|Move||Move a number of meters up to your full speed (i.e., your full Strength score). 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.|
|Aim||Forgo moving to aim your weapon. Gain +1 accuracy. This stacks until you move, fire, or are forced to move.|
|Rise||Stand up from a prone position.|
|Reload bow||Reloads weapons of the bow type.|
|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 your move action to allow them to target it. This requires shouting or another communication method.|
|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.|
Cosmic Peril Fantasy: Combat
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Combat in CPF is deadly, fast, and tactical, and fun.
The rules support these principles:
- High attack damage and low health points (hp) ensure that combat is always tense and risky and is never a slog or speedbump.
- A typical player character (13 hp) has a good chance of being instantly knocked out by single spray of an auto-rifle (1d12+5 damage for an auto shot) or a claymore (3d6 damage).
- Low HP, high movement speed, and high damage ensures that combat is quick and doesn't last more than 1-3 rounds.
- Combat is tactical, everyone has a turn, 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.
- The unlimited special attack rule makes combat always an occasion for cool, exciting stunts. Plus, players can acquire magical artifacts, powered armors, battle-mechs or powerful warships to increase the scope of combat as desired.
When are combat rules necessary?
- Combat rules are only necessary where it makes sense to break events down into 6-second turns. Examples:
- Executing a bound, paralyzed, or unconscious target in a calm context does not require combat rules. If players know how to kill this person quickly and there isn't a risk then they simply will, no rules needed.
- Combat rules MIGHT be used when there is a rapidly progressing dangerous disaster.
- If players' planet is being bombarded from orbit with hundreds of megaton atomic bombs, then the game will likely focus on getting to shelter as soon as possible rather than a turn-based system.
- If players' space ship is being rapidly depressurized, compartment by compartment, turns will be used to see how the disaster might be stopped or escaped.
- If players' area is being bombed or attacked by seemingly invincible aggressors who have similar speed and attack ranges to PCs, then turns might still be used to see how these enemies can be delayed or escaped.
When and how does combat start?
- Combat begins when there is imminent danger to at least one group of people that could be mitigated or resolved within 6-second turns.
- Initiative is then taken: For each player, initiative is the higher of your full Intelligence or Dexterity score, plus your highest combat skill. For enemies and nearby neutral parties, the GM should simply estimate their initiative by fiat to get to the excitement faster.
When does combat end?
- Combat ends when no actors are in imminent physical danger that could be mitigated within 6-second movements and actions.
How does combat work generally?
- Generally, on each actor's turn, they will use some combination of movement, attack, skills, spells or items to try to resolve or end the combat.
- Attack rolls are made with a d20 plus bonuses and penalties to try to hit an enemy's armor class target number.
- With a missed attack, generaly something behind or past the target will be hit. This could still be dangerous if glass, tethered animals, fuel canisters, support beams, control panels, or explosives are hit.
- Actors who are highly skilled with melee or ranged attacks may still cause graze damage to their targets on a miss. Check the skills list for details.
- Weapons with explosive projectiles that miss may still damage the target, depending on the blast context.
- If a player rolls in their critical strike range, they get a critical hit on the enemy which deals maximum damage plus normal damage.
- Critical strike range is generally only a 20 on a d20. High skill levels and talents can increase this by +1 (19-20), +2 (18-20), or more.
- Critical misses generally result from rolling a 1 on a d20 and still miss even if the total would hit. They may also cause complications such as jammed weapons, broken weapons, or ammunition explosions.
- If players are in stealth and attack, then unaware enemies are surprised for one round, only able to react rather than move or act, and vice versa.
- If players are sniping distant enemies or vice versa, combat rounds might begin when the assault is realized and end when there are no longer any possible shots.
- Depending on the situation, players may lose stealth after making an attack. If they fire a loud, flashy gun from a small opening, enemies may fire back. If it's a silenced and suppressed shot or throw from a disguised bush, it may be harder for enemies to accurately know where they are being attacked from.
- During combat, actors may use a standard action when in 3/4 or better cover to "hide". Thereafter, if they attack or shoot, they receive a +1 to hit and damage.
- Players who want to better use stealth during combat can take the Stalker and/or Sniper talents. These increase the speed of hiding and the power of attacks from stealth.
- Actors who put an object between themselves and enemies increase their relative Armor Class. The GM assigns cover to one of the following categories:
- Tall grass, paper walls or thin glass is 1/4 cover, giving +1 AC.
- Shrubbery, low barriers, or light fog is 2/4 cover, giving +2 AC.
- Trees, high barriers, or thick fog is 3/4 cover, giving +3 AC.
- Full, thick barriers are full cover--the player cannot be harmed unless by an indirect, explosive or bouncing weapon. These barriers will take the damage instead, until they are destroyed.
- A prepared firing position is a defensive position that you or someone else spent an hour or more time to make. It usually involves a weapon stand, cover, and supplies.
- Having this asset gives you +1 to hit and damage on all shots , and any cover benefits that you prepared. If you disguised it, it may also give you stealth.
- A character attacking with two one-handed weapons gains -2 accuracy and +4 damage.
- Some enemies might be immune to certain attacks.
- A flamethrower may have no effect on a lava lizard. A lightning gun may have no effect on a rock monster. A poison dart may have no effect on a robot.
- A normal person punching a tank may have no effect or even hurt the attacker. But a legendary martial artist (skill 6) may be able to flip it into another, damaging both.
- Two-handed ranged weapons, such as bows or rifles, are too large to be fired at an attacker in melee range.
- Melee attackers receive +1 advantage to hit a prone character.
- Players may fire a one-handed ranged weapon at a melee attacker with -1 disadvantage die to hit: i.e., roll 2d20, take the lower, add modifiers.
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.
|Attack||Make 1 attempt to damage an enemy, vehicle or object, AND apply some possible condition such as pushed, exposed, stunned, blinded, etc. Generally, you roll a d20, add your statistic modifier, your weapon skill, and any other accuracy bonus or penalty. If you hit, roll the weapon's damage dice, plus any bonuses. Also if you hit, you can apply any reasonable special attack. For example, a bullet might knock off an enemy's helmet, reducing its armor, or a hit with a sword might shove an enemy backwards, hit multiple enemies, or shove one prone. A person who successfully punched a metal war machine might deal minimal damage, but if they are a legendary martial artist, they might deal full damage and be able to shove or throw it.|
|Autofire/Spreadfire||An 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 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.|
|Overwatch||You forgo immediate action, instead preparing to make 1 attack on any enemy that moves within your weapon's range.|
|Disengage||You move 1 unit away from the nearest enemy, avoiding any opportunity attacks.|
|Reload weapon||Reloads most weapons.|
|Hide||Roll stealth versus a target number set by the GM to have enemies lose track of you. Requires at least 3/4 cover.|
|Any additional Move Action||You can convert your Main Action into a Move action, for example, if you need to move twice, or aim twice, or rise and move, etc.|
|Pick up small, unsecured item||Pick up a small item that is unsecured - such as on a table or on the floor.|
|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 round 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 "Clear the area!" or "We have nothing you want!" If you want to make a more detailed proposition, speech or taunt, that may cost your main action.|
|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 an evasion save. The dive itself may cost 1-4 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.