A Note on Combat

This is a living document. As we finish HUD development and see how this works in real gameplay, we’ll likely modify some things. There may be balance patches or tweaks. We’ll allow a round of changes as things firm up, giving characters adversely affected by any balance changes to adjust things as they deem necessary.


//LOADING tutorial.sys_combat
//Injecting commentary: axiom.sys_combat

Greetings, user! It looks like you’re trying to engage in open combat. Would you like help?

Typically, things can be resolved in our fair city without resolving to violence. That said, there are some areas where the umbrella of corporate and police protection does not cover; some knowledge of self-defense is recommended before stepping into these more lawless zones.

//COMMENTARY: Yeah. That’s what they’d like you to believe. Study this shit; you’ll need it out there more than you’d think.

In your Heads-up Display (HUD), there are multiple ‘skills’ that represent your corporate-vetted skill rating in the areas of self defense, knowledge, persuasion, and more. Advanced training is available through the Megacredit system.

For the purposes of combat, the following skill ratings apply:

  • Aim - Non-firearm ranged weapons/thrown weapons/some ranged spells (see: pyromancy, fireball)
  • Athletics - Physical fitness, moving quickly, dodging a wrench
  • Firearms - Ability with guns and other firearms.
  • Heavy - Skill with heavy weaponry
  • Melee - Ability with melee weapons
  • Unarmed - Skill in unarmed combat disciplines.

Please note that certain advanced training licenses may modify this list; for more information, please refer to the Merits section of your corporate manual.

//COMMENTARY: Look. It’s pretty simple. Unarmed is how good you are at punching shit. Firearms, shooting shit. Melee, stabbing shit. And Athletics caps it all off by making it harder to take you down.

Regarding defensive ratings, for the sake of simplicity, these have been amalgamated a series of statistics. For example, your skill at detecting magic is included in your Magic Sense license rating, while Athletics includes dodging.

As mentioned before, certain advanced training licenses may modify this list, per the Merits section of your corporate manual.

//COMMENTARY: You also don’t want to try to block a bullet. Get the hell out of the way. All these fancy ratings basically add up to that - a number that quantifies how advanced your training is. Just remember that the numbers don’t assure victory - when you just need to punch some asshole, get in there and ruin his day.

Upon performing any attack, a target can attempt an Athletics action to dodge. Melee attacks (whether Unarmed, Melee, or Heavy) can be defended against with Melee or Unarmed. For those with the ‘Rho Arcana’-class merit, Firearms and other ranged attacks may be defended against with the Arcanum rating. Similarly, for magical attacks, if a roll is involved, the target can attempt Magic Sense to avoid. For more details, please refer to the Skills section of your corporate manual.

//COMMENTARY: That fancy gun isn’t going to do you a lot of good if some banger gets in your face with a wrench - you’re both getting hurt. Be smart, stay cool, and you’ll make it out here just fine.

The Details

Combat rolls

Combat primarily consists of opposed d20 rolls, with an attack rolled against a defense. In Storyteller-based PvE scenes, there may instead be a difficulty target set in advance. In such scenarios, the ST will tell you which attacks hit, either OOCly or during their response post.

Each rank of a skill confers a +3 modifier. Untrained is considered a -3, Capable a +0, Trained a +3, and Specialized a +6. These statistics will be automatically pulled into the HUD from the website, so updating your character frequently as you grow by spending MegaCredits will be directly reflected.

Ties go to the defender. Criticals double damage. Critical failures are an automatic miss.


Generally, in larger scenes (more than 5 participants), we use Storyteller rounds, where the storyteller will post once, then all players may post in whatever order they like to respond to that action. In the situation when initiative order needs to be determined, such as PvP scenarios, all participants should roll an unmodified d20 - the highest roll goes first. In PvP scenarios, the number of combatants on either side should not exceed a 2:1 ratio.


Each character has a certain number of Edge points available to them, which will recover automatically over time (or quicker in certain Storyteller-run scenarios). These represent pushing their body and mind past their limits - reaching into a well of sheer willpower to accomplish the impossible.

Mechanically, Edge can be spent - either one or two points - on a roll, giving a full rank bonus (+3) per point spent. However, the maximum roll available in Terminal Vector is a +9, and this requires expending limited resources - for specialized skills, only one point may be spent, as that reaches the maximum roll. Target difficulties will reflect this, so be sure to use them on impactful moments.


If a magic does not specify that it requires a roll, it does not require a roll unless otherwise required (by special circumstances or a merit), and instead has the cost of a post time (per Magic rules) and a spell cost. If it says it requires a roll but does not specify a skill, Arcana may be used. If a specific skill is listed - e.g.. “As per the aim skill” - then that skill is required to target the magic.

ADMINNOTE: We’re testing this. Magic, especially, may be subject to change.

Weapon Types

There are three classes of weapon: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Light weapons have a larger critical range, but Heavy weapons hit harder. Medium has some of both advantages.

