Rules Hacking: Combat, Reach, Facing, and Areas of Control

Last modified date

I’ve been working on my FATE-inspired fantasy rules project, and got to thinking about combat yesterday. The ideas I was having were a bit too crunchy for my current project, but they should work as a tweak to d20-based games, 4e, or other games that use a similar minis set-up.

The basic idea is that everyone has an Area of Control (AoC). This replaces reach, attacks of opportunity/opportunity attacks, flanking, and a few other things. The basic AoC looks like this:

The space taken up by the creature (G) is green. The AoC is blue.

  • G gets a free attack on anyone moving out of a blue square.
  • A melee attack on G from anywhere outside of a blue square is at +1. An adjacent attack on G from anywhere outside of a blue square is at +2. This replaces flanking.
  • Reach weapons change a characters AoC dramatically. A longspear, for instance, might give a character an AoC like this:

  • A character can change the orientation of their AoC on their initiative.
  • A flat-footed character has no AoC.
  • Large+ creatures can have uniquely shaped AoC (and take up non-square spaces) to reflect their physiology and abilities.
  • Feat ideas:
    • Most feats building off of flanking, reach, etc. will have obvious correlates.
    • Allow a character to change the orientation of their AoC as an immediate action in response to a successful attack.
    • Allow a flatfooted character to have an AoC of one adjacent 5′ square.
    • Allow a character to treat one extra square adjacent to them as part of their AoC.



3 Responses

  1. I'd suggest allowing one free re-orientation outside of a character's turn. For instance, if I see a guy bearing down on me, I'm probably going to stay oriented on him, even if he tries to move into my non-AoC squares. But once I'm oriented on that guy, another guy can more easily out-maneuver me.

  2. Also, the above changes would assume that combat occurs during a v e r y t i n y time window – like 2 seconds. I believe the standard D&D canon is 6s or 10s per turn. Personally, I prefer longer "rounds"… but then again I've recently given up using miniatures for combat altogether…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment