Combat Rules

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Structured Time

There are times when characters' actions have to be carefully charted, most often in combat but also in other intense, time-sensitive tasks. This is known as Structured Time, and it is broken down into Rounds, Turns, and Actions.

Rounds. A Round consists of every character in the encounter taking a single Turn. Although characters take actions in a strict order, in reality they are assumed to be acting roughly simultaneously; either way, a Round usually consists of about 5 seconds.
Turns. Each character gets one Turn per Round in which to act. During this Turn, the character can perform one or more actions. Turn order is determined by Initiative Order.
Actions. Characters use Actions on their turn in order to accomplish goals- moving, shooting and diving for cover are all actions. A character may perform either one Full Action or two Half Actions a turn. They also gain a Reaction, which may be used for actions during other characters' turns.

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Combat Structure

Combats are structured in a six-step structure seen below.

Step One: Set Layout. Before combat begins, the GM lays out the combat zone, including the locations of all known characters and the locale in which they're fighting.
Step Two: Determine Surprise. At the beginning of each combat, the GM determines if any characters are surprised. Surprised characters lose their first turn and may take no reactions; furthermore, attack actions against them take a +30 bonus. If no one is Surprised, move directly to step three.
Step Three: Determine Initiative. Every character rolls initiative, which is determined by rolling a 1d10 plus their Agility Bonus. Once everyone's Initiative has been established, they are placed into the Initiative Order, which is a list from highest to lowest. If two characters share the same initiative score, then the character with the higher Agility is placed higher; if they have the same Agility, then roll a 1d10 for each, with whoever scoring higher being placed higher.
Step Four: Participants take Turns. The Round now begins. After effects marked as 'Start of the Round' trigger, the characters then take a Turn, going in descending order starting with the character highest in the initiative order. Note that 'Start of Character's Turn' refers to before they take any actions; 'End of Character's Turn' refers to after they have taken actions. Once every character has taken a Turn, the Round ends.
Step Five: End of Round. After every character takes an action, the Round is now over. Any effects which are marked as acting or ending at the 'end of the round' now trigger.
Step Six: End of Encounter. Repeat Steps Four and Five until the combat is finished (which may be when all enemies are dead or when the PCs escape) or until the task that triggered a movement into Structured Time is over.

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Each character receives one Turn per Round. During their Turn they may perform actions. There are five types of Actions: Full Actions, Half Actions, Reactions, Free Actions and Extended Actions. They may perform their actions in any order they choose.

Full Actions. Representing complex or intensive tasks, a character may perform one Full Action per Turn. A character who performs a Full Action may not perform any Half Actions.
Half Actions. Representing fairly complex but not so complex as to take all of the character's attention, a character may perform two Half Actions per Turn.
Reactions. Reactions are special Actions that may be used on other characters' turns. They're most often used for evading incoming attacks.
Free Actions. Free Actions are for actions which take next to no attention or time to execute. There is no formal limit on Free Actions, but players are warned to keep any Free Action uses reasonable.
Extended Actions. Extended Reactions are for actions which take more than one round to execute. A character performing an Extended Action may or may not be told how long it will take; it may depend on passing tests or just dedicating actions. A character using an Extended Action may do nothing else that turn. If a character is interrupted during this time (ie. is unable to do nothing but Extended action), depending on the action, they will be forced to start again.

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Action List

Below is the full list of Actions available to a character. Note that Actions often possess Action Subtypes, which determine how they may be used. For example, an Immobilized character may not make Movement based actions.

A Character may only perform one Concentration Subtype Action per turn and one Attack Subtype Action per turn. Reactions with this subtype may still be undertaken, as Reactions are considered to exist outside of the normal Turn Order.

