June 01, 2004

Combat Overview

Combat in Nuclear Beasts is handled by making a series of opposed rolls between attackers and defenders. Successful attacks allow the attacker to make another opposed roll, this time between his attack's damage pool and the defender's soak pool. The results determine what effect the attack has on the target.

The procedure for each combat round is as follows:

  1. If the order in which the characters will act isn't obvious, everyone has to roll a Reaction check (normally Speed & Perception) to determine initiative. Folks then act in order of their results, from highest to lowest.
  2. The attacker rolls his attack skill vs the defender's defense roll.
  3. If the attack succeeds, then the attacker rolls the damage pool of his attack vs the defender's soak (usually Muscles & Guts & Armor dice).
  4. The defender records the damage done, if any.
  5. Once everyone has acted (which may or may not have included making attacks), we reroll initiative and start over again.

There are 3 basic types of attacks. Melee attacks (punches, kicks, natural weapons and most melee weapons) use Speed & Melee. Wrestling (unarmed combat involving grapples, pins and throws) uses Speed & Wrestling. Finally, ranged attacks (whether thrown objects or firearms) use Perception & Ranged.

Parries are used to block Melee attacks. The defender rolls Speed & Melee, trying to overcome the attacker's roll.

A Fend is a variation on the Parry. Rather than trying to deflect an incoming attack, the defender intends to forestall any attacks by hitting their attacker first. This usually requires having a longer reach than your foe.

Blocks (using a shield or something similar) can block both Melee and Wrestling attacks. The defender rolls Speed & Melee (& whatever Defense Dice the shield contributes).

A Dodge is an attempt to avoid a melee attack by sidestepping it. The defender rolls Speed & Acrobatics. Dodging is best used when you have room to retreat and are willing to do so; using it to defend yourself while staying within melee range is more difficult.

Ranged attacks are more difficult to avoid, because you can't use Parry or Fend against them. Blocks are also problematic, because many ranged attacks (i.e.- firearms) will blow right through a successful block. Even dodging is difficult and requires something to duck behind.

On the other hand, even if you can't use any of the standard defenses against a ranged attack, you'll still get some defense dice based upon the range between you and the attacker.

Posted by Kiz at June 1, 2004 05:47 PM
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