Legends - Combat Rules

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Combat Rules


Map grids are not used in Legends. Instead, the battlefield can be divided into smaller groups, each consisting of a small number of fighters. Typically a group will consist of one or more Legends, plus up to five ordinary 1st or 2nd Circle characters per Legend. The GM can vary this according to story circumstance (for example, if ranked up with allies then a character will be in striking range of no more than two or three enemies.

Its not important to keep too tight restrictions on positioning rules, but to bear in mind the following:

• No more than five combatants will be able to make a melee attacks (or a grouped melee attack) against a single character at a time.

• An attack which targets a group (for example an incendiary explosion cast by a Pyromancer) will generally hit up to 5 opponents, plus any Legends in the fray.

• A character can only Protect (see rules below) a character that is within the same group as him.

• A character who ranks up or keeps his back to a wall can reduce the odds so no more than 3 enemies at a time can attack him.

Characters can usually move freely between groups before they act, barring any obstructions as described in the scenery by the GM. Even then a good athletics or acrobatics roll can circumvent most obstacles.


Characters act in descending order of Circle of Mastery. If of the same Circle of Mastery, then player characters act first.

If player characters of equal Circle are fighting each other, then randomise who wins initiative once at the start of the combat, then hold that initiative order for the whole combat.

In surprise situations, only those aware can act in the first round of combat.


The attack roll is generally using a combat skill of some sort (e.g. Swordfighting)

The attribute trait Precision adds to the dice pool on the attack.

Circumstances may deduct from or add to the dice pool by -3 to +3 dice.


Abred Burningsands is a 4th Circle Legend with Legendary (1+) Archery and Elite (+3) Precision. He rolls 7 dice on attack, looking for a target number of 1+.


The defend roll is generally using a combat skill of some sort (e.g. Swordfighting), or another appropriate skill (e.g. Acrobatics).

The attribute trait Agility adds to the dice pool on the defence.

Circumstances may deduct from or add to the dice pool by -3 to +3 dice.

If the attack roll beats the defence roll, a hit is scored. Draws go to the defender.


Thelessia Brightwaters is a 3rd Circle Legend with Elite (3+) Swordsmanship and Elite (+3) Agility. She rolls 6 dice on defence, looking for a target number of 3+.

Note that some skills can only be used to parry attacks (e.g. Sworffighting) while others allow you to dodge (e.g. Acrobatics or Athletics).

Some attacks cannot be parried – for example, a fireball cannot be stopped by sword or shield.

Some situations prevent dodging – for example, a hero that is waist deep in heavy mud cannot dodge, but can parry.

Parrying ranged attacks with a melee skill (e.g. Swordfighting defending versus arrows) is at +1 to the TN.

Ranged skills (e.g. Archery) can be used to parry ranged or close attacks, but at +2 to the TN.


On a successful hit, you deal damage check. Base damage is equal to Strength attribute, and successes on the attack roll add extra damage according to the weapon being used.

• Unarmed attacks deal +1 damage for every 4 attack successes.

• Small weapons (knives, slings, etc.) deal +1 damage for every 3 attack successes.

• Medium weapons (swords, arrows, etc.) deal +1 damage for every 2 attack successes.

• Large weapons (greatswords, huge rocks, etc.) deal +1 damage for every 2 attack successes, and also increase the wielder’s effective Strength by 50% (rounded down).

For example a hit using a longsword with Elite strength (+3) for 2 successes deals 4 damage.


The Resilience trait and Armour directly reduce wounds received.

However armour also slows the fighter, adding to the TN for Attack and Defend rolls equal to the Encumbrance.

• Light armour (e.g. chainmail and leather) has 1 Damage Reduction and 0 Encumbrance.

• Heavy armour (e.g. full plate armour) has 3 Damage Reduction and 1 Encumbrance.

• Super-Heavy armour (e.g. titan-plate armour) has 5 Damage Reduction and 2 Encumbrance. Encumbrance also adds to the TN for Spellcasting of all sorts, and for all agility based tasks. For example 1 Encumbrance changes a 3+ check into a 4+ check.


If you suffer more wounds equal to or exceeding Circle of Mastery squared you are considered Out of Action. For example, a 3rd Circle character would be able to take 9 wounds before being considered Out of Action.

A 1st or 2nd Circle character taken Out of Action will usually be killed unless the damage was of a non-lethal nature (e.g. being punched and kicked into submission).

A 3rd Circle or better character will not be killed until he has suffered twice as many wounds as his Circle of Mastery squared. For example, a 3rd Circle character would be able to take 18 wounds before being killed.


A character of 3rd Circle or better can choose to attack more than once as a single action.

Make a single attack roll, but add +2 to the Target Number for each attack after the first. For example, if you normally need a 3+ to hit, then attacking twice would raise this to 5+.

The targets must then defend individually against each attack – any defences that equal or exceed the attack successes evade a hit, any that do not result in a hit. Note that the defender always uses his normal target number for defences, no matter how many times he is attacked once in a single round.

