I am searching for a combat & damage system for an ad hoc RPG system set in Victoria era, more or less (though this part is completely unimportant). Are there any system that would bring me close to, or help develop my own, ideal system? Some of the things I'd like to have in such combat variant:

  • Damage traced as specific wounds on specific body parts or something along these lines, something less abstracted that just hit points
  • Ability to perform other attacks than "simple attack" as in classic DnD - things like aiming at body parts, parrying, full body thrusts and stuff.
  • Rules for many combatants surrounding one character
  • Long term injuries and wounds, hospitalization.
  • Weapon size and type affecting the battle outcome - sabres can parry each other, but you can stop a hammer with a knife.

I am not exactly looking for one perfect system which will ideally suit my needs. If you know combat systems which contain even some of the features, or share similar features I'd like to know about it. I am willing to waste my precious time to actually build something on my own given enough reference material. I am prepared to mix genres, it doesn't matter for me if the system comes from sci-fi, stone age or high fantasy, as long as it may be adapted I am happy.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ [Warning - My 2 Cents] I have dabbled in homebrew rules that added more realism to the game and have noticed that they sound better on paper than in real life. Usually you and your players will hit a wall, where the rules start stifling the fun in the game. It will become an exercise in math and variables rather than strategy, tactics, and role playing. I would recommend that you run your rules by your players first, and ask for feedback. They may reject some rules as over-complicated while embracing others. \$\endgroup\$
    – MarkP
    Aug 9, 2011 at 15:07

8 Answers 8


The Riddle of Steel was designed by Jake Norwood, who practices historical European combat styles, studied and taught at the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA), and is a founder of the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Alliance. He designed TRoS to have an authentic feel similar to fights from his practical experience, with the same kind of micro-tactical gambles, decision points, flow, and failure modes.

Here’s a quick rundown of how it fits your needs:

  • Damage traced as specific wounds on specific body parts or something along these lines, something less abstracted that just hit points

Yes: Wounds are individual and have immediate location- and attack-type-specific effects on your continued ability to fight.

  • Ability to perform other attacks than "simple attack" as in classic DnD - things like aiming at body parts, parrying, full body thrusts and stuff.

Yes: A broad choice of common and weapon-specific manoeuvres, attacks are always aimed at a part of the body.

  • Rules for many combatants surrounding one character

Yes: The rules for multiple opponents is a trivial extension of the basic combat mechanic. Your weapon skill is represented by a pool of dice divided between attack and defense – when attacking and defending against multiple opponents, you simply have to split your pool further to attack and defend against each opponent. You need to be very good (that is, have a large pool) to expect to successfully defend against more than one opponent, let alone also attack them all. Outnumbering an opponent can be a huge advantage, but skilled fighters can take on a number of much less skilled opponents—if they fight smart and make no fatal mistakes.

  • Long term injuries and wounds, hospitalization.

Yes: Wounds take weeks and months to recover, much longer (if at all) without hospitalisation.

  • Weapon size and type affecting the battle outcome - sabres can parry each other, but you can stop a hammer with a knife.

Yes: Sabres are good at thrusting, cutting, and parrying, making them evenly matched. A knife is difficult to parry with while a hammer is great at striking and has a reach advantage as well, making it unlikely for the knife-holder to succeed in the opposed roll to parry the swing. However to reverse is also true: a hammer is not great (but not bad) for blocks or parries and a knife is good at thrusting, so the hammer-holder needs to pair the hammer with a shield or end the fight quickly before a fast knife can get inside their reach.

Weapon type also directly determines injury types, and size modifies injury severity.

And here’s a more detailed account of how the system works relative to your needs:

The system is remarkably simple, easy to learn, but hard to master. It rewards competent tacticians who know their character’s abilities over players who assume that better numbers necessarily mean they’ll win.

Your Weapon Choice and How You Use It Matters

Different weapons are stronger and weaker on defense and offense, and for doing different manoeuvres. It represents this elegantly by making your combat roll be against a target number for your weapon with a weapon-specific modifier for the manoeuvre, and comparing how well you rolled against how well your opponent rolled against their own weapon/manoeuvre. For example, hammers make a high success result on a swing easy, making them effective against anything that is poor or even just average at blocking or parrying. As a result, a knife wielder parrying against a warhammer needs a very high target number, while the hammerer will have an easy target number for the strike: the high TN for the knife/parry and low TN for the hammer/swing means the swing will likely be more successful than the parry, beating the margin of success of the parry and smashing through it.

