Sharing the pain :)

As I've mentioned, I'm working on an expanded combat system to use in our new campaign. I've made some rules for critical wounds and such. The idea with these rules was expand on the existing combat rules, not replace them. So all the rules I'm writing are very modular, and partly inspired by the material in Art & Academe on wound.

These rules might seem overly detailed to some, but our campaign focuses much on martial conflict. Bearing that in mind, please feel free to comment on my ideas :slight_smile:

So, here goes:

To start with, every weapon is either Piercing, Slashing or Blunt. I'm thinking of adding Burning too later. Anyone receiving Medium or worse wounds from these weapons must roll a Stamina check with Ease Factor 6 (Medium), 9 (Heavy), 12 (Incapacitation). If it fails, the result depends on the weapon.

Piercing weapons Impale their victim. While the victim has an impaled weapon in his body, be it an arrow, a spear, whatever, the penalties from the impaling wound are doubled. The impaled victim, or a helper, may try to pull the weapon free. The Ease Factor is 6, 9 or 12, depending on the severity of the wound (Medium, Heavy or Incapacitation). If the weapon is held by an enemy, his Strength is added to the Ease Factor. Any wound penalty, including the one for the impaling weapon, counts on this roll. So it's good to have someone take the weapon out for you. But here is the catch. If the roll fails, but is positive, this becomes a Damage Total. And armor does not help on this one. So trying to pull the weapon out can make it worse. If the roll is negative (because of the wound penalties, for example), no damage is inflicted, since the victim can't muster enough Strength to even start pulling out the weapon.

Slashing weapons have a tendency to sever limbs and open bleeding wounds. To represent this, whenever a slashing weapon inflicts a Wound Effect, the wound is automatically increased by one category. Medium becomes Heavy, Heavy becomes Incapacitation and Incapacitation becomes instantly fatal. These weapons are dangerous in the right hands.

Blunt weapons shatter limbs and break bones. Whenever a weapon like this inflicts a Wound Effect, an additional Wound of one category lower is also inflicted, representing additional broken bones and fractures. Simple as that. Simple as that.

So, in short:
Piercing: double wound penalty until weapon is removed
Slashing: wound increased one category
Blunt: an additional wound of one category lower

Any thoughts? Considering how much detail that goes into other aspects of the setting, I don't think this is cumbersome or complicated. It makes combat even more deadly, of course. But that's fun.

Any ideas on Wound Effects for Burning Damage? Other forms of damage I should add?



hmmm, I think it doesn't really look real. I mean an axe is a slashing weapon, but it will not slash trhough mail, so bludgeoning damage there, which means it can do something against someone who is armoured that it can not against someone that is unarmoured. Also, if you stab someone with a spear, chances are, you are going to want it back, how do you reflect this? I had the impression slashing weapons were not so much a problem on the battlefield as thereafter, people are recorded to fight on with huge gaping wounds, because the natural resistance and adrenaline helps them ignore it.

As with the rest of the combat system in Ars Magica, these rules are not meant to go into exact details, so axes do slashing damage. Also, remember that the wound effects doesn't go into action unless the wound is at least Medium, which means that the mail hasn't been able to protect against the blow.
If you want the spear back, just "help" the victim pull it out. :slight_smile:

Edit: I've added that the attacker can try to pull the weapon free in the same round as the wound is inflicted, as a part of the attack, since he's already holding on to it.


seems nice enough, and your points are valid,

Here's a list of combat options I'm adding for my campaign. I'm not sure about some of them, with the rules of momentum in Art & Academe, but take a look. :slight_smile:

Multiple Attackers: Anyone engaged by more than one attacker in close combat suffers a penalty to his defense. This penalty is -3 for two or three attackers, -6 for four, five or six attackers. The penalty is -9 for any number above six attackers.

Multiple Attacks: A combatant can make more than one attack in a single round, although at a penalty. The attacker suffers cumulative a -3 for every each attack he makes that round.

Mounted Combat: A rider and his horse may fight together as a trained group. The rider becomes the leader and uses Animal Handling instead of Leadership. He may also use the horse as vanguard if he wants. The rider decides if it is the horse or himself who is the vanguard at the start of his round.

Two-Handed Use: A weapon using the Single Weapon ability can be wielded in two hands for extra damage. Since the weapon is not meant to be used this way, the wielder gets a -1 penalty to both his Initiative and Defense scores. However, his Damage score increases by +2.

Charging: A combatant may choose to charge a target. To do this, he must first move at full speed towards his intended victim, then attack. To this attack he receives a bonus of Size +3. If he is mounted, add the Size rating of his mount.

Setting Spears: A spear may be set to receive a charge. The character wielding the spear declares the enemy he sets his spear against, and must stay in the same position until that enemy attacks to receive the benefit. When the charging enemy attacks, the character may attack first, regardless of Initiative, and receives a bonus to his attack equal to 3 + the Size of the charging enemy. If the charging enemy is mounted, the character wielding the spear must choose to attack either the mount or the rider.

Multiple Weapons: A character can fight with a weapon in his off-hand. This uses a new Ability called Two Weapons and a new Virtue called Ambidextrous. See the Virtues and Abilities page for more info.

(this is actually taken straight out of Ordo Nobilis from 4th edition)

Two Weapons (Martial Ability): The character is trained to fight with one Single Weapon or Brawling Weapon in each hand. One weapon is normally set to attack and the other to defense. He then chooses the best Initiative Bonus of the two weapons, the Attack Bonus of the offensive weapon +1, the Defense Bonus of the defensive weapon and the Damage Bonus of the offensive weapon. This ability may not be higher than the character’s normal ability for the wielded weapons. A shield may be used with this Ability, representing the character’s skill in wielding the shield as a weapon in addition to blocking attacks.

Ambidextrous (General, Minor): The character’s combat scores are calculated differently when using the Two Weapon Ability. Instead of the normal values, the character gets the best Initiative Bonus of the two weapons, the best Attack Bonus of the two weapons +2, the best Defense Bonus of the two weapons and the best Damage Bonus of the two weapons.


Hmm, my take on them

Different damage types. I probably wouldn't use them. They may work ok, but it takes it too far away from standard for my liking.

Multiple Attackers. I was thinking of something along these lines, the game really needs some rules to cover this situation, and these seem pretty good.

Multiple Attacks. Don't go there, just don't. It would be far too powerful, especially with just a -3 penalty. Maybe a -6 penalty, similar to fastcasting, but probably still overpowering.

Mounted Combat. I don't use groups, but grouping with your mount seems reasonable.

Two-Handed Use. Probably ok, I suspect it would only get used for the first hit, when you have surprise.

Charging. Hmm, unsure, maybe too powerful, maybe ok.

Setting Spears. As above, :unamused:

Multiple Weapons. A tricky one. I prefer my own rules. (posted on forum long ago, and probably only used by me, lol). The only example i could find in the books of an npc using 2 weapons gave +1 to all 4 stats by using 2 longswords (i think). 4th edition may be a good starting point, but needs updating.

Heh, to be honest, I'm not sure if I want you to do a good job or not. If you do a fantastic (best possible) job, then we get some great house rules. But, if atlas ever decides to create official combat options (and i hope they do), i'm not sure if they would feel right about using yours, forcing them to use something else (second best possible). What a dilemma :laughing:

I really hope Atlas makes a book on knights, nobles and warfare, and I would use the official rules before my own in a heartbeat. :slight_smile:
Reason I'm writing these rules is that I find the combat system in the core book lacking, and I will use these rules until something official comes out.

Hmm.. more penalties for multiple attacks then? I read somewhere in 4th edition that it was -3, so I went for that one.