Difference between revisions of "Physical Conflict"

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'''[[VERS]] -> [[Book I - Player Rules]] -> [[Gameplay]] -> {{PAGENAME}}'''
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'''[[VERS]] -> [[Gameplay]] -> {{PAGENAME}}'''
 
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{{tocfloatleft}}
 
{{tocfloatleft}}
  
Now that we have a general idea of how combat works in the abstract, let’s examine each of the three types in detail. First is the most common, physical combat, which has several special caveats to the above rules.
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Physical conflict is what most gamers are most familiar with. Battle is sometimes unavoidable, and that is when these rules come into play.
  
== Range ==
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== Turn Order ==
  
For maximum success, a warrior always prefers to strike from an advantageous position, and that often means from beyond their opponent’s reach. Targets occur at three distinct distances: Grappling, Close Combat, and Ranged Combat.
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First is determining Turn order. VERS uses a system often referred to as Popcorn Initiative, in which each player hands off to another player when finished. This hand off is to whomever the first player wishes, so long as they have not yet gone this Turn, and this includes the NPCs and enemies. It is preferred if this hand off can be done in character, such as “Thorbjorn, give me a hand with this guy!” or something similar.
  
=== Grappling ===
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To determine which player goes first, each player should state their case for why they feel they should get that honor. It may be because X tracked the villain, or that Y is his nemesis, or Z is the fastest character. It could also be because W hasn’t gotten to go first yet tonight. The whole table then decides who has the strongest case, with efforts being made to spread the honor around.
  
Grappling happens at the shortest of all ranges, defined as anything within 1 meter of the character. Grappling is the skill used to attack within this range, primarily governing such techniques as joint locks, holds, and throws. Attacks at grappling range are only possible with hands and other body parts, and any attempt to use other weapons at this range takes a -4 attack penalty. If using miniatures to model combat, a character is in grappling range only if they are within the same hex/square as the attacker. Any close combat attack against a character engaged in a grapple takes a -2 penalty and hits the wrong target on a Dramatic Failure. Any ranged combat attack against a character engaged in a grapple takes a -4 penalty and hits the wrong person on a roll with 2 or more Degrees of Failure. A character engaged in a grapple does not get their Dodge against attacks from outside the grapple.
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== Movement ==
  
=== Close Combat ===
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VERS does not use a typical movement system. Instead it uses Zones. A Zone is a loosely defined area that is how far a character can move in a single action. If the ground is filled with rubble, then shrink the size of the zone. There is no preset “appropriate” size, although if that is comfortable, somewhere between 5 and 10 meters in diameter. A character can make an athletics roll to move into a second zone in a single move, however, failure on the roll can either leave the character short of their goal, or take up both of their actions, GM discretion.
  
Close combat targets are those within arm’s reach plus any additional distance based on a weapon, typically 2 meters for the average character, based on Size 0. Targets at this range can easily be attacked with bare hands/feet as well as weapons such as swords, axes, and spears. Any attempt to use ranged combat or grappling at this range takes a -2 attack penalty. If using miniatures to model combat, a character is in close combat range if they are in the hex/square next to the one the attacking character is in.
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Once a character has made a Close Combat attack on a target, or been the target of a Close Combat attack, the two characters are considered Engaged. This means that if either character wishes to retreat or otherwise move away from the other, they must Disengage. This requires them to take an action and make an Athletics roll, failure gives the opponent a free attack. If more than two characters are involved, then each additional character adds a -2 penalty to the roll.
  
==== Reach ====
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Finally, a character cannot move through another character. If the only way out of a zone is through a character or within a reasonable attack range of a character (GM discretion, but a good rule of thumb is 2 meters) then they cannot proceed further. The only exception is with an Athletics roll, taking a penalty equal to the guarding character’s Close Combat ranks. Failure means they take damage and fail to get by. Similarly to the Disengage rules, multiple guard characters increase the penalty (and the possible damage) by 2.
  