Name Type or Subname Action Description
AT Field Actions
AT Field Power AT Field Varies You may use an AT Field Power that you possess. The action varies based on the specific Power used. You may manifest multiple powers per turn, but you may not manifest the same power twice per turn.
Spread Pattern AT Field Half or Full Action You may spread an AT Field Spread Pattern or, if already possessing one, change to a different Field. As a Half Action you may spread or Change to a Spread Pattern with half the usual ATS; as a Full Action, you may spread or Change to a Spread Pattern with all the usual ATS. The Quick Spread talent makes this a Free and Half respectively.

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Attacking is a highly common action in combat for obvious reasons. Attacks are executed in the following way.

Step One: Choose Attack Action. You choose a valid attack action and a valid target. For melee attacks, this almost always requires you to be adjacent to your enemy; with ranged attacks, then this requires you to shoot at an enemy within Maximum Distance of your weapon, which is double your weapon's stated range.
Step Two: Apply Modifiers. Attack actions often come with many modifiers. Charging, aiming or attacking from higher ground all grants bonuses to a test, whilst shooting through fog or when fatigued apply penalties.
Step Three: Make the Attack Test. You now make the Attack Test, which is a WS test (for melee and thrown melee weapons) or a BS test (for ranged weapons). If the Test is a pass, then the attack has hit. Certain Attack Actions may incur extra hits depending on the attack type and the number of Degrees of Success generated. Certain attacks may use different characteristics; in this case, they're done in replacement of either WS or BS and receive the same bonuses.
Step Four: Enemy Attempts Evasion. The enemy now may make an evasion action: they may try to Deflect with an AT Field or, if they have a Reaction, try to dodge or parry. If they pass their test, then they evade the attack. If the Attack Action was one that scored multiple hits per Test, then you evade one hit per Degree of Success. If there are any hits left over after this step, proceed to Step Five.
Step Five: Roll Damage. You now roll Damage, which is dependent on the weapon you are using. Melee attacks usually add your SB to the damage total. During this step, you may replace a single damage die result with the Degrees of Success you gained from the Attack Test. If your attack was one that generated multiple hits, only one of these attacks may have their damage die result replaced with DoS.
Step Five-A: Confirm Righteous Fury. If you rolled a natural maximum on a damage die (for example, a 10 on a 1d10 or a 5 on a 1d5), then you have the chance for a Righteous Fury. Make a test with the same characteristic you used for the Attack Test, but without any of the Modifiers. If you pass, the attack deals an extra 1d10 damage (even if the attack only used a 1d5). If this roll is also a 10, then you automatically roll another righteous fury 1d10; this continues until you roll something other than a 1d10. Note that Qualities that modify Righteous Fury thresholds (eg. Vengeful) only modify Fury for the very first attack; the rest require a 10. Note that only characters possessing Fate Points can trigger Righteous Fury.
Step Six: Determine Soak. The Enemy now determines their Soak Value, which is their TB, plus AP, with the latter reduced by the Penetration of your attack. If their Soak Value is higher than your damage, then the attack is negated; otherwise proceed.
Step Seven: Deal Damage. The Enemy now loses a number of wounds equal to dealt damage. Most characters perish if they are dropped to 0 wounds; characters with Fate Points instead take Critical Damage when taking damage past 0 wounds.

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Unarmed Attacks

Sometimes, attacks are settled with fists, knees or a solid shoulder. In this case you are always treated as having an Unarmed weapon available. Unarmed attacks deal 1d5-3+SB impact damage with no penetration, and count as having the Unarmed and Primitive qualities. If the damage dealt is equal to or higher than the target's TB, they suffer a level of fatigue. Unarmed attacks can be modified with the Unarmed Warrior and Master traits. They are not the same as Natural Weapons.
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Ranged Weapon Range Brackets

Ranged Weapons, abilities and attacks fall into one of six Range Brackets, illustrated below. Note: All ranges are given in E-Scale, so for P-Scale treat them as m/dm.
Assault Range. This is within 1km of the attacker.
Close Range. This is within 3km of the attacker.
Medium Range. This is within 6km of the attacker.
Long Range. This is within 10km of the attacker.
Very Long Range. This is within 15km of the attacker.
Longshot. This is anywhere within the attacker's line of sight and effect. Longshot attacks always possess the Longshot Quality.

