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Unarmed Combat Questions

Weapons have Qualities but does an unarmed attack have a Quality? Quiet makes some sense to me. If they have no quality what is the Effect when rolling a 5 or 6 on the damage die for an unarmed attack?

Grappling - is there a way to pin or hinder someone when fighting (unarmed or not I suppose). Is that basically Create Obstacle such that they loose their Movement? Or cannot effectively attack? What are some good ways to go about capturing an opponent without beating through their Stress tracker?

That idea would make sense. In the other 2d20 games, unarmed also has the Quality of Knockdown, which allows you knock somebody prone if 1 or more Effects are rolled. They then have to spend Threat equal to each Effect rolled in order to stand back up.

You do not need to invent special rules for unarmed combat. They already exist. The duelling styles from the Prince of Helium Supplemental Rulebook (pp.114-117) include several forms of unarmed (and armed) combat (like boxing for example) with their common techniques (like grapple or throw for example). Wrestling for example has the common techniques bind (grade +1), escape (grade +1), grapple (grade +2) and throw (grade +2). To learn this style you have to create a total of 6 grades of talents, but these can be spread among several talents.


Thanks Caranfang! That’s exactly what I was looking for to describe Grappling.

Still haven’t found clear guidance on any Effect to apply if Boxer uses Strike and rolls a 5 or 6 on their damage die. Did find are some talents that add the Fearsome Quality but again that takes purchasing a talent.

I suppose hand-to-hand could simply not have any Quality by default and a 5 or a 6 is just treated the same as rolling a 1 or a 2 on the damage die. In this setting maybe it’s just that inferior compared to weapons. Suppose make-shift and objects of opportunity could also follow that approach.

That is a problem? That’s just what learning a duelling style is. You just buy a talent with certain effects.You just can add effects which are not assocciated with a technique.


Let me put it a different way: if you were GM and your player was unarmed and struggling with an opponent, no Talent related to unarmed combat. What would you rule if they successfully punch their opponent?

Let’s say they get 1 success, roll their 1 die of damage and get a 6 which is normally 1 point of Stress + Effect.

How much Stress does their opponent take?

Is there any Effect?

The rules are very clear: One single point of Stress. That’s enough to remove a minion from the fight.

No, because for an Effect to happen the used weapon needs to have an appropiate Quality. No Quality without a weapon!

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Yeah that would make sense. Unarmed combat does not have an Effect by default so no Effect is triggered on a damage roll of 5 or 6.

But Talents can be bought to add an Effect.

But those are not in the CRB. You can deduce from the talents in the supplemental rulebooks that adding a Quality (not an Effect) counts as +1 grade. And if the you already have the quality in question from the equipment you use you get +1 CB instead.