Chapter 9: Combat Tables

The Combat Table is an essential part of the persona record sheet in EXP. Each persona’s combat table keeps track of how well they can use weapons, what kind of bonuses they get to hit, and ultimately how good they are at combat. If the referee is not using the Tactical Combat System then this table can be skipped altogether. the Combat Table is explained in more detail in the combat rules section of EXP.  Which is not surprisingly titled Combat Rules.  Section three describes the rules and guidelines for resolving combat during play. It is recommended that you read Chapter 25: Introduction to Combat before attempting to compose any ambitious battles for your players. For players, understanding how combat works in EXP is a good idea before sending your persona into a confusing bloodbath. The whys and wherefores of clashing arms or tentacles or fusion grenades is discussed in Section Three.

What you do need to know here is how to record on paper the characteristics that determined a persona’s combat ability. Chapters 26 and 27 discuss the two combat systems employed by EXP. The more complex of these is the Tactical Combat System which attempts to account for factors like terrain, weapon type, and persona experience and how those things affect the outcome of a heated battle. Both the Tactical and Theatrical Combat Systems enable the player and referee to simulate anything from vast nuclear exchanges between deep space dreadnaughts down to personal conflict between two martial artists.

The Tactical Combat System requires some information about the persona and her attributes. This is recorded on the persona’s combat table. The persona’s innate physical and mental finesse will influence how effectively she can wreak destruction on her opponents. In order to make the whole act efficient and playable (and hence, fun) the calculation of combat adjustment is completed during persona generation. Each persona has her own Combat Table. The table is organized by weapon type and for each type gives a value by which to persona’s chance of scoring a hit on her target is increased.

There are three weapon types that appear on the Combat Table: A, B, and C. A detailed description of these Weapons and how they are used appears in Chapter 27: Tactical Combat and Chapter 28: Weapons. Type A weapons are non-powered thrusting and striking weapons, Type B are non-powered projectile weapons, and Type C are powered weapons. The distinction between the three types is made because different attributes come into play when determining the ability to use different weapons. For instance, PSTR will obviously have any effect on how well a persona can wield her battle axe but it will have very little effect on her marksmanship with a laser pistol.

Generating the Combat Table

The important components of the combat table are: Bonus Proficient (BP), Bonus Non-proficient (BNP), Maximum Roll (MR) and Damage Adjustment (DA). The player must record each of these values for each weapon type. Weapon types A, B, and C will have its own BP, BNP, MR, and DA. These 12 values, even if they are zero, should be recorded on a three row by four column matrix called combat table. Combat table will be cumbersome at first. Once players become more familiar with the table it will reveal itself is a simple and efficient way to store the persona’s combat bonuses.

There are no tables and no reference charts; simply at the appropriate bonus to the kilodie roll and see if it is higher than the target’s armour rating.

Table 9.1 Description of a Combat Table

A table that describes a table using easy language examples.
Weapon TypeBonus Proficient (BP)Bonus Non Proficient (BNP)Maximum Roll (MR)Damage Adjustment (DA)
Weapon TypeBP (skilled in use)BNP (unknown weapon)MR (best possible roll)DA (increase to damage)
A (contact)SwordAny other hitting weaponHighest rollPSTR increases damage
B (ranged)BowAny other throwing weaponHighest rollless PSTR effect on damage
C (powered)PistolAny other gun. Highest rollNo PSTR bonus

Bonus Proficient (BP)

A bonus is anything that adds to the chance of success of an attack. All bonuses increase the chance of the to-hit roll being successful because the value is added to the roll. “Proficient” indicates that the persona is skilled at using a certain weapon. Proficiency is discussed more thoroughly later in Chapter 27. The BP is added to any to-hit roll made by a player when her persona is attacking with a weapon she is proficient with. The roll to hit is increased and thus the persona’s chances to inflict damage are increased also.

Strength is of great benefit to type A weapons

Attribute Bonuses: Certain weapon types (A, B, or C) are best employed by personas with specific attributes. There is no rule that says a physically weak persona cannot wield a sword but a physically strong persona will be much more effective.

The attribute bonuses are not specific to each conceivable weapon in existence but they are modeled around the weapon types described earlier. The attributes that improve each weapon type are reasonably self explanatory. Some justifications of how they improve each weapon type’s BP are given.

