Ambush

A successful ambush gives the attackers several units of unanswered attack rolls.

An ambush aims to gain surprise on an opponent, and during the confusion, inflict as much damage as possible. Ambush is an entirely combat-related event. Ambush is not an all or none proposition. Most ambushes will be partially successful, with part of the expedition ambushed and part not being ambushed.

Mangy humanoid rabbit with a club of nails hiding behind a wall.

Trophies come to the patient bunny.

An ambush is a planned event. Ambushes do not happen when two expeditions accidentally come across each other in the wasteland. An ambush is different from initiative, and a successful trap allows the ambushers to bypass initiative altogether.

Ambush Checklist . Ambush Detection . Ambush Duration

Ambush Detection

The personas targeted by the ambushers have a chance to detect the ambush and act normally during combat. Personas that do not detect the ambush victims of the surprise attack. The player must win an ambush Awareness roll to avoid being ambushed. The Awareness roll becomes more difficult the better prepared the ambushers are. To learn how to make an awareness roll jump to Attribute Rolls.

Ambush Detection Table
What kind of attribute roll is needed depends on the type of ambush.

Difficulty

Example

Difficulty

Trivial

Giggling child
Noisy dump truck

1d6

Easy

Poorly organized
Low INT ambushers

1d10

Normal

Planned ambush

1d20

Hard

Trained ambushers
Natural habitat

1d30

Tough

Well planned
Hi INT ambushers

1d50

Impossible

Indigenous species
Mechanical ambush

1d100

Bizarre

Psionic ambush
Robot skill ambush

1d1000

Difficulty

Example

Difficulty

Detection Timing

Timing of ambush detection is critical. The difficulty of the ambush determines how much warning the expedition gets. Advanced warning will allow the personas to alert each other to the impending attack, completely negating the ambush. The timing of ambush detection depends on the difficulty of the ambush.

Trivial and Easy Difficulty

Personas that detect the ambush will have time to warn other members of the expedition. Early detection will not only negate the ambush but may allow for a counterattack.

Normal Difficulty

Normal ambush detection occurs at the last instant, and the referee decides if there is an opportunity to alert other personas. Personas with ambush detection abilities (like avarians) may allow for advanced ambush detection. If the expedition is actively moving stealthily to avoid ambush, the referee may allow for timely ambush detection.

Tough, Impossible and Bizarre Difficulty

These are professional, naturally evolved and electromechanical ambushes. Only personas that detect the ambush can react. There is no chance to alert other personas, and carnage will likely ensue.

Ambush Duration

The effect of an ambush is to create confusion within the ambushed targets. The result of this confusion leaves some of the ambushees unable to move, attack or act. This oblivious behaviour can last up to three excruciatingly long combat units. The ambushers get to make unanswered attacks and moves against those who did not detect the ambush.

Robot leaping onto a humanoid from behind.

What? Huh?

Those personas not ambushed (whose players won the Awareness roll) combat begins with a typical initiative roll. Those personas ambushed (whose players lost the Awareness roll) cannot move, attack or act. Ambushed personas maintain their Defence Rating but are sitting ducks.

Ambush Duration Table
An ambush lasts 4 units.

FIRST UNIT

Test

Awareness Detection roll

Success

Initiative Roll (not ambushed)

Failure

Oblivious. (ambushed)

SECOND UNIT

Test

Normal (1d20) AWE and DEX attribute rolls.

Success

Initiative Roll (no longer ambushed)

Failure

Noticed something (still ambushed)

THIRD UNIT

Test

Normal (1d20) AWE or DEX attribute roll.

Success

Initiative Roll

Failure

Probably felt something (massively ambushed)

FOURTH UNIT

Test

Persona still conscious?

Success

Initiative Roll

Failure

Unconscious or dead.

Anatomy Of An Ambush

Let’s consider a rather intelligent herd of indigenous life forms that have prepared an ambush for an unsuspecting expedition. The ambushers are well organized and indigenous. Each persona must make an improbably (1d100) Ambush Detection Roll. Detecting this ambush will be at the last instant, and there is no opportunity to warn the rest of the expedition.

The expedition consists of four personas Abel, Babel, Cable and Dabel. Abel is a feline, and her player wins the improbable (1d100) Ambush Detection Roll. The remaining personas will suffer the effects of an ambush. How long they remain ambushed depends on Awareness and Dexterity rolls.

Anatomy of an Ambush Table
An ambush lasts 4 units.

FIRST UNIT

Test

Improbable (1d100) Awareness roll

Success

Abel succeeded and joins combat (not ambushed)

Failure

Babel, Cable and Dabel are oblivious and ambushed.

SECOND UNIT

Test

Normal (1d20) AWE and DEX attribute rolls.

Success

Babel wins both and joins combat.

Failure

Cable and Dabel are still ambushed.

THIRD UNIT

Test

Normal (1d20) AWE or DEX attribute roll.

Success

Cable wins her a roll and joins combat.

Failure

Dabel loses both rolls and remains ambushed.

FOURTH UNIT

Test

Persona still conscious?

Success

Dabel is damage but is still standing.

All expedition members have situational Awareness.

Pair of velociraptors bursting out from back of van with two surprised pre-dinner meatbags.

The vanguard of guarding vans.

First Unit

The aliens attack the expedition. The only combatants that can act are the ambushing aliens and Abel. Abel joins the aliens, making initiative rolls. Babel, Cable and Dabel do not join the initiative and don’t know what is happening. They are sitting meat bags. They are not defenceless, and their Defence Rating is unchanged, but they cannot move nor attack in response. The aliens, and Abel, get to make attack rolls and move.

Second Unit

Before making the init order, the ambushed personas have a chance to notice what is going on. The players running Babel, Cable and Dabel must win a normal (1d20) Awareness roll and Dexterity roll to join into combat. Only Babel’s player wins both these rolls, and she can make an initiative roll this unit.

So now, initiative and combat include the aliens, Abel and Babel. Cable and Dabel remain oblivious meat sacks unable to attack or move.

Third Unit

Before making the init order, the ambushed personas have a chance to notice what is going on. The player running Dabel must win a normal (1d20) Awareness roll or Dexterity roll to join into combat. Sadly for Dabel, her player fails both these attribute rolls.

So now, initiative and combat include the aliens, Abel, Babel and Cable. Dabel may prove to be a spectator at her funeral.

Fourth Unit

The pain for the ambushed personas has ended. All personas still standing can join into combat. Thankfully Dabel managed to survive the alien attacks and has regained situational Awareness.