Posts tagged #proving grounds

Proving Grounds: Move and Attack

Moving around during a battle can be very advantageous.   Sometimes it can be confusing to new players, especially with techniques which seem to offer limitless counterattacks.  The system is simple.  

Each turn of combat is broken down into 2 actions.  An action can be to use an Aptitude, move, talk to others, attack or defend.   Attacking or defending always cancels your actions and ends your turn, so you must move or use any Aptitudes first.

This means you can move and then attack, but you can not attack then move - unless a technique allows for this.  Techniques overrule most every rule as written.

A wise observer might notice that one can effectively move twice, this is true as well.  One could lockpick a door and move through it, or move across the room to a chest and lift it.  The options are limitless.

If a foe attacks you during an action and cancels, you may start again once you are free of impediment.


Posted on March 21, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Hitting Horses and Barns

Sometimes what you are targeting is too large or small to use the standard randomization chart.  To this end the following is submitted to the proving grounds.

Horses and riders pose a problem, as the horse is considerably larger than the rider most of the time.  Therefore, the 50/50 ratio would not be appropriate to hitting the rider.  In this case, before the random chart for limbs is done, first roll the following to determine if the target hit is the horse or the rider.  

Horse hit chart 1,2 = rider / 3,4,5,6 horse

Play test this a bit and let us know how it works in your games!

Posted on February 21, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Coordinated Attacks

Sometimes the best way to take down your opponent is to team up on them.  It goes without saying that two fighters are harder to defeat than one.  While most fighters will take turns battling their opponents, a well trained pair of fighters can truly overpower their opponent by coordinating their attacks.  Coordinated attacks take advantage of the precision timing to weaken the defenses of the opponent by splitting his attention between multiple simultaneous attacks.

In order to perform a coordinated attack in this way, both attackers must have previously trained together.  This allows them each to purchase the Aptitude Team Timing.  If both attackers have at least one level in Team Timing with each other,  they may attempt to synchronize their attack.   The attack phase works as follows. 

  1. All combatants roll for order of operations (Initiative SPD) 
  2. Both attackers must attack at the same action, so the faster attacker must hold her action until the slower attacker's action.  
  3. Both attackers roll SPD to synchronize.  The synchronize rolls must match exactly in order to gain the coordination effect.
  4. If the synchronize rolls match, the attackers add their AO together as one attack and add any DD penalties together to apply to the opponent.  One attack roll is made, with the combined attacker's Style dice vs the opponent's Style.  
  5. Results of the attack are calculated as normal.  Damage is applied as normal for each strike individually.  

If successful, the coordinated attacks can be very devastating.  of course it is difficult to roll exact matches for timing to gain this effect.  This is why the Aptitude: Team Timing is so important.   For each level in Team Timing, you gain one exchange to the synchronize roll.  

Team Timing

You have trained with another combatant for some time, learning the subtle cues and movements that allow the two of you to coordinate the timing of your actions.  

Note, this Aptitude must be purchased individually for each combatant you have trained with in this way.  


Posted on February 7, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Technique and Procedure training

The addition of procedures and techniques to the repertoire of a character adds for depth and versatility.   Techniques open up combat to personalize a style on one hand, or simply offer an advantage over those who fail to learn them.  Procedures advance the knowledge of aptitudes to allow for cross-pollination to improve efficiency.  One must remember, this is not something that is inherent, they must be taught.  

While these wonderful skills and abilities are useful, they are not widely available.  Networking with others is a great way to improve your access to techniques and procedures.  Guilds an Factions are a very direct source of this knowledge, however there are other sources that an astute adventurer may find. and Libraries often offer procedural training to those who work for them or learn from them.  Training costs might be high, but the education is often very worthwhile.

 It is not uncommon to find some techniques taught in scrolls and pamphlets, even in the fabled Fightbooks.  One such book that has recently been printed is the Fightbook volume 1 by Master at Arms Thomas MacLeod.  Sometimes these texts may be discovered in abandoned places, deep in the dungeons and catacombs that litter the landscape.  Others may be awarded as prize for a particularly challenging quest.  


