Rules Obscura

In rereading the core books, I’ve found repeatedly that there’s some things I’ve missed in running this game. This is where I’m putting some of these things down for future reference.

Brute Squads

  • Have a Threat Rating, typically from 1 to 5. In theory a TR 6 Brute Squad could exist. You wouldn’t want to have to fight one.
  • Are considered to have traits equal to their threat rating.
  • In most cases, Brutes will only have Training in one or two skills if they have skill training at all, and are limited to a maximum of +2 in a given skill (and the vast majority of the time, will only have +1.) Brutes keep (Threat Rating + Training level) dice for a Trained skill. Brutes will occasionally have a Deficiency, a penalty to a skill (again, almost always only -1); using this skill they keep Threat Rating – 1 dice.
  • For skills without Training or Deficiency, Brute Squads Roll a number of dice equal to the quantity of Brutes in the squad up to their Optimal Size and keep Threat Rating. Brutes with more members than their Optimal Size gain no extra benefit except that they can lose a few of their number before their dice pools start to drop.
    • A Brute Squad’s Optimal Size is usually 6, but see Regional Brutes below.
  • Standard TN to be hit is 5 * (Threat Rating + 1), unless they have training in a defensive knack, in which case they use 5 * (Threat Rating + Knack + 1) if the knack is applicable. By the same token, if the Brute squad is forced to use a defense they are deficient in, their Base TN becomes 5 * (Threat Rating + 1 – Deficiency).
  • When you hit a Brute Squad, there is no damage roll; one brute is removed from combat (but see Regional Brutes below). If you call additional raises on the attack roll, you will remove one additional brute for each raise you called if you succeed at the attack roll. Yes, this means that if you call 5 raises against a six man brute squad and succeed, you remove the entire brute squad in a single attack flurry.
  • Brute squads can “form up” around a Hero, Henchman, or Villain. When they do so, each assisting Brute provides the character with a bonus to all rolls except Wound Checks equal to their Threat Rating. However, a character cannot benefit from more Brutes than his Wits score. Any excess brutes provide no benefit except as a buffer to maintain the bonus.
  • Brute squads also use simplified damage rules, doing a set amount of flesh wounds if they hit, and that same amount again for every full 5 points by which they beat the target’s TN to be hit. The chart below lists how much damage brute weapons deal on a successful hit (and how much extra damage they do for every 5 by which they beat the TN to be hit).
Weapon Type Flesh Wounds Examples Other Notes
Small Weapons 3 per “hit” Knives, Belaying Pins Technically includes trained unarmed
Medium Weapons 6 per “hit” Clubs, Fencing Weapons
Bows 6 per “hit” Bows Must typically “reload” costing 1 action
Large Weapons 9 per “hit” Broadswords, Battle Axes Must “set” costing 1 action
Crossbows 9 per “hit” Crossbows Reload = (6 – TR) actions
Very Large Weapons 12 per “hit” Two-handed Swords Must “set” costing 1 action
Firearms 15 per “hit” Pistols/Muskets Reload = (20 – 2*TR) actions
  • Regional Brutes: Brutes from different parts of Theah do tend to differ from one another somewhat. This is represented by the Regional Brutes rules; each of which (except one) modifies the base rules for how Brute Squads work.
Region Advantage
Vendel Brutes Default Brute rules
Avalon Brutes May make 1 reroll per scene
Castillian Brutes <edit>
Eisen Brutes Eisen Brutes must be hit twice to be eliminated
Montainge Brutes <edit>
Pirate Brutes May change 1 height level for free each Phase
Ussuran Brutes Ussuran Brute Squads Optimal Size is 8
Vesten Brute Vesten Brute Squads Inflict one extra hit of damage
Vodacce Brutes Vodacce Brute Squads always keep at least 3 dice

Rules Obscura

Obligations and Entanglements Helgraf