TypeCritical Threshold (unmodified)Damage Number

Unless otherwise specified, Unarmed attacks are considered Light. Melee and ranged weapons typically come in both Light and Medium varieties. Use of specialized Heavy weapons requires the Heavy skill.


The HUD tracks three statistics: Body, Edge, and Data. For those who are using a merit such as Leyline Caster or Pact Caster, Data instead represents your internal energy or that granted to you via your patron, used for kindling the magic of spells. When a spell refers to “cost”, it is referring to a cost to the Data pool, per the Magic rules.Body is representative of your current health status. Should it fall to zero, you are considered unconscious/grievously wounded, and require medical attention. As mentioned in the Code of Conduct rules, Terminal Vector is a reasonable-right-to-life sim, where you will generally not face the end of your story unless you choose to.

However, Storytellers can (and very well may) tell you that there will be consequences to a particular action. Those consequences may include death, and if you choose to proceed, those consequences will be enforced.

Please see the XP rules for details on the Death clause.


Given the relative near-future setting of Terminal Vector, the weapons that folks will generally come across in their day to day lives are not remarkably different from what we see today. While some enhanced/futuristic tech certainly exists, at this point it is still largely confined to the realms of military and high-end corporate security use.

Given the enormous variety of weapons available, it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list covering all potential options. Instead the following is a set of guidelines to help determine what makes the most sense for your character, as well as what will and won’t be permitted at creation.

In general it should be assumed that your character starts with two weapons of your choice, within the constraints of these categories. If you feel it would make sense for your character to have access to more weaponry, speak with an admin or application handler to discuss options. Regardless of how many weapons your character owns, however, there will always be a practical limit to what can be carried around on any given day. Even if you get your hands on a rocket launcher or heavy machine gun, walking around with one could lead to serious trouble with a far more heavily armed police force. Always consider the IC ramifications, as they will and do exist.

Improvised Weapons

Weapons falling under this category consist of anything that exists in the day to day environment which would not traditionally be considered a weapon. Beer bottles, chairs, tree limbs, etc. If you can find it and pick it up to throw at someone or hit them with it, it falls into this category.

Improvised weapons are generally untrained and unwieldy, making them marginally more effective than your own two fists (most of the time, but not always.) Unless there is a particular reason for doing so, an improvised weapon would not generally be considered to take up a “weapon slot” in your character’s gear.

Melee Weapons

Weapons in this category are explicitly made to be swung, slashed, stabbed, etc. Baseball bats, knives and daggers, brass knuckles, and stun guns all fit in this category.

Depending on the nature of the weapon, this may or may not qualify as filling a weapon slot. A common utility/pocket knife or walking stick/cane are day to day items which your character may also be trained to fight with. A hatchet or brass knuckles are explicitly carried as weapons, however, and would likely be considered a weapon in regards to gear. Most melee weapons can be thrown, but doing so utilizes the aim skill as with other thrown weapons.

Ranged Weapons

Weapons in this category are made to be shot, launched, etc. They should be readily concealable in day to day activity, assuming they are not appropriate for the general public to see. Slingshots, pistols, and sawed off shotguns would all fit in this category.

Situational Weapons

Weapons in this category would be anything that is entirely legal to own and carry, but is likely to draw attention to your character. Swords, shotguns, hunting rifles, and large axes would all fit into this category. It’s entirely possible your character can find ways to conceal these things, but generally speaking they are difficult at best to hide and immediately obvious when made ready to use.

Restricted Weapons

Weapons in this category are what we call “less than legal.” While not explicitly outlawed, they generally require some sort of advanced permit or institutional reason to carry. Machine pistols, submachine guns, and semi-automatic rifles fit into this category.

Given a prolific black market ready to meet the needs of those who need something beyond the standard gear, these weapons are considered to be generally accessible to most characters. Being seen with one outside of more lawless environments would likely bring a swift response from law enforcement, however, so when and where to carry such things should be carefully considered.

It’s also worth noting that, as these weapons are generally either issued or procured through underground sources, they are often quite expensive. Owning more than one or two would be well outside the price range of most, at least starting out.

Illegal Weapons

Weapons in this category are explicitly illegal to own. Grenades and other explosives, heavy machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) all fit in this category.

Given the lack of access to this kind of weaponry, characters are not permitted to start with illegal weapons. If you’re uncertain if a weapon you wish to start with would fit in this category, reach out to an admin or application handler, who will be glad to help determine the weapon’s status.

Access to this category will generally only be gained during specific stories or other special events, and will generally be limited to use within those events. Exceptions may be made, however, at determination of the admin team.

Advanced Weapons

There may, in certain circumstances, be advanced magical or technological weaponry that does not fit the previous categories.

Access to this category will generally only be gained during specific stories or other special events, and will generally be limited to use within those events. Exceptions may be made, however, at determination of the admin team.