Encounters

Structure of an Encounter

Initiative

Beginning of Encounter Abilities Trigger
Any effect that activates at the beginning of an encounter activates and is resolved now (so long as all other conditions are met as well).

Determine Initiative Values
Each character rolls Insight Rank/Reflexes (A rank 2 character with 3 reflexes rolls 5k3). Each character's result becomes their Initiative Value. If multiple characters are tied for initiative determine their order randomly (this order persists for the entire combat so long as the tie persists). If at any point in the combat a character's initiative changes and becomes tied with a new value, the character who's initiative changed goes after all others who currently have that Initiative Value (they essentially go to the back of the line on that value, and another character who ties would go after the first one who tied)

Assume Opening Stance
In reverse of the Initiative Order, each character chooses what stance they will begin the encounter in. In the case of ties, use the reverse of the order determined in the previous step. Characters are stuck in this stance until the second round of combat.

Go to Rounds
It's what it says on the tin.

Rounds

Beginning of Round Abilities Trigger
Any effect that activates at the beginning of the round activates now. In the case of ties, the person with the higher of the initiatives chooses if they want their ability to activate first or last (in the case of a 3 or more person tie, the highest initiative chooses first or last, then the next, then the next, etc. Repeat this process among triggers assigned First and triggers assigned Last until an order is determined).

Turns Begin
In initiative order, each character takes their Turn. When a character's turn begins, any effects that trigger at the beginning of their turns activate. If more than one ability triggers at the beginning of a character's turn, that character chooses which order to resolve them in.

Go to Readying Phase
Once each character has taken their turn, move to the Readying Phase.

Anatomy of a Turn

Gain Actions
At the beginning of each character's turn they gain two Simple Actions.

Choose Your Stance
Except for the first round of combat, at the beginning of a character's turn they choose one of the five stances to be in. You assume this stance until the beginning of your next turn, when it may be changed once more.

Taking Actions
A character then spends their Actions in whatever combination and order they choose. An action can not be initiated while another is still ongoing. (Any unspent resource such a movement from a simple action is lost and can not carry over unless another effect specifically allows you to.)

Free Actions
There are a number of Free Actions a character can take on their turn. A character may take any number of Free Actions, but each Free Action may only be taken once (so you may only use the Free Action move once per turn, for example).

Complex Actions
Some actions are listed as being "Complex Actions". These actions simply require you to spend two Simple Actions performing them. Spending two Simple Actions in this way is considered to have used a single Complex Action rather than two Simple Actions for all mechanical purposes, such as casting spells or effects that restrict action use.

Ending a Turn
Once a character elects to perform no further actions, or they simply can not perform any further actions, their turn is over and the next character in initiative order takes their turn.

Readying Phase

Beginning of Readying Phase Abilities Trigger
Any effect that activates at the beginning of the Readying Phase activates now. If an order is required, use the reverse of the Initiative Order.

Timers Tick
Any effect that lasts for a certain number of rounds ticks during this stage. An effect expires when it enters this stage with 0 rounds remaining (An effect that lasts for 1 round will see 2 readying phases).

Return to Rounds
The Initiative Phase is not revisited, instead the next round begins. Repeat this process until the encounter is over.


Combat

Actions in Combat

The following are the default speeds of actions in combat.

Free Actions
Communicate up to seven syllables
Readying, Drawing, Stowing, or Sheathing a [Small] Weapon (This Free Action can be taken twice per turn)
Draw or Stow a small object on your person
Letting go of an object
Movement (5xWater)
Beginning Spellcasting
Paying an Action Cost
Completing Spellcasting

Simple Actions
Communicate up to seventeen syllables
Readying, Drawing, Stowing, or Sheathing a Weapon.
Guarding
Movement (10xWater)
Recover an object from the ground or in some container.
Paying an Action Cost

Complex Actions
Attacking with a weapon
Stringing a bow
Mounting a horse
Testing a skill
Paying an Action Cost

Damage and Wound Ranks

Damage Rolls

After an attack hits, the next step is to make that attack's damage roll. To assemble the dice pool of a typical damage roll:
1) First, take your weapon's Damage characteristic and gain it. (A Tonfa gives +0k3, Katana +3k2, etc.)
2) Gain +Xk0, where X is the value of your Strength Attribute.
3) Apply all other bonuses or maluses accrued from maneuvers, techniques, situational modifiers, conditions, stances, etc.
4) Techniques that need to be activated to modify the damage roll may be activated now.
5) Once the dice pool has been finalized, roll it.

Example damage rolls:

Skill - Weapon: Samurai 5. Weapon - Katana. Strength - 3. Maneuvers - 2 Raises on Feint (beat ATN by 13)
1) 3k2+0
2) 6k2+0
3) 7k2+6
4) 8k3+6 (Void Point)
5) Damage is rolled

Skill - Kanaboujutsu 7 w/ Ono emphasis. Weapon - Ono. Strength - 5. Maneuvers - 2 Raises on Extra Damage
1) 0k4+0
2) 5k4+0
3) 8k5+4
4) 8k5+4 (No change)
5) Damage is rolled

Mook Damage
Humanoid enemies without some form of technique, such as peasants or untrained bandits, calculate damage rolls as normal, except their damage dice never explode.

Wound Thresholds

When a character is dealt damage, after reduction is applied, the remaining value is taken as Wounds. Wounds continue to accumulate as a fight goes on, posing an escalating hindrance to deft action. Each time your total Wounds reaches a new Wound Threshold, the Wound Penalty that applies to your actions grows.

Your first Wound Threshold, Nicked, begins at five times your Earth Ring, plus one. Each subsequent Threshold is equal to the previous Threshold plus two times your Earth Ring. There are eight wound thresholds, beginning at Nicked and ending in Dead. See the chart below for the Threshold names, calculation, and the associated penalties.

While you are wounded, apply the penalty associated with the highest Threshold that is equal to or below your current Wound total as a malus to every test and contest you make (Damage rolls, and other special rolls are unaffected). Note that wound ranks are not cumulative, and you only suffer from the highest rank you qualify for. While you lack enough wounds to qualify for any of these wound thresholds, you are considered Healthy.

Example: If you are Earth 2, and you bear 25 wounds, you would be Injured. You would need a total of 27 wounds to enter the next rank, Bloodied.

Name Penalty Calculation Earth 2 Example Earth 3 Example Earth 4 Example
Nicked -3 (Earth*5)+1 11 16 21
Grazed -5 Nicked+(Earth*2) 15 22 29
Hurt -10 Grazed+(Earth*2) 19 28 37
Injured -15 Hurt+(Earth*2) 23 34 45
Bloodied -20 Injured+(Earth*2) 27 40 53
Crippled -40 Bloodied+(Earth*2) 31 46 61
Out N/A Crippled+(Earth*2) 35 52 69
Dead N/A Out+(Earth*2) 39 58 77

Out: Characters who have passed their Out Threshold are unconscious and cannot take any actions at all. They may also be bleeding out, and could potentially die shortly without immediate care.
Dead: Characters who have passed their Dead Threshold are, naturally, Dead, and may take no actions.
Downing: When an action a character takes is enough to put another character into the Crippled or Out thresholds, that character is considered to have Downed their target. Downing typically takes the form of damage, but an effect that changes a character's wound thresholds can Down a character as well.
Killing: When an action a character takes is enough to put another character into the Dead threshold, the character is considered to have Killed their target. Killing typical takes the form of damage, but an effect that changes a character's wound thresholds can Kill a character as well. If an action would both Down and Kill a character (such as a healthy character taking enough wounds to enter Dead), they are only considered Killed.

Mook Thresholds
Humanoid enemies without some form of Technique, such as peasants or untrained bandits, calculate their Thresholds differently.

Name Penalty Calculation Earth 2 Example
Hurt -10 Earth*4+1 9
Bloodied -20 Hurt+(Earth*4) 17
Out N/A Bloodied+(Earth*4) 25
Dead N/A Out+(Earth*2) 29

Example: A mook with Earth 2 that is healthy, then suffers 10 wounds becomes Hurt. If that mook that suffers 15 more wounds, for a total of 25, then they enter the Out threshold are are Downed. 4 more wounds would be required to kill that mook.


Stances

Air

While in Air stance, you focus on evading enemy attacks while retaining your mobility. While you are in Air Stance, gain +X to your Armor Target Number, where X is equal to your Air Ring plus your ranks in Defense. You cannot attack while in Air stance.

Earth

Earth stance is wholly dedicated to warding off blows. While in Earth stance, test Defense/Reflex as a Complex Action against Target Number 0. If you are successful, gain +X to your Armor Target Number until your next turn, where X equals half the amount by which you succeeded this test. You are unable to move or attack with simple or complex actions while in Earth stance. While in Earth Stance, you may perform a Guard action as a Free Action.

Fire

Fire stance embodies the reckless, consuming nature of Fire. While you are in Fire Stance, when you spend a Free Action to move, you may move an additional 5'. While you are in Fire Stance, when making a melee attack, gain +2k1. This comes with a price: As long as you are in Fire stance, your Armor Target Number is reduced by 10, and you cannot perform the Guard maneuver or move away from an enemy.

Void

The Void stance is the stance of no stance. While you are in Void Stance, you may not move, and at the start of your turn you lose two simple actions. Once per round, if you began this round in Void Stance, when making a roll, test, or contest, gain +1k1+X, where X is your Void ring. If you began this round in Void Stance, your Initiative total is increased by Y*5, where Y is your Insight Rank, but only for the round after you assume Void stance.

Water

The stance of possibilities, Water stance is the most versatile of the stances. There are no bonuses, penalties, or restrictions on your actions while you are in Water stance.


Attacking and Maneuvers

As a complex action, a character may make an attack with a weapon they have ready. Test your appropriate weapon skill (Weapon/Agility for Melee and Thrown weapons, Weapon/Reflexes for Aimed weapons) against a target's Armor Target Number. If you are successful, and if the target is within your weapon's range, the target is struck. When a character is struck, the attacker makes their damage roll, then deals the result to the target in the form of wounds.

Armor Target Number

By default, a character's Armor Target Number is derived with the following formula: 5 + (Reflexes * 5) + Armor Bonus + Stance Bonus + Technique Bonus + Misc Bonus - All Maluses.

Attribute Bonus: Some mechanics may refer to this bonus. This bonus to your Armor Target Number is equal to 5 * X, where X is your Reflex Attribute.
Armor Bonus: Some mechanics may refer to this bonus. This bonus is equal to the Armor Bonus of one piece of armor you are wearing.
Stance Bonus: Some mechanics may refer to this bonus. This bonus is equal to any bonus gained to your ATN by your stance. By default, only the Air and Earth stances give a bonus to ATN.
Technique Bonus: Some mechanics may refer to this bonus. This bonus is equal to the sum of all bonuses gained to your ATN from School Techniques, the ATN bonus from Dual Wielding, and finally all Masteries that grant ATN.
Misc Bonus: Some mechanics may refer to this bonus. This bonus is equal to the sum of all other bonuses gained to your ATN, including, but not limited to, bonuses from spell effects, advantages, or being guarded.
All Maluses: Some mechanics may refer to this malus. This malus is equal to the sum of all numerical maluses or penalties to your ATN, including, but not limited to, the Fire Stance, spell effects, disadvantages, and using the guard action.

Default Maneuvers

The following maneuvers are available for all weapon attacks.

Disarm

The Disarm maneuver requires three raises. If successful, you deal 1k1 damage rather than your typical damage roll, then Contest Strength with your target. If you win, your target drops their weapon.

Extra Attack

The Extra Attack maneuver requires five raises. If successful, you may make another attack immediately afterwards as a Free Action. You can only perform a successful Extra Attack maneuver once per turn.

Extra Damage

The Extra Damage maneuver requires a minimum of one raise. If successful, increase the resulting damage roll by +1k0 per Extra Damage raise you called.

Feint

The Feint maneuver requires two raises. If successful, the target is considered defenseless for this attack (divide the amount by which you beat the Armor Target Number in half, rounding down, and add it to the resulting damage total). Damage added by Feint is capped at X, where X is equal to your Insight Rank x5.

Focused Attack

The Focus Attack maneuver requires a minimum of one raise. With Focused Attack, you target a specific part of your enemy. Something like a leg or an arm requires one raise, hands or feet would be two, their head would require three, and something small like a finger, eye, or ear would require four.

Knockdown

The Knockdown maneuver requires two raises. If successful, you enter a Contested Strength roll with your target. If you win, your target takes damage as normal and is knocked Prone. Creatures with four legs require four raises to be knocked down.

Push/Pull

The Push/Pull maneuvers require two raises. If successful, you enter a Contested Strength roll with your target. If you win, your target takes damage as normal and you may move your target 5ft. You may choose to follow your target, subtracting the distance you move from your total movement that turn. Pushing or pulling more than 5ft requires two more raises per 5ft increment, and your target adds their Earth to the total of their Contested Strength roll to resist being moved.

