COMBAT is, of course, the resolution of violent acts. Despite the fact that 90% of the time you'll be talking to people, exploring caves, doing odd jobs to scrape by...it's the 10% of the time you have the chance to take someone's eye out with a sword that gets all the attention. Go figure.
No RPG in the world can effectively regulate violent situations with complete accuracy. Those that try are immensely complicated. While WEM3's combat resolution is not complicated, it tries to be fair to both the severity of a violent act and it's consequences. Because of the nature of WEM3's combat system, I hope to dissuade players from simply solving a certain difficult sequence through violence or intimidation.
Just like NON-COMBAT SKILLS, you have COMBAT SKILLS. These skills represent your fighting capabilities in a violent confrontation. Because you have several different variations of offensive and defensive skills, this list represents those various skills under "Offensive" and "Defensive" for now.
OFFENSIVE skills are those skills where you physically attack an opponent, either with a weapon or with your own body.
DEFENSIVE skills are those skills where you defend yourself from an imminent physical attack from an opponent, either with a device or with your own body.
AVERT is a more diplomatic route towards ending combat; Negotiating with an opponent to avert or avoid a possible combat situation. Should you be successful in this task, all parties would leave only their footsteps and take nothing away except for what they already have in their possession.
ESCAPE is when you physically want to remove yourself from the combat zone without the consent of your enemy (be it an actual person or a trap of some kind). For example, you wish to flee a pursuing opponent that would be very difficult to kill and continued combat would most likely result in your death. Another example might be you want to quickly run back through a set of large, closing doors before they trap you in a room forever.
These are all the offensive skills in WEM3 :
OFFENSIVE Hand_to_hand : This can be from simple bar-brawling to martial arts.
OFFENSIVE Blunt_weapon : Any blunt weapon (a baseball bat, a hammer, a heavy hardcover book).
OFFENSIVE Edged_weapon : Any edged weapon (a sword, a dagger, a broken piece of glass).
OFFENSIVE Projectile_weapon : Any non-firearm, non-thrown projectile weapon (blow darts, bow & arrow, crossbow, etc.).
OFFENSIVE Throw_object : This can cover any object that is thrown, regardless of whether it is balanced or not balanced to be thrown (rocks, knives, axes, etc.) This is the only combat skill that starts out as a negative skill.
OFFENSIVE Firearm : This covers all conventional firearms.
OFFENSIVE Uncommon_weapon : This is a miscellaneous category, in case a weapon is so unusual it can be categorized in any of the existing offensive combat skills. The weapon must be cleared by the Game Master before being used by that character.
DEFENSIVE skills in WEM3 can not cause any damage to the aggressor. However, a successful defense may allow you an uncontested offensive chance against an aggressor.
DEFENSIVE Hand_to_hand : You can use your arms, legs, and other parts of your body to block an incoming shot.
DEFENSIVE Object : In fantasy role-playing, this would spell out an obvious answer - A shield of some sort. However, this is usually reserved for just about any object you can find to shield you from an incoming shot.
DEFENSIVE Weapon : Swords, baseball bats, poles...all of these weapons have some blocking capabilities along with being offensive weapons. This is when you are defending against an attack by a same or similar weapon.
DEFENSIVE Evade : A catch-all category for any miscellaneous circumstances not covered by the above three DEFENSIVE skills. This is when you must dodge a bullet, or when you must simply evade an attack you can not respond to.
OK, why don't you assign your 21 dice-rolls to the various skills now.
Unlike mainstream movies, television programs, or "professional wrestling," violence is usually quick and brutally painful. Ask any emergency room doctor or law enforcement officer about the injuries they've seen from a bar-room brawl or a gang fight and you will know that what is portrayed in fictional entertainment is not reality.
WEM3 attempts to provide a realistic environment in which these violent confrontations occur, foregoing dramatics for brutal swiftness and often lethal reminders of the severity of combat resolutions.
SCENARIO 1 : Averting a combat situation
By using the combat skill AVERT, you attempt to avoid a combat situation altogether. However, should you be successful in averting combat, you may not accomplish the goals you set out to achieve.
You may use AVERT only during the first round of combat, where you use AVERT vs. a combat skill your opponent will be using. Once you roll your AVERT skill, your opponent will then roll their skill. If your opponent's roll total is higher then yours, his attack is successful and you receive damage.
If the AVERT roll is higher, then the opponent rolls his MENTAL attribute. If this roll is higher then AVERT, your opponent has convinced themselves not to listen to you, but can not attack again in that round and combat proceeds to the second round. If the AVERT skill roll is, again, the higher of the two totals, then the opponent is temporarily convinced that fighting is not wise and, despite his or her emotions, allows you to leave unharmed.
AVERT needs to be successful only once per group to avert an attack. Should it be successful, each party will walk away with only the belongings that they currently possess and no more. AVERT can only be used once per combat situation for that individual opponent. It is the Game Master's discretion whether or not additional AVERTs will have a positive or negative impact on future confrontations with the same individual at different locales.
STEP 2 : Escaping a combat situation
ESCAPE is the solitaire version of AVERT. It means, bluntly, that you really want to leave but your opponent doesn't want you to...at least, not alive. ESCAPE and AVERT are significantly different from one another; AVERT is used at the very beginning of combat to avoid combat, whereas ESCAPE can be used at any time after combat has been initiated.
In order to escape, you must use your ESCAPE skill vs. your opponent's combat skill. If you win, you temporarily surprise your opponent with a burst of speed that removes you from the immediate combat vicinity. If you lose, then your opponent has somehow blocked you from not leaving. Unlike AVERT, you may try using the ESCAPE skill on numerous occassions throughout a combat scenario.
