1.7.9 Combat MechanicsNOTE: The combat system is undergoing revision. This page is outdated.
Every attempt has been made to make Argo as easy to use as possible, given the complexity of the system. The rolls required in combat are numerous and sometimes complex, but the system makes them for you. For the most part, you can simply design your character in a reasonable way and use the commands normally; you should get good results. In other words, a detailed understanding of combat mechanics is not required.
On the other hand, many players, quite reasonably, will want to know the in's and out's of combat mechanics, in order to allocate their character points to best advantage. The following details are provided to that end.Base Rolls:
All combat rolls are based on your Physical skill, which is equal to
the average of your current
This base roll against your Physical skill is modified by appropriate skill levels. An example: If your Physical skill is 9, you are using a sword, and your Swords skill is 2, then your attack rolls would succeed on a roll of 11 or less with 3d6.
An attack roll of 3 or 4 is a critical success. Damage is immediately applied, and an additional `critical effect' is then applied to your target. Critical effects include additional damage, being stunned, dropping weapons or shields, or breaking weapons or shields. An attack roll of 17 or 18 is a critical failure. In this case, the critical effects are applied to you.The Combat Sequence
Although special circumstances may create exceptions, combat usually follows a standard sequence.
First, characters ready weapons, shields, and armor. They may also declare a defence mode. These actions may be taken at any time. They remain in effect until changed. At this point, the characters are not in combat.
Next, one or more characters takes an offensive action, such as
Rolls are made for any offensive actions, such as attacks. The results of critical successes and critical failures are immediately applied. If an attack fails normally, fatigue (see below) is applied to the acting character, and the event ends. If the attack roll is successful, the target player gets a chance to defend (see below). If the defender makes his or her roll by more than the attacker, the attack is avoided, and the event ends. If the attacker makes his or her roll by more than the defender, the attack succeeds and normal damage (again, see below) is applied to the target.
The combat system then returns to the event manager. It pauses for one turn, and then applies any recoveries needed (see below). Then, the acting player's action is checked. If the player has an action, it is executed, and the process begins again. If the player has no action, but is fatigued, his action is set to `wait'. He will continue to wait until the player enters a different action.Turn Length
Turn length is figured for each character with a running event loop.
Turn length is a number of seconds equal to the
Normal (that is, low tech) armor can slow a characters actions
somewhat... from 1 to 8 seconds per turn. A high
If the result of the Armor Modification minus the
Fencers and martial artists also get a speed bonus. Fencers who are
attacking or feinting, using a fencing weapon, have their turn length
reduced by a number seconds equal to half their Fencing skill, plus 1.
Martial Artists who are not using a weapon and not wearing armor have
their turn length reduced by a number of seconds equal to half their
Martial Arts skill, plus 1. (Administrators, NB: Reducing the
Your Fatigue is equal to your
Any time you take a combat action such as an attack or active defense you expend one point of fatigue. Some armor and shields may impose a fatigue penalty, causing you to expend extra fatigue each time normal fatigue is applied. You recover one point of fatigue each turn. If you are resting, you recover an additional point of fatigue. As a result, if you are attacking, and are not being attacked, you will recover fatigue as fast as you expend it. If you are attacking, and you are being attacked by a character of comparable speed, and are using an active defense, then you will lose about 1 point of fatigue per turn. If you are being attacked by multiple characers, or are using heavy armor and shields, or are facing an exceptionally fast opponent, you will lose fatigue more quickly.
Characters who are resting may not use their active defences. For example, if your defence is set to `parry', and you are wearing armor, and you are resting, then the armor (which is a passive defence) would apply when attacks are made against you, but you would not parry. Parry would still be your defence mode, however, and you would resume parrying as soon as you stopped resting.Offensive Rolls
Your chance to successfully attack is equal to your Physical skill, plus any skill level modifiers, minus any penalties for fatigue or damage, minus any penalties to hit due to your target's armor or shield, plus any `general modifiers' (such as the positive modifier applied to a ranged attack after the +aim command has been used for one or more turns). If you do not have an active defence mode (your defence mode is set to `none'), your attack rolls receive a +2 bonus.Defensive Rolls
If your roll to attack an opponent succeeds, he gets a chance to defend before the results of the attack are applied.
A `dodge' defence is made as a roll of 3d6 versus the character's
If an attack roll succeeds, and the defence roll against it fails, then the attack succeeds and damage is applied. If both succeed, then whichever player succeeds by more `wins'... If the attacker makes his roll by more than the defender, the attack succeeds; if the defender makes his roll by more than the attack, the attack fails. A tie goes to the attacker: if both succeed by the same amount, the attack succeeds.Damage
This base can be modified in three ways:
1) Armor and shields may have a `damage reduction' effect. If you are using a shield or wearing armor that reduceds damage, its damage reduction level is subtracted from the amount of damage applied. All weapons do a specific type of damage; for all weapons supplied with a base installation of Argo, the damage type is `conventional'. All standard forms of armor are effective against conventional damage. So, with the standard, low tech weapons, all armor is effective against all weapons. However, the RP staff is free to create weapons and spells that do other types of damage (an SF world might have a special class of weapons that do `subcelluar damage', for example, which could only be prevented by armor that protects against this form of damage.)
2) If you are using a melee weapon, a high
3) Martial Artists have a chance (a roll against their Martial Arts skill) to `move with the blow', and reduce the damage done. If the roll is successful, the damage applied will be reduced by 1dX, where X is equal to their Martial Arts skill level.
The result, after all
modifcations are applied, is applied to your damage level. When you are
perfectly healthy, your damage level is equal to your
Each character's turn begins with a recovery phase. During recovery, the system first checks to see if you are stunned (critical effects may cause you to be stunned for up to 10 turns; usually, however, the number of turns for which you are stunned will be less than this, in the range of 1 to 4 turns; you might also be stunned by spells or psionic abilities). If you are stunned, you recover stun only... No other recoveries are applied; you take no other actions; you cannot use active defences.
If you are not stunned, additional recoveries are applied. Usually,
the only relavent additional recovery is fatigue: you recover one point
of fatigue. However, spells and psionic abilities may have affected your
stats. (If your stats have been modified in this way, your
Note that the system cannot apply recoveries if you do not have an
event loop running... that is, if you are not doing anything so far as
the combat system is concerned. Usually the system will start an event
loop for you when needed, but if you know you don't have an event loop
running (because you did a a
Physical damage is recovered much more slowly. If you are injured,
the system makes a