Kenneth gives us an example of The KB3 Traveller Task System in fast and furious hand-to-hand combat action.
KB3 is versatile, allowing for both styles of play, and I'll discuss them both below.
For example, Gvoudzon the Vargr uses his Infighting-1 skill, attacking a Vilani NPC who has Brawling-2.NOTE that Skill Options could be used on either throw (Gvoudzon's attack or the Vilani's defence roll - or vice versa).
Round 1: Gvoudzon rolls 2D, and then the Vilani defends himself with a difficulty roll using Brawling - the Vilani rolls 3D (a 2D vs 3D set of rolls).
Then, it's the Vilani's turn to attack. He rolls 3D to hit Gvoudzon, and the Vargr defends himself by rolling 2D.
After everybody's had a turn to act in the round, we move into round 2.
ALSO NOTE that, typically, a Greater Success result means a die is added to damage, and a Marginal Success result means that a die is subtracted from damage. However, the GM is encouraged to get creative with Greater/Marginal Success results, describing a condition unique to the particular fight - maybe a Greater Success means that the defender is forced to make a DEX check or be forced off a cliff... or whatever fits the scenario or develops in the GM's imagination.
AND ANOTHER NOTE is that, when Difficulty Throws are rolled as Opposed Throws, they ARE measured. Thus, if the Vilani above rolled Greater Success when defending against a blow made by Gvoudzon, I'd say that the Vilani defended himself in such a way that the he damaged Gvoudzon with his block. In other words, if Gvoudzon attacks the Vilani, and the Vilani wins the toss with a Greater Success, I'd roll damage on Gvoudzon!
It's quick. It's easy. It's fun. And, using the "measuring" capability of KB3 allows you to throw some additional, creative "fun" into the quick pace of KB3 higher dice rolls.
Note that this is not the only way to add complexity - design KB3 to suit your own tastes.
Here's how I'm going to use KB3 for hand-to-hand fights.
For example, Gvoudzon has Infighting-1;
Gvoudzon rolls 2D for his hand to hand attack;
Gvoudzon rolls a total of "7".
Continuing our example, the Vilani NPC has Brawling-2;
the Vilani NPC rolls 3D to defend himself;
the Vilani NPC rolls a total of "5".
Note that a like number of points is added to the character's fatigue pool (see below) for the extended effort it took to defend themselves in this manner.
In our example, Gvoudzon wins the toss above (7 vs 5);
the Vilani NPC has DEX 6, thus 6 points are available in his defensive pool;
the Vilani NPC uses 3 points from his defensive pool to raise his defence roll;
Gvoudzon's attack fails (7 vs 8);
the Vilani NPC's fatigue pool increases by 3 points.
The Vilani NPC in our example has STR 8;
the Vilani NPC threw 8 on his defence roll above;
the Vilani NPC threw Greater Success and damages Gvoudzon;
"Hands" do 1D damage;
the Vilani NPC rolls 1D, resulting in "1";
1 point of damage is applied to Gvoudzon.
The Vilani NPC has STR 8, thus 8 points are available in his offensive pool;
the Vilani NPC wishes to re-roll the 1D damage indicated above;
his offensive pool is reduced to 7 points;
his fatigue pool increases by 1 point;
the Vilani NPC re-rolls 1D, with a result of "5";
5 points of damage are applied to Gvoudzon instead of the 1 point above.
When the character's fatigue pool is higher than their Endurance (END) score, then only "weakened blows" are allowed. Use CT DM's for "weakened blows" by adding them to the Difficulty Throw (in KB3 you modify the Difficulty Throw rather than the Task Throw; just remember to reverse the sign of the CT modifier!). When the fatigue pool passes END x 2, add another +1 DM to these modifiers. When the fatigue pool passes END x 3, add another +1 DM to these modifiers, and so on.
If the character's END score is reduced through combat, reduce the fatigue pool as well and re-measure their fatigue. This can mean the character can tire quite suddenly!
The Vilani NPC from above has END 5;
his fatigue pool grew from 0 to 3 when he used his defensive pool (above);
his fatigue pool grew from 3 to 4 when he used his offensive pool (also above);
each hand-to-hand combat attack the Vilani NPC makes adds 1 to his fatigue pool.
When the Vilani NPC's fatigue pool reaches 6+, a +2 DM is added to his difficulty (the +2 DM comes from the "weakened blow" column for "Hands" in CT).
For example, the Vilani NPC started with END 5;
his fatigue pool reaches 6;
now he throws a "weakened blow" at Gvoudzon.
The Vilani NPC has Brawling-2, Gvoudzon has Infighting-1;
the Vilani NPC throws 3D;
Gvoudzon throws 2D+2 to defend himself.
When the Vilani NPC's fatigue pool reaches 11+ (ie. greater than END x 2), an additional +1 DM is added to difficulty.
Now, the Vilani NPC rolls 3D for his attack;
Gvoudzon throws 2D+3 to defend himself.
When the Vilani NPC's fatigue pool reaches 16+ (ie. greater than END x 3), another +1 DM is added to difficulty.
The Vilani NPC rolls 3D for his attack;
Gvoudzon throws 2D+4 to defend himself.
Now let's say that the Vilani NPC is damaged, and his END reduces to 2. His fatigue pool stands at 17.
Compare the Vilani NPC's fatigue pool of 17 to their reduced END of 2;
his fatigue pool is 15 points over his END;
+9 is added to his Difficulty Throws.
The Vilani NPC rolls 3D for another attack;
Gvoudzon throws 2D+9 to defend himself.
Whenever points are used from a pool, the player adds them to the appropriate column during play. When the offensive pool is used, the totals in both the STR and END rows go up. When the defensive pool is used, the totals in both the DEX and END rows go up. When the character makes a combat swing, the END row goes up.
However, my group has a handle on the pools, and the extra steps needed to include these combat pools in my game are not super noticable. If you keep track of ammunition in a firefight, the amount of time required to keep track of these pools is about the same.
And they add a whole new dimension to the hand-to-hand fight. Players figure how best to maneuver their characters. They ask themselves questions like, "Do I use my offensive pool at the expense of raising fatigue? Or do I live with that crappy damage I just rolled?"
The people in my group like this sort of thing. It provides for a more fun, involving atmosphere than just, "OK, you rolled higher. Roll your damage."
Player input is required. They have to use strategy, logic.
And, for us, that makes for a much more fun game!
You may agree, or you may like the quicker pace involved with a pass/fail, damage-or-no-damage system - and for people who like it that way, I recommend the KB3 "Quick Hand-to-Hand Combat" system of Opposed Throws detailed at the top of this post.
Extended Example 1: Hand-to-Hand With KB3, copyright © 2001 Kenneth Bearden.
Compiled and edited by David "Hyphen" Jaques-Watson.
Used by permission.