Humanspace Empires: Personal Combat houserules

Author: DHBoggs / Labels:

The text below is meant to replace the text on Page 46, beginning with combat movement and ending on page 47 at Automatic Failure.  Italics indicate new text.
Following the order indicated in the initiative roll (highest first, lowest last, ties simultaneaous or reroll) each player separately and in turn announces their character’s planned movement during a fight.   A combatant may move up to the entire movement allowance and still attack, but if a greater distance is traversed, no attack will normally be possible.  Note that higher level Warriors, hasted characters or beings, and some monsters (such as creatures with multiple arms) are allowed multiple attacks per round. 


A fighting retreat allows a character or monster to move backwards at ½ normal encounter movement.  However, there must be a clear path for this movement.  A full retreat occurs when a combatant disengages from combat at a rate greater than 1/2 of encounter movement.  The combatant making the movement forfeits any attack and opponent s attack with a +2 to hit.


Each combat round consists of two parts: an attacker action and a defender reaction   An attacker may move, take some action, attack, or retreat.  A defender may move if not engaged melee, take some action if not engaged in melee, counterattack, parry if engaged in melee, or retreat.  Both attacker and defender get their chance to choose one of the above actions regardless of how much damage they may have sustained.  Thus a defender, even one who was just killed by an attack, always gets an opportunity to counter attack in a round, unless they are in full retreat.

A player or the Referee will roll 1d20 to determine if most types of attack or counterattacks are successful.  Only 1 d20 will be rolled per attack, counter attack or parry, and this will usually mean one roll per individual per round, except where multiple attacks are possible.  The modified result is then compared to the attack table for either characters or monsters, as appropriate.  A result that is equal to or above the attack value that corresponds to the character’s level or the monster’s hit dice and the opponent’s armor class results in a hit.  Damage is then rolled by weapon type or monster attack, taking into account any bonuses or penalties. See the attack tables later in this section.

Melee and and-unarmed attacks are possible when opponents are within 5 feet of one another. Ranged, or energy and projectile weapon, attacks are usually possible only when opponents are greater than 5 feet from one another.

Melee attacks are made by hand-held weapons such as swords or axes.  The ability to hit and the amount damage done is affected by several of the Basic Attributes in addition to any bonus for magic weapons and the like.


A defender in melee combat may opt to try to parry an opponent's blow instead of attempting a damaging counterattack themselves.   To parry, the defender makes an “attack”, that is rolls a 1d20 and adds bonuses and penalties as normal, and compares the result to the appropriate to-hit number from the combat tables.  If the number or higher is rolled, then any hits or damage scored by the opponent in that combat round is negated and the parry is successful.


Beings with two or more hands may hold and use a weapon in each, and will get one attack for each weapon held.  If more than half of the total hands a being has are holding weapons, each attack will have a -1 to hit penalty.  For example, a human can only attack with one weapon at a time with no penalty, whereas a four armed pe choi could attack with two weapons at a time with no penalty or attack with three or four at the penalty of -1 to each attack.  Note that regardles of the amount of weapons a being can weild, they may only take one type of combat action during a round; and thus cannot parry with one hand and attack with another.


Each group of five beings must have a light source of torch strength or better in order to fight normally unless they have other means of seeing in darkness.  A person fighting without proper light must fight at a -3 to hit. 

A person fighting with a hand held light source in one hand is at -2 to hit unless the light source itself is being used as a weapon.

If a natural 1 is rolled on the 1d20 attack roll, ….. (continue as written)


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