Your skill with a weapon gives you a number of dice in a pool. During one “exchange” (which is defined as about a second, or “roughly how much time it takes to attack with a weapon and begin to recover”) you choose how many dice to commit to attacking and how many to hold for defenses against any incoming attacks. On top of that decision, your pool of dice only refreshes every second exchange, so you have to choose how many dice to use in your first attack/defence and how many to hold back for the second clash—assuming you're both still standing for the second exchange, because one good hit can end a fight. Dice on the attack and defense rolls that come up equal or higher than the target number that player needs are counted as successes: if the attacker gets more successes, their manoeuvre succeeds.

The more difficult or risky manoeuvres subtract dice from your pool before you roll (this is the aforementioned manoeuvre modifier); which manoeuvres count as difficult or risky, and how many dice they cost, depends on the weapon. Most basic manoeuvres with most weapons (such as thrusts, swings, blocks, and parries) have no “activation cost” to subtract from your dice pool. More complex manoeuvres, or ones that aren’t really suited to the weapon subtract from your dice pool. (For example, slashing with a pole-axe has no cost, but attempting a hook costs 1 die, and riposting with a pole-axe costs a hefty 3 dice.) This means that showy or expert-level moves only have much chance of success when executed by a PC with dice to spare in their pool—i.e., PCs who are very skilled with their chosen weapon. Successful manoeuvres also affect the state of combat apart from injuries dealt: for example, a good feint lowers the opponent’s pool next exchange, and a very successful riposte can disarm your opponent. A character starts with all the basic manoeuvres for their weapon, and can learn more advanced moves as their skill level increases.

Injuries Hurt a Lot

Injuries are dealt by location aimed for and the difference between attack and defence rolls, then reduced in severity by the armour on that location (modified by how effective a weapon is against the armour, of course). This is looked up on a table, which isn't fast, but isn't slow either because they're not big tables. The injury math is simple enough if not fast, but the speed of the math and tables is almost irrelevant because most fights are decided after the first injury or two.

All wounds either reduce your combat pool briefly (“shock”) or for the lifetime of the wound (“pain”), both of which makes you more likely to be lethally injured; give you a “blood loss” result that puts you on a time limit until you fall unconscious (and likely bleed out), or kills you dead. Most results are a combination of those, with the exact combination reflecting the location (e.g. head/neck hits are more severe than a similar strike to the leg) and the nature of the blow (a mace results in less blood but more shock and pain that reduce your pool temporarily, while a sword blow will do slightly less shock and pain but cause more blood loss that will soon drop you unconscious), with greater margins of attack success dealing more severe injuries. Injuries also have special effects such as reduced movement, concussions, broken bones, lost eyes, severed hands, and such, which may or may not ever heal fully. Getting in a fight and risking being hit is not to be done lightly!

Should a combatant be wounded and survive the fight, recovering is slow for anything worse than minor cuts and bruises. The severity of a wound (“pain”, the number of dice it removes from your pool that isn't temporary “shock”) is the minimum number of weeks of rest and medical attention required. A wound's pain rating drops by one if a healing roll is successful, with one roll made each week of rest and care. Multiple wounds recover in parallel, and can leave lasting effects if they were really bad.

Rules Mirror the Choices of Combat

The net effect of all the combat rules is to give the player a lot of simple but meaningful decisions. How many dice to commit and reserve, and what manoeuvres to use given how they and their opponent is armed and armoured – these translate in very direct ways into choices about whether to fight conservatively or go for a desperate gamble, whether to try to alpha-strike at the risk of having no defense if they survive, whether to try to wear them down with nicks and scratches or to hold back waiting for them to make a mistake and leave them open to a decisive blow, whether to defend and run from a mismatch (e.g. unarmed fencer versus a mailed knight) or to see if careful tactics can win the day, whether to fight quick and light or heavy and slow or in between. The basic rules give a lot of freedom to choose how to fight.

The choices the rules ask of players during a fight parallel the choices their PCs would be making at the duelling level: feint or strike, go on the defense or press the attack, and so on. This makes it feel very authentic. And since all the numbers (pool sizes, target numbers) are precalculated during character creation, as soon as those decisions are made it is a simple matter of rolling and comparing dice to a target number on your sheet to resolve the outcome. That makes it feel both tactically detailed and fast-paced. Those same elements of choice also make it a combat system that heavily reflects players' tactical skill rather than mostly relying on the PC’s stats—a smart, experienced player can easily take down an opponent that has better numbers and equipment if the opposing player/GM makes poor tactical choices and simply doesn’t make good use of their advantages. Even a knight can fall to an unarmoured knife-fighter if the knight gets overconfident and leaves themselves open to a killing blow.