To calculate the persona’s attribute bonus component of the BP refer to Table 9.1: Attribute to Hit Bonus. A persona with a high PSTR can increase her chances two-hit when attacking with the type A weapon. Type A weapons depend on force to inflict damage. Physically stronger personas can generate greater force which in turn requires less contact to impart damage to the target, hence the chance of hitting is increased. High DEX values increase the persona’s ability to hit with projectile or aiming weapons. Eye-hand coordination, range judgment, and balance of the major components of both the DEX attribute and aiming. Weapon Types B and C are dominantly projectile weapons and the major component of their attribute bonus is from dexterity. When a persona uses type D, E, F, or special weapons. The player will use the type G -to hit bonus.

Table 9.2 Bonus Proficient (BP)

The value added to a to hit roll if the player persona is skilled with the attack.
Weapon TypeAttribute Bonus to BP 
Weapon TypeAttribute Bonus to BP
A (Contact)1.5 times AWE
2 times DEX
1.5 times INT
5 times PSTR
Add this total
to hit rolls for skilled
striking weapons.
B (Throwing)1 times AWE
4 times DEX
1 times INT
2 times PSTR
Add this total
to hit roll for skilled
throwing weapons
C (Powered)1 times AWE
9 times DEX
1 times INT
1 times PSTR
Add this total
to hit roll for skilled
powered weapons

The attribute bonus is the major component of the first level persona’s BP. A persona named Bob Too has the following attributes: AWE 10, DEX 16, INT 12, and PSTR 12. According to the Attribute To Hit Bonus table, Bob Too’s attribute bonuses are calculated below on the Example Attribute To Hit Bonus table.

Table 9.3 Example Bonus Proficient (BP)

Calculating the BP with the following attributes: AWE 10, DEX 16, INT 12, and PSTR 12
Weapon TypeAttribute Contribution to Bonus Proficient (BP)Total Bonus Proficient (BP)
Weapon TypeAttribute Bonus to BP
A (Contact)1.5 times AWE = 15
2 times DEX = 32
1.5 times INT = 18
5 times PSTR = 60
Total of 125 bonus added to skilled striking weapon to hit rolls
B (Throwing)1 times AWE = 10
4 times DEX = 64
1 times INT = 12
2 times PSTR = 24
Total of 110 bonus added to skilled throwing weapon to hit rolls
C (Powered)1 times AWE = 10
9 times DEX = 144
1 times INT =12
1 times PSTR = 12
Total of 178 bonus added to skilled powered weapon to hit rolls

Bob Too’s player would add 110 to her to-hit roll whenever the persona was using a type B weapon. If any of Bob Too’s attributes were to change, then her combat table would be altered also. It shouldn’t be necessary to recalculate the entire combat table and simple subtraction from the bonus should be accurate enough. If Bob Too’s PSTR were to drop two points for whatever reason then it should suffice to subtract 10 from the type A BP, 4 from the B BP, and 2 from the type C BP. If the attribute adjustments are only transient then the referee may omit the calculations to ensure playability.

Experience Bonuses: The BP is contingent on two factors: the persona’s attributes and experience level. These two factors are added to complete the BP for characters as they attain higher levels. At first, low level personas will be dependent mostly on the persona’s natural attributes and not on her experience level. The BP will increase as the persona gains EXPS and increases her level. There is no experience bonus at level one so this data is not included here.

Eventually, the to-hit bonus will be more dependent on the combat experience of the persona than the persona’s attributes. This is reflected in an increase of the bonus proficient for each new experience level that the persona advances. The BPs increase incrementally every experience level regardless of the persona’s class. Combat classes have a much greater BP increase per level than the non-combat classes.

For each combat situation that the persona survives, she earns experience points. EXPS can be earned for carrying out class skills and the combat classes receive more experience for combat than the other personas. Each experience level represents a higher level of expertise in general combat. Chapter 15: Experience provides a detailed explanation of experience and explains how each class improves its Combat Table statistics with experience.

If you don't know how to use a tool, errors are more likely.
If you don’t know how to use a tool, errors are more likely.

Bonus Non-Proficient (BNP)

The BNP is used for to-hit rolls when the persona is not proficient with a particular weapon. How to determine whether a persona is proficient with a certain weapon or not is explained in Chapter 27: Tactical Combat  under Proficiency.

Whether or not a persona is proficient in a particular weapon depends on the player. The weapons that a persona is proficient in are chosen by the player and are recorded on the persona record sheet. Proficiencies are related to specific weapons and not weapon types. So a persona could be proficient with a bow but not with all type B weapons. The BNP is the second of the four columns on the combat table.

