Monday, September 17, 2012

Rifts Combat Version 2

This is a work in progress. As always, feel free to fill in gaps.

Segments, Actions, and Turn Order
  • Each 15-second round is divided up into three 5-second segments.
  • At the beginning of each round, each character rolls initiative (d20 + bonuses) as normal. This initiative is retained between segments.
  • If a character loses initiative, he automatically goes to the bottom of the initiative order, acting 1 initiave below the current lowest initiative. If multiple characters lose initiative at the same time, they are ordered in their previous initiative order at the bottom of the initiative. If initiative numbers go to zero or negative, this is fine; it's a measure of turn order, not a discreet measurement of time.
  •  A character's actions per melee are divided evenly among each of the three segments. If there are extra actions per round, they are added to the later segments first. As an example, a character with five actions per melee gets one in the first segment, two in the second, and two in the third.
  • When a character's turn comes up, he may take any number of actions he has available in that segment. As examples, a character with two actions may make two attacks, an extra move and an attack, cast a two-action spell, or reload a magazine-fed weapon with which he has proficiency.
  • A character may delay one or more actions to act later in the round. If he does so, his initiative for the rest of the round moves down to the initiative in which his last action was taken. If he holds his action to dodge, he retains his rolled initiative. Unspent actions are retained until the end of the segment,
    when they are lost.
  • Each segment, a character may move up to his SPD value in feet. If a character has a listed speed in some other form such as miles per hour, convert it to SPD.
  • On a character's turn, he may move any amount up to his maximum movement for that segment in addition to taking his actions. He may also retain some of his movement for pursuit or dodging later in the round.
  • A character may expend any amount of his movement for the segment when taking a dodge action. If he has no more movement left he must dodge in place, which may be ineffective against attacks that require movement such as leg sweeps or area attacks.
  • A character may also expend any amount of remaining movement to pursue an opponent he has deadlocked who is moving, regardless of whether or not it is his turn.
  • A character in a deadlock must expend 2 feet of movement to move 1 foot, unless he is pursuing a foe he has deadlocked. A character deadlocked by multiple opponents must spend 2 feet of movement to move 1 foot at all times, even if it is to pursue.
  • A deadlocked character may attempt to move his normal movement, rather than half on his turn by spending an action. If he does so, he provokes an attack of opportunity from all deadlocking foes. He may make a normal dodge action as part of the movement to dodge all opportunity attacks, although he is -2 for every deadlocker beyond the first. If none of the attacks hit, the character may move at his normal speed. His opponents may still pursue.
  • Once per segment, a character may spend an action to gain an additional 1/6 of his speed in extra movement. This can only be done on his turn and the movement must be taken during the turn.
  • Any remaining movement left at the end of the segment is lost.
Parrying, Dodging, and Defensive Actions
  • A character gets 1 free dodge and 3 free parries per segment which do not consume actions. A character may spend 1 action to get 1 additional dodge or 2 additional parries. This action is spent at the time the dodge or first parry is desired.
  • Characters may not defend against attacks from behind, from invisible opponents, or while blinded.
  • If a character is deadlocked by multiple foes, only one enemy may be selected to defend against. The other enemy is considered flanking.
  • Any dodges or parries that are unspent are lost at the end of the segment.
  • A character may also spend an action during his turn to adopt a defensive stance, gaining +2 to defense rolls during the segment. This cannot be combined with any special defense such as multiple dodge, automatic dodge, or circular parry.
  • A character with a held action who is intending to use it for defense may name a specific opponent. If that opponent attacks the character, the held action is expended but the defensive action is +4. This can not be applied to any special defense. This held defense can be used to evade an attack from a flanking enemy.
  • Ranged attackers are automatically considered flanking if they attack an opponent already deadlocked with someone else. However, ranged attackers are -4 to strike a deadlocked character and have a 50% chance of hitting one of the other meleeing characters if the attack misses for any reason (including if the attack is dodged). Exceptionally large targets may skirt this rule if they tower over their deadlockers.
