Swords of Cydonia: Combat & Initiative

Initiative plays a more prominent role in a Western. The classic showdown at High Noon relies heavily on the speed of the draw determining which gun fighter will be the victor.

This was another place where wearing heavy armor seemed to work against the idea of being first to draw your pistol, run across the street, or make a melee attack. It's also an other example of the dX system I'm moving a lot of rule mechanics over to, where the size of dice being rolled is modified rather than making changes to the target number or modifiers on the dice rolls.

Rounds of combat are 6 seconds long.

When the party encounters enemies, use the following procedure to resolve combat:

1. The Referee determines if one side gains a free round of action as a result of surprising their opponents.

2. Players with spell casters declare any spells they intend to cast this round.

3. Each individual rolls to determine their initiative.

4a Counting down from 12 to 1, characters with initiative take their actions.

4b. Characters with the same initiative score have their actions considered to be resolved simultaneously.

4c. On their initiative count a player may choose to have their character hold their action until a lower initiative number is reached.

5. The round is completed; if the battle has not been resolved return to step 2 and begin a new round of combat.

Determining Initiative

Characters roll d6 for Initiative, modified by:

+d Melee: Monk or Fighting Man specialized in Hand-to-Hand
+d Ranged: Fighting Man specialized in Fast Draw
-d Medium or Heavy Armor
-d Fatigue Points
Note: Character always roll at least a d4 and at most a d12 for Initiative

Special: If armed, Fighting Men with the Quick Draw specialization have an automatic initiative of 12 for the first round of combat.

Example 1: A Monk would roll d8 for Initiative (d6 +d = d8)

Example 2: A Fighting Man specializing in Hand-to-Hand, wearing Spanish Chainmail and with 2 Fatigue Points would roll d4 for Initiative (d6 +d -d -d = d4)