Ranged attacks can also be made as multiple attacks.

Multiple attacks can be made against several targets, or against a single target, or with more than one attack against several targets.


Characters can choose to combine their attacks to mob a single enemy.

All attackers must act on the same Initiative step (usually that of the slowest fighter) and be identically equipped.

Ranged attacks can only group attack with other ranged attacks. Melee attacks can only group attack with other melee attacks.

The group attack counts as a single attack by one of the group, but for each additional individual in the group add +1 dice to the attack dice pool.

Against opponents of equal size, no more than five characters can group attack a single enemy in melee at once. Ranged attacks can be grouped in greater numbers.


As an action, a character can choose to assist an ally’s attack. This is an attack roll made at +2 TN, and for each success rolled the assister can add +1 dice to the attack dice pool of the assisted ally.


A character of 3rd Circle or better can choose to protect instead of defending normally. This allows the character to defend himself, as well as one or more other characters who are within melee range of him.

A character declares that he is protecting another character at the end of his action, and the protection lasts till the protecting character’s next action.

A character can protect any number of other characters.

• When a character who is being protected is attacked, the protector can make a defence check. If he scores more defence successes than the protected character, then the protected character can use the protector’s defence successes instead of his own. Note that it is the higher defence which is applied – the two are not added together.

• For each character that the Protector is protecting, the Protector adds +2 to the target numbers of each of his defence checks, including checks made to defend himself. • Note that as usual, defence checks are still made individually against each attack.


Morek Journeypass is a Legendary Spear-fighter (1+) with a defence dice pool of 6 dice. Normally if he is defending just himself he rolls 6 dice, looking for 1+ target numbers. However Morek knows that his diplomat companion - Abria of Blackwaters – is not so skilled in arms as himself and so declares that he will be protecting her.

Morek can now make defence rolls for both himself and Abria, still rolling 6 dice but now looking for 3+ target numbers.

Abria can also defend herself, though she is only a Trained Sword-fighter (5+) with a defence pool of 3 dice. When Abria is attacked, Abria can use the better result from both her and Morek’s defence checks.

Additional Rules

The following are additional rules which can be optionally employed, as well as clarifications of existing rules.

Weapon Combinations

  • Single Handed Weapon and Shield

If you are using a shield, you gain +1 to all your Defence rolls when parrying. You cannot use a shield if wielding a double handed weapon. Shields do not help with Defence rolls when dodging.

  • Two-Weapon Fighting

If you are using two single handed weapons, you gain +1 to all your Attack rolls. You cannot use two-weapon fighting if wielding a double handed weapon. If using the weapon type rules below, you only use the special rules of the weapon in your primary hand.

Weapon Types

The basic rules don’t really distinguish between types of melee weapons, other than their size, whether they are ranged or not and what skill you use to attack or defend with them. There’s no difference between an axe and a sword. The following rules change this. A weapon can only ever be of one type.

  • Simple weapons

Swords, daggers and other simple bladed weapons use the default rules.

  • Hafted weapons

Axes and other hafted weapons trade speed and finesse for damage. A hafted weapon cannot make multiple attacks, but gain +1 to damage dealt.

  • Versatile weapon

Some weapons are designed to be thrown or wielded in melee – for example, a short-spear, or a throwing dagger. A versatile weapon can be thrown as a ranged attack. However is cannot make multiple attacks.

  • Lance weapons

This category includes lances and other weapons designed to be used from a mounted charge. A lance weapon has a +1 bonus to attack dice pool and to damage dealt on the charge when mounted, and automatically wins initiative against foot-troops. However after the initial charge a lance weapon must be discarded in favour of another weapon.

  • Polearm weapon

Some weapons are ideal for keeping enemies at bay, but are unwieldy close up – for example, a halberd or polearm. A polearm weapon cannot make multiple attacks, but counteracts the special abilities of lance weapons.

  • Staff weapon

Staff weapons are double handed weapons, but deal damage as light weapons (i.e. +1 damage per 3 successes). However they are well suited to making flurries of attacks, so the wielder can make +1 multiple attack, with no increase in TN. (i.e. two attacks at +0TN, three attacks at +2TN, four attacks at +4TN).

  • Ranged Weapons

Ranged weapons work a little differently to melee weapons.

A light throwing weapon (e.g. a dagger or hatchet) wounds as a light weapon and can be used to make multiple attacks as normal.

A bow wounds as a medium weapon and can be used to make multiple attacks as normal. However using a bow requires both hands.

A crossbow wounds as a medium weapon but cannot be used to make multiple attacks. Using a crossbow requires both hands. However a crossbow does not use the wielder’s Strength and instead has a strength rating of its own. Light crossbows have a Strength of +1. Heavy crossbows have a Strength of +3, but take a full action to reload. Ballistae and other large emplaced weapons can have even higher Strength modifiers, but take longer to reload.


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