Step 6. Tactical Attributes

Tactical Attributes

In tactical situations and especially out-right battles, the differences between the characters and their foes, their skills and physical resources are thrown into sharp focus. In order to conduct a fair contest in circumstances where the characters and their foes interact so closely, they require very fine definitions of physical abilities. In these situations, the differences between the capabilities of their bodies must be clearly defined and all limitations marked (or as many as are feasible). From the beginning to the end of any tactical sequence, the movements and actions of the characters must be strictly governed so that all are held to the same standards to ensure that the relative capabilities of each are represented accurately on both sides.

If the foes are not allowed to put up a meaningful fight, what fun would the contest be?

Every character and beast involved in a tactical or combat situation is described by the same Tactical Attributes: Zone of Control or ZoneInitiative ModifierRate of ActionMovement RatesPhysical ResistanceMagick Resistance, depending on the GM, perhaps also Body Points, and for irdanni characters, Flight Statistics.

Zone of Control (Zone)

The character’s Zone of Control, or Zone, is the area he occupies on the Tactical Display. It determines the size of the base the player must cut for the marker or metal miniature figure he will use to track his whereabouts in tactical contests or armed combat.

The character’s Zone of Control is a circle or octagon (GM’s discretion, see “Preparing for Battle” under the combat rules) equal to his height in diameter.

A character’s Zone is assumed to encompass his reach while also accounting for his general size and the space needed for him to shift about and make simple maneuvers like sidesteps, advances or even lunges, and back steps while still remaining relatively in the same place for the purposes of battle. It may be restricted on the sides when the character fights in formation, shoulder-to-shoulder with his comrades to prevent his opponents from making flanking attacks.

It is very important that the GM and player both understand that the character is NOT the marker or figure used to represent his Zone on the tactical display. The character is no chess piece to sit idly in the middle of the space he controls, but are assumed to be constantly drifting and moving about in his Zone, shifting and looking about to keep track of his comrades and opponents. This is especially considered to be true when engaged in battle in the melée, dancing from side to side, shuffling forward and back in response to his opponents movements, always on the move himself, as anyone would be who is engaged in a contest of life or death consequences.

Initiative Modifier (Init. Mod.)

During the course of all tactical situations or armed battles, the order in which the participants get to take their turns in play is established by a die roll, but this is not sufficient to the cause in and of itself. While the degree to which one is ready to act under such conditions is not a guaranteed constant, the character’s native attributes should always have a direct effect on that readiness. This accomplished by means of the Initiative Modifier.

The character’s Initiative Modifier is equal to (AWA att. mod. + HRT att. mod.).

This is added to the die roll every time an Initiative roll is made, according to the procedure described in “The Rules of the Game” under the heading “Tactical Contests & Armed Combat”.

Rate of Action (RoA)

The character’s Rate of Action defines the amount of time the character requires in order to complete a generic “action” and recover from it in order to act again during the course of any armed engagement (battle), or any tactical contest where time is of the essence and the character’s are racing against those who would oppose them to complete some task. The RoA’s are based on a standard of 10-second “Combat Segments” (CS’s) for the average man to complete an action, derived from the fact that a skilled archer can nock and fire a bow with accuracy roughly 6 times per minute.

In order to determine a character’s RoA, read the result listed for the character’s AGL score, in the “AGL” column of table 7-1. 

The higher a character’s AGL, the shorter the time he requires to complete his actions, and the more often he are able to move/act. Due to their native speed, governed by AGL, some characters get to act more frequently than their slower counterparts, and this is especially true of a great many beasts, most of which are faster than the standard set by human folk. See also “The Order of Play” and “Character Actions,” in the rules for combat for a complete run-down of the rules governing character actions and the proper use of the RoA in tactical contests and combat situations.

While the GM is in charge of the flow of action in any tactical or combat scenario in general, it is up to the player alone to make sure that his character takes full advantage of the actions to which his character may be entitled by RoA. The GM commonly focuses more on those characters whose movement is slower, to make sure that they do not make any actions to which they are NOT entitled.

