"Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms." ~ George Bernard Shaw, ‘Arms and the Man’

General Combat

Time & Combat

A Combat Round lasts approximately 1-2 seconds, and each Round is then subdivided into two Exchanges (also referred to as a Combat Exchange or Exchange of Blows). For ease of calculation, each Exchange is assumed to take approximately 1 second, and each Round assumed to last 2 seconds. For those more familiar with the d20 system, each [Esprit de Corps / Riddle of Steel] round lasts approximately 1/3 of the time of the 6-second d20 round.

Dueling (Local) vs. Battle-wide (Global) Initiative

Veteran roleplayers will notice a marked difference in the way that initiative is handled in [Esprit de Corps / Riddle of Steel]. Rather than having a single linear initiative sequence, best illustrated by the d20 system, [Esprit de Corps / Riddle of Steel] treats all combat as virtually simultaneous, with initiative in each separate Melee Bout handled locally and the “camera focus” of the game shifting from one duel to another every few seconds.

In certain instances it might be necessary to find a specific order of occurrence between different duels – does my arrow hit the guard before he’s able to finish off my comrade? In cases like these, the actions occur in order of Reflex scores (highest to lowest), with ties indicating simultaneous resolution (in the example: the arrow striking just as the guard’s attack lands).

Maneuver-based Combat

(discussing specific nuances of maneuver based combat)

Core Maneuvers
Trained Maneuvers
Advanced Maneuvers

Location, Location, Location

(Discussing the specific differences of location-based attacks/positioning)

Melee Combat

The word Melee comes from an old French word meaning “confused fight or mixture,” and certainly the adage applies that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Expecting combat to resolve itself nicely into 5’x5’ grids is hardly short of whimsical. Combat in [Esprit de Corps / Riddle of Steel] is treated as cinematically simultaneous, with each set of combatants resolved separately. It is recommended that, rather than having each set of combatants resolve one round of actions before proceeding to the next round (although that is certainly possible, and is standard in many other RPGs), the GM should consider resolving several consecutive rounds within a given bout before shifting – from a cinematic perspective, allowing the camera to focus on a bout for several seconds, rather than shifting perspective and subjects with every blow builds a greater sense of drama and continuity (Given the very small amount of time that a single Combat Round represents, GMs are advised to resolve 3-4 rounds consecutively before switching to the next set of combatants).


At the beginning of a melee bout, each character secretly decides to aggressively attack or hold back and respond to their opponent. If enough time is present (no surprise, etc, per GM discretion), each character may declare a posture (see Posture below).
Each player in a bout takes one Red and one White initiative marker (dice, poker chips, or other easily distinguishable, concealable markers) in their hands. The GM then calls out “throw” and each combatant drops one of these initiative markers – a Red marker indicates aggression, and a White one indicates defense or delay. If a player fails to throw an initiative marker, then the character has hesitated and, at best, can only defend for 1 full exchange (see Surprise).
Each Aggressor (threw Red marker), in order from lowest Reflex to highest, declares an attack by calling out the maneuver name, number of dice spent from the character’s Combat Pool, and the target location of the attack. In response, Defenders then declare defense by selecting a maneuver and how many dice to spend on that maneuver.
If both combatants attack (both throw a Red initiative marker), things get messy and, since no defense is possible in the middle of an attack, someone usually ends up dead, usually the combatant who moved slower. In this case:
• Combatants determine the order roll ONLY their Reflex dice against their weapon’s ATN (attack target number), applying any Weapon Length penalties as normal. Blows land in order of number of successes (most to least).
• In case of a Tie: compare actual Reflex scores, with Thrusts providing a +1 modifier over Swings and Bashes. The higher Reflex score indicates the blow lands first.
• If still a tie – blows land simultaneously (cancel Christmas)
This process (Red and White initiative markers) is only used at the beginning of a bout or a Pause or Break (ie if the combatants in some way are disengaged and then reengage, initiative and posture are repeated). In all other rounds, the winner of the previous exchange has the initiative for the current exchange.

