Combat Mechanics

Basic Mechanics


Before combat can begin, all involved characters must determine their initiative. Each player rolls their character’s Agility; NPCs have their agility rolled by the GM. The characters then act in descending order of initiative, with tied characters acting simultaneously. Once all characters have acted, the turn is considered over and a new turn begins from the top of the turn order.

If two characters are acting simultaneously, but for whatever reason their actions cannot be resolved simultaneously, the GM should randomly select a character by rolling 1dN (where n is the number of simultaneous actions that must be resolved separately) and resolving the rolled character’s action, or using the .choose command. Repeat once for every action that must be resolved separately.

Example: Two player characters, Jean and Brutus, find themselves in a firefight with Imhotep and Lord Scotland. Jean, having rolled a 7, has the highest initiative. Brutus and Imhotep are next, each having rolled a 4. Lord Scotland rolls only a 2 and as a result will act last.

Characters who enter a battle late do not roll initiative; they are added to the turn order at the point at which they entered combat.

If a character acts after they would normally have their turn, such as when they are unable to act or choose to delay their action, their position in the queue is adjusted to when they actually acted and that becomes their new turn slot. Characters may only have one action ready at a time. If their turn is delayed past when their next turn would occur, they lose the delayed action.

Turns are not defined in terms of a specific time frame, but usually last 5 seconds as a baseline.

Things that (usually) use up your turn:

  • Attacking
  • Attempting a maneuver
  • Using a skill to undertake an action (Using Medicine to treat a wounded character or Electronics to repair an object)
  • Using an item
  • Using a power
  • Using an active feat

Things that (usually) do not use up your turn:

  • Talking
  • Moving
  • Using a skill to notice something or to check if a characters knows something (Using perception to notice an ambush, using electronics to see if a character recognizes a particular device)
  • Dodging
  • Defending

Things that (usually) can be done outside of your turn:

  • Talking
  • Defending yourself
  • Making Perception or knowledge checks if the GM calls for them

Please note that this list is not all-inclusive and that even though certain actions do not always use up a turn, there is still a limit to the amount of stuff you can get done in a few seconds. The number of free actions you can take in a turn is subject to the situation and to GM discretion.

Determining Damage

Each weapon possesses a stat known as a Damage Increment. This, the base damage, and the amount by which your attack roll exceeds the defender’s roll, will determine how much damage a successful attack inflicts. Base Damage, the other stat all weapons share, is the amount dealt per increment. Most weapons have a damage increment and base damage of 2 unless otherwise specified; therefore, a successful attack will cause 2 damage on a net difference up to 2, then 4 damage up to 4, 6 damage up to 6, and so on. Damage increments may be fractional; a DI of 2.5 will cause additional damage at 3 (beats 2.5), 5, and 8 (beats 7.5), for example. A weapon which had a DI of 0.5 could inflict 4 damage for every point by which it exceeds the defender’s roll. Yikes!

Critical Successes and Failures

Any dice roll resulting in four +s is a critical hit. These rolls usually succeed at whatever task the player is attempting, regardless of the resulting number or DC, unless an opponent in an opposed roll also rolls a critical success. In addition, a critical success goes above and beyond what would be accomplished with a normally successful roll, such as disarming or panicking an opponent in melee or causing a device to operate above and beyond its normal functionality with Electronics or Engineering. The nature of this extra success is to be determined by the GM.

Likewise, rolling all minuses is a critical failure. Usually, the character fails at whatever they were attempting and suffers an additional complication. When using Science, for example, a character who critically fails may arrive at incorrect conclusions or results instead of failing to find the correct information. A character in melee combat may injure themselves instead of merely failing to hit the enemy. A key difference from critical successes is that a character can critically fail and still succeed, if they beat the DC or opposed roll. In this case, the character succeeds but with an additional complication. For example, a character using Agility to scale a barbed-wire fence may successfully cross the fence, but snag their backpack on the wire, or twist their ankle when landing. Like critical successes, the nature of critical failures is determined by the GM as the situation warrants.

Dodging Attacks

In addition to defending against attacks using Physical Defense, characters may be able to dodge them first. Dodges are made using the Agility skill. Whether or not an attack can be dodged is determined by the GM, but generally the character must be aware of an incoming attack and able to move to avoid it; characters who are unconscious, restrained, or in a confined space do not receive a dodge roll. A character may only dodge one attack per round.


