Sunday, July 17, 2016

Combat in James Bond 007

Art by James Talbot

Combat in the James Bond 007 role-playing game transpires in a series of rounds each consisting of a Declaration part and an Action part.  During the Declaration part, players declare what their characters will do in the Action part.  The Gamesmaster, of course, announces what non-player characters will do.  Declarations occur in order of ascending Speed ratings of the participating characters.  Characters with greater Speed are at an advantage since they can react to the Declarations of lower Speed characters.  Speed is based on the characteristics of Dexterity and Perception; it ranges from zero (the lowest) to three (the highest).  The rules state that “ties are resolved by rolling a D6 until the tie is broken (lowest roll wins).”  Once established, “the order of retained throughout the entire battle.”

During the Action part of a round, activity is resolved in order of descending Speed rating (i.e., “in reverse order of the Declaration”).  An Action Round lasts “approximately 3 to 5 seconds” of game time.  Once an action is declared, the character must attempt that action at the appropriate time unless intervening circumstances prevent the action from occurring.  The only way a declared action can be modified is when a character attempts to fire a weapon at a player character who has not yet fired his or her weapon during the round.  In such an instance, the player character “may be able to 'draw' to see who gets to shoot first.”  In a “draw,” each character involved has his or her Speed added to the result of 1D6 (with a possible modifier as a result of the weapon used); the character with the higher result shoots first.

During a round, a character can attempt a number of attacks equal to his or her Speed rating.  Characters with a Speed of zero can attempt an attack every other round.  When using a firearm, a character may be limited to the weapon's 'shots per round' attribute.  For example, James Bond has a Speed of 3; however, a Walther PPK is listed as having 2 shots per round.  So, Bond could only fire twice with this weapon.

The Fire Combat skill is used for “any weapon which looses a projectile at the target.”  The Hand-to-Hand Combat skill is used for “fists, swords, knives, or any weapon that is not a projectile weapon.”  Attempts to hit a target using either skill are made at an Ease Factor of 5.  Examples of modifications for Fire Combat include the Performance Rating of the weapon, range to the target, and the amount of cover the target may have.  For Hand-to- Hand Combat, the target's Speed rating acts as a negative Ease Factor modifier.  A kick has a -1 Ease Factor Modifier, but increases Damage Class by 1.  A “Specific Blow” may be attempted at a -2 Ease Modifier.  Different types of Specific Blows include:  disarm, trip, rise (“Your character uses this option to get back on his feet if he has been tripped”), restrain, release (“Your character uses this option to break a Restrain”), and knockout.  'Knockout' requires an additional -2 Ease Modifier and, if the attack is successful, the target can only remain conscious by succeeding with a Willpower roll at an Ease Factor equal to twice the attack's Quality Rating. 

Damage is rated in terms of Damage Class which ranges from 'A' to 'L'.  Depending on Strength, characters can have a Hand-to-Hand Damage Class of up to 'C'.  A knife increases H-t-H DC by 1 while a sword increases H-t-H DC by 2.  A heavy Spear gun has a Damage Class of 'G' and a Beretta has a Damage Class of 'E'.

Damage Class is indexed against the Quality Rating of a successful attack to determine which of six Wound Levels applies to the target.
ST = Stun.  The target must succeed with an Ease Factor 8 roll or be unable to perform any actions for 1D6 rounds.  The roll is Willpower for Fire Combat; Strength for Hand-to-Hand Combat.
LW = Light Wound.  The target cannot perform any activity until he or she succeeds with an Ease Factor 7 Willpower roll.  Until the wound is healed the character suffers a -1 Ease Factor on every task.
MW = Medium Wound.  As a Light Wound except the Willpower roll is at Ease Factor 5 and there is a -2 Ease Factor on every task until healed.
HW = Heavy Wound.  As a Light or Medium Wound except the Willpower roll is at Ease Factor 3 and there is a -3 Ease Factor on every task until healed.
IN = Incapacitated.  The target falls unconscious for 1D6 hours and thereafter suffers a Heavy Wound.
KL = Killed.  The target “is removed from play.”
Player Characters can reduce the result of an NPC's combat roll Quality Rating (not inflicted Wound Level) by one for every Hero Point spent.  Presumably this applies only when the spending player character is the target, but this is not expressly stated in the rules.

Characters with a Strength of at least 14 can attempt to “Shake Off” Hand-to-Hand damage not caused by “a stabbing point or a cutting edge.”  With a successful Ease Factor 5 Strength roll, the wound result is lowered by two levels.

“When a character who is already wounded receives another wound, his Wound Level is increased” according to the Wound Accumulation Chart.  Wounds are healed at a rate of one Wound Level per week.  Hospitalization allows a character to heal up to two Wound Levels at a rate of one Wound Level per three days.  A successful First Aid roll in the field can reduce a character's Wound Level by one.  Such an attempt “may be made only once for any wounded character.”

Characters who receive a Medium (or more severe) Wound “from Fire Combat or from a knife or sword in Hand-to-Hand Combat...may receive a permanent, recognizable scar.”  The location of such a scar may be determined by using the Scar Location Chart, shown below.  Each distinctive, visible scar adds twenty points to the character's total Fame Points.  The more Fame Points a character has, the more recognizable he or she becomes.  For secret agents, this is not a boon.

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