Saturday, 14 June 2014

Combat in different Sci-Fi gunfight games.


Round is approx  5 seconds long.
1. DM determines surprise.
2. Roll initiative.
3. Determine initiative order.
4. Combatants take turns.
5. Round ends.

 is d10 + Agility bonus.
DM rolls for monsters of similar types together.
Order remains round to round.

There are 31 separate Actions listed. They are full, half or extended.
Movement not fast, probably not more than 10 meters total or 5 if combined with firing

The Attack
1. Apply modifiers. There can be a LOT of these according to circumstance.
This can be a conversation with your DM

2. You roll under your characteristic on a d100. Doubles are a fumble.

3. You determine hit location. There is a chart for this.

4 You determine damage. Seems simple BUT; For all attack rolls, count the Degrees of Success. The attacker; "may choose to replace the result on a single Damage die with the number of Degrees of Success from his attack roll. If the attack inflicts more than one die of Damage, the attacker may replace the result on one die of his choice with the Degrees of Success from the attack roll. If a natural 10 is rolled on any Damage die, there is a chance of Righteous Fury."

5. They (the target) apply damage. This means subtracting a number they have from your total. Getting over a limit puts you into critical. A high enough critical amount guarantees death.

To move and fire one shot;
- Add +10 to your BS.
- Ask the DM if you need to take anything off.
They say target in open, not moving fast, no other factors. In short, not doing anything people would actually do in a gunfight, and say no.
- Roll the dice, try to get under.
A hit.
- Roll a d10 for hit location. (I am wrong here, see comments)
- Roll dice for damage.
You got a high number so won't need your degrees of success from the to-hit roll.
- The target (DM) applies damage. They remove a number they know from the damage you gave them and tell you what happens.

Always at least one modification to the number on your sheet.
Always have to ask the DM what’s going on with target, can never really take it as read.
Three separate rolls at least on a simple attack.
One carry over of info between roll types.
DM tells you what happened.



Round is approx 3 seconds long.

Initiative is d10 plus REF

There are 10 separate Actions listed. 'Move and Fire' is not one of them. So either you can do that by taking a half move action or to move and fire you always lose -3 from the to hit roll as you are stacking actions.

You can add actions to a round at -3 for each successive action.

Ambushes get you a to-hit bonus if they work but enemy still gets an awareness roll to discover them.

Attack modifiers, Grenade table, Drugs and Poison, Microwave effects, common Cover sp's, Armour SP's, Cyberweapon damage, Area effect table and Adds to damage from STR and body type all on one page.

The Attack;

1. Roll a Stat + Weapon skill + 1d10. You are trying to get OVER a set number and  the number relates to the range between you and the target. There are only five. Point Blank, Close, Medium, Long and Extreme. The range relates to the kind of weapon you have so you should have this number.

2. Add and subtract modifiers. They are all listed.

AH. 'Target immobile' is a modifier but target mobile is not. Mobility is assumed. This is good.

Crits are 10, fumbles are 1. Crits add damage, fumbles have another table.

You hit.

3. Roll location. (Hit locations on your Cha sheet)

"Use some common sense with this rule." Thanks.

4. Someone (the DM?) reduces damage by the armour value. (Complicated armour layering system.) Cover is ignored in the 'to-hit' roll but does stack with armour.

5. Then deducts the body type modifier

6. They take the remainder off their wounds.

Everyone has the name amount of wounds and they progress in the same way. Light. Serious. Critical. Mortal. Rules for limb loss and head hits. Every hit is a possible knockout for shock.

7. They roll a save for the hit.

8. They roll a death save if target into mortal wounds.

To move and fire one shot;
- Work out your modifiers.
- Roll against your weapon range.
You hit.
- Roll Damage.
- Roll location.
- Tell the DM where and how much.
- DM deducts a number based on Body Type, Armour and Cover.
- DM saves vs the shot.
- Applies conditions, if mortal DM saves vs death of target dies.

Three rolls for you again.
In this case all the modifiers are clearly written in the same place so you have access to them. Dm is doing a similar range of things with armour and rising damage. Info design in cyberpunk is MUCH better but Only War explains the whole process much better in linear fashion so maybe it evens out.

Both have complex fucking rules for auto fire. You can’t just roll three dice or whatever, you have to roll one then add stuff and move stuff around.



Round is roughly six seconds long.
Character can act and move up to 20 metres, or move 40. So fuck movement values it seems. You can move then fire, or fire then move but not move-fire-move.

You can choose to hold and wait, but only for SPECIFIC actions.

Roll initiative. d8 + DEX mod. If a tie, PC's act first.

The Attack.
1. Roll an attack. Always trying to hit 20. BUT.
Attack roll is d20 + Targets AC
                                     (Target deducts DEX mod from AC)
                                   + Attackers Combat Skill
                                   + Attackers Atribute modifier (this could be a minus)
                                   + Attackers Attack Bonus.

So ‘ a 'simple' roll where you have to add at least 4 numbers. You should have 3 of those so can keep a written total for that, the DM has one which they can give you.