If ESCAPE initially succeeds, an opponent would then resort to using their PHYSICAL attribute to pursue you (your ESCAPE vs. their PHYSICAL). If, again, ESCAPE wins, you have outraced your opponent and have escaped a combat scenario with whatever damage you have sustained. If ESCAPE loses, your opponent catches up to you and forces another combat situation in a location left to the Game Master's discretion.
A strategic withdrawal is never "wimpy," regardless of how the other side may taunt you - either during the incident or afterwards. Remember...in real life, combat results in someone getting killed or injured. If your character is killed in this game, there is no "reset" or "load game" option - You are dead. The End. Injuries may take game days, weeks, or months (if severe enough) to heal IF they can be healed. Walking away, in a lot of cases, is sometimes the best way to end conflict AND advance your goals in relation to the game.
Fighting in WEM3 is conducted in rounds where each player gets a chance to either attack an opponent, defend against an attack, avert a possible combat situation, or escape the current combat situation. Once every player has had a chance to perform an operation, individual melees are resolved, damage is assessed, and all players still alive or in combat continues the fighting until a player or party has defeated all their opponents (either they have left the combat area or have been killed).
WHO GOES FIRST IN COMBAT?
It doesn't matter. All attacks, escapes, and defenses happen simultaneously as an end result of a combat round, but each attack, each defense, and each escape are rolled individually. If someone is acting nerdy about not rolling until someone else rolls first, just remind them that it's a GAME...played for that vague concept called FUN.
ATTACKING or DEFENDING AGAINST someone
When you attack, you are attacking someone (I'd also mention something, but I'll deal with that at the very end of this COMBAT section). When you defend, you are defending against someone. Two things :
The actual mechanics of fighting are pretty simple. Choose a combat skill to use and tell the Game Master. Your opponent will then do the same. If players get snotty about letting someone reveal what they are going to do first so they can react to it, then go with the "secret vote" system : Writing your skill down and passing it to the Game Master or showing him the skill from a skill list.
Each combat skill has a dice-roll number assigned to it. This indicates how many times you may roll the dice to attain a higher number. The higher the number, the better. Each player involved in the combat will roll their dice accordingly and total the results. Depending upon the level of trust and competency, either the Game Master does this in secret, the players do this in private with the Game Master watching, or some other system until all the players are satisfied that the sanctity and integrity of the game hasn't been violated (or some similar crap...I don't know, some players can be such wimps about these things).
If your number is higher then your opponent's, then you win. If not, then you lose. If it's a tie, then the person with the least amount of dice-rolls wins. If that doesn't suffice, re-roll the combat round.
Combat may be short, but it's not instanteous (unless you have a firearm). Not every punch will result in a knock-out, not every swing of a sword will result in a beheading, and so forth. It might, but most times, it doesn't. When that happens, you need to determine the amount of damage you have caused your opponent, or the amount you have suffered.
This section will naturally assume you either went on the offensive or were defeated by an offensive combat skill. Assessing a successful defense will be discussed later.
There are three levels of damage that can be assigned to a player that has lost an individual combat round :
CRITICAL : If you have defeated your opponent by six to seventeen points, then the defeated opponent must remove three dice-rolls from the skill they used AND their PHYSICAL attribute.
FATAL : If you have defeated your opponent by eighteen points or more, your opponent suffers a fatal injury and is killed.
Special Note : Persons using a firearm for an offensive weapon must roll to see if they performed either a CRITICAL or FATAL injury. Use 3 out of a regular 6-sided dice's numbers to indicate a FATAL hit, and the other 3 to indicate a CRITICAL hit. A firearm's ammunition never performs a SIGNIFICANT hit.
As stated in CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, there are some types of clothing that can prevent some inflicted damage to the wearer. These are Leather, Studded Leather, and Kevlar.
Leather can only prevent some significant injuries. Once it has been determined that a person wearing leather clothing has received a significant injury because of an edged weapon, you must determine whether or not the leather clothing can shield that person.
On a six-sided dice, designate two of the six numbers as those to roll for. If you get one of them, the injury is nulled because the leather protected the wearer from harm. If not, the penalty of a significant injury remains.
Death is obtained if you have a zero value (0) or less for either your PHYSICAL or MENTAL attribute.
Winning or escaping with injury is not permanent. It is to the Game Master's discretion how fast a person may heal from the injuries sustained in a fight. Some part of the injury may require special attention from a trained individual but, again, that is left up to the Game Master depending on the situation.
Combat skills may temporarily be reduced down to a zero value (0), making them unusable for the rest of the combat scenario. It is to the Game Master's discretion as to how fast these skills and attributes replenish themselves.
If you defended against an attack and was successful, you may have the opportunity to counter with a "free shot" at your opponent. Follow this chart :
If you only have one free shot, take your opponent's total and half it. For your free shot, that is the total you must beat to win. Regardless of the margin of victory, it only counts as SIGNIFICANT damage.
If you have two free shots, take your opponent's total and divide it by three. For your two free shots (rolled separately), that is the total you must beat to win. Each free shot, despite the margin of victory, is counted as CRITICAL damage.
In your adventures, you may have to break down a door, cut a rope in half, and a dozen of other semi-combat-like tasks which may not fall into the normal exploration of things.
In that case, you would treat a combat skill like a normal non-combat skill versus an inanimate object with a set total of points.
That's it. You're done.