Sunday, April 14, 2013

The SUE System: Combat Rules

And to start the SUE system hilarity, an essay on the SUEtiful combat system by Anonymous Friend #1:

Okay~. Where shall I start?  First off, this overview of the combat system only goes over physical ranged and melee combat.  No magic is covered here, that’s another’s job.  So, the combat system.  Once combat is initiated, your character rolls and adds it to their Reflexes stat for your number in the initiative order.  Fairly straightforward.  The characters have a Defense stat, which is 10 plus reflexes plus speed plus size modifier plus misc., which the enemy must bypass to do damage.  At this point, the character’s actions are dictated by the number of “actions” that they have.  Most starting characters have 7 actions unless they have taken specific feats/assets.  The things one can do in combat consume actions as such:  attacking takes 4, moving takes 2, a five foot step takes 1, blocking takes 1, an Attack of Opportunity (AoO) takes 2, and a readied action takes 4.  So for most low level encounters, you attack and then either move, 5 foot step a few times to dodge an enemy AoO, ready your own AoO, or save the actions for blocking incoming attacks.  Not many options there, but it’s pretty standard compared to say D&D as far as a standard action, a move action, and a free action, only it gives you slightly more variety in stuff you can do.  This can change quite a bit for higher level characters if they both purchase through xp or obtain through level up assets and feats that boost their speed stat, or acquire magic items.  Each point in speed increases the number of actions they have by one, and increases their movement speed during a move action by 5 feet.  So, a base stat character has 30 foot of movement per move action, and that gets bumped to 35 for plus 1 speed. 
                We’ll use my character in another game as an example here, b/c I actually have his char sheet :P  A level 12 character, with a speed boosting asset called Physical Training, that he stacked to gain a plus 3 bonus, then there’s the speed boosting gauntlet that was made for him by my friend’s character which granted another plus 3 bonus. So, with a speed stat of 6, he has 13 actions and a can move 60 feet per move action.  On top of THAT, with his first level of Kensei, he took the asset Rai-jutsu, which allows him to attack with 3 actions instead of 4.  So, after all that, he can attack 4 times in a round and then leave one action to 5 foot step, or get ready to block an incoming attack.  His Defense was 33, but he always blocked out of paranoia for letting damage get through.  This is comparable to a Ranger I had named Grif in a previous D&D campaign, the same one [a friend] was in with his binder and soul sucking gauntlet mage thing.  He wielded a bastard sword (noticing a pattern here? XD) in one hand, and I believe a knife in the other hand, gonna have to locate my char sheet to confirm that.  So, he got two attacks in with the primary weapon and two attacks with his off-hand weapon.  However, in this case, the weapon can ALWAYS be the primary one wielded, and if it’s two handed you’re adding x1.5 your strength and x1 your speed to the damage, you’re doing FULL damage with each attack. In [my character]’s case he used a katana that dealt base 1d10 damage, but with enchantments was boosted to 3d10 damage, and with the asset’s Iron Blow and Steel blow, added another 2 die of damage, so the base was 5d10 damage, plus strength and speed which was 12, plus 1d6 cold damage.  Holy Fragging Balls that’s a ton of damage. Oh, the sword was also enchanted with a Windblade attack, with a range increment of 40 feet.  To make the attack, you roll a DC 15 toughness check, or you make the attack but go down one on the fatigue track.  It was also only a related skill, so you’d make the attack at a -4 penalty, which didn’t mean jack crap really, since with the skill bonus and speed bonus, the base attack roll was 24.
                Let’s talk about blocking now.  As mentioned above, blocking takes 1 action to do.  Now you’d think after running out of actions in a round, you’d be done for that round, right?  Wrong. In the case of blocking you can actually consume actions from the next round to block incoming attacks in the current round.  So the next round, you’d have fewer actions to work with but your chances of taking any damage have been reduced.  You can also save your actions from a current round to block in the next round, but the actions you save can ONLY be used for blocking.  If you don’t use those actions before your turn in the initiative order comes up, they are forfeited.  I cannot tell you how many times this feature has saved my ass from certain amounts of indescribable pain.
                Next we’ll cover some examples of weapons spanning the multiverse concept.  Being from the Warhammer 40k universe, and a rank and file grunt of the Death Korps of the Krieg Imperial Guard, he started off with a few krak grenades (I love these things), a standard short pattern lasgun (aka “angry flashlight”), and a combat knife.  For this system, just to point out how crap the lasgun was, it was given a damage output of 1d6.  We all had a good laugh at that, until my squad started getting mowed down by emplaced E-web turrets.  I don’t remember what the krak grenades did, but suffice it to say, they cleared out rooms quite nicely.  Not too far into the first session, I came across an E-11 blaster rifle (standard issue for Star Wars Stormtroopers), and this thing was statted for 4d8 damage.  As you can see, given the advancement in technology in the Star Wars universe, the weapon damage was scaled accordingly.  I even requested adding an ACOG scope (or whatever equivalent version existed), and this originally added a plus one to my base attack roll, but was later changed to multiplying my range increment by 1.5, from 100 feet to 150 feet.  Next, Thermal Detonators, holy crap these things are dangerous.  They originally did somewhere around 6d10 damage at AP 1 (ignored 5 points of DR). This was later changed to 8d6 at AP 4.  There was a blaster sniper rifle that did 4d12 damage at AP 2, with a range increment of 100-500 feet depending on what you set the scope to.  Then there was standard D&D fare such as longswords, crossbows, etc. all at standard damage values.  One thing to note about ranged weapons, as far as guns/repeating projectile weapons, is that you can get more damage out of them per attack.  [my character] had the Double Tap asset, which allowed him to consume two rounds of ammo in a single attack to add an extra die of damage.  So his blaster rifle could do 5d8 damage, the blaster sniper rifle could do 5d12 damage, etc.  As for the range increments on ranged weapons, if the target was outside of one range increment, you were at a -2 penalty, and that stacked the farther out the target was.
                Oh yes, now my favorite topic, Grappling and Martial Maneuvers.  Somebody grabs you, make a grapple check.  If you fail, you are now grappled, and can’t do crap.  You have to make both a grapple check to be on equal footing with the opponent, and then another grapple check to break free….I cannot describe how much of a bitch these checks were to make while leveling up.  It was even worse for [redacted], who had shit grapple rolls, and would consistently need two nat 20s in a row to escape a grapple, guess how often that happened?  Now, for martial maneuvers, if an enemy used this on you, they were either trying to disarm you or essentially trip you to prone so they could mess you up.  Like grapple, you have to counter with your own martial maneuver roll.  Not that bad, this one didn’t come up as often, but still something to dread happening.
                Oh right, critical hits, almost forgot those.  You roll a nat 20 or whatever the crit range on your weapon was, you auto crit so long as the roll bypasses the opponent’s defense or block roll, no rolling to confirm afterwards like in D&D.  The critical hits do the full damage of your roll, and then add an equivalent amount as precision damage depending on the crit multiplier.  Pretty cool, right?   Well, half the enemies in the game I played were undead or constructs or some other form of frickery that only took half precision damage or none at all.  The worst part is if you get a crit, and the first set of damage doesn’t make it past your opponent’s DR, the precision damage doesn’t get through. Now THAT can be a real pain in the ass.


  1. Yay, it lives!

    What's AP? Armor Piercing?

    What sort of armor does a tank have? could your 5d8 Katana actually slice through it?

    1. It can indeed. I must remember to expound upon how armor works later.