Blood and Iron 2


Blood & Iron

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In combat whenever a warrior wants to do something not covered by a maneuver, he makes a Tactics Roll after declaring his intent. Tactics are special techniques that use the terrain to gain an edge in the fight. Tactics allow duelists to move quickly around the battleground, hinder their foes, and aid their allies. If actively resisted by the environs or opponents, tactics require a separate test using a character’s CP. In all other situations, tactics might only require an activation cost. Dice spent or allocated for tactics refresh as normal.

Some common tactics are described below. If a player’s intent is not covered by one of the following tactics, the storyteller should assign a TN or Activation Cost. Failure may result in CP lost as usual.

Footing Holding Back Positioning Facing Multiple Opponents
Favoring Pressing Retrieving

Lugh and Blaine are initially relieved to see a fellow thief. That is, until it becomes apparent that the Domr is here for the relic, too. Although he is outmatched, Kapa knows he has a chance if he can use the terrain to his advantage and fight each opponent one at a time.

Footing is required for a warrior to stay on his feet on unfavorable terrain. The TN is determined by the difficulty of the terrain and the speed at which the character is moving. See the following chart, which is also used for other tactics such as Positioning.

  • Success: The character’s actions this round are unhindered.
  • Failure: The character has slipped, fell, or lost the use of a weapon. He loses ½ his CP for the duration of the round.
  • Botch: Falling prone and helpless, the character loses all CP for the round.
  • Let it Ride (Optional): After a character has passed a successful footing test, the storyteller may opt to allow the warrior to continue to pay the number of dice rolled as an activation cost in future rounds instead of re-rolling the test. A new test would be required if the situation dramatically changes or if the player wants to try the test at a smaller allotment of CP.
Terrain Normal/Defending pace Hurried/Attacking pace Sprinting pace
Narrow footing, ledges, walls, roofs, or very tight and narrow area. 4 5 6
Swampy or rocky, or limited room for footwork 4 6 8
Icy or slippery 6 8 10
Standing from prone 8 9

Holding Back is a risky tactic used by skilled fighters in single duel. The combatant using this tactic does not allocate the full amount of his Combat Pool for a number of rounds. When his opponent erroneously assumes he is out of CP, the warrior surprises him with the outstanding CP dice.

After fighting with the Domr thief for three rounds, Blaine, who has a Longsword CP of 15, has come to believe that Kapa also has a Combat Pool of 15. When he has the initiative, Blaine over invests himself with a 10-die Thrust to the head. Kapa announces a 13-die Parry. Seeing an opportunity, Blaine calls Feint and spends his remaining dice to pull off a Feint Cut. Blaine spends 2 additional dice as activation cost. He rolls 12 dice and wins 7 successes. Kapa, however, throws 9 successes and wins the initiative for the second exchange. Blaine assumes one die will be enough against the 2 Kapa has left. Then Kapa announces a 5-die Bash to the legs. Blaine’s jaw drops as the little thief surprises him with a burst of hidden speed and skill. As he attempts to evade, Blaine decides not to make any more assumptions about the tricky Domr.

Positioning is the tactic by which a duelist places himself in an advantageous position on the battlefield.

  • Challenge: When a character wants to move onto higher ground, stand up after being knocked down, or get to some other advantageous position, the player allocates any number of dice from his CP to roll against a TN determined by terrain. This tactic may be contested by exceptional opponents.
    • Success: The character has moved where he would like.
    • Failure: The character has failed to move where he would like and halves his CP as he loses his footing or suffers some other inconvenience.
    • Botch: As above but also twists an ankle, snaps a weapon, or some other tragic turn of events which gives his opponents an Edge.

Facing Multiple Opponents: When a character faces multiple opponents, he may attempt a positioning test in order to out-maneuver them or confuse them. Clever use of terrain should earn Edge.