Lethal Combat and Quick Chargen

As I said, it's a very lethal system. The game does have a set of rules to make heroes more survivable by adding dice to their pool when they are following their heroic destinies and driving motivations, which is designed to discourage fighting except for when it really “matters” to the character in a personal-plot sense. However, you can easily leave the heroic goals rules unused and just let the combats be life-or-death every time to make it very bloody and gritty. Even with the heroic rules, though, it's still a very gritty and bloody game, where a PC can die from one combat mistake.

On the plus side, characters are fairly quick to make. They consist of a few stats, an occupation-based skill package, and combat skills. You have a few points in each of those areas to customise the numbers; for example, you can spend all your combat skills points on a large dice pool in one weapon style such as Sword and Shield, or you can divide your points to have more styles and be a more flexible fighter but have a smaller combat pool for each weapon style. The most time-consuming part of chargen is precalculating and noting down combat numbers, but that doesn't take very long either and is part of why resolving manoeuvres is so fast.

The only problem with The Riddle of Steel is that it’s out of print. Copies can be had from second-hand dealers online for a range of prices, which is how I got mine. There’s a PDF floating around the internet that is a nearly-illegible scan and not worth your time—sadly there was never an official PDF version. There were a number of official PDF-only supplements that you can’t get legally anymore, but they’re out there if you know where to look.

For more about The Riddle of Steel there is a review and brief discussion at RPGGeek written by a long-time player and one of the current maintainers of trosfans.com. One of the few things still available from the defunct publisher's half-working website is the Riddle of Steel Quickstart (partway down the page, or try this TROSQS.zip direct download), which is a much-simplified but complete game that should give you enough of a feel for the full game. There is a review of the Quickstart rules themselves at RPGNet, and this thread discussing the differences between TRoS and the Quickstart may be helpful.

I've recently learned that the IP holder of the core book has authorised the owner of the trosfans forum to sell the core book PDF. To inquire about acquiring the PDF, send an email to ian [dot] plumb [at] griffingrove [dot] com [dot] au (with the email obfuscation replaced with the appropriate punctuation, of course).

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ There's one more little problem with TRoS, besides being out of print: Except for combat and Spiritual Attributes, the rules are...not that great. I love the game, don't get me wrong. It was hugely influential on me and on the industry, too, I think. But sorcery is...I don't want to say bad or broken, but I'm having trouble coming up with alternatives; and the skill system is also...ugh. I may have to go with broken, given that I tried grafting TRoS and Ars Magica together to give TRoS a useable magic and skill system. But for combat, it rocks. And SAs are awesome too. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Aug 11, 2011 at 22:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ One other critique of TRoS is that the combat system is very, very much written for one-on-one combat, and group-on-group combat is very hacky ("you need to break it down to one on one" is the usual advice). \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Aug 16, 2011 at 18:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk No more than D&D: in both, you can only resolve one 1-on-1 hit at a time. And TRoS has easy rules for flanking and splitting your defense/attack between multiple opponents. So this criticism is more a matter of perception (as in, newbies have trouble seeing the answer themselves, so they ask this online a lot) than actual issue in play. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2013 at 15:26


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned . GURPS supports a wide range of combat options including:

  • A spectrum of detail from abstract to tactical miniature to mass-battle
  • A well-developed damage type system - a burn is not a cut is not a bullet
  • A huge array of weapons and armor to choose from, across multiple genres and periods

Let's take your points one at a time:

Damage traced as specific wounds on specific body parts or something along these lines, something less abstracted that just hit points

GURPS does have hit points, but there are hit-location effects that make a strike to the groin, say, different from a strike to the neck.

Ability to perform other attacks than "simple attack" as in classic DnD - things like aiming at body parts, parrying, full body thrusts and stuff.

GURPS even in the simplest iteration supports targeted shots (goes hand in hand with hit-location effects), and levels of commitment from full-defense to all-out-attack. Not to mention that GURPS knows that balanced weapons are faster than unbalanced ones, and that swings generally hit harder than thrusts.

This is without getting into optional "maneuver" mechanics that cover all sorts of martial arts - empty-hand Asian arts, Western martial arts like German Longsword, and even firearm combat arts like Farbairn-Sykes or cinematic Gun-Fu.

