Bulletproof Blues 4e EN:Actions
Now we come to the most complicated part of Bulletproof Blues: actions! There are a lot of rules here because we tried to address the most common actions a character would attempt. However, just because we wrote it down doesn't mean you have to use it, nor should you feel constrained from making a call if a situation arises that we did not anticipate. You should treat these rules as examples, not as restrictions on your own sense of fun and fair play.
Order Of Play
Time is important. Without some way to keep track of time, everything would happen at once, and that would be terribly confusing.
Time in the game is usually divided into scenes. A scene typically starts when the characters arrive at a place, and ends when they leave. A scene could also be a period of time while the characters are together and moving toward a destination. In some cases, a scene might end even though the characters haven't moved at all, such as when they go to sleep, or when a fight ends and they begin talking about their plans for what to do next. Any time you feel would be a good time to "go to a commercial" or "start a new chapter", that's a good time to end the scene and start a new one.
Combat time is divided into rounds. One combat round is six seconds, give or take, giving us ten rounds per minute. In a round, each character gets a turn. During their turn, a character can travel a distance up to their base movement (walking, typically) and still have time to do something useful (such as making an attack or using a skill) as well as perform minor useful actions like dropping a weapon, deactivating a power, or crouching behind cover. We call these "move actions", "standard actions", and "quick actions", respectively. A character can perform these actions in any order.
|Round 1||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
|Round 2||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
|Round 3||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
Everything that happens in a round is assumed to occur more or less simultaneously, but the players can't all speak at once. To keep the game orderly, we need a way to determine the order in which characters act when combat starts.
If a character wishes to initiate a conflict, each player makes a Survival (Presence) roll for their character. If one or more characters gets the drop on their opponents (an ambush, for example), the characters with the advantage each get a +3 skill bonus to their Survival (Presence) roll. Actions proceed each round from highest to lowest, with each character getting a turn. When every character has had the opportunity to take a turn, the highest initiative goes again, and so on until the conflict has ended.
The environment always goes last in a round. Any falling objects (including characters) fall, and any uncontrolled vehicles move, after all of the characters have had the opportunity to take their turn. If any object or vehicle is under the direct control of a character, then the object or vehicle will move when that character does.
Delaying A Turn
If a player does not wish to use their character's turn when they have the opportunity, perhaps wanting to wait and see what an opponent does, the character may delay their turn, with the option of using it later in the round or on a successive round. The character may then interrupt another character's turn.
Delaying a turn does not alter the order of play. After the character has taken their turn, the order of play resumes its previous sequence.
Combat starts when Apex runs around a corner and sees Boomer, who is giving commands to his minions. The GM declares that the order of play is Apex, then Boomer, then Boomer's minions.
|Round 1||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
On the second round, Crimson runs around the corner, startling Boomer's minions because, wow, that guy is huge. The GM declares that the order of play is Apex, then Boomer, then Crimson, then Boomer's minions.
|Round 2||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
On the third round, Apex delays her turn, waiting to see what Crimson does. When it is Crimson's turn, he attempts to grapple with Boomer. Apex uses her delayed turn to assist Crimson by combining her attack with his.
|Round 3||Boomer's turn|
Apex's turn (delayed)
Boomer's minions' turn
On the fourth round, order of play returns to its previous sequence.
|Round 4||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
Forcing An Action
Sometimes a character might need to take a desperate action before they have had the opportunity to take their turn in a round or after they have already taken their turn in a round. This is known as forcing the character's action. Forcing an action allows a character to sacrifice their next turn in order to dive clear, activate a defensive power, or take another purely defensive action. A forced action can also be used to take a defensive action on someone else's behalf, such as diving in front of an attack to protect an innocent bystander. The character may not force an action which the GM could construe as an attack, such as blocking a bullet with an opponent's unconscious body or running into someone. When a character forces their action, they sacrifice their next available turn, whether that action would be in the current round or on the next round. A character may only force an action once per round.
Because a forced action is always defensive, it always takes place at the appropriate time, either before or during the attack which triggered it. The attacker does not have the opportunity to "take back" their attack.
Forcing an action does not alter the order of play. After the character's next available turn has passed (the turn they sacrificed in order to take a defensive action sooner), the order of play resumes its previous sequence.
