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It's entirely optional to read this or not
, you don't have to know any of it to play - only the GM does. Of course, knowing it will give you a tactical advantage too! If you ever want to GM a mission or campaign, read this.

This page basically explains the gameplay mechanics (ie how things are rolled for and how combat works) for Tales of Barvosians, which means Avengers missions, Campaigns and Operative fights.

Also check out NPC Database for the stats and profiles of all known grunts and some bosses. (Currently a WIP)


Although these rules are to make things balanced and fair, the GM is allowed to ignore, re-roll or modify results however he wants, so long as he doesn't tell the players! He could do this for any reason and, so long as the players don't know, it stands.

This could be to make sure an important plot device happens, to cut the players some slack or generally make things more heroic. Nobody likes having constant bad luck and their badass character constantly fumbling due to bad rolls - it's lame.

Above all else, the GMs job is to make things fun and help tell a damn good story!


First things first; there are three 'modes' that are played in missions that denote whether or not a turn system is in place. They may switch from time to time, so it's important for the GM to make it clear what mode the game is currently in.

  • Freemode - This is basically the 'fuck it' mode, used mostly in campaigns. It's the assumed 'default' between missions, during dialogue scenes and sometimes kept in place when small battles break out that aren't significant. There's no turn system, players are pretty much free to just do whatever they want and let the GM roll however they please. It's very arse-pulled.
  • Combat - When a proper fight breaks out, each player generally makes one attack per turn. Once every character has made an attack, or all enemies are defeated, the turn resets. There's no required order.
  • Boss Fight - More strict on turns, each player makes their attacks, and then the boss makes their attack, and then the turn resets. There might be dialogue or additional factors that come into play between turns, so the GM is in charge of saying when a new turn has begun and players are free to make more actions.
  • Supervillain Fight - Super-Villain fights are generally reserved for the finale of long storylines, and take place only against overwhelmingly powerful enemies where brute force will not be enough to win. These fights work in the same way as normal boss fights, however there usually a specific strategy required and the fight is normally in stages, with the strategy changing slightly each stage. These are also the only fights where it's possible to have multiple lives; you can sometimes restart the fight in the event of a wipe. Extra lives are often given for free or earned earlier in the campaign.

The Basics - Making Actions & NPC typesEdit

The most basic type of move is an 'action'. This could involve literally anything, like opening a door, ducking for cover, healing injuries, planting a bomb or attack an enemy. Anything that doesn't involve 'doing nothing' is considered an action. During Freemode, characters can generally make actions whenever they want with no limitations. During Combat or Boss Fights, they're restricted to one action per turn.

Basic non-combat actions are always rolled on a D100. The GM has to decide on the risk factor involved depending on the situation. For example, an action with a 50% risk needs to roll a 50 or more to suceed. Actions that have no real risk, such as opening doors, are assumed to suceed automatically. You don't have to roll for whether or not your character manages to go down a set of stairs without tripping!

Certain actions will effect the outcome of combat at times. For example, a character taking cover will receive a defense bonus, or a character hanging out in the open might be more likely to get targeted.

There are two types of NPCs, grunts and bosses. Grunts represent wave upon wave of disposable soldiers or servants, less powerful in combat and rely on weight of numbers. Bosses are individuals that are more powerful.

Character ProfilesEdit

All characters now have a universal chart assigning values to the characters combat modifiers.

Ranged Attack -  Add to a roll when this character is attacking using a ranged attack.

Ranged Defence - Add to a characters defence roll when defending against a ranged attack.

Melee Attack - Add to the attackers roll when attacking using melee.

Melee Defence - Add to defence roll when rolling for a defence against a melee attack.

Attack Toughness - If the character attacks successfully add this to the injury role.

Defence Toughness - If the character is attacked successfully subtract this from the injury roll.