Rules for many combatants surrounding one character

GURPS has you covered, with or without minis and maps

Long term injuries and wounds, hospitalization

I dare you to find a system with better support for medical technologies across a variety of technological and magical levels than GURPS.

Weapon size and type affecting the battle outcome - sabres can parry each other, but you can't stop a hammer with a knife. (presumptive correction in bold is mine)

Relative weapon mass has been dealt with in GURPS for ages - fencing weapons are great parriers, but as you say, can't stop a warhammer. In fact, GURPS has rules for when such clashes cause weapons to break. GURPS even tells you when your swung impaling weapon (picks were the armor-piercing load of the middle ages) gets stuck in your unfortunate opponent's plate!

EDIT: I forgot to include this part of my answer, because I got caught up on hitting your bullet points. But you also asked:

Are there any systems that would bring me close to, or help develop my own, ideal system?

GURPS is and always has been a toolkit - a set of elements for creating your own game. The vast majority of the pieces of GURPS are modular - once you have settled on the base, you can use whichever options you like, tuning your complexity and detail to your desired levels.

For example, GURPS has a fine-grained skill system with specializations and defaults, where Guns - Colt 1911 is a separate skill from Guns - Glock 9mm, even though they're both semiautomatic pistols. But knowing one would give you a default skill for the other, because of the similarity of the weapons.

But GURPS also has wildcard skills, denoted with exclamation points. For example Guns! and Science!. These cinematic skills cover huge swaths of competency. A Guns! roll would be used to fire, identify, maintain, or repair any weapon that used explosives to fire projectiles and could be carried and wielded by an individual.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was coming into this to add GURPS. The Martial Arts book adds more in terms of different types of weapon parries (parrying with two weapons, for example), different types of attacks (for example, telegraphing your attack to give you a plus to hit and a plus to the opponent's defense), and maneuvers. If you want to get crunchy, I would look at GURPS + Martial Arts. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2013 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll always have a soft spot for GURPS, played it with my kids and friends for years. However, you need a minor PHD in mathematics and statistics to make GURPS work for a game. It just takes too long to do anything because the beautiful level of detail also adds all this complexity. This is similar to the first comment by MarkP. \$\endgroup\$
    – fregas
    Aug 30, 2015 at 17:39

You might want to consider Pheonix Command Combat System. Published by Leading Edge Games back in the 80s, it is out of print but comes up regularly on ebay. The designers, Barry Nakazono and Dave McKenzie used real medical data to formulate their damage allocation system. I have used this system for role-play and it fits the criteria you have outlined. Most people I've met don't use it because of it's lethality, but I have found that it is not the lethality but the realistic affects that generally put people off. They don't like the idea that a single hit can take you out of the combat no matter what your "level".

In this system there are rules for snap-shots, pin-fire, spraying fire, blind firing, arched shots, non-weapon Hand-to-Hand, off-hand HtH weapon usage, parrying (based on weight/length/type of weapon) skilled and unskilled HtH weapon usage. There are guidelines for coming up with your own HtH weapon stats should need to.

The basic system establishes a skill rating for both ballistic combat and HtH Combat. It takes about 15-20 minutes to get these values and they become a regular part of character generation. They are the core starting point for determining a hit. Things like range, body position (both combatants), opponents cover, armour, fatigue, attack preparation time, previous activities (both combatants) and current physical condition are factored in and a target percentage number is derived. This takes about 5 seconds to come up with since the tables are pretty well organized.

The combat takes place in 2 second rounds and played on a 5 foot per hex grid. This can be translated easily to non-grid minis or square grid based system as needed. This means you can get a lot of "terrain" detail into the playing area that can be used to affect combat.

Once you "hit", you move to a chart which determines the amount damage that results from the impact. The velocity of the shot or weight of the impact are used to determine how deep the wound goes into the body. This is then applied to the hit location table which tells you the damage effects sustained. This table breaks down the body into approximately 2 inch square locations and takes into account the direction of impact on the body. Things like an oblique shot to the side, a frontal head shot or a strike from below because your character has fallen and is swinging at a standing combatant wiill determine where you hit the opponent.

There are no hit points in this system. Instead you have damage point and a system shock value. Based on the amount of damage you take you roll against character will power to remain conscious. The game master can easily determine if the damage would be instantly lethal.

The system also gives information on recovery times and actual effects of impact on the body location that was hit. So you know exactly if the character is going to recover from the wound or if there will be perminenet damage of some type. Things like limb loss, scaring, limping, restricted activity, mental loss and other things of this type.