Surprise & Hesitation

Surprise and ambush have long been the great equalizer that have laid even the greatest warriors low – even when one is aware of an attack – perhaps they hesitated…or perhaps they gambled, hoping to draw their opponent to attack.
[Tentative rules modification – playtesters pay attention]

Surprise check – usually an Sneak opposed by Notice check, although other skills may be substituted (Sneak replaced perhaps by Survival, for a prepared ambush, or Acrobatics, for a “death from above” leap, Sneak replaced by Bluff and Notice replaced by Sense Motive for an “et tu, Brute” backstab, etc).

Hesitation – Roll Reflex vs TN 7 + (Ambusher surprise successes) – (Target surprise successes) (essentially, you’re either adding or subtracting the MOS from . A single success means the target is able to defend (only – assume automatic white-die), failure means the target is unable to act at all for an entire exchange (and will likely get cut down).


Posture is a simplification of the myriad different stances and positions of wielding melee weapons, and only last until the first blow or movement – once the combat begins, the niceties of stance tend to fall by the wayside
• Aggressive Postures, such as the classic image of the barbarian with his weapon lifted high above his head, grant +2 CP to an Attack; but increase the Activation Cost of any Defensive Maneuvers by 2.
• Defensive Postures, including most “hanging guards” or stances with the blade or weapon head facing down, grant +2 CP to a Defensive maneuver; but increase the Activation Cost of any Offensive Maneuvers by 2.
• Neutral Postures offer a great deal of flexibility, providing a balanced start for attack or defense and no modifiers either way. Neutral Posture is assumed to be the default.

Exchange of Blows

Each round consists of two “exchanges.” During each exchange, each combatant gets a single action (usually whoever holds the initiative attacks while his target defends, hoping to gain the upper hand and seize initiative for an attack of his own). Every attack must be directed at a specific location (see the Hit Location Table) – attackers declare the location and maneuver of attack and the number of dice they are spending on the attack, the defender then responds by choosing a defensive maneuver and amount of dice to spend. Maneuvers, target locations, posture and other factors may change the difficulties (Target Number) for either combatant, with the base TN being the ATN (Attack Target Number) or DTN (Defense Target Number) listed for each weapon or maneuver.

(Insert links to combat maneuvers)

Both combatants roll the allotted dice spent from their Combat Pools as a normal contested roll, leaving the winner a Margin of Success for the exchange. The winner of the exchange (after any damage is resolved) takes or retains initiative for the next exchange, with ties indicating the attacker retains the initiative (the defender just barely dodged or parried the attack).

Finally, should the combatant who does not hold initiative decide to attack rather than defend, he has two options. First, he may simply declare an attack rather than a defense and allow combatants with initiative to resolve their attacks first, then attack (if he has any dice left) – unless you have nearly impenetrable armor or a severe and sudden death wish, this is not advisable. The second choice is to attempt to Buy Initiative – essentially trying to shift from defense to an attack faster than your opponent can land his attack (see Buying Initiative).

(Insert target/location diagram graphic)

(Zone I: Lower Legs, Zone II: Upper legs, Zone III: lower abdomen/torso, Zone IV: Upper Abdomen/torso, Zone V: Head, Zone VI: Arms)

(Insert attack example here)


In dim light, reduce all Combat Pools by 1. At night (moonlight), reduce all Combat Pools by ¼ total. In pitch darkness, reduce all Combat Pools by half. These penalties obviously do not apply to those who can see perfectly in the dark.

Higher Footing

Higher footing (such as stairs or on horseback) adds +2 CP at the beginning of the round (Step 3 in the Melee Sequence) and also effects availability of target locations according to common sense (someone fighting on foot is most likely not going to be able to stab a horseman in the face with a dagger).

Weapon Length

Reach is divided into six categories:
0. Hand <12 inches (1ft) Fists, daggers, grappling
1. Short <30 inches (2.5ft) Hatchets, short swords, long knives
2. Medium <42 inches (3.5ft) Arming swords, flails
3. Long <66 inches (5.5ft) Great and bastard swords, spears
4. Very Long <90 inches (7.5ft) Long spears, pole arms
5. Extremely Long >90 inches (7.5ft) Pikes, lances
(note: to be converted into a table)

Attacks against an opponent with longer reach are made at –1 CP per step on the reach ladder. This penalty remains until the shorter weapon makes a damaging strike. When the longer weapon is out of range, however, the penalty applies both to defending and attacking (time to Half-sword, or drop your weapon and wrestle).


