Dark Matter Drifter, Combat

Dark Matter Drifter, Combat

March 7, 2023
setting, system
rules, sci-fi, combat

Please check out Night-Tripper by Chris P. Wolf! You can find the original rules for Skirmishes here . Night-tripper as a whole is just really cool and was a major inspiration for Dark Matter Drifter!

When to use this #

Single rolls or just saying what happens are often enough to resolve most conflicts. For more complex scenarios, use these combat rules.

Rounds #

Combat is divided into rounds. Each round being a flash of time. Each character commits to only one action per round. Resolve actions in the following order:

  1. Movement and/or Shooting
  2. Melee
  3. Miscellaneous

Talking is a free action, but verbosity consumes an action. Players may decide their action as each actions are called out and resolved. All characters committing to the same action perform it simultaneously.

Attacks and Damage #

Outside of combat, resolution is done with 1d20. During combat, use 2d6. Roll 2d6 + relevant Skills. If the result is 8 or higher, the attack hits. The lower die result determines hit location while the higher is the damage dealt.

Lower Attack DieLocation

Once the combined total of damage taken is 6 or greater, the target is out of combat. They need medical intervention to survive.

Should damage in any of the hit locations reach 6 or greater, consult the following:

  • Head: dead.
  • Torso: mortal wound. Death in 1d4 hours without stabilizing medical attention.
  • Legs or arms: A limb is destroyed. Throw! Heads for the right, tails for the left.

Use luck to reduce the damage of incoming attacks too—1 point of luck to 1 point of damage. Attacks reduced to 0 this way are avoided completely.

Replace armor once it prevents its maximum number of hits in an intended location. The cost for such is listed in Gear . Armor instantly breaks when hit by anti-materiel rifles, plasma casters, and heavy artillery.

If you’re hit by a projectile while wearing intact armor, lose your turn next round as you are forced to hunker down and catch your breathe.

Tracking Ammo #

You’re assumed to have replenished the projectiles and recharged batteries during rest (if possible) or back at your ship. Track each shot before changing to a new battery cell.

Automatic Fire #

Automatic weapons, guns with selective fire, have greater power draw when firing in bursts, but greater chance to hit and damage. Consume 4 shots, but roll with Advantage and add +1d6. However, roll with Disadvantage if you fire an Automatic weapon without the Shooting Skill.

Character Actions #

Movement and/or Shooting #

You can run (hopefully to cover) 10 meters over open ground. Obstacles or impeding terrain reduce that to 6 meters. If using minis on a table, each meter can be scaled to 1 cm.

Or shoot targets within range, even if they’re moving. Advantage is rolling 3d6 and taking the two highest. Disadvantage is rolling 3d6 and taking the two lowest. Shooting beyond the maximum range is a guaranteed miss.

Weapons that add to damage must roll +1d6 after the attack hits.

Weapon Range Limits #

WeaponShort Range (10m)Medium Range (30m)Long Range (200m)Distant Range (1km)
Snub ScattergunNormalDisadvantageMissMiss
Mare’s LegAdvantageNormalDisadvantageMiss
Submachine GunAdvantageNormalMissMiss
Assault RifleNormalNormalNormalDisadvantage
Sniper RifleDisadvantageDisadvantageAdvantageNormal
Anti-Materiel RifleDisadvantageDisadvantageNormalAdvantage
Plasma CasterNormalNormalNormalDisadvantage

Cover and Movement #

Roll with Disadvantage against moving targets or those in cover. If you have Advantage due to range bonuses, roll normally.

Roll with Advantage against stationary targets out of cover. If you have Disadvantage against those same targets due to range penalties, roll normally.

If shooting while moving, roll with Disadvantage.

No one can shoot you if you forfeit your action in a round while in cover. You are hunkering down. This only applies if opponents aren’t flanking and cover is obscuring their line of sight.

Melee #

Melee is simultaneous. Fighters with short weapons are only at an Advantage against those unarmed and have Disadvantage against weapons with reach. Medium weapons (e.g. clubs and swords) are at a Disadvantage against longer-reaching weapons (e.g spears and other polearms).

Miscellaneous #

Operate machinery, drive a vehicle, perform first aid on someone seriously wounded, or aim. If you aim, roll with Advantage when you shoot next round.