Continuing from the previous example, on the fifth round, the order of play is Apex, then Boomer, then Crimson, then Boomer's minions.
|Round 5||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
On the sixth round, Apex makes short work of two of Boomer's minions with a sweep attack. Boomer then pulls out a sinister-looking weapon, aims it at Crimson, and fires. Apex forces her next action to leap between Boomer and Crimson, taking the full brunt of Boomer's attack.
|Round 6||Apex's turn|
Apex's turn (forced from round 7)
Boomer's minions' turn
On the seventh round, Apex loses her turn because she forced it in the previous round.
|Round 7||(Apex forced her turn early)|
Boomer's minions' turn
On the eighth round, order of play returns to its previous sequence.
|Round 8||Apex's turn|
Boomer's minions' turn
Types Of Actions
There are three types kinds of actions a character may perform during their turn in a round: move actions, standard actions, and quick actions. Under normal circumstances, a character can perform one move action and one standard action during their turn. In addition, a character can perform as many quick actions as the GM deems reasonable.
When it is not a character's turn, they can still react to events around them. Free actions can be attempted at any time, as often as the GM deems reasonable.
|On your turn||One move action|
One standard action
As many quick actions as the GM deems reasonable
|Any time||As many free actions as the GM deems reasonable|
With a move action, a character may move the distance permitted by their Agility and/or Brawn (depending on whether they are walking, swimming, or jumping), or they may use a movement power to move up to the distance that the power allows. With the GM's permission, the character may instead perform any equivalent action: opening an access hatch, standing up from a prone or seated position, squeezing the throttle on a motorcycle, or what have you.
A character making a double move (running) gains a +3 skill bonus to their defense value (DV), but they incur a -3 skill penalty on all skill rolls.
A character making an all-out move (sprinting) gains a +3 skill bonus to their defense value (DV), but they automatically fail all skill rolls.
Movement itself does not generally require a roll, although the GM may require an Athletics (Agility) roll if there is some obstacle to the character's free movement (distractions, inclement weather, uneven ground, etc.), and reduce the character's movement to one-half its normal value if they fail the roll (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half).
With a standard action, a character may attempt to perform one task. This could be attempting to use a skill, attempting to attack an opponent in combat, activating a power and attacking someone with it, or a similar activity. Under normal circumstances, a character can perform this action before, during, or after they move.
A quick action takes essentially no time. A character can't perform quick actions until it is their turn to act in the round, but during their turn, they can perform as many quick actions as the GM deems reasonable (perhaps as many as a half dozen). Typical quick actions include activating a power (but not attacking with it), deactivating a power, dropping a weapon, crouching behind cover, and so on.
A free action takes essentially no time and can be performed at any time, as often as the GM deems reasonable. Roleplaying, for example, is a free action. This might include banter with the character's teammates, making fun of an enemy's name or clothing, or noticing a trap. A free action may also be a response to something another character does, usually at the request of the GM.
When a character attempts a task, and the outcome is either contested or there is some random element involved, the player must roll dice to see if the character succeeds. The player rolls two six-sided dice and counts the dots. The player adds the result to the character's relevant skill and attribute, denoted in the game text as "Skill (Attribute)". They then add their power or equipment modifier, if any. If this action value (AV) meets or beats the difficulty value (DV) assigned by the GM, the character's attempt succeeds. There is no need to roll for routine tasks: characters automatically succeed at routine tasks.
A character may attempt a task in which they have no skill, if the GM says it is possible. For example, anyone can tell a lie, but it takes a skilled woodworker to make a mortise and tenon joint. If a character attempts a task in which they have no skill, the player rolls 1d6 rather than 2d6.
|2d6 + Skill (Attribute) + (Power or Equipment) vs|
|Table: Unopposed rolls||Table: Opposed rolls|
|Difficulty Value (DV)||Difficulty Value (DV)|
|12||Moderately difficult||8 +||Skill (Attribute) + (Power or Equipment)|
Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn)
Ranged Combat (Agility)
Mental Combat (Presence)
The difficulty of the task depends on whether someone or something is actively working against the character.