Tactical Strike

Tactical Strike requires two raises. If successful, add one Free Raise to your party's Tactics Pool.


Other Actions

Grappling

As a Complex Action, so long as you have at least one hand free, you may test Jujutsu(Grappling)/Agility against an adjacent character's Armor Target Number. Ignore bonuses from Armor your target would receive when making this test. If you are successful, you and your target become Grappled. In addition to having their ATN modified, Grappled characters may not perform any actions but the special Grapple Actions. Any number of characters may participate in a given grapple, so long as they can succeed the test to grapple a grappled character. If only one character remains in a Grapple (after, say, a Break Grapple Action), the final character is no longer grappled.

At the start of each of the grappled character's turns, all participants make a Grapple Contest, and contest Jujutsu(Grappling)/Strength. The winner of this contest is considered to be "in control" of the grapple. If a character is "in control" of a grapple on their turn, they gain access to the Grapple Actions below.

Weapon Grapples
Some weapons allow a character to initiate a Grapple. Weapon Grapples are similar to typical Grapples, but not the exact same. To initiate a Weapon Grapple is a Complex Action using the appropriate Weapon Skill instead of Jujutsu. When participating in a Grapple Contest, if the Grapple is a Weapon Grapple, each character in the Grapple may choose to substitute Jujutsu with the appropriate Weapon Skill. When a Character performs the Hit Grapple Action, if that character initiated a Grapple with a weapon, they roll damage as if they had hit with that weapon (in the case of [End] weapons, choose which profile to use). When a character performs the Break Grapple Action to escape a Weapon Grapple, until the end of their next turn, when they attack the initiator of the Weapon Grapple, they gain a Free Raise they may only use toward the Disarm maneuver.

Weapon: Samurai and Grapples
If Unarmed are [Samurai] weapons for a character, they may substitute Jujutsu with Weapon: Samurai for their grapple rolls. The same is true for all weapon skills and weapon grapples.

Grapple Actions

Hit
As a Complex Action, choose a character in the grapple and roll damage as if you had hit with an unarmed attack, unless that target is outside of this weapon profile's range. (This damage roll can in no way benefit from maneuvers).

Break
As a Simple Action, you are no longer Grappled.

Throw
As a Simple Action, choose a character both in range of an unarmed attack and in the grapple and throw them up to X ft. away from you, where X is 5 * Your Strength. The thrown character is now Prone.

Drag
Use this action only if there is one other character in the Grapple. As a Simple Action, move yourself and the other Grappled character up to 5 * Water Ring ft.

Maintain
As a Complex action, the next time you would participate in a Grapple Contest, gain +1k1.

Communicate
As a Free Action, communicate up to 7 syllables. As a Simple Action, communicate up to 17 syllables.

Nevermind
As a Special Action, even if it is not their turn, if all active participants of a Grapple agree to end the Grapple, the Grapple ends and all characters are no longer Grappled.

Guard

As a Simple Action, you target someone within 5ft of you. Until the start of your next turn, so long as you are within 5ft of your target, you suffer a malus of -5 to your ATN and your target gains +10 to their ATN. While in Earth Stance, you may perform a Guard action as a Free Action.

Movement

Movement is taken as some combination of free and simple actions, but never complex actions. So long as a character is in a stance that allows them to move, as well as not inflicted with a status effect that prevents their movement, a character may move during their turn expending these actions. Movement actions are discrete, and "left over" movement can not be preserved and used after another action is taken.

Free Move
As a Free Action on your turn, move 5 times your Water Ring in feet. (Remember: each Free Action can only be taken once per turn.)

Simple Move
As a Simple Action on your turn, move 10 times your Water Ring in feet.

The maximum distance a character can move a round with their own move actions is equal to 20 times their Water Ring in feet. This includes movement from additional sources such as the Fire Stance. Effects that modify what your Water Ring for purposes of movement (such as rough terrain or the swift ability) also change your movement cap. If a character has two or more movement caps during a turn, use the lowest cap. If a character would move in such a way that they take on a new cap which is lower than their current movement total (such as entering rough terrain near the end of your movement), the character can not perform that movement.

Void Points

In a typical conflict, Void Points may be spent in the following ways by default. You may spend a Void Point on any of the following effects only once per round.

