Introduction - Hero Creation - Adventures - Battles
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CHAPTER 4 - BATTLES

NUMBER OF COMBATANTS ~
A battle may contain up to twelve combatants including the four heroes.

NPC ALLIES IN BATTLE ~
The heroes might have NPC allies who are competent on a battlefield, but in ORBA they do not take part in the precise battles of the heroes. Such NPCs are assumed to be fighting their own battle somewhere else on the battlefield if they're fighting at all.

TURNS AND ROUNDS ~
Battles begin on round one. Each combatant takes a turn to act. Then round two begins, and so forth. There is no fixed amount of time passing per turn or round. The GM is free to determine the amount of time passing as dramatically appropriate.

Where tokens are placed at the start of battle is discussed below.

BATTLE INITIATIVE ~
It's important to know who moves first in a battle. Each combatant, both hero and enemy, need to roll for Battle Initiative, as this determines the order. This is how it's done:

> Each combatant rolls 2d6 and adds their Wits rank. (With any PAs and/or IAs as appropriate.)
> The highest roller moves first, then the next highest, etc.
> If two or more combatants tie, reroll between them until there is no longer a tie.

By default, Initiative is only be determined for round one of battle and the same order kept for the rest of the conflict. Optionally, Initiative can be redetermined every round.

SURPRISE ROUND ~
If one side of the conflict is surprised (or ambushed) by the other, they get a round of their own to act before round one begins. It doesn't matter what order it is in which each combatant in this round "zero" acts, as the surprised party cannot attack during this round.

Whether or not surprise occurs depends on the adventure, not random chance. However, the adventure itself may decide to determine it by random chance.

BASE DEFENSE ~
At the beginning of each round, every combatant makes a roll that defines their Base Defense for the duration of the round. See Confrontation rules below for what these do. A combatant's Base Defense should be recorded on their sheet.

To decrease the GM's rolling load here, they may opt to roll just once for each enemy type, or perhaps all enemies, or all enemies in a specific Arena zone, etc.

THE ARENA ~
All battles take place on the Battle Arena. The Arena has five zones on it: upper-left, upper-right, lower-left, lower-right, and the center zone which is called the aggression zone.

These zones do not represent actual, literal locations in the battle. They are purely an abstraction. Even movement on the Arena doesn't even necessarily have to reflect movement on the actual battlefield. All the combatants in a zone are simply focusing their attentions on one another at the expense of those in other focus zones.

Combatants may only move to adjacent zones. Zones are considered adjacent to each other if they share a border. The aggression zone (which is in the center) is adjacent to all zones. The upper-left zone is adjacent to the upper-right zone and the lower-left zone, and so forth.

Combatants may not make attacks outside of their zone unless they are within the aggression zone or are attacking into it from outside it. If they are in the aggression zone they may attack any combatant regardless of zone. All other combatants may attack targets in their own zone or in the aggression zone.

THE AGGRESSION ZONE ~
The Arena's aggression zone has an effect on those combatants within it. Any combatant within the aggression zone receives a +1 to all Attack rolls and a -1 to all Defense (to a minimum of 0). This is called an aggression modifier.

If a combatant remains in the aggression zone for a second round, they get +2 to Attack rolls but -2 to Defense (to a min of 0). A third round increases it to +3/-3. But the bonus/penalty doesn't increase after that point. If the combatant returns to the aggression zone after leaving it for a round the bonus is reset to +1/-1.

Being in the aggression zone does not affect Tech rolls.

COMBATANT TOKENS ~
Each combatant in the battle is represented by a token located in one of the Arena's focus zones. Tokens for the heroes are one color and those of their enemies are another. The same tokens used to represent heroes on the map may be used for battle if desired, so long as they are a different color than the enemies' tokens.

STARTING PLACEMENT ~
Starting enemy placement is indicated by the adventure. Heroes however are placed before the enemies and into the focus zones their players desire.

TURN OPTIONS ~
When a combatant's turn begins they may do one of the following. Each has a section below to describe it.

> Do nothing.
> Delay turn.
> Move to adjacent zone.
> Recover Focus in oneself or in another. (Heroes only.)
> Revive KO'd ally. (Heroes only.)
> Confront an enemy combatant they can attack.

DELAYING TURN ~
A combatant can opt to delay their turn in order to interrupt (i.e. move immediately before) any combatant of lower Initiative.

MOVING ~
The combatant may move from their current focus zone into one adjacent zone.

