A sample combat

Writing down my initial combat concept – this will need a pile of refinement, and it will work best on a grid, but we ought to see how the action interplay occurs with plain `ol theatre of the mind (to make things easier, we’ll handwave range).

Meandering down the road, Tobin decides to take a shortcut to get to his favourite hideaway, the Drunken Squirrel. Cutting through an alley, he’s acosted by two Street Thugs, who demand his money.

The encounter begins, with each side rolling initiative, which is determined by summing your tier die and Response attribute.

Sir Tobin the (Overpopulated) Human Rogue:

d6 (5) + 2 = 7


A couple of street thugs:

d6 (3) + 1 = 4

Round One

Tobin rolls a tier die to determine his force modifier for the round. He rolls a 2.
Thugs one and two roll a 5 and a 6, respectively.

Having won initiative, Tobin chooses to act first (if he was confident in his counter-attacks, he could decide to allow his opponents the first move); he uses a light missile weapon and the Pin-Point Accuracy attack against one of the Thugs (Thug One), who’s still at the opposite end of the alley. His attack has a total force score of 7 (Roll 2 + Response 2 + Action 3).

Pin-Point Accuracy:

  • Adventurer Tier – Attack – Melee, Ranged
  • Momentum – Both
  • R3
  • Damage – [1W]+1/[2W]+2/[3W]+3


Light Missile Weapon:

  • Ranged Weapon – One handed
  • Damage 1
  • Range 5

Since the street Thug does not have a counterattack with the deflect property, there’s nothing he can do about the knife. It hits, dealing 1[W] (1) + 1 damage. Thug One has 2 hit points, so he’s knocked out of the fight.

Pin-Point Accuracy is marked as exhausted; Tobin cannot use the action again unless it is refreshed at the beginning of a combat round.

The second Thug closes distance, attacking Tobin with Merciless Stab.

Merciless Stab:

  • Attack – Melee, Ranged
  • Momentum – forward
  • Force 2
  • Damage – 1

Combining his roll with the action’s force value, his attack a total force of 8. Tobin doesn’t have a class ability that he can use in response (his one high-scoring action, Shot in the Back, requires that someone else be engaging the Thug as well). He considers selecting a default action, such as Parry-riposte, but his roll at the beginning of the round was so low that his total force won’t be high enough to successfully counter the attack.

Tobin suffers one damage, dropping his hit points to 3.

Round Two

Tobin is able to refresh one action per tier. Since he’s only used one (Pin-Point Attack), it is refreshed by default.

Tobin rolls a tier die to determine his force modifier for the round. He rolls a 5.
Thug two rolls a 5.

Tobin still has initiative, and he selects Thrust as his attack.


  • Adventurer Tier – Attack – Melee
  • Momentum – Forward
  • WCTR 2
  • Damage – [1W]/[2W]/[3W]

Tobin’s total force for this action is 9 (Roll 5 + Response 2 + Action 2). As a default action, Thrust is not exhausted.

The Thug attempts to counter his assault, opting to use his defensive ability, Duck and Weave.

Duck and Weave:

  • Counterattack – Melee
  • Momentum – Both
  • Force 4
  • Damage – 1

The Thug’s total force value is 9 (Roll 5 + Action 4). Given that the force scores are equivalent, each adversary will suffer damage from their opponent’s action.

Not wanting to be more bruised than necessary, Tobin decides to continue the fight. Rummaging through his available actions, Tobin settles on Parry-Riposte, which is a default counterattack with a high Response score.


  • Adventurer Tier – Counterattack – Melee
  • Momentum – Both
  • W2R3
  • Damage – [1W]/[2W]/[3W]

Tobin’s force score for Parry Riposte is 10 (Roll 5 + Response 2 + Action 3). His force score is higher than the Thug’s, and with no further actions available, the Thug is hit, suffering the effects of the action.

The Thug drops to one hit point.

