Advanced Rules



We last spoke about the “Need to Know” Basics. Today we are going to talk about some of the other important points that we didn’t cover. These are concepts like Tactical Advantages, Tactical Points, Trauma Chart, Trauma Damage, Weapon Speed Multipliers, Exhausted and Weakened Conditions, Mobile and Immobile Actions, and Battle Zone Control. Some of them may be familiar concepts and some may not be. All of them are integral pieces to the greater picture.

Tactical Combat

Tactical Advantages are covered in depth here and here. The very short explanation of them is that they are extra abilities and enhancements that you may use in Unchained Heroes that are powered by Tactical Points. You may also use Energy to power them, but that is not as common and usually only allowed for story/roleplaying reasons like using Translocate for a short range jump or something of the sort. Tactical Advantages add an extra level of control to your game session, allowing you to speed up your Actions, perform Actions instantly, force Actions to become Critical Effect that deal double damage or grant double the healing, and much more.

To power your Tactical Advantages you are going to need Tactical Points(TP). Tactical Points are accrued by performing Actions in combat and represent an edge that the players have over their opponents. Depending on the speed of your Action, you get varying amounts of TP. The official rule for how much TP you obtain for an Action is based on the Action’s Action Time(AT):

  • AT6 or less grant 1TP
  • AT7-12 grant 2TP
  • AT13 or greater grant 3TP

You don’t need to use TP for Tactical Advantages, you can also turn them into Energy with a Tide of Battle Action. You get Energy back at a rate of 10 Energy per TP with a Tide of Battle Action. This gives you a method to recoup some Energy during the course of a long fight without using Potions or other methods. It’s like you are taking a second to catch your breath and get a feel for the fight and then you continue the battle with renewed vigor.

The Trauma Chart

You take more than just damage to Health in Unchained Heroes, you also suffer Trauma Damage as measured by the Trauma Chart. The Trauma Chart is a separate track of vital statistics that represent the abstract effects of suffering a large amount of damage, being poisoned, suffering diseases, breaking a leg, and so on. You go down the Trauma Chart by suffering Trauma Damage, you go back up the Trauma Chart by being healed of Trauma Damage. The Trauma Chart is divided into Trauma Stages, each with a descriptor to let you know how you might be feeling and the in game effects to you Hero. The 7 Trauma Levels are: Healthy, Bruised, Hurt, Injured, Debilitated, Maimed, and Incapacitated. Your Hero will most often be in the Healthy section of the chart. As your Hero moves down the Trauma Chart their Battle Skills suffer Penalties.

Normalized Damage and Healing

Weapon Speed Multipliers are a means to equalize the damage and healing done in the game based on the speed of the Action. The slower weapons have a higher Weapon Speed Multiplier to make them deal equal to or similar damage to the faster weapons over time. The Weapon Speed Multiplier applies to your Martial Strength and Spell Potency Statistics. You will multiply those values by the Weapon Speed Multiplier to determine your Base Damage and Healing modifier that is added to any Onslaught or Healing Ability. An AT11 weapon has a Weapon Speed Multiplier of 1.5. In this case, you would multiply your MS of 10 and SP of 5 by 1.5 separately to determine your Damage and Healing Modifiers of 15 for Martial Actions and 8 for Supernatural Actions. That means you will get to add 15 to any Damage and Healing rolls for your Martial Actions while you would only get to add 8 to your Supernatural Actions.

The Exhausted and Weakened Conditions

When you perform Instant Actions in the Unchained Heroes, you are performing an Action that is very powerful because it breaks all the normal rules about damage per time interval and your available number of Actions. To be able to mitigate the effects of a person using Instant after Instant after Instant, we have two conditions called the Exhausted and Weakened Conditions. Think of these conditions are getting “winded” or “overextended.” While they are active, they make it so you can’t use any other Actions that might cause the Exhausted or Weakened conditions. For example, say you are a Dread Knight and use the Tactical Advantage Rampage to make your current Onslaught an Instant, you would be able to use your Onslaught instantly and afterwards be affected by the Exhausted Condition for X Time Intervals where X is equal to your Exhausted or Weakened Condition TI. It is typically 20TI minus any modifiers. This means that until X is complete, you won’t be able to use Rampage again or any other Action that might cause you to become Exhausted. You can be both Exhausted and Weakened at the same time without any ill effects to you other than you won’t be able to use other Actions that might cause those conditions.


Movement in Unchained Heroes is handled by crossing Battle Zones through a Move Action. Movement within your Current Battle Zone is not important, you are always considered to be jostling around for position and that is covered with Battle Zone Control rules. When you perform an Action, you should be careful to note if the Action is Mobile or Immobile because it means one of two important things: you can either perform it while moving or you can’t. A Mobile Action can occur at the same time as you are performing a Move Action, think running at a foe and preparing to make an attack with your sword. An Immobile Action requires a lot more concentration and effort to perform, so you must pause it if you are going perform a Move Action. For example, casting a Fireball is an Immobile Action that must be paused to perform a Move Action. It won’t be cancelled if you perform a Move Action, but it will have to be stopped and restarted from the moment it was paused when your move Action is complete.

Battle Zone Control

The last important rule to note today is Battle Zone Control. This concept encompasses a large number of things, it most directly represents an advantage for having superior numbers. It is calculated by something called Battle Zone Presence. A Small or Medium size creature (which is most PCs and Villains) will have a Battle Zone Presence of 1. Add up all the Battle Zone Presence of you and your Allies in a Battle Zone and if you have more than your Foes in that Battle Zone, you have Battle Zone Control and gain a +1 MISC MOD to all Battle Skills against Foes in that Zone. You can also think of it as Flanking if you would prefer. The bigger a Combatant is, the more Battle Zone Presence they have, the same goes with some Champion classes like the Warrior. The Warrior automatically has more Presence than the next guy in a Battle Zone, so they gain +1 Battle Zone Presence. A Dragon or Giant would have MUCH more Battle Zone Presence than a typical adventuring party.

The Battle Zone Control modifier is only locally significant to your Battle Zone, so it does not apply to anyone outside your Battle Zone. So for example, you might have Battle Zone Control against an Orc Raider in your current Battle Zone; she would have to hit you when while you have a +1 MISC MOD to all Battle Skills, but the Orc Spellcaster in the Zone next to you does not have to worry about you having a Battle Zone Control bonus against him. He can cast his spell at you without taking the +1 MISC MOD to Battle Skills that you get against the menacing Raider in your Battle Zone.

That wraps up the Advanced Rules you need to know in Unchained Heroes. There might be more that will come up in a game session, but these will get you well on your way to combating the worst of the worst bad guys.

All the Skills involve the Core Mechanic, but that is just the tip of the Iceberg. If you are interested in more about Unchained Heroes check out these posts:


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