The characters swing simultaneously in segment 35. Aknar rolls a 39,
hitting. Beauregard rolls a 97, fumbling. From the fumble chart he finds that he falls.
Completely depressed, Beauregard surrenders and Aknar walks off with
the spoils -- The Dick Tracy decoder ring.
The Off Hand's Actions
Characters often use a weapon in each hand (or perhaps a weapon in
one hand and a shield in another). The use of the left (off) hand does not give the
character an extra attack. Rather, it gives him another attack option. Usually (though not
necessarily) a smaller weapon will be used in the off hand which will mean that it can
attack quicker but if it is used it will be at the expense of an attack with the main
weapon. The off hand attacks (or parries) at -10% and is one segment slower than what the
normal hand would normally be with the same weapon. Time spent preparing for an attack is
applicable to an attack with either hand.
Ardo Mark is in the middle of a fight with a big guy with a big
sword. He last attacked and hit on segment 21. The big guy tried to parry but didn't,
taking a hit in the chest from Ardo's long sword. Unfortunately the big guy is still up
and Ardo has seen that the big guy will attack before Ardo normally would with his long
sword. So instead, Ardo lashes out with the dagger he has in his left hand on segment 24
and lays the big guy out.
Like physical melee, missile combat is basically a matter of rolling
against the character's combat percentage with a particular weapon in order to determine
whether or not the shot was successful. There are fewer options in missile combat for the
character to choose from. Characters may only react to being shot at with defense (trying
to duck) or attacking.
Several adjustments affect the chance of the attacker hitting with a
missile weapon. Just as in physical melee a chart is included summing many of the pluses
and minuses that act on the attacker's percentage when firing a missile weapon.
Also, as in physical melee, characters may Quick Attack and Set
Attack. The rules for arriving at minuses for Quick Attacking or pluses for Set Attacking
are exactly the same as those in physical melee.
A Note About Bows
Keep in mind that the act of firing a bow is the compilation of
several actions. The steps and the amount of time they take can be misleading. While it
may seem that bows fire amazingly fast it should be remembered that it is necessary to
reload the bow between each shot. Quick firing will not allow the bow to be loaded any
faster, and should not be attempted until this action is completed.
A Note About Automatic Weapons
As described in the initiative section, automatic weapons can be
fired continuously once the trigger is pulled. When firing an automatic weapon this way
there is a -10 to the character's chance of hitting with the weapon for each round fired
beyond the first. On the second shot the character has a - 10, on the third a -20, on the
fourth a -30, and on the fifth shot a -40. The weapon will then continue to fire at -40
until the Speed Class of the weapon is taken to release the trigger and reaim the weapon.
Bear in mind that these minuses are for each SHOT fired from the weapon, not for each
segment it is fired. Most automatic weapons will be firing at -40 by the end of the first
segment in which they are used.
The range of the target will modify the roll to hit. On the missle
fire their are modifiers based on a percentage of the effective range of the weapon being
used. 100% of the effective range is equal to the effective range, 50% is half, 200% is
twice the effective range.
Minuses are applied when either the target or the firer is moving.
Determine the number of degrees the firer must adjust between the beginning and end of the
segment in which he or she fires, and this is the amount the firer must subtract from his
or her chance of hitting. This really need only be considered where one or both of the
combatants is in a vehicle. Consider that also that figurines are very useful where this
A Note About Thrown Weapons
Thrown weapons are missile weapons that are launched by, well,
throwing them. (OK, so you figured that out.) The Speed Class of the thrown weapon is the
amount of time taken to aim, wind up, and heft the weapon. Some weapons will be listed as
both thrown weapons and melee weapons. Spears, for instance, can be thrown or used in
melee. Use thrown weapon stats when the item is being thrown, and melee weapon stats when
the item is being used in melee.
A Note About Shotguns
Shotguns fire many small pellets at the target. A shotgun is
considered to deliver explosive damage to the target. The damage a shotgun deals to a
target decreases as the range to the target increases. For every 50% of the effective
range that the shot has to travel reduce the damage dealt by the weapon by one D10.