There are four pieces of the system you will need. The Hand to Hand Combat System, Wild West Weapon Data Supplement (1800s balistic weapons data), Advanced Damage Tables and the core Pheonix Command Combat System itself.

This system is not for the faint of heart, but your question seems to indicate that you are not looking for the typical combat resolution systems currently out there. I have run this at convention and in my own group and everyone is surprised to find out it is a usuable, solid system. It is also fantastic for double-blind combat simulations.



Cold Steel Reign has a complex system that could fit within your time frame -- post apocalypse wild west. It has a lot of the features you want however, I have never played it as it is way too complex for my taste.

Victoriana has some rules and uses the Fuzion system which is easy to adapt to any background you like.

Fate/Fudge would be easy to convert but sound way too simple for what you have in mind.

Reference materials

The Journal of Trauma is the best source of information available on the matter. I am quiet fond on medical lesson learned papers from the US army and marines but those fit more into a modern time frame.

The Crimean War (see Clive Ponting) and the USA Civil War (Bruce Catton) has a fair bit on medical advances within the time period. Military history books will (again, both of the above authors) give you a good idea of Victorian weapons. Check out the India rebellions as well -- sorry, don't know of any good authors there.

If you are close to Leeds, you can see the Royal Armoury that has an extended collections of weapons from the time period and a whole research team focusing on combat though tout the ages. They have done work on Crimean War medical field hospitals and you could email them for papers references. London has an armoury as well. France has a museum of War in Paris well worth seeing. If you are in the US, there are plenty of sources on the Civil War, including many reactors that will bore you to death (in a good way!) on it.

If you are close to a university with a history department, go there and start asking questions. They may provide you with a wealth of information.


CORPS by BTRC can and does do this. Available in PDF, might no longer be sold dead tree.

Damage is tracked to one of the following: Head, L Arm, R Arm, Chest, Abdomen, R Leg, Left Leg, "whole body". Damage worth marking impairs that location and adjacent locations. A location's most severe hit is the base impairment, and each lesser hit in that location increases it by 1; this gets pretty severe REAL fast. Half the total of an adjacent location is counted as if an impairment in this one. The most severe location involved in the action sets the penalty.

Attacks and parries are vital; actions other than these are taken. Combat rounds are 1 second, and include 1-4 actions (at increasingly steep penalties).

Combat system works well for both firearms and melee.

A given hit gives an impairment, and the check for "eventually fatal" includes whether it broke bones, and/or is a bleeding wound.

Consciousness is simply a Will test vs difficulty 0; so long as head impairment or whole body impairment penalty is less than Will, you remain conscious. Up to 5 points more than will, you have a chance to roll.

The "CORPS Nutshell" is a free 4 page intro... and while a direct subset of the rules, it's missing quite a bit of the crunch. Note that it includes the basics of Character Generation, as well... but the actual core rules are only $10 in PDF.

The Vehicle Design System (CORPS VDS) is very capable of doing realistic Victorian stuff, and by careful application of higher tech levels, steampunk stuff. It is possible, barely, to build a "modern" (Circa mid-1990's) SSTO shuttlecraft... not easily, but doable.

Weapons can be designed using BTRC's 3G3: Guns! Guns! Guns!. All weapons in the game were developed from the formulae in 3G3, tho' masses for most are real world. More Guns includes a wide variety of both real and "theoretically possible" weapons.

I love the system for some settings; it's not so hot for others, as the reduced randomness makes an unfair fight multiply so. But it is highly tactical, and very realistic.


Sword's Path: Glory fits your needs. It was published in 1982, when detailed simulation was popular in RPGs.

Damage is based on weapon, your skill with the weapon, your size, your speed, armor, hit location…

To hit someone you can choose whether you will use a fast, normal (default) or slow strike – this affects how many turns the swing takes to hit and the amount of damage.

Then you decide if the strike will be from left to right, right to left, stabbing, up to down, etc. This influences where the hit can land.

Then you check if the hit succeeds, based on whether the target is parrying, and wherher that's with a weapon or shield. (You can also try to hit a specific location if you want.) If the hit test succeeds, you check to see where it landed and roll for exact location.

Then you check for armor glancing, and see how much the damage will be reduced (if any). Then based on current damage and some of the previous factors, the target checks to see if they pass out or go into shock.

When you take damage, receive healing, or make a shock/pass-out test, you also check when you will need to make a test to see if you will die from the damage, shock, or the strain of being healed.

