Hand to Hand Combat



      There are different types of Hand to Hands—all with very different and distinct techniques and bonuses.  The section that follows details the basics of hand to hand combat—how the moves, bonuses, penalties and phases of combat work.


The Rules…


Need-to-Know Terms


     The following is a list of terms one needs to know to play the game and to go through combat quick and effective.


Armor Rating (AR): This refers to how hard an object’s (or an individual person, in this type of game) surface is.  There are two types of AR’s.  Regular, the usual type used with body armor rules and natural, those with bodies that are naturally tough.  Only natural rolls, plus a characters P.P. bonuses work against A.R.’s.  For game purposes, all hand to hand attacks have a P.V. of 0—no penetration at all.  However, every attack higher than an A.R. will do full damage to the victim and ¼ to the attacker—vice versa when under or matching the A.R.

Attacks Per Melee: This number represents the amount of times a character can attack or take action per melee round.  1 attack or 2 actions can be made per melee attack.  Or 1 of each can be performed with the attack being a wild attack (-6).

Critical Strike: Effectively, this simply means the attack that just hit did double the normal damage.  This will happen any time a character rolls a natural 20.  Multiple Critical Strikes are cumulatively stacked, not continued to multiply.  If two ×2 damage modifiers affect a damage roll, the result is ×3—three ×2 damage modifiers or one ×2 and a triple damage multiplier would be ×4 damage total.

Death Blow: This attack will do double damage, direct to Hit Points and has a 70% chance of comatose for the victim (roll vs., with save vs. coma bonuses).  If a successful save is made, then the victim will only take the damage and an unsuccessful save vs. coma means the victim comatose for 1D6 days (save vs. coma rules apply).

Flinch: This is when, in real time, a player fails to announce their action/attack in combat within the given time during their turn.  They forfeit their turn, “losing” it, moving on to the next character with initiative.  Other times something will note that a character is considered to “flinch” at that time.  If a defender flinches, they just sort of stand there and get hit.

Knock-out/Stun:  Save vs. KO: 14 (with P.E. bonuses).  A save means losing two attacks and half their combat bonuses, which lasts 1D4 melee rounds.  A failed save means going unconscious for 1D4 minutes.  The attack must be announced.

Melee Round: Exactly 15 seconds.  All characters will have a number of attacks/actions per melee round.

Multiple Attackers: Characters can only defend against those attacks they can see coming—otherwise it’s a sneak attack.  Multiple person combat is resolved just like any other combat.

Natural Roll: This is the roll of the dice before any bonuses or penalties are applied.

Natural 20: When in combat this means that the character has just rolled a perfect shot.  A natural 20 beats any other combat rolls.  Only a natural 20 defense can beat a natural 20 attack roll (Defender always wins tie).  Even if a characters’ roll with bonuses exceeds a 20, the natural 20 will beat it—no matter how big the bonus, a natural 20 always wins.

Natural 1: The dark side to a natural 20 is a natural 1.  This means that no matter what the combat bonus, it is a complete and utter miss.  If an attack, the defender may roll over their own initiative to see if they know the person will miss.  If they do catch it, then the tables turn and the defender may attack, using up the original attackers turn.

Pull Punch: Those with a Hand to Hand need to roll over 11 and a successful pull punch allows for the character to control damage to 1 point, ¼ or ½ damage.  With a Martial Art only need to roll over 7 and can completely control damage the pull is successful.

Simultaneous Attack: Instead of defending, the defender can attack—they need only roll a strike over four.  Both fighters take full damage and in multiple attacker combat, each fighter only has one simultaneous attack per attack per melee.


Step One: Combat Range (No Dice Roll)


     First and foremost, the combat range of the fighters needs to be determined.  There are only three combat ranges.  They are Grappling Range, Fighting Range and Long Range. Each attack is different and can only be done at certain ranges.


   Grappling Range: This is the range where the fighters are so close they can execute grapple moves without penalties.  All wrestlers thoroughly enjoy this distance.  Those trying to execute any grapple moves from fighting range will be at -2.

