Chapter 32: Alien Combat

Aliens are any organic non-anthropomorphic life form. They are the blobs, the 5 legged scuttlers, and the ferocious amphibious snake elephants. Aliens will find that they have to fight a lot. Whether it is referee persona aliens slugging it out with xenophobic anthropomorphs, or some indigenous persona making a last ditch effort to escape her place in the food chain. The referee will find that aliens spend a lot of time in combat. Alien combat is essentially no different than any other persona combat. The important elements of combat are covered in Chapter 26: Theatrical Combat and Chapter 27: Tactical Combat. This brief discussion about alien combat is to highlight the similarities and differences that alien and anthro personas have in combat. 

Lunch avoiding diner. Diner acquiring lunch.
Lunch avoiding diner. Diner acquiring lunch.

Aliens roll to hit like all other participants in combat. They wait their turn, roll the appropriate dice, and add their bonA ,proficient. The result must be higher than The target’s armour rating before damage can be inflicted. Aliens, the same as players, also earn experience for descriptive attacks. If the alien is a tool user they may be able to employ mundane or artifact weapons.

Combat Table

The alien combat table is identical to the combat table for  anthropomorph personas, however it is much easier to populate it’s matrix. Aliens which have classes should use the regular combat table that is described in Chapter 9: Combat Tables. The combat table here is for the alien’s natural attack type. If the alien only has a type A, type B, or type C natural attack then the combat table need only include those attack types. Educated, tool using aliens should use the combat table in chapter 9. Table 6.7 Alien Attack Type is included here for reference.

Table 6.8 Alien Combat Table

A table for calculating a table.
Weapon TypeBonus Proficient (BP)Maximum Roll (MR)
A (contact)10 times PSTR700 plus BP
B (ranged)10 times INT750 plus BP
C (weapons)10 times DEX800 plus BP
Weapon TypeBonus ProficientMaximum Roll

Type A Weapon: Thrusting and striking weapons for aliens include their naturally endowed thrusting and striking attacks. Examples are bite, punch, claw, beak, gore, stab, rake, slice, gouge, tear, trample. Any alien using a non natural Type B weapon attack should use the regular combat table for that weapon.

Type B Weapon: This attack type is designated for those aliens that fling objects, shoot quills, or spit in an attempt to inflict their natural damage (spit, breath, blast, arc, spray). Self powered ranged attacks are less common than thrusting and striking attacks for aliens. Any alien using a non natural Type B weapon attack should use the regular combat table for that weapon.

Type C Weapon: Again this is weapon type applies to those natural powered attacks that function like lasers, sonics, electric arcs, radiation doses, or extremely high velocity projectiles. Aliens with natural powered attacks are very rare, and extremely dangerous. They have specially evolved organs that allow them to attack naturally, but with equivalent effect of an artifact weapon. The natural powered attack type will inflict the damage of, and have the attack type of the weapon rolled. Any alien using a non-natural powered weapons should use a regular combat table for those weapons.

The combat table for alien natural attacks is very brief. There is no bonus non-proficient (BNP) column, because an alien can’t be unskilled with its own attack, and unless the alien is a tool user it will have no attack other than it’s natural attacks. There is also no Damage Adjustment (DA) because the damage inflicted by natural attacks is already moderated by PSTR. For example, an alien should not get a PSTR bonus on a Type A natural attack. This only applies to natural attacks, and tool using aliens would benefit from the Damage Adjustment (DA) as would any other persona using the tactical combat table. Table 6.8 Alien Combat Table is included here for ease of mouse pointing.

Table 6.7 Alien Attack Type

Determine what weapon type the alien's natural attack resembles.
Die Roll (d100)Attack TypeExamples
01-75Type ABite, punch, lick, rake, gore
76-97Type BSpit, breath, quill, spray
98-99Type CBullet, lazer, dart, ray
00Ref's Own Table
Die RollAttack TypeExamples

Damage Adjustment

Aliens using natural attacks do not get PSTR damage bonuses. The damage of their attack is determined by their size, and PSTR attribute. Since PSTR helps determine how much damage a hit will inflict PSTR damage adjustments are not applied. Damage can only be inflicted if the alien makes a successful roll to hit, and like all other damage it is subtracted from the opponent’s HPS total.

Armour Rating

An alien’s Armour Rating (AR) is dependant on its outer layer composition, internal body structure, dexterity, and natural combat skills. When an opponent attempts to hit an alien, it must penetrate the alien’s armour. This is done by rolling over the target’s Armour Rating (AR). The better the alien’s armour rating, is the harder she will be to hit. The alien’s AR may be due to a combination ofthe factors described previously, or may be due to one outstanding feature. Armour Rating bonuses such as cover, and concealment can make an alien harder to hit, whereas to hit bonuses such as flanking can make an alien easier to hit.

Hit Points

Alien hit points, like all other participants in combat, are lost whenever they take damage. A HPS of damage to an alien is the same as a HPS of damage to any other persona. The size of the alien makes no difference, if an attack scores a hit then it will inflict whatever damage the weapon designates. Since size is taken into account when the alien’s hit points are generated there are no adjustments in damage based on the alien’s wate. This may be different when using collision or ramming rules in the tactical combat system. A hit point is a hit point, but when an alien reaches zero HPS Total she is dead. This is the single most important difference that aliens have in combat. Aliens are irrevocably dead once they reach zero HPS. Unlike robots and anthropomorphs, an alien cannot survive a negative HPS total. Aliens are not required to make a DSS roll regardless of how much damage they take. Aliens essentially fight to the death. The reasoning for both these peculiarities is rather simple, maybe even specious. Animals generally engage in combat to avoid getting eaten. If they’re knocked unconscious they are going to get eaten anyway, so they might as well fight to the death.