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The combat rules can become very complex, but they don't have to be. They are all in place so the GM has something to fall back on if he can't figure out how to resolve some action in combat, and so he has a basis of how to operate a fight. In reality, the GM is in charge of everything, and however he wants to apply the rules is how he should apply them. The rules of the Hero at Heart system are designed to be more cinematic, like the GM and players are telling a cooperative story, rather than being bogged down by rules and mechanics.

The detailed game mechanics can be researched through the link at the bottom of this page, but here they are, simplified.

Simplified Combat Rules[]

In combat, the GM should allow players to do whatever their characters would do in that situation, and then apply his knowledge of the game rules to the situation. If one character wants to simply swing his sword at an opponent, that is fine, but another character may attempt to run up a wall, do a back flip, and come down with his sword in the enemy's head. If he can pull it off, this is also fine. The GM would simply have to decide how to resolve this action using the existing game rules.

Order of Combat

The GM may decide to allow the combatants to go in whatever order seems logical. Remember, he is telling a story here. If the party encounters a room full of enemies sitting at a table playing cards, the party should just have the drop on them without having to make any kind of roll. The GM decides if the party or the enemies are going first, and then lets the teams choose the order they want to go in. From there, the best way to commence is to alternate which team goes from turn to turn.

Action in Combat

A character may do as much on their turn as the GM deems is appropriate and fair, although the basic rule is that a character can move and perform one action on his turn, and can perform a second action on any other turn. He may take the second action on his turn if he wishes, such as making a second attack, but if he does not take this action on his turn he will have to succeed in a Reflex roll to take it at some other time. Such second actions could include attacking an enemy that passes by him or defending against an attack.

Just because a player says "I start running around swinging at everyone on the opposing team" doesn't mean the GM has to allow it, but rather than telling the player no, he should allow it and then resolve it fairly. Using the same example, let's say the action is resolved like this:

GM: Okay, you start moving toward the closest of them. Make your attack roll.[]
Player: I got a Good.[]
GM: Okay, you strike the first one with your sword, and he falls away, injured. You move toward the next one. Make another attack roll.[]
Player: I got a Fair.[]
GM: You hit him, but he blocks and you push him back, but is still blocking your path. The other one that you just hit moves into position behind you, and you're blocked in.[]

Even if the player were to continue rolling Excellent successes, the GM may limit the attacks and tell the player "We'll continue that action on your next turn," or, since it's happening continuously in the background, he may even choose to let the attacking player resolve one attack after every turn. How this works is entirely up to the GM. He may even, if he wishes, choose to use a standard RPG method and only allow one attack per turn, but he should keep in mind that this is happening in the background and work everything else that happens around it.


The player who is attacking tells the GM exactly what they are doing, the GM decides how to resolve this action, and then tells the player to roll. For example, if the attacking player were to say "I attack the enemy with my sword," the GM may just say "Roll on your Agility skill plus any ranks in Swordsmanship." Or he might say "How do you want to attack? Where are you attacking? Are you swinging high or low, or just trying to cleave him across the chest?"

The player might say "I run up to the enemy, jump and do a flip in the air, and come down on his head with my sword." At this point, the GM might say "Roll Agility plus any ranks in Acrobatics." If the success is good enough, the GM may even add ranks to the success of the attack. If he fails, the GM would stop the attack from happening, saying "You try the flip, but you falter and the enemy moves out of your way. You are now in a sitting position on the ground." Because the attack is so direct (aiming for the neck instead of swinging wildly), the GM may choose to have the player roll Dexterity for the attack instead of Agility, like in the previous example, although he would still add ranks in Swordsmanship.

Hitting an Enemy

The success of the attack indicates how well the blow lands. If it is Poor, it might just be a nick off the shoulder instead of hitting the enemy in the neck like the attacker had attempted. If the roll is Excellent, the GM may choose to forego damage and just say "You cleave the head of the enemy right off."

Damage is based on this success, but the enemy may try to oppose using their second action. If they do, the GM allows them to roll (or rolls for them, if it is a character being controlled by the GM), and uses their success rating against the success rating of the attacker. Thus, if the attacker rolled a Good success, but the target rolled a Good defense action, this reduces the success of the attacker by one rank (see the Game Mechanics section for more on how this works), making the attacker's success only a Fair.

Damage is based on the weapon being used. See the Damage and Injury section for more about how to calculate damage.

Detailed Combat Rules[]