  • A character with multiple special defense options may only use one such defense in a segment.
  • A character with a shield and WP: Shield gains an additional 2 parries per segment and may block flanking attacks from one enemy. This can be used for a held action or defensive stance but otherwise counts as a special defense.
  • A character using paired weapons and the paired weapons ability gains an additional parry each segment if he does not use any double strike attacks. If he uses any double strikes, this parry is lost in addition to the normal costs for double striking. This extra parry counts as a special defense.
  • A character with the automatic dodge ability may make an extra free dodge action during the segment. This counts as a special defense.
  • A character with the multiple dodge ability may spend an action on his turn to multiple dodge. If he does so, he is not considered flanked and can dodge any number of attacks, although he is still limited to his normal movement. A character multiple dodging may not take an extra move action during the segment. This counts as a special defense.
  • A character with the circular parry ability may make any number of parries per segment and cannot be considered flanked. A character using double strikes may not circular parry but it may be used with a shield, as long as it is not a tower shield. This counts as a special defense.
Close Quarters Combat and Deadlocking
  •  A character within melee range of his opponent may "engage" his opponent. This is called a deadlock, and characters in a deadlock have limited actions and movement. A deadlock ends if the deadlocker cannot maintain melee range with his target using pursuit.
  • A character is automatically deadlocked to his opponent if he initiates a melee attack against his opponent that is successfully defended. Likewise, the opponent is deadlocked to the attacker unless the attacker has no movement left.
  • A character is also automatically deadlocked to his opponent if he ends his turn in melee range of an opponent he has attacked as long as the defender is able to engage and attack him.
  • Prone opponents, or those stunned or affected by most half-APM debuffs cannot deadlock enemies. They can still be deadlocked and have their actions limited. Likewise, invisible attackers can deadlock foes but cannot be deadlocked unless they can be detected and struck. This includes partial (-5) as well as full blindness. Obscured characters (-1 blindness penalty) can still be deadlocked.
  • Defenders are -2 to defend against flanking opponents; that is, an opponent who the character is not deadlocking, but who he is aware of. If a held action is expended to avoid a flanker's attack, the defender suffers no penalty.
  • Characters cannot cast spells while deadlocking; doing so provokes an attack of opportunity. Spells that can be cast as a free action do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Some spells or class abilities may bypass this restriction. Any damage dealt to a spellcaster while he is casting normally disrupts the spell.
  • Using Dimensional Stalking/Dimension Sense versus a teleporter and a similar teleport ability does allow a deadlock to be maintained between teleports, although this is a very extreme, unlikely case.
  • While deadlocked, a character is -3 to strike with missile weapons, but the opponent is -3 to defend. WP: Sharpshooting waives these penalties (having it removes both the strike and defense penalty; opponent vs. sharpshooter still has -3).
Damage in Combat (unchanged)
  • Most attack multipliers are additive with other attack multipliers of the same type.
  • Critical multipliers are tricky. All of them are additive: Dice crits, backstab crits, and power attack crits all add together; thus a backstab power attack with a natural 20 will generally do quadruple damage (x1, plus 3 crits for x4)
  • Items that improve crit range artificially add a critical multiplier, allowing a character to double crit on its numbers if an appropriate combat skill is known. For instance, if a weapon gives 19-20 critical, and a combat skill gives 18-20, the character will double crit (for triple damage) if a 19 or 20 is rolled.
  • Weakness multipliers are not additive. The most effective weakness modifier applies. This includes charmed weapons and death strike attacks.
  • Hit multipliers (such as burst size) generally multiply on top of other multipliers.
  • Multiple attacks (such as paired or speed weapon) have separate rolls, calculate each separately.
  • If a normal strength character is hit by SD damage in excess of PS * 10, he must make a Roll With Punch against the attack to avoid being knocked down. Each subsequent 20 SD (2 MD) applies a -1 to this roll. This Roll With Punch is a free action.
