Scripted battles are simply detailed by the GM and told to the players. There is no interactive participation by the players – the GM sets out the details according to their plot needs. For battles whose outcome alone is ‘scripted’, it is simply a matter of surviving the battle. The script itself will reveal the win, loss or specific outcome of the battle. Rewards, other than the experience rewards, will be set by the scrip and it is simply up to the GM to follow and fill in any details. Story battles are staged clashes at arms where the player’s characters actively participate and have a risk of death. The participation can be in one of many roles, but the emphasis is fighting. Story battles may already have their ultimate results (though maybe not the battle outcome) decided by story – for the PC’s the fate of their ‘side’ may already determined, though their individual fate is not. Many things can happen in a battle, depending on plan, order, communication and leadership it can be confusing and difficult. These battles engage the participants fully. They are swirling masses of chaos, violence and adrenaline. Within these story battles, characters can strive using their abilities as best suits them. Obviously not all characters are suited for large battles, and where appropriate, the GM may provide some unique encounters or weighted encounters to suit character skills… though entering battle will always involve combat of some kind and always entail risk. Both Story and scripted battles can have battle encounters. The outcome of multiple battle encounters can lead to nothing more than a great story, or may feed a Outcome Determination.
The battle encounters are pre-set by the GM. Each turn, characters will participate in encounters, gaining accomplishment points for their side. In the first phase, characters are offered any encounters marked as ‘first’. After that, they will choose their accomplishment level and be given the title of each encounter and they will choose. Once they choose to have an encounter, they must choose one from the list presented within the accomplishment level. Some encounters can only be attempted or run a limited number of times – the players will have to choose based on what they feel is best suited for their character and leaving more appropriate options to others. Once the conditions of the battle are complete, the outcome is presented. At first it may seem like the individual encounter time values are short. However, the characters are assumed to be entering into multiple combats, moving, getting jostled and knocked down in a fierce fight for their life. The danger and real lack of ability to heal much offsets the short exposure to combat. Surviving is the real key. Full killing of foes has a slight reward, but survival of the battle is the key objective. While over simplifying it, if the characters survive the combat it indicates that their foes did less. Each encounter survival means more chance to do damage to the enemy and whittle their opponents down. Its not an exact science, and the encounter accomplishment points may not be weighted perfectly according to the abilities of the participating characters. In such cases, the GM is free to adjust the accomplishment point rewards as they see fit.
If the battle outcome is not determined, each encounter has an accomplishment point value.
Failure has one of 2 point values always based on result of death or removal from battle. The rest range from 5 to 25 points. Each battle will have a point total indicating victory, draw, and defeat. All accomplishment point values are totaled and compared to this value to determine outcome. A battle need not have all the outcome levels – many only have simple win and loss conditions.
|Result||Condition||Circumstances and Qualifiers*||Result|
|Loss||Total||Accomplishment < #||Fallen in battle mandatory, most goods lost, reputation nearly destroyed|
|Loss||Complete||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, goods lost, reputation reduced|
|Loss||Partial||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, goods partially lost, reputation reduced|
|Draw||Strategic Loss||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, goods partially lost, reputation possibly reduced|
|Draw||Strategic Victory||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, goods not lost, reputation untouched|
|Win||Partial||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, goods gained, reputation increased|
|Win||Complete||Accomplishment > # < #||Fallen in battle possible, many goods gained, reputation increased|
|Win||Total||Accomplishment > #||Fallen in battle possible, great goods gained, reputation greatly increased|
|*: Qualifiers will include minimum number of encounters (regardless of Accomplishment Points) is needed to achieve the result.|
All large battles represent risk to characters, and therefore have their own rewards, independent of other play. At a bare minimum, a battle should offer Battlefield Superiority Points in reward for the experience they gained in the large scale battle. In addition to the experience awards, treasure, reputation, or additional benefits are gained under each level of outcome.
