Combat

FFZ combat is, by default, a cinematic, abstract system. It takes its inspiration from the core games in the series in this respect, rather than the Tactics games, but this doesn't mean that combat isn't tactical! It does mean that the game isn't concerned with facing, movement, and position, range, area, and reach, however.

Cinematic and Abstract

FFZ combat is designed to be imaginative and creative first and foremost. The rules flatten the differences between characters until only the most important differences stand out, so that your talking giant wolf berserker and your friend's pixie geomancer all stand as relative equals on the battlefield.

This is an abstraction of what would be going on, in the actual field of battle. While your character has a row in rules terms, in the story of the combat, they are moving around, dodging attacks, weaving between enemies, hurling themselves around obstacles, and constantly shifting their position. Even though your characters act in turns, they actually "act" when it is not their turn, attacking, dodging, and moving around. A Row is just an abstract way of saying where the character is in relation to the rest of the combat; a character's turn is just a way of pointing out what that character actually does in a round. If you attack a giant, you probably don't just stand at its feet and cut into its ankles — you probably climb up its legs, stand on its shoulders, and stab it in the back of the neck, leaping off before it can grab you! If you hit a flying creature with an axe, you probably don't just walk up to it and swing, you may wait for it to descend, and then slice it, or you might leap high into the air (perhaps off of a hill or a wall) and bring your axe up to meet it personally.

All of those descriptions and more are A-OK in FFZ! Your character is a hero, capable of great feats of inhuman strength, speed, and power. Feel free to add cinematics as tense as any cutscene to your attacks and defenses.

Rows

Before combat, you can specify a Row for your character, either Front or Back. Default is considered the Front Row. If your character occupies the Back Row, they deal half damage with their melee attacks, and take half damage from any enemy's melee attacks.

You can change rows by using your turn to do so.

Stances

Before combat, you can specify a Stance for your character. Depending on your character's stance, you receive different enhancements

You can change stances by spending your turn to do so.

Ravager

You gain a +2 bonus to Spell Power or Weapon Power

Synergist

Your blessings last for 1 extra round.

Saboteur

Your curses last for 1 extra round.

Sentinel

You gain a +1 bonus to Stamina and Mind, and you gain a +5 bonus to any HP you heal.

Actions

At the start of combat, characters with the highest Speed get to go first, and then in descending order, until the character with the lowest speed goes.

You get do to "one thing" in your action in combat — an attack, a spell, a technique, a change of equipment, row, or stance, or some other single effective change in the combat.

Some things take more than one action, and you can delay your turn if you want, saving your action to use on a more expensive maneuver later. Sometimes, an action will specify that it has a "delay time" or a "charge time." These numbers affect your Speed: a Delay Time subtracts from your Speed after you use it, while a Charge Time subtracts from your speed before you use it. You can restore your Speed to maximum by spending your turn to do so.

Frequently, your attacks will have a secondary effect — such as a status ailment.

Your action should be resolved pretty quickly, when you go, often with only a few dice rolls. Combat moves fast, so you need to pay attention!

Attack Mode and Defense Mode

Your weapon and armor set your Attack Mode and your Defense Mode. Certain attacks are more effective against certain defenses.

Ranged Attack vs. Back Row

A creature in the back row takes less damage from melee attacks. Ranged Attacks aren't reduced, though.

Spell Attack vs. Elemental

An elemental creature takes half damage from any physical attack. Spell attacks deal elemental damage, and can even target an elemental creature's weaknesses, dealing additional damage.

Heavy Attack vs. High HP

A heavy attack deals tremendous damage, and those who rely on high HP to defend themselves find it being quickly whittled away.

Piercing Attack vs. High Stamina

A high Stamina can reduce many attacks to near-nothing. A piercing attack ignores that stamina, remaining effective.

Accurate Attack vs. High Evasion

A high Evasion means that the enemy frequently avoids your attacks, dodging expertly. An accurate attacker, however, matches the enemy speed-for-speed, and can hit them solidly.

Terrain Effects

Terrain can affect a combat, but it doesn't always. A DM can impose any terrain effects they want, on all party members, as a representation of the environment of the battlefield. For instance, the DM may declare that changing rows means you take 1d10 damage from a floor covered in spikes, or that creatures in the Back Row have 25% Evasion because of the thick foliage. They might also have "Battlefield Abilities" that can be triggered by combatants, such as an ability to shove an enemy off the side in a combat on a high bridge. Allies and enemies can both trigger terrain abilities, using an action to do so.

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