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- Impacts & Damage -

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Impact Modifier

In WarSpike there are no separate 'hit roll' and 'damage roll'. It seems to me that one strike should be resolved with one roll rather than two. Therefore the two elements are combined into one roll. This greatly speeds up game play (halves the number of rolls needed to resolve an attack), as each strike is a roll of the die. Weapons and Armour still have an effect on the success of a strike, and this is simulated with the 'Impact Modifier'.


Calculating Impact Modifier

  • Stature (+ Weapon Leverage) - Stature (+ Armour Padding) = Impact Modifier


Weapon leverage is derived from the length of the grip to the impact area of the weapon measured in feet (average sword strike area is two thirds up the the blade, on a 3 foot blade this is 2 feet or +2)


Armour padding is a measure of impact absorption based on the performance of a Gambeson or Padded Jack (doublet and Arming doublet) made of quilted linen stuffed with wool. Each half inch of padding gives +1 protection. A strong padded Jack as used as primary armour gives +2 padding.


The impact modifier denotes how much energy is passed onto the target. It is used in conjunction with the hit roll to determine the final damage inflicted on the target and the effect that damage will have.


This modifier is applied to a successful hit roll to determine the effect of the strike. If the roll is equal to the skill then it is 'half' (as in 'half and half') effect. If the roll is lower then the skill it is 'full' effect.



A Stature:6 swordsman armed with a sword +2 = 8

A Stature:6 target wearing heavy padded armour +3 = 9

Subtracting the target's combined Stature and armour padding bonus from the swordsman's combined Stature and weapon leverage bonus yields '-1' modifier.


The impact modifier kicks in only if it happens to be a penalty. Subtract the modifier from the skill level, and this is the new threshold for 'full' effect.


For example:

A -1 impact modifier means the Swordsman has to roll under one point below the normal skill level to get the 'full' effect. A Swordsman with skill:6 would need 4 or less on their hit roll to get 'full' effect result, and a roll of 5 or 6 would be a 'half' result.


If the impact modifier is positive it is totally ignored. A Swordsman with a +2 impact modifier and skill:6 would skill need to roll '5' or less to get the full effect. A '6' will still result in a 'half' effect, it doesn't matter how high they modifier goes.


One this to note is that a positive modifier can not increase the chance to hit. Being powerful means nothing if you miss, and power is not the same as accuracy.


Weapon Effects

Weapons has two effects: half and full. All these affect assume the targeting of critical area that are vulnerable. In war the fighter go for the quick kill, in Gladiator matches they may go for other target areas which have different effects (such as disable, or slow kill).



  • Half = N o effect (target absorbs the blow without debilitating impact)
  • Full = Stun (target is stunned by the strike)

Edged (hew)

  • Half = Stun (chops to the flesh, but not deep enough to be critical)
  • Full = Drop (chops to the flesh than break bone and cause massive damage)

Special: Edged weapons making a hewing attack ignore padding (or padding counts as half value).


Edged (slice)

  • Half = No effect (surface cut, hitting bone, no slicing though to deeper layers)
  • Full = Drop (sliced open - disembowel, cut throat, cut underarms, cut inner thigh death by 'shock' and system failure)

Special: Slice attacks are not swung like a hewing attack, Padded armour does count.



  • Half = No effect (through and through a no vital area)
  • Full = Drop (hits something critical)

Special: Piercing attacks go straight through padded armour and ignore it.


Note: Often those who suffer 'minor' stab wounds in the heat of battle do not realize they have been stabbed. This means that minor stab wounds may not even stun, the muscle though pierced still functions, hence 'no effect for half''.


Armour Types

Often armour is made up of more than one layer. These layer serve different purposes in defeating an impact. In WarSpike there are two types of layer. These are the padding layer used to absorb the energy of the impact, and the conversion layer that seeks to disperse the impact over a wider area, converting edged and piecing attacks to 'blunt', thus allowing the padding layer to absorb the impact. The two layer work together to provide protection.