Posted on January 31, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Scale of games

Character and Scale
Average height of a character is around between 5 and 6 feet tall.  This is equivalent to 4 cubits.  To ease in game play, miniatures of 25-30 mm or 1/56 are considered to be the standard scale.  Each inch on the gaming area is therefore is 3 cubits, or right around 5 feet.   Scaling in this fashion includes all obstacles, walls, doors and other interactions, in three dimensions.  Depending on the complexity of the scene and the needs of the players, some gaming tables may feature very detailed scenes.  Be it a terrain filled three dimensional space, or simply lines on a piece of paper, this scale is an industry standard that allows for the vast majority of miniatures and terrain pieces available in game stores to be used with Melee: The Eternal Adventure and Melee:  Factions and Orders.   Keep in mind that scaling in this fashion also means that maps and other materials can be made to scale by using the 1 inch = 3 cubits = 5 feet conversion.  

Range and Reach
The range of attacks by a ballistic weapon and the reach of a melee weapon are likewise measured in inches.   Range and reach play a pivotal role in determining if an attack is successful.  For ranged attacks, the target must be both within the range of the ballistic weapon and within the area of reach from the ballistic projectile.  Melee weapons conversely only measure the reach from the attacker to the target.  

Close Range is standard for all techniques and is always considered to be within 2 cubits or under 3 feet from the opponent, while Long Range is specified on some techniques and requires the enemy to be over 4 cubits or 6 feet away from the target.  Of course a Long Range technique still requires reach to be effective, using a pole weapon that is 5 feet long at 7 feet away is not effective reach.  

Variation in Scale

Variations in scale should be addressed first and foremost in the spirit of the game (does it affect the game), and ultimately the miniatures that vary dramatically from scale should be used as agreed upon by the players and the Arbitrator.   To facilitate scaling issues further, in cases where the miniature is posed in such a way as to be confusing, consider all figures to have a square base underneath.  When standing still or otherwise not obviously extending beyond standard personal space, the figure will take up the space allocated by the square base.  This base should be between 20 and 25 mm, which are again industry standards.  Should something come in contact with the area that this base takes up, regardless of figure pose, it is fair to say the character will be affected.  Whether the character can dodge or otherwise mitigate this intrusion is up to the story and the dice.  

What’s a Couple of Cubits Between Friends?
We have a saying, if there is no money on the game let it ride.  This is basically a sportsmanship rule in all gaming.  When using measurements and miniatures, there are bound to be moments wherein the players are in dispute as to how close or accurate they are.  Inevitably once or more a game a player will be within a couple cubits of range, but not technically within range.  
The rule here is simple.  If it is within 2 cubits, or less than one inch, generally let it count as within range.  Now this is not a license to add an extra inch to measurements, but rather a means to avoid arguments and slowing down of the game.   Of course not all players want to extend this leniency, so all involved ahead of time should agree it upon the leniency, but we strongly encourage players to adopt this principle and just have fun with it.  


Posted on January 24, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Exploring Ultimates and Catastrophes

Ah the roll of a 1, strikes fear into the hearts of the bravest gamers doesn't it.  But that oh-so delightful roll of straight 6's makes it all worth white... most of the time.   So what does it mean to roll a Catastrophe or Ultimate?  

The Dreaded Catastrophe (class 3)

The Dreaded Catastrophe (class 3)

In game terms, a Catastrophe is simply the act of rolling the absolute worst possible roll within the pool of dice allotted.  Ultimates, by comparison, are the result of rolling the best possible roll within the dice allotted.   This means a roll of all ones is a Catastrophe and the roll of all sixes is an Ultimate.  

It is important to remember that these rolls are only counted on the unmodified initial roll value, never after exchanges or after modifiers are applied.  Modifiers may neither save from Catastrophe or promote to an Ultimate.

Simple enough, right?  Still there can be some confusion, especially when rolling smaller dice pools.  Not all Catastrophes and Ultimates are created equal.   While a catastrophe should always be thorn in the side of the roller, a Catastrophe from 1 die is naturally less detrimental than the Catastrophe from 5 dice.   Similarly, a "class 2 Ultimate," or Ultimate from 2 dice, is impressive but not nearly as impressive as a 'class 6 Ultimate."   So how does one scale this to remain fair yet still honoring the rules?

