Main Page Character Creation Talents List Skill Checks Skill List Combat GM Guide Spells Bestiary Survival & Travel Items F.A.Q. Character Sheets Generators

CPA: Combat and Crises

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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 enemy's auto-rifle or a axe swing (12 damage).
    • Even if a player or enemy misses a melee 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 Technique rule allows combat focused fighters to always use their creativity to improve the effectiveness of their attacks with no opportunity cost.
  4. When are combat rules necessary?

    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 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 safely 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.
    • 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.
    • Make 1 attempt to damage a target OR apply some possible effect that makes sense in the context (this effect is called a Technique.).
      • If you have a skill focus on the combat skill you used, you can do both at once.
    • 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, apply the weapon's damage, plus your skill, to the roll.
    Reload weapon Reloads most weapons that require it, including bows, crossbows, guns and grenade/rocket launchers.
    Spot Point out a target that you can see but allies cannot, so they can target it.
    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 one action.
    Cast a Spell Requires at least 1 arcane focus skill. Check the spell list for options, or improvise it with the GM.
    Autofire A different attack allowed by some ranged weapons such as assault rifles and machine pistols. If you declare it before your attack roll, then you can choose to either apply +2 damage to hits and misses, or shoot at 2 targets near each other. After you use it, you must reload the weapon.
    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 Technique on any enemy that moves or acts within your held weapon's range. This Technique takes place just before the enemy performs its action.
    Speak You taunt the enemy, demand they surrender, attempt to deceive or confuse them, etc. as 1 action. Speaking to your allies does not cost an action unless it is a leadership use.


    Techniques are intended to showcase the creativity of a warrior player in using the combat situation to their advantage. General rules: To get you started, here is a list of suggested Techniques and their requirements:
    Technique Name Requirements Effects
    Blind Works with any weapon. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy cannot see for 1 turn.
    Slash/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 up to 2 adjacent enemies in your range for the same damage.
    Strafe Any attack or weapon. When you successfully hit with this technique, you move 1 meter as part of your attack action.
    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 Requires Brawl. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy cannot move. They are at a disadvantage to do anything other than to make another brawl attempt to punch you and free themselves. Grappling an enemy is a prerequisite to throwing or choking them.
    Lacerate Works with any bladed weapon. When you hit, a biological enemy will start to bleed profusely and will take 1d6 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 that is 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 lean forward to attack one enemy who is otherwise 1m out of your reach, without moving yourself.
    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 or more points of their defense value, based on the magnitude of your accuracy roll.
    Throw Requires Brawl, and requires you to be grappling an enemy. When you score a direct 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, and take falling damage.
    Trip Works with most weapons. When you successfully hit with this technique, the enemy falls prone.

    Bonus Actions


    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.

    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?


    Melee vs. Ranged

    Being Prone in Combat

    Weapons & Armor

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