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Combat Modifiers

One of the most exciting times playing the Atomic RPG System will be during Battle Time. In Battle Time, your character’s life and future are on the line. So everything a player, group, and GM can do to influence success and failure should be utilized.

These Combat Modifiers should be used during Battle Time as well as other game modes, depending on the situation.

The GM has final say on what Combat Modifiers will be able to be used. Most Combat Modifiers are situational, meaning characters in the particular situation should automatically gain the appropriate Combat Modifier.

Tactical Advantage

When a character has an advantage over another character, they receive a Bonus to Attack.

Bonus to Attack equal to Character Tier
There are several ways to gain Tactical Advantage:

Can be gained by Flanking.
Can be gained by Surprise.
Can be gained by the environment.

Examples: Defenders on a castle wall would have Tactical Advantage over the attacking army.
Sharks would have Tactical Advantage against humans in water.
Alien swarmlings would have Tactical Advantage defending the hive mother's den.

Tactical Disadvantage

When the GM determines the character is disadvantaged by a situation, they receive a penalty to Attack.

Penalty to Attack equal to Character Tier
There are several ways to gain Tactical Disadvantage though this should happen very infrequently. A good Game Master will only use this during the most dire circumstances. Most of the time one side or the other will have Tactical Advantage instead.

Can be gained by the environment or dramatic situations.
Battling fiends in Hell.
Inflicted with the plague.
Inside the emperor’s sanctified temple.


When a character and an ally are located on opposite sides of an enemy they both gain Tactical Advantage.
To determine if a character is Flanking, imagine a straight line going from the center of their space through the center of their allies space. The line must pass through the space your opponent occupies.

Characters must be adjacent to their target to Flank.
The bonus only applies when attacking the Flanked enemy.
In the case where more than one space or creature is affected by the Power, the Attack Roll may use the Tactical Advantage bonus.


Surprise is a Combat Modifier that occurs when one or more character acts in a sudden and surprising manner, taking other characters by surprise.
The Surprising character(s) will gain Tactical Advantage for the first round in Battle Time.

Surprising character(s) will have one turn before the Surprised character(s) gets a turn.

Examples: an ambush, getting a face slap from an offended person, or an earthquake.


Cover is hiding behind something to grant extra protection.
Minor Cover – 10% to 49%
Hiding behind a tree or a wagon. Gain bonus to Defenses equal to Character Tier.

Major Cover – 50% to 90%
Better cover, such as palisades in a castle or behind a rock wall. Gain bonus to Defenses of 2x Character Tier.

Superior Cover – 95% to 100%
You are totally hidden from view, behind a murder slit or in a closed closet or otherwise completely hidden. Gain bonus to Defenses equal to 5x Character Tier.

Size and Scale

On rare occasions the party will have to deal with things that are much larger than them. This will likely come into play when the players are dealing with vehicles and other large machines.
These modifiers deal with extreme differences in scale. A good example of scale differences is in Star Wars.

Person < X-Wing < Corellian Corvette < Star Destroyer < Death Star

The trick here is to determine the Scale Difference between each side. The aggressor in each Action is the one that must modify their attacks, damage, etc. 

Please reference the tables below for details.

Reference Size Table

Here is a table of the rough scale. These can be flexible as long as they meet the game needs.

ExampleScaleScale ChangesSizeFeet
Person110×10 and Less100 sq Spaces50’x50′
X Wing210×10 to 100×1001,000 sq Spaces500’x500′
Corvette3100×100 to 1000×10005,000 sq Spaces1 Mile
Star Destroyer41000×1000 to 10,000×10,00050,000 sq Spaces10 miles
Death Star510,000×10,000 and larger50,000 sq Spaces+100 Miles

Reference Scale Difference Table for Modifiers

Once you have the Scale Modifier figured out then you can apply the following modifiers to the actions.

Attack BonusSomething BiggerScale DifferenceSomething SmallerAttack Pen
1x Tier10% Less Effect1 Scale Different10% More Effect1x Tier
2x Tier50% Less Effect2 Scales Different50% More Effect2x Tier
3x Tier90% Less Effect3 Scales Different100% More Effect3x Tier
4x Tier99% Less Effect4 Scales Different500% More Effect4x Tier

These modifiers should not be used too often but they can really bring some interesting situations to the game. 

Usually this will be on the scale of the PC (person size) fighting something a little larger. Or taking pot shots at an aircraft carrier or something.

However, this does not mean the PC’s can’t have 2nd characters that are their personal X Wings (Size 2). In this case they might be Size 2 fighting things that are not only their size (Tie Fighters), but also strafing Stormtroopers that are smaller (Size 1) and troop transports that are bigger (Size 3). This can be really fun but will complicate the battle so it should be used sparingly. 

If you are GM looking at something that is not as drastic or complicated. Try using Hordes in your game. They work great to represent drone swarms, a crowd of people, or even a huge creature, like a hydra.

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