|  Modiphius Shop

A (Hopefully Mostly Correct) Partial Duel Example

@Highground will do. We’re in the last few sessions of the Star Trek Adventures beginner box adventure. I’ll put in an impressions when I get it done. Also going to get in some Achtung Cthulhu at some point.
I actually love 2D20 - it’s super flexible, I think it allows a great combination of narrative focus, cinematic flair, and enough crunch that isn’t bogged down in minutia. It works super well for Trek, even though I think some bits are very hard to remember for the players at times as they seem arbitrary until you play it a few times or have it explained well - stress and wounds in STA for example, or star ship combat. I think better, clear, examples would go a long way to helping 2D20.


Dune is my first 2D20 system. Is STA more traditional–what I mean is does it have things like a health/HP stat and damage? Do weapons and equipment have various stats like damage output, armor piercing, stun damage, etc?

Just curious.

STA is closer to the traditional structure than Dune, though the core concepts have been around for decades.
You have stress as HP and the assumption is that all weapons are on stun by default (It is a Star Trek game after all :smiley: )
Weapons have damage ratings and various modifiers that can make them more dangerous, able to ignore armour, concealable, etc…
Its skills are condensed down into departments (Conn, Medical, Security etc) in a similar manner to how Dune has done it, but the Attributes are more like people expect (Fitness, Insight, etc)

If you want to go even more to what people think of as a traditional system using 2d20 then Conan with its Attributes & Skills, wounds, hit locations etc is probably closest.

Because they all use the same base system then you can ‘transplant’ elements between them with a bit of work.

1 Like

Interesting. I might have to pick up the Conan pdf from drivethrurpg. I’d be interested in seeing less abstract version of the system to see how it handles things.

I don’t think I’ll try to change anything in Dune. Not until I’ve had it on the table for a while first.

1 Like

Achtung! Cthulhu and Fallout are the most recent “more traditional” examples of the 2d20 System, and Achtung! Cthulhu has a free quickstart available in our store here or on DriveThruRPG if you want to use that to compare and contrast. Conan is an older example of the system, and has some differences that are due to being older and our having less experience developing the system.


So nice to see that even the game authors still can’t adequately and succinctly describe how combat is supposed to work.

And I was called a “troll” for saying the rules are so abstract as to be near useless…

Honestly, if I could I would return the product to Amazon as “not fit for purpose”.

This game definitely needs a definitive, official example of a duel. In fact, given all the confusion and contradiction, I’d say it should be a priority for the next blog post; this thread (and the one before it in the thread on RPG net HERE) have been going for weeks and there’s still nothing solid.

1 Like

I will try and get round to sorting out something, but its not as if we haven’t been responding to all manner of questions here. We have a lot of books on the way so they are the priority at the moment. I hadn’t seen the RPG net thread either as we don’t always look at every forum. Now its been pointed out I’ll take a look.

I should add that while I’m happy to deliver a ‘definitive version’, the most definitive version is what works for your group. If you’ve been doing something one way and its been working, don’t change it because we publish some ‘official’ version. The rules are designed to have a certain amount of interpretation to allow room for the wide variety of assets and styles of play.

So if a passage doesn’t make sense, we can and have offered advice and more detail. But if a passage can be interpreted 2 ways its really irrelevant what version I use if the interpretation you’ve taken works for you.


@Highground Coming back to this, and reading through your (excellent) example again, I recalled that I forgot to answer your question about asset quality

Do you mean that they’ll be generating more successes?

I think so. So (in your example) each time Gurney or Paul move their rapiers successfully, because they’re quality 1, they should get an extra momentum/threat since the quality isn’t doing anything else for them. Note that that won’t happen when they’re using them to do damage to each other, because the quality translates into extra damage.

The advantage to having a quality weapon is that it

  1. Gives you extra momentum when you move it around.
  2. Gives you extra momentum when you use it to disarm someone.
  3. Does more damage when you use it on people.