Example Character profile charts

Zankai Mercer Attack Modifier Defense Modifier


Ranged +10 +10
Toughness +30 0

The above is the combat profile for Zankai Mercer  used here as an example. This basically shows, in simple form, how good he is at defending or attack in melee and ranged, and how tough he is at taking damage or dishing it out. From this, we see that he's pretty he's equally skilled in both melee and ranged, and when he manages to land an attack he hits quite hard and is far more likely to score an injury. Compare this to Cayden:

Cayden Masher Attack Modifier Defense Modifier


Ranged +20 +50
Toughness +60 +20
  • Super-Soldier - Cayden's attacks have a chance of causing instant death to his target. If he score double what his target rolls when attacking, they are taken immediately out of action. In addition, Cayden may attack twice per turn.

As you can see, Cayden (being the big-bad daddy super-soldier) is significantly more powerful and taking him on in melee combat is suicide. Even at ranged, he's tougher than most shooters in the game, so it'd take a big group to take him down. He also has a trait listed in the bullet point under his stats, which explain additional special rules relating to his attacks - as you can see, he's slightly terrifying - given he's one of the most powerful characters in the game.

Combat - Making RollsEdit

Attacking & Defending against BossesEdit

When making an attack action, say who you are attacking and how you're doing so (which ability you are using). Then await the roll results, which work like this:

  • Both the attacker and the defender roll a D100 (a one hundred sided dice). Any modifiers are applied, for example if a character gets +15 to attack they add 15 to the result, or if the defender gets +15 to defence, they add that too.
  • Whoever scores the highest result wins.
  • If the defender wins against a ranged attack, nothing happens. If they won against a melee attack, they roll to counter attack (more on that later).
  • If the attacker won, they roll another D100 to determine whether or not they cause an injury.

Attacking & Defending against GruntsEdit

Combat against grunts works in exactly the same way, with the following exception:

  • If an attack against a group of grunts is sucessful, you don't roll for injury - your character simply kills one grunt for every roll of +10 above the defender's roll. For example, Morena attacks nine Orks in melee and rolls 85. The Orks rolled 49 in defense, which is a difference of 36 - so Morena kills three Orks.
  • If the attacking character rolls an odd number, the grunts will make an attack back against the players which could be directed at anyone in the fight, and could be melee or ranged. This is rolled in the same way as attacks against Bosses are.
  • Grunts don't counter attack in melee combat like bosses do!
  • Toughness bonuses are ignored in fights against Grunts.
  • Depending on the power, intelligence and number of grunts the GM will decide which characters the grunts attack on their turn.

Example CombatEdit

  1. Player: Anderson zaps that group of twelve Orks.
  2. GM rolls for Anderson's attack behind the scenes. She rolls 55, and adds +20 from her ranged attack bonus which = 75. The Orks roll 35 in defense. 75 - 35 = 45, which means 4 Orks are killed.
  3. However, Anderson also rolled an odd number, which means the Orks make a counter attack in melee combat against a random enemy. Since Anderson is the only person there, they attack her.
  4. They roll well and get 84, and add 5 for their melee combat bonus. Anderson gets no melee defense bonus, and only rolls 23, so she is hit. The GM rolls a 53 for the injury (more on that below) and so Anderson suffers a light injury.
  5. GM: 'Anderson turns four Orks into electronic goo, however a stray Ork managed to get in close and upper-cut her with his axe, causing a light injury.
  6. Player: Fuck. I'm always so bad with rolls.
  7. GM: Yes you are, Sam.

Grunts vs Grunts Edit

Occasionally the players will have Allied grunts fight alongside them

  1. The player grunts attack the GM grunts by rolling for attack. GM grunts roll for defence. (modifiers are added when rolling)
  2. If the attack is successful then the number of GM grunts killed is +1 for every +10 the Player grunts rolled over the GM grunts defence score.
  3. In the next turn the GM grunts roll for attack and the Player Grunts roll for defence.
  4. If the attack is successful then the number of Player grunts killed is +1 for every +10 the GM grunts rolled over the Player grunts defence score.

Injuries, Healing and Counter AttacksEdit

If a boss or player character has sucessfully been hit, you roll another D100 immediately to determine how much damage has been caused. The result of this roll depends on two things: what kind of modifiers the character gets and whether the attack was melee or ranged.