  • Challenge: Use the TN table below.
  • Success means the duelist has confused his foes or out danced them on the battlefield. He faces only a single opponent for the round.
  • Failure means one more opponent has slipped through or the fancy footwork has failed to confuse the warrior’s enemies. The fighter faces two opponents this round.
  • Botch means two more opponents have slipped through and the warrior must face three opponents this round.
  • No more than three opponents may engage a character at a time. The main exception to this is a group of spearmen or the like.
  • Contest: Players may encounter groups of very skilled fighters who may actively resist being out maneuvered.
    • Opponents’ TN: Opponents face the same TN as they attempt to not run into one another. If the opposing group is a trained unit with a leader who can shout out commands, then their TN may be reduced by 1 for each success won by the leader in a WIT test. The TN for this test is the same as the original Positioning test.
    • Success: If the character defeats each respective opponent’s Positioning, he may choose which he faces for that round.
    • Failure: Those opponents who beat the lone warrior’s Positioning test may each decide whether to face him that round or else remove themselves from the melee. This often allows wounded fighters to escape their foes.
    • Botch: The lone warrior must face the maximum number of opponents for that round.
Number of Opponents Normal or Hurried TN Sprinting TN
2 opponents 6 5
3-5 opponents 8 6
5-10 opponents 9 7
10+ opponents 10 8

Kapa eventually finds himself squaring off against both Blaine and Lugh. At the top of the round they both throw Red, making Thrusts and Cuts at the shorter thief. Blaine declares a 10-die Cut and Lugh an 8-die Thrust. Kapa knows he has to take the initiative. He allocates everything into Full Evade, moving out of Melee range. Before the next round he takes a defensive stance and rolls a Positioning test in order to circle back and face a single opponent for the round. He allocates 3 dice vs TN6 since he really needs this, and it pays off. He’s successful, throws Red, and attempts to Trip Blaine.

Favoring is a defensive tactic used to protect vulnerable areas – wounded, unarmored, or otherwise – on the body. Favoring can be done in many ways: by moving a shield to the desired area of protection, holding a blade ready to parry an expected attack, or by using a posture which makes it harder for an opponent to target specific body areas.

  • Favoring is declared before the aggressor declares his attack location and CP allotment.
  • The warrior places any number of CP dice over a hit location zone on his character sheet.
    • One thrusting and one swinging zone are protected simultaneously as common sense and the storyteller dictate.
  • Favoring by a posture will grant a benefit only if the defensive maneuver is a type of evasion.
  • Favoring by shield or weapon positioning will grant a benefit only if the defensive maneuver is parrying or blocking as appropriate.
    • Several extra zones may be protected by large shields (see chart below).
  • After the attack (or feint) has been announced, the Favoring bonus occurs.
    • If the final attack targeted a favored zone, then the defender gets twice the dice he allocated to favoring that zone as bonus dice for defending that target this exchange.
    • If the final attack targeted a zone that wasn’t protected by favoring, then no bonus dice are gained and dice spent on Favoring are spent and refresh at the start of the next round as usual.
  • The attacker may not notice any subtle changes in a defender’s stance, but a PER or Style Analysis test may be called for if the attacker has enough time to study his opponent’s stance.
Shield Size Areas Protected
Hand or parrying weapon Only the specific zones (one thrusting, one adjacent swinging).
Small One additional adjacent swing or thrust zone.
Medium An additional adjacent thrust and swing zone.
Large Any two additional adjacent thrust and swing zone pairs.

Kapa is successful at tripping Blaine and knocking him unconscious. The Domr rogue then moves to engage the Lugh, who is only holding a dagger. As the two square off, Lugh assumes the Domr will attempt to knock him on the ground by striking at the legs. Lugh throws White and sets aside 3 of his 15 CP to favor his lower legs by lowering the point of his dagger. Lugh hopes to parry the strike at his legs and then grapple the Domr to the ground quickly.

Kapa announces a 10-die Thrust to the legs. Lugh announces a 6-die Parry. Since the attack targeted his favored zone, Lugh gains his 3 dice back plus 3 additional dice, making it a 12-die Parry. Lugh successfully defends his legs, his dagger deflecting the wooden quarterstaff, and the large thief is left with 6 CP. Lugh hopes it will be enough to make an offensive grapple.

Pressing means deliberately moving an opponent on the battlefield. Melee combats rage back and forth as opposing fighters thrust and swing at each other, stepping into gaps and falling back before ferocity. With a pressing tactic, however, a warrior may push his enemy back or lead him to a position where his fighting conditions become hampered.