Any time combatants fumble (fails to roll any successes and has at least two dice with a ‘1’), their CP is reduced on the next exchange by half the number of dice used for the botched roll – if this reduces his CP to less than 0, the character may have stumbled and fallen (see Knockdown, the TN to resist Knockdown from a fumble is twice the CP penalty from the fumble – i.e. TN = number of dice spent on the botched roll).

Note for playtesters: pay special attention to Terrain Rolls in comparison to the standard rule for Multiple Actions – is there a better way to blend the two? One advantage of the Terrain Roll concept is that the player decides how many dice to split off from their pool to attempt a secondary action.

Terrain Rolls

Very few opponents are courteous (and stupid) enough to stand still while they’re cut to ribbons, and player-characters should do the same if they would like to live very long.
Eventually, players are going to want to do something other than attack, defend, or parry. Terrain Rolls cover a wide variety of maneuvering, terrain effects, and cinematic bravado.

Terrain Roll Mechanics

Terrain rolls are an example of the dice-pool’s use as a limited resource. At its most basic, when a character attempt an action that is not otherwise covered by a combat maneuver, it is resolved using the Terrain Roll: the GM sets the TN for the action and the potential consequences for failure, then the character’s controller decides how many dice to burn from the Combat Pool and rolls these dice against the TN – in general, as long as the character achieves even 1 success, the action is successful.

Alan Thorton is dueling a rival in the middle of a packed feasthall (with revelers scrambling away or ducking under tables to avoid the darting blades). Seeking to gain an advantage, Alan opts to leap atop a bench to rain strikes down on his opponent. The GM assigns a TN of 4 to the action, and Alan’s player decides to spend 2 dice from his CP on the attempt – if even 1 die is successful, the higher footing will grant +2 to his CP at the beginning of each combat round (Step 3) until his opponent rises to an equal height or disengages and pulls back beyond Alan’s reach – cowardice!). If Alan fails the roll, the GM rules that Alan stumbles slightly and that his next action will take a CP penalty equal to half the dice; if he Botches the roll, he slips and falls on his back ( losing ½ his total CP for being on the ground).

Terrain Rolls – Difficult Terrain Standing/
Crawling Cautious Normal /
Defending Hurried /
Attacking Sprinting
Narrow (ledges, roofs, top of wall) 1 2 3 5 7
Swampy / Rocky 2 3 4 6 8
Icy / Slippery 2 4 6 8 10
Tight Spaces (avoid getting stuck) 2 3 4 5 6
Limited Footwork room (combat) — — 5 6 8
Pressing Opponent (combat) — — 4 3 3

Terrain Rolls – Multiple Opponents
2 opponents 6 5
3-5 opponents 8 6
6-9 opponents 9 7
10+ opponents 10 8
(note: cleanup and put into table format)

Opposed Terrain Rolls

A character who notices an opponent attempting a Terrain Roll may choose to oppose the acting character – the GM may call for skill checks if there are questions of the opponent noticing the attempt. The opponent may choose to spend CP dice and roll against the same TN as the acting character. If the opponent scores more successes than the acting character, the benefits of the Terrain Roll are canceled, if the acting character has more or an equal number of successes, he receives the benefits of the Terrain Roll.

Alan’s rival, not to be outdone, spends 3 CP to oppose Alan’s leap onto the bench and scores 2 successes to Alan’s 1. The GM declares that Alan’s opponent has matched his action, and the two characters both now stand balancing atop the long bench, blades crossed. Unless the bench is particularly sturdy and stable, the GM may call for Terrain Rolls in later rounds for the two combatants to keep their balance.

Difficult Fighting Conditions

A specific use of Terrain Rolls is to resist the difficulty of fighting in unusual conditions, such as atop a narrow, crumbling wall or ankle-deep in the uncertain footing of a swift-moving stream. Just like a standard Terrain Roll, the GM sets the TN for the action and the consequences for failure; however, anyone subject to the conditions of the check automatically fail unless they roll 1 or more successes.

