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Cosmic Peril Fantasy: Combat and Chases

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Combat in CPF 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 (11 hp) has a good chance of being instantly knocked out by single spray 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 you want more variance, you can have players roll initiative instead of using flat speed, by replacing the "5" part of the speed stat with a 1d8 roll. But, be warned this may significantly slow down the flow of your game.

    When does combat end?

    How does combat work generally?

    Actions in Combat

    On each turn, each player gets 1 move action, 1 main action, and 1 bonus action. Free actions and reactions are less limited.

    These action types can be used in any order.

    Move Action Description
    Move Move a number of meters up to your full speed. Meters may also be measured in inches, squares, or hexes, whatever is easiest. You cannot split your movement. If you want to move twice, use both your move action and main action to move.
    Rise Stand up from a prone position.
    Reload weapon Reloads most weapons that require it, starting with the crossbow.
    Spot If you can see a target that your allies cannot, whether by looking around a corner or by some special technology or magic, you can use Spot to allow them to target it. This requires shouting or another communication method.
    Aim If you have the 'Sniper' talent, you can use your move action to Aim, gaining +1 accuracy bonus with a ranged weapon which stacks and persists until you take any action other than Aim.
    Cast a Move Action Spell If your spell specifies that it can be used in a move action, then you can cast it as one.

    Main Action Description
    Standard Attack Action Make 1 attempt to damage an enemy, vehicle or object, AND apply some possible effect that makes sense in the context. Generally, you roll 2d8, add your your combat skill, and any other accuracy bonus versus a target number of 6-18 that the GM will tell you ahead of time. If you meet or exceed the TN, roll the weapon's damage dice, plus any bonuses. Also if you hit, you can apply any special attack or condition commensurate with your skill and roll result. Some examples follow:
    • Cleave: With a melee weapon, you swing in a wide arc, hitting 2-3 enemies for the same damage. Take the Berserker talent to get a full 360 degree cleave.
    • Trip: You hit the enemy in the legs, feet or wings such that it falls prone.
    • Throw: You grab the enemy and throw them, at a hazard or another enemy. (Punch Skill Only).
    • Shove: You hit the enemy and knock it back by a number of meters appropriate to your skill and attack roll.
    • Lunge: Strain yourself to reach just a bit further to hit an enemy otherwise out of reach.
    • Blind: Bash an enemy in the face such that he cannot see very well for 1 turn due to dripping blood.
    • Cripple: Bash an enemy in the legs/wheels such that its speed is severely reduced for 1 turn.
    • Disarm: You hit the enemy and knock its weapon out of its grasp, throwing it several meters away. With a high roll, this may sever a limb.
    • Sunder Armor: You hit the enemy and reduce its defense value by 1 or more points.
    • Stun: You hit the enemy on the head and cause it to lose its next main action. Only works with melee attacks. Due to the power of this move, when attempting it, you must declare it before rolling, and you have -1 disadvantage die on your accuracy roll for every 1 player in the adventuring party past yourself.
    • Nail: You hit the enemy with a penetrating weapon or large projectile such that it's pinned to a wall by its clothes/armor and cannot move for 1 turn.
    • Lacerate: You hit the enemy and cause it to bleed uncontrollably for 1d6 continuous damage per round at the start of its turn, for about 3 turns.
    • Pierce: You hit the enemy and, by piercing their armor, hit the enemy behind them as well. Works with spears and projectiles.
    • Many more options are possible: Use you creativity!
    Autofire A different attack allowed by some weapons. Similar to a normal attack, except you can choose to either apply +X/+X to hit and damage one enemy or apply the normal attack to multiple targets in an arc. Requires at least X ammunition in the magazine (varies by weapon) and drains that much when used.
    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 down stairs, etc
    Cast a Main Action Spell If your spell specifies that it can be used in a main action, then you can cast it as one. If it is an Attack Spell, roll vs. the target's defense instead of the spell's own TN.
    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. You get +1 accuracy for this attack only. This special attack takes place just before the enemy performs its action.
    Disengage You move 1 meter away from the nearest enemy, avoiding any opportunity attacks.
    Hide Roll stealth versus the enemy's perception value to have enemies lose track of you. Requires at least heavy cover (obstructions covering most of your body, such as a pile of crates or invisibility).
    Any additional Move Action You can convert your Main Action into a Move action, for example, if you need to move twice, or reload and move, etc.

    Some talents, spells or skills grant bonus actions. If you have one of these, and meet its requirements, you can use it in addition to other actions on your turn. Otherwise, you cannot.

    You only ever have 1 bonus action per turn. Nothing, not even spells, can change this.

    Free actions can be done liberally on a turn, i.e., as much as is reasonable to happen within 6 seconds.

    Free Action Description
    Pick up small, unsecured item Pick up a small item that is unsecured - such as on a table or on the floor. This includes potions, cash, and light weapons but not 2h weapons, computers or objects weighting more than 20 pounds. Those require a main action.
    Switch Weapons You can switch weapons once per round, on your turn.
    Push a small button or switch Operating a computer or gun takes more focus, as does pulling a heavy lever, but simply hitting a light switch or hangar door switch is doable as a free action.
    Drop item Drop one or several items that are in your hand or on your belt or pocket. If you want to dump out your entire backpack on the ground, that requires a main action.
    Drop prone Lower yourself to a crouching or lying position on the ground. This can help increase your cover (low barriers may become full barriers), and even if not, make you harder to hit from enemy ranged attacks (+1 ac), but prone actors are easier to hit with melee attacks (+1 advantage to-hit).
    Fall If you walk or jump off a cliff or ledge of some kind, then you will fall up to 100 meters per turn assuming normal gravity conditions. Falling damage is 1d6 per 3 meters fallen.
    Speak You can shout quick communications to allies and/or enemies. Examples include "What do you want?!" or "Hand over the Prisoner!" or "We don't want to hurt you!" If you want to make a more detailed proposition, speech or taunt, that may cost your main action.

    Reactions are actions done in response to something that someone else does. They are not generally limited, but rather triggered. Examples:

    Reaction Trigger Effect
    Opportunity Attack When an actor departs the melee range of an enemy actor wielding a melee weapon, including fists, without disengaging. The enemy may make a free attack with their equipped melee weapon.
    Dive for cover 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?


    Melee vs. Ranged

    Weapons & Armor

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