[Let’s Study: Degenesis] Part 5 – Sample Combat, Kristof’s First Bar Brawl

Posted: June 7, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Degenesis, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games

Now that we’ve had a bit of time to build a character of our own, let’s put Kristof (and the CatharSys system) to the test by having him get into his first bar brawl as a Marshal.

For the sake of this playtest, I’ll be pitting Kristof up against the sample character from the Degenesis corebook, a Hybrispanian Apocalyptik by the name of Salender.

Kristof has working as one of the deputies of a senior Marshal for a few months now. While occasionally too enthusiastic in his duties in roughing up rowdy townsfolk, Kristof has shown significant promise as a Marshal. When an angry (and naked) individual storms into the Marshal’s office asking for them to arrest an Hybrispanian woman in the local bar for cheating at cards, the Marshal sends Kristof to look into the matter.

Kristof shrugged, slipping on his claw gloves. This shouldn’t take a minute.

He crossed the busy streets towards the bar, a ramshackle structure built against the ruins of a pre-Eschaton building whose original purpose was lost to time. He pulled aside the ratty canvas cloth curtain that served as a door to the place and looked around.

It wasn’t difficult to find Salender. Her appearance and fashion was provocative even in this day and age. Still, it would be a mistake to underestimate her for a pushover as he recognized the markings of her Cult. An Apocalyptik, the traveling thieves and vagabonds, bane of any civilized society.

“You there.” Kristof placed a hand on her shoulder, “The Marshal wants to have words with you.”

“Sorry.” she replied, her Hybrispanian accent thick, “But I can’t let that happen.” Kristof didn’t know where the knife in her hand came from, but the message was clear, she wasn’t about to just come peacefully.

Just as well, Kristof felt like breaking a few bones today.

We’ll start off with Initiative. Salender has 8 AGI, and no points in Quickness. Kristof has 7 AGI, and likewise has no points in Quickness.

During this phase, both players may choose to wager Vitality in order to boost their Initiative for that round. Salender is not willing to lose her edge to Kristof and secretly wagers 2 of her 6 points of vitality to gain a +2 to her initiative score. Kristof decides to wager nothing, hoping that he can force her to run out of Vitality here, and rely on his toughness to carry the day.

Both reveal their  bids, and Salender’s Initiative is now 10, while Kristof stays at 7. Salender acts first.

Salender’s speed was that of a viper, swinging her knife at Kristof’s abdomen in hopes of ending the fight quickly and cleanly.

Salender’s AGI of 8 and Armed Combat skill of 2 giving her an AV of 10.

Her Battle Knife has a damage rating of 4. and an Inertia of 6.

The difficulty of the attack is 0 given that she’s aiming for Kristof’s torso.

Seeing that she has fairly decent chances, Salender also opts to attack twice, adding the Battle Knife’s Inertia to the difficulty roll of both attacks.

In summary, Salender makes two attack rolls, aiming to roll a 7, 8, 9 or 10.

Salender’s player rolls 2d10 twice: 2+3= 5, a miss and 6+7= 13, another miss.

At this point Salender can opt to spend another 2 points of vitality to increase her roll of 5 by 2 points to score a 7, but given that she only has 4 Vitality left, she decides to hold off on that for now.

Kristof lets go of her shoulder, jumping back just slightly out of reach as the blade swung past his abdomen. “I’m going to enjoy this.” he muttered as he decided to take a swing at Salender’s face.

Kristof is a Sadistic sort hence his choice of hit location. Looking at his stats from yesterday’s article, his AV for the Unarmed Attack is a 9.

The Difficulty of the attack is 4 (head hit location).

In summary, Kristof needs to roll his attack and score a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 to hit.

Kristof’s player rolls a 3+1= 4, a Miss.

Kristof’s player on the other hand is still fresh, with all of his 8 Vitality still available. He spends one Vitality to bump his attack roll to a 5, and scores a hit.

Salender isn’t wearing any armor covering her face, and therefore the damage roll starts off with Difficulty 0. The AV of the attack is determined by Kristof’s Power rating (BOD+Strength)/2, rounded down. Kristof has a BOD of 7, and no points in Strength, resulting in a Power of 3.

Kristof rolls 4 dice, hoping to score a 1, 2 or 3 to do damage.

Mirculously, he rolls a 1, 2, 2 and 2! Crappy rolling on any other day, but in this case it means that Kristof’s fist does 4 points of damage to Salender’s face.

Salender realized that she’d overextended herself in her attack as Kristof’s clawed fist smashed into her face, slashing parallel cuts across her once flawless cheek, sending blood splattering onto his clothing.

Damage-wise, Kristof deals 4 points of damage, Tearing through Salender’s 2 Flesh Wounds for her head, and dealing 2 Trauma Wounds.

Salender must now make a Trauma Roll with an AV of 6 (Her BOD + Toughness) and a difficulty equal to the Trauma Wounds received.

Salender rolls an 11, failing her Trauma Roll. She falls unconscious and her Vitality drops to 0.

Salender’s vision blacks out and she crashes into a heap on the filthy floor of the tavern. Kristof picks up her knife, inspects it a moment and slips it into his own belongings.

He grabs her by the arm and drags her unconscious form out of the bar, whistling all the way.

Well, that was decidedly ugly.

I’m not sure why it happens during my combat system playtests, but I tend to get freaky rolling half the time. In this case Kristof’s damage roll carried the day. A claw glove to the face of a poor girl wasn’t pleasant, and having it do full damage in one hit was a sure way to knock her out.

So far combat feels gritty, with enough tactical options to give interesting variations. This was a melee example, so I imagine that ranged combat will be equally interesting (and perhaps equally brutal.)

The combat system takes a little bit of getting used to, but so far it doesn’t feel particularly broken in any way. Overall I think it’s pretty solid, but perhaps further play will show any particular quirks and failures in the system.

Tomorrow I’ll post a summary of this series of Let’s Study articles on Degenesis, and maybe a few thoughts towards how I’d run this game. See you then!

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