Long weapons like spears may also add to the character’s Reach. Reach is an abstract measure of the advantage longer weapons have over shorter weapons. Ultimately if you can hit your opponent but they cannot hit you, this can be a major advantage. In close combat, the character with the greater reach gains an attack bonus equal to the difference between his reach and his opponent’s.
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== Range ==
  
=== Ranged Combat ===
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When making ranged attacks, targeting characters in the same zone gives a -2 penalty, while attacks to targets in the next zone do not take a penalty. Each zone further away imposes an additional -2 penalty per zone. Finally, making a ranged attack on a character who is currently Engaged in close combat also gives a -2 penalty to the ranged attack, and an additional -2 per additional person engaged.
  
{| class="wikitable" style="float:right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"
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Thrown weapons can target any enemy in the same zone, or can target foes in the next zone over with a successful Athletics roll, and an additional zone over for every 3 Degrees of Success. This Athletics roll is subject to the same penalties as a ranged combat attack, and substitutes as the attack roll.
! colspan="8" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Ranged Combat: Distance Increments
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|-
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| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Range
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| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Max Dist
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Penalty
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agi 1
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agi 2
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agi 3
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agi 4
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agi 5
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|-
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Short
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Agility
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 0
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 8 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 16 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 32 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 64 m
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|-
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| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Medium
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| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agility + 1
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | -2
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 8 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 16 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 32 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 64 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 128 m
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|-
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Long
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Agility + 2
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | -4
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 16 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 32 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 64 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 128 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 256 m
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|-
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| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Extended
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| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Agility + 3
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | -8
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 32 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 64 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 128 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 256 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 512 m
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|-
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Extreme
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Agility + 4
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | -16
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 64 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 128 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 256 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 512 m
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 1024 m
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|}
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Ranged combat allows a character to target any enemies within line of sight. However, practically speaking, it is much harder to hit enemies that far away than those closer. For this reason ranged combat is actually broken down into a series of smaller distance increments based around how hard something is to hit at that range. These are Short, Medium, Long, Extended, and Extreme. The attacking character’s Agility determines what these range increments are in ranks of distance.
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== Reach ==
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Some gear and even some abilities or advantages give a character a longer (or shorter) effective reach. This is a simple system to emulate that. When characters with different reaches come into conflict, the character with the greater reach gets a bonus equal to the different, while the other character gets an equivalent penalty.
  
 
== Cover ==
 
== Cover ==
  
Finding Cover can be the difference between life and death on the battlefield. When a character wants to use an object as cover the GM needs to decide two things: how much of the character does the object hide and how much damage can the object take.
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Cover can be the difference between life and death in a battle. The VERS cover system is very simple, giving either a -1, -3, or -5 penalty on attacks against targets with cover, based on approximately how much they are covered (⅓, ⅔, or complete). If an attack misses by the amount of the penalty then it strikes the cover instead, and could damage it or even break it.
  
An object that covers more of the character gives more Protection, providing a +2 bonus on the covered character’s defense rolls (or a -2 on attack rolls to hit that character) for each body part covered (arms, legs, lower torso, upper torso, and head). As an example, a warrior hidden behind the trunk of the tree would have one arm, one leg, his head and half of his upper and lower torso (each thus being a -1, instead of a -2) covered for a -6.
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== Injury Conditions ==
  
When an attack involving cover misses, compare the Degrees of Failure to the bonus granted by the cover. If the cover bonus is greater, the attack hits the covering object dealing damage to it. For example:
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The physical conditions are, in order from least to greatest, grazed, wounded, impaired, and disabled. Distracted and flustered both have two slots, while disoriented and distraught each only have one. For a better description for roleplaying these conditions, see below.
  
<blockquote>''Bjorn, a viking warrior character, is swinging an axe at an enemy who is using a shield that gives them 4 points of cover. The first attack misses by 5, which is greater than the amount of the cover, thus missing the enemy completely. The second attack only misses by 2 and thus digs deep into the shield, dealing damage to it and ultimately breaking it. At this point Bjorn sees archer on the ridge and takes cover behind a tree. Because Bjorn is a player character, that means he rolls his defense against the attacker, so in this case the tree would give him a bonus of 6 to his Dodge. The archer fires an arrow, and Bjorn succeeds by 7. Since this is more than the bonus of 6, this arrow would have missed with or without the tree, so it makes a barely audible “thwip” as it disappears into the snow bank beside Bjorn. The archer fires again, and Bjorn succeeds again, although only by 3 this time. This is less than the bonus of 6, so it would have connected if Bjorn had been in the open. The GM declares that the arrow thuds into the wood of the tree and vibrates.''</blockquote>
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* '''Grazed:''' The grazed condition applies if the net EV is between 0 and 2. This is the equivalent of the dramatic cheek cut or slicing a Z in their shirt, and does not really impact a character in any other meaningful way. Conditions at this level do not impose a penalty on recovery actions.
  
