Combat

This is the page for combat in FTS. Use these shortcuts to navigate this page quickly, as it is a little long.
The Exchange
Offensive and Defensive Options
Dragon Magic in Combat
Ferromancy in Combat
Wound Levels


The Exchange

Combat in FTS is done through a series of Exhanges—similar to what other games might call a “round” or a “turn.” Each Exchange represents only a few seconds (two or three) in-game.

In an Exchange, players begin by declaring their target or targets. If a player wishes to declare more than one target, they may do so, and divide their Dice Pools between the targets for the remainder of that Exchange.

Once targets have been declared, all combatants involved Throw. To Throw, the player or ST (in the case of an NPC or creature), secretly selects either their RED coin (for offensive actions) or WHITE coin (for defensive actions), and hides it in their closed hand. When the ST declares “Throw!” all combatants reveal their chosen coin simultaneously.

If all combatants Throw WHITE, then nothing happens. Everyone involved circles one another, waiting for the other to make a move, but with no one committing to anything yet.

If one combatant Throws RED and their target Throws WHITE, then an attack is being made and defended against. The combatant who Threw RED must then decide what kind of offensive option they are going to take (described in the section below), and the combatant that Threw WHITE must decide what their defensive option will be. In an Exchange where one or more combatants has more than one target, they must declare their actions for each target. The combatant that Threw RED must decide first, so that their target may react appropriately.

If all combatants Throw RED, then there are multiple, simultaneous attacks. All combatants must choose their attack option, but none of the combatants may defend against the incoming attack (unless they have a high Armor Skill). All attacks are then resolved simultaneously.

Once all of the actions have been declared, combatants must resolve their actions, beginning with the combatants that Threw RED. This is done by gathering the appropriate Dice Pool for the action chosen and making a Test. As with all Tests, relevant Skills may be applied if the player wishes. Once the Final Result has been determined, the combatants that Threw WHITE then resolve their action, following the same rules for making a Test.

After all Tests have been finalized and Final Results determined, the outcome of the actions are determined. This part is described in further detail below, in the section for each possible action. After all actions have been completed, Wounds and all their effects are applied (if a combatant suffers a Wound, the effects won’t be applied until after they’ve completed all their actions for that Throw).

In some situations, characters may have the option to Throw additional times before the Exchange is over. These additional Throws are resolved normally, and one at a time (if a character gets two additional Throws, the first one must be fully resolved before moving on to the second). If multiple characters have additional Throws, they get resolved simultaneously, just like the normal Throw. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all additional Throws are made with one-half the character’s normal Dice Pool, regardless of the additional Throw’s source.

For example, Ruin is facing off against two drunks in a bar brawl. He doesn’t want to chance an all-out assault on one and risk getting flanked, so he decides to declare both men as his targets for this Exchange. The ST declares “Throw!” and Ruin reveals WHITE, while both other brawlers show RED. Both attackers announce that they’re going to Attack, and so Ruin elects to Dodge both attackers. Ruin is relatively agile, and his Dice Pool for PHYSICAL CONTROL (Movement/Dodge) is 8—he decides to allocate 4 dice to each drunk. Since it’s a brawl with nothing but fists, bottles, and chairs as weapons, the ST asks both drunks to make PHYSICAL POWER Tests, adding any relevant modifiers. The first drunk only gets 2 successes, but the second gets 8. Ruin doesn’t even bother rolling against the first (since his Movement/Dodge Skill is at Rank 3, but nervously rolls his 4 against the second: 2 Successes, for a Final Result of 5. He takes a level 3 Wound as the drunk’s fist collides with his chin, fracturing his jaw and sending teeth flying. Ruin’s in bad shape, and is gonna need to pull it together if he wants to make it out of this fight in one piece.

For clarity and reference, here is the Exchange flowchart:

  1. Declare target(s)
  2. Dragon Empowerment
  3. Throw!
  4. RED declares offensive action (relevant Attributes and Skills are determined)
  5. WHITE declares defensive action (relevant Attributes and Skills are determined)
  6. Dice Pool is allocated between targets (if necessary)
  7. Resolve RED
  8. Resolve WHITE
  9. Determine Wounds
  10. Apply Wound effects
  11. Additional Throws (repeat steps 3-10)
  12. End Exchange

Offensive and Defensive Options

In an Exchange, characters have many different options available to them, depending on two separate factors: 1) Is the character going to be using MAGICAL or PHYSICAL?; 2) are they making an offensive action or a defensive action?

Offense

There are five different offense options available to combatants. Each option, including a description of the option (as well as which Attributes are used in that option) are described below.

