Combat Timeline in Action

The Combat Timeline and Action Time mechanics are discussed in detail on the No More Turns page of this site. This page is dedicated to giving you an example of how the Combat Timeline works in greater detail. In this example we will disregard Battle Zones and just focus on Actions. We have 3 Heroes against a White Dragon. An Oracle, a Rogue, and a Paladin are the Hero Classes. The White Dragon is a Boss. Here is a picture of the Combat Timeline.


Before we go any further, you might want to watch this short video on the simple mechanics behind the Combat Timeline to understand this better.

Starting with Initiative

All combatants roll Initiative to start Combat. Initiative gives the starting order of combat and it helps us handle tie-breakers. All the Combatants in this encounter rolled Initiative with the White Dragon (WD) getting a 45, the Oracle (OR) getting a 37, the Rogue (ROG) a 36, and the Paladin (PLD) a 21. We declare Actions (Declaration Phase) from slowest to fastest in this stage. Paladin declares he is doing Shining Blade which has an Action Time (AT) of 11. The Rogue declares she is doing Infiltrator’s Strike plus the Vector Ambush in an AT of 7. The last player, the Oracle declares she is casting Ballistic Shield in an AT of 7. The Gamemaster tells the players the White Dragon is using Ice Breath as an Instant at AT 0.

Combat Starts at TI 0

Combat begins. The WD immediately activates Ice Breath at AT 0 which will cause him the Weakened Condition for 15 Time Intervals (TI) and the GM begins to roll. The righteous PLD looks at his friends and says to the GM, “As a Reaction, I am using Wings of Shielding.” He then also suffers Weakened for 15TI. Since both have the Weakened Condition, neither the WD or the PLD may use another Action that causes the Weakened Condition again until it is removed. So the GM nods and describes the WD breathing great artic winds laced with ice shards and then the mighty Paladyne of the PLD appears above the Battlefield and draws into it the full brunt of the Ice Breath. The PLD’s allies are unharmed, but he suffers an Automatic Critical Effect. The GM does not need to roll, their attack is an Automatic Hit from Wings of Shielding. They roll damage of 5d12+30, resulting in 65 damage. Since its also a Critical Effect, it becomes 130 damage and the fight continues. AT 0 is complete and the WD has to declare another action, the GM declares he will do Tail Swipe with an AT of 5.

Resolving the first Real Hit

The other players wipe their brows and see that the WD will get off another action before anyone else will get to act, but at least their PLD friend protected them from the first mighty hit. With no other actions that anyone will perform for the next 5TI, the GM moves 5TI down the Combat Timeline to TI 5. The WD performs Tail Swipe as an Attack(ATK) vs Defense(DEF) roll. It is an AoE and it gets a 42, so the GM checks it against the DEF of all the Heroes. The ROG has a 25 DEF, so she is hit. The OR has a 21 DEF, so she is hit as well. The PLD has a 43 DEF, so he is not hit. Lucky for everyone, the PLD also has his Defense of the Archons Sustained Ability (meaning a continuous effect that costs Energy) and has it buffed through techniques to protect against AoE. This makes AoE’s Glancing Effects, which will really help when that Tail Swipe hits. The WD rolls Damage once and hits the ROG and the OR. The GM tells them they both suffer 60 damage. The Defense of the Archons is active however and the mighty Paladyne appears again to deflect some of the blows. Glancing Effects make the Damage or Healing Roll only half as effective, so they end up taking 30 damage each. The WD must declare another action since it is its Declaration phase and chooses to do Swallow Whole with an AT of 5. The ROG takes the opportunity to declare she is using the Tactical Advantage Fade. She has 2 Tactical Points (TP) and spends it, making her fade from view and gain Stealth. This was her plan all along so she could use the Vector Ambush to its full potential.

Moving on!

A lot has happened in the first 5 TI! Nothing else is going on, so we move to TI 7, where the activation of the ROG and the OR begins. First, the OR gets to go, because she has a 37 Initiative, trumping the ROG. She uses Ballistic Shield, making all Ranged Martial Actions against anyone in her Battle Zone Glancing Effects and a shimmering barrier appears around her Battle Zone. Now she gets another Declaration Phase and declares the healing spell Invigorate in AT5. ROG is up and uses Infiltrator’s Strike with Ambush. She rolls ATK vs DEF and gets a hit against the WD. Infiltrator’s Strike does 5d6+15 damage and it is an Automatic Critical Effect from the Ambush Vector, so with a total damage roll of 35, she doubles it to 70 for the Crit and tells the GM so. He describes her slipping out of the shadows behind a broken wagon and stabbing the White Dragon, seriously wounding it. She then declares an Infiltrator’s Strike plus a Dirty Fighting Vector in AT7.

Skipping the Empty Spaces

It’s TI7 and nothing is going to happen until TI10, so we skip ahead to the WD. He tries Swallow Hole, the PLD is not having that, so he tells the GM that as a Reaction, he will use Defender’s Aegis which makes the WD’s action an Automatic Miss. The GM nods again and describes the White Dragon lashing out with its great maw to swallow the annoying ROG only to have a shield fly out and spread into a protective and impenetrable barrier that stubs his nose and kinks the Dragon’s neck. The WD declares another action called Smash in AT 5 and looks menacingly at the PLD . It is TI10, but nothing else occurs, so we move to TI11.

At TI 11, the PLD gets to use his Shining Blade. He makes an attack and hits the WD, dealing 40 damage, then declares another Shining Blade in another 11 TI.

Everyone had an Action (or multiples!)

That is where we will stop. All the players got a piece of the action and many different things happened in a short period of time. We had Actions, Reactions, and Instants. All this took 11 seconds in the game and probably 5 minutes in real time. We repeat this until the players get a Victory Condition or they fail.

That is a short example of the Combat Timeline!

If you are interested in more about Unchained Heroes check out these posts: