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After my previous post about the proposed rules for melee combat in Project Out Of Time I had a lot to think about – I've even gone back and made some initial tweaks to the playtesting document. Today, I thought I'd have a quick look at shooting.

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In this particular genre, shooting actions may well be the most dominant of combat actions – after all, why get up close to take someone out when you can blow them away from distance with a super exotic weapon?! As a consequence, ranged combat is in real danger of being game-changing. Having said that, I like the idea that any form of combat can be devastating should you get caught out. By its nature it is risk-free compared to melee (unless your weapons blows up in your face when you roll badly), so the natural preference unless you can stack a melee combat in favour of an overwhelming success.

Taking these thoughts into account, ranged combat in Project Out Of Time works in a similar way to melee. It makes sense from a players perspective to only have to learn one distinct process – familiarity puts people at ease and allows them to concentrate on the tactics rather than the mechanics involved.


A ranged combat action starts with an opposed dice roll, with characters rolling as many dice as their skill level dictates and choosing the highest (taking various modifiers into account for things like being in cover). Players then compare their scores on the ranged table below.

A result of 'O' is a miss whilst the arrows >> push the defender back. Results in the bottom left of the table all deal with actual damage inflicted – Light, Medium and Heavy, as dictated by the weapon being used.

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Each ranged attack action costs a single Energy token (or more if a heavy weapon) and the active player is able to take as many ranged attack actions in a turn as the Rate of Fire of their chosen weapon. However, if the attacker has an attack roll result of 1 (so therefore a single 1 for Recruits, a double-1 for Grunts and a triple-1 for Veterans) then their weapon has jammed (or equivalent sci-fi orientated catastrophe) and cannot be used again this activation.

Some more exotic weapons will have additional special rules, yet to be defined properly. These will cover deviations to the normal procedure for things like heavy weapons, blasts, flame units, even energy-based lightening jumps from one enemy character to another adjacent enemy.

If you look at the table as it stands, things are below par for the shooter – only a 28 in 100 chance of inflicting actual damage. However, more skilled characters will have a better chance of hitting that sweet spot in the bottom left of the table and the pressure gets put on the defender to dodge the shot! Not to forget too that there will be operatives who have specialisms such as Sniper and Gunner (Heavy). These will also deviate slightly from the normal process for shooting and will gain all kinds of advantages.

Again, a lot of testing to do so we'll see how it all shakes down.

More soon!