The Active Combat System (ACS) is a freeform combat system designed to allow loose interpretations of actions in combat curated by the game master. ACS breaks conventional role playing combat systems by removing mechanics such as Armor Class, Initiative, and HP. The system not only expedites the process of combat but also increases the risk of combat itself. Combat, is inherently dangerous and unpredictable and ACS makes it easier to convey that.
All attack rolls are conducted with the appropriate skill assigned to the weapon of choice.
The types of results you can expect to see from roll results. These are trends, not results. These examples are meant to give you an idea for how the attack rolls work. All examples are using a standard highwayman with a longsword in leather armor in ideal environments. Depending on the armor, environment, or other factors, these examples would require higher or lower rolls.
- <2 - Completely miss your target, possibly hit something nearby by accident.
- 3-10 - The attack can be easily be parried, blocked or dodged.
- 11-15 - You will likely miss your target but you’re not hindered at all from the miss, and are ready to attack again or defend yourself.
- 15-18 - Will likely score a minor hit
- 19-20 - Potential to do some damage but nothing that would kill them outright
- 21-25 - Has the potential for fatality but will likely be a regular hit
- 26-30 - Will likely be a fatal blow
- 30> - They never saw it coming
Saving throws in combat are most commonly DEX and STR. A character that is blocking a weapons blow will have to perform a STR save. If they decide to dodge, they’ll roll a DEX save.
In the instance of someone striking a hit on a character, they will sometimes need to roll an END save to see how they react to being hit. While this doesn’t change anything about the damage that was done, it does change how well the character reacts to the hit. A low END save can result in unconsciousness, shock, or disadvantage on future rolls. A high END save can result in intimidating the opponent, or not even noticing a hit.
Armor has a contextual effect on characters. Armor won’t prevent someone getting hit but it can reduce the severity of the wound. Light armor like leather and gambeson allows someone to remain more mobile, and not exhausted as quickly. Light armor wearers can still run with ease, while heavy armor users might need to roll a END save to determine if their character is exhausted from running in heavy armor. Heavy armor can make someone both intimidating and very very durable however, but exhausts them quicker in combat.
- See also: ACSX