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Combat Skill Guide
For the GROG RPG: Section 4
© 2019 James LaFond
The basic variability number in GROG is 6.
Learning is done through experience.
Once a character has survived a combat of one of the general types, he gains a skill point. If for instance, he is fighting empty hand against a knife he gains an empty hand point and a hand weapon skill point. Once he has acquired 6 skill points in one of the combat types, he advances a level along the following progression:
-unskilled 0-5
-skilled 6-11
-expert 12-17
-veteran 18-23
-superior 24-29
-master 30+
Note that the ability to purchase skills outright during character creation does permit training up to expert only. Each initial skill point is assumed to bring the combatant to the minimal experience equivalent. One could spend all three of his skill points on being an expert in some form of combat at the outset of play, but could never gain skill equal to a veteran through training alone.
Each combat type has an attribute which governs it’s use for the unskilled and remains in force for the skilled. Therefore, a novice character with a 12 toughness, would fight empty handed with a 12, while a character with a 7 toughness, who has the empty hand skill [boxing, wrestling, and martial arts are all regarded as equal in this and are left to the imaginations of the players and moderator] level of veteran, will be permitted to add his agility number of 8 for his first skill tier, his strength number of 6 for his second skill tier, his creativity number of 5 for his 3rd skill tier, and his combat experience of 27 fights of all kinds, for a total of 53 points to 12 points, with the freakishly tough novice rolling on the combat results table at a -41 while the veteran boxer rolls on a +41.
Each type of combat listed below is tallied according to one’s skill in the type of weapon he is using, with the skill tiers listed below, with each level of experience or training permitting a combatant to use another portion of his natural ability to set into play.
Empty hand
Unskilled = toughness +
Skilled = agility
Expert = strength
Veteran = creativity
Superior = personality
Master = honor
If this combatant is unskilled, with a 10 toughness and 20 other types of combats, for a total of 30, and he is fighting an expert wrestler who has never been in a fight with a total of 18 points, the combat will be fought at +12 versus -12 on the combat table.
Handy Weapon
Handy weapons include such weapons as knives, razors, stones, daggers and mugs. Large knives, dueling daggers and blunt weapons larger than saps such as extend the reach of the combatant are treated as one-handed weapons.]
Unskilled: luck +
Skilled: agility
Expert: strength
Veteran: creativity
Superior: toughness
Master: honor
One-Handed weapon
Weapons between the length of the forearm and the leg of the user, usually being arm-length for optimal usage, including all shields and extension weapons used in one hand, fall into this category. Note that to use a two-handed weapon in one hand requires a strength of 9.
Unskilled: agility +
Skilled: strength
Expert: toughness
Veteran: creativity
Superior: intelligence
Master: honor 
Two-handed weapons
Weapons such as spears, mauls, polearms, great swords and poleaxes, clubbing with long guns and fighting with bulky improvised weapons like chairs, are all classed as two-handed and would require a 9 strength and the one-handed weapon skill to use one handed, meaning that every spearman in a hoplite array must have a strength of 9.
Unskilled: strength
Skilled: toughness
Expert: agility
Veteran: luck
Superior: personality
Master: honor
Any hurled weapon, from a stone to a spear or axe.
Unskilled: personality
Skilled: strength
Expert: agility
Veteran: toughness
Superior: creativity
Master: honor
Damage and Range of Missiles in Dice and Paces
Knife-rock-stick-hand axe: 1 D [5]
Rock: Sling stone 1 D [100]
Spear: 2 D [20]
Dart: 1 D [30]
Axe-hammer: 2 D [10]
Javelin: 1 D [50]
Atlatl: 1 D [100]
Muscle-powered bows, which have the following minimal strength requirements:
-light [5], recurve [6], -stout [7], composite [8 or 10*], long [9], great [10,11 or 12**]
Unskilled: creativity
Skilled: agility
Expert: strength
Veteran: luck
Superior: intelligence
Master: honor
-* Requires an 8 strength to use at half power—range and a 10 to use at full.
-** Great bows should be personalized, like the bow of Odysseus which could not be drawn by his wife’s many suiters.
Archery damage is & range in paces:
-light = 1D -1 [50]
-recurve = 1D [75]
-stout = 2 ½ D [100]
-half-drawn composite = recurve [75]
-fully drawn composite = 2 D [150]
-long = 2 D [200]
-great = 2 D +2 [200+]
All crossbows and firearms are included in this, as well as siege engines.
Unskilled: intelligence
Skilled: personality
Expert: agility
Veteran: luck
Superior: creativity
Master: honor
Mechanical Combat Damage &Range in Paces
-Pistol 2 D [50]
-Crossbow 2D [manually drawn with stirrup] [75]
-Heavy crossbow 3D [employs a mechanical crank] [150]
-Blunder buss 6 ½ D [50]
-Musket 3D [150]
Engines and cannon can be sized up from the heavy crossbow and musket.
Some Thoughts on Combat Attributes
For hand-to-hand combat the primary dividing line is grit and toughness, that places those willing to endure pain and suffering aggressively on a higher plane of combat than the common person.
If luck ever counted it does so in knife-fighting range where limited perspective is granted to antagonists along with minimal reaction time.
Biomechanical coordination has made the art of the sword and even the stick and tomahawk the province of highly coordinated mid-sized men.
The act of placing both hands on a weapon engages the full musculature and big powerful men have tended to dominate fighting with polearms.
Throwing anything effectively is certainly a function of strength and agility. But no one becomes highly skilled at it unless they put in grinding hours of often painful practice. The force of will implicit in the personality attribute is brought into play here.
Archery has ever been the province of the boy who grew into manhood practicing with his bow and arrow and tended to “be point and loose” and highly intuitive, not calculating like the compound bow user, which, properly speaking, belongs in the shooting category.
Intelligence counts for more in shooting than the other combat forms.
By the Wine Dark Sea
Action Resolution
Melee Weapons & Armor
time & cosmos
beasts of aryаs
fiction anthology one
the greatest boxer
barbarism versus civilization
within leviathan’s craw
into leviathan’s maw
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