When the persona is using a weapon that she is not familiar with, the player may only add the Bonus Non-Proficient (BNP) to her to hit roll. The BNP is intimately linked to her BP and does increase her chance to be successful in combat. However, the bonus non-proficient is much less than the bonus proficient and, in lethal personal combat, every edge increases the persona’s chances of survival.

Calculating the BNP: The BNP is calculated separately for all three of the weapon types. Each BNP is a fraction of the BP for the same weapon type. The values listed on the Bonus Non-Proficient are percentages. A spie’s BNP for a type A weapon would be 25% of her BP for type A weapons. This means that whenever the persona’s BP changes, so does her BNP. The percentages listed on the Bonus Non-Proficient Table are multiplied by the BP to create the BNP. For example, if a first level nomad’s BP for weapon Type A were 100, then her BNP would be 15 (100 times .15). When making a roll to hit with a non-proficient Type B weapon, the player would add 15 to her hit roll instead of 100. Personas will find themselves using proficient weapons as often as possible.

Table 9.4 Bonus Non-Proficient (BNP)

Below are the percentages of the persona's Bonus Proficient that can be used for an unskilled weapon. It depend on class and weapon type. A biologist would have a BNP of 0 with an unskilled club, while a mercenary would have their full BP.
Persona ClassWeapon Type AWeapon Type BWeapon Type C
Persona ClassWeapon Type A Weapon Type BWeapon Type C
Biologist0015
Knite252030
Mechanic151015
Mercenary100100100
Nomad15350
Nothing5010
Spie252025
Veterinarian0010
Alien (non class)SpecialSpecialSpecial
RobotSpecialSpecialSpecial

Aliens and Robots: These two classes are special cases. Before an alien would be able to attempt using a weapon other than it’s natural attack it would have to be a tool user. If that alien were a tool and had a class then it would use the persona class BNP above. Aliens that are not tool users cannot pick up random weapons and use them. Robots are similarly limited depending on their robot type, attachments and level of insanity. The “natural weapons” of robots are usually malfunctioning peripherals that were built in at manufacture. The exception are androids or robots with attachments that would allow them to utilize weapons. Both aliens and robots would require a high level of referee interpretation of specific situation. Which means don’t be afraid to use sphincter dice described in Chapter

Maximum Roll (MR)

The maximum roll is the third column of the combat table. It is simultaneously the most important component and the most frustrating component of the tactical combat table. The maximum roll is the highest to-hit roll that the player can make. If her maximum roll is 894 then anything that she rolls on kilo-dice that is higher than 894 is announced as 894. If her kilo-die roll is 987 plus a BP of 134, her final to hit roll is 894, not 1121.

Some of us will never have the skill to hit the target.
Some of us will never have the skill to hit the target.

The MR is directly tied to the persona’s BP and increases with experience levels. Thus the higher the persona’s level, the higher the maximum roll and the more that she is capable of scoring a hit on. To calculate the persona’s maximum roll, refer to the Maximum Roll Table. The player adds her persona’s bonus proficient to the base MR for each of the weapon types. That is her persona’s MR for that weapon type regardless of whether she is using her BP or BNP.

Table 9.5 Maximum Roll (MR)

Maximum roll is the highest to hit roll value a player persona can roll.
Weapon TypeMaximum Roll (MR)
Weapon TypeMR
A (contact)625 plus BP for Type A
B (ranged)650 plus BP for Type B
C (weapons)675 plus BP for Type C

If a veterinarian persona has a BP of 95 for type A weapons, her maximum roll for type A weapons would be 720. Any to hit roll that the player made for type A weapons could be no higher than 720. The MR is calculated for all three weapon types and applies to any weapon in that category be it proficient, non-proficient, or skilled (only mercenaries have weapon skills). If the same veterinarian’s BP were to increase to 106, then her MR would increase to 731 and any to hit roll greater than 731 would be announced as 731.

Damage Adjustment (DA)

Damage adjustments are made for any non-powered attack that the persona uses. A stronger persona could generate more killing forces, more damage, than a weaker persona when using a weapon that depends on PSTR for damage.

The damage adjustment is the last column of the combat table. The DA represents the effect of physical strength on non-powered weapons. Damage adjustment only applies to type A and type B weapons. There is no damage adjustment for type C weapons because these are powered weapons and the PSTR of the attacker does not affect the damage inflicted.

