Action and Combat Complications

Action and Combat Complications

Combat isn’t quite as simple as deciding if you hit or miss. Weapons, armor, ammunition, and numerous other factors may impact an attack’s outcome. Likewise, various factors can impact an action scene, such as fire or microgravity effects.

Aimed Shots

As noted under Aiming (above), a character can sacrifice their other Quick Actions to concentrate on targeting a ranged attack and receive a +10 modifier on the attack. You can also sacrifice an entire Complex Action to fix your aim on a target. In this case, as long as the target remains in your sights until your next Action Phase, you receive a +30 modifier to hit.

Ammunition and Reloading

Every weapon has a listed ammunition capacity that indicates how many shots the weapon can carry or holds. When this ammo runs out, a new supply must be loaded in. Players should keep track of the shots they fire.
Reloading almost always requires a Complex Action, whether you are slapping in a new clip of bullets or a fresh battery for a laser. At the gamemaster’s discretion, a reload that is immediately accessible (such as a new clip reverse-taped to the loaded clip, so that reloading just requires that you reverse the taped clips and slot the new one in) will only take a Quick Action. Archaic weapons such as magazine-fed rifles may require longer to fully load.

Area Effect Weapons

Some ranged attack weapons are designed to affect more than one target at a time. These weapons fall into three categories: blast, uniform blast, and cone.

Blast Effect

Blast weapons include items like grenades, mines, and other explosives that expand outward from a central detonation point. Most blast attacks expand outward in a sphere, though certain shaped charges may direct an explosion in one direction only. The explosive force is stronger near the epicenter and weaker near the outer edges of the sphere. For every meter a target is from the center, reduce the damage of a blast weapon by –2.

Uniform Blast

Uniform blast attacks distribute their power evenly throughout the area of effect. Examples include fuel-air explosives and thermobaric weapons that disperse an explosive mixture in a vapor cloud and ignite it all at once. All targets within the noted blast radius suffer the same damage. Damage against targets outside of the main blast sphere is reduced by –2 per meter.


Weapons with a cone effect have an area effect that begins with the tip of the weapon and expands outward in a cone. At short range, this attack effects 1 target; at medium range it affects 2 targets within a meter of each other; and at long or extreme range it affects 3 targets within a meter of the next. Cone effect attacks do +1d10 damage at short range and –1d10 damage at long and extreme range.


Just as weapons technologies have advanced, so too has armor quality, allowing unprecedented levels of protection. As noted in Step 7: Determine Damage, the armor rating reduces the damage points of the attack. For a full listing of armor types and values, click here.

Energy vs. Kinetic

Each type of armor has an Armor value (AV) with two ratings—Energy and Kinetic—representing the protection it applies against the respective type of attack. These are listed in the format of “Energy armor/Kinetic armor.” For example, an item with listed armor “5/10” provides 5 points of armor against energy-based attacks and 10 points of armor against kinetic attacks.
Energy damage includes that caused by beam weapons (laser, microwave, particle beam, plasma, etc.) as well as fire and high-energy explosives. Armor that protects against this damage is made of material that reflects or diffuses such energy, dissipates and transfers heat, or ablates.
Kinetic damage is the transfer of damaging energy when an object in motion (a fist, knife, club, or bullet, for example) impacts with another object (the target). Most melee and firearms attacks inflict kinetic damage, as would a rolling boulder, swinging pendulum, or explosion-driven fragments. Kinetic armors include impact-resistant plates, shear-thickening liquid and gels that harden upon impact, and ballistic and cut-proof fiber weaves.

Armor Penetration

Some weapons have an Armor Penetration (AP) rating. This represents the attack’s ability to pierce through protective layers. The AP rating reduces the value of armor used to defend against the attack (see Step 6: Modify Armor, above).

Layered Armor

If two or more types of armor are worn, the armor ratings are added together. However, wearing multiple armor units is cumbersome and annoying. Apply a –20 modifier to a character’s actions for each additional armor layer worn
Note that items specifically noted as armor accessories—helmets, shields, etc.—do not inflict the layered armor penalty, they simply add their armor bonus. Note also that the armor inherent to a synthetic morph or bot’s frame does not constitute a layer of armor (i.e., you may wear armor over the synthetic shell without penalty).
The maximum value Armor may be raised to is the character's Durability. (Sorry, munchkins).


The average transhuman can hold their breath for two minutes before blacking out. Strenuous activity reduces the amount of time. For every 30 seconds after the first minute a biomorph is prevented from breathing, they must make a DUR Test. Apply a cumulative –10 modifier each time this test is rolled. If the character fails the test, they immediately fall unconscious and begin to suffer damage from asphyxiation, at the rate of 10 points per minute, until they die or are allowed to breathe again. This damage does not cause wounds.
Asphyxiating is a terrible process, often leading to panic. Characters who are being asphyxiated must make a WIL x 3 Test. If they fail, they suffer 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up) mental stress and cannot perform any effective action to rescue themselves that Action turn. A character who succeeds may attempt to rescue themselves, and in fact they must make a WIL x 3 Test to perform any other action not directly related to rescuing themselves (attacks against another character, a creature, or an object holding the character underwater are exempt from this rule).

