On the Combat Skill


Hackmaster 4e is my go-to retro-clone edition for 1st Edition style play. The books are comprehensive, the system is rigorous and internally consistent, and it is designed for use in play.

Hackmaster has a skill system, and one of the great things about it is how it motivates the players.

It does have some weaknesses, though. One of the most glaring are in the combat skills.

Most of the skills provide simple, direct, bonuses to activities. However, the combat skills are a different story. It appears they were sidelined as areas where they could dump parody text, making them very lackluster options for fighters (Ref: Who's your momma ankle wrench, and pimp slap). However, the idea of a skill, that when used grants you a special bonus or ability against certain creatures is a good idea.

Obviously this is for systems that make heavy use of skills, like Hackmaster. If you are running a featless, skillless, game this article by +Zak Sabbath "You're A Swashbuckler Now, Act Like It" is really the way to go.

This replacement is given as a drop in replacement for the Hackmaster Combat Procedure Skills, along with values that work with the Skills: The Middle Road system and D20. These can be converted to other systems using the OSR rosetta stone. Special D20/Pathfinder rules are in parenthesis.

Combat Skills:
Skill
BP Cost
Relevant Abilities
Mastery Die
Course Prerequisite
Course Cost
Course Difficulty
Target
DC
Blank
Battle Cry
2
(STR+CHA)/2
1d6
N
225 gp
0
5
DC 20
?
Brawler
2
(STR+DEX)/2
1d8
N
175gp
+5%
4
DC 15
?
Cheetah Strike
1
DEX
1d6
N
275gp
+15%
6
DC 25
?
Ambush
8
WIS
1d6
N
225gp
+5%
5
DC 20
?
Eye Gouge
1
DEX
1d8
N
125gp
+5%
5
DC 20
?
Incapacitating Strike
10
STR
1d4
N
75gp
+5%
5
DC 20
?
Mortal Combat
9
CON
1d4
N
435gp
+5%
4
DC 15
?
Second Wind
8
CON
1d6
N
325gp
+10%
6
DC 25
?
name
X
STAT
XdY
N
XXXgp
+X%
X
DC XX
?



Battle Cry
This allows you to utter a bone-chilling battle cry. A successful use of this skill, causes all opponents within 25 feet to Save versus Fear or be subject to a curse of fear. If the fighters level is higher than the hit die of the opponent, their save receives a penalty equal to twice the difference. The curse of fear applies a -1 on all rolls the opponents make if the fighter is equal or lower level than his opponents. It applies a -3 penalty on all rolls the opponents make if the fighter is of a higher level. If this skill is attempted and failed, the vocal cords have been strained and it cannot be used until the next day. (Increase this penalty by 1 for every five levels of the fighter. At level 5 the penalties will be -2/-4)

Brawler
This has several effects. A successful skill roll allows you to choose one of several effects. You may:

  • Modify results on any brawling/wrestling table a number of spaces equal to your level
  • Receive +2 to hit and damage on any unarmed attack
  • Use an improvised weapon to do 1d10 subdual damage or 1d6 physical damage 
  • Increase the size of your hit die for the purposes of overbearing attacks.

Only one check may be made per attack (you may not both increase your hit and damage and also modify your table value). A failed check has no penalty, but this check can only be made if unarmed or armed with an improvised weapon. Some of these are dependent on your rule set, if you are not using a brawling/wrestling table, that result does not apply.

Cheetah Strike

This skill is used instead of your normal actions against a target up to one size category larger than you. On a successful use, make a to hit roll against your opponent. On a successful hit it allows you to move your opponent up to 10' and then place yourself adjacent to your opponent. Then, you receive a +2 bonus on your next attack versus the opponent. This bonus is in addition to the bonus for rear attacks and for bypassing the shield. You also receive a bonus on your initiative roll next round. If you increase the difficulty by 25% or Target 8 you can affect a creature up to two size categories larger than you. Initiative bonus depends on the size of the die used: +2 on a D6, +4 on a D10, and +8 on a D20. Failure allows you to make a single melee attack in the round. (On a successful use and Combat Maneuver Check versus your opponent, move your opponent 2 squares and your next attack is made as if your opponent was flat footed. If you are using set initiative, increase your initiative by 4. i.e. if you are moving on 17, next round you will move on 21. This is a Full-Attack action.)

Ambush
Given time to prepare, you can ambush opponents. As long as you have 1 round to maneuver, you can make this skill check. On a successful check, surprise chances are doubled. (Receive a +8 on initiative rolls on a successful skill check).

Eye Gouge
A successful use of this skill, lowers the penalty for making a called shot against an eye by your level. Usually this penalty is -10. Helmets with eye protection negate your ability to use this skill. Failure means you make the attack as normal with the full penalty. (Gain a bonus equal to your level on your Combat Maneuver Check to blind your opponent. Ref: Dirty Trick in the Advanced Players Guide)

Incapacitating Strike
This is a combat technique designed to disable an opponent by striking a sensitive area. Using this technique is considered dishonorable. It only works on creatures with a discernible sensitive anatomy (humanoids, et al.). A successful skill check allows you to make an attack against an opponent as normal. If the attack hits,they must Save vs. Paralyzation. If they fail the save you can either have them fall prone and apply the stunned condition for 1 round, or have one of the following conditions applied for a turn: Sickened, Slowed, Bleeding. This replaces your attack for the round and does no damage. 

Mortal Combat
You pick a single target and engage them in mortal combat. On a successful skill roll, you have engaged them in Mortal Combat. Failure means that the opponent is immune to your challenge for this combat. This may be attempted once per battle. Against that target, you receive +2 damage. All other targets get a +2 bonus to hit you. If that target attempts to engage any opponent other than you then you may strike them with a +4 bonus to hit.

Second Wind
If you reach 0 hit points, a successful skill check will grant 8 + 1d4 per level temporary hit points. This can happen once per encounter. These hit points are lost after a turn (at the end of the combat).

This is most likely Part 1. . .

2 comments:

  1. Cricket-in-the-pea-pod at about 8:00!

    http://youtu.be/E9SEFMIBwAs?t=7m55s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheeta Strike is ofc the Cricket in the Pea Pod replacement.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...