Round Three

Tobin has no actions to refresh this round, as he only relied upon defaults in round two.

Tobin rolls a tier die to determine his force modifier for the round. He rolls a 3.
Thug two rolls a 1.

Tired of all this fighting, Tobin selects Brutal Knifing.

Brutal Knifing:

  • Adventurer Tier – Attack – Melee
  • Momentum – Forward
  • R3
  • Damage – [2W]/[4W]/[6W]

With a force score of 8 (Roll 3 + Response 2 + Action 3), Tobin’s attack cannot be defeated by the Thug (his only available counterattack has a force score of 4, which is not sufficient to stop the attack). Thug Two suffers 2 damage, dropping his hit points to -1. He is defeated.

Exhausted, and bleeding from some minor wounds, Tobin limps off to the Drunken Squirrel.

Things that will need further shaking out:

  • Major actions that permit moving and attacking
  • The interplay of multiple attackers and a single defender

Building a Character – Part Three – class

Step four: picking a class

Finally, we get around to picking Tobin’s class. Ever since he lost his estate, he’s developed some rage issues, and is quick to rush into combat to express his emotional turmoil in the form of a stabbin`. As a speedy Rogue, Tobin gains +1 to ResponseĀ and 4 hit points. He has learned Thievery (+3) and Stealth (+1).

He’s also picked up a few tricks in his time: Shot in the Back, Pin-Point Accuracy, and Brutal Knifing are all important abilities of his. He’s also quite competent in Light Weapons, Light Missile Weapons, Heavy Missile Weapons, and Light Armour.

Sir Tobin the (Overpopulated) Human Rogue posted:

Strength: 0 Response: 2 Wit: 2 Fortitude: 0 Presence: 2

HP 4


  • Court Intrigue (+3)
  • Thievery (+3)
  • Leadership (+1)
  • Stealth (+1)


Light Melee Weapons

  • Basic Competency: Nimble and Quick – Entering threatened range does not provoke an engagement.

Light Missile Weapons

  • Basic Competency: There’s Always a Knife – You are never disarmed. You always have at least one light missile weapon.

Heavy Missile Weapons

  • Basic Competency: A Most Accurate Shot – You may fire a heavy missile weapon from the prone position without penalty.

Light Armour

  • Basic Competency: This is Pretty Light – Once per round, when engaged with an enemy, you may change your position to another space adjacent the adversary.


That Monotonous Sound

  • Adventurer Tier – Minor
  • At beginning of an encounter, you may impose the surprised condition on one adversary.

Commanding Voice

  • Adventurer Tier – Minor
  • Imposes Fearful condition (save clears).

Shot in the Back

  • Adventurer Tier – Interrupt – Melee, Ranged
  • Momentum – Foward
  • Q4
  • Damage – [3W]/[6W]/[9W]
  • Requires adversary to be engaged by another opponent

Pin-Point Accuracy

  • Adventurer Tier – Attack – Melee, Ranged
  • Momentum – Both
  • Q3
  • Damage – [1W]+1/[2W]+2/[3W]+3

Brutal Knifing

  • Adventurer Tier – Attack – Melee
  • Momentum – Foward
  • Q3
  • Damage – [2W]/[4W]/[6W]

The world of Let Thrones Beware

This is the first post for the Let Thrones Beware role-playing game. In time, I’ll provide a more complete description of the game, but for now, here’s a very brief overview of what I’m building:

Design principles

  • Characters should be equally viable, no matter what combination of choices they make
  • Choices must be purposeful; a decision must have a significant mechanical impact, otherwise the details should be considered fluff
  • Combat and skill challenges must be crunchy, but quick – and easy to adjudicate


Why you might be interested

  • You are tired of inflicting damage by rolling to beat an armour class
  • You enjoy meaningful choices in character design
  • You don’t want to track a million modifiers


To do

  • Determine mechanics
  • Class abilities
  • Skill challenges
  • Weapons
  • Armour
  • Sample adversaries