Close Combat Complications and Modifiers in Scarterra | World Anvil

Close Combat Complications and Modifiers

Blind Fighting

  Blind fighting rules apply if an attacker’s vision is impaired (darkness, dirt in the eye) or the target has extraordinary stealth abilities such as invisibility. Brawling and melee attacks under these conditions are at +2 difficulty. Ranged attacks are impossible.    


  Attacking an aware opponent from a flank provides the attacker one bonus die on their attack roll. Attacking an aware opponent from behind provides the attacker two bonus dice. A target can avoid exposing himself to an opponent and denying them the bonus dice with a reflexive Wits + Perception roll difficulty 6 for a flank attack and difficulty 8 for a rear attack. The defender needs to score at least as many successes as the attackers Stealth score, minimum one.    

Breaking a shield

  Most of the time, a well-built shield with a competent user can withstand an awful lot of glancing blows or effective parries without taking more damage than ruining the paint job. It’s not just worth rolling dice to check for breakage every time a shield is struck. The only time you need to check for shield damage is when the attacker is deliberately trying a shield sunder maneuvers , the shield user botches a parry the same time the attacker misses, shield user tries a shield bash and botches, or the attacker has the shield breaker power.   Regardless of how the shield is attacked, the damage portion is the same.   The attacker rolls the hard target damage rating against the shield. Shields have an automatic soak rather than a defensive roll. Health levels for shields are as follows.   OK, OK, OK, Damaged, Damaged, Useless, destroyed.   OK: Shield is dented or slightly splintered but still behaves like a shield   Damaged: Shield’s passive defense value and parry value is half value, rounded up.   Useless: Shield provides no real benefit, but it can be repaired by a skilled armor smith.   Destroyed: Shield is reduced to wood splinters or scrap metal.   If a shield is destroyed, the defender takes some damage, but not as much as if they were not carrying a shield. If a shield is destroyed a piercing attack, the shield is treated as useless, not destroyed. The attacker gets to roll their base damage -2 to injure the defender.   If the shield is destroyed by slashing weapon they take the attacker’s base damage -2 as bashing. If the shield is destroyed by a bludgeoning weapon the defender soaks the full damage but it is converted to bashing. Botched parry roll: Normally a botched defensive roll just means the defender gets hit. If the shield bearer botches a parry attempt but the attacker still misses. Unless the storyteller has a more interesting botch idea, the attacker hit the shield with uncanny force, rolling normal base damage +2.   If both attacker and defender botch, laugh at the mercurial dice gods. Perhaps the weapon and shield are broken or the shield is dropped with the stuck attacker’s weapon in it.   Shield Breaker Weapons   Warhammers are especially good at breaking shields. Some magical weapons are built specifically to destroy shields. They have the shield breaker trait. Some monsters hit with such crushing force that their natural attacks count as having the shield breaker trait. A shield is used to parry as normal, but every successful parry is treated as sunder attempt. An attacker with the shield breaker power can make a deliberate sunder attempt at the same difficulty for making a normal attack.    

Immobilized Target

  An attacker that striking at a target that is immobilized but still struggling receives two bonus dice on her attack. Attacks on a completely immobilized target hit automatically and receive two bonus dice of damage.   Attacking a completely immobilized opponent with a dagger provides five bonus dice of damage if the opponent is wearing armor given how ideal daggers are at piercing weak spots. Against an opponent who is immobilized but struggling, the dagger uses receives the usual two bonus dice on the attack roll and also gets an additional two dice of damage.    

Movement in Combat

  When using cinematic combat rounds. A character can move her walking distance per turn and still take an action while suffering no penalty. Complicated movements, jumping, balancing, sprinting may either impose a difficulty penalty on other actions or require a split die pool at the game master’s discretion.    

Off-hand weapon use

  Most Scarterrans are right-handed and some are left handed. Either way, using a weapon in a character's off-hand raises difficulty to attack and parry by +1 unless the character has the Ambidextrous Merit or is using a "light" weapon.  

Prone Target

  Striking an opponent flat on the ground is easier if you are making a hand-to-hand attack (-1 difficulty) but it’s harder to hit someone prone if you are shooting at them with a ranged attack (+1 difficulty).    

Size Differentials

  It is easier to strike at a larger target than a smaller one. A humanoid character fighting a much bigger target than themselves’ get s a reduced difficulty of -1 or -2 to attacks against them at the storyteller’s discretion. A character striking at a much smaller target gets a +1 difficulty penalty on combat maneuvers.   In most cases, it is no more difficult for a human sized warrior to strike a gnome or goblin sized target.  The difference isn't enough to manifest in a +1 difficult most of the time, but there are penalties for hitting smaller creatures such as pixies.    


  A skilled warrior can target specific things or body parts accepting higher difficulty in exchange for greater damage or targeted affects.   Target Size/Difficulty Modifier/Damage Large (door), no special modifiers   Medium (limb, chest), +1 difficulty to hit, +0 damage normal circumstances.   Small (head, hand), +2 difficulty to hit, +1 bonus die damage   Tiny (eye, heart, lock) +3 difficulty to hit, +2 bonus dice damage    

Weapon Reach (Optional Rule)

  Fighting an opponent with a substantially longer weapon length is not easy. Attack and defense rolls against an opponent with noticeably longer reach is at +1 difficulty for the disadvantaged party.   If the opponent has larger reach because the opponent is a much larger creature, the smaller fighter would get a +1 penalty on defense, but no penalty on offense. The penalty for the shorter reach is offset by the bonus for attacking a larger target.


Please Login in order to comment!