  • While defending or attacking, a character may declare that he is pressing his opponent.
  • Pressing Contest: Allocated dice are rolled against TN3 if the character is using an offensive maneuver on that exchange or a TN4 if the character is using a defensive maneuver.
  • Success: The MOS is used to determine how far in feet the combatants move during the exchange in either direction. The storyteller will adjudicate what the outcome is.
  • Winning a Pressing contest does not win initiative, which is determined as always by the maneuver.

At a dramatic moment during the fight, Kapa notices that the relic is lying right beside the fallen Blaine. Blaine and the relic are several feet behind Lugh. Kapa begins thrusting at Lugh while allocating CP to press him to move backwards. Whenever Lugh wins the initiative, Kapa uses defensive maneuvers in conjunction with Pressing. Slowly but surely, Kapa presses Lugh enough so that the relic sits between the two of them.

Retrieving is a necessary task when a fighter is unarmed or needs to grab an important item.

  • If the necessary item is readily accessible (on a belt or in a sheath), the player only needs to pay an activation cost. This is the only action he may take for the exchange.
    • Activation cost: 1 CP for small weapons and items, 2 CP for medium and long ones.
  • If the necessary item is not readily accessible or the character needs to take another action during the exchange, he allocate some dice from his current CP to pull it off. The TN is determined by the size of the weapon or item and its accessibility.
    • Success: The character has successfully retrieved the item. If the new weapon would change the character’s CP value, this occurs at the start of the next round.
    • Failure: The character will retrieve the item at the beginning of the next round.
Item size and location TN
Small item readily accessible 6
Larger item readily accessible 7
Small item in boot or on the ground 8
Larger item in back sheath or on ground 9
Item in backpack or strapped to back. Impossible while in combat.

Kapa allocates 5 dice to snatching up the relic and 7 dice to bashing once more with his quarterstaff. Lugh can try splitting his dice pool similarly, but the relic is too valuable. He spends 10 CP in an attempt to grab the relic first, leaving him with a paltry 5 CP. The storyteller decides Lugh cannot spend it on a Full Evade since he’s making a roll to move closer and grab the relic. Lugh decides to attempt a Partial Evade, rolling over the relic and simultaneously under the Domr’s quarterstaff.

The storyteller first calls for the terrain roll with TN8. Lugh wins that over Kapa with a MOS of 2. Lugh drops his huge frame to the ground, snatching the relic before Kapa can reach it. Then the storyteller calls for the exchange. Kapa rolls 4 success and Lugh rolls 4 successes. While Kapa’s attack fails to damage Lugh, he retains the initiative. Lugh is in trouble; has no CP dice remaining! As he recovers from evading the first swing, Kapa rolls a 6-die Bash at the head!

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In addition to maneuvers and tactics, some skill contests and challenges can be used within a combat round. These tests can only usually occur in the pauses between rounds when the characters have a chance to size up their opponent and make comments. Using skills in combat during pauses has no activation cost. Using it while engaged in an exchange carries an activation cost of 1 CP.

Intimidating is a psychological tactic used to weaken an opponent’s resolve.

  • Contest: WP/Athletics: Intimidation or similar skill vs. WP or WIT/TN6. There are several situations which may grant either side an Edge. Outnumbering a wounded foe, for example, should grant a Bonus (+1) or Advantage (+2).
  • Success: The losing opponent suffers -1 CP for each MOS or may flee or surrender immediately (MOS 3+). The CP penalty lasts until the opponent lands a damaging blow against the intimidating character.
  • Failure: The character may not attempt another intimidation against this opponent until the situation changes dramatically.

Taunting is the last resort of a fighter who is tired of circling and defending. One can force his opponent into becoming an attacker – i.e. throwing red at the start of the next round.

  • Contest: The taunter rolls SOC or WIT/Etiquette: Ridicule, Taunting or other appropriate skill vs his opponent who rolls WP/TN6 or TN7 if the ridicule is insightful.
    • If the taunting is well played or takes appropriate advantage of his Gifts, Flaws, or Spiritual Attributes, the TN is raised to 8.
  • Success: The character has successfully brought out his foe’s ire. He will almost certainly attack in the next exchange.
  • Failure: The opponent is unaffected by the character’s ridicule.
  • Botch: The character has himself become frustrated. He must attack or lose a Drama point. A player character who was the target of taunting and who has failed his WP contest may spend Drama or an appropriate SA to keep his cool. Doing so may inadvertently cause the taunter to lose his cool and throw red himself at the start of the next round.