Anything that interposes between a target and the attacker gives cover, but not all cover is the same. While a character hiding behind a tapestry is harder to hit, that cover won’t last long nor will it soak up much of the damage. Any attacks that hit cover deal damage to it directly, as if the character were trying to break it. Any attack that successfully breaks the cover object then deals the remainder of its damage (if any) to the character behind cover as normal.
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* '''Wounded:''' The wounded condition applies when the net EV is between 3 and 5. This is the equivalent of a flesh wound, a dull weapon, punch, kick, etc, would give the character a bruise while a cutting or piercing attack would be a minor cut that bleeds but is not enough to slow or otherwise harm the character. Characters take a -1 penalty to all Skills for each condition at this level until the condition is recovered. Recovery Actions take a -1 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.
  
== Other Considerations ==
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* '''Impaired:''' The impaired condition applies when the net EV is between 6 and 8. This is the equivalent of a broken bone for dull types of attacks or a well-placed gunshot or stab. In addition, due to the trauma, any use of skills takes an additional -2 penalty until the condition is recovered. Recovery Actions take a -2 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.
  
Range and cover are not the only tactical advantages a character might receive on the battlefield, just the most common. Other factors that may have a bearing on combat are things like terrain, weather conditions, and facing, although even more things are possible. All of these factors are reducible to penalties or bonuses based on how much they affect the battle, such as giving an attacker on higher ground a +2 to attack, or giving soldiers fighting in thick mud a -4 penalty to their actions, while a character attacking from behind their target may get a +4 bonus for catching their target unaware. No character should ever get an environmental or situational modifier, bonus or penalty, greater than 4.
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* '''Disabled:''' This condition applies when the net EV is greater than 9. A character who gets hit by this much damage (or has lesser damage upgraded to this point) is disabled in a dramatically appropriate way. This could be physical unconsciousness, or death, depending on what type of damage it was. A character with the disabled condition can still make actions, although they are restricted to a single action per turn, take a -4 penalty to the action, and must make a Discipline roll to stay conscious. Recovery Actions take a -4 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.
  
== Physical Defense ==
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== Breaking Stuff ==
  
Because VERS is a player centric system, as many rolls as possible should be in the hands of the players. VERS also attempts to make as few rolls as possible. These two facts together mean that when a PC attacks an NPC she rolls her attack against the target’s static defense values (Dodge or Discipline, typically). However, when an NPC attacks a PC the player rolls their defense against the attackers static attack values (Agility + Close Combat, typically) instead. The same is true when making any other Active rolls. Unless it is a special situation, NPCs don’t roll dice. They merely provide the difficulty rating the PC is trying to overcome.
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{| class="wikitable" style="float:right; margin-left: 10px; border-width: 0;"
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! colspan="2" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; border-width: 0; color:#ffffff;" | Hardness Examples
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|- style="font-style:italic; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; "
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Rank
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Example Material
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | -5
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Butter
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | -2
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Flesh
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | -1
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Cloth, paper
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 0
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Leather, rope
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 1
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Glass, pottery
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 2
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Wood, bone
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 3
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" |
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 4
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Bronze
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 5
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Stone, iron
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 6
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Tempered steel
 +
|-
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 7
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" |
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 8
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Diamond
 +
|}
  
A character’s defenses are designed with one on one, single combat in mind. Rarely is a fight so orderly, however. Many times a character will find themselves outnumbered, or even surrounded. If a character is being attacked by multiple enemies they take a cumulative -1 for each attack in a turn. This penalty is removed at the end of the turn. After all, even the most skilled warrior can only cover so many angles before being cut down. Additionally, if a character cannot see an attack coming they do not get their defenses against it at all, turning it into a passive roll (in the case of a PC making the attack) with no difficulty rating.
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In addition, objects also have conditions based on their size and hardness. Attacks on inanimate objects only take penalties if they are in motion or are small (such as a baseball). Otherwise it is a normal skill roll to make the attack. The EV of the attack is compared to the Hardness of the object, and the remainder, if any, determines the conditions, explained below.
  
