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Rules: Optional Rules


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During the development of Eternal Soldier the authors tried no less than five completely new and different combat systems. For reasons of complexity and general playability they were all rejected in favor of the one now included. Yet each system had it's own strengths and interesting points. Without the drawbacks each one could've been as much fun as a barrel full of Venusian mugwumps.

In the spirit of those rules (and to salvage the work we put into them) we present the following as optional rules. In some scenarios the fighting is limited enough that some of these rules might become practical.

These are optional rules not "Advanced Rules". Each presents some drawback(s) which, in some worlds, might not be so bad.

Effects of Damage 

Whenever a character takes damage he may not act for a number of segments equal to the number of hit points he has just taken. He is, in effect, stunned during this period and may neither perform an action nor prepare for an action. This is a rule that logic and realism demand but, quite frankly, is not very much fun when you're the underdog.

Even more optionally, a character may be allowed to make a will roll. If he is able to roll under his will on a D20 then the amount he made it by (a will roll difference as it were) is subtracted from the time he will be stunned. If he fails, the amount he missed it by is added to the time he will be stunned for. You'll need to ask yourself whether you really want to roll this many dice.

Skill Roll Differences in Combat

Instead of either hitting or missing or parrying or not parrying, one could figure out the skill roll difference of each successful hit with the result being the skill roll difference that must be beaten in order to parry or dodge the blow. This way a good swing is not as likely to be parried. It is also, perhaps, a purer use of the rules. This rule may become more useful as characters get real powerful as it helps remove the certainty that they will always hit or parry. However, trying to subtract two-digit numbers (while not usually difficult) can be maddening in the heat of battle.

This can also be applied to wrestling. The skill roll difference of the grapple represents the effectiveness of the hold. This is always kept as a current value. The skill roll difference of a break attempt (if it is positive) is subtracted from the current effectiveness. If the effectiveness goes to zero then the hold is broken. A character may try to increase the effectiveness of a hold by making a skill roll and adding the skill roll difference to the current effectiveness. In either case a negative skill roll difference means only that the attempt to improve the hold or break had no effect.

Enhanced Missile Fire

Included with the game charts is an enhanced missile fire chart. To use it, cross look up the skill roll difference of the shot. The result is the number of units off the shot is for every 100 units of range. Then, if you want, you can use some fancy dice rolling of your own choosing (for whatever level of accuracy you desire) to figure out which direction the shot is off. In this way you can determine exactly where a particular shot hit.

When shooting at people we always assumed that if you were less that 1 meter off then you hit but there's no reason you couldn't figure out exactly where the shot hit. Using this with automatic weapons could take all night. It is of most use with combat involving vehicles.


Every time a bullet (or beam weapon) hits within two feet of a character he must make a will roll versus losing preparation time built up for a shot. This makes covering fire work the same as it would in real life. However, player characters are known for their fearlessness and may object to the GM telling them that they wimped out under fire. And of course this adds more of those pesky die rolls.

Hit Location

Instead of merely rolling damage, you could use the chart below to determine where your swing hit. Armor would consist of individual pieces that would protect certain areas of the body. Each would have its own (usually fractional) agility minus and its own ability to take damage.

Each area has hit points equal to a certain percentage of the character's total hit points. When its hit points go to zero then it becomes useless and the effect listed When Useless column takes hold. When it gets below negative one half of it's hit points that body part is destroyed and the effect in the When Destroyed column is applied.

Each body part will heal separately but the healing rate is only one-tenth of normal. Healing a destroyed body part will require prompt medical attention (GM's discretion as to what tech level medic skill is necessary). For every 24 hours that this treatment is neglected 10% is subtracted from the medic's chance of producing healing in the body part.

If the character achieves an unparried/undodged critical hit then he may select which body part is hit.

Hit Location Chart

Roll Location Hit % of HP When Useless When Destroyed
01-08 Head 50% Unconcious Dead
09-13 Neck 40% Unconcious Dead
14-26 Chest 75% Unconcious Dead
27-35 Shoulder 60% Arm Useless Arm Destroyed
36-44 Upper Arm 40% Arm Useless Arm Destroyed

(below shoulder)

45-53 Lower Arm 40% Arm Useless Arm Destroyed


(below elbow

54-59 Hand 30% Hand Useless Hand Destroyed
60-71 Abdomen 80% Unconcious Dead
72-80 Hip 60% Fall Leg Destroyed
81-89 Thigh 50% Fall Leg Destroyed


(below hip)

90-95 Calf/Shin 40% Fall Leg Destroyed


(below knee)

96-00 Ankle/Foot 30% Fall Foot Destroyed

Again, we're trading realism for complexity and record keeping. It also tends to get rather grisly. You may find that people tire of it after their third legless character. But if you'd like to simulate the terrible realities of combat, this is for you.

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Next: Non-Humans

All Content 1986-2001 Tai-Gear Simulations

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