House rule :Combat Actions change


Pretty much nicked from Shadowrun, this is a way of making the strike rank roll that much more exciting. It adds complexity and notekeeping, but also can even things up between characters with divergent DEX scores. At the moment the DEX thresholds are very important to combat, this would make them less so.

Combat Actions

The number of combat actions a character has each round is determined when strike rank is rolled and by the same roll. The number of reactions they have is not variable, but remains as per the rulebook. Strike rank is used to count down the actions in the following way.

Players can have a maximum of 4 combat actions in a round.
Their first action occurs on their rolled strike rank. Each subsequent action occurs 6 strike ranks later. They may continue to take actions so long as the strike rank has a positive score until they have taken 4 actions.

Example Crytax Stormkhan , an Uroxi Runelord has heroquested for legendary dexterity of 22. Despite his gruff and barbaric exterior he has a shrewd brain and an INT of 16, for a total strike rank modifier of 19.
He is battling with a broo of average stats (DEX 12, INT 12) and a strike rank modifier of 12. Neither are surprised.

Crytax rolls a 3 on his roll for a total of 22, the broo rolls a 6 for a total of 18.
Crytax will be acting on strike ranks 22,16,10 and 4.
The Broo will be acting on strike ranks 18,12 and 6

If Crytax had rolled a 6 for a total of 25 he would have still only recieved the maximum 4 actions (on 25,19,13 and 7), but his 4th action would hit before the broos 3rd action.

Views appreciated - i believe it makes for a more dynamic combat round, but more notekeeping is needed.
The BRP/RQ based Ringworld game used something similar. It also resembles the RQ2/3 Strike rank systems.

I don't like it. Strike Ranks run the old way were a pain in the arse. I'd actualy play the current system first for a while before fiddling with this aspect of it.

Simon Hibbs
Sure, its all a matter of taste. I think its less fiddly than counting variable strike ranks for each action as you did in RQ2/3 , but more fiddly than the current rules.

However i am concerned about the great significance that the current rules give to DEX at the thresholds - 7,13,19 dex all give a massive increase in combat power over the previous level. This system makes the advantage incremental rather than stepped.
I think that this is a great way of resolving strike ranks and combat actions. When I was GMing last week I had some trouble rembering who had had an action and how many, then looking round the table for the next person. I even just made them roll just the once at the begining of the combat just to make it easy for me, and so that they could get into the swing of where they where at in the order of things.

But I'd go with every 8 strike ranks, and not bother with an upper limit of combat actions either. It would also even things out for Magic/Merchant PCs who tend to have a high INT but would only choose, for the most part, to have high DEX for reasons of game machincs like needing DEX 13 for 3 combat actions.
Cool, whatever works. I was going for 6 to make it easier to hit 4 combat actions, as most skilled combatants will have 3 reactions and a shield parry.

Experience of this system in Shadowrun was that it was fun and fairly easy to keep track of. I tended to make 1 roll for each category of bad guy and stick with it, then let the players roll each round.
Not sure it needs that much changing.

Personally I may just split the reactions and offset them but leave the combat actions alone -

Dex 0-9 = 1 reaction
Dex 10-15 = 2 reaction
Dex 16-21 = 3 reaction
Dex 22+ = 4 reaction

or something similar to break up the choke points

If you are using your system then -
Shadowrun 4E dumped the variable actions rules btw - and SR also used a more intuitive number (10) for the breaks - so Initiative 32 went on 32,22,12 and 2. Easier to remember :)

Might be worth modifing the SR formula to get a scale that can work with 10's?
Possibly just SR=Int+Dex
Also means you have a lesser variable in # of actions - people can only roll one extra action.

Using 6 means certain SR's will be able to roll 0, 1 or 2 extra actions.
e.g. SR 12 can only roll 13-17 (3 actions) and 18-22 (4 actions).
However SR 9 can get 10-11 (2 actions), 12-17 (3 actions) and 18-19 (4 actions)
Up to you if you want that level of randomness in your game.

Just my tuppence
I didnt get beyond SR 2E - and i seem to remember the breaks as every 6, maybe because you rolled reaction on d6, but it was a while ago :D

Good points all - perhaps the dice rolled could change - i want to use the standard rule SR's just to avoid too much customisation of source material. A D6 would ensure there was only 1 action variability.

I also like the idea of changing the number of reactions.

the breaks in SR were 10 - but each level of wired reflexes gave you an extra d6 - thats probably what you are remembering

Dort the slightly hellpful
This is somewhat similar to the system in Elric. In that game the characetr with the higherst DEX acts first. Subsequent actions occur on DEX minus 5, then DEX minus 10 and so on.

Simon Hibbs
zanshin said:
sure, with a random element attached :D

Btw have you ever played the Bushido RPG? Zanshin was the measure of how many actions you could perform in a round if I'm remembering it correctly.

Just seemed coincidental given the nature of the thread.

Yes , funnily enough , i have :D - BAP, MA, Zanshin... great stuff

And my understanding is it means a zen state where you move as you think - as you will it so it happens.

Use it as my log in whenever its not taken
zanshin said:
Yes , funnily enough , i have :D - BAP, MA, Zanshin... great stuff

And my understanding is it means a zen state where you move as you think - as you will it so it happens.

Use it as my log in whenever its not taken

Hehe cool, I used to love that game whenever my friend ran it.