Combat Questions And Answers
Q) There is no 'unarmed combat', and I was curious how you guys handled that issue? My take is that a punch or kick has no damage add but the Strength bonus and then you roll for the class variable . . . I can't find any specifics but that is what seems to be the case. All damage is 'lethal' apparently, no subdual or 'soft hits'. Grappling/wrestling seems to be left to the realm of Ability Checks? It would seem if you take melee Profiency you always get a bonus to your Defense Score?
A) You've nailed unarmed combat square like a nice right hook. Indeed, one does not need a weapon to fight. Fists and feet, headbutts and everything else can be weapons. So, you just factor in any Strength bonus (or penalty) and Damage Variable by Class. Really, all a weapon does is raise your Base Damage considerably. Blows from unarmed combat are just as lethal as those with weapons. It's medieval battle. Nobody is pulling punches unless they specifically state they are. And it's actually pretty easy to kill someone with your bare hands. For some reason, other RPGs assume unarmed combat only goes for knockout. I don't get why they think that way. It is also important to remember that not all Attack Rolls are not merely outright punches. 'Attack Roll' is a generic term, a summary of fighting, so one Attack Roll may include choking, throttling, or ripping off a guy's arm. After all, crude punches from Ogres and Trolls or being stomped on by a Dragon's foot can all be lethal, so why not punches from Conan the Barbarian? Hell, even someone as small as Gollum was murderous with his bare hands! And yes, you do indeed get the same bonus to Defense and Damage with unarmed combat as a Proficiency as if it were a weapon (remember, hands and feet are weapons too!) so long as you are indeed using no weapon. As for grappling and wrestling and such, it comes down to the desired end result. If one is going for Damage, it's an Attack Roll. If one is trying for some effect, then it's an Ability Check, at the GM's discretion. A good rule of thumb is that any distant technique (disarming, distracting, etc.) requires a Combat Ability Check, while any close contact (restraining someone, throwing them off a cliff, etc.) requires a Strength Ability Check.
Q) We're playing in a Fantasia group, and one Book says that the war horn gives a +2 to Initiative Rolls, while the other says that it gives the fighter a free Turn. Which is correct?
A) If you are referring to the Dwarven war horn (or 'windlord horn') we realize our mistake on that rule from earlier versions of the game. We have since updated it so the Dwarven horn gives fighters a +3 to their war-cry Initiative Roll (instead of a free Turn or a normal +1) and it gives the ability of 'war cry' to non-fighter Classes at the fighter's normal benefit of +1.
Q) We found the Mass Combat system to have a large Experience Points loophole, in that if one is involved in large enough battles, the Experience Point awards would be so high as to catapult him to 9th Level all at once! Are we missing something?
A) That is a major flaw, one we can thank word processors for, and that the Experience Point awards listed on Table 19 each simply have an extra zero. So, the award ratios are supposed to be but one-tenth as listed in original print runs of the core rules, for example, 20 XP for every 100-group of Orcs instead of 200. Future print-runs will be fixed.
Q) If after all modifiers are calculated someone still needs a '20' on the dice to hit an enemy, but rolls a '19', thus missing, but is using a magical weapon that scores a Critical Hit on a natural '19', does he hit or does he miss?
A) Alas, he would miss. The way the game is designed is that the maximum on a dice always hits, such as with a natural '6' for an Ability Check. The Critical Effect is a bonus for an automatic hit. But as a '19' is not the maximum on the D20, the attack modifiers yet falling short of the ultra-high Defense Score of the target, he still did not hit at all, and thus, no Critical Hit can take effect.
Q) If you get a Critical Hit and your effect does not actually do Damage (i.e. giving you 1-4 free Turns), do you still do your normal Damage? Is the critical in addition to what you do, or in lieu of?
A) Critical Hits are always beneficial for the attacker (else they wouldn't be critical), so yes, you get both the Damage and the effect.