Style analysis is the technique of determining important insight about one’s opponent through body language.

  • The character makes a PER challenge.
    • TN6: Opponent is using the same proficiency or style.
    • TN7: Opponent is using a familiar proficiency or style.
    • TN8: Opponent is using an unfamiliar proficiency or style.
  • Success:
    • MOS 1: Whether the opponent is favoring, familiar with his held weapon, or holding back.
    • MOS 3: What zones the opponent is favoring, how experienced he is with his held weapon, how much CP he is holding back, and how much Pain is affecting him.
    • MOS 5: How many dice he has favored with, his Combat Pool total, which maneuver he will probably try next.
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In unarmed combat, warriors use grappling and wrestling techniques to achieve one of the following four goals:

  • To throw an opponent onto the ground
  • To incapacitate an opponent
  • To break an opponent’s bones
  • To get free of the clinch or hold before it’s too late

Grappling is handled in two phases: the clinch and the maneuvers.


  • The attacker declares a grapple maneuver and allocates dice to the attack.
  • If the opponent also wishes to grapple, the clinch is automatic. The opponent still allocates dice for defense and the contest is rolled.
    • The winner keeps the MOS as bonus dice for the next exchange.
  • If the opponent does not wish to grapple, he may choose to defend with an evasion or parry.
    • Successful evasion: the combat continues normally.
    • Successful parry: the parried limbs take damage as if they had been attacked.
    • Successful attack: The attacker can carry his MOS over into the next exchange.
  • Grappling can also be used defensively
    • The defender must drop any weapons or items larger than a dagger.
    • The defender announces he is using grappling defensively and pays activation costs.
    • If unsuccessful, the defender suffers wounds as usual.
    • If successful, the defender has avoided the attack and now has the attacker in a clinch. He may take his MOS into the next exchange as bonus dice.

That bash to the head should have knocked Lugh out, but this relic is too important to Lugh and he spent a Drama point to reduce the severity of the wound. As soon as Kapa moves over to take the relic, Lugh reaches up with both hands and grabs at the Domr. The Domr is surprised and soon finds himself in a clinch.



The attacker with the initiative chooses to execute throwing, trapping, breaking, or striking maneuvers.

Offensive Maneuver TN
Throw 7
Trap 6
Snap 8 or 6 (trapped)
Strike ATN5 (body) or Weapon’s ATN

Throwing maneuvers: The current attacker declares his throw attack and may spend one CP to add an extra point of damage should the throw be successful. The defender can use the grappling maneuver to attempt a break-free or a reverse.

  • Success: Damage from a throw is calculated as a fall from 6’ (usually DR 3) plus the attacker’s MOS and the defender is prone.
  • Takedown: The attacker may decide to fall down with the thrown foe adding his weight to the fall and one extra point of damage to the defender. The fighting then switches to ground fighting.

Trapping maneuvers: These maneuvers attempt to prevent an adversary’s movement all at once or over time. The attacker chooses one or more of the following targets to trap: arm, torso, head, leg. Trapping these targets costs a compounding number of successes. E.g. trapping one arm requires 1 success, but both arms requires three. In this way holding down the entire body in a one -round attack would require 10 successes. When ground fighting, reduce the activation cost by 1.

  • If the attacker wins, figure out how many targets were trapped and how many bonus successes can be applied to the next exchange. If the defender wins, a break-free or reverse takes place.
  • Any successes gained over the required minimum for the chosen targets act as bonus dice for the next exchange.
  • In following exchanges additional targets can be acquired and trapped at the same compounding rates above. For example: trapping the left arm in the first exchange costs a success, trapping the right arm in the second exchange still costs 2 successes.
Limb Trapped Effect
Arm No actions, attacks, or defenses that involve the trapped arm(s) are possible. CP is reduced by half if primary hand is trapped, by ¼ if off-hand, and ¾ if both hands are trapped.
Torso No movement from place to place is possible. -1/4 CP.
Head -1/2 CP; no movement is possible.
Leg -1/4 CP for one leg, -1/2 CP for both.

Snapping maneuvers: Either from the clinch or following a trap to the arm or head, the attacker may attempt to break a limb or even the neck of an adversary by twisting the joints of the limb or neck to cause damage to it.

