size and control

Size

The default size in [ax] is 10. This is the “most typical character unit” in a game. In most role-playing games, this will be size of an average human, but some games or encounters may be different (see Units, Creatures, Characters, and Foes).

Units which are significantly larger than a normal unit but still broadly within the expected size range of the unit type are Size 12.

A size 1 unit, meanwhile represents the smallest unit practicably targetable with most weapons designed for combat among size 10/12 units. For example, the bullseye on an arrow target could be defined as size 1.

Sizes between 1 and 10, and sizes higher than 10, are always in Even values (2, 4, 6, 8, 12, etc).

Note: “Size” in [ax] does not refer strictly to mass, but rather a qualitative judgement based on mass and volume.

For some settings, such as a modern setting with high realism, nearly all your characters will be size 10 or 12. In others, you may have characters with highly disparate sizes.

Small Units

When rolling your Attack dice against a smaller-sized unit, it will be harder to hit them as they have fewer Aimlines. A roll of 10 always hits and a roll of 1 always misses; other rolls, however, higher rolls may also miss depending on the creature’s size. Consider, for example, an attacker rolling to hit with a standard difficulty weapon, against a creature who is Size 6:

1234567890
misshitmisshitmissmissmissmissmisshit
Attack die with a Standard difficulty weapon, versus a Size 6 target.

In this case, the default miss chance has gone up to 70% from 50% (the weapon no longer hits on a 6 or 8, because the creature does not have an Aimline 6 or 8; only 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10).

The difference is more acute when using Simple weapons, even though they have a higher chance to hit in general:

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misshithithithitmissmissmissmisshit
Attack die with a Simple difficulty weapon, versus a Size 6 target.

The weapon miss chance has in this case gone from 10% (only missing on a 1) to 50% (missing on a 1, 6, 7, 8, or 9).

While smaller creatures are, therefore, much harder to hit, they are more likely to sustain injuries from successful attacks. This is because multiple Attribute points will sometimes share a single aimline. For example, a successful attack from a cudgel dealing 1 Normal Damage and 2 Concussive Damage would deal an injury to one attribute to a size 10 character. But to a size 8 character, there is a 20% chance it would injure two attributes at the same time:

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misshit Prohit Agihit Agi Prohit Reshit Res Vithit Vitmissmisshit All
Attack die with a Simple difficulty weapon, versus a Size 8 target.

Large Units

Larger units, in contrast, do not have more Aimlines. Because Prowess allows an attacker to “wrap around” the Aimlines, there is no difference between a roll to hit a Size 10, 12, 14, or higher unit.

Larger sized units are easier to hit in Cover, however (see Cover and Terrain).

Equipment Size

As a rule of thumb, a tool or weapon sized appropriately for a character should be about 20-40% of a character’s size. This will normally allow the character to use it in one or two hands, respectively.

A full suit of armour designed for a character would comprise up to 80% of that character’s size.

Standard Human Sizes

See table below for a sample of differently-sized human creatures in a typical, human-centric setting.

AimlineSize 10 / 12 (standard)Size 8 (small)Size 6 (child)
10AllAllAll
9Vitalitymissmiss
8Vitalitymissmiss
7ResolveVitalitymiss
6ResolveRes / Vitmiss
5AgilityResolveRes / Vit
4AgilityPro / AgiRes / Vit
3ProwessAgilityPro / Agi
2ProwessProwessPro / Agi
1missmissmiss

Control

Control contests happen as the result of grappling with a foe.

Control allows you to disable attributes without dealing damage. This can be an effective way of disabling opponents who might be difficult to kill, or whom you don’t want to injure.

Normally, you must be in Contact Range (0) of an opponent to make a Control check, and you must have a free hand (Unarmed). Certain items and forms may allow you to make a Control check in other circumstances.

To make a Control check, first make an Aimed attack at a desired Aimline. You must have at least one Active Prowess. If that attack misses the desired Aimline, or is Dodged, there is no further effect.

If it is Blocked, or if it deals damage, check for Control.

A Control check uses the following calculation:

Your Size + Active Prowess + Base Prowess – Target’s Size – your Opponent’s highest Dodge roll.

For example:

You, a Size 12 character with 1 activated Prowess, are battling a foe who is a Size 10 creature with 1 Vitality, 1 Resolve, 2 Agility, and 1 Prowess. Your opponent rolled a 4 on their Dodge roll. 12 (Size) + 2 (Pro) – 10 (Size) – 4 (Dodge) = 0, so you will gain Control on any aimline if your attack succeeds, but you probably do not know this!

You aim at the opponent’s Agility and hit on an Agility Aimline. Deal damage, if applicable. After dealing damage, the DM will offer you Control of your opponent’s Agility. If you accept, this deactivates all their Agility, making them unable to attack on this turn.

Note: there may be some occasions when you do not wish to have Control, such as if you wish to move away.

If you gain Control on an Aim (10) attack, you can deactivate any one attribute of your choice.

On the next turn, you retain control, unless:

  • Your opponent makes a higher Dodge roll.
  • Your Prowess is deactivated.
  • You or your opponent successfully move outside of Contact Range.

Control is always established or broken before other attacks, if applicable, are resolved. Control over Prowess takes precedence over other types of Control. If two units gain Control over each other’s Prowess, no further Control takes place, and neither unit has Control at the start of the next turn.