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How Combat Works
Similar to D&D, Combat is cyclical. At the start of the battle, the DM determines which characters are aware of their opponents. If some (but not all) characters are aware, the battle starts with a surprise round where only the aware-characters get a chance to act. Regardless of whether or not there’s a surprise round, the first thing that happens is that everyone rolls initiative. Each round starts with the idle player (or monster, etc.) that rolled the highest initiative and ends with the idle player who rolled the lowest initiative. If a player is busy, he doesn’t get to act. A round ends when every player is busy. Unlike D&D though, combat isn’t acted out swing by swing, so often times, one skirmish will end while others are still taking place, so very often, only one player will find himself idle and need to act, while everyone else is busy. Combat in 3JPG is meant to further the story, the player makes decisions but most of the math is behind the scenes. Having the math not out in the open forces the player to make ‘roleplaying’ decisions and to get into character rather than making mathematical decisions. Also, not every contingency is accounted for, and any unaccounted for contingency will be dealt with in game and then added.
Initiative is a dexterity roll, same as D&D.
The Battle Grid
The Battle Grid is like D&D but instead of representing a 5×5 section of the world, it represents a 2×2 section of the world.
Each action has a number of seconds associated with it. Actions vary from drawing a weapon to drinking a potion to attacking. Some actions are useful throughout their entire duration, such as attacking. During the time that you’re completing the action, you’re in combat. Other’s aren’t useful until the end of the time allotted, such as drinking a potion. Some actions leave you vulnerable to a Quick Attack if you perform them within range of an enemy or if an enemy attacks you while you’re in the process of completing them.
Depending on the dexterity of the character, he will have a “movement speed”. This indicates the number of squares he can move in five seconds in battle and that’s because an idle player can move for five seconds on his turn. Movement is an action that provokes a quick attack if the player moves through a square that an idle opponent can strike him in.
Mounting, dismounting, or standing-up counts as a move action and provokes a quick attack if applicable.
Layind-down does not require an action and does not provoke a quick attack.
You can move at twice your speed (a run) but you forfeit your dexterity bonus.
Melee Attacking is an action that involves engaging in melee combat with a foe. Melee Attacking locks you in combat with them, and ends only when either combatant lands a blow that deals damage. Melee Attacking should not be confused with a Quick Attack, because a Quick Attack is a single strike and not a series of attacks and parries. At any time (on anybodies turn) anyone engaged in a melee attack can end the bout, but severing a melee attack prematurely gives the other combatant the chance for a quick attack. When two combatants decide to engage in melee, if both are aware, then the combatant with the longer ranged weapon (IE: Long Sword > Short Sword) gets a Quick Attack while the combatant with the shorter ranged weapon gets within range. The advantage of the quick attack is usually countered by The Weapon Polygon
Making a melee attack when the opponent is unaware (like a surprise round) first counts as a quick attack for the attacker, before initiating an actual melee round.
Resolving a Melee Attack
So who wins the melee? It depends on four factors:
- The Attack Rating of each combatant.
- The Defense Rating of each combatant.
- The Weapon Polygon.
- The Speed of Attack for each combatant.
The actual calculation and roll is rather tedious and long, so the GM will calculate it behind the scenes with The GM’s Macro and return the result to you at the time the melee ends. The duration of the melee depends on two factors: The type of combatants (offensive combatants lead to shorter melee rounds) and the disparity in skill (closely-matched combatants have longer melee rounds). The time it takes is not revealed to the player when the melee starts. A melee is resolved when one combatant lands a blow on the other.
A quick attack is a single strike against a non-ready opponent. The opponent might be trying to complete an action that leaves them vulnerable or might be surprised or dazed or unaware. A quick attack is simply an attack where the attacker’s attack rating is compared to the defender’s defense rating (generally with a negative modifier) and the weapon polygon is taken into effect. Quick Attacks don’t cost any time and can be devastating.
Each limb (arm and leg) and the torso has 10 health. The head has 5 health. If the head or the torso reaches -10, then the character is dead. If a limb (arm or leg) reaches -10, then that limb will be unusable until it receives powerful magical healing. If the head or the torso reaches 0, then the character is unconscious. If an arm or a leg reaches 0 or less then it is unusable for the duration of the combat and after until it is healed back to a positive value.
A character also has 10 points of blood. If they are bleeding, they will lose these points at a rate determined by the severity of the wound. If the character reaches 0 blood, they fall unconscious. If they reach -10, they die.
Landing a Melee Blow
Each blow has two characteristics:
So, there could be a glancing blow to the left leg or a crippling headshot. Different blows have different repercussions.
|Severity||Outcome||Blood-Loss if Applicable|
|Glancing||Subtract 1 Health Point from Body Part||No Blood Loss|
|Normal||Subtract 2 Health Points from Body Part||1 Point and no continuous loss|
|Solid||Subtract 3 Health Points from Body Part||2 Points and no continuous loss|
|Excellent||Subtract 5 Health Points from Body Part||3 Points and 1 point per 30 seconds|
|Crippling||Subtract 10 Health Points From Body Part||5 Points and 1 point per 15 seconds|
In combat between two equals, lighter blows are more likely. In combat where one combatant is vastly superior, heavier blows are more frequently seen.