Alan Thorton has finally caught up with his hated foe, the sinister Augustus Ferro and the two are locked in combat atop the storm-tossed deck of the Griffin. With waves crashing over the side, the GM calls for a Terrain Check to maintain footing and rules that Alan’s TN is 8 (Slippery surface + Hurried Movement/Attacking) while Ferro’s TN is 6 (Slippery + Normal Movement/Defending). The GM rules that characters failing the check overbalances and loses half their CP, while a Botch would result in a wave knocking the character off his feet, possibly even overboard!

Multiple Opponents

”The world will know that free men stood up against a tyrant, and a few stood against many.” That is all well and good, but the truth is the few still end up dead. A character only has one Combat Pool to draw from, whether facing one opponent or three – even for the greatest warriors, that tends to drain the CP very quickly. Wise combatants will try to maneuver so that they face only one opponent at a time. This is handled with a Terrain Roll, that any combatant may choose to spend dice towards (characters that roll no dice are considered to have rolled by received no successes) – the outnumbered character is the one to initiate these rolls, should he opt not to, he faces all his opponents at once, to the maximum of 3 opponents (or 4, in the case of smaller opponents, such as dogs or wolves).

In general, for the sake of a quick-moving, PC-focused game, only well-trained, experienced, canny NPC combatants (non-Mooks) are likely to have the tactical awareness use these kinds of Terrain rolls, especially in defense (generally this is subject to GM discretion, but a Tactics skill check may be used if there is disagreement), while these same checks may prove extremely useful for multiple PCs trying to outmaneuver a single, highly-skilled opponent. After the dice are rolled:
• If the outnumbered character beats or ties all opponents, he may choose which opponent he will face for the round.
• An opponent who achieves more successes than the outnumbered character may choose to either face the outnumbered character OR can choose to NOT engage, forcing the lone character to select one of the other opponents (allowing a wounded opponent to withdraw from the fight). If all the opponents who had more successes than the outnumbered character choose to NOT engage, the outnumbered character must face a single opponent who rolled fewer (or no) successes this round – if there are no remaining opponents (with fewer or no successes), no combat exchanges occur this round but the round still counts as combat for purposes of fatigue.
• If the outnumbered character botches the terrain roll, he faces up to three opponents of the opponents’ choice (or four, for smaller opponents).

GM discretion: in certain cases, such as a tightly-packed wall of pikemen, the GM may change the maximum number of attackers able to attack a defender at once – the GM should exercise extreme caution in doing this, however.

Note for playtesters: eventually this will be rolled into the Tactics skill in the expanded Skills section:
Tactics Skill: In the case of an organized, well-trained group (such as a squad of experienced soldiers) outnumbering their opponent, the leader of the group may (GM’s discretion) make a Tactics check, with each success lowering the TN of the Terrain Roll for the leader’s allies.

Pressing Opponents
Melee combats tend to shift back and forth as the fighters press forward and fall back. A clever combatant will often attempt to press or lead an opponent into a difficult position, where the terrain hampers his actions or creates further opportunities (perhaps falling back to lead an attacker into a tight hallway or press him backwards onto uncertain footing).

Unless characters opt to spend CP on a Terrain Roll to Press, a melee is assumed to push the defender back one foot per point of the normal attack/defense Margin of Success (MOS), with the direction reversing when the defender becomes the attacker, and vice-versa.

Any combatant, defender or attacker, may spend CP to attempt to press his opponent as a Terrain Roll. These press dice are rolled against a TN of 3 (if attacking) or TN 4 (defending), and the winner of the attack/defense exchange adds his MOS to his Press successes.

The combatant with the most Press successes chooses the direction the melee moves, with the Press MOS determining the maximum distance (in feet) the press can carry the combatants – it’s quite possible to fail at hitting your opponent yet still push him backwards, also a fighter might successfully press forward and find himself skewered on his opponent’s blade (the opening fight in Depardieu’s Cyrano is a great example of this).