Catastrophe Classes

  • Class 1: These should be very simple failures.  A slip of the hand from the target, the dropping of a tool or simply the increase of one level on the victory chart for the next action by an opponent.   
  • Class 2: These should start to be stingers that bother the roller and fail the issue.  Perhaps in addition to dropping the tool the character gets a large splinter lodged into their hand.  Maybe the item dropped onto his foot resulting in a few rounds of pain, or the simple increase of two levels on the victory chart for the next action of an opponent.
  • Class 3: These should breach the threshold from annoyance to harm.  That dropped tool falls onto the ground and breaks, or falls on the foot and breaks a toe as a wound rather than just pain.  Again, the opponent could gain three levels on the victory chart for the next action as well.
  • Class 4: At this point the catastrophe is going to do major harm and hinderance to the roller. The key not only breaks off in the lock, but the jagged metal sliced open the character's hand. The task stands a strong chance of being irrevocably made impossible to complete.  Rivals could gain four levels on the victory chart at this level.
  • Class 5: So astounding is this failure that the major harm is not only a guarantee to the roller but those allies around are also likely to receive some splash effect.  The dropped tool falls onto the foot of the emissary you are saving from the dungeon or perhaps the roller trips and falls into the other party members, causing them all to fall from the wall they were climbing. Still, a direct rival could receive five levels on the victory chart.   
  • Class 6:  It could not get any worse than this.  Certainly the most logical series of failures will occur, but this level of Catastrophe reaches into near supernatural bad luck.  The failure will not only result in the death or extreme hinderance of the roller in some fashion, but any allies nearby are likely to suffer greatly.  Fate has a sense of humor, often choosing the most ironic situations to occur in these cases.  Rivals may win great victories while a party may bite the dust over a simple tightrope walking misshap.


Ultimate Classes

  • Class 1: These should be very simple wins.  A hidden breeze may suddenly indicate the unseen opening to a passageway or simply the increase of one level on the victory chart.   
  • Class 2: At this level, the bonus should be tangible such as a small bag of Letcher lodged in the lock preventing its picking.  Maybe the discovery of a new way of thinking allows purchase of an appropriate tangental aptitude, or if desired the simple increase of two levels on the victory chart.
  • Class 3: Here we start to gain insight into the higher workings of Aptitudes.  Aside from other situational gains, the player may be offered a chance to purchase up to the next level in the appropriate aptitude.   Again, the roller could gain three levels on the victory chart.
  • Class 4: At this point the ultimate is going to succeed and the roller is going to have opportunities to learn from the experience. The key turns the lock and scratches off the paint, revealing that it is composed of gold. The player's skillful revelation could offer the chance to purchase Aptitude Specialist with the appropriate Aptitude or another Benefit such as Wiry to represent this epiphany.  Likewise she could gain four levels on the victory chart for a challenge.
  • Class 5: So astounding is this victory that the roller catches others by surprise if applicable.  The party members may have the opportunity to also purchase a level of the appropriate Aptitude, or Benefit.   The roller should be able to purchase appropriately at half cost.  For the remainder of the session, the player could receive five levels on the victory chart, subtracting one per use until the bonus is gone.   
  • Class 6:  It could not get any better than this.  Certainly the most amazing series of events will occur, but this level of Ultimate reaches into near supernatural good luck.  The roller could be granted a free level of an appropriate Aptitude or Benefit as well and party members present might even be offered to purchase a level at half cost.  For the remainder of the session, the player could receive five levels on the victory chart with that aptitude and similar ones.   

While these are not hard and fast rules, the spirit of how these guidelines present to Ultimates and Catastrophes should be used for ideas.  

Just for fun, here is the breakdown as to how rare these events are:

Class 1                  1/6                       

Class 2                 1/36                     

Class 3                 1/216

Class 4                 1/1,296

Class 5                 1/7,776

Class 6                 1/46,656

Posted on January 17, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Pankration


Requires Aptitude:

  • Martial Art: Pankration per level to purchase Pankration techniques and must match the level in the aptitude to the level of the technique. 

5 points per level as normal for aptitude training in addition to in game training costs.

