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 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2004

Melee Combat

Posted by Kiz at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

Psychic Powers

Beasts commonly refer to psychic powers as "Gifts" or "Powers". No one is quite sure where they come from; the very first generation of Beasts manifested some of the simpler abilities right away. Since those days, a number of different Gifts have been discovered, some of which defy easy classification.

Mechanically, a psychic power is represented by the Psychic Power Edge and a matching skill. This Edge can be taken multiple times; each one grants you a new psychic power. Each time that you take it, you acquire a new skill, which you can use to invoke or control that power. These skills all start without any dice, but so long as you have the appropriate Edge, you can still use them. Without the appropriate Edge, it's impossible to use a given power.

When you want to use one of your powers, you'll normally roll Spirit & the appropriate Psychic Skill. Note that while you can use a psychic power without having any dice in the skill, it's dangerous.

Most Gifts can be used to perform several different effects, which are discussed under the rules for each one. You can also push a Gift, making it do something above and beyond what it is normally capable of. When you do this, you'll often lose access to that power for a time. Pushing a Gift generally requires intense concentration and shouldn't be done lightly.

In extraordinary circumstances, you can even double-push a Gift. This generally means pushing it once, then pushing it still harder. When you double-push a Gift, you're asking for trouble. Double-pushing can accomplish extraordinary things, but you could lose your power for days or even see your skill at it permanently reduced.

Pushing or Double-Pushing a PowerIn order to push a power, you must first activate it normally. Then you have to spend a full action pushing it. Roll Spirit & Psychic Skill.

Double-pushing is simply the act of pushing a power that has already been pushed once. If you try to double-push, you'll have to roll on the Powerloss Table as well. A power cannot be "triple-pushed".

The Risk of this roll is 2 for a regular push and 3 for a double-push.

Botchyour power turns off and you cannot reactivate it until after you get a good night's rest.
Failureyour power turns off, but you can reactivate it normally.
Partial Successyou successfully push your power. Once it turns off, you'll lose access to it until after you get a good night's rest.
Successas Partial Success, but you only require one hour of rest to recover access to your power.
Critical Successas Success, but you don't lose access to your power when it turns off.
Extraordinary Successas Critical Success, but the time necessary is reduced to a half-action.

Special Note: the results of a double-push roll cannot be better than the results of the original push roll. If you pushed and scored a Partial Success, then any result higher than Partial Success on your double-push roll will be treated as a Partial Success.

Whenever you try to double-push a power, whether you succeed or fail, you'll have to roll on the Powerloss table.

The Powerloss TableRoll a d12 and consult the results below. Note that your Spirit and Skill ratings have no effect on this roll! Thus, it's not normally possible to roll an Extraordinary Success.

Botchyour skill with the power is reduced by 1 step permanently. If you have no skill dice for that power, your Spirit stat is reduced by 1 step, permanently. Double-pushing a power is dangerous.
Failurelose access to all psychic powers for 1d6+1 days.
Partial Successlose access to the power used for 1d4+1 days.
Successlose access to the power used for one additional full day.
Critical Successlose access to the power used for one additional hour.
Posted by Kiz at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2004

Setting Specific Rules

The entries after this point are largely setting specific. They're intended for the Nuclear Beasts world and wouldn't necessarily apply elsewhere.

Of course, some of the rules already covered have setting-specific elements, but here it's getting more and more specific.

Posted by Kiz at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2004

Psychic Power List

Here are the psychic powers commonly available in Nuclear Beasts.

Auguryyou can scry the past, present or future of an object or person.
Channelingyou have spirit voices to advise and instruct you.
Empathic Healingyou can aid others by sharing their injuries and taking them on yourself.
Empathyyou are sensitive to the emotional states of those around you.
Ghostwalkingyou can see the ghosts of the past and can sometimes interact with them.
Inner Focusyou can control your bodily and mental resources and can allocate them accordingly.
Inner Harmonyyou can place yourself in harmony with the universe, enabling you to avoid conflicts, withstand adverse environments and locate things that are lost.
Projectionyou can send a projection of yourself to a well known person or place.
Rendingyou can increase the damage done by your natural weapons.
Sendingyou can send mental messages to other people.
Sixth Senseyou are sensitive to danger, water flows, electrical current, and other subtle and hidden energies.
Tougheningyou can make your flesh more resistant to harm.
Posted by Kiz at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)