When an opposed roll results in a tie in combat, by default, the tie goes to the defender. A tied Agility roll results in a touch that does no damage and does not require a Physical Defense roll, whereas a tied Physical Defense roll results in a grazing blow that causes no serious injury. Some attacks, known as touch attacks, require only a tied roll to connect; in that case, the attacker wins any ties. Examples of touch attacks are weapons such as stun guns or Tasers, fire weapons, or poisons and other substances that can take effect on contact.

In situations where there is no clear defender, the tie should be broken by random selection.

Running out of Body and Mind Points

Characters whose Health drops to 0 are rendered unconscious and are helpless, unable to defend themselves or take any action. They are in stable condition and their health remains at 0 in the absence of further damage or medical attention. If their health is increased above zero, they regain consciousness on their next turn. If a character’s health drops below 0, they are also dying. If they are brought to 0 health or above before their next turn, they stop dying and may regain consciousness if their health rises above zero; however, in this case they awaken after 1d4 turns. If they are still dying at the start of their next turn, the character may make a single Body roll against the number of negative Body points they have accumulated. On a success, they stop dying and become stable, but their current health does not change. On a failure, the character dies. Be careful! Death in Far Recon is permanent. If a character’s negative health falls below the additive inverse of their base Body (e.g. Falls below -8 Body when your character has 8 base Body), the character dies immediately, with no opportunity for stabilization.

Similarly, a character whose Mind drops to 0 suffers a temporary breakdown and is effectively useless. The nature of the breakdown depends on the type of mental trauma the character has sustained, but in all cases the character is unable to do much more than follow other party members around and flee from dangerous situations. Characters whose Mind score falls below 0 and into the negative numbers suffer a permanent breakdown. Again, the nature of the breakdown depends on the type of trauma the character has suffered, but manifestations may include the character being reduced to a catatonic state, psychosis, OCD, PTSD, severe depression, or an anomalous effect the GM decided on.

Madness is generally not conducive to survival in a pitched fight, but characters who return to base alive with 0 mind are removed from active duty until their mind score is restored to at least 1. Characters who survive with negative mind are unsuitable for further employment with the Foundation.

Please note that you are expected to roleplay the effects of Mind damage on your character, and the GMs may impose negative effects such as flashbacks/hallucinations on characters with very low mind.

Skills and Items


Explosive attacks work differently from typical ranged attacks in two ways: first, their base damage is fixed, whereas damage from ranged attacks is dependent on the user’s attack roll and skill. Second, explosive attacks hit everyone within their blast radius, whereas ranged attacks generally hit one target at a time.

All explosive weapons share three stats:

  • Base Damage, which determines how much damage the weapon does at ground zero;
  • Range increment, which is the distance at which damage is reduced;
  • Blast falloff, which is the amount per range increment by which damage is decremented.

For example, a character is caught 32 feet from an explosive with BD 10, RI 10 meters, and BF 2. The character is 3 range increments away, each increment having a falloff of 2. Therefore, the effective damage is 4, and this is the damage the player will roll PDef to resist.

Characters can take cover against explosions, if cover is available. The GM will add one or more range increments when determining damage to resist to represent the damage absorbed by the cover.

All explosives have a damage increment of two, unless otherwise specified.


With the elimination of the throwing skill, thrown attacks are now made using the Strength and Agility skills, depending on the situation of the attack. Strength may be used when:

  • Throwing a heavy object at an enemy;
  • Throwing over a long distance;
  • Attempting to destroy an object with the force of a thrown weapon (such as smashing a glass door with a brick)

Agility is used for

  • Precision weapons, such as throwing knives,
  • Throwing attacks made through a narrow space or opening, such as throwing a grenade through a small window;
  • Attempting to hit a small object, such as knocking a keyring off a hook

This list is not all inclusive and the appropriate skill for a situation should be determined by the GM. Once the appropriate skill is decided upon, throwing attacks are resolved in the same manner as other attacks.

Powers, Feats and Items

If a power, feat, mastery, item, or other special ability contradicts these rules, then the ability is considered to modify the rule in question unless otherwise stated. For example, a character may normally make only one dodge roll per turn, but if an ability says that a character may make two or more dodge rolls, the ability is considered to supersede the previous limit on dodge rolls.

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