There are four levels of injury:

  • Light
  • Heavy
  • Acute
  • Mortal

Any injury of any type suffered by a character who is already on 'mortal' is taken out of action. (To be taken OOA does not mean 'dead'. It just means out of the fight, ie unconscious or unable to fight on). Note that a character has to be on mortal injury before they can die. They can't go from acute straight to dead - they'd go to mortal and continue fighting.

When you roll to determine how much damage the attack does use the charts below depending on whether it was a melee or ranged attack.


If the characters have modifiers to their toughness profile, then subtract the defenders modifier defence from the attackers attack modifier and apply them to the roll. For example, with a character with +15 to toughness offence against a defender with +10 to defence you get 15-10 = 5, so you add five to the result when rolling for injury.

Injury RollsEdit

1-40 41-64 65-84 85-95 95+
Melee Attack No injury Light injury Heavy Injury Acute Injury Mortal Injury
1-50 51-75 76-100+
Ranged Attack No injury Light injury Heavy Injury

A character who suffers a mortal injury is dangerous close to death. As such, they suffer a -25 to 'all' rolls. When mortally injured, it is better to put your head down and hide! Take cover even before you attempt to heal! One more hit, and you're toast.



Characters who are capable of healing injuries, or 'healers', can choose to do so as their action. When you make a healing action, you roll a D100 to determine how many levels of injury you can heal. Every level moves a character back one stage, and you can freely choose which characters to heal.

1-50 51-79 80-95 96-100+
One level Two levels Three levels Four levels

As well as healers, any character can attempt to heal their own injury if they are not a healer; this is done by applying bandages, taking painkillers or just gritting your teeth to ignore the pain! Any character may attempt to make a desperate heal action, which they pass on the roll of a 50+. If they succeed, they recover one level of injury; if not, their action for that turn is wasted. Note that a character can only ever recover one level of injury, so for example if they were acutely injured the best they'll ever be able to get is heavy without a proper healer.

Going out of actionEdit

Characters who suffer an injury after they are already mortally injured are taken out of action. They are either unconscious, too injured to fight or, in a more unlikely case, dead. Any character taken out of action is out of the current game, and will not be able to fight any further until their character has recovered for the next mission. Player-characters generally do not suffer from permanent death, though there are still side-effects to not playing it safe when mortally injured.

In the event of a character going out of action, the GM rolls a D100.

Roll Result
1-40 There are no additional side effects, aside from the character being knocked out of the current mission
41-60 There are no additional side effects, however the character will leave the fight with hideous scars. These will be unpleasant to look at, and might effect how other characters treat them.
61-80 The character has suffered an injury that causes permanent damage, though it could potentially be repaired with time. The character immediately loses 5 points from their stats, in an area randomly chosen by the GM. This damage will eventually heal by itself if medical proceedures or treatment is applied.
81-100 The character has suffered an injury that causes permanent damage, and there is no way of repairing it. The character immediately loses 5 points from their stats, in an area randomly chosen by the GM. The effect is permanent.

Melee and Ranged DifferencesEdit

Ranged attacks have less chance of causing a more serious injury, but are considerably safer to use because there is 'far' less risk of a counter attack and, if you're in a far away spot, you can't get attacked by melee characers. Ranged attacks cannot be countered against bosses or in PvP. They 'can' be countered against grunts, but 'only' if the grunts in question actually have any ranged weapons.

Counter AttacksEdit

When a player character strikes a boss in melee combat, there is a chance the boss will get a free attack against the player which automatically hits. When attacking a boss, if the player character looses the combat roll off by a margin of 25 or more, they suffer an injury from the boss' attack as they take advantage of an opening, and they immediately roll for injury as if struck by the boss!

Precision ShotsEdit

There is another advantage to attacking at ranged - precision shots! If the attacking player scores a ranged hit against their enemy and rolls 25 higher than the defenders roll, they can roll twice to determine injury. The highest result stands.

Locked in CombatEdit

If a character is attacking at ranged, however, they have to be a decent distance away from their target. If, in the last turn, the attacking player was struck by a melee combat attack (and hit), they cannot make a ranged attack because their enemy is 'right' on top of them. This is called being 'locked in combat'. They have to either attack in melee or try and get away using a non-attacking action. This is made easier depending on the circumstances, for example if the character took time to find a well defended vantage point, pre-planned an escape or just took an action to get into cover before opening fire!

