Our First Combat
So Gavrin is in a tough spot, left out to the mercies of the Imperial mage-hunters following him. Let’s set up a combat!
First we need to pick out a foe for Gavrin to fight. Skimming through the MEGALOS Monsters & Mistborn, there is an Aedyne Witch Hunter on page 323, which sounds perfect of this. They are, however, an Elite foe which means they are tougher than Minion class foes but weaker than Boss class foes. This is a risky fight for Gavrin to take on their own.
Setting Up the Fight
Page 29 has a list of things to do at the start of the fight, so let’s go through them.
1. Check for Surprise
I believe that Gavrin had enough warning from the merchant calling out to the mage-hunters that he would not be surprised that this fight is about to begin. The Mage-hunter was likewise already on the hunt, so I wouldn’t say they are surprised. If either party were surprised, they would have been STUNNED during the first turn of combat.
2. Reset Armor HP & AC Dice
Gavrin has 10 Armor HP, so we set that to full.
Next we roll Gavrin’s four Aether Current dice to see what we get. We roll 2, 2, 3, and 4, which gives us three Astral Seals and one Umbral Seal.
As an Invoker, Gavrin also gets to choose to start combat already hosting an Invocation. We’ll select Hajmaul, who manifests as a serpent of lightning flying around Gavrin (a bit of fluff I came up with and won’t effect anything mechanically).
Step 2.5: While the cheat sheet does not call it out, we’re going to need to determine the specifics of the fight: the zones, the placement of foes and player characters, etc. Let’s do that before we Determine Turn Order.
For a map, we’ll grab something sufficiently rural looking from Dyson’s Dodecahedron and throw a couple zones on it. We’ll put both Gavrin and the Witch Hunter in zones that make sense for them. It looks like this:
3. Determine Turn Order
Now that we know more about the fight, Gavrin has the option of taking a Fast Turn (letting him go first, but taking fewer overall actions) or a Slow Turn (letting him take more actions, but going after the enemies). We’ll have Gavrin take a Slow Turn and hope for the best.
With all that decided, it’s time to go through the Combat Rounds.
Page 30 gives us the order of turns, so we’ll use that to familiarize ourselves with the phases.
MC Fast Turn Phase: No MCs are acting during the Fast Turn, so we’ll skip this phase.
Foe Turn Phase: The Foes now that their Turn, getting two Action Points (represented in the text as ◆◆). The Witch Hunter has two actions, a Minor Action (taking ◆) and a Major Action (taking ◆◆). We’ll use the Major Action Magitek Lucifer Rifle.
It effects 1 target in each zone between the Witch Hunter and a zone in range 2. We’ll pick the zone Gavrin is in, making him the only target. The Attack is 2d20 vs. Gavrin’s Ward (normally 10, but it is currently 11 due to his Protective Eidolons talent). We roll and get 5 and 17. The 17 meets or exceeds Gavin’s Ward, so the attack hits.
The effect is that Gavrin takes 9 astral damage. When a character takes damage other than Piercing damage, they get to roll Soak. Garvin has +2 Soak bonus and an addition +1 from his Protective Eidolons talent, so he’ll roll 1d6 and add +3. Gavrin rolls 4 total, and subtracts that from the 9 astral damage, meaning he’ll take 5 damage total. Since Gavrin has Armor HP, he’ll lose that before he takes damage to his HP pool. This leaves Gavrin with 5 Armor HP (he started with 10) and his full HP pool of 24.
Since the Witch Hunter has used all of their AP, their turn is over.
MC Slow Turn Phase: Gavrin now gets to act with 3 AP. He has several special Major and Minor actions granted to him by his Class and Calling, but he also has access to the Basic Actions every gets (starting on page 30 and going to page 32).
Gavrin will start by using his Brilliant Scourge Astral Power, which allows him to attack a foe within Range 3. This action costs 1 AP and 1 Astral Seal (leaving him with 2 Astral Seals). He’ll roll his Weapon Dice (2d20) against the Witch Hunter’s Ward (14). Gavrin rolls 5 and 8 (upgraded to 6 and 9 because of the Seeking trait on his weapon), which means the attack misses. But Gavrin has more AP.