Roland is leading his companions in a daring dash from the catacomb dungeons of their nemesis, the Duc de Martise. In a narrow corridor, complete with murder-holes in the ceiling, the companions’ escape is blocked by a single guardsman. After a round trying to cut past the guard, the sounds of pursuit are growing louder and Roland opts to try to press his opponent backwards, which will allow his friends to slip past (and hopefully slip a knife into the guard’s ribs). The GM rules that the guard stands 2 feet inside the corridor and must be pushed back 5 feet total to allow Roland’s wounded comrades to slip past the melee. Knowing that this may well be the only chance to escape, Roland roars and chops downward at the guard for 6 dice and declares a 6-die press; momentarily shaken, the guardsman parries choosing to not resist the press and instead save his dice to counter the desperate Roland’s next attack with his diminished die-pool. Roland achieves 4 successes on his attack and 5 on his terrain/Press roll, his opponent only manages 3 successes on his parry, but his helmet withstands the deflected blow, however Roland adds his 1-die Margin of Success from his attack, plus the 5 successes from the Press roll to have a Press MOS of 6, pushing his opponent back a total of 6 feet, 4 feet beyond the exit to corridor – allowing Roland’s comrades to slip past.

Cinematic Terrain Rolls (needs work)

Terrain rolls can also be used to handle whatever cinematic buckle-swashing a player may desire, from sliding between an opponent’s legs to kick a ladder away from the wall (and send the additional opponents climbing said ladder crashing to the earth below) to sliding down a rope on-handed while parrying an attack with the dagger in the other hand.

(tentative) As a rough mechanic, consider basing the TN on an opponent’s relevant attribute (Wit if trying to outwit the opponent, Reflex for trying something like the sliding between legs trick) and add a modifier ranging from +0 (sliding down a rope) to +4 or more (sliding down a rope one-handed in a heavy wind while fending off multiple attacks with your other hand).

Note for playtesters: as with other aspects of the Terrain Roll mechanic, more work is needed on how this interfaces with potentially similar skills (such as Acrobatics) and how it interacts with the base rule for Multiple Simultaneous Actions.


Each wound ranges in severity, based on the Margin of Success (MOS) and where the damage is inflicted. A 0-level wound is usually a bruise or scratch with no notable effects. Level 1 wounds tend to have a minor impact, level 3 wounds are dangerous, and level 5 wounds are usually fatal or nearly fatal. Rule 1 of combat is always “Don’t get hit.”

Damage Types

Most melee and missile weapons do Cutting, Puncture, or Blunt (Bludgeoning) damage. For more exotic damage sources (Fire, Electricity, Cold, etc), if there is not a specialized damage table, use the Generic Damage Table.

Shock and Pain

Shock and Pain measure how badly a wound immediately affects one’s ability to fight.
Shock subtracts dice from all your Dice Pools (Combat, Missile and Sorcery) immediately after receiving the blow. It lasts only for the round in which the blow is inflicted, unless the Shock penalty is greater than the receiver’s current total CP; in this case, the remainder of the penalty is applied at the beginning of the next round, unless the Pain penalty is greater. (For example, if you are hit for a blow which does 7 Shock, but you only have 5 CP left, you lose your entire CP for the rest of this Round and 2 CP at the beginning of next Round).
Pain indicates the dice that are permanently subtracted from your Dice Pools until the wound heals. People with high Will Power can resist the effect of Pain (but not Shock) somewhat. Pain is also important for determining healing times.

Blood Loss (BL)

Blood Loss reflects the deterioration of health due to bleeding and internal damage, and is measured by rolling against a Blood Loss Target Number (abbreviated as BL). The first wound received sets this number; every wound received thereafter increases this TN, as long as it comes from a different part of the body. e.g. if you get hit twice in the arm, your BL does not increase, but if you are hit in the arm and then in the leg, it does. At the beginning of each Round, all wounded characters must roll Toughness vs. their current accumulated BL; whenever the roll is failed; one point of Health is lost. When Health reaches 1, all the character’s dice pools are halved. When Health reaches 0, the character enters a coma and dies.

Knockdown & Knockout

Any time a character receives a blow that, through Pain or Shock, reduces the CP to less than 0, the character may be knocked down. Roll Knockdown (derived attribute) vs TN = (2x attacker’s MOS; 3x MOS if a blunt weapon). Additionally, some blows to the head or legs call for Knockdown rolls as well, in this case, the TN is equal to the Shock #.
Certain events, especially strikes to the head, call for a Knockout roll (Base TN = 7 or 10-Armor Rating). Failure results in 1d10 seconds of unconsciousness, while Fumbling a knockout roll results in 1d10x10 minutes of unconsciousness.