So if you're a melee character trying to hit a ranged character, you need to score a sucessful hit in order to lock them in combat with you. Once done, they'll have to either face you in melee or spend an action trying to escape. Your first charge attack might suffer a negative modifier depending on the cirmcumstances, as decided by the GM.

Player vs Player CombatEdit

PvP is rolled in a similiar way. When PvP begins, the players each write out a description of their action in cinematic and cheesy detail.

  • Players take turns to make an action. If they begin exchanging blows, they take turns to attack and defend. Whoever attacked first gets to roll their attack first.
  • Both players roll their attack/defence dice. If the attacker rolls higher than the defender after modifiers, they hit and roll for injury. If the defender rolls higher, they block the attack.
  • If the defender rolls 25 higher than the attacker, they counter attack and the defender is hit instead.
  • In PvP, the GM awards a small bonus toughness modifier each turn to whomever writes out the coolest description of the attack.

The 'ranged vs melee' rules listed above are especially well enforced in PvP to keep things fairer!

Operative CreationEdit

This is mostly used for the creation of Operatives. When you create an Operative, you get 65 points to play with. You can assign those points to their character chart (see the Operative page). You basically use the points to add stats bonus modifiers to your character. You can, if you choose, get more points by subtracting defence (and ONLY defence) stats too (going as low as -20 but no lower).

Basically, to know if the stats are legal, you have to add all 9 modifiers together and, if they equal 65 (or less if you took traits), you're good.

In addition, you can spend your points on traits that give you advantages in other areas, however lowering the amount you can spend on stats. You can pick any of traits listed below:

  • Warrior (15 points) - when attacking in melee, if you roll 20 or more than the defender's roll you can roll twice for injury. The highest result stands.
  • Furious Charge (10 points) - charging into combat, you get a +10 to melee attacks on the first roll, but roll normally after that round unless you break away from combat somehow. This makes it more likely that you'll lock an enemy in combat if they're attacking at ranged.
  • Combat Mastery (15 points) - when hit with a counter attack, you can roll to defend against that counter regardless of whether it came from a grunt, a boss or enemy player. When the enemy hits you with a counter and rolls for injury, if you can roll higher than they did you block the counter. This applies to both melee and ranged.
  • Lightning Reflexes (10 points) - essential for ranged characters! You get a bonus for action rolls when trying to escape being locked in melee combat, making it easier to escape.
  • Precise Aiming (15 points) - when attacking at ranged, you only have to roll 15 or more than the defenders roll in order to get a precise shot off. (See 'Melee Vs Ranged' above)
  • Gunslinger (20 points) - through carrying two weapons or simply a quick trigger finger, you can attack twice per action at ranged.
  • Heavy Attack (15 points) - a single ranged attack represented by a particularly powerful blast or an explosive. Can only be used once every three turns, and does not get any ranged bonus for the attack. If sucessful, when rolling for injury you always count the result as one level higher. Light becomes heavy, heavy becomes acute, etc.
  • Magic (10 points) - you're a wizard, Harry! You can make your attacks count as magic attacks if you choose (see 'Magic above).
  • Flight (20 points) - you can fly 'short' distances in small bursts, allowing you to jump to any nearby location easily. Flying can be combined with an attack, and can be used to HIGHLY increase the chance of escaping being locked in melee combat. However, if you fly, you lose ALL defensive and offensive modifiers for melee combat the turn you fly. For ranged, you lose all your modifiers for two turns. You can't remain in mid-air, either - you have to take off and land as part of the same action.
  • Healer (10 points) - you can make healing actions. (see 'Healing' above)

Here's a few examples of Operatives:

Captain ExampleEdit

Captain Example Attack Modifier Defense Modifier


Ranged +15 -10
Toughness +25 0


  • None taken

Lady DemonstrationEdit

Lady Demonstration Attack Modifier Defense Modifier


Ranged +20 +10
Toughness 0 0


  • Magic (-10 points)
  • Lightning Reflexes (-15 points)
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