== Dealing Physical Damage ==
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The object conditions are, in order from least to greatest, worn, damaged, tattered, and broken. Each condition only has one slot. Objects can’t take recovery actions, but can be repaired with the right background or special skill, otherwise the process is the same.
  
Once the attack is ruled a success and the NDV is determined, the only thing remaining is to apply the appropriate condition. Physical attacks give Injury conditions, which can be either lethal or non-lethal as is appropriate for the attack. The injury conditions, in order of least to greatest, are Grazed, Wounded, Impaired, and Disabled.
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* '''Worn:''' The Worn condition applies if the net EV is between 0 and 2. These are small nicks, fraying, or other such small damage. This can be seen but does not impede the item's function. This level does not impose a penalty on repairs actions.
  
* '''Grazed:''' The grazed condition applies if the NDV is between 0 and 2. This is the equivalent of the dramatic cheek cut or slicing a Z in their shirt, and does not really impact a character in any other meaningful way. A character can have up to 3 of these before they start being upgraded.
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* '''Damaged:''' The Damaged condition applies when the net EV is between 3 and 5. Knicks, cracks, rust, holes; these are the signs of the Damaged condition. Characters using the item take a -1 penalty at this level until the condition is repaired. Repair Actions take a -1 penalty if this is the highest level Damage condition the object has.
  
* '''Wounded:''' The wounded condition applies when the NDV is between 3-5. This is the equivalent of a flesh wound, a dull weapon, punch, kick, etc, would give the character a bruise while a cutting or piercing attack would be a minor cut that bleeds but is not enough to slow or otherwise harm the character. A character can have 2 of these before they begin upgrading to the next level, each one granting a -1 penalty.
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* '''Tattered:''' The Tattered condition applies when the net EV is between 6 and 8. A tattered item is so damaged it is barely holding together, with large gashes, missing chunks, or other major signs of damage. In addition, due to the damage, any use of the item takes an additional -2 penalty until the condition is repaired. Repair Actions take a -2 penalty if this is the highest level Damage condition the object has.
  
* '''Impaired:''' The impaired condition applies when the NDV is between 6 & 8. This is the equivalent of a broken bone for dull types of attacks or a well-placed gunshot or stab. In addition, due to the trauma, any use of skills related to the damage (as is dramatically appropriate) take a penalty. A character can only survive a single blow such as this, and the penalty given is a -2
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* '''Broken:''' This condition applies when the net EV is greater than 9. A broken item no longer functions but is in total disrepair. Any function that the object once had is lost, and if that function was structural then it crumbles, shatters, or otherwise physically comes apart, possibly with disastrous results.
  
* '''Disabled:''' This condition applies when the NDV is greater than 9. A character who gets hit by this much damage (or has lesser damage upgraded to this point) is disabled in a dramatically appropriate way. This could be physical unconsciousness, or death, depending on what the type of damage was. A character with the disabled condition can still make actions, although they must make a Discipline roll and are restricted to a single simple action per Turn. Their movement speed is also halved. Failure on the Discipline roll means the character is rendered completely unconscious or dead, as is appropriate. Any action taken while disabled upgrades the highest Focus or Morale condition (player's choice) by one level as the player succumbs to the confusion and despair of their situation.
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== The Chase ==
  
When noting the injury, be sure to mark it under the right category, and either as (L) for lethal or (N) for non-lethal. It is also a good idea to note anything else important such as location, type of weapon, etc. For instance, a non-lethal head wound would be marked down as "(N) Head, Bashed" while a lethal stab to the abdomen would be "(L) Abdomen, Stab."
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A common type of physical conflict in movies, novels, and video games, a chase is simply when one party, here referred to as the quarry tries to evade a second party, referred to as the hunter seeks to catch them. A chase can have three different permutations, and these stages can morph and change one into another depending on events. These permutations are interposing, pursuit, and tracking.
  
