Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
There are four basic offensive actions that anyone can perform regardless of training:
Fist, Kick, Grapple and Charge. Any character can also perform a Dodge.
Specialized actions may require a special skill before they can be performed, such as Martial Arts or Fencing. Players should determine which actions they plan to perform frequently in combat and write them down on the character sheet. This includes the traits for the particular weapons their characters carry and any Martial Arts or Fencing actions they may have learned.
Fist: A punch, slap or strike with the hand or arm.
Kick: A strike or sweep with the leg or foot.
Grapple: Wrestling. This can be a hand, arm or head lock, or a full body grapple. The intent can be to hold an opponent down, to disable him or to injure him. If the attacker succeeds in a goal roll against his target, he has grabbed him (this roll can be resisted with a dodge). He then rolls Strength + Vigor versus the target’s Strength + Vigor. If successful, the target is grappled and cannot move or dodge. The attacker can choose to deliver his grapple damage immediately and once per turn thereafter. All the actions above are considered part of one grapple action — there is no multiple action penalty — but no other actions can be performed in the same turn as a grapple.
Note that the target must perform an action to gain the Strength + Vigor resistance roll; he can “abort” to resist if he has already take an action that turn (see Dodge, below) or choose not to resist, in which case the grappler’s victory points on his initial goal roll are used to determine damage.
Each turn after the first, the target can try to break the hold with another Strength + Vigor contest. This is the only combat action a grappled character can take in a turn. However, the attacker gains a bonus to his roll each turn after the first that he holds his opponent:
Charge: Ramming into an opponent with the intent to knock him down and injure him. If successful, both attacker and target go down. Add one die of momentum damage per three meters run. The next turn, the attacker may attempt to grapple the opponent; he gains a +2 bonus to his initiative and goal roll as long as he can act before his opponent stands up again. But a Charge attack is not for wimps: The attacker also suffers any momentum damage rolled against his target.
It takes two actions to stand up. Thus, someone could conceivably be knocked down and stand up again by the end of the turn, although only if he had planned on taking three actions (and thus applying the penalty to all his rolls that turn). No roll is required to stand up.
If the character performs no other action than a Charge that turn, he may move up to his full running distance (see Vigor).
Dodge: The character leaps out of the way of an oncoming attack, deftly sidesteps a sword, or leaps to the ground to avoid a hail of bullets. This action can also include blocking an opponent’s fist or kick by deftly redirecting its force with a slight tap. Trained fighters will want to complement their attacks with a good defense — thus they should learn both Fight and Dodge skills.
When dodging an attack, roll Dexterity + Dodge. If the dodger has more successes than his attacker, he has completely avoided the attack. Otherwise the number of successes is subtracted from the opponent’s successes before figuring out victory points. For example, Cardanzo is fighting a Chainer mercenary. The Chainer kicks Cardanzo, who dodges the blow. Cardanzo rolls his Dexterity + Dodge and gets 10 successes. But the Chainer got 12 successes on his roll. The Chainer hits with two successes total (12 – 10 dodge successes). That means the Chainer gets no extra victory dice to add to his kick damage.
A character can choose to dodge at any time during the turn. However, it requires one action and should be declared at the start of the turn with any other actions, and it will suffer the multiple action penalty. If a character chooses to dodge after he has performed an action without taking the multiple action penalty, he can still do so — but he loses all further actions that turn, and his dodge will suffer the multiple action penalty. This is called “abort to a dodge” or simply, “aborting.” In addition, he can only perform one action the next turn at a -4 penalty (as if he were performing two actions). A character cannot abort to a dodge if he has already performed three actions.
For example, Cardanzo is surprised in an alley by his Chainer foe’s comrades. He punches one of them, hoping it will convince the others to halt their attack. It doesn’t, and one of them swings a flail at him. Cardanzo decides to abort to a dodge. However, this is his second action in the same turn, and he did not take a penalty on his previous action (he originally didn’t intend to perform another action). He can still dodge this turn, but his dodge suffers the penalty for performing two actions (-4), and he can only take one action during his next turn (instead of three), which will suffer a -4 penalty.
Initiative does not matter when dodging — the character simply responds to what comes at him. In addition, the dodge applies to all attacks made against the character that turn, unless he has aborted, in which case those attacks that occurred before he aborted are not affected.
A character gains some advantage versus ranged attacks when hiding behind cover:
|Behind partial cover (a crate)||+2|
|Behind full cover (a wall)||+4|