TRYING TO RUN ~
Running is not possible unless the GM wants it to be. If it's possible, the GM may allow the heroes to run when the NPCs are sufficiently damaged, or sufficiently damage the heroes, according to the GM's desires.

FOCUS RECOVERY ~
Only heroes can do this. As an act of strong-willed faith and desperation, the hero's player rolls 1d6 to refresh some amount of their Focus:

1-3
4-5
6
+1 Focus (up to max)
+2 Focus (up to max)
+3 Focus (up to max)

REVIVING KO'D ALLIES ~
Only heroes can do this. The hero spends their turn attempting to revive another hero in the same focus zone. 1d6 is rolled, and a 4 or higher succeeds in revival.

A successful revival gives the formerly KO'd hero 1 Focus and they can act again as normal next round.

CONFRONTATIONS ~
A confrontation is an attack. A combatant may confront an enemy target in the same focus zone or in the aggression zone. If the combatant is in the aggression zone they may confront any enemy target anywhere in the Arena. A combatant can only confront one target at a time.

Here's how a confrontation works, assuming no Techs are used:

One combatant is designated the attacker and the other the defender. The one who began the confrontation is the attacker.

> The attacker chooses an Attack Form and notes their grade in it. They also note the grade of the defender's opposing Defense Form. For example, if the attacker chooses their Power Form, they note its rank of "A" and they also note the rank of the defender's Endurance Form (which is "C").
> The attacker rolls 1d6, adding the result to their Attack rank. (Also adding PAs and/or IAs if appropriate.)
> The defender adds their Base Defense to their Defense rank. (Also adding PAs and/or IAs if appropriate.)
> The Attack and Defense Forms being employed are compared. For every grade that one Form is higher than the other, the combatant with that Form gains an additional +1 bonus to their sum. For example, the attacker with a Power Form of "A" gets a +2 bonus over the defender with an Endurance Form of "C". If both Forms have the same rank there is no bonus to either combatant.

> The sum roll of the attacker (1d6 + Attack + Form), called their attack roll, is compared to the sum roll of the defender (Base Defense + Defense + Form), called their defense roll. On a tie there is a stalemate for that phase. If one combatant has rolled higher than the other then they are considered victorious in that phase.
> The losing combatant loses 1 Focus and the confrontation is over.

USING TECHS ~
Techs are used during confrontations. They might allow a combatant to damage the defender with an additional -1 Focus.

An attacking player can declare at any time during a confrontation that they desire to use a Tech, even before they or the defender have rolled.

When a combatant uses a Tech, they roll 1d6 to see if the Tech was successful. They must roll a certain number or higher. The minimum number they need to roll depends on the rank of the Tech:

Tech Rank
0
1
2
3
4
Need to Roll (or higher)
5
4
3
2
automatic success

If they roll a success the Tech removes 1 Focus immediately from the target. If the target's Focus drops to 0 the confrontation is immediately over and the enemy is defeated.

Each Tech can only be used once per battle, for one confrontation. When attempted, a Tech is used up for a battle even if it doesn't succeed in doing any harm.

Attack Form grades are not considered when using Techs.

The aggression zone does not affect Tech use.

TECH COMBOS ~
Once a Tech is successfully used in a confrontation, and the attacker has one or more Techs left to use, they may opt to immediately attempt a second Tech, creating a combo. If they manage to roll a 4 or more on a 1d6, they can attempt a second Tech just as with the first.

However, should this second Tech fail, the attacker loses -1 Focus themselves!

DEFEATED COMBATANTS ~
When a hero has 0 Focus they are simply considered KO'd (knocked out). Their combat token remains on the Arena but is put on its side or turned over to indicate a KO. Their initiative token is removed from its space on the initiative board and placed in space 12 after the other tokens have been moved up.

When an enemy has 0 Focus they are by default considered killed. (The adventure may decide, however, that they need to remain alive even if they have been defeated.) Their combat token is removed from the Arena and their initiative token is removed from the initiative board. All other tokens after them on the board are moved up.

VICTORY FOR THE HEROES ~
The heroes have won a battle when all the enemies are defeated and at least one hero has 1 Focus.

Upon victory any KO'd heroes automatically revive and all heroes regain all their Focus.

Under special conditions the heroes might win the battle if only certain enemies are defeated.

ALL HEROES KO'D ~
If all the heroes have 0 Focus, having been KO'd, the enemies win the battle. One of two things occurs, depending on the adventure's design:

> The players must start the battle over but with full Focus.
> The adventure continues and all the heroes regain their Focus, but suffer a consequence of loss.

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