The Weapon Polygon
First, find the attacker’s weapon in the left column, then trace right until you get to the defender’s weapon. An X means the attacker’s weapon will have the advantage. See Weapons to determine which category a weapon falls under.
Performing a ranged attack, provokes a quick attack if applicable. Ranged attacks use the same attack rating but are not usually affected by the target’s weapon’s defense rating. Ranged Attacks also suffer a penalty for attacking outside of the weapon’s range (See Weapons). If a quick attack is provoked by the user of the ranged weapon and the quick attack is successful, then the ranged weapon user’s attack is a failure and all time is lost.
Attack and Defense Ratings
The attack rating for a player signifies how talented he is at striking his opponent. Attack ratings are:
- Weapons Base Attack Rating (See Weapons) which depends on the player’s talent with the weapon.
- Affected by either strength or dexterity or both, depending on the weapon.
The defense rating for a player signifies how good he is at avoiding being hit. Defense ratings are:
- Weapons Base Defense Rating (See Weapons) which depends on the player’s talent with the weapon.
- Plus his net dexterity bonus (affected by how much he’s carrying and the armour he’s wearing)
- Plus any bonus from armour he’s wearing (See Armour)
When being attacked by a ranged attacker, the user does not have any weapon defensive bonus.
Contingencies and Special Circumstances
Charging is a run followed by a quick attack. The melee attack gains a small bonus from the charge but the player forfeits his dexterity bonus until next turn. The player must have a straight line (And line of sight) to the target in order to charge them.
Coup de Grace
When facing a helpless enemy, one can coup de grace them (provokes quick attacks if applicable) and kill them automatically. This attack requires no roll but takes the amount of time it would take to swing the weapon.
Takes twice as long to navigate.
Disarming is something that the player must state their intent to do at the beginning of any melee attack. It lowers their chance of winning the attack (and thus raises their chance of being hurt) but if it succeeds, the opponent is disarmed.
You can flee the battle at your running speed, leaving a melee or passing through a threatened square do not provoke quick attacks but you sacrifice all dexterity bonuses if you are attacked. Anyone attempting to engage in melee with you, instead gets a quick attack. Fleeing is potentially a multi-turn action as it can’t be terminated midway through.
Requires the necessary feats and skills and a mount that’s composed during combat. While participating in mounted combat, you take up the space that your mount takes up. You get a bonus on all attacks against anyone that’s one size up from you or smaller. You can melee attack while your mount is moving at no penalty but you take a negative penalty for making ranged attacks. If you engage in a melee battle while mounted and your horse dies, you suffer the risk of being trapped underneath it or taking damage by falling. While mounted, your dexterity bonus on your defense class is cut in two.
Diagonal Movement costs 1.5x as many squares as moving in a horizontal fashion.
Moving Through Occupied Squares
One cannot move through a square occupied by an opponent (unless helpless) but can move through a square occupied by a friend. One can move through a square occupied by an opponent either 3+ sizes bigger or smaller (See Creature Size). One cannot STOP in a square occupied by an opponent or friend.
Attacking from prone is much more difficult than attacking from foot and no heavy two handed weapon can be operated. Moreover, the prone person also suffers a negative defensive modifier.
Shooting into Melee
Shooting into Melee results in a penalty to your attack roll and a chance to hit the friendly party.
An attempt to sunder is declared before a melee attack and the melee attack proceeds as if it were normal, but the would-be-sunderer has a lower chance of winning and thus a greater chance of getting injured. If he succeeds, the opponents weapon (or item) is sundered. The disadvantage is greater for stronger items/weapons.
Tripping is something that the player must state their intent to do at the beginning of any melee attack. It lowers their chance of winning the attack (and thus raises their chance of being hurt) but if it succeeds, the opponent is prone.
Combat is handled as if it’s a two versus one, but a negative modifier is added to all weapons involved both for the attack rating and defense rating depending on the size of the weapons.
Uneven Numbered Combat
Not all combat is 1v1. There are two types of uneven combat:
- Standard 2v1. This behaves as if there’s two separate 1v1 battles, and the outnumbered party (the lone warrior) is in both of them. (3 separate battles if it was a 3v1, etc.). The only difference is that the outnumbered force gains a penalty to his defense class for each additional attacker he faces. The penalty is greater if he is flanked.
- Aided 1v1. Instead of fully participating in the battle, the second attacker can instead choose to aid his ally. The aider is not vulnerable to being struck and the aidee gains a bonus to his defense class that varies with the skill of the aider at aiding.
Generally, combatants choose the first option, but many weaker characters choose the second because they aren’t at risk of being hurt.