   Fighting Range: This is just within striking distance.  Most karate and street brawlers want to be in this distance.  It is just beyond that of grappling range.  Most common attacks can be done from this range.

   Long Range: This is defined as anything beyond leg reach.  Exactly how far that is will vary (usually it is about 5-7 feet).  So, for game purposes it will be defined just as “anything beyond leg reach.”  Dash attacks, Jump attacks and Projectile Attacks can be done at this range.


Step Two: Initiative (D20)


     The next step, after combat range has been determined, is to determine who goes first.  Highest initiative roll goes first—in the event of a tie, both fighters react at the same exact time.  Either fighter can roll another initiative, if they want to defend against the simultaneous.  Defender must roll higher than the highest initiative roll.  If successful, the defender has a chance to defend, at -4 to defend (forfeiting their attack this turn).  A failed roll means the simultaneous ensues.  And if both try to defend and succeed then both of the just wasted an attack to defend, no matter what either roll is—consider it a “flinch.”

     The pass rule is an optional rule where the person with the initiative chooses to pass over the initiative to the next person in line for initiative.  This gives several bonuses.  First, giving up their initiative means, they are more likely to anticipate any attacks (+4 to defend) and second, since the chance to defend is better, then a counter attack can be executed easier and with a better chance (has initiative next attack and is +3 to attack).  The pass rule will be interpreted as a “flinch”, if the second initiative person also passes, then both of the character’s just wasted an attack and the first to pass doesn’t get the bonuses, they both just sort of stand there.


Step Three: Attack/Action (D20)


     This is simple.  The guy with the initiative has 10 seconds (in real time) to decide what attack they will do.  When they decide they must roll to strike.  If they can’t make a decision in the allotted time, that will interpret as a “flinch”.  Go to next attack.  However, an initiative roll can be made (no bonuses) by the defender, to determine whether or not the flinch was caught.  Make a roll over the attackers strike roll (the attacker will have to roll to strike, even though they didn’t attack).  If successful, then the defender caught the flinch and now has the opportunity to do a simultaneous attack (which doesn’t burn the defenders attack).


Step Four: Defense (D20)


     Like step three’s attack, this is when the defender decides what they will do to defend against the incoming attack.  Like attacking, the defender has 10 seconds to decide his/her course of defense.  When the 10 seconds are up, the defender just got hit for full damage with no chance for Damage Reduction.


Step Five: Damage (will vary—D4 or D6)


     If the defender flinched or failed defense, then the attacker must roll for damage.  Every attack will do different damage.  Damages from PS are always applicable unless it is otherwise stated.


Step Six: Damage Reduction (D20)


     There are only two types of Damage Reduction actions—Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact and Breakfall.  The defender has to roll over the attackers strike roll, with only bonuses to Roll or Breakfall.  Roll halves damage.  From here go back to step one and proceed until all attacks have been used.


Various Attack Moves


     The following is a list of moves that are common to many Combats.  Unless otherwise stated, all can be done from both fighting and grappling range—none from long range.


Arm Attacks


Punch: 1D4 Anyone trained in any kind of combat can do a punch.  They can even do it without training.

Hook: 2D4 Swinging the arm horizontally, then hitting with the fist.  It is 2× as powerful as Punch.  Grappling range only.

Underpunch: 1D6 Usually a punch to the gut or even lower…

Palm: 1D6 A bit more powerful than a punch.

Chop: 1D6 Uses the blade of the hand, usually in a swinging motion.

Backhand: 1D4 This is simply a variation of a punch; it uses a clenched fist, but strikes with the back of the palm.

Elbow: 1D6 This attack uses the pointed end of the elbow bent, usually in a thrusting motion.  Grappling range only.

Forearm: 1D4 An attack that swings the forearm to hit a target with the forearm.  Grappling range only.

Uppercut: 2D4 Swinging the arm vertically, then hitting with the fist.  Twice as powerful as a punch.  Grappling range only.

