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Combat Tutorial

Combat Round | Example Round

As with any RPG, combat can play an integral role in resolving encounters. This section serves as a tutorial for the Spherus battle system, and will take you through the steps of a standard combat round. For maximum results in reading this page, you should have some understanding of standard RPG terminology and of the Spherus system, as described on the character creation and other pages.


The Combat Round

A combat round is defined as a period of time during which each character participating in a confrontation has an opportunity to take one pro-active action. This single action can include more than one attack, if the technique being used so specifies, but it is still all resolved during one part of the round. However, defensive and reactive techniques can often be used multiple times.

The sequence of phases in a combat round are described below.

  1. Forming Intentions

    This is the first phase in a combat round. During this phase, all combatants must decide upon their action for the coming round. This is important for determining their speed in the upcoming sequence of attacks. All of the conventional Spherus combat techniques have speeds associated with them. The characters must also take into account any speed modifiers they have for their agility or their skill.

  2. Initiative

    Initiative rolls are used to determine the order in which combatants will act during the remainder of the round. Each participant must roll 1d10 and add the speed of the action they're taking to the result. The characters will be acting in ascending order of total initiative.

  3. Character Actions

    Each character then has an opportunity to act, assuming they are still capable of doing so when the sequence reaches their turn. Although there are some exceptions, a standard attack action follows the pattern outlined below.

    1. Costs: Incur any cost associated with the attack (psipoints, bullets, etc.).
    2. Checks: Make any necessary checks to perform the technique. Standard checks are performed by rolling a 1d100 in an attempt to roll below the relevant stat, including any relevant modifiers.
    3. To-Hit: The character rolls 1d100 in an attempt to strike their opponent, remembering to add any relevant bonuses for the technique they're performing (ability stats, skill). The amount by which this total exceeds the to-hit listed for the combat technique indicates the armor class/AC level that has been hit.
    4. Defensive Reaction: At this point, the target can attempt to defend themselves from an attack that has succeeded in hitting. This can be done by using the defense skill, a psi-xaquel teleport or a special move. Rules for these actions can be found in their respective descriptions.
    5. Damage: Assuming that the attack has hit its mark, and has penetrated a foe's defenses, the attacker may now roll the damage specified as part of the attack description. They should remember to add any relevant bonuses, such as for ability stats or combat skill. This total is then deducted from the target's hitpoints. The target is defeated when their hitpoints drop below 1.
  4. Conclusion

    This is the conclusion of the current combat round. If the battle is still set to continue, a new round commences at phase 1.


Example Combat Round

This section includes a combat tutorial that will lead you through the phases described above in great detail. In order to make this example more interesting, we present two combatants below.

Rain pounds down on the concrete in sheets, an ever-strengthening downpour that makes it seem as if the heavens themselves are intent on washing away the Deksiilan industrial center of Cormus. Fortunately for the citizens of this city, it is not up to the weather to keep the streets clean of sin; that's the job of the big, bald black man who braves the rain, grumbling under his breath about the foibles of his erstwhile police colleagues. Kojak's angry growls are only interrupted by the sudden loud beeping of a nearby car alarm, which penetrates the cold night air like a shrill, infuriating mechanical call for aid. Glancing down the row of parked vehicles lining the street, Kojak finally spots the car in distress: a metallic blue Focus, which is currently being desecrated by a masked robber. Said robber barely has time to glance up in terror as over two hundred pounds of angry, bad cop comes barrelling down on him.


Kojak vs. Jimmy the Hands


Kojak - level 4 Loracian

Ability Stats:

Strength: 34 +3 to hit, +6 to damage
Dexterity: 16 +1 to hit, +3 with Guns
Agility: 15 +3 AC, no speed mod
Health: 18 +1 Hitpoint/level
Willpower: 16 +1 Psipoint/level
Intelligence: 17 +1 to hit with Psi

Combat Skills:

Street Brawl: 50 Conventional Skill
Forehead Bash: 8 Special Skill
Bad Dude: 10 Special Skill

Hitpoints: 44
Psipoints: 32

Armor Class: 3


Jimmy the Hands - level 4 Deksiilan

Ability Stats:

Strength: 13 +1 to hit, +2 to damage
Dexterity: 14 +1 to hit, +2 with Guns
Agility: 25 +5 AC, -1 speed
Health: 14 +1 Hitpoint/level
Willpower: 9 +0 Psipoint/level
Intelligence: 16 +1 to hit with Psi

Combat Skills:

Art: 30 Conventional Skill
Focus: 10 Special Skill
Expect More: 11 Special Skill

Hitpoints: 36
Psipoints: 37

Armor Class: 5


Example Combat - Round 1

  1. Forming Intentions

    Kojak decides to start off strong, aiming at Jimmy with a powerful chest smash (Street Brawl, speed 3).

    Shocked into action, Jimmy will desperately attempt to attack his opponent with an uppercut (Art, speed 3).

  2. Initiative

    Kojak rolls 1d10 for initiative and gets a 4. Adding the speed of his attack (3), he has a total initiative of 7.

    Jimmy the Hands rolls a 6 for initiative. Adding the speed of his attack (3) and including his bonus for agility (-1 speed), he has a total initative of 8.

  3. Character Actions

    Kojak has a lower total initiative and acts first in the round.

    1. Costs: Chest smash has no cost.
    2. Checks: Chest smash has no checks associated with it.
    3. To-Hit: Kojak is now ready to attack with chest smash (To-Hit: 35). He rolls 1d100 and gets a 52. He now adds his bonuses for his ability stats (+3 from strength, +1 from dexterity) and for his skill (+5 from street brawl skill) giving him a total of 61. Subtracting the attack's to-hit, we find that he has hit armor class 26, which is more than sufficient to strike Jimmy the Hands.
    4. Defensive Reaction: Jimmy has no defense skill, and no other means of defending himself.
    5. Damage: Now that he's hit with his chest smash, Kojak must determine how much damage he has inflicted on his target. Chest smash inflicts a base damage of 2d10, upon which Kojak rolls an 11. He then adds his bonuses for ability stats (+6 from strength) and for his skill (+5 from street brawl skill) giving him a total of 22 damage. This is subtracted from Jimmy's hitpoints.

    Jimmy the Hands is still standing, and is next to act.

    1. Costs: Uppercut has no cost.
    2. Checks: Uppercut has no checks associated with it.
    3. To-Hit: Jimmy is now ready to attack with uppercut(To-Hit: 30). He rolls 1d100 and gets a 27. He now adds his bonuses for his ability stats (+1 from strength, +1 from dexterity) and for his skill (+3 from art skill) giving him a total of 32. Subtracting the attack's to-hit, we find that he has hit armor class 2, which is not quite enough to strike his foe.
    4. Defensive Reaction: Jimmy's attack missed, so there's no point in using a defensive skill.
    5. Damage: Uppercut would normally inflict 1d10 damage, but since the attack missed, Jimmy isn't even able to damage his foe.
  4. Conclusion

    This is the end of the combat round. Both combatants are still standing and willing to continue, and as such the battle moves into the next round.

    Kojak's Hitpoints: 44
    Jimmy's Hitpoints: 14


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