If no one is actively working against the character, the GM simply sets a difficulty value (DV). In most cases, if the GM requires the player to roll dice to accomplish an unopposed task, it's because the GM has deemed that task "moderately difficult". Moderately difficult tasks have a difficulty of 12 (DV 12). More difficult tasks have a higher difficulty.
|--||Routine||Perform a familiar task under ordinary conditions|
|12||Moderately difficult||Perform a familiar task under hostile conditions, or an unfamiliar task under ordinary conditions|
|15||Remarkably difficult||Perform an unfamiliar task under hostile conditions|
|18||Extremely difficult||Perform an esoteric task under ordinary conditions|
|21||Inconceivable!||Perform an esoteric task under hostile conditions|
There is no need to roll for routine tasks: characters automatically succeed at routine tasks. Similarly, there is usually no need to roll if there is no penalty for failure and/or no time limit: it might take months, but the character will succeed eventually.
If the character is actively competing against an opponent, the difficulty is usually equal to 8 plus the opponent's relevant skill and attribute, plus their power or equipment modifier, if any. In combat, the relevant attribute of the target is normally Brawn for Hand-to-hand Combat attacks, Agility for Ranged Combat attacks, and Presence for Mental Combat attacks.
Working As A Team
Multiple characters can work together to increase their effectiveness. In combat, all of the characters ganging up on an opponent must strike simultaneously (meaning every attacker but one must delay their attack). All of the characters make a roll as usual. The total number of characters working together is added to the lowest roll, up to a maximum of +10. The outcome of all other rolls are determined normally.
Characters with different skills to combine their efforts to accomplish the task. Noncombat tasks might benefit from a multidisciplinary approach. For example, disabling an alien doomsday weapon would obviously benefit from engineering experience, but a keen understanding of alien psychology or linguistics could also be helpful.
Some tasks are more complex or time-consuming than can reasonably be resolved with a single roll. For example, constructing a ship or racing through a city could both be extended tasks. When attempting an extended task, the GM sets a difficulty value and the required number of successes. The GM might also set a maximum number of attempts, to indicate tasks which have a time limit or a penalty for failure. In extended opposed tasks, such as a competition between rival scientists to create a vaccine, the first person or team to achieve the required number of successful rolls succeeds at the task.
Attacking And Defending
Each attack, regardless of its source, is one of three types: normal, mental, or alteration.
Most attacks are normal attacks. A normal attack is either hand-to-hand (1 m) or has a range based on the character's Power Level, and it affects a single target. Normal attacks are targeted with and opposed by Ranged Combat (Agility) or Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn), and they are usually obvious. A successful normal attack reduces the target's current Health (or Endurance, if it is a stunning attack). Damage Resistance is effective against normal attacks. Normal attacks inflict the damage which exceeds the target's Damage Resistance.
Mental attacks are those which affect the target's mind directly. Mental attacks are targeted with and opposed by Mental Combat (Presence), and they are obvious to anyone who has Mental Resistance or mental powers, but they are usually invisible to everyone else. A mental power has a range based on the character's Power Level, and it affects a single target. Damage Resistance is not effective against mental attacks: only Mental Resistance is effective against mental attacks. However, mental attacks inflict half of the damage which exceeds the target's Mental Resistance (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half, to a minimum of 1).
Alteration attacks are those which transform the target in some way, or which directly affect one of the target's attributes. An alteration power is either hand-to-hand (1 m) or has a range based on the character's Power Level, and it affects a single target. Alteration attacks are targeted with and opposed by the Ranged Combat (Agility) or Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn), and they are usually obvious. Damage Resistance is not effective against alteration attacks: only Alteration Resistance is effective against alteration attacks. However, alteration attacks inflict half of the damage which exceeds the target's Alteration Resistance (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half, to a minimum of 1).
If the attacker's attack roll succeeds, the player rolls dice based on the character's Power Level or on the damage rating of the weapon. The target's resistance (Damage Resistance, Mental Resistance, or Alteration Resistance) is deducted from the damage. If the attack is a normal attack, the remaining damage is deducted from the target's Health (or Endurance, if it is a stunning attack). If the attack is an alteration attack or a mental attack, half of the final damage (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half) is applied to the target (minimum of 1).
If the attack inflicts damage, the effects are essentially permanent, but can be healed. If the attack causes some unusual effect or affects the target in some unusual way, it lasts for the duration of the current scene or conflict. However, an attack that deprives a character of their movement or free will can be opposed.
To "break out" of an attack with an ongoing physical effect, such as blindness or being forced to sleep, the target must use a standard action to attempt a Survival (Brawn) roll against 8 + Power Level of the attacker. If the target has Alteration Resistance, they may add it to this roll.