Double Fist: 2D4 This attack is one of two things.  Either a punch where both the hands are used to hit simultaneously or the hands’ fingers are interlocked and used to hit the defender.


Leg Attacks


Kick Attack: 1D6 This is a simple kick or stomp.  It involves swinging the leg up to hit with the foot or stomping.

Side Kick: 1D6 This involves kicking with the heel or blade of the foot, while standing sideways.

Crescent Kick: 2D4 This kick involves standing forward and sweeping the foot, toes up, and hitting with either side of the foot.  Damage is reduced to ¼ if successfully rolled with or no damage with an Breakfall when successful.

Hook Kick: 2D4 Think of this as a spinning or turning Side Kick that hits with the back of the heel.  Fighting Range only.

Front Kick: 2D6 It’s a forward facing kick that brings the knee up as high as possible, then straightening it—thrusting the foot, heel first to hit.  It can be very powerful.  If done at Grappling Range and does more than 9 damage (natural roll), the victim is pushed to Fighting Range.

Round/Shin Kick: 3D4 A very powerful kick that swings the leg horizontally from behind the character to in front, hitting with the top of the foot or the shin.  If parried, it still inflicts ¼ damage.  Round Kicks only at Fighting Range and Shin Kicks only at Grappling Range—they are two separate moves.

Axe Kick: 3D4 One of the most powerful kicks one can do.  It brings the leg straight up as high as possible and then drops the back of the heel down hard on the victim.

Back Kick: 2D6 A unique kick that turns your back to the target and “horse kicks” them with the bottom of the heel.  Those doing this kick cannot be the victim of a simultaneous attack, except by a sweep.

Sweep: 1D4 This attack will do relatively little damage, but its main property isn’t damage it is opportunity.  Those failing to dodge this attack (cannot be parried) will fall to the ground.  They will automatically lose one attack and will lose their next available initiative.

Knee: 2D4 Hitting with the tip of the knee, leg bent.


Miscellaneous Attacks


Tackle: 2D4 This will either be a “spear” type attack, a ram of the shoulder or even a body splash.  In any case, the victim will lose one attack and their next available initiative.  If they make a successful balance roll (14+ or there sense of balance skill), then they only lose their next available initiative.

Headbutt: 1D6 Simply an attack with the top of the head or the forehead.  Grappling range only.

Disarm: None Not really an attack, more like an advantage.  It’s a move that disarms the opponent—16+ is needed, disarm bonuses only, means the wielder is disarmed.  A natural 20 means the weapon is now in the disarming characters' hand.  The wielder can defend by rolling higher than the disarmer’s roll—P.P. bonuses only as a dodge or parry.




     Grapples are a little different from conventional attacks.  Grapples involve grabbing the victim and doing some kind of move that either holds them, slams them or throws them.  All the following moves can be done only at Grappling range (or Fighting range with a -2).


Flip/Throw: 2D4 This is usually when a victim grabbed, then flipped over the attacker and thrown a distance (Attackers PS in feet—maximum) or to the ground.  Victims lose one attack and will lose their next available initiative.

Slam: 3D6 This is simply a wrestling style move that ends in the victim being slammed on the ground—it is very powerful.  Victims lose two attacks and their next available initiative.

Bear Hug/Crush: 1D6 With either the arms or legs—victims are squeezed.  Each squeeze counts as one attack (grapple rolls not needed to continue).  Breaking free means rolling higher than the attackers PS on a D20 (+damage bonus).  If the arms or legs aren’t restrained victims can attack the attacker to break free.  A flip/throw or slam can be done from this move with no roll needed—unless they want to try for a natural 20.

Quick Note: All holds require strength and agility to avoid or break free from.  Victims need to roll higher than the holders’ PP and PS combined, using only PP bonuses, to break free.  A tie means that the victim broke free, but took the listed damage for that attack.

Arm Holds: 1D4 This involves holding the victims arm in any position where the attacker is behind the victim, with a firm hold on one or both of the victims’ arms.