BSP are focus and savvy regained at the end of a Long Rest or reset each day in a prolonged large scale battle that spans multiple days. They can only be used in melees involving 10 or more within 20′ or if whole party is outnumbered by more than 2:1. Choose to apply the adjustment after other success factors determined, but before results/outcome announced. i.e. “(GM) You miss the enemy captain by 2! (Player) I choose to spend 2 BSP and turn my failure into success!” Only a single BSP point use can be applied per round.
Every Battle Encounter is rated by its accomplishment point value it gives the winner.
|Death||-10||Death; VIT check to be revived, -1 CS for each 10 damage greater than zero.|
|Failure||-5||Unconsciousness or any effect removing the character from an encounter.|
|Simple||1-4||These are miscellaneous and general defensive actions.|
|Easy||+5||Survival of the encounter is relatively easy.|
|Average||+10||Survival of the encounter has average chances.|
|Problematic||+15||Survival of the encounter is problematic.|
|Difficult||+20||Survival of the encounter is difficult.|
|Formidable||+25||Survival of the encounter is formidable.|
Characters can engage their opponents in a number of accomplishment points equal to or less than their Constitution before having to rest. If they enter an encounter with less than the required STA points, they suffer a -1 per 5 points of STA below 0 but gain +1 point for each they are below in the encounter if they survive. Character can choose to rest and reset their STA count.
Phases: This is how many times the characters will be offered an encounter. As the battle progresses through phases, each character is offered a choice of encounters by their accomplishment rating.
Conditions for encounters will denote how they can be used. The encounters will be specific to the nature of the participants. Any specific use of skills and tactics will be noted in the encounters in addition to how long it lasts. Players may get creative in their own use of their skills to survive, with the GM adapting tactics of successive encounters against them if appropriate for their enemies.
Opponents: These will be noted including tactics, replacements, etc. if appropriate.
This is when the target is exposed and vulnerable to a surprise attack. The swirl and chaos of battle lead to the position of the target being exposed. Exposure can only be defended against with armor – not with any active maneuvers or actions.
Scene – You have been pursuing the ‘bandits’ for several weeks. Thus far they have not stood to give fight, but this time, in the seasonal rain, you have trapped them near Tors Creek against a small flood plain. The bandits number some hundred or so in loose array. They have anchored themselves using an old dry creek bed on their left flank and the real creek (now a small torrent with the rains) on their right. If the rains let up, the force will disperse and slip away like its done before – this is your chance to deal a real blow to these raiders from the north… so called ‘bandits’.
The weather is sour as you move to engage your foe. No mounts will work in the mud,
and the fog and wet makes archery an afterthought at best. Heart pounding, your orders come down the line.
You march and maneuver to engage the enemy!
|<90||Lose||1 CP + 2 AP; Alive but captured|
|90||Draw||Scavenging from the battlefield will yield a replacement of any weapons lost or used + 1-100 silver crowns. Half of all healing costs are covered for only the character.|
|130||Win||As part of sharing in the victory, any weapons lost will be replaced, crafters for skin, cloth and leather armor can repair armor, and the character is guaranteed 200 silver crowns + 1-50 in minor looting. All healing costs for the character and their mounts, pets, etc. are covered.
Blood-lusted, Berserk, CHA check = more booty (1 silver crown per accomplishment point)
You pull yourself away and disengage. Catching your breath, you batter away the few attacks that swirl around you. The press is chaotic, but you find a few moments to tend to your wounds.
– Medical Aid check; +1 for bandages, +1 for salve or poultice & STA restored
The battle swirls around you, the smell of the dying fills the air as you attend to your companions wounds.
– At the price of a single opportunity attack, you may heal one character with powers or items. Character killed in the previous phases can be saved in the following using this option, but in addition to the attack of opportunity, the healer must defend their position over their fallen foe as per Strong Defense and can do nothing else the remainder of the battle.
Another character can jump in and substitute themselves in the place of their companion.