To "break out" of an attack with an ongoing mental effect, such as mind control, the target must use a standard action to attempt a Survival (Presence) roll against 8 + Power Level of the attacker. If the target has Mental Resistance, they may add it to this roll.
If the target's roll is successful, they recover from the ongoing effect.
Bonuses And Penalties
A character's roll may have one or more +3 skill bonuses and one or more -3 skill penalties. For example, a circumstance that makes an attack more difficult would impose a -3 skill penalty on the attacker's action value, while a circumstance that makes it easier to defend against attacks would grant a +3 skill bonus to the character's defense.
|Attacker is making an all-out move (sprinting)||Attack fails|
|Attacker can't perceive defender in ranged combat1||Attack fails|
|Attacker can't perceive defender in hand-to-hand combat1||-3|
|Attacker is attempting to disarm the defender3||-3|
|Attacker is distracted4 or surprised||-3|
|Attacker is restrained5||-3|
|Attacker is making a double move (running)||-3|
|Attacker is using a two-handed weapon with one hand||-3|
|Target is beyond effective range of the weapon||-3|
|Attacker is charging the defender2||+3|
|Defender is distracted3 or surprised||-3|
|Defender is prone in hand-to-hand combat4||-3|
|Defender is restrained5||-3|
|Defender can't perceive attacker1||-3|
|Defender has cover2 or is prone in ranged combat4||+3|
|Defender is focusing exclusively on defense||+3|
|Defender is running or sprinting||+3|
A character hiding behind an obstruction is more difficult to hit. The defender gains a +3 skill bonus to their defense.
During their turn, or as a forced action, a character may use a standard action to focus exclusively on defense. Dodging might involve using finesse to harmlessly divert attacks away, or it might entail using brute force to withstand attacks: the choice is up to the player. Dodging grants a +3 skill bonus to the character's defense when they are attacked. A character who is using their action to dodge continues to receive this benefit until they take their next turn.
Helpless Or Unconscious Characters
A helpless or unconscious character is unable to defend themselves or make skill rolls. They are effectively at the mercy of any attacker.
A prone character is easier to hit with a hand-to-hand attack, but is harder to hit with a ranged attack. A prone defender incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense against Hand-to-hand Combat attacks, but they receive a +3 skill bonus to their defense against Ranged Combat and Mental Combat attacks. Standing up from a prone or seated position requires a move or standard action.
A restrained character is not helpless, but they can't use movement until they break free of the restraints. Attacking a restrained character is easier, and a restrained character's attacks are easier to avoid: a restrained attacker incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. If the character is completely immobilized, they are considered helpless rather then merely restrained.
Running For Cover
Attacks which are particularly large, such as explosions and collapsing castles, are much more difficult to avoid. The only way to avoid such attacks is to not be under them when they land. A character may force their action to run for cover. When running for cover, the character sprints to the nearest open ground which is beyond the area of the attack or behind the nearest cover.
There are five range bands: hand-to-hand, short, medium, long, and extreme. Hand-to-hand is the distance that a character can reach with their hands or with a hand-held weapon: anywhere from "in your face" up to about one meter. Short range is the distance that a character can easily reach with small hand-held weapons, or with thrown weapons with a bit of luck: up to 10 meters. Medium range is too far for thrown weapons, but is within range of most small arms: up to 100 meters or so. Long range is too far for most handguns, but is within range of most rifles, with careful aim and a steady hand: up to a kilometer. A few weapons have even greater range, called "extreme": these are effective at distances of 10 kilometers or more.
Weapons that are useful at a distance have an effective range given in their description, while the range of powers is based on the character's Power Level.
|Hand-to-hand (1 m)||Fist, sword, club|
|Short (10 m)||Pistol, flamethrower, grenade|
|Medium (100 m)||Carbine, crossbow, rifle|
|Long (1 km)||Sniper rifle, shoulder-fired missile|
|Extreme (10 km+)||Long-range artillery, guided missile|
Each player begins each game session with one Plot Point. The GM awards a player a Plot Point when their character does something particularly clever, heroic, or surprising, or when the GM overrides a roll of the dice to make things more difficult for the characters. It's probably reasonable for each player to receive an additional Plot Point over the course of a typical three or four hour game session. Unspent Plot Points do not carry over to the next game.