Since you can only use a given power once per turn, Gavrin spend another AP and an Umbral Seal (leaving him with no Umbral Seals) to use his Levinflash Umbral Power. It has the same range and attack roll as Brilliant Scourge, so we’ll roll 2d20 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward. This time he rolls a 20 and a 14 (upgraded to 21 and 15 because Seeking). Since a 20 is a Strong Hit and both dice hit the Witch Hunter’s Ward, that means we have 3 hits. We need one hit for the attack to successfully land, but each hit past that become Surges (page 42). Since Gavrin has no special abilities to spend Surges, we’ll use the basic one Critical Hit. Critical Hit gives the attack +3 damage for each Surge, so Gavrin’s attack is going to deal +6 damage. Since Gavrin already used an action with the Attack tag this turn, he takes a -1 damage penalty, meaning he’ll be dealing 22 umbral damage total (17 base + 3 Critical Hit + 3 Critical Hit - 1 for having already used an attack this turn).
Just like Gavrin, the Witch Hunter will Soak this damage. Also, since this is Umbral damage, the Witch Hunter’s Otherside Talisman talent gives them +1 to the Soak roll (for a total of 1d6 + 1 Soak). They roll 7 total, meaning they take 15 damage (22 - 7), leaving them with 45 HP. After they take damage, we want to see if they are Injured (50% for fewer remaining HP). Since their max HP is 60, that means that they would only be Injured if they have 30 or fewer HP, so they are not. On its own, Injured doesn’t do anything, but Gavrin and the Witch Hunter both have abilities that have special effects when their target is Injured.
With his last AP, Gavrin uses the basic minor action Take Cover (pg. 32) to dive behind a merchant stall. This gives Gavrin the COVER status (+3 Dodge and Ward) against the next attack against him (the stalls are probably cloth and poles, nothing too sturdy).
Since Gavrin is out of AP, that is the end of his turn.
Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: Since the Witch Hunter is an Elite Foe, they get a second turn with a single AP. Since they cannot move into the Merchant Stalls (because of the Rough terrain) with a single AP to use their special minor action, they will instead take the basic minor action Strike (pg. 32) using their Rifle. They attack Gavrin’s Dodge (14 due to Cover status) with their Weapon Dice (2d20) and will inflict their Core Damage (12) if they hit. They roll a 20 and a 14. Like with Gavrin’s roll, this gives them 2 Surge, which grants them +6 damage total. That means that the Witch Hunter is going to deal 18 Physical damage to Gavrin. Gavrin rolls their Soak and gets a 7, reducing the damage to 11. Since Gavrin has 5 Armor HP left, he loses that first, with the remaining 6 damage going to his HP pool. This reduces him from 24 HP to 18.
Since that is all of the Witch Hunter’s AP, that ends their turn.
Boss Foes’ 2nd Turn: If the Witch Hunter was a Boss class foe, they would instead have gotten a second turn with 2 AP. Since we have no Boss foes, we’ll skip this.
Resolve Auto-Attacks: Since no one used an Attack with the Auto-Attacks tag, we’re going to skip this phase.
That ends the first round of combat, leaving the battlefield looking like this:
Once again, Gavrin gets to pick a fast or slow turn. Since he is unlikely to defeat the Witch Hunter with 2 AP and doesn’t have anything he needs to do before the Witch Hunter acts, he’ll take a Slow Turn.
This time, we’ll skip all the phases that do no apply since we know nothing is going to happen.
Foe Turn Phase: Since the Magitek Lucifer Rifle power is a little overkill against a single target, the Witch Hunter is going to use the basic major action Flurry of Strikes. While this power takes 2 AP, it will still inflict damage on a miss. We roll the Witch Hunter’s Weapon Dice against Gavrin’s Dodge (11) and get a pair of 18’s. Both hit, giving the Witch Hunter a single Surge. Flurry of Strikes inflicts the Witch Hunter’s Core Damage (12) plus 3 from the Surge for 15 total. Gavrin soaks 7 of it, reducing him to 10 HP. Since he is now below half his max HP (12 since he has 24 max HP) Gavrin is Injured.
MC Slow Turn Phase: Things are not going well for Gavrin, so he’s going to need some help.
Since Gavrin has 5 Inventory Points (from his Medium Outfit), he is going to spend 1 AP and 2 IP for Use an Inventory Item to produce an Elixir and drink it. Inventory Points are like a floating pool of items that aren’t decided upon until they are used. Also Inventory Points do not naturally replenish, so Gavrin is going to need to spend money later with a merchant in order to restore his missing Inventory Points. An Elixir allows Gavrin to regain double his Recovery Bonus (6), which restores 12 HP, bringing him back to 22 HP. Also, since Use an Inventory Item has the Vulnerable tag, if there was an enemy in the zone with Gavrin, they would be able to use the Punish reaction to deal him some damage, but since Gavrin is alone this isn’t an issue.
With his second AP, Gavrin will use his Cosmic Siphon minor power. He rolls 9 and 17 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward, so the attack hits. The attack deals 16 Umbral damage, of which the Witch Hunter soaks 2, bring them down to 31. The Effect of Cosmic Siphon only applies if the attack Injures or Defeats a foe, so he won’t get any bonus from this. If it had dealt 1 more damage, Gavrin would have regained one of his spent Aether Current dice.
Before spending his last AP, Gavrin is doing to use the Fluxing trait of his outfit as a free action to change one of his 2 value Aether Current dice to a value of 1, changing it from Astral Seal to an Umbral Seal.
Gavrin will then spend that Umbral Seal and his AP to use Levinflash again. He rolls 8 and 19 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward, getting a single hit. Since Gavrin already used an action with the Attack trait, he gets -1 damage to this attack and deals 16 Umbral damage, which the Witch Hunter soaks 5 of, bring them down to 20 HP, which means they are now Injured.
The Witch Hunter has a talent that activates as soon as they become Injured for the first time called Elixir Nebulizer, which causes them to regain HP equal to their Recovery Bonus (15). This brings them back to 35, above the threshold for them to be considered Injured. However, since this only works once, Gavrin will not need to worry about this the next time they bring the Witch Hunter below 30 HP.
Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: The Witch Hunter will once again use the Strike minor action. They roll 17 and 8 vs. Gavrin’s Dodge, giving them 1 hit. The attack deals 12 Physical damage which Gavrin Soaks 7 of, reducing him to 17 HP.
That finishes up Round Two, which looks a bit like this:
Things are looking bad for Gavrin. He has only one Astral Seal left and his foe just healed. Gavrin is going to take a Slow Turn again, but plans on changing tactics.
Foe Turn Phase: Once again, the Witch Hunter uses the Flurry of Strikes move. They roll 11 and 19 against Gavrin, giving them two hits, so they deal him 15 Physical damage. Gavrin soaks 6 of the damage, bringing him down to 8 HP.
MC Slow Turn Phase: On his turn, Gavrin uses 2 AP to take the special Invoker major action of hosting a new Invocation. He dismisses Hajmaul and summons Gygus, Sign of the Earth. This removes his previous Aether Current dice and lets him roll four new ones: 2, 3, 6, 6 which gives him 3 Astral Seals and 1 Umbral Seal.
With his last AP, Gavrin Use an Inventory Item again for an Elixer and regains another 12 HP, bringing him down to his last IP.
Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: The Witch Hunter uses Strike on Gavrin. They get a 9 and 5, both of which miss Gavrin, saving him for now.
At the end of the round, things look like this:
With a new Invocation Gavrin has a plan. He is going to take a Fast Turn this round.
MC Fast Turn Phase: Because Gavrin is taking a fast turn, he only have 2 AP to work with unlike previous rounds where he had 3.
For his first AP, he will use his Bow Down, Skychild Umbral Power, a minor action that turns a zone within range 3 into difficult terrain. Additionally, foes starting their turn or moving through the zone will take damage and gain the Exposed status.
With his second AP, Gavrin uses his Rockslide Astral Power. This attack targets the Witch Hunter’s Dodge defense, so he’ll likely have an easier time of things. He rolls 9 and 13, hitting the Witch Hunter’s Dodge of 12. The attack deals 9 Physical damage and pushes them 1 zone. Since there is not a zone to push them into, they stay were they are. However, the Special effect of Rockslide says “if the target’s end zone contains difficult or lethal terrain, add +2 damage” which ups Gavrin’s damage to 11 Physical. The Witch Hunter only rolls 1d6 to resist Physical damage and only Soaks 1, bringing them down to 25 HP.
Not a bad turn of fortune for Gavrin.
Foe Turn Phase: At the start of the Witch Hunter’s turn, they gain EXPOSED (+3 damage to the next damaging attack they are dealt) and take 3 Piercing damage from starting their turn in Garvin’s Power Terrain. Piercing damage cannot be Soaked, so they are reduced to 22 HP.
The Witch Hunter now has to decide whether to stay put or waste their turn moving into the zone with the Merchant Stalls next to Gavrin. The take the Sprint major action, using both of their AP and move through the Difficult Terrain into the Merchant Stalls. Even though they’ve left the area, the Exposed status persists until it expires (when they are damaged by an attack in this case) or when they Save against it. Saves happen once per round at the end of the character’s turn and if you are affected by multiple statuses, they Save against each one separately. Since it is the end of the Witch Hunter’s turn they roll a d20 to see if they can Save against Exposed. They roll a 10, which meets the difficulty of the Status (by default the difficulty to Save against any Status is 10, but this can change) so Exposed goes away.
Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: Since the Witch Hunter is in the same Zone as Gavrin now, they will use their Cindering Scourge minor power, which can target a foe in range 0 (same zone). They roll their Weapon Dice and get 10 and 5 against Gavrin’s Dodge. This misses.
This ends Round Four and now things look like this.
With things going his way, Gavrin chooses to take a Slow Turn again with a plan for what to do with those 3 AP.
Foe Turn Phase: The Witch Hunter uses Flurry of Strikes on Gavrin, rolling 9 and 10. Neither hit, but because Flurry of Strikes has a Miss effect, the Witch Hunter still inflicts Core Damage - 3 (9) Physical damage. Gavrin Soaks 5, bringing him down to 16 HP.
MC Slow Turn Phase: First Gavrin uses his Rockslide power again, hoping to push the Witch Hunter into his Power Terrain. Gavrin rolls 17 and 21, giving him 3 hits, dealing 17 Physical damage with two Critical Hits and Rockslide’s Special +2 damage because the Witch Hunter is pushed into Difficult Terrain. The Witch Hunter Soaks 4 damage, bringing them down to 8 damage.
Gavrin now has 1 Astral Seal left, so he can only use his Rock Slide special power. Instead, he will use Flurry of Strikes for 2 AP. Since the amount of damage the attack will deal to the Witch Hunter, even after the reduced damage for miss and having already used an Attack power this turn (minimum 12), is more than the Witch Hunter’s remaining HP we’re not going to worry about doing the rolls.
With Gavrin is pretty spent after this fight. He’s down to 16/24 HP and 1/5 Inventory Points. He could take a Short Rest and spend his Recovery Points (of which he has 4) to regain 6 HP each, but with the Witch Hunters still tracking him, he doesn’t want to stick around.
Takeaways: Tactics matter in this game. Gavrin had a rough time trying to just trade big damage with the Witch Hunter, but once he started changing the game–creating dangerous zones that put the Witch Hunter at a disadvantage–he won the fight quickly.
Also, even as a starter character, Gavrin had a lot of options in combat. He had 7 actions from his Class and Calling, on top of the 10 basic actions every character gets. Most of them didn’t come up (notably Grappling Manuever, Power Up!!, Charging, and Dash) but that had more to do with Gavrin’s abilities as well as the terrain present on the battlefield.
It was definitely a fun fight for me and I felt a bit in danger but I think that is mostly because Gavrin, even with his high Soak, is a bit of a glass cannon. It would be interesting to see how a combat with more participants works out.