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CPA: Combat and Chases

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Combat in CPA is deadly, fast, tactical, creative, and fun.

The rules support these principles:

  1. High attack damage and low health points (hp) ensure that combat is always tense and risky and is never a slog or an assumed-win speedbump.
    • A typical player character (15 hp) has a good chance of being seriously wounded by single burst of an auto-rifle (2d6+2 damage) or a claymore slash (3d6 damage).
    • Even if a player or enemy misses an attack, they can apply graze damage to keep the scene moving forward towards its conclusion.
  2. Low HP, high movement speed, and high damage ensures that combat is quick and doesn't last more than 1-3 rounds.
  3. Combat is tactical, everyone has a turn for each round, position matters, the environment matters, and the unlimited special attack rule allows players to always use their creativity to improve the effectiveness of their attacks with no opportunity cost.
  4. When are combat rules necessary?

    Difference between a Chase and a Combat?

    When and how does combat start?

    1. Combat begins when there is imminent danger to at least one group of people that could be mitigated or resolved within 6-second turns.
    2. The participant with the highest Speed statistic goes first, and then in descending order by speed.
      • If players prefer, they can elect to "hold" their turn until a later count in the same round.

    When does combat end?

    How does combat work generally?

    Actions in Combat

    On each turn, each player gets 2 actions. One or both actions can be any of the following:

    Action Name Description
    Move
    • Move a number of meters up to your full speed. Regardless of how much you move, it counts as 1 action.
    • Meters may also be measured in tabletop-inches, grid-squares, or grid-hexes, whatever is easiest.
    • Standing up from or crouching down into a prone position, moving a vehicle, or swimming or climbing is also a move action.
    • Swimming or climbing in a combat scene is done at half your normal speed.
    • Moving into, out of, or through spaces adjacent to an enemy costs 2 instead of 1 speed unit.
    • If you want to move directly through an enemy or line of enemies, you must either hit them with a pushing attack or make an Athletics check to see if you can tumble through.
    Attack
    • Make 1 attempt to damage a target, and on a hit, apply some possible effect that makes sense in the context (this effect is called a Special Attack.).
    • Generally, you roll 2d8, add your your combat skill, and any other accuracy bonus versus a target number of 10-20 that the GM will tell you.
    • If you meet or exceed the TN, roll the weapon's damage dice, plus any bonuses.
    • On a hit, you can apply a Special Attack. Examples are detailed below.
    Reload weapon Reloads most weapons that require it, including bows, crossbows, guns and rocket launchers.
    Spot Point out a target that you can see but allies cannot, such as invisible enemies you see with special vision.
    Aim You focus and gain +1 accuracy which stacks for your next attack. It resets to 0 when you attack or do something else.
    Draw/Switch Weapons Drawing or switching your equipped weapon costs a move action.
    Cast a Spell Requires some arcane skill. Check the spell list for details, or improvise it with the GM.
    Autofire A different attack allowed by some ranged weapons. Similar to a normal attack, except you can choose to apply +2/+2 to hit and damage at the cost of 3 ammunition instead of the usual 1.
    Use Skill and/or Item This action can be used to accomplish a wide variety of useful things in combat. These include hijacking vehicles, analyzing enemy weak spots, hacking computers to disable automated defenses, commanding animal or robotic minions, healing allies, throwing bombs, shoving heavy objects off ledges, etc
    Overwatch You forgo immediate action, instead preparing to make 1 special attack on any enemy that moves or acts within your held weapon's range. This special attack takes place just before the enemy performs its action.

    Special Attacks

    Special attacks are intended to showcase the player's creativity in using the combat situation to their advantage. General rules: To get you started, here is a list of suggested special attacks and their requirements:
    Special Attack Name Requirements Effects
    Blind Works with any weapon. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy cannot see for 1 turn.
    Cleave Requires a long bladed melee weapon such as a bardiche, claymore, labrys, or wakizashi. When you successfully hit with this technique, your 1 attack action hits multiple enemies in your range for the same damage.
    Cripple Works with any weapon. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy's speed is reduced by half on their next turn.
    Disarm Works with most weapons. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy drops their equipped weapon on the floor.
    Grapple / Choke Requires Brawl. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy cannot move. They are at a disadvantage to do anything other than to force another brawl check to attempt to free themselves. The grappler can choke the enemy for guaranteed half damage as an action.
    Lacerate Works with any penetrating weapon. When you hit, the enemy begins to bleed profusely and will take 1d8 damage per turn at the start of their turns. For robots or vehicles, this might instead drain battery acid or fuel tanks.
    Leap Attack You must be on a platform at least 3m higher than your enemy, and this must be a melee or brawl attack. When you hit with a leap attack, you apply extra damage to the enemy equal to 1d6 per 3 meters dropped. If you miss, that damage is instead applied to you.
    Lunge Attack You must be wielding a melee weapon or have Brawl skill. You step out to attack an enemy who is otherwise 1 or 2m out of your reach.
    Pierce Attack Works with any projectile weapon and also long thrusting weapons such as rapiers, spears and javelins. When you hit with a pierce attack, the enemy and one more enemy or other target behind them is also damaged for the same amount.
    Pin Attack You must be using either a thrusting weapon such as a spear, trident, foil or javelin, or a large projectile weapon such as a crossbow or magnetic rail gun. When you hit with a pin attack, the enemy is stuck to the nearest surface by the weapon shaft penetrating their clothes or armor. They must use an action to free themselves, otherwise they cannot move and are at a disadvantage to attack.
    Shove Works with most weapons, but best results are with Melee and Brawl. When used with ranged weapons, only 1m distance generally. Must be in the direction of your attack. When you hit, the enemy is pushed back a certain amount relative to the success of your roll, the weapon used, and other conditions. If they hit an environmental obstacle such as a cactus, pit, open flame or thin glass, more damage or conditions may be applied.
    Stun Requires the talent 'Hammer Expert' and a blunt weapon such as a mace, maul, lead pipe or thrown brick. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy loses 1 of their actions on their next turn.
    Sunder Works with most weapons. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy loses 1-2 points of their defense value, based on the magnitude of your accuracy roll.
    Throw Requires Brawl. When you successfully hit with this technique, you can throw the enemy in any direction up to 3 meters per brawl skill level, where they will fall prone.
    Trip Works with most weapons. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy falls prone.

    Bonus Actions

    Reactions

    Reactions are actions done in response to something that someone else does. They are not generally limited, but rather triggered. Many are granted by talents, but some are available to all:

    Reaction Trigger Effect
    Dive Away From Danger When the actor perceives that an explosion, large vehicle or animal, or slow projectile such as falling debris, is about to hit or crush them. The actor may choose to dive for cover, usually also rolling their Dodge skill. The dive itself may cost 1-2 nonlethal blunt damage.

    Specific Combat Situations

    What happens on a miss with an attack?

    How do critical strikes and misses work?

    How is stealth used in combat?

    How does "cover" affect combat?

    What is a prepared firing position?

    How does dual wielding work?

    Immunities

    Melee vs. Ranged

    Being Prone in Combat

    Weapons & Armor

    For a list of weapons & armor, please see the Items page.