Yet another Player Facing combat system

edited December 2016 in Night's Black Agents
So, about the one thing I don't dig about Gumshoe is the way combat works. I was looking for something a bit simpler, that doesn't make me track too many GMC pools and is fast. So I came up with this:
Player Facing Combat in Gumshoe
Underlying assumptions:
These rules assume that opponents would generally expend their attack pools over 4 rounds in a fairly uniform manner. At higher level, threat pools start to increase instead of static avoid values. This reflects that more skilled opponents will tend to be in fights for longer, so continuing to increase avoid values at the same rate is not an appropriate reflection of what an average cost would be.
Threat Pool: Each type of opponent has a Threat Pool. The threat pool allows an opponent to spend on activating Thriller combat effects. The Pool is spread over the entirety of a given opponent. For each additional instance of an opponent after the first, add +2 to the Threat Pool. Every time an opponent of that type is removed from the fight, reduce the Threat Pool by 2. The inverse ninja law applies here.
Example: Six Thug mooks are participating in a combat. The basic Mook Threat Pool is 3. The total mook threat pool is thus 13. Each Thug removed from the fight will reduce the pool by 2. This includes existing expenditures.
Threat Pool can be used on the following effects:
1) Activating Thriller combat effects that ordinarily require a general pool expenditure.
2) Increasing the antagonist’s Hit Threshold by up to 3, on a 1-1 spend basis.
3) Making a called shot – Threat Pool equal to the Called Shot penalty needs to be spent.
Each kind of attack – Hand-to-Hand, Weaponry, and Shooting, has its own avoid Threshold. This system assumes a default Hit Threshold of 4+
Pool: Avoid Score: Threat Pool:
0-2 4+ 0
3-4 4+ 1
5-7 5+ 1
8-9 5+ 2
10-12 6+ 2
13-14 6+ 3
15-16 6+ 4
17-20 6+ 5
21-24 7+ 5
25-28 7+ 6
29-33 8+ 6
34-37 8+ 7
38 9+ 7
Each additional +1 adds directly to the threat pool.
An example: A standard Militia man has the following values:
Hand-to-Hand 4, Shooting 4, Weapons 4.
That translates to a uniform spread of Avoid scores of 5+. Militia would have no threat pools.
A Renfield would have the following stats:
Hand-to-Hand: 6+ Shooting 6+ Weapons 6+ Threat Pool: 8

So yeah! I just thought I'd post this up.


  • What's the Avoid rating for? If it means more rolls the agents must make in combat, you may need to boost their pool ratings.
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