Action Points: At the start of combat and at the beginning of each turn, all characters get 4 action points (AP) to use. It costs 1 action point to move or perform an action.
Move (1 AP). Move up to your character's Speed.
Action (1 AP). Perform an action.
Examples include: draw a weapon, fire a semi-auto weapon, fire a burst weapon, take cover, throw something, open a door, pick up an object, press a button, activate a cybernetic implant, jack in, activate a hacked device, fire full auto, fire a sniper rifle, use first aid, set explosives, hack into a device or system, perform a called shot, lay down suppressive fire, etc.
Initiative: When combat starts, each player rolls a number of dice equal to their character's Initiative score. This is referred to as "rolling initiative." The player who gets the most successes gets to go first. In case of a tie, the character with the highest Initiative score wins. In case of a further tie, the character with the highest Agility score wins. If there is still a tie, the characters who tied act simultaneously.
Combat Rounds: Combat is segmented into rounds. Initiative is rolled each round and starts with whoever wins the roll. During the round, PCs and NPCs may move and take actions. The round is over when all characters have spent all their AP (or choose to forgo spending their remaining action points).
Spotlight: The character that won initiative is given the spotlight. When a character has the spotlight, the player can spend AP to have the character move and take actions. The spotlight stays on the same character until the player spends all remaining action points or decides to end their turn. Either way, the player signals the end of the spotlight by choosing another player to go next. Ideally, the player should pick someone who has not yet had the chance to act in this round. The spotlight passes to the chosen player and allows them to spend AP, and so on.
NPCs and the Spotlight: After all PCs have had the spotlight once, the NPCs get the spotlight. Most NPCs spend all their AP at once and don't save any for later use in the round. Only the most important NPCs should have the opportunity to regain the spotlight.
Sharing the Spotlight: Sometimes two or more characters are working together on something, and it makes sense for them to share the spotlight. For example, a helicopter pilot hovers close enough for a friendly character to jump from the roof of a building into the helicopter. This dynamic scene involves both characters, so they share the spotlight. They can both use AP, and their actions are considered more or less simultaneous. The same is true when several armed characters are firing at the same enemy or group of enemies. All characters firing can share the spotlight, and their attacks are considered more or less simultaneous.
Triggers: Certain situations can trigger the opportunity to do something.
React: In combat, things can change rapidly, and not always for the better. To react to something that's just happened, state what you want your character to do and spend the appropriate AP. For example, a friendly character takes a nasty gunshot and goes down. Your character reacts by running over to the fallen friend (1 AP to move) and using first aid (1 AP to perform an action).
Dodge: A character who is the target of a melee attack can spend 1 AP and attempt to dodge. The character makes an Athletics roll. If the character generates more successes than the attacker, they dodge successfully. If the attacker generates as many successes or more than the defender, then check to see if the attacker hit and resolve as normal.
Counterattack: A character who is the target of a melee attack can spend 1 AP and attempt to counterattack. The character makes a Brawl, Melee Weapons, or Firearms roll, depending on the form of the counterattack. If the character generates more successes than the attacker, then check to see if the attack hit and resolve it as normal. Unless the attacker was incapacitated by the counterattack, check to see if the attacker hit and resolve as normal.
Opportunity Attack: A character may make an opportunity by spending 1 AP. Opportunity attacks are possible under two circumstances. First, if an enemy breaks from cover and runs, a character with a ranged weapon, such as a pistol or bow, may make a ranged opportunity attack. Second, if an enemy runs within striking distance, a character with a melee weapon (or who is unarmed) may make a melee opportunity attack (using Brawl or Melee Weapons depending on the form of attack). An opportunity attack is resolved just like a regular attack.
Regaining the Spotlight: A character who still has AP can regain the spotlight later in the round after all other characters (PCs and NPCs) have had the spotlight at least once. For example, Joe, Sally, Bill, and Wendy are in combat with three thugs. Joe won initiative this round, and immediately gained the spotlight. He then spent 2 AP to move and shoot before choosing Wendy to go next. If something happens that allows him to share the spotlight with another character, he can spend AP. However, if he doesn't, he can go again after Wendy, Sally, Bill, and the NPCs have all had a turn in the spotlight.
MAKING AN ATTACK
Attack Dice: To make an attack, roll a number of dice equal to the appropriate skill rating based on what you're trying to do. For example, if you were shooting a heavy pistol, you'd use your Firearms skill rating. If you were punching someone, you'd use your Brawl skill rating.
