Ranged Combat

Often characters will enter into combat from a distance, be this in a fantasy world with bows and javelins, or a modern one with pistols and rifles. This type of combat works similar to hand to hand combat. The attacker rolls a number of dice equal to their level. Their target number depends on several factors such as size, speed, and distance to the target. Ranged combat is assumed to take place short range and the target is assumed to be a human not moving. Penalties or bonus can occur if these assumptions are incorrect; use the following chart for target numbers and penalty/bonus dice.

Bonuses and Penalties

  • Prepared: Initiative increased by the ready of the weapon.
  • Size: +1 bonus die per 10 SIZ above 10; +1 penalty die per 2 SIZ below 10.
  • Moving: +1 penalty die per 5 Movement Rate (1 MPH)
  • Under Cover:1 Ss required if arms/legs are covered; 1 Ss required if head is covered; 3 Ss required if body is covered. These minimums are cumulative, e.g. Having legs, body, and arms covered requires 5 Ss to hit the victim. If they are hit, they take full damage. In the or opus example, if the attacker rolled 5 successes, then the victim would take 5 Ss worth of damage. If the attacker received 4 Ss, the defender would take no damage. (Shooting at someone who is covered 100% means that you are shooting through the cover, and so the person will gain the covering object as armor.
  • Aiming: +1 bonus die per segment aiming, up to +3 bonus maximum

These rules assume that a character will be continuing in ranged combat. If the character is attacked after they have fired, they can choose to either continue in ranged combat and not defend against any attacks (may be a good decision if you have an Uzi, but it questionable if you are using a bow & Arrow) or defend against the attack and continue in melee combat (A bow can be used like a weak staff …).

The effects of range

Ranged weapons perform significantly worse the farther the target is from the attacker. To simulate this, Harath employs the concept of range bands. At each range band, the target number, penalty dice, or bonus dice may be added. The chart below shows these changes:

Pistols Other Ranged Weapons
Range Band Target Bonus/Penalty Target Bonus/Penalty
Point Blank 3 0 2 +2
Short 4 0 3 +1
Medium 5 0 4 0
Long 5 0 4 -2
Extreme 5 0 4 -4
Maximum 5 0 4 -6

Special Firearms Rules

Firearms have some special circumstances that need to be accounted for. Modern weapons allow characters to shoot multiple bullets with the same trigger pull. While this increases the potential damage if the victim is hit, it also reduces the shooter’s ability to hit the target. In addition, the recoil of the weapon means the weapon moves off target after each trigger pull.

To simulate automatic fire, add 1 to the damage of the weapon for each additional bullet fired in a segment. In addition, add 1 penalty die for each additional bullet fired without pausing to re-aim. Semi-automatic weapons allow one shot and then an automatic re-load, thus one bullet per segment. Fully automatic weapons allow multiple bullets per segment. In this case, the character decides how many bullets they will fire from the weapon. This number is always between 3 bullets and the maximum number listed on the weapons chart.

For example, an Ares Crusader has a semi-automatic and a fully automatic mode allowing 5 bullets/segment. Its base damage is 7. If the character was to fire 5 rounds in the first segment, each success would cause 11 points of damage [7+4 extra bullets], however, the character would also have 5 penalty dice. If, on the other hand, they decided to keep the gun in semi-automatic mode and fired one bullet per segment, the following would occur:

Segment Damage Penalty
1 7 0
2 7 1
3 7 2
4 7 3
5 7 4