Shotguns suffer no minuses to hit beyond their effective range.
Dodging Missile Weapons
As in physical melee the character has the option to attempt to
dodge missile weapons. When applied to missile weapons this does not so much refer to
dodging bullets and arrows as it does to leaping out of the line of fire as the trigger is
pulled or the string is released.
When a character is aware that a shot is being fired at him he has
the option of dodging. The major difference between dodging missiles and dodging in melee
is that the character must attempt the dodge BEFORE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED WHETHER OR NOT
THE SHOT HITS.
When a character opts to quick dodge, adjustments are applied to the
character's initiative just as in physical melee.
In order to dodge thrown weapons, the player must roll below HALF of
his defense skill. For example, a character with an 82 defense must roll a 41 or lower to
dodge thrown weapons.
In order to dodge bows or crossbows, the player must roll below ONE-
QUARTER of his defense skill. For example, a character with an 82 defense must roll a 20
or lower to dodge bows or crossbows.
In order to dodge gun or beam weapons, the player must CRITICAL on
his defense skill. For example, a character with an 82 defense must roll a 8 or lower to
dodge gun or beam weapons.
When a dodge is successful, the shot will miss.
The attacker may not cancel the shot on the basis of the success or
failure of the dodge. The shot must be made even though a successful dodge means it will
As in physical melee a character that attempts to dodge must
refigure initiative from the segment in which the dodge was attempted, whether the dodge
is successful or not.
When used against missile weapons shields are considered to provide
cover to the degree to which they cover the character's body.
Alan Arasmus, the Crooning Cowpoke, and Bad Bob Brogan are facing
off at either end of a street. Tumbleweeds blow through the empty alleys of Dodge City,
vacated by the citizens who know better than to be outside today.
Arasmus has an AGI of 13 and a DEX of 12. He has 8 skill points in
One-Handed Missile Weapons, for a skill percentage of 48. He carries a Colt revolver, Draw
class of III, speed class of IV. He is also a bit of a weapons technician, and behind his
back he carries a little device he's built. He's thinking of calling it an Uzi. (Well, it
is only an example after all.)
Brogan has an AGI of 10 and a DEX of 15. He has a personal affinity
for bows, and has 8 skill points in archery, for a percentage of 60. He has 6 skill points
in One-Handed Missile Weapons, for a percentage of 45.
They move into the street at 60 yards apart. They wait patiently for
the music to end, as they watch each other cooly. The moment of truth comes, and they
Brogan goes for his bow, as Arasmus whips out his Colt. Brogan will
have his bow out on segment 7. Arasmus will have his revolver out on segment 2.
Segment 2 arrives and Arasmus has his revolver out. With its speed
class of IV He'll be prepared to shoot in segment 5.
Segment 5 arrives. Arasmus watches Brogan scrabbling pitifully to
draw his bow, and decides to set fire for a while. He begins to take a careful aim.
In segment 7 Brogan has his bow out and begins to load it. Arasmus
watches for him reaching for an arrow down the sight of his gun. Brogan will be loaded in
By segment 10 Arasmus has been setting fire for 5 segments and has
achieved the maximum bonus possible for set fire, +50. Arasmus has nothing more to gain
from continued set fire, so he decides to shoot. He has a -20, due to the range at which
they are shooting, so his total chance to hit is now (48+50-20)=78. He shoots, rolling a
68, hitting. There would be a good chance that this shot would kill Brogan normally. This
is supposed to be an example, though, and you wouldn't learn much if Brogan got his brains
blown out with the first shot, so we'll assume it was just a flesh wound. Arasmus will be
prepared to shoot again in segment 12.
In segment 16 both characters are prepared to shoot. Arasmus has
been setting fire for 4 segments now, for a total of +40 on his shot. Arasmus has a total
of (48+40-20)=68 on his chance to hit. He rolls a 72, missing. Brogan fires
simultaneously. His minus for range with the bow is -40, so Brogan's chance to hit is
(60-40) 20. He rolls a 13, hitting. The arrow sticks in Arasmus, wounding him. Arasmus
doesn't have too much to worry about however, as this is a combat example and neither
combatant has read the damage section of the rules yet.
Both characters realize that the end of the initiative example is
getting near and the haven't yet used their favorite weapons. In segment 17 each character
drops his weapon.
In segment 18 Brogan goes for his Luger as Arasmus goes for his Uzi.
Arasmus will have his Uzi (Draw Class V) out in segment 22. Brogan
will have his Luger out in 21.
In segment 21 Brogan has his Luger out, has seen the Uzi, and
decides to take the Class I action of going prone.
In segment 22 Brogan is prone and Arasmus has his weapon out. Both
begin to prepare their weapons. Brogan will be fully prepared in segment 25.
Arasmus will be prepared in segment 24.
Arasmus demonstrates automatic fire in segment 24. The adjustment
for the Uzi at this range is +10. The minus for Bad Bob Brogan being prone is -20, so the
result is (48+10-20)=38. The Uzi fires 5 rounds per segment on automatic. Arasmus rolls a
78 with the first shot, missing. The second shot on automatic is at -10, so Arasmus now
has a 28% chance to hit. He rolls a 46, missing. The third shot is at -20, so he has an
18% chance to hit, and he misses with a 61. He misses his 8% chance on the fourth shot
with a 22. The maximum minus for firing any automatic weapon on automatic is -40, and
Arasmus is now at it. In actuality he would have a negative percentage, but an 01 always
hits, so he can hope for that. He chooses to save the cost of a bullet and stop firing. He
will not be able to fire at his normal percentage until he stops and waits until he is
fully prepared to fire. He will be prepared in segment 26.
Segment 25. Brogan sets fire.
In segment 26 Brogan fires. The luger has a -10 at this range.
Brogan has a (48-10+10)=48% chance to hit at this range. He rolls a 51, missing. Arasmus
sets fire. Brogan will be prepared to fire again in 29.
In segment 28 Brogan quick fires. He is firing one segment early so
his chance to hit is now (48-10-10) 28. He rolls a 32, missing. Arasmus has set fire for 2
segments and now has a (48+10-20+20)=58% chance to hit. A 96 misses. He no longer gains
his set fire bonus, so with the second shot he is back to 28, just like he was on the
second shot before. A 79 misses. With the 18% chance on the third shot he rolls a 91,
missing, and on the fourth shot at 8% he rolls a 48, missing. He decides to stop firing
again. He will be prepared to shoot again in 30.
Segment 29 arrives as Arasmus decides get closer. In the first
segment only half of possible movement is allowed, and Arasmus only wants to move half of
his maximum speed so he can continue to prepare his weapon, so Arasmus is moving
one-fourth speed. He moves (13/4)=3.25 (let's round that to 3) feet forward in the first
segment of movement.
In segment 30 Arasmus no longer has the penalty for the first
segment of movement. He is now traveling half speed so he can prepare his weapon. He will
continue to travel at half speed (6 feet per segment), until he is close enough to be
satisfied. He has traveled 9 feet so far, so he and Brogan are 57 yards apart now.
In segment 31 Brogan sets fire. Arasmus is still moving.
In segment 32 brogan fires. He has a bonus of +10 for setting fire
for one segment. Arasmus is 53 yards awy, so Brogan is still at -10 with the Luger. His
chance of hitting is 45. He rolls a 69, missing. (Pitiful, aint it?) Brogan will be
prepared again in segment 35.
In segment 34 Arasmus has been setting fire since segment 30. He has
a bonus of +40. He is now at 49 yards and has a bonus of +30 for range. Brogan has decided
to quick fire one segment early. He no longer has a -10 at this range. Arasmus is still
moving as he fires, so he is at -50 for moving at fifty percent of his maximum.. His final
chance to hit with the first shot is (48+40+30-50-20)=48. He rolls an 05. Brogan dies
(well we don't know that yet but it's seems likely), but still gets to shoot as they are
firing simultaneously. Arasmus stops shooting, not wishing to waste lead on a doomed
opponent. Brogan's last shot brings a result of (45-(1 segment quick fire)10)=35. He rolls
a 96, missing miserably. He dies, it's over. Fade to black.