Padding – gives a bonus to Stature for resisting strikes

Conversion – converts one type of weapon impact to another, usually to 'blunt' which the body has most natural resistance.


Padding (Flexible)

All padding layers are designed to deform and absorb damage and so buy definition they are all classed as 'Flexible'. Padded Jacks can be worn in its own right as armour, or layered with outer conversion layers. Armour padding is a measure of impact absorption based on Gambeson or Padded Jack (doublet and Arming doublet)made of (cotton) quilted linen stuffed with wool.



  • Each half inch of padding gives +1 protection.

Examples: Padded jack or Gambeson, Doublet,


A strong (1") Padded Jack gives +2 padding bonus vs Blunt attacks and Slice attacks.


Flexible Conversion

Such as a Mail Hauberk resists all edged attacks are converts it to blunt. However, mail armours have trouble with piecing attacks, which are not converted. This is not 100% accurate but is acceptable in the core game by assuming that piecing attacks are anti-armour, like needle bodkins, stiletto or estoc. Flesh cutting arrows, and to an extent spear thrusts can be converted by mail armour, but the energy is still passed to the target and a two hand spear thrust can stiff kill.



  • Converts Edged attacks to Blunt.

Examples: Mail, Ring armour,


Rigid Conversion

Plate armours convert all edged and piecing damage to blunt damage. They also are highly effective at dispersing impact damage and give a slight bonus to the 'padding' effect against 'blunt' attack. Usually this is no more than +1.



  • Converts Edged and Piercing attacks to Blunt. Also +1 to padding.

Examples: Plate armour, Boiled leather (cuir bouilli), Lorica segmentata,


Hybrid Conversion

These are a hybrid of flexible and rigid armours, and combine ease or movement with great protection. Good examples are various 'scale' armours and the brigandine. These armours are made out of small plates bound to each other or a material backer. The do not disperse impact energy like solid plate armour, and so do not gain any defendable bonus, but they will convert edged and piecing attacks.



  • Converts Edged and Piercing attacks to Blunt.

Examples: Brigandine, Plated mail, Lamellar armour, Scale armour,



What the maximum effect they can handle?

Option: Maximum conversion: This is the maximum impact a weapon can convert before it fails. For example, chain mail 10, will convert up to strength:10 impacts. Usually this will not be a factor in the core tactical game, but could be of use later, and in the RPG games, where differing qualities of metal could affect the maximum conversion rates. In general terms, and as far as tactical goes, it is assumed that the armour is up to the job.


Alternatively, some types of strike may no be converted by mail - such as certain types of arrow, broad heads are converted (use '10') but needle bodkins are not converted.


Notes on leverage; a hammer punch (thump) could be counted into the leverage calculation, most humans could gain +2 from arm leverage, and this could be added to a swing with a weapon (a +2 sword swing would thus gain a further +2 for +4)


Notes on modern Firearm: These introduce a new damage type called 'high velocity'. Armours that protect from the usual puncture impacts will not have an effect on high-velocity. High velocity also has a 'stopping power' rating which is used in place of Stature (as firearms do not generate power from Stature and bio-chemical reactions, but chemical explosions). Stopping power is roughly related to the caliber of the bullet.


Another damage type is 'hyper-velocity' and used for smaller caliber weapons, and which can punch through light ballistic armours. The caliber is reduced because a human can only handle so much power.

Psychology effects and 'stun'.


Notes: The strikes are referred to as 'Technique Rolls' and are a measure of Trooper to apply a given technique to a situation. In later Augments the technique rolls will be expanded.


Psychology: Some weapons that inflict a stun result (like small caliber firearms) can be ignored if in a state of frenzy or rage (this can include charging enemies). Also some drugs can alter the mind and make it more resilient to some form of stuns (cocaine, alcohol) such as punctures to the body.


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Copyright © Philip Sibbering 2007-2013. WarSpike™ is a Trademark of Philip Sibbering.

This file last modified 06/25/16