(Insert links to damage tables)

Mounted Combat

Mounted combat, from pitched battles to jousting tournaments to St. George and the dragon is inseparable from fantasy and medieval images and literature. Mounted Melee Combat is based on and blends with the rules for Melee Combat, but has a number of issues and rules specific to it, as it varies from the standard rules for multiple simultaneous actions, while Mounted Missile Combat conforms to the standard rules for simultaneous action.

Mounted modifiers

While fighting from horseback, a character receives the following benefits/penalties:
• The CP penalty from leg armor is cancelled.
• All other armor CP penalties apply as normal.
• +2 CP per round (height bonus, against ground-based opponents only). This bonus varies with the quality of the horse ridden.
• AG/Ride checks may be made instead of spending CP on terrain rolls versus opponents on the ground or as a contested Ride check against opposing riders.
• All attacks come from the character’s CP, not the mount’s CP. (The mount’s CP is only used if it is fighting by itself, without a rider).
• The mount’s barding CP penalty does not apply to the rider’s CP but is applied as an additional activation cost for any evasions made while on horseback and the GM may rule that particularly difficult Riding maneuvers (especially checks involving the mount leaping or similarly exerting itself) also suffer the barding CP penalty. An unridden horse that is using its own CP to fight suffers the barding CP penalty as usual.

Ride-By Attacking

The greatest advantage of mounted combat is the ability to strike and race past before an unmounted opponent can retaliate. To take advantage of a horse’s speed and make a “Ride-by” attack, the horse must be moving at a canter or full gallop and the rider then makes an AG/Ride check (a Terrain Roll, but as noted above using Agility + Ride rather than spending dice from the Rider’s Combat Pool).
• If the Ride Check is Successful: It limits the combat round to a single exchange, usually one where the rider attacks and the opponent merely defends (of course, the opponent may declare a simultaneous attack).
• If the Ride Check Fails (the opponent wins the Terrain Roll): The round lasts two exchanges as usual (potentially allowing an opponent who has successfully blocked or parried an attack to retaliate) before the horse’s momentum carries the rider past.
• If the Ride Check is Botched: The rider has lost his concentration and toppled from the horse.
When two riders are engaged, rounds last the full two exchanges unless the riders are moving in different directions, in which case opposed Ride checks are made, with the winner choosing for the round to last either 1 or 2 exchanges.

Ride-by Attacking and Movement

A mount in combat has 3 rates (gaits) of movement (Trot, Canter, and Gallop, or 1x, 2x, and 3x its Move score respectively) – while unlikely to be used in Combat, a mount can also Walk (half Move score). To attempt a Ride-by attack, the mount must be moving at either a Canter (2x) or a Gallop (3x). For the purposes of tracking movement, the horse is assumed to move half its Move rate in yards (either ½ a Canter or Gallop, respectively) after the exchange(s), and may have moved up to that distance that round prior to the exchange(s). To attack the same target again, the horse and rider must wheel around and charge back, with enough space to accelerate to a canter or gallop.

Note for playtesters: eventually this section will be rolled into the Ride skill in the expanded Skills section
In any round that doesn’t contain a combat exchange, a skilled rider may perform one of the following actions without making a check (an unskilled rider must always make a check):
• Accelerate 1 step (from Trot to Canter, Canter to Gallop)
• Decelerate 1 step and/or make a quarter-turn (for the purposes of accelerating/decelerating, a Walk is treated as the same as standing still, so a horse can easily in 1 round go from standing still to trotting or vice-versa)

Under the same conditions, a rider may perform one of the following actions with a successful Ride check:
• Accelerate 2 steps
• Decelerate 2 or 3 steps (3 steps absurdly hard)
• Wheel about (180° turn)
A rider may attempt any of the above actions while engaged in combat but is subject to the standard rules for multiple simultaneous actions AND the check TNs increase dramatically (tentatively from +3 to +6 increase in TN).

