Effects of Surprise

Keltia is a roleplaying game of exciting adventure set in Dark Age Britain where Arthurian legends and Celtic myths are real.
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Evocatus
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Effects of Surprise

Post by Evocatus » Tue May 19, 2015 12:52 am

General question on the effects of surprise in Yggdrasill and Keltia: clearly there is a listed modifier to attack rolls against a surprised PC/NPC, however, is this the only penalty?

Does the PC/NPC lose an action? If so, how many (primary only? primary and secondary, etc.)?

Regarding the attack modifier, how long does that last? 1 combat round (including an attackers primary/secondary/tertiary actions)?

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Corone
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Re: Effects of Surprise

Post by Corone » Wed May 20, 2015 2:43 pm

Good question.

To a certain degree this depends on the surprise.

A group of armed men you were talking to decide to attack, the penalty refers to you getting your weapons drawn and ready as you defend. Basically, you have been taken off guard.

If you are walking along the road and an attack comes out of nowhere, I'd let the ambushers have a free attack.
After that a new round might proceed as normal. If the bad guys simply have the drop on the players, they might just get to use their actions first, regardless of initiative.

Generally I'd allow the surprise modifier to count for the whole round, only going when all the primary and secondary actions have been used. While you might well know you are being attacked after the first blow, it still takes time to recover from surprise and get your head focused in the combat.
Andrew Peregrine - Corone Design
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Evocatus
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Re: Effects of Surprise

Post by Evocatus » Wed May 20, 2015 8:27 pm

Nice - I like the flexibility.

I recognize there is certainly always a degree of, "it depends," and appreciate the guidance on how you'd play it. I try to stick to the rule of thumb of playing RAW until I understand the ruleset better and, in this case, I wasn't seeing a lot of "surprise always has this effect," so thought there might be some room for interpretation.

From experience, losing all actions for a full combat round is a pretty severe penalty. So, if anyone else out there runs across a situation where they might interpret surprise in that way, ensure that your defenders (whether PCs or NPCs/enemies) walked into it and are throughly caught off-guard. The way combat flows, a full combat round means enduring multiple attacks and, if a defender is out-numbered, can add up quickly.

Clearly, pretty realistic and gritty - be on your toes, set that sentry, and sleep in your armor!

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Corone
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Re: Effects of Surprise

Post by Corone » Thu May 21, 2015 12:02 pm

England can indeed be a brutal place without the Romans! :)

I'd also add that another way to deal with surprise might be to onyl allow defensive actions for the first round.
The surprised side being able to draw weapons and parry, but not shift to the offensive.
Andrew Peregrine - Corone Design
Cubicle Seven Black Ops

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