Plot Points can be spent by players at any time, even when their character is unconscious. The examples listed here are the most common uses for Plot Points, but they aren't the only ones. If a player wants to spend a Plot Point to make something fun happen, and it has about the same impact on the game as these examples, the GM should permit it.
Spending a Plot Point allows the character to use an extra movement action or an extra standard action. If it isn't their turn, the extra action takes place after the current character's turn is finished.
Spending a Plot Point allows the character to try even harder to succeed at the current task. The player may re-roll their dice, or they may gain a +3 skill bonus to the current skill roll or defense. The player may decide to spend the Plot Point before or after the dice are rolled.
Improvisation permits the character to use a skill or power they do not have, if they can explain it as a clever use of the skills and abilities that they do have. Improvisation usually only lasts for one round, but it might last as long as a scene if that makes sense and the GM agrees.
When all else fails, a player can spend a Plot Point to receive a hint from the GM on what to do next. If the GM finds this happening with any regularity, they should make their plots less mysterious.
Under normal circumstances, an injured character recovers half of the Health they have lost (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half) after they have had a chance to rest and recuperate for an hour or so. Spending a Plot Point allows a character to rally and immediately recover half of the Health they have lost, as though they have had an hour's worth of rest.
"Retcon" is short for "retroactive continuity": changing the past in a helpful way. This can be a needed resource that had previously been overlooked ("If we only had a wheelbarrow..."), or it can take the form of a character revealing a previously unknown era in their history, thus giving them new information. A retcon could also be used to apply a character's skills and abilities in a way that makes it seem they planned ahead in a particularly clever way, such as having already established a false identity as a caterer in order to sneak into an exclusive banquet.
A retcon should not overtly violate what has been established in the game.
A surge increases one of the character's attributes by one. A character with Brawn 5 could gain a temporary surge to Brawn 6, or a character with Power Level 7 could gain a temporary surge to Power Level 8.
A surge usually only lasts for one round, but it might last as long as a scene if that make senses and the GM agrees.
Knockback is an optional rule which will make combat cover a greater physical area, possibly causing collateral damage in the process.
When struck by a normal attack, a target is pushed away from the attacker (or from the center of an explosion). The distance the target is moved is equal to the amount by which a player's roll exceeds the target number. If the target number is 12, and the player's total is 15, the target will be pushed back 3 meters.
If the target is pushed more than 2 meters, they must succeed at a moderately difficult (DV 12) Athletics (Agility) roll or be knocked prone. If the target is flying or swimming and fails this roll, they don't fall to the ground, but the mechanical effects are the same: they are easier to hit with a Hand-to-hand Combat attack, harder to hit with a Ranged Combat or Mental Combat attack, and recovering their equilibrium requires a move action.
Targets who suffer knockback often smash through walls and windows, destroying whatever they pass through or happen to land on, but they suffer no significant injury themselves from doing so.
Failure is not the end of the world. A failed attempt may not give the character the result they wanted, but it should not mean the game grinds to a halt. Rather than having a failed attempt be a dead-end, it could mean that the desired outcome has a greater cost, or perhaps the desired outcome has undesirable side effects. Remember that success and failure are both paths to the same goal: to make the game more fun. Failure is okay. Boredom is not.
For example, Inspector Dupuis is trying to intimidate a low-level gangster into revealing details about the organization's plans to distribute a dangerous, highly experimental drug. Sadly, Inspector Dupuis's player rolls poorly, and fails to intimidate the gangster. Rather than having this be the end of this line of inquiry, the GM has several options.
- Quid pro quo: The gangster will give Dupuis the information, but only if Dupuis gives the gangster something in exchange. This could be something as prosaic as money, but it could be something more interesting, such as information about a rival organization or a favour to call in later.
- Red herring: The gangster tells Dupuis what they want to hear, but the information is not true or it leads Dupuis off on a wild goose chase. If the gangster is clever, they may send Dupuis after a rival organization that has been causing problems.
- Stirring the pot: Dupuis gets the information, but their activities attract attention. A rival organization learns of the drug as a result of Dupuis' activities, and they try to beat Dupuis to the prize. Alternately, the rival organization might use Dupuis as a stalking horse, allowing Dupuis and the gang to fight each other so that the rival organization will have an easier time taking the spoils from the winner.