Attack (PHYSICAL POWER or PHYSICAL CONTROL or PHYSICAL PRESENCE or MAGICAL POWER or MAGICAL CONTROL)
Attacking is the simplest and most-used offense option. To Attack, first determine if you are going to be using PHYSICAL or MAGICAL for the attack. Then, determine if you will be using force, speed, and strength to attack (POWER), or if you will be relying primarily on your subtlety, finesse, and accuracy (CONTROL). There is a special exception here, in that characters Attacking with a Bow (but not a Thrown weapon) may opt to use their PHYSICAL PRESENCE to resolve the Attack, if they wish. Once the Attack is resolved, if the attacker had a higher Final Result than their target’s defense Test, the difference is applied as a Wound to their target. If the defender’s Final Result is higher, the Attack is considered unsuccessful.

Disarm (PHYSICAL CONTROL)
Somewhat more complicated of a maneuver than Attacking, Disarming an opponent causes them to lose control of their weapon and drop it. Disarms can be Parried and Dodged, but Blocking, Countering, and Passive Defense will do nothing to stop them, and the Disarm will be successful if the attacker gets at least 1 Success. If the attacker’s Final Result is higher than their target’s, the Disarm is successful, and their target drops their weapon to the ground. If the Attacker’s Final Result was high enough to beat (Difficult), the Attacker can choose to have the dropped weapon instead land in their off-hand if their off-hand is free. To recover a dropped weapon from the ground, a combatant must throw WHITE, and take the Dodge action, which they perform at Disadvantage. Regardless of whether or not they are successful, they recover the weapon at the end of that Throw. If the defender’s Final Result is higher, the Disarm is considered unsuccessful. The Disarm offensive action is not available to characters using Bows or Thrown weapons.

Lock (MAGICAL CONTROL)
An important-yet-difficult part of any magic user’s arsenal is the ability to temporarily “lock” another mage’s ability to use their magic. Locks can be Countered or Blocked, but Dodging, Parrying, and Passive Defense will do nothing to stop them, and the Lock will be successful if the attacker gets at least 1 Success. If the attacker’s Final Result is higher than their target’s, the Lock is successful, and their target is unable to make any Test that requires the MAGICAL Attribute until the end of the next Exchange. If the defender’s Final Result is higher, the Lock is considered unsuccessful. The Lock offensive action is not available to characters using Dragon Magic.

Ring (MAGICAL POWER or PHYSICAL POWER)
Often a move made in desperation against a better-trained or better-armed opponent, a Ring is an attempt to “ring their bell,” or cause minor head trauma that results in confusion, disorientation, and—ideally—affords their opponent the opening they need to get a table-turning blow. Rings can be defended against just like it were an Attack (all defensive actions can be used against them). If the attacker’s Final Result is higher than their target’s, the difference between their Final Result and that of their target becomes a penalty that their target must apply to all of their Dice Pools until the end of the next Exchange. If the defender’s Final Result is higher, the Ring is considered unsuccessful. The Ring offensive action is not available to characters using Bows, Thrown weapons, or Dragon Magic.

Trip (MAGICAL CONTROL or PHYSICAL CONTROL)
A difficult-yet-advantageous maneuver to master, tripping an opponent causes them to fall to the ground, forcing them to continue the fight at a severe disadvantage. Trips can be defended against just like it were an Attack (all defensive actions can be used against them), If the attacker’s Final Result is higher their target’s, their target immediately falls to the ground. Until they regain their footing, combatants on the ground suffer Disadvantage on all Tests. To regain one’s footing, combatants must Throw WHITE and take the Dodge action, which they perform at Disadvantage (they then automatically regain their footing, regardless of whether or not they take a Wound in that Exchange). If the defender’s Final Result is higher, the Trip is considered unsuccessful. The Trip offensive action is not available to characters using Dragon Magic. Characters using Bows or Thrown weapons to perform the Trip action do so at Disadvantage.

Defense

There are five different defense options available to combatants. Each option, including a description of the option (as well as which Attributes are used in that option) are described below.

Be advised that attacks can only be actively defended when the defender is aware of both the attacker and the attack. This means that attacks made from stealth or surprise can only be defended with the Passive Defense option. Likewise, attacks made by characters using Bows or Thrown weapons can only be actively defended if the defender can see (or is otherwise aware of) the attacker, and sees the arrow loosed.

Block (PHYSICAL POWER or MAGICAL POWER)
The easiest and most reliable defense mechanism, Blocking is often considered the “default” defensive action. Blocking is useful against Attacks, Locks, Rings and Trips, but cannot be used against Disarms. If, when Blocking, the defender’s Final Result is equal to or higher than their attacker’s, then there is no Wound applied, and the Throw is over. Characters using Unarmed to perform the Block action do so at Disadvantage.