  • A supernatural strength character can withstand three times this (PS * 30 in SD damage) before needing to make a roll, with each 5 MD applying a roll penalty.
  • Knockback applies a -6 to all defenses and a -6 to all offensive actions. A character may use a melee action on his turn in order to stand up. Melee attacks against a knocked down opponent deal +4 damage.
  • A character hit by knockback automatically loses any held actions, whether the knockback is successful or not.
  • A character hit with knockback effects who is braced in some way may choose to suffer 50% more damage, but not be knocked down.
  • Non-physical damage, such as laser, ion, and plasma weaponry, does not inflict knockback. P-beams do.
Grappling and Ground Fighting
  • There are four basic fighting maneuvers to initiate a grapple: grab, throw, takedown, and slam. All of these require a strike roll to hit, and if successful, a contested grapple check to initiate the maneuver. Untrained grapplers cannot parry these attacks, and in some cases they may not be parried.
  • Grappling skill follows three different skill levels: untrained, trained, and expert. Some characters might have super unique "master grappling" or something but I feel no need to incorporate this at this time.
  • Opposed grapple checks are the same as the old rules. D20 plus PS modifier; add strike bonus if trained or better. If supernatural/robot versus normal, double PS modifier for the supernatural; if no PS modifier for supernatural vs. normal, add +1. Add +1 for each grappling limb advantage (limbs carrying weapons don't count), and of course, common sense for grappling applies eg. small size characters can't grapple large ones effectively.
  • Grabbing the opponent puts him in a grappled state, though the situation is neutral and either grappler can perform any grappling moves. A grappled character is locked in the grapple and cannot move without attempting to drag the opponent around. Grappled characters cannot defend against attacks except those from whoever they are grappling with.
  • While grappled, a character can attempt to perform a throw, takedown, disarm or turn the grapple into a hold. All of these actions require an opposed grapple check. A success allows the maneuver to be performed, a failure does nothing. If the opponent is armed with a grapple-appropriate weapon (knife, claws), he may deal his weapon's damage on any failed grapple attack.
  • A throw knocks the opponent down next to the thrower, or may propel the enemy further if the strength difference is great enough. A grab-and-throw can be done as a single attack. The opponent may roll with punch to reduce damage but can't avoid falling if the throw was directly on the ground. If the throw propels the opponent a great distance (more than a body length), roll with punch can be used to regain footing.
  • A takedown is a grab that follows the opponent downwards, pinning the opponent but effectively knocking both characters down. It can be parried. A takedown can be done as a single action or executed from a grab, like a throw.
  • A slam is a clothesline, sweep kick, or body check intended for knocking the opponent down. Slams can not usually be parried. A slam requires some momentum to perform, which means that the attacker needs some space between him and the defender or a slam can't be effectively performed. Sweep kicks are special slams that don't require momentum, but they can be parried by a trained fighter (4th level basic, 2nd level expert, 1st level everyone else). A character with a heavy shield can attempt to parry a slam, and a spiked shield of any kind may do serious damage to anyone attempting a slam.
  • After a takedown or when grappling a fallen opponent, a successful grapple check may be made to pin the opponent. Additionally, if the Wrestling skill is known a pin occurs on any 18, 19, or 20 on a strike roll to hit with a grapple. If a character is pinned, he cannot get up, move, or defend himself. The attacker can still deal his crush/squeeze damage, but cannot attack normally. The defender can make contested grapple checks to get free or attack with any wielded weapon, but is -6 and cannot apply strength bonuses to any attack damage. A pinned character can still use psionics or thought-activated magic items, but cannot cast spells.
  • A character in a grapple may turn the grapple into a hold with an opposed grapple check. A held character is -6 on attacks and opposed grapple checks and cannot make defensive actions, just like being pinned. A held character may use magic items that are in his free hand as long as their activation does not require another hand, plus psionics and thought-activated magic items as normal.