There is also a system of disabling damage.

So, Sword's Path: Glory is a very detailed melee combat simulation that might teach you a lot about how such a game can be designed.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi and welcome. I can't help but notice that both of your posts so far are discussing the same system. Please note that if you are involved with this project that we do have a self promotion policy it's here: rpg.stackexchange.com/help/behavior. Even if you're not involved it's a good idea to read up on that and make sure that you're not just here to promote a product or system. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Sep 24, 2013 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle It appears to be an 80s RPG published by the same people who brought us Phoenix Command. So it's not a self-promo problem, at least. It still might be a "try my favourite system". It's hard to tell from this answer if it fits the question well. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2013 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wax Having done a close reading in the process of editing, I think this is actually a pretty useful answer, especially since the OP is looking for prior art to learn/borrow from. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24, 2013 at 16:30

The combat system in Catalyst's new edition of the Mechwarrior RPG, A Time of War, has most of what you are looking for:

  • Optional Hit Locations
  • Bleeding, with location specific effects
  • Consciousness
  • Fatigue effects from exertion and injury
  • Significant focus on healing and permanent injury
  • Static Damage modified by degree of success, skill, and attributes as appropriate
  • Weapons covering the range from primitive to SF (clubs to giant war machines)
  • Scales from unarmed 1 on 1 combat to mass engagements, and beyond
  • Detailed action types, allowing a lot of tactical decision making for players
  • Abstract or Miniatures based as desired
  • Detailed handling of number of opponents and/or allies in the combat
  • Morale
  • Focus on weapon types and their damage effects
  • Focus on armour types and their protective effects
  • Options for scaling damage down from 'realistic' to 'cinematic' as desired
  • Player ability to enhance rolls, or reroll failures through use of Edge points
  • Skill system which recognizes the differing complexities of skill types, and the advantages that mastery of complex skills can bring

The system is basically built on an open-ended 2D6 roll versus a set Target Number, with the result of the roll modified by skill rating, attribute modifiers, and environmental modifiers such as cover, proximity of other combatants, fatigue, etc. Modifiers are provided on charts. The charts themselves pertain to the type of combat, so for melee combat there is just one chart needed to guide their assignment.

Once the system and its method of presentation has been learned, it moves along quickly. While being learned, it can be quite slow. The system itself is simple and elegant at times, but complexity appears in things like damage being listed by codes which clarify the exact type and effect of that damage, and the detail available for movement, encumbrance, and equipment.

ARMA has now also been mentioned in association with 'The Riddle of Steel' response as a good resource for learning more about historical combat, and if development of a new system is the intent then time spent at the Association of Renaissance Martial Arts site will be time well spent.


I think Fate 3.0 would be a good one to look into.

  • Damage traced as specific wounds on specific body parts or something along these lines, something less abstracted that just hit points Consequences could be connected to specific body parts
  • Ability to perform other attacks than "simple attack" as in classic DnD - things like aiming at body parts, parrying, full body thrusts and stuff. Rules are pretty easy to modify to reflect this
  • Rules for many combatants surrounding one character this one i'm a little iffy on
  • Long term injuries and wounds, hospitalization. different consequence types take longer to heal
  • Weapon size and type affecting the battle outcome - sabres can parry each other, but you can stop a hammer with a knife. Again weapon categories are broadly handled in the rules, it'd be up to the GM to determine how a player can block/deflect/avoid a hit

With Fate 3.0 you can set up the flavor of it however you want.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely not. FATE is the diametric opposite of a vast and realistic combat system - which is a strength of its, but your answer basically says "you could mod FATE to do this" which is true of any system. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Aug 16, 2011 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I upvoted this initially, but I would rescind that if I could at this point. As I have considered it more (score one for more thoughtful voting!), I have realized that FATE is a "vast and expanded dramatic combat system." If a knife or gunshot wound can be "shrugged off" as soon as combat ends (Weapon:1 and Weapon:2 implements frequently cause only Stress, not Consequences), we're clearly in the realm of the cinematic. Still love FATE, though. It's just the answer to a different question! \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Aug 16, 2011 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ […] In any case, I'd agree that FATE is quite the opposite of what Maurycy is asking for. FATE is quite abstract with low level of granularity, while the question clearly asks for concrete rules on intricate details. Still, this is no reason for a downvote IMO. It's not a bad or malformed answer, It's a viewpoint that I don't agree with, so I just don't vote for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Oct 9, 2012 at 21:55

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