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Character Types

Independent Characters

Independent Characters (ICs) are the mainstay of the system and the characters around whom most of the mechanics revolve. Unless the rule is written explicitly for a different type of character, it can be assumed that ICs use the rule as normal.

In combat, ICs work off their own individual initiatives, and gain the usual combination of one Full or two Half Actions and a Reaction. They can change equipment freely depending on access, they take wounds and make tests as normal.

In E-Scale combat, ICs are usually pilots riding in Constructs, or 'field ICs', although some may not be. Some minor ICs may 'represent' a pilot in a Construct, but use basic IC rules to simplify things.

ICs with at least one Fate Point use the Critical Damage table, whilst ICs that have no Fate Points instantly die on hitting 0 wounds.
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Directors are a subtype of ICs. In battles, they represent the highest ranking commanders in charge of the whole battle.

A battle will only have a limited amount of Director Slots per side. A character may not use Director Talents or Director Styles unless they are chosen as a Director. When a Director is chosen, they may choose to be in charge of a particular set of units; these sets are typically divided into 'all field ICs' and 'all Hordes'. A Director can't use their talents or abilities on units they aren't in charge with. In some battles with only one Director Slot, that Director will be in charge of all units.

In every battle, one Director is chosen to be the Supreme Commander (SupCom). SupComs are just like normal Directors, except they are in charge of using any Advantages. SupComs may also, three times per battle, spend a point of Morale to restore any one Fate Point spent by themselves or a subordinate.

In E-Scale combat, a Director may be a pilot riding a Construct, but usually they are permanently attached to a Horde, often one with a Command Centre. This Horde always acts on the Director's initiative even if another Director is in charge of Hordes. Otherwise, Directors may not be assigned their own Horde nor are in a Construct, in which case they are assumed to be with the SupCom, and may use the same resources.

Directors who command ICs will have access to Formations as well, which are a set of special commands which may be activated to change the behaviour or abilities of the ICs under their command.

A basic checklist has been provided for Director turns below.

  • Firstly, Directors should study their own forces and see if there's any status effects (fear, stun, etc) that they may mitigate.
  • Secondly, Directors should consider ways to augment their own Forces through Formations or Director talents. If the Director is also a SupCom, then review Advantages at this point.
  • Thirdly, Directors in charge of Hordes should command their Hordes, moving them and attacking with them.

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Pilots and Constructs

In E-Scale, many ICs are represented on the battlefield as Constructs, which represent the very large and very powerful entities that rule these battlefields. Evangelions (including Dysangelions) and Superheavies are both Constructs, who are controlled by pilots. Angels are also counted as Constructs, albeit ones without any Pilots.

By and large, Constructs act just like ICs, and most of the rules that apply to ICs apply to Constructs. The pilot is considered to be in control, and most of the pilot's talents apply; a few do not, like Sound Constitution. They have a single Initiative, which is based off the Construct's AB. thus mechanically a Construct acts on the battlefield as a sort of merger between the Pilot and the Construct itself.

This is where Constructs are different from usual ICs. Broadly…

  • Constructs have their own wound pools. Specifically, Constructs have 'multiple wound pools', where each specific body location has its own pool of wounds- damaging a Construct's arm will reduce its arm wounds, but not affect its head or body or other arm.
  • Constructs themselves do not have talents usually (Angels are an exception); instead they often have upgrades of a biological and/or structural nature that augment their abilities.
  • Constructs usually use the pilot's WS, BS, Intelligence, Perception, Willpower and Fellowship (augmented by Construct upgrades), but use their own Strength and Toughness. Evangelions use the pilot's Agility (without Unnatural Agility); Superheavies use their own Agility.

