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combat house rules

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weapon speed and reach

I hate the weapon speed rules.

  1. They combine poorly with Archery and Thrown
  2. They combine poorly with non-combat actions
  3. They result in characters who are holding big weapons acting first regardless of whether the weapon is relevent to the action
  4. They are applied inconsistently
  5. They devalue initiative-boosting charms
  6. They increase the emphasis on equipment over ability

That's enough griping. Anyway, I've been toying with different possibilities for dealing with weapon speed/reach. The best suggestion that I've heard (largely due to its simplicity) is to increase the difficulty of attacks on someone whose reach is substantially longer than yours. There is already precedent for this in the core rules: the +2 difficulty penalty to attack someone on horseback. Under normal circumstances, I treat attacking someone with a longer reach as a +1 difficulty boost... and leave it at that.


Split actions are not simultaneous. They occur two initiative phases/ticks apart.

Extra action charms may provide multiple simultaneous actions.

Actions can be held freely.

If two characters act on the same initiative phase and a simultaneous action is inappropriate, then actions are resolved in the following order:

  1. non-extras before extras
  2. highest to lowest base initiative
  3. highest to lowest perception or applicable ability, as appropriate

Using two weapons

general thoughts

Using two weapons ought to be a valid tactical choice, though it need not be an optimal choice. Currently, there is no particularly good reason to use two weapons.

paired weapons

Some weapons (such as sais and hook swords) are designed to be used in pairs, and there is no real reason why a person trained in their use would use one rather than two unless that person had a need to keep a hand free. Pairs of these weapons (and I'll come up with a list of them eventually) can be treated as a single two-handed weapon with a slight boost to defense and rate over a single such weapon and no off-hand penalty. To be able to do this, the weapons must be an actual set of two identical weapons designed to be used together, not simply two of the same sort of weapon.

mis-matched weapons

I need to give more thoughts on using two mis-matched weapons. Here is one possibility:

  • Assign one weapon to Offense - use that weapon's Accuracy and Damage
  • Assign one weapon to Defense - use that Weapons Defense
  • Use the greater of the two rates, but do not exceed the Offensive weapon's rate in number of attacks
  • Use the greater of the two Speeds (or reach, see below)

What's the drawback here, though? Assign either Offense or Defense an off-hand penalty? Simply the inability to have a free hand or use a shield? Would this be better than using a buckler? I need to give this some thought.

Another possibility:

  • As normal (weapon in off-hand has -1 penalty; no extra attacks for free), but allow one dice action to be used for a Cascading Parry with one weapon, even if the die pool is split.
  • Need to think about this one, too. There is potential, but is it too good?

martial arts weapons

The Staff is a weapon for the following styles:

  • Mantis
  • Violet Bier of Sorrows
  • Celestial Monkey

charging in combat

We are still playtesting this one:

A charge is a combat manuever that involves an attack at (or near) the end of a full move. It requires a character to split his actions:

  • The character's first action is the charge. This requires a Str+Athletics roll.
  • The character's second action is the attack. Usually Dex+Melee.
  • Normal multiple action penalties apply.

The advantage to a charge comes if the attack lands. The successes on the Str+Athletics roll become extra dice of damage, up to a maximum number of extra dice equal to the character's Valor. Unarmed attacks are not compatible with a charge unless stunted.

A charge on horseback does not require a split action. Moreover, the number of damage dice added is equal to one-half of the mount's Str+Athletics up to a maximum of the character's Ride score.

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Some neat stuff here, the only thing I could see players complaining about is that if you remove Speed as a weapon trait, then what do you do with Jade weapons which normally get +3 to speed? - SagaciousAscendingHero

I have an initiative system that detaches Speed from Initiative, if you're interested. You'll find it at Trithne/Houserules. -- Trithne