Hey everyone, today we’re taking a refresher course on Fantasy Craft combat with a sample battle between our hot-blooded swordsman, Impetuous Blade and his opponent, Bloody Rose, a female assassin from the Crimson Banner Sect.
Before we proceed, let’s have a look at Bloody Rose’s stats as a Threat Level 1 NPC:
Bloody Rose (Medium Folk Walker — 69 XP): TL: 1
Str: 12/+1; Dex: 16/+3; Con: 10/+0; Int: 16/+3; Wis: 12/+1; Cha: 14/+2;
Init: +5 Def: 14
Melee: +2 Ranged: +4
Fort: +0 Ref: +3 Will: +1
Health: +1 ~ 15/10
Size: Medium (1×1); Reach: 1; Speed: 30 ft. ground;
Skills: Acrobatics V (Dex) +9; Bluff IV (Cha) +7; Prestidigitation IV (Dex) +8 ; Sense Motive VI (Wis) +8
Qualities: grueling combatant, rend.
Gear: Long Knife 1d6 Lethal, Threat 19-20, Finesse, Keen 4
Grueling Combatant punishes attacks that miss Bloody Rose by dealing 2 subdual damage each time, while Rend allows Bloody Rose to make a free attack on the same target after a successful hit.
Needless to say she’s probably very bad news for our hero.
The battle takes place as Impetuous Blade arrives at the Stone Gateway Temple to recover the Manual of Flowing Steel for his Sifu, only to find that the monks of the Temple have been slaughtered. He hurries inside the dimly lit main hall to find that Bloody Rose is there waiting for him and holding the Manual!
At this point, both parties roll for initiative. If this was an ambush, then the party being attacked would count as being flat-footed.
Impetuous Blade rolls a 3 for his Initiative, but adds his considerable +10 bonus for total of 13.
Bloody Rose on the other hand, rolls a6, adding her initiative bonus of +5 for a total of 11.
Impetuous Blade wins initiative and gets to act first.
Blade immediately closes in on Bloody Rose, not bothering to ask who she was or who she was working for.
He spends a Half Action to close into melee range, his Scholar’s Sword drawn. For his remaining Half Action, he goes for a Feint. This calls for a contested roll of his Prestidigitation against Bloody Rose’s Notice.
Blade’s roll of 9 is added to his Prestidigitation skill of 2 ranks, his Dex modifier of 4 and the bonus of +2 to Feint actions from his Scholar’s Sword’s Lure quality for a total of 17.
Rose’s Notice roll is a 12 modified only by her Competence modifier of +1 for a total of 13.
Blade’s opening Feint is successful, and the knife-wielding assasin shifts her defenses to her left, only to realize too late that Blade’s attack shifted its direction to her exposed side!
Since this maneuver renders Bloody Rose flat-footed, this triggers Impetuous Blade’s Fencing Basics Feat, giving him a free attack on her. Given that Rose is flat-footed, her Defense drops from 14 to 11, as her Reflex Mod no longer applies.
Blade rolls a 14 on his free attack, rolling easily over her reduced defenses. His damage roll is 1d8 for his weapon, plus 3 from his Dex Mod. He rolls a 4+3, for 7 points of damage. Unfortunately the damage from the free attack of Fencing Basics is halved. Blade deals 4 Vitality damage to Bloody Rose, leaving her with only 11 remaining.
Now it’s Bloody Rose’s turn. She hisses between clenched teeth as Blade’s sword grazes her side. She whirls around, swinging her knife towards Impetuous Blade’s exposed throat!
Bloody Rose rolls a 16 plus her combat bonus of +2 for a total of 18 way over Impetuous Blade’s defense of 15!
However, Impetuous Blade’s training kicks in as he parries the knife with the pommel of his scholar’s sword!
Impetuous Blade’s player declares that he is taking this chance to perform the Parry maneuver and rolls an 18! Adding his +1 bonus for combat gives him a total of 19, successfully negating the damage from Bloody Rose’s slash to his throat.
Undeterred, Rose shifts from slash to thrust, angling her deflected weapon to a solid thrust towards Impetuous Blade’s solar plexus!
This is due to her Rend quality, that grants her a free attack in reaction to a successful attack to a target. Since the “hit” took place, and only the damage was negated by Blade’s Parry Manuever, Rose’s free attack still takes place.
Her second attack roll is a 7, and even with her combat bonus of +2, is insufficient to meet Blade’s defense of 15.
Blade jumps back just slightly out of her weapon’s reach thanking the Gods that he’d been paying attention during his Sifu’s lessons on fighting knife-wielding opponents.
Impetuous Blade realizes just how dangerous an opponent Rose is, and decides to forego his usual flair and press his advantage. She’s already been hurt, and he’s eager to put her down before she has a chance to cause him any harm.
He decides to spend his two half-actions to attack twice in the turn.
Rather than let this fight go on any longer, Impetuous Blade goes on the offensive, his Scholar’s Sword a blur of deadly steel as he assaulted the knife-wielding assassin!
He rolls a 17 on his first attack punching straight through Bloody Rose’s Defenses!
Since this is a normal attack, Impetuous Blade deals full damage with his Scholar’s Sword, dealing 8+3 or 12 vitality damage on his first attack, more than enough to drop Bloody Rose’s vitality to 0 and deals 1 Wound of damage. Bloody Rose isn’t unconscious at this point, but is considered Fatigued, reducing her Strength and Dexterity scores by 2 points, and losing 5 ft from her total movement speed.
Impetuous Blade rolls for his second attack and rolls a 20! At this point Impetuous Blade’s player can choose to spend an action point to activate a Critical hit, but decides against it as all damage to be done on Bloody Rose will already go to wounds at this point.
Impetuous Blade rolls a 7 for his damage, reducing Bloody Rose’s Wounds to -1, knocking her unconscious and dying unless she manages to stabilize naturally, or someone stabilizes her condition.
Blade’s attacks pierce through her attempts to defend, his scholar’s sword finding its mark twice. The assassin fell backwards, bleeding from her wounds, the Manual falling from her grasp.
That fight was actually faster than I expected, honestly. But then again I think it was a decent match up. Some exceptional rolling on Impetuous Blade’s behalf, and the fact that he had access to the Parry Advanced Action was crucial for his avoiding danger. The rend quality for NPCs is scary, and if he had not parried the first strike, I’m pretty sure that Blade would not be walking out of this engagement unscathed like he did.
That said, I did find the combat maneuvers and how the Fencing feat tree and the Rend NPC Quality gave the combat a dynamic feel, rather than just being a straight up “I go, you go” that I’ve come to expect from most systems. Of course this is still pretty basic, and didn’t take into account movement just yet, but perhaps I might be able to come up with a more complicated example with multiple combatants and some sort of map?
I’ll give it some thought.