Hit Location Dice: Two of your attack dice are special and must be the same color (and a different color from the rest of your attack dice). They work just like normal dice for purposes of attacking, but they are also used to determine hit location. If the attack roll generates enough successes to hit, add the results of the two hit location dice to determine where you hit. If you only get to roll one attack die, use one of your hit location dice. If you hit, then roll the other hit location die to determine hit location.
Attack Difficulty: First, the player identifies the target enemy. Next, the player and the GM determine the Difficulty, which is the number of successes needed to hit the target.
Start with 1. You always need at least 1 success to hit.
Untrained. If the attacker is using an untrained skill to make the attack, that adds 1.
Movement. If either the attacker or the target are moving, that adds 1.
Visibility. If there are visibility issues that make it difficult for the attacker to see the target, that adds 1.
Cover. If there is something in the way that would physically block the attack, that adds 1.
Burst Fire. If the attacker is using a firearm in burst fire mode, that adds 1.
Called Shot. If the attacker is making a called shot, that adds 1.
Suppressive Fire. If the attacker is performing suppressive fire, that adds 1.
For example, say your character is shooting at a street punk.
You always start with a Difficulty of 1…
The street punk is running across the street (+1 for movement)…
In the rain (+1 for visibility)…
And you are firing a burst (+1 for burst fire) from your Uzi.
So, the total Difficulty for this attack is 4, meaning you need to generate four successes on your Firearms roll to hit the street punk.
Called Shot: A called shot allows you to target a specific hit location on the target, but the Difficulty of the attack roll is increased by 3. If you make a called shot and succeed, you strike the intended hit location. (This special attack ignores your hit location dice.)
Suppressive Fire: Suppressive fire can only be performed with burst fire or full auto weapons. This action allows you to pin down one or more targets who are situated together. Targets subjected to suppressive fire cannot move or attack unless they first make a Willpower roll with a target equal to 1 plus the extra successes generated on the suppressive fire roll. The Difficulty for this attack roll is increased by 2, but it is not subject to any of the other Attack Difficulty modifiers. Suppressive fire does not deal damage.
Spend 1 AP and declare your attack.
Identify the target and the weapon you're using to make the attack.
Determine the number of successes needed to hit.
You always need 1 success to hit.
Conditional modifiers increase the number of successes needed to hit.
Roll your attack dice.
Any 5s or higher count as successes.
If you get the number of successes needed, you hit.
Successes generated beyond those needed to hit are considered extra successes.
Check to see where you hit based on the hit location dice results.
Check to see if the hit location is armored.
If you generated extra successes beyond those needed to hit, each extra success increases the damage by one.
If the attack deals lethal damage and the hit location is armored, check to see if the weapon pierces the armor.
If the weapon pierces the armor, the attack deals lethal damage.
If the weapon does not pierce the armor, the attack deals bruise damage.
If the attack struck an armored location, reduce the damage by the armor rating.
Apply the damage (lethal or bruise) to the hit location.
If the attack dealt bruise damage, mark the appropriate number of boxes with a \.
If the attack dealt lethal damage, mark the appropriate number of boxes with an X.
ARMOR AND COVER
Armor Rating: Body armor covers specific hit locations (head, torso, arms, and legs). Armor reduces damage from an attack according to the armor rating covering the hit location that was struck. For example, a light fiberweave armor jacket has an armor rating of 3 in the torso and 1 in the arms. If a PC who is wearing this armor is hit in the torso with an attack that deals 8 points of damage, the character takes 5 points damage to the torso (8 – 3 = 5).
Armor Type: All body armor falls into one of four types: light, medium, and heavy. The armor type determines how difficult it is to pierce. For example, a heavy pistol can pierce light armor.
Cover: Cover works like armor and has an armor rating and type based on the strength of the material providing cover. It only protects against the parts of the body it is covering. For example, standing next to a waist-high, brick wall would protect the legs, have an armor rating of 20, and would be considered heavy armor.
Hit Locations: For purposes of hit points and tracking damage, a character's body is divided into several hit locations. A character's hit locations are: Head, Torso, Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Leg, Left Leg. Each hit location has a number or range of numbers assigned to it, as shown below.
An attack roll includes two special dice called hit location dice. If your attack roll generates enough successes to hit, you add up the results of the two hit location dice to determine where the target was struck. For example, if the hit location dice add up to 7, then that means the attack hit the target's torso.
Each hit location has a number of hit points. These are represented as boxes on your character sheet. The number of hit points in each hit location is based on the character's Strength and Fortitude attributes, as shown below.