- Alerting the enemy: Dupuis gets the information, but the gang learns of Dupuis's interest in their activities and they begin to make preparations. It could even be that the gangster was intended to be captured by Dupuis all along, in order to set them up for an ambush!
When a character expends or loses Endurance, that amount is subtracted from their current Endurance. Endurance is replenished by rest and relaxation.
Endurance may not be reduced below zero. A character with zero Endurance is unconscious. If a character with zero Endurance suffers additional Endurance damage from another attack, the damage is treated as Health damage. The target recovers their lost Endurance after the fight is over, when the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate.
When a character expends or loses Health, that amount is subtracted from their current Health. Health is replenished by rest and medical care.
Health may not be reduced below zero. A character with zero Health is unconscious, their Endurance is also reduced to zero, and they are probably out of the fight.
Normally, an injured character may recover half of their lost Health (round down, even if the fraction is more than one-half) by resting for about an hour. After that, a character may only recover additional Health by getting a good night's sleep (or its equivalent, for characters who don't sleep). Barring some gruesome disfigurement, a character's Health will be completely replenished after a solid night's rest.
If the character has taken some other form of damage, such as damage to one of their attributes, this damage is temporary. It all comes back after the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate.
Inanimate objects have Health, reflecting the structural integrity of the object. An object which has lost more than half of its Health is damaged, and may not work properly. An object which has lost of all of its Health is effectively destroyed.
An unnamed character is defeated on any successful attack. They make up for this by vastly outnumbering the player characters.
In the source material which Bulletproof Blues seeks to emulate, main characters very rarely die. That being said, if the GM and the player both agree that the game would be best served by the character taking the final bow, then so be it.
However, even if the character dies, there is precedent in the Kalos Universe for death not being final. Depending on the character, their background, and the needs of the story, death may be temporary or merely a transitional phase. For example, when Dryad was killed during the Audubon Park Massacre, her oak tree on the grounds of the Vanguard headquarters seemed to die as well. It was only later when Doctor Morpheus joined Vanguard that it was discovered that her tree was not dead, but merely dormant, setting the stage for Dryad's eventual return.
Whether death is final for a character also depends on how they died. Did the manner of their death leave any room for doubt? Might their powers provide a way for them to return from the circumstances that killed them? And most importantly, did their death have an important impact on the story? The way a character dies may be their most defining moment; if so, it would cheat them and the story for their death to be temporary. Still, there is always a loophole if you need one. The most important thing to remember about death is that it should never be decided by a roll of the dice.
These attacks are special cases, each of which has its own bonuses and penalties. Generally speaking, special attacks are exclusive: you could not normally combine Spreading An Attack with Suppressing Fire, for example.
A called shot is an attempt to hit a specific part of the target other than their center of mass. Called shots inflict +1 damage (before defenses are applied) for each -1 penalty on the skill roll. If the attacker chooses to incur a -5 penalty, they would inflict an additional +5 damage if the attack is successful.
A charging attack involves using the velocity of the attacker to increase the damage inflicted. Charging requires the attacker to use their move action to travel directly toward the target, followed by a Hand-to-hand Combat roll. The attacker gains a +3 skill bonus to the roll. Charging may be called by various names depending on the technique the attacker uses, such as a "flying tackle", "ramming", or a "pounce".
A disarm is a special hand-to-hand attack that does not inflict damage, but instead deprives the target of a piece of held equipment. A disarm attack requires a successful Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) roll against 8 + Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) of the target. The attacker suffers a -3 skill penalty on the roll.
If the attacker's roll is successful, the attacker may choose one equipment item held by the target and either take it away from them or knock it from the target's grasp.
Distraction can be used by a character to mislead an enemy into dropping their guard. Distracting an opponent requires using a standard action to attempt a Deception (Presence) roll against 8 + Survival (Presence) of the opponent. If the character attempting to use distraction is successful, the distracted character suffers a -3 skill penalty on their next skill roll or their next defense, whichever comes first.
A grapple is a special hand-to-hand attack that does not inflict damage, but instead restrains the target. A grapple attack requires a successful Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) roll against 8 + Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) of the target.
If the attack is successful, the target is restrained. A restrained character is not helpless, but they can't use movement actions until they break free. A restrained character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls other than rolls to escape the grapple.
A grapple is not normally able to inflict damage directly (like a punch), but the attacker may attempt to use leverage to hurt the grappled character by making another Hand-to-hand Combat attack on one of their future turns.