Type A weapons have a DA equal to the persona’s PSTR. Any persona attacking with a type A weapon can add a number of HPS in damage equal to their PSTR. If a persona with an 11 PSTR were to hit with a long sword, she would add 6 HPS to her d8 damage roll. Type B weapons are less dependent on PSTR and only add one-quarter of the persona’s PSTR when they inflict damage. If the same persona hit with a throwing dagger, she would increase her damage by 3 HPS. Consult the Damage Adjustment table for more information.

Table 9.6 Damage Adjustment (DA)

This is how many hit points the player persona adds to any damage roll depending on the weapon class
Weapon TypeDamage Adjustment (DA)
Weapon TypeDA
A (contact)PSTR divided by 2
B (ranged)PSTR divided by 4
C (weapons)0

Initial Proficiencies

“Proficient” means that the persona can use the design of a weapon so that it aids her in combat. Proficiency is more akin to weapon familiarity than it is to weapon skill. It allows the persona to hit with the edge of a sword, use the full leverage of a pike, and point a gun in the right direction. Each single proficiency refers to a single weapon. Thus a persona that can have 3 proficiencies can choose 3 specific weapons that she is proficient in. If a persona is proficient in a weapon, it means that her player can add the BP to any to hit rolls that she makes. Proficiency does not increase the persona’s ability to score a hit by increasing her bonus proficient but it allows the player to add her entire BP to any to hit rolls that she makes.

Acquiring Proficiency: Personas are not automatically proficient in all weapon types and they must choose them carefully. For example, being proficient with a laser may be really fun until its batteries run out. In the long run a crossbow proficiency may have been a better choice. What weapons a persona is proficient in is completely determined by the player. Weapon proficiencies need not be chosen all at the same time and the player can wait until the right weapon for her persona comes along.

The number of weapons that a persona can be proficient in is limited and is dependent on her class. Combat classes start with more proficiencies and learn new ones faster while non-combat class personas will become proficient in very few weapons.

Each persona has an initial number of proficiencies when she starts at first level. The number of proficiencies is determined on Table 9.6: Weapon Proficiency. Each proficiency represents familiarity with one particular weapon. According to this table, a nomad could be proficient in up to three powered (type C weapons) at first level. She does not have to choose all three of these proficiencies in first level and, in the case of type C weapons, the persona may not even encounter them.

Table 9.7 Weapon Proficiencies

Determined by class. The numbers listed are the experience levels that new proficiencies are added. A 1 indicates a proficiency at level 1. 2@1 indicaties 2 proficiencies at level 1.
Persona ClassWeapon Type AWeapon Type BWeapon Type C
Persona ClassWeapon Type A Weapon Type BWeapon Type C
Biologist1, 3, 6, 9, 121, 5, 8, 11, 141, 4, 7, 10, 13
Knite2@1, 2, 4, 6, 8 1, 3, 6, 9, 122@1, 2, 4, 6, 8
Mechanic1, 3, 6, 9, 121, 4, 7, 10, 132@1, 2, 4, 6, 8
MercenarySpecialSpecialSpecial
Nomad1, 3, 6, 9, 123@1, 4, 7, 10, 121, 5, 8, 11, 14
NothingSpecialSpecialSpecial
Spie1, 2, 4, 6, 8 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 1, 2, 4, 6, 8
Veterinarian1, 3, 6, 9, 121, 5, 8, 11, 141, 4, 7, 10, 13
Alien (non class)SpecialSpecialSpecial
RobotSpecialSpecialSpecial

Special: Aliens and robots will only gain proficiencies in weapons if they have acquired a class. For example an alien would have to be a tool user, and have a class to learn additional weapon proficiencies. Robots may learn how to use a new malfunctioning peripheral as a weapon but that will have to be worked out by the referee and player. Mercenaries are proficient in all weapons. That is a basic class ability. Nothings get proficiency in one weapon total and never gain proficiency in any more.

Example Combat Table

Let’s add the class of Nomad to our example persona Bob Too. Bob Too has the following attributes: AWE 10, DEX 16, INT 12, and PSTR 12. Check out Bob Too’s complete combat table as a nomad below.

Table 9.8 Example Combat-Table (CT)

A completed combat table for a first level Nomad player persona with the following attributes: AWE 10, DEX 16, INT 12, and PSTR 12. Can't someone make a computer do this?
Weapon TypeBonus Proficient (BP)Bonus Non Proficient (BNP)Maximum Roll (MR)Damage Adjustment (DA)
Weapon TypeBP (skilled in use)BNP (unknown weapon)MR (best possible roll)DA (increase to damage)
A (contact)125197506
B (ranged)110397603
C (powered)17808530