Fatigue and Mounted Combat

While mounted combat is less fatiguing for a rider, the same can’t be said for the mount. Continuous wheeling and charging takes its toll – apply the fatigue rules but apply the CP penalty to the Rider’s CP (because the horse is not responding quite as fast anymore). For every 2 CP lost to Fatigue, the horse’s base Move score (Trotting) is reduced by 1.
Mounted Combat and Hit Locations
Players and GMs should use common sense when determining hit locations involving mounted combat. The following points should be kept in mind:
• A rider may not attack a foe directly in front of his mount, except with a weapon with very long (4) or extremely long (5) Reach. Attacks may be made at opponents to the side or rear.
• Swiveling to attack an opponent to the rear carries an additional +4CP activation cost per attack.
• When attacking a ground-based man-sized opponent from a mount, swinging zones 3, 4, 5 and 7 are available, as is any thrust target above the belly – adjustments should be made for targets significantly larger or smaller than man-size.
• A mounted character may use a Partial Evasion to have the horse dance back from an attack, but may not Duck and Weave, or use any form of Block, Parry, or Counter versus attacks to his mount.
• Full Evasion is only useable if the rider is leaping from a mount to avoid an attack.

Attacking a Mounted Target

Attacking a mounted opponent from the ground is tricky. If attacking from the front or rear of the mount, the rider may not be attacked except with a weapon with very long (4) or extremely long (5) Reach. From the side, either mount or rider is a fair target. Use common sense for which parts of the target are accessible based on the range and the reach of the weapon. Swing attacks must be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, remembering that many swing attacks (particularly zone 4 or 5 type swings) will probably still hit the mount even if they miss the rider.
If struck while mounted, the Rider must make an AG/Ride check with a dice penalty equal to the attack’s margin of success. Failure indicates that the rider has been knocked from his or her mount. Calculate damage as if a 10’ fall and apply it as per the falling rules.

To be added: more extensive rules for Jousting, and mount-attacks (rearing, kicking, etc).

Missile Combat

(Needs work and formatting)
Missile combat (using bows, javelins, etc.) is resolved differently from Melee. All missile attacks are made using the Missile Pool (MP) which behaves differently than the Combat Pool.

1. Missile Preparation (# of Rounds)
• May reduce prep time by 1 round (min.1) by paying MP cost (to be subtracted from Proficiency refresh) and making a successful Reflex test (Preparation Time, MP cost, and Reflex TN based on weapon being used).

2. Missile Pool & Refresh
As soon as missile preparation is completed (weapon ready to throw/fire), immediately gain [Proficiency rank] in dice as an immediate refresh (e.g. with a preparation time of 3 rounds, gain [Proficiency rank] in dice at the end of the 3rd round, able to fire at the beginning of the 4th round with those dice).
• If you attempted to reduce the Preparation Time for the weapon, subtract that MP cost from the Missile Pool.

3. Missile Fire (Combat Exchange)
Choose to fire either in the first exchange (red die) or on the second exchange/not this round (white die).
a) After any round of choosing to not fire, refresh Aim dice into the Missile Pool (pool max = Aim + Proficiency, excess dice lost)
b) Apply all modifiers for Range, Movement, Environment, etc. once an attack is declared.
c) Attacker may set aside dice to aim for a certain location (maximum = Aim)
d) An aware target (Surprise rolls if needed) involved in Melee Combat may allocate CP to Evade or Block (not Parry) a missile attack. An aware target not involved in Melee instead uses Reflex as the die pool for evading or blocking missile fire.
I. To Block a missile with a shield, the defender uses the shield’s Missile DTN. A shield can only be used once per exchange, regardless of the source of attack.
II. The DTN for Evading an incoming Missile is dependent on how free the target is to move. A wide plain with ditches to jump in or trees to hide behind uses the Full Evasion DTN of 4, a more restrictive terrain uses the Partial Evasion DTN of 7, if the target has nowhere to go (a narrow corridor), use the Duck & Weave DTN of 9.

4. Resolving Hit Location / Damage
Roll 2d6 on the Missile Hit Location chart to determine zone struck
• Based on the range, dice set aside to aim (step 3 c), can adjust the hit location roll (See Range Modifiers table).

Mass Combat & War

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