Dead Reign Combat Rules

You are on your own. The Army is MIA and our government is gone! There are no communications of any kind. Cities and towns have gone dark, and zombies fill the streets. The dead have risen and it would seem to be the end of the world. Help me, Mommy!

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Blood-Angels
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Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by Blood-Angels »

The combat rules for DR need INTENSE clarification and editing. FIrst off, it takes a roll of 5 or over to hit a target, but then in the ranged combat rules section it states you need a roll of 8 or higher to hit. So which one is it? Is it 5 or higher for HTH and 8 for ranged? If so, why doesn't the core rulebook state this???

ALSO, in the zombie combat rules, it states that an UNMODIFIED rule of 17 or higher is needed to hit a zombie head or neck. BUT the core rulebook also has a called shot and aimed shot rules that states there are bonuses and penalties (I assume both are accumulative/combined) for hitting targets as small as a bullseye (which is about the size of a zombie head).

THERE IS ALSO, point-blank rules that have their own bonuses --- do these rules override the unmodified 17 roll to hit a neck and head for a zombie???

COME ON PEOPLE, learn to edit your work.
Grazzik
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Re: Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by Grazzik »

While there are lots of good stuff in DR, the combat rules for zombies is one part I ditch for combat rules from Rifts. Namely, for a PC with no superpowers or magical weapons or nuke-powered implants, to take down one or two zombies using DR's RAW with a baseball bat, even with a few nails in it, is really tough. Anything more than that like a third zombie, situational penalties, failed HF rolls, etc. spells absolute doom. I get the game feel is to constantly run to survive, but the barrier to combat is so high, it takes away any real chance of heroism on the part of the PCs. By ditching the Nat 17 rule and using a more typical PB rule set, the outcome is more about the PCs' abilities than lucky rolls.
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green.nova343
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Re: Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by green.nova343 »

Hmmmm....

I was originally thinking this was a bad copy-and-paste of the rules. However, I went back & checked the most recent rules for their other settings (Rifts Ultimate Edition and Robotech: Shadow Chronicles), & realized that the rules have changed.

Previously, the rules were:
  • HTH & close-range combat (within 60ft/18.3m): 5 or better to hit the target (1-4 missed)
  • Ranged combat beyond 60ft/18.3m: 8 or better to hit the target (1-7 missed); an alternate way of looking at it would be that shooting beyond 60ft/18.3m added a -3 penalty to the roll. Note that they vaguely said that "enhancements" -- sensors, optics, targeting systems, human augmentation (cybernetics), etc. -- could eliminate this penalty, but would still be limited by
  • Robot vehicle/mecha combat at "close range" (i.e. within 500ft/152m) had a +1 bonus; no penalty beyond that, so the assumption would be it was still 5 or better beyond 500ft/152m
  • Called shots were tricky, in that they technically needed a 12 or better to hit. This was problematic, because it didn't matter if you were trying to shoot a particular spot on a target at 10 feet or 10,000 feet, the same target number was used.
So, it looks like Dead Reign is using the Combat Rules 2.0 (as also seen in Rifts Ultimate Edition & Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles), and are much more standardized:
  • HTH combat needs a 5 or better; I would also say that applies to handheld weapons being used in melee combat (i.e. swords, clubs, knives, hammers, spears, etc.)
  • Ranged weapons need an 8 or better, regardless of range; I would also say this applies to ancient ranged weapons (bows, crossbows, thrown knives & spears, etc.), not just guns
  • Aimed shots get the +2 bonus & take 2 attacks
  • Called shots take 2 attacks (no bonus), or take 3 attacks to be an aimed called shot (+2 bonus)
The major issue with zombies is that, because they're rotted, dessicated bodies, they have that pesky "natural Armor Rating", which prevents strike rolls under 14 from actually inflicting damage. Which is why you should be using those additional "close-up and personal" combat rules:
  • At 3-15ft/0.9-4.6m, use that +2 bonus (+1 to hit their head, neck, or a limb), but just remember you can't be moving
  • If you're within 2ft/60cm, again make sure you're not moving, but take advantage of that +7 bonus (+3 against head/neck/limb)
  • Not that I recommend getting this close, but if you can press the barrel of the weapon against the zombie's flesh, do it. At worst, you'll only miss if you use the suggested die roll method (where you have to roll a 1 to miss), but normally you'll auto-hit the target...which is especially good if you have a .45 M1911 pressed against its neck (& especially fantastic if you ended up with a Critical Hit).
  • If at all possible, avoid the temptation to try & "headshot" a zombie in ranged combat. Needing a 17-20 to hit the neck or head is essentially a -9 penalty (17-8 = 9); aimed called shot only gets you a +2 bonus to offset that penalty, & the W.P. Rifle tops out with a +7 bonus at level 13. So unless your GM allows a house rule of adding PP and HTH strike bonuses to weapons combat, you're looking at needing to be a super-expert Special Ops-type 13th-level shooter to hit it with an actual die roll of 8 or better (9th level if you happen to have the Sniper skill)...but even with a typical 7.62mm rifle you're not going to one-shot most zombies (& .50-cal Barret rifles aren't exactly easy to find, let alone in a zombie apocalypse). You'd be better off pumping short bursts or single shots from shotguns & heavy pistols into the main body, deplete the HP when its SDC is down (especially since that drops its AR), & then dealing with the head once it's on the ground.
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Re: Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by Grazzik »