Fill in the extra boxes in each hit location on your character sheet to show that your character does not have those hit points. For example, the head hit location contains six boxes. If your character has a Fortitude score of 2, then you would need to fill in four of the boxes in the head hit location because your character only has two hit points there.
There are two types of damage in this game: bruise damage and lethal damage.
Bruise Damage: Bruise damage is dealt by weapons and objects which can hurt you, but which do not deal injuries that are immediately life threatening. For example, a baseball bat deals bruise damage, as does a taser. When your character takes bruise damage, record it on your character sheet by marking a slash (/) in the open boxes in the appropriate hit location. For example, a character who takes 3 points of bruise damage to the torso would mark three boxes in that hit location with a slash (/).
Lethal Damage: Lethal damage is dealt by weapons that are designed to kill. For example, a katana deals lethal damage, as does a heavy pistol. When your character takes lethal damage, record it on your character sheet by marking an X in the open boxes in the appropriate hit location. For example, a character who takes 2 points of lethal damage in the right arm would mark two boxes in that hit location with an X.
Hit Locations and Damage: There are a few rules for applying damage to hit locations.
If a hit location contains one damage type and the other damage type is applied to the same hit location, empty boxes are filled first. For example, if a target with twelve hit boxes in the torso takes 3 bruise damage in the torso and then takes 2 lethal damage in the torso, the 2 lethal damage is recorded in two of the empty hit boxes in the torso.
If a hit location is already filled with bruise damage (or a combination of bruise and lethal), and then it takes lethal damage, the new lethal damage replaces existing bruise damage by converting the existing slash (/) into an X. For example, say a target has six boxes in the left leg, and all six boxes are filled. The target has taken 2 lethal damage (X) and 4 bruise damage (/) to the left leg. The target then gets hit for 3 lethal damage in the left leg. Three of the four bruise damage boxes are converted to lethal damage by marking them with the opposite slash (\) so it makes an X.
If a hit location is already filled with bruise damage and then takes more bruise damage, the new bruise damage is converted into lethal damage, and the boxes are marked with the opposite slash so it forms an X. For example, say a target has six boxes in the right arm, and all six boxes are filled with bruise damage, rendering the arm useless. Then, the target take 3 more bruise damage to the right arm. Three of the boxes with existing bruise damage (/) are converted into lethal damage by marking them with the opposite slash (\) so it makes an X.
INJURIES AND DEATH
Limb Useless: If an arm or leg hit location is filled with bruise damage (or a combination of bruise and lethal damage), the appendage is useless until it heals. A useless arm cannot open doors, hold a gun, or do anything at all. A useless leg means the character cannot walk or run without assistance. Even with assistance, the character's Speed is halved.
Limb Destroyed: If an arm or leg hit location is filled with lethal damage, the limb is destroyed or damaged beyond repair. A destroyed leg means the character cannot walk or run without assistance. Even with assistance, the character's Speed is halved.
Unconscious: If the head hit location is filled with bruise damage (or a combination of bruise and lethal damage), the target is unconscious. Performing a successful Medicine roll on the target will remove one box of bruise damage and rouse the target back to consciousness. Otherwise, the target will automatically lose one box of bruise damage and regain consciousness once combat is over.
Dead or Dying: If either the torso or head hit locations are filled with lethal damage, the target is dead or dying. See the Spotlight of Death, below.
THE DEATH SPOTLIGHT
A character who takes enough lethal damage to the head or torso is said to be dead or dying. When this happens to you, your character immediately gets the death spotlight, and you must choose what happens, as described below.
Cheat Death: Life on the streets is cheap, and death comes easy, but for player characters, it is possible to cheat death. The player must make a Willpower roll and generate at least one success. If the player is successful, several things happen.
One lethal box is converted into a bruise box in the head or torso, depending on which was filled.
The character is now unconscious and is no longer considered dead or dying.
The character's Fortitude score is immediately reduced by one. This reduction is permanent, but the player can increase their character's Fortitude again by spending XP as normal. This Fortitude reduction also causes an immediate loss of hit point boxes. The player should fill in lethal boxes first, then bruise boxes, and then empty boxes when reducing hit point boxes in each hit location.
In cases of certain death, such as being at the center of an explosion that levels all buildings in a five block radius, the GM may rule that it is not possible to cheat death.
Dramatic Save: In some situations, an ally may be well-positioned to jump in and save the dying character. The player with the dead or dying character can invite another player to have their character join the spotlight for purposes of a dramatic save. The invited character gets 4 AP which can only be used to move and do something to save the dead or dying character.