Each such substitution removes 5 accomplishment points from the original target’s total gained for the encounter.
This is for each action they get ‘help’ on – if the accomplishment reaches zero or less they can receive no further help.
Up to 2 different characters can be used to scout the enemy before the battle to gain valuable intelligence.
This is peripheral and long distance scouting. For each check, the scout will be forced to skip one phase unless they have a runner set aside for
each scouting mission in which case the runner must miss the phase.
This is aggressive and up close, incolving probing the lines prior to battle. This requires that each scenario have a scout and a runner. The runner may not participate in any battle
and must miss the first phase of the battle.
Combined Stealth/Camouflage check… failure means that they must fight one guard per RS failed by, modified by the danger factor.
Sensing your limitations in battle, you set yourself up on the outskirts. Fighting defensively, you make sure the lines are held and commands are followed.
Though you are limited in battle, you struggle to make sure that you fight at the edges near the worst of it. Using yourself as a shield, you anchor the line and maneuvers.
Amidst the swirl of battle, you invoke the power of your god. Channeling
that power you empower those around you to surge and boldly advance.
The mad chaos of combat pressess all around you. You manage to break free momentarily and spy friendly units maneuvering.
Opponents press them and harry them and you sight in from a distance to give covering fire.
Opponents move about you as the forces engage. You fight opponents as they come, following the last commands you heard.
In the chaos of combat, those about you begin to fall prey tot he confusion. You draw breath and begin the rally cry, bolstering your companions and providing direction.
Enemies move around you and your breathing is ragged. You fight and fight and they continue to come. The press is crazy – the smell of blood and bowels is strong as you tear into your foes.
The line begins to buckle in one point. You rally a few companions and shift to hold the line while the enemies use melee and spears to drive and divide your line.
You hear the order go out and your area makes a push to drive a wedge into the enemy lines. You are pushed and cramped, fighting is brutal and bloody.
Through the press and push of combat, you are singled out by a more skilled opponent. An officer or leader of some sort, you find yourself face-to-face in the press fighting for your life.
The enemy is within range. You move to a point of good visibility and strike from afar,
moving and striking, keeping the enemy on the run.
You advance with your companions towards the front line. The pace is steady. The force to your right suddenly rushes the left flank of the enemy and the clash is deafening! Your advance is finally met as the lines collide and the mad rush of combat takes you.
Seeing your bravery and sensing a morale shift, your enemy attempts to overwhelm you with numbers. You clash with your foes while shouts of your companions fill the air. You know it will be a few deadly moments before help arrives.
Through the carnage your presence has been spotted by one of the enemy’s champions. Pushing aside others, they come for you. In a surge, your foe rushes in at you, striking and smashing your defenses.
You are in the front line of attack, charging the enemies fortified position near the old dried creek bed. Your breath is ragged, your pulse pounds in your ears. Ahead the enemies weapons bristle as you and your companions charge into the flank! Your group crashes into the lines with a deafening racket, your strive mightily as you try and force the flank of the enemy.
The results of death in battle can be absolute or indicative of an advanced battle wound.
In choosing the later, the PC lives, but is taken from the battlefield with a wound that
has a lasting impact to some degree. A character can be given the option as well, for some wounds are difficult
to live with – enough so to make them a serious detriment to roleplaying.
Coping & Curing: Some battle wounds can be overcome
Pretend that 5 character participated and that a total of only 50 accomplishment points were awarded by the actions of the players
(who were either too timid or in one case failed and nearly died). The Battle Factor is checked, generating a number between 1 and 50 – a 42 in this case.
As seen from the total, it was not the characters actions alone that allowed them to decalre a draw (a total of 92 being just enough to bring them out of crushing defeat).
The rest of the army or force was what made the difference. The participants who survived gain the experience total, and the
GM rules that it was so close that the once character who died and was tended by another is not able to scavenge and gets no other reward.
A brutal lesson is learned in the loss the party suffers – but they all live to fight another day.