  • The damage of a snap is ST + MOS. Use the bludgeoning tables against shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, or neck.
  • Armor does not help the defender against snapping maneuvers.
  • If the technique is targeted on the head and neck area, one can choose to either choke a person into submission or attempt to break the neck.
    • Neck-breaking: This requires an activation cost of 3 CP.
    • Choking: The choker does generic damage equal to ST + MOS that round and every round thereafter without re-rolling until Pain drops the victim’s CP below zero. The victim then falls unconscious for 1d10×5 rounds. Maintaining the choke after the victim loses consciousness for another 2-3 minutes kills him.

Striking maneuvers: These involve attempting to hurt an opponent while he’s in the confines of a clinch and less able to defend himself.

  • Only small weapons, armored gloves, helmets or plain fisticuffs may be used. Striking with fists TN5
  • Damage = ½ ST + the DR + MOS.
  • AR is halved because it’s easier for the attacker to find gaps in the armor.
  • Shield bonuses do not apply.

Ground fighting: This takes place once both characters are on the ground, typically after one has been taken down.

  • Break free TNs increase by 1
  • Breaks must follow traps
  • Trapping activation costs are reduced by 1 CP die
  • No throws are possible


Defenders use the following TNs to break free of a grappling technique or to reverse the technique against their opponent.

  • Break Free: A successful break-free, like an evasion, causes a pause in combat. In a tie the aggressor retains the initiative but is unsuccessful in his technique.
  • Reversal: A warrior uses reversal to reverse the odds into his own favor.
    • Activation cost: 2 CP
    • In a success reversal, the initiative is passed to the defender along with the MOS for use in the next exchange.
Break-free or Reversal vs. TN (Normal) TN (Ground fighting)
Clinch 5 6
Trap 8 9
Snap 7 8
Neck-break 6 7
Choke 7 8
Throw 8 9
Strike 6 6
Strike (Weapon) 8 8

Defenders may also elect to ignore what the attacker is doing and attack him with a striking maneuver. The defender must have a hand free. The attack follows the same rules as striking above. The original attacker still goes first and the defender has no defense against the attack.

Lugh’s MOS from clinching was 5 – very high! He now has Grapple CP 15 versus Kapa’s Grapple CP 7. Lugh moves quickly, allocating 9 dice to Trap Kapa’s head in a death grip, and Kapa puts all 7 into trying to break free of the grip. Lugh’s ATN for this maneuver is 6 while Kapa’s DTN is 9 since they are fighting on the ground. Lugh rolls an amazing 7 successes to beat Kapa’s 2. This gives Lugh a MOS of 5 again!

While his head is trapped, Kapa is at ½ his total CP. In the second exchange Lugh has the initiative and 11 CP remaining. Lugh decides to Snap Kapa’s neck. He spends 3 activation cost and rolls his 8 remaining dice. It is TN6 for this maneuver now that he has Kapa’s head trapped. Lugh rolls 5 successes. The storyteller describes the Domr’s cries and squirming both suddenly ceasing with a muffled crack.

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Significantly less detailed than melee combat, the rules of missile combat follow an archer from the time it takes to prepare the ranged weapon, to find his mark, and finally to take a shot. There are no maneuvers, but there are still several ways for a bowman’s Missile Pool (MP) to fluctuate.


The Missile Pool (MP) uses a different derived attribute and set of proficiencies than the Combat Pool.

MP = Missile Proficiency (+ AIM)
  • The MP is also gathered and refreshed at a different rate than the CP.
  • The archer begins the round with with an MP consisting of only his proficiency.
  • The character may not use his MP to take a shot until the shot has been readied.
  • The character’s AIM value is added to the MP for each round he delays in firing to aim at his target. As with the CP, the MP may not go over its maximum capacity of Proficiency + AIM except in with the addition of Spiritual Attributes.


Before the archer can let his missile loose on his enemy, he must ready the missile weapon.

  • Load Time: Each ranged weapon has a Load Time. This is the number of rounds the archer must spend uninterrupted loading the weapon if it is not readied beforehand.
  • Quick Load: Characters may elect to rely on their instincts to decrease the time it normally takes to load.
    • Activation cost: (2 x Load Time) MP
    • If the character is under duress, the storyteller may call for a REF test versus a TN equal to the Load Time to see if the rushed action is finished smoothly. A botch here means the weapon is broken or jammed for the remainder of the scene.
  • Range: Each missile weapon has 6 ranges. These are Point Blank, Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. Anything beyond Extreme range is considered Heroic.