Breaking Free Of A Grapple
To break free of a grapple, the target must use a standard action to attempt a successful Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) roll against 8 + Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) of the attacker. If the target succeeds at this roll, they break free of the grapple. Alternately, the grappling character may release the restrained character at any time as a free action.
Hurting A Grappled Target
If the attacker wishes to exert strength or leverage in an attempt to hurt the restrained character, they must use a standard action to attempt a Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) roll against 8 + the restrained character's Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn). The restrained character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense, as usual.
Grapple vs. Grapple
If the grappled character succeeds in a grapple attack against the original attacker, both characters are considered restrained. Neither character can use move actions until they break free of their opponent's grapple. While restrained, both characters incur a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls other than rolls to escape the grapple.
Throwing A Grappled Target
If the attacker wishes to throw the grappled character, the distance an attacker may throw the defender is based on the Brawn of the attacker and the mass of the defender. To see how far a character can throw an opponent, subtract the Brawn required to lift the target from the character's total Brawn. Look up the difference in the "Brawn" column: this indicates how far the character can throw the target. For example, a character with Brawn 4 could throw an opponent weighing up to 110 kg up to 2 meters.
A slam or takedown is a special form of hand-to-hand attack that uses a target's mass and velocity against them so that they fall to the ground. A slam can represent an aikido throw, a leg sweep, or even tripping someone with an umbrella, depending on the attacker's fighting style. A slam requires a successful Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) roll against 8 + Hand-to-hand Combat (Brawn) of the target. If the attacker's roll is successful, the defender falls to the ground and may be injured by the impact.
A character who has been slammed is prone and must normally use a move or standard action to get back up.
Spreading An Attack
Spreading an attack permits a character to make ranged attacks against adjacent targets simultaneously. The character chooses a primary target, and then makes a Ranged Combat roll against that target and against each target within hand-to-hand range of that target. The attacker incurs a penalty on each roll equal to the number of targets.
Suppressing fire is an attempt to hit a target by spraying the area with multiple shots. Suppressing fire inflicts one less damage for each +1 skill bonus on the skill roll. If the attacker chooses to gain a +5 skill bonus, they would inflict 5 less damage if the attack is successful. Only weapons with "auto" in the notes are capable of suppressing fire.
A sweep attack permits a character to make hand-to-hand attacks against anyone within reach of the character simultaneously. The character chooses a primary target, and then makes a Hand-to-hand Combat roll against each target within hand-to-hand range. The attacker incurs a penalty on each roll equal to the number of targets.
Special Attack Types
Area attacks inflict damage to everyone within a certain distance of the target -- everyone within 5 meters, typically. The attacker rolls once for the attack.
A successful blinding attack renders the target unable to see clearly. Normally, a character who can't see incurs a -3 skill penalty on their Hand-to-hand Combat rolls and defense, a -3 skill penalty on their Ranged Combat defense, and they automatically fail any Ranged Combat rolls. However, if the blinded character is able to locate their target to within a meter or so (by using their Hyperacuity-granted super hearing, for example), then the blinded attacker incurs a -3 skill penalty on their Ranged Combat rolls. A blinded character suffers no penalty on their Mental Combat defense, but they automatically fail any Mental Combat rolls.
To recover from a blinding attack, the target must use a standard action to attempt a Survival (Brawn) roll against 8 + damage rating of the attack. If the target has Alteration Resistance, they may add it to this roll. If the target succeeds at this roll, they recover from the blinding attack. If the target has not recovered from the blinding attack by the end of the scene, then they recover from it shortly thereafter.
Some attacks are normal, but nonlethal. The damage is applied to the target's Endurance rather than to their Health. If a character with zero Endurance suffers additional Endurance damage from another attack, the damage is treated as Health damage. The target recovers their lost Endurance after the fight is over, when the character has had a chance to rest and recuperate.
A successful terrifying attack causes the target to involuntarily cower or flee (defender's choice). A cowering character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense, while a fleeing character is granted a +3 skill bonus to their defense (because they are running).
To recover from a terrifying attack, the target must use a standard action to attempt a Survival (Presence) roll against 8 + Power Level of the attack. If the target has Mental Resistance, they may add it to this roll.
If the character has not recovered from the terrifying attack by the end of the scene, then they recover their composure shortly thereafter.