Friday, April 22, 2016

White Box Cyberpunk: Combat Tweaks Draft 1.5

The combat rules in my White Box Cyberpunk are pretty much identical to those in S&W White Box, but I needed to make a few tweaks to accommodate boosted reflexes, neuromancer programs, and automatic weapons.

Violence is an everyday occurrence in the sprawls and megaplexes of the future. When characters resort to combat (or are attacked), the game follows the following routine:

1) Determine surprise - if there is the chance that one or both sides will be surprised, the players (or GM) roll 1d6. On the result of a 1 or 2, that side is surprised. If one side is surprised, the other gets a free round of attacks and actions against them. If neither side is surprised, or if both sides are, proceed to Step 2.
Boosted Reflexes: Characters with the boosted reflexes implant are only surprised on a 1. On the roll of 2, they are not surprised even if the rest of their party is. 

 2) Determine initiative- Roll 1d6 for each side. The side with the higher roll goes first. On a tie, all actions occur simultaneously.
Boosted Reflexes: These characters always act first on a tie, though they can be tied with other individuals with boosted reflexes.

3.) The party with initiative acts first
          a. Resolve neuromancer programs
          b. Resolve ranged attacks
          c. Resolve movement
          d. Resolve melee attacks

4.) The party that lost initiative now acts as per Step 3.

5.) If the combat continues, start again at Step 2 and repeat until the fight is over.
Attacks: Roll 1d20 + the attacker's BHB + any bonus/penalty from dexterity/strength + other modifiers. If the result is equal or greater than the opponent's Armor Class, roll damage and apply it to the target's hit points. 
The natural roll of a 20 is always a hit. The natural roll of a 1 is always a miss. 
At the GM's option, rolling a 20 might carry an additional advantage such as double damage or maximum damage, whereas the roll of a 1 might cause some kind of misfortune or mishap.

Damage and Death
A character who is reduced to 0 hit points is dead. However, medicine in the dark future is more advanced, so a character might be saved if someone gets to them in time. A successful use of the medic task will keep a character from dying if it is administered within 1d6 rounds of death. This will keep a character alive for 1d6 turns so that he can be taken to a medical facility or a street doc.

Combat Options

Here are a few simple combat maneuvers the GM can introduce to make combat more tactical. Most of them are restricted to enforcers, who should in all cases outshine the other classes in direct combat.

Defend- A character who does nothing but concentrate on defense (staying low, parrying, etc) gets a +2 bonus (+4 for enforcers) to Armor Class for the round, but cannot make any attacks and can only move at 1/2 their rate.

Dual Wielding- Enforcers may wield two melee weapons or two firearms, provided they are one handed. This makes the use of a shield impossible, as well as the use of any object in either hand or any task requiring two hands. When using two weapons,  the character receives +1 to the attack roll and +1 to damage, representing the increased chance of a favorable hit. At the GM's option, Infiltrators may use two firearms (only), provided they are one-handed. Other classes may carry two weapons, but gain no mechanical benefit from doing so.

Sneak Attack- Enforcers and infiltrators may make a sneak attack against a target who is unaware of them. Sneak attacks made with ranged weapons must be executed within the short range bracket of the weapon. A sneak attack receives a +4 bonus to the attack roll and inflicts double the damage indicated on the dice on a successful hit.

Suppression Fire- Enforcers wielding a gun capable of full auto can use suppression fire. They may spray an 50 ft cone shaped area within the short range bracket of the gun. All targets must spend their next action doing nothing except seeking cover or dropping prone. Those who fail to do so automatically take damage as if hit with a single bullet from the gun. At the GM's option, a target can make a saving throw to act at -2 to attacks and checks but not take the automatic damage.

Vehicular Combat

Combat between vehicles and pedestrians is conducted as normal. The vehicle moves on the driver's initiative. The driver must choose between maneuvering the vehicle or taking some other action. A natural roll of 20 against a vehicle inflicts damage on both the vehicle and one of the occupants, determined randomly. 

Combat between vehicles is conducted in a similar fashion, but initiative is only rolled by the drivers.


  1. Looks good to me - simple and straight-forward.
    Should Boosted Reflexes really affect surprise? Though I can see it as allowing the PC to recover quicker, so effectively they are surprised less often.

    1. That's basically what I was going for with boosted reflexes... they might be surprised, but they can react quicker. I didn't really want to go the Shadowrun route of getting a stack of extra actions. (Especially considering the enforcer's combat machine ability)