A quality shield allows you to take more damage. A quality half-shield would just give you extra momentum when you moved it around. If you were okay with the idea of disarming someone with a shield, then you could use quality half or full shields to generate momentum by disarming opponents.

One last thought (on my reread): should Gurney and Paul be using move or battle when they move their weapons? Somehow I’d be tempted by battle more than move (although people scampering around in a skirmish I’d be more inclined in the other direction).

1 Like

As my thinking has evolved on this, I fully agree with you on this.

In a duel, I think I would probably let a player decide this for their own case. Perhaps they view their character as being particularly agile and, narratively, the movement of their assets is treated as quickly or acrobatically flashing them about or something like that. In that case, I think I’d just allow that interpretation of the Move skill to work if they wanted to. But, generally, I think its Battle that should be used in a duel 9 times of 10.

In a skirmish, I agree that it should pretty much always be Move to move assets on the theatre of battle.

Love this thread…highly useful.

Question: when it comes to the ‘intangible asset/uncertain’, what mechanical effect would this have? It would be a quality of 0… something like an ‘unparryable attack’ to demoralize and end the duel via submission? In which case, this asset does not have to ‘move’, but can be destroyed (as illustrated) ?

And I assume it can be used for defense against physical attacks (ie. creating uncertainty makes attacks more difficult?) … in which case, how is this better than a personal shield with quality?

Not quite sure of the ‘mechanical’ effect of an intangible asset in this case.

Derp. I’m just seeing this almost a month later. My apologies for that.

If you check out the CRB on p. 144 it says

In practice, traits have a simple impact on your character’s actions: if a trait is relevant to an action being attempted, it makes the action possible or impossible, or it makes the action easier or harder.

Under that, it says to try to apply the trait in a simple statement like “Because I am [personal trait], this activity is…”. In this case, I think it makes more sense for Gurney to apply it to Paul. For example, when Paul is about to make an attack, Gurney’s player could say “because Paul is uncertain, this activity is harder” meaning that his difficulty is increased by 1. This trait could be applied to anything that makes narrative sense during this scene. That’s why it’s important for Paul to get rid of that trait as soon as he can.

Another good example from the same scene in the book of creating a trait could have been when Paul maneuvers Gurney beside a table. Next, when Paul makes an attack and Gurney tries to parry but his blade is impeded by the table. Paul’s player could have modeled that by creating a trait called “blocked by the table” or something like that. Then when Gurney tries to attack/parry, Paul’s player can say "because Gurney is blocked by the table, this action is harder.

You can also use this mechanic in the complete opposite application–say create a trait for yourself such as “sure of myself” or “warmed up” or something like that. Then you can say "because I am warmed up or sure of myself, this action is easier.

At least this is how I understand that mechanic.

That’s an extremely good and succinct overview of the Trait mechanic, so I think you’ve got a good grasp of how it works.

1 Like

Pending definitive rulings/errata, the way I will run moving assets in a duel is as follows:

A defensive asset in a zone adds +1 difficulty to moving an asset both into AND out of that zone. So, in the case of a guard zone with a blade as a defensive asset, if the opponent managed to move their attacking weapon into the guard zone, subsequently moving that asset into a personal zone with a shield would increase the difficulty by +2 (+1 for the weapon in the guard zone and +1 for the shield). My rationale there is, in fencing, if someone tries to engage with your weapon (game mechanics = move into a guard zone with it), that is going to be engender a response of some sort. Similarly, trying to move past the weapon to actually make an attack, will also engender a response as the opponent tries to prevent being struck.

Since a defensive asset in a zone adds +1 difficulty to moving an asset into that zone, any movement into that zone requires a test, since the difficulty is set at 1. So, one can’t move into a zone with a defensive asset without making a test. However, one can move into the zone without using a subtle or bold move, thereby reducing the difficulty from 3 to 1, while giving up the opportunity for the extra effect of the subtle/bold move.

A failed test does not allow the asset to be moved.