Combat in ZODIAC is handled very abstractly, as it was in the Final Fantasy games. This chapter includes various rules that can be used to add more realism to combat and damage. Each set of rules is its own seperate module. Masters can use one, some, or all of the rules provided, as they see fit.
EXPANDED CRITICAL HITS
Normally, when a critical hit is scored, the damage dealt is simply doubled. Expanded Critical Hits include rules for more precise hit locations, as well as varying effects. When a critical hit is scored, roll 1d12 and consult the following table:
1-4: Leg Hit
5-8: Torso Hit
9-11: Arm Hit
12: Head Hit
There are two methods for determining the effects of a critical hit. Some critical hits list bleeding as an effect; this refers to the rules for Bleeding found below. If the Master chooses not to use these rules, ignore any Bleeding effects; however, it is recommended that they be used. Other effects last until the injury is healed, as ruled by the Master. All effects are in addition to dealing normal damage.
- Leg Hit: Agility halved for purposes of combat speed and Evade.
- Arm Hit: Weapon or shield dropped, requires one action to recover.
- Torso: Double damage.
- Head: Triple damage.
Complex Method (Roll an additional d12)
Leg Hit (Right or Left)
1: No Effect
2-3: Minor Bleeding
4-6: Minor Bleeding, -15 Evade
7-9: Major Bleeding, -15 Evade, combat speed halved.
10-11: Severe damage. Major bleeding, -50% Evade, combat speed reduced to 1.
12: Leg destroyed. Severe bleeding, Evade reduced to 0, combat speed reduced to 1, leg unusable.
Arm Hit (Right or Left)
1-3: No Effect
4-6: Weapon or shield dropped
7-9: Weapon or shield dropped, minor bleeding, -15 Accuracy
10-11: Severe damage to arm. Major bleeding, -50% Accuracy
12: Arm destroyed. Severe bleeding, arm unusable.
1-2: Winded (Stun)
3-5: Minor Bleeding, Stun
6-9: Double damage, minor bleeding
10-11: Double damage, major bleeding
12: Triple damage, severe bleeding, combat speed halved
2-3: Stunned, minor bleeding
4-5: Double damage, minor bleeding
6-9: Triple damage, major bleeding
10-11: Triple damage, severe bleeding
12: Knocked unconscious (0 HP)
This short module includes rules for handling the effects of excessive bleeding from injuries. Because bleeding is a major component of the Expanded Critical Hit rules, it is highly recommended that anyone using those rules also uses the rules for bleeding. All HP loss from bleeding is calculated at the end of the injured character's turn. Note: If the optional Limit Break system is used, bleeding does not increase the Limit Meter.
Method I: Injury
Use Method I if you are not using Expanded Critical Hits. If you are seriously injured, you will begin to bleed. Once reduced to 50% of your maximum HP, you will begin losing blood (Minor Bleeding), losing 5% of your maximum HP per round. When critically injured(25%), you will be bleeding heavily (Major Bleeding), losing 10% of your maximum HP per round. Bleeding will slow or stop as HP is restored; Major Bleeding is reduced to Minor Bleeding when your HP is restored above 25%, and bleeding stops completely when HP is restored above 50%. Bleeding may also be stopped by binding the wound. Doing so takes one action and reduces bleeding by one level (Major to Minor, Minor to None), but restores no hit points. Two rounds may be taken to completely stop Major Bleeding. Any character may treat any other character, even during combat, unless he has already taken his action for the round.
Method II: Critical Hits
Use Method II if you are using Expanded Critical Hits. Bleeding occurs when the appropriate Critical Hit is rolled, as per the tables found above. Effects of bleeding are as follows:
- Minor Bleeding: Lose 5% of maximum HP per round.
- Major Bleeding: Lose 10% of maximum HP per round.
- Severe Bleeding: Lose 15% of maximum HP per round.
Bleeding from multiple hit locations is cumulative and very dangerous. For example, Major Bleding from a leg and an arm will drain 20% of your life each round. Taking one action to bind the wound will reduce the bleeding by one level; multiple bindings are cumulative, but only ONE hit location may be bound per round. Any character may treat any other character, even during combat, unless that character has attacked or used a Tech or Minor Ability during the round. Curative spells and potions reduce bleeding by one step from EACH affected hit location, in addition to their normal affects. A character under the effects of the Regen status condition will have bleeding from ALL hit locations reduced by one step per round, in addition to the regeneration of hit points. This reduction of bleeding takes effect before bleeding damage is calculated; therefore, a character with only Minor Bleeding who is under Regen will take no damage on his next turn. (Note that bleeding and Regen are cumulative; a bleeding character still takes damage until his bleeding stops. Subtract the total bleeding damage from the total amount restored by Regen at the end of each turn.)
SPECIAL COMBAT MANEUVERS
These maneuvers are special actions that can be performed by any character during combat. Doing so counts as the character's action for the round.
- Parry: Any time you are successfully attacked from now until your next turn, make a modified Accuracy roll (40%+Agility) against your attacker's Agility. If you pass the roll, the attack misses.
- Dodge: Your Evade is increased by 50% until your next turn.
- Disarm: Disarm can only be used against armed opponents, and has a base chance of success equal to 60%. If successful, the target loses his weapon and must take one round to retrieve it.
- Guard: All damage dealt to you is reduced by half until your next turn.
- Bash: A maneuver often used with heavy metal shields. Make a normal attack roll; if successful, the target takes 1/4 normal damage and has a base 60% chance to be Stunned.
All fighters have their own particular fighting style. There are several different fighting stances a warrior can choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. A character may only have one Stance active at a time, and switching to a different stance requires one action. Characters may choose any Stance as the default for combat.
- Neutral: Normal stance. No special effects.
- Offensive: Aggressive stance. +20% to all damage rolls, +20% to all damage recieved.
- Defensive: Cautionary stance. -20% to all damage rolls, -20% to all damage recieved.
- Speed: Quick, reactive stance. +20% Agility, -10% to all damage rolls, +10% to all damage recieved.
In the Final Fantasy games, characters healed completely after a night at the inn; in the ZODIAC core rules, it's generally up to the Master when the characters' HP and MP are restored. Under this rule, all characters regain 20% of their HP and MP per day of rest, and 10% HP and MP per day of light activity. Running, fighting, heavy lifting, etc. will prevent healing for that day.