Campsite Ambush: A BareBones Fantasy Sample Combat

Combat using the BareBones Fantasy Rules can be a bit tricky: overall, it’s a pretty simple system to pick up and run. But it’s deceptive in its simplicity and flexibility — folks who are used to more detailed systems, like D&D, get thrown off by some of the streamlined rules calls. Others probably mistake the BareBones d00Lite system for being, well, lite. I enjoy this system because it falls under what I categorize more as “rules necessary.”

Either way, I took some time today to run a mock combat session to provide an example of how a BBF combat session could go. I’m using pre-generated characters out of the rule book,  and the monsters are using base stat blocks.

Our Heroes

  • Rogue Elf Wizard – Rank 1 Spellcaster/Scholar, page 24
  • Confident Human Ranger – Rank 1 Warrior/Thief, page 25

Our Foes:

  • Two Orcs, one with a Battle Axe and one with a Longsword, page 53
  • One Bugbear, with a Mace,  page 43

The Setup:

The Wizard and the Ranger had setup camp for the evening of their journey. A rustling noise could be heard behind the tents, and the Ranger stood up with his bow ready as he made sight of a Bugbear prowler. As he brought attention to the Wizard, two orcs cams charging into the camp area when it was clear their cover was blown.

Initiative: At the start of each round, all characters involved roll a number of dice equal to their initiative ratings, and pick the highest results. Since the Wizard and Ranger have an initiative of 2, they were able to roll 2 dice and pick the best. The monsters attacking them, meanwhile, only had 1 die each.
1 - Initiative

So as we can see, the initiative order here is:

  • Orc w/ Axe – 9
  • Ranger – 8
  • Bugbear -7
  • Wizard – 5
  • Orc w/ Sword – 3

The Axe-Orc makes no waste of time, and having initiative runs in to drive his axe into the Wizard. When performing any action in this game, you make a percentile roll versus your related skill rating — rolling equal or under results in a success. Orcs have a 50% attack skill, and he rolled a 41, so the Axe Orc succeeds. Now, the subject of any kind of opposition is allowed a Resistance Check to overcome attacks, spells, inflicted conditions etc. In the case of combat, the Elf gets to roll a DEX Check to dodge the attack. She rolled a 68 versus a DEX of 55 – she fails to dodge.

2 - Axe vs Elf

Armor in this game provides Damage Reduction (DR) that soaks physical attacks. So while the Axe Orc his for a roll of 15 points of damage, the Wizard only takes 10. This is subtracted from her 25 Body Points, leaving her with 15.

Next up is the Ranger. He takes a move to position himself to fire his shortbow at the Bugbear. All characters get to move a number of spaces equal to their MOV rating as a free action. He takes a shot at the Bugbear (with a Ranged Warrior skill of 68%) and rolls 22 — a Critical Success! Anytime doubles are rolled, they are considered criticals. The player has their choice of results — double damage, ignore defenses, disarm the foe, etc.  The Ranger’s player decides to deal double damage. The Bugbear rolls ridiculously over their DEX check (failing to dodge), and the ranger rolls 16 points — for a total of 32!
3 - Ranger vs. BugbearAfter the DR is factored for the Bugbear, the remaining damage is still a few points over his BP total. The ranger had managed to kill him in a single shot! Feeling saucy, the Ranger then decides to take a second action and open fire on an Orc. For each additional action during a turn, you take a -20 peanlty to your skill.
3a - Ranger vs. AxeLooks like he rolled over his penalized skill. Oh well. Time for the Wizard’s turn. Already at a penalty (her attempt to dodge the attack previously in the round has already given her a -20 penalty) she’s decided to move behind a tent for cover. Wearing Elven Chain, she can only move half of her Movement (since she lacks the STR to wear it comfortably.) Luckily, she just barely makes it. (She could have opted to sprint, but wanted to perform another action.)  In addition to moving, she’s casting Heal on herself. She gets 2 dice worth of heals today, and has decided to spend them both on her.

4 - Elf HealsShe succeeds on her casting check (even with the penalty… she lacks an armor penalty because Elves get to cast in any armor without consequence) and manages to heal herself for a total of 12 points. She only needed 10, so she’s back to her max Body Points.

The Sword-Orc takes his turn, swooping in on the Ranger who’s over extended himself a bit. He makes a swing on him, and when he goes to roll his DEX check (normally 74) he’s already at a -40 Penalty (since this is his third action this round.) 5 - Sword vs. RangerThe Orc-Sword rolls 13 points of damage, which comes out to 10 since the Ranger has a DR of 3 from his studded leather armor.

So at the end of the first round, we have a dead Bugbear, and injured Ranger, and a Wizard out of heals for the deal… along with two Orcs who are still unharmed. Time to roll initiative again.

6 - Initiative Pt. 2The Rangers gets first move, the Wizard second, and then the Orcs get to carry out their actions. The Ranger spares no time moving close to his ally, firing off a shot at the Sword Orc in the process.

7 - Ranger vs SwordHe manages to wound the Orc but is far from finishing him off. The Ranger could choose to attack again, but decides he wants to hold on to his actions for defensive checks. The Wizard steps up, and decides to use her Charm spell to cause their foes to flee in terror. Since both Orcs are barely within range of the spell, she decides to cast on both of them (giving them a +5 bonus to their WIL checks.

Elf CastShe succeeds in her casting, and despite them receiving a bonus they still rolled in the 70’s — causing both of them to flee in fear! She rolls, and it’s determined they are under the effect of this spell for seven rounds! The GM rules by the time this tapers off, the Orcs will be lost in the woods, and decide those two aren’t worth the trouble.

Final Word

This is just a taste of what BareBones Fantasy combat can be like. There are rules for stealth movement and backstab maneuvers, enchanters can cast runes that trigger spell like effects, Leaders can actually boost party morale and tactics in a variety of ways… it just goes on! But what I presented here showed the meat of the d00Lite System. I hope folks who haven’t been sure about it have enjoyed this play by play, and newcomers find this post useful

 

3 thoughts on “Campsite Ambush: A BareBones Fantasy Sample Combat”

  1. Thanks for the detailed post. I’ve been running a BBF game for several months now and wanted to see how my understanding of combat synchronized with others’. In your example the ranger takes a second attack action immediately after the first. This is how I did it as well, except I grew unhappy with players executing two, three, and even four attacks despite the mounting -20, -40, -60 penalties. So I rationalized that a subsequent attack would be permissible after the first, but only after everyone else in the initiative order had completed their initial actions. Of course I still allow reactionary actions such as defensive checks as they’re required, as well as allowing non-combat actions before or after the combat action (for example, a dex check action to dash up a pyramid of barrels to reach the orc at the top, then attack it at -20).

    1. The BBF rules for “Charm” states that each target after the first grants +5% to their WIL checks to resist the spell. So if there were 5 targets being charmed, each would receive a +20% bonus.

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