Barbed Arrow is an accomplished archer who carries a yew wood Recurve Composite Bow. The bow has a preparation time of 2-4 rounds. Short range is within 20 yards, medium range is up to 35 yards, long is within 70 yards, and its extreme range is 220.

Barbed Arrow is walking alone on a road just as the sun is disappearing over the green mountains. when suddenly he hears a horse whining. He turns to see an enemy soldier riding towards him, blade drawn. The storyteller tells Barbed Arrow that he has only 5 rounds before the rider is upon him. Barbed Arrow drops to the ground, his bow already in his hand because he has Instinct: My bow is always drawn. In the first round, Barbed Arrow has an MP of 8, which is his proficiency. Knocking an arrow from his quiver will take 4 rounds. In this way he wouldn’t be ready to fire until round 5 when the rider was on top of him. Barbed Arrow decides not to cut it so close. He spends all his MP in one round to quickly ready his bow and arrow. This leaves him with MP 0. Being charged at by a rider is a little distracting, so the storyteller asks for an Average REF test, which Barbed Arrow easily passes. The storyteller describes the scene of a charging soldier and a swift archer standing his ground.


At the top of the round in which the missile weapon is ready, an archer may fire at his target by throwing Red at the initiative phase of combat.

  • The archer may elect to throw White to wait until the second exchange or the next round.
  • For each round the player delays, he may refresh his MP up to its maximum with a number of dice equal to his AIM attribute.

In round two the rider has gotten closer. Barbed Arrow spends the round aiming and adds his AIM of 5 to his pool. At the end of round two, Barbed Arrow has MP 5. He decides to wait one more round. At the start of the round 4 he has MP 10. The largest his MP can be is 13 (Proficiency 8 + AIM 5). However, he’s out of time. Now he’s ready.


Once the archer decides to fire, he adjusts his MP with the cumulative modifiers for the following conditions.

Target is moving towards shooter -1MP
Target is moving away from shooter -2MP
Target is moving erratically -3MP
Shooter is moving -1MP
Shooter is riding a horse -2MP
Dim light -1MP
Distracting light -2MP
Darkness -3MP
Poor weather -2MP
Distracting light -1 to -3MP
Point blank +1 MP
Medium range -1MP
Long range -3MP
Extreme range -5MP
Heroic range -10MP at discretion

Focused shot: Player sets aside a number of dice to focus their aim at a certain location of the target’s body. A character may spend up to his AIM value. The cost of an adjustment depends on the range of the shot.

Focus range Focus Cost
Point blank to Medium range 1MP
Long range 2MP
Extreme range 3MP

If the defender is aware of the attack, he may choose to defend for the exchange.

  • Evade: The Target Number for a defensive evade is dependent on the environment.
    • TN4: Ample space and cover
    • TN7: Restrictive space and little cover
    • TN9: Narrow space and no cover
  • Block: Use the shield’s missile DTN..

As long as the shooter has MOS of 1, the missile finds its target. The player must now determine the location and damage.

  • Hit location is decided by a roll of 2d6.
  • For each focus adjustment the archer paid for, he may add or subtract one from the total of this roll.
Roll (2d6) Location Roll (2d6) Location
2 Head (Zone 13) 8 Torso (Zone 10)
3 Arm (Zone 14) 9 Torso (Zone 10)
4 Arm (Zone 14) 10 Upper Leg (Zone 9)
5 Torso (Zone 12) 11 Upper Leg (Zone 9)
6 Torso (Zone 12) 12 Lower Leg (Zone 8)
7 Torso (Zone 11)

Alternatively, the storyteller may decide the hit location is less important than the amount of damage dealt.

  • MOS 1-2: The missile lands in the legs and arms.
  • MOS 3-4: The missile makes a severe wound in the torso.
  • MOS 5+: The missile strikes fatally in the head or through the ribcage, or else the player decides.

Damage is calculated on the piercing tables as usual except that ranged weapons have an effective strength.