Body Holds: None Essentially, most body holds involve being behind the victim and because the body is so big, such a hold just wouldn’t hurt; only damage bonuses would apply.

Neck Holds: 1D4 HP This attack means that the attacker has the victim in a hold from behind by the neck.  Essentially, the attacker is choking the victim.

Hand Holds: 1 Point Attacks to the hands and/or wrists don’t hurt as much as Arm Holds.  This attack can be done from any position—depending on the situation.

Leg Holds: 1D6 Since this attack isn’t even possible unless the victims legs aren’t on the ground—don’t even worry about the possible positions for leg holds (unless you can somehow grab the leg—like after a kick…).

Foot Holds: 1D4 Like the leg hold don’t even worry about the foot/ankle holds’ positions.


Various Defense Moves


     The following is the list of defensive actions commonly available to many combats.  They will have their restrictions, limits and applications listed.  Unless otherwise stated, all will require D20 roll.


Dodge: This is the most basic and instinctive defensive move taken by people.  It means the victim attempts to avoid the attack completely, by getting out of the way.  Anyone can attempt to dodge an attack they can see coming.  In multiple person combat, you lose the ability to attack that turn.  Using dodge means losing next available initiative.

Parry: The next basic defensive action that is instinctive is to deflect or block incoming attacks.  Most combat forms have Auto Parry, which allows for full bonuses to the next initiative roll.  A regular parry works like a dodge.  Special Note: When Parrying a weapon barehanded defenders are at -8.

Auto-Disarm: This is when Disarm is used as a defense.  The defender must roll higher than the attackers roll to strike roll, with all disarm bonuses—only.  If a natural 20 was rolled then the defender now has the weapon.

Auto Flip/Throw: A roll over the attackers strike roll, with all Grapple bonuses only.  If successful, then the defender has just done a Flip/Throw.

Auto Hold or Slam: Like the Auto Flip/Throw, only a Hold is the end result.  Grapple bonuses only.

Auto Dodge: Like the Auto Parry, only a dodge.

Combo Parry/Attack: This is the ability to parry an attack and simultaneously attack.  This move is –3 to strike and parry and burns an attack, but initiative isn’t lost.

Combo Dodge/Attack: Like Combo Parry/Attack, only it is a dodge.  Same rolls—just replace parry with dodge.

Breakfall: Alternative and advanced damage reduction action that will reduce damage to ¼ when successful and ½ if not.

Power Parry: This is when the defender uses the arm or leg they are parrying with to simultaneously hit the arm or leg the attacker is hitting with.  This does 1D4 damage if the arm was used and 1D6 damage if the leg was used.  Using Power Parry means –3 to strike and parry.


Attack Modifications


     All of the following are just modifications that can make certain attack moves more powerful.  All have disadvantages and advantages.  Unless otherwise stated the following can be used with weapons as well.  Penalties are cumulative.


Dash: A Dash Attack is when the character takes one or two steps forward and then attacks.  First, it allows the character to move in one combat range without burning an attack.  Second, it adds one die to the dice rolled for damage.  Dash attacks are –2 to strike.  Compatible Techniques: Any Arm Attacks, Front Kick, Side Kick, Knee, Kick Attack, Tackle and Headbutt.

Spin: Spin Attacks do double damage, but the attacker loses their next available initiative and one attack recovering.  When Spin Attacks are parried, it still does ¼ damage.  Compatible Techniques: Any Kick (except Kick Attack and Front Kick), Chop, Elbow, and Backhand.

Jump: Jump Attacks doubles the dice rolled for damage and the characters lose their next available initiative.  Compatible Techniques: Any attack except Sweep and Grapples, however, Slam can be used.

Power Attack: All characters with a hand to hand have this.  It does damage ×2 and victims lose next available initiative.  If the victim parries, they still take ¼ of the double damage.  It also burns two attacks from the attacker—one to prepare and the second to execute.  When preparing, the attacker cannot do anything—they are vulnerable to any attack.  Next attack is a strike roll.  Compatible Techniques: Any attack except Holds.