Irregular Combat

Copyright Tim Dugger © 2006

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"In the end, it is still better not to get hit in the first place."

This simplified combat system is a companion piece to the Irregular Resolution article.

The Basics

This optional system changes the way that combat works in several ways. First off, it uses Life Points (yes, I do like that term). Secondly, damage is determined by both the size and severity of the attack. However, a character may make an Endurance roll to shrug off some of that damage.

Since this is a simplified system, it will not use maneuver penalties or bleeding damage. And healing will also be handled in a simplified manner as well.

Life Points: A character has a number of Life Points equal to their racial Endurance Bonus plus their total Constitution bonus. A character cannot gain any more Life Points than this starting amount.

Endurance Save: Using this system, characters do not add their racial Endurance Bonus to their Endurance skill as it is used to determine their total number of Life Points.

When a character receives damage from an attack, they make an Endurance maneuver. If the result is equal to or greater than 101, the maneuver has succeeded and the character reduces the amount of damage that they have received. The damage is reduced by 1 point for a successful maneuver. For every 10 points above 101 that the maneuver achieves, the damage is reduced by another 1 point.

Thus an Endurance maneuver roll with a total result of 143 means that the character has managed to shrug off up to 4 points of damage. This means that with a good enough maneuver roll, a player can negate all damage to his character from an attack.

Figuring Damage

When using this system, an attack does an amount of damage based upon its Attack Size according to the following table.

Attack Size Base Damage
Tiny 1
Small 2
Medium 3
Large 4
Huge 5

For every 20 points of the final attack roll, rounded down, the damage done by the attack is increased by the value of the Base Damage.

For example, a longsword does a base of 3 Life Points of damage. If the attacker, after figuring in modifiers, and subtracting his foe's DB has a total result of 47, this means that he is 40 points above what was needed to damage the foe. Thus, the Base Damage of the Long Sword (3 points) is added 2 more times, for a total of 9 points of damage. Of course, the target of this attack does get to make an Endurance roll to attempt to shrug off some or all of this damage. In the end, it is still better not to get hit in the first place.

Natural Healing

Characters will naturally heal 1 Life Point for each full day of rest. A full day of rest requires that the character spend the day performing only minimal activities such as lying in bed. If attended by a character with the Healing skill, a successful Very Hard Healing maneuver will increase this rate of recovery to 2 Life Points per day. A Sheer Folly Healing maneuver will increase the healing rate to 3 Life Points per day.

Rule Chnages

The use of this system requires that a few rule changes and adjustments be made in order to accommodate this alternate damage system. These are listed below.

Skills

Ambush -- When using this skill, if successful, the character gets to add a number of points of damage equal to the Base Damage for the weapon being used.

Sniping -- When using this skill, if successful, the character gets to add a number of points of damage equal to the Base Damage for the weapon being used.

Martial Arts Attacks -- Attacks using Martial Arts do only one half of the base damage listed for an attack of the same size, rounded up.

Talents

Accelerated Healing -- This works exactly as normal. Life Points would be recovered at a rate of 2 per day of rest.

Regeneration (Minor) -- This will allow the character to recover Life Points at a rate of 2 per day.

Regeneration (Major) -- This will allow the character to recover Life Points at a rate of 3 per day.

Regeneration (Greater): This will allow the characters to recover Life Points at a rate of 4 per day.

Succor (Minor) -- This can be used to heal 1-5 (1d10 divided by 2, rounded up) Life Points per use.

Succor (Major) -- This can be used to heal 1d10 Life Points per use.

Succor (Greater) -- This can be used to heal 2d10 Life Points per use.

Spells

Minor Healing -- This spell may also be used to heal 1 Life Point per use, and scaled up at a rate of one additional Life Point for +1 PP.

Major Healing -- This spell may be used to heal up 5 Life Points per use, and may be scaled up to heal an additional 5 Life Points for +3 PP.

General Notes on Spells -- For spells that do one or more d10 of hit damage, treat every 5 points of hit damage as one Life Point of damage. Some spells can also cause Bleeding damage. For these spells, treat Bleeding of 2 points per round as equal to Bleeding one Life Point, but the damage is a one time shot rather than continuing damage.

Monsters

Most of the monsters listed in the core HARP rules do not list how many ranks they have in the Endurance skill; however, it is easy to determine how many ranks they have, and thus how many Life Points they have. All monsters have the maximum number of ranks allowed in the Endurance skill, thus just compare the monster's level with Table 6.1 on page 30 of HARP to determine the creatures Life Points from Endurance. Then use the Endurance Bonus listed on Table 13.5 to determine the Racial Life Point Bonus for the monster.