Ask the Dragonslayer #3: Diceless Maneuvers in Skorne

Let’s get to it:

My name’s Thomas and I will soon be running Skorne on Roll20 as theater of the mind. Very soon in fact: in three days! While I am excited to run combat without dice rolls, I am wondering how combat maneuvers will work and I am hoping that you can give me some clarification if it’s alright with you!

I’ve been reading your blog and I love it a lot, please keep up the great work! Cheers!

Alright Thomas, you forced my hand! Some other folks have been asking about this thank goodness, but you’ve put me into a terrible position by giving me such a strict timeline…

First, read this about diceless violence. And this about decisive combat.

Basically, the bad guys in a majority of interesting combat encounters have the upper hand. Players have to outthink them.

Oh? You read all that already?

Here’s some more guidance on action adjudication schema for Skorne:

When the players declare action, make it happen. However:

-Assume they do it, but are only partially successful. In the case of attacking in combat, this means they hit their enemy but are then hit themselves.

-Related to above, do not give the players everything they want without expending a resource, outlying a clever plan, or pushing their luck with a dice roll.

-Consider making it a Dilemma by giving two options. The players can pick one or push for both (usually with a dice roll, but be open to other methods).

So to answer the question directly: Assume the players are (mostly) successful in their combat maneuvers. Anything more than that requires a cost or planning or risks a dice roll. Never hold back the consequences.

Another combat tip: have the baddies take SLOW actions the end of their turn. After dealing damage, telegraph their next BIG action. Example: “The dragon swipes with it claws on your back, dealing 3 hits. It roars, and then opens its mouth as the hints of flame begin to rise. What do you do?” Click the link for more examples from Chris.

Related/unrelated: try out this death mechanic if they reach 0 hits or lower. Just a personal curiosity, honestly.

Thanks for writing in, Thomas! Have a pleasant weekend and enjoy playing! 🙂

One thought on “Ask the Dragonslayer #3: Diceless Maneuvers in Skorne

  1. Thank you very much for your reply! This was very instructional! So, it’s not that it’s an entirely diceless combat, just that there is a bigger enphasis on planning and costs that can be paid. The bones are much more dangerous, they become a sort of “saving throw” to avoid catastrophy! Did I understand well?

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