NOTE: Except for the calculation of Action Points and using Attacks/Actions on a battle map, the Rules as Written (RAW) for The One Ring uses a Stance-based system where your character is either Forward, Open, Defensive, or Rearward, which is discussed, below. The Attacks/Action Points system still uses the Stance's, but in reverse order to the RAW. The fourth post in this thread details a version of the RAW that would be easy, but boring, to use.
This combat primer is meant to help you understand how combat works in The One Ring, both in the normal tabletop and on Roll 20, a virtual tabletop (or VTT). These are the normal rules of The One Ring RPG, but I've included additions for use in Roll 20, particularly with movement, all based on 3+ decades of gaming experience and our first combat, onward in the VTT. If you have any questions, please make certain you ask them in this thread; I have attempted to make these as concise as possible, and have split them up into separate posts to make things easier to find.
- Onset of Combat. This post; how to prosecute combat in our game of The One Ring. Some of this has been covered in other areas, but it all works together.
- Close Quarters Combat. Onset of Combat is the round of action previous to the actually round-play of Close Quarters.
- Fatigue, Damage & Wounds. How characters in combat are affected.
- Recovering from Conditions and Damage. Are you weary or miserable, near death due to having taken a wound and nearly all of your Endurance lost during the most recent combat; these are the rules for healing.
Onset of Combat
There are two phases to combat, with the first lasting mere moments, the setting of characters and enemies, initial volleys, etc., which is known as Onset. Close Quarters is the actual first round of play in a combat, and takes place immediately after Onset.
Here are the step-by-step rules for Onset...
|Resolve Surprise Attacks|
|Determine Onset Initiative|
|Resolve Opening Volley(s)|
End of Onset
|Move to Close Quarters|
- Resolve Surprise Attacks
You can be surprised... SURPRISE!!!
The company is ambushed Heroes roll Awareness, Battle, or Hunting Surprised! No Combat Advantages or opening volleys Warn another companion per Ambushing enemies Heroes roll Stealth, Battle, or Hunting All companions must pass, or the ambush fails Assist another companion per
If being ambushed, you can roll Awareness, Battle, or Hunting at a high difficulty to overcome being surprised, to be able to react immediately and roll for Combat Advantages.
Setting an ambush is something that requires at least one roll of Battle, Hunting, and/or Stealth by those committing to ambush, and depends on the disposition -alertness, size, where traveling, etc.- of the group to be ambushed.
- Determine Onset Initiative
Onset Initiative is not determined like other games, it's based off the present situation...
InitiativeCompany defending against an advancing enemy Good guysThe enemy is defending from a good position Bad guysCompany is ambushed, but one-half or more passed surprise Good guysCompany is ambushed, but more than one-half failed surprise Bad guysCompany ambushes the enemy, and one-half or more passed surprise Good guysCompany ambushes the enemy, and more than one-half failed surprise Bad guysAny unclear situation requires an opposed Battle Roll Winner
- Resolve Opening Volley(s)
Both sides get to make ranged attacks before Close Quarters begins, but only if you have a ranged weapon to use and if you were not surprised. Typically, only one volley is allowed by each side, though if the forces are far enough away from one-another, the LoreMaster may allow for a second volley. (NOTE: Also, certain Traits, Virtues, and Rewards allow for an extra volley.)
- End of Onset. Move to Close Quarters.
If you have further questions for me about all of this, please feel free to post them, here!