  • A martial artist with both Wrestling AND Body Flip/Throw from his combat style (except Basic even at level 8) may attempt to turn a hold into a joint lock. Make two contested grapple checks. If the opponent succeeds on either, he breaks free. If the attacker succeeds on both, the opponent is now locked and cannot do anything except activate psionic powers or trigger thought-activated magic items, but even then the character must make a saving throw vs. pain (14+, PE bonus applies) or forfeit his turn. On his turn the attacker may cast spells, use psionic powers, release his opponent, or break his opponent's joint. This deals 2d6 damage direct to hit points (cannot reduce HP below 0) and gimps his opponent appropriately. An opponent whose limb was just broken must save vs. pain (16+) or be incapacitated for one minute while he writhes on the ground in agony.
  • A trained grappler may attempt to turn a hold into a choke. Make two contested grapple checks. If the opponent succeeds on either, he breaks free. If the attacker succeeds on both, the opponent is now being asphyxiated. If the opponent has blood flow in his neck that can be interfered with, he will lose consciousness for 1d4 melee rounds if he failes a save vs. poison (14+). The opponent may do everything he could do in a hold, such as break out or activate psionic powers. The attacker may release his choke. If he does not, the opponent must save or be rendered unconscious. In addition, the attacker may either do nothing or deal damage (same as a hold). No other actions may be performed.
Magic and Special Powers Combat

  • Casting spells in melee range of an opponent always put the spellcaster at serious risk. If an opponent is within melee range or has the mage in a deadlock, the opponent can make an attack of opportunity on the mage. If the attack hits, the mage's spell is generally interrupted, and the mana is spent as though the spell was cast.
  • Functionally, spells take action after other actions done at the "same time," so held actions to interrupt when used from range also carry this function.
  • If the mage takes a defensive action (automatic defenses notwithstanding), spell casting is interrupted.
  • Opportunity attacks that deal no knockback magnitude AND deal no damage directly to the mage (eg. hits armor) may not interrupt the casting (GM discretion). This means that, in general, don't use targeted interrupts on a mage if you're armed with a ranged energy weapon.
  • Environments that are awkward, irritating, or damaging, generally prevent a mage from casting spells. Tear gas, Sand Storm, and similar environments prevent spell casting even if the eyes and face are protected, unless the entire body is protected via EBA. Some effects that bypass armor, such as Havoc, prevent casting entirely. In general, if in a damaging or awkward environment, and damage would be inflicted (even if it's SD to MD creatures), the environment prevents spell casting until the round after it is exited.
  • Environmental damage (eg. deals x damage per round) now applies that damage per segment, though I may alter the durations of some DoT effects to compensate. However, environmental damage from a single source may only do its environmental damage once per segment, and only at the end of the segment.
  • Reloading a TW firearm is a thought-activated magic item. Unless the creator states otherwise, powering a TW item is thought-activated.
  • Ley Lines influence magic in profound ways. Ley Lines add 10 points of mana generated per minute (nerfed!). Nexus points generate 10 per melee round. LLWs get double this amount. Surges generate the same amount as before, but LLWs can get double mana during a surge as well.
  • Spellcasters can pad their spells, mostly to protect against Spellshield and negas/nullis. A spellcaster can add any amount of mana to his or her spell, but each 25 mana raises the effective spell level by 1.
  • If padding raises the spell level of a spell above 7, the spell costs 2 melee actions instead of 1. If a spell normally takes fewer melee actions to cast, raising its spell level also reverts it to taking the normal number of melee actions for a spell of that level. Spellcasters may pad with 24 mana with no effect. 
  • Single-action level 8 spells as well; they may be padded up to 24 mana, but any more will incur the below issues.
  • If padding raises the spell level above 9, the spell must be cast as a ritual. Spells cast as rituals can have as much padding as desired, up to the maximum limit.
  • Level 9 and higher spells cannot be padded without a ritual casting.
  • The maximum amount a caster may pad is equal to 20 points of mana per level of experience.

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