Heroes, Ninjas, and Other Strangeness
The Core Mechanic
The foundation of these house rules is an attempt to consolidate as many of the Palladium system’s various sub-systems as possible under a single die-roll mechanic.
As with the d20 system, we’re going for a mechanic centered on the twenty-sider, with a “higher is always better” philosophy. The approach here is actually inspired by an existing mechanic within Palladium’s games: the attack roll.
The basic attack roll requires a roll of 5 or better (after bonuses or penalties). An opposed roll (i.e. an attack against an active and aware defender) must also beat either a fixed number (Armor Rating) and/or a variable number (Parrying or Dodging). This basic, versatile system will therefore form the root of our new approach.
The combat system will stand largely as written, with one major change. Melee attacks still generally require a basic Strike roll of 5 or better. Ranged attacks, however, may well need to roll higher.
First, let’s define ranges:
- Short range is equal to one-tenth the weapon’s listed range.
- Medium is up to one-half the listed range.
- Long is out to the listed range.
- Extreme is anything beyond that.
- Impossible isn’t a range so much as a value judgment on the GM’s part; sniping someone through a narrow slit window during a windstorm from half a mile away, that sort of thing. Impossible could also be a shot taken at point blank range, if you’re trying to shoot someone standing right behind you as they jab a gun in your back.
Target numbers increase by range as follows:
- Short: 5 or better.
- Medium: 10 or better.
- Long: 15 or better.
- Extreme: 20 or better.
- Impossible: 25 or better.
Also note that in melee, the GM may raise the target number if circumstances dictate. For example, trying to fight an opponent in a darkened room or from a position of disadvantage might call for boosting the target number to 10, 15, or even higher!