Dynamic and Freeform Combat in LND

As with many things in the system, the combat system looks fairly crunchy at first glance (crunchy = heavy rules) but it is very freeform in play. The system should hopefully be fast & furious, using the PAGE system.

Movies and Books, Cinematic Conflict

The touchstone when designing this system were movies and books. In heroic fiction, characters routinely leap through windows, jump around a conflict scene heedles sof their enemies, and the camera focuss4es on one of them at a time.

Injuries tend to be “that was a near miss but you are okay, now you got hit and are dying, oh it was just a flesh wound and you are fine next scene…”

Popcorn Initiative

Each group is divided into a number of ‘characters’ of roughly the same amount, and take turns in acting. One goes, and the winner of that exchange chooses who acts next from those who haven’t yet cated.

In this way, each character gets their moment in the spotlight. Actions need not be attacks, they can be anything you would do in that scene.

Attack Moves

Each action has several moves you can take, generally one per Victory level. The first is based on your stated action, but if you get more than that you can do other things that eoughly match your goal.

Morse is attacking Rutger, trying to killhim with his axe. He gets 3 Victory Levels, sao the first move is to roll damage. He declares the other moves are to Disarm Rutger and to drive him to the edge of a nearby cliff…

There is a list of moves, and what they do, but you might do things not on that list.


This is kinda special. Every character can take one Interruption per turn. On their interruption, they choose another character to interrupt and take an action – a full action – that might interrupt them somehow.

Morse, the antaganist, declares their action to stomp Rutger into the ground. Alleth, ally to Rutger, declares her interruption is to shout encouregement to Rutger, performing an Aid action to help him against Morse.

Later, Morse and Rutger are still fighting. Alleth declares her interruption to roll a barrel behind Morse and encourages Rutger to drive him to that, aiding his tip attempt if he takes the bait.

An Interruption is basically a second action everyimportant character can take, if it suits the situation. If no Interruption is taken, you can take a second wind, a bretaher, and get a small amount of recovery.


Moving should be pretty freeform. The system is designed for |Theatre of the Mind combat and you say things like, “I leap across the tavern and attack the innkeeper.” We arent too concerned about metre-by-metre increments. A zone-type movement system, akin to Fate, might be introduced later.


Damage is divided into two main types. Vigour, which is more like stun and fatigue, and Body, which is actual wounding damage. Vigour heals rapidly (generally each scene), but Body might not heal within the same scenario.

Every time you take Body damage you are at Death’s Door, and detah in this game is represented by the dead eldritch god. Take enough Body damage and it tries to win you over to its side.

Vigour on the other hand represents near-misses and dramatic almost-damage. It’s a buffer against real damage.

And There We Have It

In summary, we have a system that rewards heroic action but does not require players to be combat monsters to win (though it no doubt helps).

Read Legends Never Die!

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