Action Turn Procedures

Details of the order of battle are worked out on the Events Multiplexor. This combat system allows all characters multiple actions per round, ranging from 1/2 to 20 (or more, but that is a special case), but commonly 3-7. The chaos of melee may further be complicated by the movement of participants and the casting of magic. The Events Multiplexor spaces multiple events across the combat round graphically (and temporally) so that the often crucial question of "who goes next" can be quickly and fairly determined. Further details of the operation of this tool (and various examples) are available on the linked page.

Determine Blows

Each combatant is represented on the Events Multiplexor by his/her/its number of actions available during a combat round. Determine this value for each combatant by adding to the base Blows value (from the appropriate weapons matrix) the Weapon Class event bonus for that weapon. Further addition may be made for characters utilizing certain Off-Hand weapons and tactics. See the descriptions of these tactics and weapons for details. The resulting value is called the Event Value.

Determine Combat Type

For most situations, the procedure that follows is appropriate. However, where one or both combatants are running or charging at the other such that they will be unable (or unwilling) to stop their forward motion to engage in conventional melee a slightly modified combat procedure applies. This occurs most frequently in mounted combat but equally wherever the closing speed of the combatants exceeds 7 ft/sec. See the special rules governing the Clash of Arms.

Determine Initiative

The first event of the Events Multiplexor is the roughly simultaneous initial clash of combat. All combatants have a blow in this initial impulse. Determine the actual order of initial blows by adding the Weapon Length value (from the appropriate weapons matrix) to the combatant's Dexterity score. The combatant with the highest value strikes first using the Attack Sequence as appropriate, all others strike in descending order from the first. This procedure is utilized for all occurrences of "simultaneous" events.

Allocate Tactic/Action

Combatants secretly choose the tactic or action to be attempted in the first event. The use of Combat Cards greatly simplifies this activity. Subsequent tactics and/or actions should be chosen immediately following the completion of the previously allocated action.

Blow Sequence

The combatant previously determined to execute the next event reveals his choice of action for that event. Any resulting conflicts are resolved. Combatants completing an action in that impulse secretly choose their next action. The Event Multiplexor is read (left to right, top to bottom) until the next Event Value in use appears. The combatant with that Event Value strikes next. In the event that more than one Event Value appears simultaneously, the combatant with the lowest Event Value strikes first. Combatants with the same Event Value determine first strike using the initiative rules above. Events continue in this sequence until completion of the Events Multiplexor indicates completion of the combat round (approximately 20 seconds) when everything starts over again.

An optional additional sequence presents itself when more than one combat round is run simultaneously. This can be accomplished by treating the Event marker as a column and reading multiple rows. "Sliding" the commencement of additional rounds to minimize tracking is highly recommended. Such rounds are best managed when they are separated by one or more unused rows.

Combat Actions

The choice of defensive tactic expends the event for which it is chosen, however, the effects are valid for one second on either side of the event (one row of the Event Multiplexor). Therefore, a defensive action played prior to an opponents event is simply "held" until the opponent's event is revealed. If no offensive action is taken within that period, the defensive action is played as if the opponent struck and missed. This occurs either at the opponents event (if not offensive in nature) or after one second has passed from the defensive event, whichever comes first.
An attack action is executed as directed for the combat skill selected. Proper accounting of defensive actions requires that the defender be asked to reveal his action (if not already revealed due to previous event) if 1) it occurs within the next second and 2) it is defensive in nature (i.e. parry, dodge or desperate defense).
Attack Sequence:
  1. Cross reference the Weapon against the Opposing Armor Class (utilizing the appropriate weapon matrix) to obtain the basis "to hit" percentage.
  2. Apply appropriate Skill, Tactical and Situational modifiers to obtain the final "to hit" percentage.
  3. Attacker rolls percentile dice, results equal to or less than the final "to hit" percentage successfully penetrate the recipient's defenses. Successful hits with percentile rolls ending in "0" or "5" are Bashing Hits requiring further evaluation on the Bash Table.
  4. Determine the location of this penetration by rolling percentile dice on the Hit Location Table. If the location roll ends in "0" or "5" (or sometimes "7" see various combat tactics for details) a Critical Hit results requiring further evaluation utilizing the appropriate Critical Hit Tables.
  5. Roll the dice indicated by the Weapon Matrix for Damage and apply effect to recipient (modifying for critical hits where appropriate).
  6. Unsuccessful Attacks
    • Allow a defender to immediately test for Counter Attack (if appropriate for his tactic) and initiate a new Attack Sequence if successful.
    • Unsuccessful hits with percentile rolls ending in "0" require a Strenuous(D5) test against attackers Combat score, failure indicates a possible weapons Fumble requiring a Strenuous(D5) test against the attackers Combat score. GM should determine an appropriate negative result on failure of this test, such as dropping the weapon, weapon breakage, etcetera. (Several random fumble tables are available, or make your own, but remember to modify any inappropriate results).

Spell Casting Actions

The event triggers the start of the casting. Measure the required spell casting time from this point - the casting character must remain undisturbed and able to execute any necessary rites for this period of time or the casting will increase in difficulty (+1D for hand weapon attacks and successful missile weapon attacks against caster and -1 to the test attribute per body point of damage sustained). When the required time has passed (measured on the Events Multiplexor), the castor makes his initial difficulty test to determine successful casting. Further tests are generally necessary to determine the effects of a successful casting, See the Spell Description for details.

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updated on:   11 Feb 1999