June 4, 2023

Once you understand how skill checks work, you also pretty much understand how combat works. There are a few wrinkles, of course. For example, combat maneuvers allow you to try more complicated actions with penalties and damage multipliers baked in. Meanwhile, NPCs use flat combat score scales rather than opposed roles to determine their effectiveness in battle. But whether you want to shoot a skeleton in the head or steer through a horde of Deadlines in your 1973 Oldsmobile, your skill checks and D10 rolls will drive most of the action.

Combat is also where Drama Points will have their moment to shine. Drama Points are a finite system of player points that can be traded for game-breaking abilities. These can include one-time bonuses to combat rolls, halved damage from an opponent, or a miraculous return from the dead if your Deadite hunter has their face entirely caved in. When you start to string together some of these different core elements – using maneuvers to gain attack bonuses and Drama Points to greatly increase your rolls – the damage you deal can scale up quickly. While Drama Points can be excluded from a campaign, they are an important part of the big, dramatic swings that make a movie like “Army of Darkness” fun.

As if one-on-one combat promising the franchise’s signature cartoonish gore wasn’t enough, “Army of Darkness” also offers a system for war between multiple armies. This combat style – called battle checks – allows players to pit tens or even hundreds of NPCs against each other in massive rounds of attrition. If your character is participating in the combat as a ranged or melee soldier, you can also include them in the assault at the risk of exposing them to painful counterattacks. And in those cases where one-on-one combat is required, “Army of Darkness” explains how to shift between battle checks and traditional combat on the fly.

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