During the development of Eternal
Soldier the authors tried no less than five completely new and
different combat systems. For reasons of complexity and general
playability they were all rejected in favor of the one now
included. Yet each system had it's own strengths and interesting
points. Without the drawbacks each one could've been as much fun
as a barrel full of Venusian mugwumps.
In the spirit of those rules (and
to salvage the work we put into them) we present the following as
optional rules. In some scenarios the fighting is limited enough
that some of these rules might become practical.
These are optional rules not
"Advanced Rules". Each presents some drawback(s) which,
in some worlds, might not be so bad.
Effects of Damage
Whenever a character takes damage
he may not act for a number of segments equal to the number of hit
points he has just taken. He is, in effect, stunned during this
period and may neither perform an action nor prepare for an
action. This is a rule that logic and realism demand but, quite
frankly, is not very much fun when you're the underdog.
Even more optionally, a character
may be allowed to make a will roll. If he is able to roll under
his will on a D20 then the amount he made it by (a will roll
difference as it were) is subtracted from the time he will be
stunned. If he fails, the amount he missed it by is added to the
time he will be stunned for. You'll need to ask yourself whether
you really want to roll this many dice.
Skill Roll Differences in Combat
Instead of either hitting or
missing or parrying or not parrying, one could figure out the
skill roll difference of each successful hit with the result being
the skill roll difference that must be beaten in order to parry or
dodge the blow. This way a good swing is not as likely to be
parried. It is also, perhaps, a purer use of the rules. This rule
may become more useful as characters get real powerful as it helps
remove the certainty that they will always hit or parry. However,
trying to subtract two-digit numbers (while not usually difficult)
can be maddening in the heat of battle.
This can also be applied to
wrestling. The skill roll difference of the grapple represents the
effectiveness of the hold. This is always kept as a current value.
The skill roll difference of a break attempt (if it is positive)
is subtracted from the current effectiveness. If the effectiveness
goes to zero then the hold is broken. A character may try to
increase the effectiveness of a hold by making a skill roll and
adding the skill roll difference to the current effectiveness. In
either case a negative skill roll difference means only that the
attempt to improve the hold or break had no effect.
Enhanced Missile Fire
Included with the game charts is an enhanced missile fire
chart. To use it, cross look up the skill roll difference of the
shot. The result is the number of units off the shot is for every
100 units of range. Then, if you want, you can use some fancy dice
rolling of your own choosing (for whatever level of accuracy you
desire) to figure out which direction the shot is off. In this way
you can determine exactly where a particular shot hit.
When shooting at people we always
assumed that if you were less that 1 meter off then you hit but
there's no reason you couldn't figure out exactly where the shot
hit. Using this with automatic weapons could take all night. It is
of most use with combat involving vehicles.
Every time a bullet (or beam weapon) hits within two feet of a
character he must make a will roll versus losing preparation time
built up for a shot. This makes covering fire work the same as it
would in real life. However, player characters are known for their
fearlessness and may object to the GM telling them that they
wimped out under fire. And of course this adds more of those pesky
Instead of merely rolling damage,
you could use the chart below to determine where your swing hit.
Armor would consist of individual pieces that would protect
certain areas of the body. Each would have its own (usually
fractional) agility minus and its own ability to take damage.
Each area has hit points equal to
a certain percentage of the character's total hit points. When its
hit points go to zero then it becomes useless and the effect
listed When Useless column takes hold. When it gets below negative
one half of it's hit points that body part is destroyed and the
effect in the When Destroyed column is applied.
Each body part will heal
separately but the healing rate is only one-tenth of normal.
Healing a destroyed body part will require prompt medical
attention (GM's discretion as to what tech level medic skill is
necessary). For every 24 hours that this treatment is neglected
10% is subtracted from the medic's chance of producing healing in
the body part.
If the character achieves an
unparried/undodged critical hit then he may select which body part
Hit Location Chart
Again, we're trading realism for complexity
and record keeping. It also tends to get rather grisly. You may
find that people tire of it after their third legless character.
But if you'd like to simulate the terrible realities of combat,
this is for you.
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