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Combat should be relatively fast and cinematic, although anytime there are rules and especially when dealing with the potential death of the characters things can slow down a bit. Combat is resolved in combat rounds (1/1,000th an hour or 3.6 seconds each).

Roll initiative
If a character doesn’t have initiative then roll Reflexes, there’s no penalty for not having the skill. Highest initiative gets to go first. In combat the character declares the number of actions they intend to take in the round and take the appropriate penalty. If they use dodges those will take away from the number of declared actions. If they have to defend more times than they had declared action give the new die penalty to those defense rolls but allow them (only defense rolls can be made this way). If the number of actions a character is making would lower the base skill (without bonuses) to 0D or less then that skill can’t be used even if the bonuses would have left them with more dice.

A character can move as an action, roll Running to determine how far an unenhanced character can move on regular ground. If there is a terrain modifier reduce movement by that amount. Enhanced movement and vehicles move 1 meter per Kilometer per hour of current speed. For simplicity a vehicles movement happens on the driver’s action.

Declare actions
This is when the number of actions are stated. Every action past the first (including movement) gives a -1D penalty to all actions that round. Once everyone has decided how many actions they will take the person with the highest initiative states each action they are taking. Each action should be resolved as it happens, so a character may use up all their actions dodging before it gets to their turn. Actions are also limited by the base skill, if base skill before bonuses would be reduced to zero by the number of actions and wound penalties the character may not attempt that action (even if it is a dodge or movement).

Resolving attacks
The attacker makes an attack roll using the appropriate skill, usually firearms, gunnery, throwing, melee, or a spell. The defending character attempts to beat that roll with a defense roll, usually dodge but sometimes melee or a spell. If the result is a tie the attack hits for base damage. If the attacker beats the defender by any margin that amount is added to the damage making unwise not to defend.

Once the attack succeeds the damage is rolled and any modifier for high hit total is added and then AR is subtracted from the damage. Some attacks are armor piercing and only 1/2 of the AR is applied (use standard rounding conventions .5 goes up to the next whole so 25 becomes 13). Any damage remaining after the AR is removed is applied to the target and they take any appropriate penalties. Armor is also damaged by attacks doing 10 or more in a single hit, with 1 AR removed for every full 10 points of damage done by and attack (39 damage reduces AR by 3 while 40 damage reduces it by 4).

A structure reduced to 0 SDP is considered broken and non-functional if it is damaged to double its original SDP it is completely destroyed and cannot be fixed. A person who has taken as many wound points as it takes to reach the Mortal threshold is in a coma and will die without medical treatment (1 point per turn until dead), a character who reaches the death threshold is dead and cannot be stabilized.

Character Death can be traumatic but in the Maltese setting it is usually temporary. Characters can be cloned for 5,000 credits bringing them back with all their attributes, skills, character points, and species modifications intact. Equipment, cybernetics, magic enhancements, and retro-viral genetic enhancements will all need to be replaced as they are not part of the cloning process. Clones generally need 2 weeks to recover with a -2D penalty the first week and a -1D penalty the second week. It takes 8 months to grow a clone from scratch, so it is advisable to have one prepared in advance. A character in a death situation who wants to miraculously survive can appeal to the game master and spend a character point to buy their way out of death. The character may still be seriously injured but will somehow survive. Clones can be grown in advance paying the 5,000 Credits up front and a 300 Credit per month fee to keep the clone in stasis (this is beyond normal living expenses and therefore will reduce monthly income).

Specific Locations
The damage to down/kill an opponent assumes hitting the center of mass, but someone wishing to destroy an extremity needs to make a called shot at a -2D modifier (easy when the target is unaware, but difficult in an active combat). Treat overall damage as normal, but double it to determine the effect on the specific location.

Vehicular Combat
Trying to attack from a moving vehicle is done at -1D if it is moving steady and an additional -1D for every combat maneuver or dodge it rolls in the round. If the character is acting before the pilot then use the vehicle’s maneuvers from the previous round.

Crashing: Vehicle impact does 1D damage per 10 Kmph hour of speed, in a head on add the speed of the two vehicles/objects. Falling characters will fall 200 meters per round (200 kmph terminal velocity). Fall do 1D per 10 meters fallen to a maximum of 20D. The max damage you can cause in an impact is the amount of damage it takes to totally destroy the character/object (twice the total SDP or hits to kill plus any AR). A small citycar with 50 SPD and 10 AR having a head on collision with a truck where both are travelling 100 Kmph would do 20D damage with a maximum of 110 points possible to the truck.

Targeting Notes
Targeting systems have a range, usually equal to the weapon. In the case of a targeting system with less range the bonus is available to its range and then drops off when the weapon is used at longer range; so a character with a 300 meter range rifle and a 1D/100 meter targeting eye would get a +1D to hit out to 100 meters, but no bonus between 101 and 300 meters. Targeting systems don’t stack, whenever there are two bonuses possible use only the higher of the two.

Medical treatment can be applied 1/day and heals the amount the target number was beat by; Hospital Stay: 5, Clinic/Paramedic: 10, Home Care: 15, Field: 20, Swamp/Sewer: 25.

Damage Definitions:

Hits: Damage taken by a living character, as a person takes more hits they move through the damage chart from unwounded to wounded to incapacitated, to mortal and finally dead.

Stuns: Stuns are just like hits but can’t cause permanent damage, once a being reaches incapacitated they are unconscious. Stuns recover at 1 per round, so people usually don’t stay unconscious long unless otherwise incapacitated.

SDP (Structural Damage Points): SDP are hits for non-living things. They don’t feel pain so they work until broken. If SDP is between 0 and a negative amount equal to the SDP base it can still be repaired, beyond that it is completely destroyed.

AR (Armor Rating): This is the amount of damage armor removes from an attack. AR does decrease with abuse (1 AR lost per full 10 damage in a single attack). AR doesn’t stack, but shields AR are calculated separate from armor AR. Shields only work against ranged attacks.

Magic Effect Damage: Magic effect damage doesn’t count against damage the character has taken, but is a measure of when a magic effect like a transformation spell will take effect on the character. Magic effect damage does not reduce AR and heals at it’s own special rate regardless of medical attention or regeneration ability.


Maltese RPG Sunrider