== Recovering From Injury ==
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Interposing is often the final state of a chase, and represents when the hunter has gotten within a single action of the quarry. Alternatively, interposing can happen when two parties are both seeking a stationary target and wish to keep the other from achieving it. Either way, this stage is resolved with an Athletics roll, with a penalty equal to the NPC’s Athletics. If the player is the hunter, then success means the quarry is captured, if the player is the quarry, then success means they dodged or otherwise evade the hunter, and if the target is a mutually desired object then the player has taken control of the object.
  
{| class="wikitable" style="float:right; margin-left: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"
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Pursuit is the middle state, although it is often where the chase begins. At this time the hunter can still see the quarry (or otherwise actively sense them), but they are not close enough for a final attempt to bring them down. The GM needs to decide how many actions they want the pursuit to take, between 2 and 6. This creates a scale equal to double the length, in which both parties start on a central count. For this reason, your final scale should be an odd number. For example, on the shortest length, the scale is 5 positions long and the parties typically start at 3, while on the longest length the scale is 13 positions and the parties typically start at 7.
! colspan="2" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Recovery Penalties
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|-
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If the player is the hunter, each successful Athletics roll (penalized by the quarry’s Athletics) moves them down (toward 1) while failures move them higher. If the player is the quarry, the same roll would be made, but success takes them higher, while failure takes them lower. Once the character gets to 1, they may attempt to Interpose, while reaching the other end of the scale means the quarry has gotten away, possibly transitioning to the tracking phase.
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Injury Type
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| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Penalty
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It is important to note that each of these turns should be described and narrated, and not just treated as sterile rolls. The GM should impose bonuses or penalties based on tactics taken by the players. Pulling down bookshelves may give the hunter a penalty, as might heading into a crowded street festival, while the quarry may take a penalty if the hunter takes a shortcut, crashes through a window, or fires their firearm into the air to clear the street.
|-
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| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Grazed
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The final phase or stage is tracking, and at this point the hunter can no longer see or otherwise sense the quarry directly. To continue to the chase at this point, the hunter must have a way to do so, such as Survival or Investigation. This takes a similar structure as pursuit, but each roll is made for an hour’s worth of seeking. Hunters roll their Survival or Investigation to try and move closer to the quarry while the quarry rolls Stealth to leave as little trail as possible. If the player gets to 1 then contact is made and Pursuit can begin again, while if it gets to the end of the scale then the quarry is completely away.
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | -1
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|-
+
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Wounded
+
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | -2
+
|-
+
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Impaired
+
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | -4
+
|-
+
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Disabled
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| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | -6
+
|}
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Characters recover from Injury by a combination of fortitude and time. Once per day, after a long rest (usually sleep) the character can take a Recovery Action. They make a Stamina roll with a penalty based on the highest severity Injury condition. Success allows them to remove the highest level condition, as well as an addition condition per 3 degrees of success. A successful First Aid roll grants a bonus to the recovery equal to half the degrees of success.
 
  
Additionally, a character can take a Quick Recovery after combat to recover from Injury. This takes 10 minutes and allows a character to wipe away all Grazed level conditions. A Quick Recovery can also be taken in combat by taking a Complex Action and making a First Aid Roll with a -4 penalty.
 
  
Recoveries and Quick Recoveries apply to all damage types, although they are each rolled individually.
 
  
 
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{{VERSBottomNav}}

Latest revision as of 21:03, 1 July 2020

VERS -> Gameplay -> Physical Conflict


Physical conflict is what most gamers are most familiar with. Battle is sometimes unavoidable, and that is when these rules come into play.

Turn Order

First is determining Turn order. VERS uses a system often referred to as Popcorn Initiative, in which each player hands off to another player when finished. This hand off is to whomever the first player wishes, so long as they have not yet gone this Turn, and this includes the NPCs and enemies. It is preferred if this hand off can be done in character, such as “Thorbjorn, give me a hand with this guy!” or something similar.

To determine which player goes first, each player should state their case for why they feel they should get that honor. It may be because X tracked the villain, or that Y is his nemesis, or Z is the fastest character. It could also be because W hasn’t gotten to go first yet tonight. The whole table then decides who has the strongest case, with efforts being made to spread the honor around.

