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Combat Overview

Combat in the game is broken up into Rounds, where each combatant gets the chance to take a couple of actions, before it moves around to the beginning again.

Combat rolls are handled much like skill tasks. The player rolls 1d20, and adds the relevant attribute. Most of the time, the attribute used to attack is Reflexes, as that’s the attribute that governs gunfire, but depending on the weapon or situation, that can change.

Adding the number rolled, the attribute, and any accuracy bonuses, the player comes up with a Result. If the Result is greater than the defense of the target, the attack hits. Otherwise it misses, either by missing the target entirely, or striking armor or shields at an angle such that it doesn’t do any damage.

Unlike skill rolls, combat rolls do not have a broad range of numbers that can score a critical success. Combat is chaotic and faced paced, exceptional results are few and far between. Should a natural 20 be rolled on the die and the attack hits, the attack succeeds critically. Most weapons descriptions give an upgraded damage result for a critical hit. If there is some doubt, the damage usually increases by 50%.

As with skills, if the roll scores a critical, but fails to meet the required number, the roll succeeds but without the critical success.

Critical failures in combat only occur when the character is using an unfamiliar weapon. Using a weapon untrained, and rolling a 1 on the die results in a bad failure of some kind. Rolling a 1 on a weapon the character is well trained in has no effect other than creating a very low Result.

Liara’s biotic abilities are temporarily exhausted, and she’s in a bind. She fires her light pistol at the incoming Geth trooper.

Liara’s Reflex score is 6 She’s not a Spectre or a Commando, so she has no special bonus to all weapons. She has specialized in Light Pistols, giving her an additional +2.

Liara’s player rolls a d20 and adds 8. (6+2)

The die comes up 11, giving her a total of 19.

The Geth Trooper has a Defense of 10. 19 easily beats 10, so Liara hits! She applies her weapon damage (8) directly to the Geth’s shields, with no reduction for armor, as it can’t protect the shields.

When her turn comes up again, Liara fires a second time. This time she rolls a natural 20! That’s more than enough to hit, and it’s a 20, so it’s a critical success. She applies the crit damage from her pistol (12) to the Geth’s shields. Little by little she’s bringing those shields down!


At the Heart of the Abyss Drascus