Generally speaking, effects that affect the Construct are applied to the Construct unless it specifically mentions the pilot. The exception is with mental effects, which affect the pilot.
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Pilots in Defeat

There will come a time in which a Construct is defeated and its pilot must eject. However, this is not a guaranteed situation and even if the pilot does manage to eject, the results can sometimes be less than pretty. When a Construct is defeated and the pilot ejects, roll on the chart below, modifying it with any situational modifiers.
Ejection Chart
Roll Effect
1-10 The ejection system misfires and becomes jammed. The pilot does not eject; furthermore, the abortive attempt causes damage within the cockpit; increase any Breach damage by +1d5.
11-40 The ejection system fails to register. The pilot does not eject, a potentially fatal situation if the pilot attempted to avoid a breach.
41-60 The ejection system fires, jettisoning the cockpit a short ways away. The cockpit manages a rough landing and falls 1km behind the Construct. The pilot takes 1d10 impact damage from the rough impact, unless their cockpit possesses the Flight or Hoverer trait.
61-75 The ejection system fires and the cockpit is launched a fair distance away. The cockpit manages a somewhat bumpy landing and falls 1d5 behind the Construct. The pilot takes 1d5 impact damage from the rough impact, unless their cockpit possesses the Flight or Hoverer trait.
76-90 The ejection system fires as well as can be hoped in most circumstances. It lands 2d5km behind the Construct.
91-100 The ejection system manages a perfect launch. The cockpit ejects and manages to travel or drift far enough away as to leave the battle entirely, ensuring the pilot is safely recovered by allied forces.

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Pilots on Foot

Pilots without their Constructs are extremely vulnerable, having gone from gods of war to just another pair of boots on the ground. In this situation, a pilot's best bet is to escape to safety as quickly as possible. The following rules apply when dealing with an ejected pilot.

  • First and foremost: a Pilot whose cockpit was Breached must move on foot. Evangelion pilots always have to go on foot as Entry Plugs are unable to move by themselves.
  • Pilots on foot count as having a WS and BS of 0 and a Strength and Toughness of 10. Their Agility, Intelligence, Willpower, Perception and Fellowship are as normal.
  • However, unless their cockpit allows them to move differently, a Pilot always counts as having an AB of 1 for the purposes of Movement.
  • Pilots can't move if they're dead or have burned fate to survive. They also cannot move if they've suffered crippling damage to a leg. Pilots in cockpits capable of self-movement, that are also sporting AI, may instead make movement actions as normal.
  • Attacks on Pilots take a -40 Size penalty, and they may dodge as normal, though they may never parry.
  • If a Pilot manages to meet with an Allied Horde, they are instantly rescued and removed from the battlefield.
  • Allied Constructs can also pick pilots up with a Ready Action and either stow them in a wing dock or hold them in an empty hand. If for whatever reason the one doing the rescuing is an Angel, the pilot promptly takes 1d10 Ego damage for every round in which they are held by the Angel.
  • An Enemy Horde can attempt to capture you by moving adjacent to you and testing Awareness, opposed by your Agility or Stealth. If you pass, then you are considered to have escaped from the battle immediately as the enemy loses track of you.
  • Enemy Constructs can attempt to capture you by making a Grapple test on you. If they succeed, then you are grabbed and held in their empty hand, or stowed away in a Dock.
  • If the mission ends in defeat for the Pilot's side, and the Pilot has not managed to escape, then they are considered Lost; they and any other Lost pilots must be rescued as part of a Field Mission on the next turn, and may not be deployed until the start of the turn after being rescued.

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Hordes represent groups of units that act in unison. They can pose a significant threat to ICs. Hordes broadly have rules similar to ICs, but have many exceptions and different mechanics, especially in how they attack or how they interact with talents.

Hordes do not have their own initiative. They act on the initiative of their Director. If they have a team leader (an IC attached to the horde) then they act on the team leader's initiative instead.
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