With poor lighting and the rider coming towards him, Barbed Arrow must spend 2 CP to take a shot at the rider. He spends another dice to focus his aim. This leaves him with 7 dice, which he rolls against the default ATN7. He rolls 3 successes. The rider has no shield to block with and doesn’t want to Full Evade and fall off his horse. Barbed Arrow’s Hit Location roll was 4, landing in the arm, but since he focused, he moves it to 5, striking the middle of the torso in the chest. The total damage of the arrow is 11 (ST 5 + 3 + MOS 3). The rider is wearing light armor (AV3) and has TO4. He suffers a level 4 Wound to the chest. His lungs fill with blood and he is thrown from his horse. The rider hits the ground drowning from his internal bleeding.

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A popular image in the world of Erd is the power of mounted combat, including jousting knights and mighty cavalries taking a field like thunder.

While fighting from horseback, a character

  • Retains all armor CP penalties except leg armor.
  • Receives a +2 CP height bonus against opponents on the ground.
  • May make AG/Horsemanship: Riding tests may be made instead of spending CP on terrain rolls against ground opponents.
  • May only attack a foe directly in front of his mount unless he is using a very long weapon.
    • Activation cost 4CP: May attack a foe directly behind him by swiveling around

Riders use the horse’s speed as a form of defense.

  • Mounted terrain roll (AG/Horsemanship: Riding) to attack while at a canter or full charge.
    • Success: Combat round is limited to one exchange.
    • Failure: Combat round lasts two exchanges as usual.
    • Botch: Rider has toppled from the horse and suffers 10’ falling damage.

Riders may attempt to have their horse attack foes behind and beside the horse through kicks and pivots.

  • The attack uses the rider’s CP
  • ATN is the rider’s riding skill
  • Targeted zone is chosen at random
  • Defender may only evade
  • Damage is Horse’s STR + MOS against the defender’s AV and TO as usual.
  • Defenders must also pass a Knockdown test with a penalty equal to the rider’s MOS.

Riders often battle mounted opponents.

  • Combat round lasts two exchanges unless one or both are moving at a canter or charge, in which case the round lasts only one exchange.
  • Ride-by attacks takes 3-4 rounds while to wheel around and come back for another pass.

Defending while on horseback is very difficult and nearly impossible if the target is the horse itself.

  • A mounted character may use a partial evasion to have the horse dance back.
  • A mounted character may use full evasion to leap from the mount to avoid an attack against himself.
  • When a rider is successfully struck, he must make a AG/Horsemanship: Riding test with a penalty of 1 die for every point of his opponent’s MOS.
    • Success: The rider remains in his saddle.
    • Failure: The rider has been knocked from his horse and suffers 10’ fall damage.


Jousting is an extremely popular sport in many regions of Polm and is the main entertainment for much of the nobility. There are three parts to each pass in a joust.

  • The Charge: Combatants make an opposed riding skill check to make a good, fast and straight charge. Good jousting horses like the destrier grant +2 CP Edge while lesser horses, like a palfrey, inflict a -2 CP penalty.
    • The MOS is given to the winner as bonus dice to the Clash.
  • The Clash: When the two jousting warriors meet, each splits his CP into attack and defense portions. Each combatant then makes a contested roll of his attack versus the others block, attempting to get a successful strike which might unseat his opponent, while remaining seated himself.
    • Tournament lances are designed to splinter on impact and therefore no actual puncturing damage is taken. Real lances do damage as usual
  • The Check: If either rider was struck, he must make a riding test with a penalty of 1 die for every point in his opponent’s attack MOS.
    • Success: The rider has remained seated.
    • Failure: The rider has been knocked from his horse and suffers a 10’ fall.
  • Winning the joust: A joust is won when a knight remains seated while his opponent falls. In some traditions, melee combat is necessary if both are unhorsed.
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Melee warriors:

  • Assemble their Combat Pool from REF and their proficiency.
  • Spend CP to execute maneuvers, pay for activation costs, and attempt terrain and tactic tests.
  • Lose CP from Shock, Pain, and other complications.
  • Make EN tests against TN(BL) at the beginning of each round and lose HT when they fail.


  • Assemble their Missile Pool from their proficiency and eventually AIM.
  • Spend MP to reload faster, focus their AIM, and fire their weapons.
  • Lose MP from complications, Shock, and Pain.

Blood and Iron 2

Legacy of Orphans seanpmcochran