Movement

VERS does not use a typical movement system. Instead it uses Zones. A Zone is a loosely defined area that is how far a character can move in a single action. If the ground is filled with rubble, then shrink the size of the zone. There is no preset “appropriate” size, although if that is comfortable, somewhere between 5 and 10 meters in diameter. A character can make an athletics roll to move into a second zone in a single move, however, failure on the roll can either leave the character short of their goal, or take up both of their actions, GM discretion.

Once a character has made a Close Combat attack on a target, or been the target of a Close Combat attack, the two characters are considered Engaged. This means that if either character wishes to retreat or otherwise move away from the other, they must Disengage. This requires them to take an action and make an Athletics roll, failure gives the opponent a free attack. If more than two characters are involved, then each additional character adds a -2 penalty to the roll.

Finally, a character cannot move through another character. If the only way out of a zone is through a character or within a reasonable attack range of a character (GM discretion, but a good rule of thumb is 2 meters) then they cannot proceed further. The only exception is with an Athletics roll, taking a penalty equal to the guarding character’s Close Combat ranks. Failure means they take damage and fail to get by. Similarly to the Disengage rules, multiple guard characters increase the penalty (and the possible damage) by 2.

Range

When making ranged attacks, targeting characters in the same zone gives a -2 penalty, while attacks to targets in the next zone do not take a penalty. Each zone further away imposes an additional -2 penalty per zone. Finally, making a ranged attack on a character who is currently Engaged in close combat also gives a -2 penalty to the ranged attack, and an additional -2 per additional person engaged.

Thrown weapons can target any enemy in the same zone, or can target foes in the next zone over with a successful Athletics roll, and an additional zone over for every 3 Degrees of Success. This Athletics roll is subject to the same penalties as a ranged combat attack, and substitutes as the attack roll.

Reach

Some gear and even some abilities or advantages give a character a longer (or shorter) effective reach. This is a simple system to emulate that. When characters with different reaches come into conflict, the character with the greater reach gets a bonus equal to the different, while the other character gets an equivalent penalty.

Cover

Cover can be the difference between life and death in a battle. The VERS cover system is very simple, giving either a -1, -3, or -5 penalty on attacks against targets with cover, based on approximately how much they are covered (⅓, ⅔, or complete). If an attack misses by the amount of the penalty then it strikes the cover instead, and could damage it or even break it.

Injury Conditions

The physical conditions are, in order from least to greatest, grazed, wounded, impaired, and disabled. Distracted and flustered both have two slots, while disoriented and distraught each only have one. For a better description for roleplaying these conditions, see below.

  • Grazed: The grazed condition applies if the net EV is between 0 and 2. This is the equivalent of the dramatic cheek cut or slicing a Z in their shirt, and does not really impact a character in any other meaningful way. Conditions at this level do not impose a penalty on recovery actions.
  • Wounded: The wounded condition applies when the net EV is between 3 and 5. This is the equivalent of a flesh wound, a dull weapon, punch, kick, etc, would give the character a bruise while a cutting or piercing attack would be a minor cut that bleeds but is not enough to slow or otherwise harm the character. Characters take a -1 penalty to all Skills for each condition at this level until the condition is recovered. Recovery Actions take a -1 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.
  • Impaired: The impaired condition applies when the net EV is between 6 and 8. This is the equivalent of a broken bone for dull types of attacks or a well-placed gunshot or stab. In addition, due to the trauma, any use of skills takes an additional -2 penalty until the condition is recovered. Recovery Actions take a -2 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.
  • Disabled: This condition applies when the net EV is greater than 9. A character who gets hit by this much damage (or has lesser damage upgraded to this point) is disabled in a dramatically appropriate way. This could be physical unconsciousness, or death, depending on what type of damage it was. A character with the disabled condition can still make actions, although they are restricted to a single action per turn, take a -4 penalty to the action, and must make a Discipline roll to stay conscious. Recovery Actions take a -4 penalty if this is the highest level Injury condition the character has.

Breaking Stuff

Hardness Examples
Rank Example Material
-5 Butter
-2 Flesh
-1 Cloth, paper
0 Leather, rope
1 Glass, pottery
2 Wood, bone
3
4 Bronze
5 Stone, iron
6 Tempered steel
7
8 Diamond

In addition, objects also have conditions based on their size and hardness. Attacks on inanimate objects only take penalties if they are in motion or are small (such as a baseball). Otherwise it is a normal skill roll to make the attack. The EV of the attack is compared to the Hardness of the object, and the remainder, if any, determines the conditions, explained below.