7-1. Rate of Action, by AGL


Rate of Action


1 action every 12th CS


1 action every 9th CS


1 action every 6th CS


1 action every 5th CS


1 action every 4th CS


1 action every 3rd CS


No action every 2nd CS


No action every 3rd CS


No action every 4th CS


No action every 5th CS


No action every 6th CS


1 action per CS


1 action per CS, +1 every 6th CS


1 action per CS, +1 every 5th CS


1 action per CS, +1 every 4th CS


1 action per CS, +1 every 3rd CS


1 action per CS, +1 every 2nd CS


2 actions per CS


2 actions per CS, +1 every 6th CS


2 actions per CS, +1 every 5th


2 actions per CS, +1 every 4th


2 actions per CS, +1 every 3rd CS


2 actions per CS, +1 every other CS


3 actions per CS


3 actions per CS, +1 every 6th CS


3 actions per CS, +1 every 5th CS


3 actions per CS, +1 every 4th CS


3 actions per CS, +1 every 3rd CS


3 actions per CS, +1 every other CS


4 actions per CS


5 actions per CS


Physical Resistance (P-RES)

The P-RES score comes into play by measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against either physical forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way. The character’s P-RES represents the character’s ability to survive extreme bodily stress and shocks without becoming numb, passing out, or dying. Such shocks would include receiving a heavy damage blow in combat, losing a limb, being exposed to extremes in temperature, being poisoned, and so on. P-RES also represents the character’s ability to maintain consciousness in the face of great pain, extreme fatigue, or strain, his ability to tap the deep reserves of his body’s energy without giving in to lassitude, or to fight the lethargy caused by blood loss without sinking into unconsciousness.

Base P-RES is equal to a character’s [(CND + STR) ÷ 2] + (HRT att. mod.).

To this add or subtract 1 point for every point of (modified) STA above or below 20, as applicable. The STA must be adjusted for Build before this modifier is applied.

IF the character is a member of any of the Warrior or Huntsman Trades, he is granted a bonus of (1 per 4 trade SL’s).

The HRT bonuses received by Mystics and Sacred Knight characters should be applied before this score is determined, affecting the P-RES score generated accordingly.

Magick Resistance (M-RES)

The M-RES score comes into play measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against magickal forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way, especially those that affect his emotions, senses, or other faculties and capabilities of his physical body. The character’s M-RES is the measure of both the character’s will to survive and his maximum auric and bodily resistance to the vibrations of hostile magicks, an expression of the integrity of his soul and will to resist the unseen influences of those who would compromise him or do him harm. All magicks targeted specifically at living creatures or beings may be resisted. M-RES stands as the DV a practitioner of magick must overcome once his magick is successfully cast in order to affect his target(s), in the same manner that Defense DV’s establish the difficulty with which a foe may be struck with a weapon in battle, and resolved using exactly the same dicing method.

Base M-RES is equal to the character’s [(HRT + CHM) ÷ 2].

IF the character is a member of one of the Druid trades, a Mystic, Witch or Wizard, he are granted a bonus of (trade SL) to his M-RES. For Heart-Witches and Hedge-Wizards this bonus are awarded at a rate of (1 per 2 trade SL’s), for WiseWomen and CunningMen this bonus are awarded at a rate of (1 point per 4 trade SL’s).


The POT of Blows

The puissance or magnitude of an attacker’s blow when it lands true in battle is called its Potence (POT), in a similar manner to poisons, magicks, incendiaries, locks and traps, etc.

The base POT of a blow with a weapon wielded one-handed is equal to the attacker’s [(modified STA + STR) ÷ 2].

For bastard swords and other hand-and-a-half weapons (GM’s discretion) it is [(modified STA + STR) x 0.75].

For two-handed weapons it is (STR + modified STA).

The Damage Bonus (DB) of the weapon used is added to this, Hurled weapons included.

DB’s are a product of the Size and Weight Class of the weapon, provided on the Weapon DB table 6-5. in Appendix G.

The designations of “1-hand” and “2-hand” are irrelevant for missile weapons.

Missile weapons do NOT get the benefit of character STA and in most cases have little or no DB, BUT the character is always allowed the full measure of his STR in the POT delivered, except in the cases of crossbows, which are mechanical devices.

The damage inflicted by crossbows is fixed due to the fact that they are machines and have to be able to be cocked and reloaded by common foot soldiers in the field. The POT of the blows they inflict is noted in their descriptions in Appendix G.

Certain types of arrows are awarded DB’s, according to the type of head affixed to it, as noted in their descriptions in Appendix G.

IF the attacker moves at his maximum speed through the CS (for no less than 5 Pulses of movement, if using the optional Pulse Move rules) before the attack (Charging), the speed in mph is added to the POT of the blow, excluding missile weapons.

The character is likely to have a different POT for the blows struck with each weapon he wields, more than one if he can wield a given weapon 1-handed, hand-and-a-half and/or 2-handed . The POT for the blows delivered with each (and for each use if a given weapon can be wielded in more than one mode) must be recorded for the player’s reference.


Wound Threshold

Any character struck by a blow whose POT is greater than the subject’s [(modified STA) + (CND)] ÷ 4 AFTER subtracting the protective value of clothing/armor (DR) suffers a “wound”. This figure must be noted on the character sheet for the player’s reference.

Any blow with POT exceeding (wound threshold x 2) AFTER reductions for armor/clothing (as applicable) counts as two (2) wounds; exceeding (wound threshold x 3) counts as three, and so on.

See the rules for tactical play and armed combat in “The Rules of the Game” for an explanation of the Levels of Wounding and how they work.


Optional Rules: Action Allowance



Optional Rules: Body Points (BP’s)

For the Basic game, injuries are reduced to simple Levels of Wounding. After the character has been struck a number of times, he is assessed a Level of Wounding. The Levels of Wounding are Light WoundsSerious WoundsGrievous Wounds and Mortal Wounds, respectively. These are explained in detail in the rules for determining damage from successful strikes in battle, in the rules headed “Tactical Contests & Armed Combat”, following “Task Resolution”. The number of hits a character can take before he is assessed at each of these depends on how big he is (STA) and the armor he is wearing.

IF this treatment strikes the GM as too simplistic, “Body Points” are provided as an alternative. Body Points are numerical values representing the amount of physical abuse a character can withstand before he falls unconscious, and/or he dies. When a character suffers an injury, no matter the circumstances, it is reflected on the Character Record Sheet by subtracting the appropriate number of points from the BP’s.

BP’s are equal to the character’s (STA + STR), plus his CND att. mod.

To these a one (1) point bonus are added per 4 TR’s for each of any of the Warrior or Huntsman trade, Assassin, Druid-Gowan or Druid-Fiana trades, Brigand-Knave or Highwayman-Knave, Mariner, Farmer or Husbandman trades, Smith-Farrier (Blacksmith), Smith-Weaponsmith and/or Smith-Armorer trades, Acrobat, or similarly physical trades in which the character has been trained (GM’s discretion), regardless of whether primary or secondary or bundled within another trade.

To these are also added a bonus of one (1) point per 4 SL’s for each of the character’s Weapon skills (NOT including crossbows), and his Brawler (etc.) skill, any and all Petty Skills with which he is equipped which appear on the roster for the Athlete bundle (as applicable), as well as the Contortionist/Escape Artist skill, and/or Shield skill.

BP’s should be noted in Full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 values and recorded in the first four of the five boxes provided on the Character Record Sheet. These correspond to the levels of wounding used (Light, Serious, Grievous, and Mortal). The fifth box provided is for recording Wounds. Recorded in this fashion they can be more easily used to keep track of the character’s state of health and accurately apply any modifiers to AV’s and/or DV’s that may accrue in play.


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