Counter (MAGICAL CONTROL)
An attempt to turn another magic user’s magic against them, Counters are deadly, but difficult to perform. Countering is useful against Attacks, Locks, Rings and Trips, but cannot be used against Disarms, and can only be used when the attacker is using their MAGICAL Attribute to perform their chosen action. If, when Countering, the defender’s Final Result is equal to or higher than their attacker’s, then the difference between the two Final Results immediately becomes an offensive action of the same type against the original attacker that cannot be defended. However, unless the defender is using the same discipline of magic (Pact, Wizardry, etc.) as their attacker, Countering is always performed at Disadvantage. _The Counter defensive action is not available to characters using Dragon Magic.

Dodge (PHYSICAL CONTROL)
An essential and basic form of defense, Dodging is an attempt to avoid the attack entirely through ducks, sidesteps, and evasion. Dodging is useful against Attacks, Disarms, Rings and Trips, but cannot be used against Locks. If, when Dodging, the defender’s Final Result is equal to or higher than their attacker’s, then there is no Wound applied, and the Throw is over.

Parry (PHYSICAL CONTROL)
An essential skill of any well-trained duelist, Parrying is the art of moving an attack away from its intended target, often opening up the attacker’s defenses. Parrying is useful against Attacks, Disarms, Rings, and Trips, but cannot be used against Locks, and can only be used when the attacker is using their PHYSICAL Attribute to perform their chosen action. If, when Parrying, the defender’s Final Result is equal to their attacker’s, then there is no Wound applied. However, if the defender’s Final Result is higher than their’ attacker’s, then the difference between the two Final Results immediately becomes an Attack against the original attacker that cannot be defended. The Parry defensive action is not available to characters using Bows or Thrown weapons.

Passive (No Test)
Sometimes, the best way to take a blow is simply rely on the strength of your armor to keep you alive. Passive Defense is useful against Attacks, Rings, and Trips, but cannot be used against Disarms or Locks. When using Passive Defense, incoming attacks are automatically successful, but are immediately subject to the Wound Reduction properties of whatever armor the defender is wearing. The Passive Defense defensive action is not available to characters not wearing armor.


Dragon Magic in Combat

Just as it can be out-of-combat, Dragon Magic has a very particular application in-combat—particularly when used for empowerment. At the beginning of each Exchange, a combatant may make one Empowerment Test (following all the normal rules for empowerment) before the Throw phase. Dragon Magic can never be used more than once per Exchange in this way.


Ferromancy in Combat

[Coming soon!]


Wound Levels

Wounds are measured on a scale of severity, ranging from 0 to 10 (0 being inconsequential, 10 being immediately fatal).

Severity Type Full Recovery? Effects Medicine Results
0 Cosmetic Guaranteed None
1 Flesh Guaranteed Disadvantage on all PHYSICAL Tests until the end of the next Exchange.
2 Blood Possible Disadvantage on all PHYSICAL Tests until the end of the Scene. (Easy) Full Recovery
3 Bone Possible Disadvantage on all PHYSICAL Tests until medical attention is received. (Moderate) Full Recovery
4 Internal Possible Disadvantage on all Tests until medical attention is received. (Moderate) Full Recovery
5 Organ Unlikely Disadvantage on all Tests until medical attention is received. (Difficult) Full Recovery, or (Moderate) Permanent -1 to Physical
6 Crippling Unlikely Disadvantage on all Tests until medical attention is received. You grant Advantage to all opponents attacking you. (Difficult) Full Recovery, or (Moderate) Permanent Disadvantage on all Tests with target limb
7 Loss Unlikely Can never use target limb again. Disadvantage on all Tests until medical attention is received. You grant Advantage to all opponents attacking you. (Difficult) Full Recovery sans-limb, or (Moderate) permanent Disadvantage on all PHYSICAL Tests.
8 Handicapping Impossible Unable to effectively fight until medical attention is received. Must make a PHYSICAL ENDURANCE Test (Easy) every minute or suffer a Level 9 Wound. You grant Advantage to all opponents attacking you. Any incoming Wounds of Level 1 or higher Severity immediately become Level 10. (Difficult)Survive, permanent Disadvantage on all Tests.
9 Mortal Impossible Unable to effectively fight until medical attention is received. Must make a PHYSICAL ENDURANCE Test (Difficult) every minute or die. You grant Advantage to all opponents attacking you. Any incoming Wounds of Level 1 or higher Severity immediately become Level 10. (Impossible)Survive, permanent Disadvantage on all Tests.
10 Fatal Impossible Immediately dead.

Combat

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