The object conditions are, in order from least to greatest, worn, damaged, tattered, and broken. Each condition only has one slot. Objects can’t take recovery actions, but can be repaired with the right background or special skill, otherwise the process is the same.

  • Worn: The Worn condition applies if the net EV is between 0 and 2. These are small nicks, fraying, or other such small damage. This can be seen but does not impede the item's function. This level does not impose a penalty on repairs actions.
  • Damaged: The Damaged condition applies when the net EV is between 3 and 5. Knicks, cracks, rust, holes; these are the signs of the Damaged condition. Characters using the item take a -1 penalty at this level until the condition is repaired. Repair Actions take a -1 penalty if this is the highest level Damage condition the object has.
  • Tattered: The Tattered condition applies when the net EV is between 6 and 8. A tattered item is so damaged it is barely holding together, with large gashes, missing chunks, or other major signs of damage. In addition, due to the damage, any use of the item takes an additional -2 penalty until the condition is repaired. Repair Actions take a -2 penalty if this is the highest level Damage condition the object has.
  • Broken: This condition applies when the net EV is greater than 9. A broken item no longer functions but is in total disrepair. Any function that the object once had is lost, and if that function was structural then it crumbles, shatters, or otherwise physically comes apart, possibly with disastrous results.

The Chase

A common type of physical conflict in movies, novels, and video games, a chase is simply when one party, here referred to as the quarry tries to evade a second party, referred to as the hunter seeks to catch them. A chase can have three different permutations, and these stages can morph and change one into another depending on events. These permutations are interposing, pursuit, and tracking.

Interposing is often the final state of a chase, and represents when the hunter has gotten within a single action of the quarry. Alternatively, interposing can happen when two parties are both seeking a stationary target and wish to keep the other from achieving it. Either way, this stage is resolved with an Athletics roll, with a penalty equal to the NPC’s Athletics. If the player is the hunter, then success means the quarry is captured, if the player is the quarry, then success means they dodged or otherwise evade the hunter, and if the target is a mutually desired object then the player has taken control of the object.

Pursuit is the middle state, although it is often where the chase begins. At this time the hunter can still see the quarry (or otherwise actively sense them), but they are not close enough for a final attempt to bring them down. The GM needs to decide how many actions they want the pursuit to take, between 2 and 6. This creates a scale equal to double the length, in which both parties start on a central count. For this reason, your final scale should be an odd number. For example, on the shortest length, the scale is 5 positions long and the parties typically start at 3, while on the longest length the scale is 13 positions and the parties typically start at 7.

If the player is the hunter, each successful Athletics roll (penalized by the quarry’s Athletics) moves them down (toward 1) while failures move them higher. If the player is the quarry, the same roll would be made, but success takes them higher, while failure takes them lower. Once the character gets to 1, they may attempt to Interpose, while reaching the other end of the scale means the quarry has gotten away, possibly transitioning to the tracking phase.

It is important to note that each of these turns should be described and narrated, and not just treated as sterile rolls. The GM should impose bonuses or penalties based on tactics taken by the players. Pulling down bookshelves may give the hunter a penalty, as might heading into a crowded street festival, while the quarry may take a penalty if the hunter takes a shortcut, crashes through a window, or fires their firearm into the air to clear the street.

The final phase or stage is tracking, and at this point the hunter can no longer see or otherwise sense the quarry directly. To continue to the chase at this point, the hunter must have a way to do so, such as Survival or Investigation. This takes a similar structure as pursuit, but each roll is made for an hour’s worth of seeking. Hunters roll their Survival or Investigation to try and move closer to the quarry while the quarry rolls Stealth to leave as little trail as possible. If the player gets to 1 then contact is made and Pursuit can begin again, while if it gets to the end of the scale then the quarry is completely away.



VERSIcon.png VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference
General Rules Basics
Making a Character Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)
Gameplay Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts
GM Info NPCs
Optional Rules Not Yet Complete
Gamemastering Not Yet Complete
Storytelling and Drama Not Yet Complete
Advanced Techniques Not Yet Complete
Appendices Example Abilities Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes
Example Gear Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi
Example NPCs Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi