Fs3 Combat


Additional Sections

Why do I need to use the Combat System?

Technically, you don't. Any combat scene could theortically be resolved by player and GM consent or rolls. The only trouble with either of these solutions is that they require a great deal of interpretation and rolling to feel out a scene especially ones involving space combat. So really the system saves a lot of time and energy, allowing players to focus more on the role-playing of their actions rather the results of those actions.

How does combat work?

Every combat scene has an organizer; this is the person who sets up the combat and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Usually this will be a staffer, but other players can set up their own combat events. Anyone can run a combat, but certain events should be cleared by a staffer because they may have larger events planned that the lose of a capship or the killing of a Kilrathi ace could derail. Players are, however, encouraged to create scenes such as patrols, escort runs, and even small scale strikes against smaller groups of enemies such as a destroyer or supply convoy.

The combat itself is organized into turns. Each turn, everyone involved gets to pose and set their actions. The general flow of combat is the following:

  1. Organizer sets up combat and everyone joins.
  2. Organizer starts an initiating turn, which results in the npcs selecting targets.
  3. The Organizer poses the scene letting the players know where they are and what they see or don't see. Often much of this is taken care with pre-combat poses.
  4. All the players pose what their character does and says.
  5. All players set their stances and actions according to what they posed.
  6. When everyone has posed and selected their action, the organizer triggers a new turn.
  7. The system spits out a summary of what happened.
  8. Everyone poses the results of what happened last turn as well as the actions they are about to do.
  9. Rinse and repeat from #5 until the combat is over.

The system will roll all the dice necessary to figure out what happened, who hit whom, how much damage was done, whether a person was knocked out of the fight, etc. All you have to do is pose and tell the system what you're doing.

Vehicles, Soldiers and NPCs

The combat system supports PCs, NPCs, and vehicles.

PCs and NPCs are treated generally the same. They have access to all the same commands. Anywhere you can put in a PC name as a target, you can put in a NPC name as well. The only difference is that a player controls his own PCs actions, whereas NPCs are controlled by someone else - either the organizer or another player. For more information about NPCs in combat, see NPCs in Combat.

Vehicles are special. You don't add them to combat directly; they get added when someone specifies that they are a pilot or passenger in a vehicle. To shoot a vehicle, you target its pilot while passengers may not be targeted. Even though you're targeting the pilot, the vehicle itself takes the damage (though there's a chance that anyone inside might be hurt when the vehicle is hit.) For more information about vehicles in combat, see Vehicle Combat

When you join a combat, you must pick your type:

  • Soldier - is someone fighting personally.
  • Pilot - is someone piloting a ship or other vehicle.
  • Passenger - is anyone inside a vehicle who is not the pilot. This could include the gunners or a genuine passenger.
  • NPCMaster - is someone whose PC is not directly involved in the combat, but who has joined in order to control a NPC. A NPCMaster may not be targeted, and may take no action other than controlling NPCs.
  • Observer - is someone just watching the combat for kicks. An Observer may not be targeted, and may take no action other than controlling NPCs.

You may switch your type at any time if your situation changes, for instance a marine passenger getting out of a dropship.

Joining Combat

The combat system allows multiple combats to be running simultaneously. Each combat is given a unique identifier, called the combat number, which is assigned when the organizer starts a combat. You use that number to join a combat. You may only be a part of one combat at a time.

When you join a combat as a pilot or passenger, you must specify a vehicle. See Vehicle Combat for more information.

  • +combat/all - Shows all the combats going on as well all NPCs and PCs currently joined
  • +combat/join <combat #>/<type>[/<vehicle>] - Joins combat with type being soldier, pilot, passenger, observer or npcmaster
  • +combat/type <type>[/<vehicle>] - Change your current type. A vehicle is required for passenger/pilot.
  • +combat/leave - Leaves combat.


You can use the combat system for simulated battles (IC or OOC) or sparring by declaring the combat as a "mock" combat. This is done by the organizer when the combat starts. Damage will be wiped out when the combat ends or when someone leaves the combat.


Teams are a convenient way of organizing combatants into smaller groups when they split up. PCs are automatically assigned to Team 1 and NPCs to Team 2. You can change your team at any time.

  • +combat/team <team#>

Combat HUD

The "Combat HUD" shows the general status of combat at a glance. It shows who (NPC or PC) is involved in the combat, what teams they are on, the current stance of the character or vehicle (for passengers), there present action, and who they are attacking if anybody.


For soldiers, this shows their weapon and ammo.

For vehicle crew, their vehicle and position (pilot or passenger). It doesn't show their current weapon, which is a slight drawback since most vehicles have one, two, or even three missile based weapons on top of one or two gun types.


FS3 does not use hit points, but instead has a custom system where wounds are tracked individually. Your overall wound level is calculated as a percentage that tells how likely you are to get knocked out of the fight after the next hit. This is shown as a damage meter that fills up the more hurt you are. Each X on the damage display represents a wound modifier of about 20%. It is quite possible for you to be at 2 X's, take another small wound, and still be at 2 X's. For those in vehicles, this bar is based on the vehicle damage as well as the pilot's injuries. For more information, see Damage in Combat.


This shows their stance as well as their planned action and target of said action. In WCGS, you will very rarely be fighting another PC except maybe in the simulator or as part of a sparring match. Often the organizer will set the actions of all NPCs early on, so it is perfectly legitimate to base your actions on what the NPCs are presently doing.

In addition to the Combat HUD, you can also view details of anyone's individual combat status. This will show you things that aren't listed on the HUD, like armor, special modifiers, etc. You won't normally need this information but it's there if you want it.

  • +combat - Views a summary of your current combat status.
  • +combat <name> - Views someone's detailed combat status.


Combat is organized into turns. During each turn the general order is:

  1. The Organizer poses the scene.
  2. All the players pose what their character does and says.
  3. All players set their stances and actions according to what they posed.
  4. When everyone has posed and selected their action, the organizer triggers a new turn.
  5. The system spits out a summary of what happened.
  6. Rinse and repeat until the combat is over.

Pose order

The organizer will often do a scene pose to briefly describe in general what just happened, what npcs will do, and any new developments such as additional NPCs or PCs. All PCs should wait until after the scene pose to pose or even set their actions.

Usually a pose order is set by the organizer. As this is a military setting, an earlier character such as a wing/flight leader or operational commander might give out orders that involve other characters doing certain actions. A character is expected to follow these orders, but he/she doesn't have to do so. However, if the character does this, there should be a reason for it whether he couldn't hear or understand the order or he refused it for certain reasons. As a result, a disobeyed/ignored order will have IC consequences.

Preparation and Actions

There are two kinds of combat commands. Preparation commands set up your character's position, armor, weapon, etc. Actions are actual active tasks, like shooting someone or applying first aid.

During a given turn, you may execute any number of preparation commands, but may only select one Action.

For a complete list of preparation and action commands, see the respective tutorials on Vehicle Combat and Soldier Combat.

Order of Actions (Initiative)

There is not a ''strict'' order of actions in FS3. Everything happens generally simultaneously. Multiple people can all contribute to taking down an enemy, and that enemy still gets one last shot off. However, there is an internal order of actions determined by each character's Reactive stat each turn. This order determines when modifiers are applied.

For example: Assume that Rose is evading, Harvey is attacking Sam, and Sam is attacking Rose. Assume the initiative order is Rose, Harvey, Sam. Since Sam is going last, he must deal with both Rose's evasion modifier and any damage modifier inflicted by Harvey attacking him. If he had gone first, he would have gotten his shot off before either of those modifiers took effect.

Often the order of actions doesn't have to be followed strictly in the poses. Since combat events tend to occur very randomly at the same time, a player could be firing a missile just as another fighter comes and starts shooting at the cockpit. If the enemy fighter has initiative and actually caused damage that affected the missile shot, it would be more fitting to RP that the incoming rounds of laser fire caused you to juke resulting in the missile firing off at a less than effective angle.


Luck Points can be the factor that tips the scales in your favor. Only PCs have luck points; NPCs may not use them. Each turn, you may spend a luck point to get a bonus to ONE of the following:

  • Attack
  • Defense
  • Initiative

You can't spend luck on all three in the same turn, although you can spend luck on attacking one turn and initiative the next, as long as you have points remaining.

Luck points for attack/defense/initiative must be spent at the time you're picking your action. They last for only a turn, so don't waste a point on defense unless you're pretty sure someone is going to attack you.

You can also use a luck point to recover from a knockout and stay in the fight. If you take more damage you might be knocked out again, so consider that before spending luck to keep going.

Lastly, you can use a luck point to move damage from one hit location to another. Don't want to be shot in the hand again? Spend a luck point and change it! This may only be done immediately after the injury.

  • +combat/luck <attack, defense or initiative> - Spend a luck point this turn.
  • +combat/hero - Stay in the fight after a KO.
  • +damage/move <#>=<location> - Spends a luck point to move the hit location of a wound to yourself.

One final note on Luck, the maximum amount of luck is 10, so even if you have that much luck, you don't want to waste it. Often combat can get very nasty sometimes resulting in severe damage and potentially more than one KOs before being able to escape a battle.

How does damage work?

There are no 'hit points' in FS3. Instead each wound is tracked separately, and you are given an overall damage modifier (a percentage) based on the accumulated damage you've taken. The more seriously hurt you are (or your vehicle is), the less combat effective you will become, until eventually you won't be capable of doing anything but flailing around aimlessly.

There are four levels of damage:

  • Critical
  • Serious
  • Moderate
  • Light

Players are expected to RP appropriate to the injuries they have taken. The combat system will inflict modifiers based on wounds.

For more details about what these levels mean and how to RP them, see Damage in Combat Tutorial.


The combat code will never kill you; only a Staffer can do that. The worst that will happen is you'll be knocked out, or KO'd. Once you're KO'd, you can no longer use any combat commands. NPCs are automatically removed from combat when KO'd. PCs stay in the fight but can't act or be targeted.

For NPCs, the organizer will often decide that KO'd means dead/destroyed, but this is totally up to them. Remember, the combat system will never kill you.

For PCs, a KO can mean any number of things. The character could be literally knocked unconscious or killed, of course, but they could also be writhing in pain, cowering in terror, their ship spinning out of control, disabled, or even on the verge of exploding at which point a PC is considered to have ejected if they decide against spending a luck point.

Even the smallest wound can conceivably KO you, though the chances are very small. A KO from a light wound could be a lucky hit that got a nerve and knocked you unconscious, or glitched your plane's electrical system, or it could be you freaking out from something that seemed worse that it actually is.

If a vehicle is knocked out, the pilots and passengers are KO'd as well. This just means they cannot act; they are not necessarily hurt themselves.

PCs can spend a luck point to undo a KO, and also someone can attempt to use the treat or rally commands on them to give them a chance of reviving. This is most effective if they are only slightly injured. Of course, this doesn't stop them from getting knocked out again the very next turn, so use this with discretion. If a ship is KO'd, then only the pilot has to spend a luck point for the ship and all passenger to be back in the fight.

  • +combat/hero - Spends a luck point to undo a KO.