Alternate combat rules idea

I am not that keen with the abstract roll one die combat method. Worked fine for the books, but i personally favour more conventional, action based combat, with every combatant taking a swing. And so I propose a new combat system:

At the start of every combat, each foe needs to generate their Initiative. This is a d10 roll plus CS, plus any appropriate modifies from Disciplines (Hunting for example, would grant the character a bonus equal to half the characters rank). For the rest of the combat, each character acts in order of their Initiative, from highest to lowest, with ties going to the higher CS value, or the highest current EP if both are equal.

If a target has been ambushed, they may not take an action on their first round.


Each combat round, every combatant gets an action. Normally this occurs on the characters Initiative value, but a character can always delay their action - useful when taking the Defend action (see below)

When making an attack, roll d10, applying the combat ratio. This total is the amount of Endurance that your target must lose from the attack.

Certain modifies will effect either sides CS rating, depending on if the combatant is attacking or defending:

Shields apply a CS bonus when defending:
Buckler +1CS
Shield +2CS
Great Shield +3 CS

Weapons apply a CS bonus when attacking:

Unarmed: -4CS
Improvised: -2CS
Dagger: -
Shortsword, Quarterstaff, Short Bow: +1 CS
Sword, Mace, Warhammer, Axe, Spear, Bow: +2 CS
Broadsword, Halberd, Long bow, Crossbow: +3 CS
Two handed Sword, Great Axe: +4 CS

For example, Bright Fox (CS 17, EP 24, Axe, Initiative 25) is facing a Giak (CS 14, EP 18, Scimitar, Initiative 16)

In the first round, Bright Fox makes an attack. He rolls a 5, adds his CR (+3) and his weapons CR bonus (+2) so inflicts 10 EPs to the Giak. The Giak then returns the favour but rolls just 1, subtracting 3 for his CR. Even with the +2 CS bonus from the scimitar, he still inflicts no damage. The blow misses.

You attempt to parry, block or dodge an attack, adding 1d10 to your CS when defending against a single attack. You may perform this action in response to being attacked, so long as you have not taken an action this round.

This is an attempt to trick your target with a false attack. Although this does not inflict any damage, you may add 4 CS to you next attack against the same target.

You gain +2 CS to defend against all attacks made at you, until your next action.

You may attempt to walk, run, or perform some movement based action, such as climbing on a table. Normally, you cannot take an Move action if you are engaged with a foe - doing so is an attempt to Evading Combat (see Below). If a character is not engaged with a foe, they may use a Move action to charge into combat, allowing them to combine this action with an attack. This attack is made at +2 CS, but the attacker suffers -4 CS to defend against all attacks, until their next action.

Cast a Spell
You may cast a spell as your action, if you possess the appropriate disciplines.

Combat Tactics
Rather than just slugging it out, each round, players can choose different options when making an attack:

All Out Attack
By sacrificing defence, you may make an aggressive melee attack. This increases your CS by up to 4 for attacking purposes, but you must reduce your CS by the same amount amount when defending, until your next action. If both parties decide on this tactic, the combat is likely to be bloody and over relatively quickly!

Dual Weapon Attack
If you are armed with two melee weapons, or a brace of pistols, you may attempt to attack twice in a round. However, both attacks are made at -4 CS.

Rapid Attack
When armed with a bow or throwing dagger, you may attack twice each round, assuming you have enough ammunition. Both attacks are made at - 4CS however.

Evading Combat
If things are going badly, sometimes the best thing is just leg it! In combat, however, this can be risky. If you are engaged with an enemy, you can attempt to run away, by taking a Move action, if the Gm allows this - sometimes it may not be possible to evade combat. The target immediately may make a free attack against you, even if they have already acted. If they havnt acted, they can also choose to give chase.

Ganging Up
In melee combat, the usual CS bonuses from ganging up apply when attacking (add +2 CS for each additional ally)

Interestingly, assuming a CR of 0, using these rules results in exactly the same amount of damage, as using the Combat Results table, assuming the attacker is using a sword or similar weapon. It will mean that enemies will inflict exactly the same damage as the heroes, assuming they have equal CS, so gms wishing to keep the pro-player bias can halve any damage inflicted by enemies, rounding down. Or at least keep this rule for mooks and nameless foes.

Zager Krahl

Yes, the pro-player bias is important - imagine encountering a Gourgaz (CS 20, EP 30) on equal footing! Some characters will go down a LOT quicker...


Since the PCs are the only ones able to use disciplines/skills that gives the game a pretty big pro-player bias already! I like the idea of balancing it out with both parties taking actions. It can get messy otherwise.