Alloy: Combat part 3
As you can guess, combo isn’t just a term in the Alloy system. It refers to a grouping of individual actions which gain an AC bonus, making the actions take less time. This occurs because the overall action is longer. For example, you can engage an opponent, and then later on, (immediately even), swing a sword at that opponent. Or you can Charge them and save yourself a phase by committing up front. I won’t go into further detail about combos. They are fully explained in the full game codex. I’m moving on to Damage, and explaining why weapons have traits, and why different heroes will want to choose weapons that fit their style rather than just picking the biggest weapon on the shelf.
There are 3 components to the weapon damage an attack actually deals out: the attack roll, the weapon’s base damage, and any maneuvers applied, which given certain weapon traits may do even more damage. So a strong character may choose to use a Crippling Strong Strike with a Crushing weapon, relying on his Strength score for both a chance at extra successes on the hit, and base damage. Take the Great Club. It has a damage cap of 10, adds 4 to the user’s Strength to determine that damage, and is 2-Handed, Cruel 2, Vicious 2 and has Reach.
With a Great Club this is a 9 Action Cost attack, with a TN of 2, and it does 5 extra Damage before adding the weapon’s base damage. (A character with a Strength of 1 would have 5 for this, while a character with Strength 6 would have 10 (the maximum). So this titanic hit will do between 10 and 15 damage just due to the maneuvers chosen and its own traits. Since a Great Club is Cruel 2, it pays for the cost of the Crippling Blow stunt maneuver by itself. So every success over the target’s Parry is an additional point of damage dealt out.
A character with a Strength of 2 would still do a minimum of 11 Damage this way, but is very unlikely to get extra successes. A character with Strength 6 on the other hand is probably going to garner between 2 and 4 extra successes on their attack, (depending on their skill and the target’s parry), meaning anywhere from 16 and 18 Damage total.
There are weapon and maneuver combinations that suit Agile and Observant fighters as well as Accurate fighters, or Agile and Strong fighters as well. The idea is to find a weapon that fits the character, and the types of attacks they wish to attempt. The Great Club is a good weapon if all you want to do is dish out major damage, but it’s slow, and prevents you from using a shield. Some Game Masters might also disallow much in the way of activity such as leaping or dodging unless the character has a high Strength.
Heroes and Damage
Heroes take damage, (say 8 Damage), by first comparing it to their Defense score, (say 6). If it is less than their Defense score, but still within 3, it is an injury. Anything less glances off. If it is equal to their Defense or higher, they take at least 1 Wound. In our example, that is 1 Wound. Heroes can accept a number of Wounds equal to their Health before they are significantly slowed down. Having an untreated Wound gives the character the Wounded Status, which is essentially a constant -1D penalty, having an equal or greater number of Wounds as Health gives the hero Critical status, which is essentially a -3D. Death is left somewhat vague for heroes, but any hero with more Wounds than Health is “dying”.
Injuries are minor status effects which are temporary in nature.
Dazed: The character’s next action phase number is increased by 2 plus their current number of injuries.
Distraction: The character’s actions cost +1 AC for one round.
Fatigue: The character must make a Fatigue check immediately.
Pain: The character’s actions are Diminished for one round.
Weakness: The character’s Defense is lowered by 1 for one round.
These can be randomly assigned if nothing logically leaps out to the Game Master. Other effects thought up by the Game Master can be levied as well; the above is not an all inclusive list.
Characters have Mind scores as well, which represents their resistance to mental attacks. Mind works exactly like Defense, and damage is applied in exactly the same way.
There are 2 main periods of time when a character can naturally heal. These are right after a long rest, and while convalescing. Circumstances can change when a certain period counts as either of the latter categories, but in general characters always heal all Injuries after a combat scene ends. Wounds are not affected at this time.
If characters take several hours to recuperate and don’t stress their bodies further, they lose the Wounded status, but retain any Wounds they have. If a character has Critical status it stages down to Wounded status instead. The pain becomes manageable the next day, and thus Wounded status goes away after a long rest on the following day.
If a character convalesces, taking rest with the intent to heal without stressing themselves at all, then they heal half of their Wounds after the fourth full day of rest. Further Wounds are healed at a rate of 1 Wound per two days of rest until the character is fully recovered.
That means that a character with 3 Health who has 3 Wounds heals 2 Wounds after 4 days of convalescing. Two days after that, they will recover fully. Because this is a high adventure game, it is possible that characters can heal without surgery or supernatural intervention and come back from the brink of death. This is not very realistic, but it serves to balance the threat of further incapacitating damage and a recovery rate that when unaided, insures tension or conflict avoidance. It is also very serious when you consider that most heroes are on a clock when in the midst of quests and cannot afford to take two weeks of bed rest to ensure everybody is healed up properly.
If the group is engaging in light skirmishes while resting in the wilderness for days at a time, a long rest might be a full night’s sleep. If they were resting somewhere more leisurely and less exposed to the elements it might be a shorter time period to count as a long rest. More specifically, you only get a rest, and any benefits contingent upon that, when the Game Master decides one has occurred.
Thus if characters see no combat for 2 days straight but are constantly on the march and engaging in strenuous activities their 4 hour sleeping shifts do not count as rest. Such actions as camp striking or building, hunting, and keeping watch, leave the character far too exhausted even after sleeping their fill.