Trapped Under Ice
This is a high fantasy game of swords and sorcery, so combat is pretty important. All combat rolls are made with a single 20 sided die. To hit something, you simply have to roll above a target number, also called a base to-hit number. To hit an inanimate object, a simple roll of 6 or higher is needed.
First, both Attackers and Defenders roll for Initiative.
Initiative: Initiative is rolled on a D20 and the highest roll wins. Some characters will have a bonus to Initiative based on their race, class, and/or level. The Winner of Initiative gets to perform the first action of the combat round, with each other character going after in the order in which they rolled, from highest to lowest.
Combat Round: A Combat Round is used to organize and speed up the combat process. After Initiative is determined, each character performs one action in turn until every character’s actions are spent. Some characters may have double or more attacks than other characters, in which case they may perform two actions per turn instead of one.
To hit another creature, the attacker must roll higher (with bonuses) to strike than the defender rolls to parry or dodge (also with bonuses). If the defender chooses not to defend his or herself, or cannot defend for whatever reason, the attacker must still roll to strike, and must roll a natural 6 or higher (bonuses that raise the roll above 6 do not count). What this means is that if the attacker rolls to strike, and the defender does not defend, the number on the dice can not be 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, regardless of what the attackers normal bonus to strike is.
Critical Strike: A critical strike is an attack that either inflicts double damage, or damage direct to Hit Points. A roll of Natural 20 is always a Critical Strike. Some classes are able to inflict Critical Strikes on natural 18, 19, or 20. A Critical Strike can also be performed via a Sneak Attack.
Sneak Attack: A Sneak Attack is an attack that the defender doesn’t see coming. It could be from behind, from long distance, if the defender is blind, if the attacker is invisible, etc. In this way, any successful strike is considered a critical hit.
Called Shot: A Called Shot is a special attack where the Attacker announces his or her intention to strike a specific part of the defender. Called Shots must be announced before the strike roll is made, and are performed with a penalty ranging from -1 (a dragon’s wing), to -10 (a bird’s eye). The Attacker may use any and all bonuses to strike to counter this penalty, however, the penalty is added to the die roll first.
For Example: A Yokel wants to shoot an arrow at a Basilisk’s eye. He has a +2 to strike with his bow, but a -4 to hit the Basilisk’s eye ball. He rolls an 8. Because the penalty applies first, his roll is changed to a 4, which is a miss. Remember, a roll below 6 is an automatic miss, regardless of bonuses.
Armor: There are many types of armor, each providing an amount of SDC protection. Armor does not have an Armor Rating. Instead, a successful attack does damage to the armor first, before doing damage to the character’s Hit Points. In the case of a Critical Strike, the attacker chooses whether to inflict double damage (inflicting damage to the armor first, then the target’s HP) OR inflicting regular damage to the target’s HP and bypassing the armor altogether. If the target does not have armor, the Critical Strike inflicts double damage to direct to Hit Points.
Some monsters will have natural armor; while it is a natural part of their body, it will be listed as SDC for damage purposes. For example; Dragons have super-thick armored scales covering most of their bodies. Dragons have both HP and SDC, with the SDC representing their natural hide-armor.
The Defender has two options to avoid damage, and one option to reduce damage.
Dodge: To avoid an attack completely, the Defender may Dodge. Dodging uses up one action for that round, and may only be performed once in a round. To Dodge, the Defender must roll above the Attacker’s strike roll.
Parry: Parrying is the other option to avoid damage. Parrying is blocking an attack in an appropriate way. Parrying a sword strike with another sword or a shield is appropriate. Parrying a sword strike with an arm is not appropriate. To Parry, the Defender must roll to Parry above the Attacker’s roll to strike. Parrying can only be performed as many times in a melee round as the character has remaining actions; however, Parrying does not use up any actions.
For Example: A Yokel is in combat with two goblins. The Yokel has 3 actions per melee round; she can potentially parry 3 times. However, she uses her first action to attack one of the goblins; now she can only parry 2 times in the round. Her next action is used to dodge the Goblin’s counter-attack, leaving her with one action and therefore one parry. She parries the second Goblin’s attack, still leaving her with 1 action (but no more parry’s) and uses it to attack the first Goblin again; this ends the combat round.
Roll with damage: In place of Dodging or Parrying, as some attacks may be impossible to dodge or parry, the Character may attempt to Roll with Damage. This can only be attempted in the case of a blunt impact or an explosion. A succesful Roll with Damage reduces the damage taken by half. To do this, the Defender simply rolls a D20 over the Attackers roll to strike, including any bonuses to Roll with Damage in the result. If the Defender fails, he or she takes the normal damage from the attack.
Other Combat Rules:
Using Two Weapons at Once: Only specific classes can take the Paired Weapons Weapon Proficiency; Barbarian, Huntsmen, Soldier, and Crook. The Paired Weapons WP provides the character with the ability to wield two weapons simultaneously; the main weapon with no penalty, and the secondary weapon with a -1 penalty to strike and parry. Paired Weapon WP does not make the character ambidextrous, it simply makes it easier for the character to use his “off” hand to fight. With or without the Paired Weapons WP, each strike uses one Action.
Any character can wield two weapons at once. However, the penalties are much steeper without the Paired Weapons WP. For a character without the Paired Weapons WP, their main weapon is -2 to strike and parry and their secondary weapon is -4 to strike and parry.
A character with Paired Weapons can attack using both weapons simultaneously, attack with one weapon and parry with the other, or use both weapons to parry.
Attacking with both weapons simultaneously uses two actions (one for each attack) but gives the attacker the advantage of forcing the Defender to be able to only Parry one of the attacks. However, if the Defender has Paired Weapons WP and two weapons, he or she can attempt to Parry both weapons of the Attacker.
Attacking with one weapon and Parrying with the other works just like normal attacking and parrying except that the Character can attempt to parry attacks without the normal restrictions of actions per round.
Parrying with both weapons enables the character to parry any attack without the normal restrictions of actions per round.