Updated Multiple Opponents Rules – An Example

I previously put up a combat example to help give an idea of Sword Noir’s combat system. Since updating the Multiple Opponents rules, I wanted to re-do the example. Nothing would have changed with the heroic PC against the regular NC, but the minion fight would be somewhat different—though only in the trappings, not in the actual numbers.

In case anyone forgot, here are the stats.

Tara
Concept: Mercenary, Good (+2)
Background: ex-Monastic Order, Good
Faculty: Scrounging, Good [Cha]
Flaw: Papa needs a brand new bag, Basic (-2)
Phy: – ; Agl: Good; Wit: -; Cha: Good; Wil: –
Swordplay, Great (+4) [Agl]; Fancy Footwork, Good [Agl]

Cohorts
Concept: Urban Cohorts +2
Phy: 12 Int: 7 Soc: 9

Tara put Croydon down, but he was only stalling Tara until his squad of Urban Cohorts could arrive. There are four of them, and they mean to make Tara pay for gutting their centurion.

Initiative time: Tara is a bit worried. These guys don’t look particularly tough, but if they get the drop on her, she’s done. The player applies Fancy Footwork and Swordplay to the Initiative Test, knowing that being the attacker is not particularly dangerous, but being the defender against four is very much so. The Target Number for the Initiative Test is 12, the Cohorts’ Phy.

You see, because there are 4, Tara is penalized at -8 (-2 per opponent). The player rolls a 6. Modified with Agility (+2) Fancy Footwork (+2) and Swordplay (+4) that becomes 14. But with the -8, that’s back to a 6. Ouch. Yeah, she totally lost that.

The first thing Tara wants to do is try to seize the initiative. Tara makes another Initiative Test but against The Cohorts’ combat Target Number. Since the Cohorts can now use their Concept of Urban Cohorts, the Target number is 14. The player rolls a 10. In the end, she’s pretty much rolling unmodified, because her Trait and Qualities are countered by the multiple opponent penalty. That 10 isn’t enough. Fail!

Unfortunately, that means the Cohorts considers Tara “Undefended.” Tara’s player has to roll 4 unmodified Tests against the Target Number 15. The player rolls a 9, a 13, a 5 and a 16.

The first roll is not only a failure, it provides Cohort 1 with a “Good” success. Tara receives 1 damage rating, she incurs a cumulative -1 modifier on all physical actions, including combat for the length of the combat, and—for the next combat turn—she may not attempt to seize initiative. The damage rating inflicts a further -2 modifier to physical actions, so a total penalty of -3. That means the next roll is a 10—an Average success, so a further -1, for a total of -4. Not pretty. That makes the 5 a 1, which is a Great success for Cohort 3—another 2 damage ratings and a total modifier of -9. That makes the last roll a 7, a Good success for Cohort 4, inflicting another damage rating on Tara, which puts her down. She receives a Doom and may have died.

So, as you see, when compared with the original rules, the raw numbers haven’t changed, there is simple no more conversion of Ranks, it’s a straight on penalty, which I find easier to explain and to apply.

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback.

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2 Responses to Updated Multiple Opponents Rules – An Example

  1. Valannor says:

    I like this simplified version, should speed up calculations of modifiers significantly in combat, particularly if the number of opponents changes during the combat, plus it’s easier to keep track of on top of damage penalties.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that this is still Sword Noir, and not Sword’s Edge. Penalties accrue per each opponent. Penalty would be -6 in Sword’s Edge.

  2. Fraser says:

    Good point, Valannor. Sword Noir and SES are similar, but not the same.

    For Sword Noir: “When facing multiple opponents, PCs receive a -2 penalty to all Tests for each opponent, to a maximum of -10.”

    For Sword’s Edge System: “When facing multiple opponents, PCs receive a -2 penalty to all Tests for each opponent beyond the first.”

    The Sword’s Edge System is slightly more forgiving, although even with that, Tara would have had a problem, given that the penalty would still have been -6.

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