green.nova343 wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:03 pm If at all possible, avoid the temptation to try & "headshot" a zombie in ranged combat. Needing a 17-20 to hit the neck or head is essentially a -9 penalty (17-8 = 9)
Whoever revised the rules probably made a mistake thinking that you add a size penalty to strike to the AR. This is wrong and should have been caught. Two very different game mechanisms mashed together nonsensically - the strike rule and the damage rule. The book even goes on to say in the description of rolling under AR on the right side of pg 36 that this may represent simply missing the target. Yet, the left side of the same page says AR represents the ability to soak up damage. THIS mess needs to be fixed, hence why I go with Rifts as my rules for combat when playing DR.

Also, the problem isn't just that it's a 17-20 to hit the zombie's head when its should only be a 12+ to do a headshot... but the rule is that it's a Natural 17-20 to hit! (pg 37)

Put a large cantaloupe on a fence next to the zombie. It's about the same size as the zombie's head. Size penalty to strike is -3, so 12+ to strike. With the cantaloupe, that penalty is mitigated with bonuses downward and, at 13th level with all the right skills and gear, an almost guarantied hit. For the zombie head, somehow bonuses don't count so you have a flat 20% chance of success. Either someone got too zealous with the rules upgrade or there is some funky dimensional aura around the zombie that changes game physics. Just saying.
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green.nova343
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Re: Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by green.nova343 »

Grazzik wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 7:52 am
green.nova343 wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:03 pm If at all possible, avoid the temptation to try & "headshot" a zombie in ranged combat. Needing a 17-20 to hit the neck or head is essentially a -9 penalty (17-8 = 9)
Whoever revised the rules probably made a mistake thinking that you add a size penalty to strike to the AR. This is wrong and should have been caught. Two very different game mechanisms mashed together nonsensically - the strike rule and the damage rule. The book even goes on to say in the description of rolling under AR on the right side of pg 36 that this may represent simply missing the target. Yet, the left side of the same page says AR represents the ability to soak up damage. THIS mess needs to be fixed, hence why I go with Rifts as my rules for combat when playing DR.

Also, the problem isn't just that it's a 17-20 to hit the zombie's head when its should only be a 12+ to do a headshot... but the rule is that it's a Natural 17-20 to hit! (pg 37)

Put a large cantaloupe on a fence next to the zombie. It's about the same size as the zombie's head. Size penalty to strike is -3, so 12+ to strike. With the cantaloupe, that penalty is mitigated with bonuses downward and, at 13th level with all the right skills and gear, an almost guarantied hit. For the zombie head, somehow bonuses don't count so you have a flat 20% chance of success. Either someone got too zealous with the rules upgrade or there is some funky dimensional aura around the zombie that changes game physics. Just saying.
Yeah, looking over that again, I think they tried to oversimplify the concept. I think they also assumed that called shots didn't get any WP or other bonuses, which I could not find anywhere; even in HU2, it only says "half normal bonuses" on called shots, while RUE & R:TSC both have the same language as in Dead Reign (i.e. no mention of losing your bonuses, but you only get the extra +2 with an aimed called shot that uses up 3 melee actions). And that would be the only way that you would need a natural 17+ to hit the head or neck (-3 penalty gets added as a positive modifier to the AR 14, 14+3 = 17).

It should have been "head/neck require a called shot with a -3 modifier, plus any other applicable bonuses".
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Rockwolf66
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Re: Dead Reign Combat Rules

Unread post by Rockwolf66 »

Yeah the "head shot" rule needs to be removed. The problem with it is that it makes a marine veteran with a clone of her service rifle as accurate as a girl scout shooting a rifle for the first time. The Marine should be able to make repeated head shots from a couple of football fields away. With the previous rules training and equipment actually matter. Someone with experience should be able to hit even difficult targets much more often.
"Having met a few brits over here i wonder about them. The Military ones I met through my dad as a kid seem to be the most ruthless men on the planet..." -Steve Hobbs
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