Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 43: Optional Combat Rules 2 bonus content

Chris Van Deelen

Covering Fire

The player gives up their chance to attack during a round and literally covers an ally with their weapon. This type of rule will only work with firearms, no other weapons.  The character must declare the ally they are covering, and if any enemy engages the ally in melee combat, the character engaged in cover fire is allowed to fire upon the target without incurring the usual penalty for firing into melee, and there is no chance that the character may accidentally hit their ally with gunfire. Also, the character using cover fire gets to fire upon the attacker before the melee attack is played through.

Expanded Critical Miss

Wisdom from the Wasteland issue 11: Optional combat rules introduced a basic rule for critical hits and misses. This optional rule provides a table to add not only more options to the critical miss rule, but also adds some variety and flavor.

Expanded critical miss effect table

Roll

Effect

Description

1

Drop Weapon

The character drops her weapon!  The character has to roll under her Dexterity on a d20 to avoid dropping her weapon. If the character is using a natural weapon, they suffer 1d3 points of damage instead.

2

Weapon jams

If it is a firearm or weapon that uses any sort of ammunition, then the weapon jams. It will take 1d4 rounds to clear. If it is not a weapon that uses ammunition, or if it is a natural weapon, treat is as a dropped weapon instead. The damage in the case of a natural weapon is increased to 1d4.

3

Damage weapon

The weapon suffers 1 condition level of damage, if it is an artifact, if it is not an artifact, the character will accidently hit a companion (see below). If it is a natural weapon, the character suffers 1d6 points of damage.

4

Break weapon

Something really bad has happened! If it is an artifact weapon, it is instantly reduced to condition level 0. If it is any other type of weapon, it is broken beyond repair (weapons without condition levels). If it is a natural weapon, the character suffers damage equal to the weapon damage, and the natural weapon is damaged, and cannot be used until it heals (which will take 1d6+6 days).

5

Hit self

Somehow the character manages to hit herself with the weapon in question, no attack roll is required and she suffers the weapons damage.

6

Hit self critically

Unbelievably, the character hits herself critically! Roll on the expanded critical table, or just suffer the maximum amount of damage possible.

7

Hit companion

The character must make a normal to hit roll against her companion’s AC (including all normal defense/AC bonuses). If she hits, then her friend takes normal damage— including critical hits, if the dice are so unkind. If no companions are available, then the character hits herself instead (see above).

8

Hit companion critically

As above, but it is an automatic critical. Roll on the expanded critical chart, or simply do maximum damage. Again, if no companion is available, then the character hits herself critically.

Expanded Critical Strike

As with Critical Miss, below is a table that adds several optional critical hit effects. 

Expanded critical strike effect table

Roll

Effect

Description

1

Maximum damage

The attack does the maximum damage (which includes Strength modifiers, mutation modifiers and so forth.)

2

Stunned

Not only does the target suffer maximum damage, the target must make a saving throw versus stun or stunned for 1d6 combat rounds.

3

Knocked out

The maximum damage is inflicted with the attack, and the target must make a saving throw versus stun or be knocked  unconscious for 1d6 combat rounds.

4

Muscle damage

On top of inflicting the maximum damage, the target suffers 1d4 points of Strength damage. This is not permanent, and will return at the targets natural healing rate per day.

5

Nerve damage

Like muscle damage, this effect inflicts the maximum damage, but also causes 1d4 points of Dexterity damage. The same rules to regain lost Strength apply to regain lost Dexterity.

6

Double maximum damage

The attack inflicts double the maximum damage (which includes Strength modifiers, mutation modifiers and so forth.)

7

Triple maximum damage

The attack inflicts double the maximum damage (which includes Strength modifiers, mutation modifiers and so forth.)

8

Instant Kill

The target is allowed a saving throw versus death. If the saving throw fails, the target is instantly killed. If the saving throw succeeds, then the target suffers maximum damage.

Rapid Shot

Similar to double tap, this allows the shooter to fire an extra shot with ‘automatic or rapid fire’ settings. The same rules apply for this as described under double tap.

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook  Creatures of the Tropical Wastes  sourcebook, co-author of its  Wisdom from the Wastelands  game supplement and contributor to the  'Sword of Kos: Hekaton'  Anthology.