2. OH NO BUT WAIT. There are modifiers AS WELL. Energy weapons, cover, skills.

3. Roll damage, add an attribute bonus.

4. If they hit zero hp they are done,

"It’s worth repeating that most hit point damage represents only the gradual wearing down of a target’s stamina, resolve, and luck. Only the last handful of hit points represents an injury that does serious physical damage."

So why are they called 'hit points'? SUGGESTION. In any game where gunfire is likely to outnumber swordplay, hit points should be called 'luck points' or 'dodge points' or 'evasion points'

To move and fire one shot;

- Move is easy, same for everyone.
- Attack roll is one thing, you have most of what you need and know what you need to hit BUT
- Still need to ask the DM for targets AC and modifiers.
You hit
- Roll damage.
- DM tells you if they are dead.                 

Two rolls instead of three. Old-school dead/not-dead instead of rising damage risks.
Calculation of your to-hit roll pointlessly complex.


Good things from each system.

Only War; The Crit charts are move colourful and exiting than Cyberpunk and are exactly the kind of thing a company can do that is useful, combining a lot of info into a very small space. They are separated by attack type and body location.

Sure its annoying to look up each kill but it happens when you kill something so it’s also kind of fun.

Also Only War manages to explain how combat works with a simple fucking list.

Cyberpunk; Three second round is much better.

Info design puts everything on one page.

Modifiers assume movement which is excellent. Why not assume taking cover as well since everyone sane would be and simply have a + modifier for someone who is NOT actively seeking cover?

You roll to get over a positive number and I like that. You also roll against RANGE and I like that a lot. You have your various ranges on your weapon thing so that’s info that you are familiar with AND it feeds into weapon choice before a fight.

Armour/Cover layering system designed to get people moving around. Bullshit. I would go with 40k rules and just say you can count cover as armour, or just worn armour, they do not stack.

SWN; Movement is unified so less titting around with that.

What did I hate about these games? Well, almost everything. Gun combat is the most contested and consequential part of the game so rules have to be tight. Gun combat also really really fast. Tight rules cannot be fast. Rolls and rolls and deletions and additions and calculations, jesus fuck.

STACKING. “Well I got a hug from my mum on Wednesday, so that’s +2, and I’m using my Armalite MonkeyCannon, so that’s another +3.”

“Yes but remember your mum is ugly and the target is actually a monkey in disguise so that’s -5.”

“But if I can see through the disguise surely…”

“Oh, yeah, ok, roll your Monkey Inception stat and we will see.”

There is a fundamenta illoic to combat becasue in any real life thing everything is fluid and many things happen as-one. To game it you have to break it into turns and I think there will always be some logical flaw or failure or soething in there. You can almost forget it with swords and melee, but not with gunfights. Its harder to forget the unreality of it. Which is interesting.

What Would Your Ideal System look Like Patrick?

Time – A Round is 3 seconds like cyberpunk.

Ambushes – Like cyberpunk. Need to set it up first. Then you roll initiative on the first round. If they win, they get an individual awareness roll to see if they spot you.

Initiative – Person by Person, d10 plus your total DEX or WIS, whichever is higher. Roll again after each round. If two match then they go in any order but damage resoved as-one.

Action – Move 5 metres and shoot or move 10 metres and don’t or stay still and you get to shoot and use cover.

To Hit Roll – Roll a d20 and your damage dice at the same time.

Add your DEX mod and any weapon skills to see if you hit.

Point Blank - 5
Close - 10
Medium - 15
Long - 20
Extreme - 25

Modifications – Only one. +5 to hit anyone who is not running around and/or hiding like they are in a gunfight.

Aiming at a bodypart pushes your ‘to-hit’ roll up one segment.

Armour – The Target can have whatever armour they are wearing or they can have whatever cover they are hiding behind.

Dense bushes or wire – As Leather
Building materials – As Chain
Prepared position – As Plate

If the total of your d20 and damage dice is over the targets AC, all the damage goes through. If not, they lose one Dodgewound, if they have any, but they don't roll on the Crit tables.

(This means armour and cover feel like they get better at close range, which is kind of weird, but maybe good?)

Taking Damage – Take your CON or DEX or INT or WIS, whichever is higher and add your Level, nameth the total ‘Dodgewounds’. When they run out,  then, once things have got interesting, you start rolling for bodyparts for each hit.

Head, Body, Arms and Legs each have a table running from 1 to 10+. If a Target is out of Dodgewounds then roll the damage on the crit table for the part that got hit.


  1. You don't actually roll for the hit location in Only War. You reverse the digits of the attack roll. For example if you rolled a 32 to attack (that should've hit) which becomes 23 on the location chart, so you've hit the right arm.

    1. That was the way that WHFRP 1e did it, also

      Are you looking in my windows?

  2. I think your 10m & 20m movement is optimistic. In 2008 Usain Bolt took 2.87 seconds to run 20m (Of a 100m sprint) from the blocks. He wasn't running to cover or trying to maintain situational awareness (other than stay-in-his-lane). He wasn't carrying anything or planning to stop or change direction.

    I think 5 & 10 metres is a better movement distance. Maybe 6 &12.