Accelerate
At the beginning of the round, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, increase your Initiative Value by 10 for the remainder of the encounter. If your Initiative was swapped to another this round, you may instead increase that character's Initiative Value by 10.

Boost
When performing a test or contest, so long as the dice are able to explode, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, gain +1k1.

Deflect
At the beginning of the round, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, increase your Armor Target Number by 10 until the end of the round (this increase is not a technique, and can not be ignored in any way).

Endure
When you would suffer damage of any type, before the damage is taken, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, reduce the damage roll's result by 10 (this is not considered Reduction, and can not be ignored in any way).

Strive
When performing a test or contest, so long as the dice are unable to explode, you may spend a Void Point. If you do, gain +1k0 and the roll is able to explode.

Swap
At the beginning of the round, you may choose another willing character and spend a Void Point. If you do, swap Initiative Values with the chosen character.


Status Effects

Blind

While Blind, your Armor Target Number is determined with a different formula. Instead of adding five times your Reflex Attribute, simply add your Reflex Attribute instead (which makes the new formula 5+Reflexes+Armor Bonus+Misc Bonuses). While you are blind, melee attack rolls gain -1k1 and ranged attack rolls gain -3k3. Your Water ring is considered two lower for movement purposes (to a minimum of one), and when you use a Simple Action to move, test Athletics/Agility against Target Number 15. If you fail, you become Prone instead of moving.

Stun

While Stunned, your stances are limited to Air and Earth. All actions you attempt are at a -3k0 penalty. You can try to shake off the Stunned effect once each Readying Phase by testing Earth against Target Number 20. If you fail, reduce the Target Number by 10 for the next round. If you are successful, you are no longer Stunned.

Entangle

While Entangled, you can do nothing except attempt to escape the Entanglement. This is typically a Complex Action that will test Strength versus a set TN or a Contested roll against an enemy.

Hunger

While Hungry, you do not regain Void Point from resting and all Skill, Trait, and Spell Casting rolls have +5TN for every 24 hours you go without food and water. After a number of days equal to your Earth ring, you take 2k1 damage every day until you get food and water or die. These wounds are not healed via resting.

Exhaustion

While Exhausted, you gain no bonus from the Earth or Fire stances (but still suffer all restrictions and maluses). If you gained this condition by sleep deprivation, you suffer a malus of -5 to all your tests and contests for every 24 hours you don't sleep. After a number of days equal to your Stamina Attribute, you must make Willpower tests at TN20 every two hours. If you fail, you fall asleep.

Defenseless

When attacking a Defenseless character, note the amount by which the attack result exceeded the target's ATN. When dealing damage to a Defenseless character, gain +X, where X is half of the noted amount. (rounded down)

Grapple

While involved in a Grapple, your Armor Target Number is determined with a different formula. You do not add Attribute, Stance, Technique, or Misc. Bonuses to your Armor Target Number (making the new formula simply 5 + Armor Bonus). Grappled characters may only take the actions outlined in the Grapple section, above.

Strong Position

Attacks made while you have a Strong Position gain +1k0. You have Strong Position if any of the following are true:

  • You are Mounted and attacking an unmounted character.
  • You are attacking with a [Reach] weapon outside of your target's melee range. (Such as attacking a swordsman with a spear from two spaces away)
  • You are attacking while you have some terrain advantage, such as high ground, or your target is mired while you are not. (GM's discretion)

Mounted

Mounted Characters cannot assume the Fire stance. Mounted characters move with their steed's Water Ring, but use their own actions in addition to their steed's actions to do so.

Prone

While Prone, your Armor Target Number is reduced by 10 against melee attacks. You cannot make Move actions except for Crawl, or make attacks with [Large] weapons while Prone, and can only assume the Water or Air stance. While prone, attacks with [Medium] and [Small] weapons suffer a malus of -2k0. While Prone, you may take a Simple Action to Stand, which ends the Prone condition. While Prone, you may take a Complex Action to Crawl, which allows you to move 5 * Water feet.

Incapacitated

While Incapacitated, your Armor Target Number is determined with a different formula and you cannot take any actions. You do not add Reflexes or Misc. Bonuses to your Armor Target Number (making the new formula simply 5 + Armor Bonus). You can try to shake off the Incapacitated effect during the Readying phase every round by testing Earth against Target Number 20. If you are successful, the status ends. If you fail, it automatically wears off at the end of the next round.

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