Martial Positions:

Assuming a martial position allows the fighter to gain a basic bonus with all Pankration techniques as being required in the technique description.  So long as the fighter remains in stance, the position bonus will apply to any Pankration technique being used and to freestyle fighting as well when applicable. 

Opponents who are also skilled in Pankration will negate this bonus up to their level in the Aptitude.  This means that if you have Pankration 3 and your opponent has Pankration 2, you effectively have Pankration 1 vs. that opponent. 

Forward Stance:      Both hands forward.  Used for defensive situations.  Open palmed.  +2 AD per level.
Medium Stance:       Rear striking hand is held up toward the chin in a fist, off hand is forward and open palmed.  This is used for standard attacks and preparing for clinch positioning. +1 AO, +1 AD per level.
Back Stance:            Rear striking hand is high in a fist and back behind the head whilst the off hand is forward and open palmed.  Used for high power attacks. +2 AO per level.
Clinch Position:     Grappled with the opponent into a limb lock.  Prepares for next round techniques.  +1d6 STR per level to keep opponent in clinch hold.



– standard price per level.


Pankration Defense Hook

·      A pause waiting for the opponent to strike followed by a hooking motion deflecting the attack downward and away.  Requires Forward Stance

1.     +1 AD, Strike Last

2.     +2 AD, Strike Last

3.     +3 AD, Strike Last

4.     +4 AD, Strike Last

5.     +5 AD, Strike Last

6.     +6 AD, Strike Last


Pankration Grapple Clinch

·      A quick grab of the opponent’s waist and rotating behind into Clinch Position around the torso.  Requires Medium Stance

1.     +1 AO

2.     +2 AO

3.     +2 AO, +1 SPD

4.     +2 AO, +3 SPD

5.     +3 AO, +3 SPD

6.     +4 AO, +5 SPD


Pankration Waist Throw

·      From a grapple clinch, you thrust and lift the opponent, throwing them sideways onto their stomach and face.  Requires Clinch Position.

1.     -1 DO, -1 DD

2.     -1 DO, -2 DD

3.     -2 DO, -3 DD

4.     -2 DO, -4 DD

5.     -3 DO, -5 DD

6.     -3 DO, -6 D

Posted on January 10, 2017 .

Proving Grounds: Crafted for you?

The release of The Adventurer's Guide for The Eternal Adventure added the new rules for crafting weapons, armor and anything else the players might need.   This has opened up a whole new world for players who have been in need of things to buy with their experience.  Crafty personas are hard at work, but what about those characters who have no crafting skills?  Never fear, they are not left without an avenue to enjoy this new feature.  

Glasbläser auf dem Mittelaltermarkt zu Oettingen.

Glasbläser auf dem Mittelaltermarkt zu Oettingen.

Crafting in The Adventurer's Guide takes multiple skills, time, tools and talent to put together a new item.  These items are not like standard stock crafts, no they are designed with statistics and often enhancements that go far beyond the standard fare.  As such they are quite costly in experience points.   All that training and knowledge helps the craftsman make good, reliable crafts.  

A character that is not a craftsman, but wants to make such an item, should be up for a challenge. This challenge compares in some way to their crafting friends, but does not require the training they do not have.   Simply put, the character must find somebody capable of crafting such things for her.

From a gameplay perspective, the player writes up the craft as outlined on page 80 of The Adventurer's Guide.  Then, the Arbitrator takes the design and adjusts it as seen fit.  Then the player is given the task of finding a capable craftsman in game.  This could take some time, and may require doing certain tasks for the craftsman depending on how exotic or complex the craft is.  Needless to say this could be the focus of an entire gaming session or even part of a larger plot line.  

Once the player has accomplished the tasks and the craft is finished, the player spends the appropriate experience cost of the craft= 15% extra to get the item crafted.  This extra 15% is a essentially a boon to personas who are actually craftsmen by trade.  It should not be seen as a penalty for not playing a crafting persona but rather a work around payment to get what others players must spend considerable experience to be able to do.

The experience expenditure counts as the monetary payment in game so the player should not pay the Letcher value on top of the experience.   The item then becomes part of the arsenal for that player.  Another happy customer.


Posted on January 3, 2017 .