Beam Weapons

Due to emitting a continuous beam of energy rather than single projectiles, beam weapons are easier to “home in” on a target. This means one of the following two rules may be used when making beam weapon attacks. Since most beam weapons are invisible to standard sight, an attacker must have vision enhancements enabling them to see the beam or must activate a built-in visible targeting laser to take advantage of these rules.
Sweeping Fire
An attacker who is making two semi-auto attacks with a beam weapon with the same Complex Action and who misses with the first attack may treat that attack as a free Aim action, receiving a +10 modifier for the second attack. In other words, though the first attack misses, the character takes the opportunity to sweep the beam closer to the target for the second attack. This only applies when both attacks are made against the same target.
Concentrated Fire
A character firing a semi-auto beam weapon who hits with the first attack may choose to keep the beam on and concentrate their fire, cooking the target. In this case, the character foregoes their second semi-auto attack with that Complex Action, but automatically bolsters the DV of the first attack by x 2. This decision must be made before the damage dice are rolled.

Blind Attacks

Attacking a target that you cannot see is difficult at best and a matter of luck at worst. If you cannot see, you may make a Perception Test using some other available sense to detect your target. If this succeeds, you attack with a –30 modifier. If your Perception Test fails, your attack is primarily based on chance—your target number for the attack test is equal to your Moxie stat (no other modifiers apply).

Indirect Fire

With the help of a spotter, you may target an enemy that you can’t see using indirect fire. In this case you must be meshed with a character, bot, or sensor system that has the target in its sights and which feeds you targeting data (the gamemaster may require a Perception Test from the spotter).
Indirect attacks suffer a –30 modifier. Seeker missiles can home in on a target that is “painted” with reflected energy from a laser sight or similar target designator system. An “attack” must first be made to paint the target with the laser sight using an appropriate skill. If this succeeds, it negates the –30 indirect fire modifier for the seeker launcher’s attack test. the target must be held in the spotter’s sights (requiring a Complex Action each Action Phase) until the seeker strikes.

Bots, Synthmorphs, and Vehicles

AI-operated robots and synthetic morphs are a common sight in Eclipse Phase. Robots are used for a wide range of purposes, from surveillance, maintenance, and service jobs to security and policing—and so may often play a role in action and combat scenes. Though less common (at least in habitats), AI-piloted vehicles are also frequently used and encountered. Note that the difference between a robot, vehicle, and synthetic morph is in many ways semantic. Robots are simply synthetic bodies controlled by an AI.
Vehicles are also robotic—AI controlled—but the term “vehicle” is used to denote that they carry passengers. Both bots and vehicles can be used as synthetic morphs—that is, inhabited by a transhuman ego—assuming they are equipped with a cyberbrain. For the purpose of these rules, the term “shell” is used to refer to bots, vehicles, and synthetic morphs alike. Like synthmorphs, bots and vehicles are treated just like any other character: they roll Initiative, take actions, and use skills. A few specific aspects of these shells needs special consideration, however, covered below.

Shell Stats

Just like synthmorph characters, certain bot and vehicle stats (Durability, Wound Threshold, etc.) and stat modifiers (Initiative, Speed, etc.) are determined by the actual physical shell. Other stats are determined by the bot/vehicle’s operating AI (in place of an ego). Bots and vehicles may also have traits that apply to their AI or physical shell. For sample bots and vehicles, click here.
Handling: Bots and vehicles have a special stat called Handling, which is a modifier applied to all tests made to pilot the bot/vehicle. This represents the bot/vehicle’s maneuverability.

Shell Skills

The skills and aptitudes used by a bot or vehicle are those possessed by its AI.

Shell Movement

Like characters, bots and vehicles have a walking and running Movement rate. This is used whenever the bot/vehicle is engaged in action or combat scenes with other characters.
Shells that are capable of greater speeds will also have a Maximum Velocity listed—this is the highest rate at which the shell may safely move, listed in kilometers per hour. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some shells may push their limits and accelerate further, but at significant risk—the gamemaster should apply appropriate penalties to Pilot Tests and other tests.


Shells that are moving faster than their running Movement rate (up to their Max. Velocity) are generally considered to be moving too fast for standard action and combat interaction with other characters. This is when the action enters “chase scene” mode—a traveling narrative of maneuvering choices and tests with various outcomes.
Whether or not a chase is actually occurring, the gamemaster should remember that Max Velocity is not the only factor in high-speed situations. Environmental factors like terrain, weather conditions, navigation, pedestrians, and traffic can provide obstacles for shells to overcome. A shell tearing across a habitat in order to reach a bomb before it detonates should have to make several decisions and tests that may affect whether it gets there in time or not. Likewise, a shell seeking to shake off some hot pursuit will have to pull off some fancy maneuvering and hopefully find a shortcut or two in order to outrace their opponents.


Shells that suffer wounds during combat or chases may be force to make a Pilot Test to avoid crashing or may crash automatically. The exact circumstances of a crash are left up to the gamemaster, as best fits the story—the shell may simply skid to a stop, plow into a tree, fall from the sky, or flip over and land on a group of bystanders. Shells that strike other objects when they crash typically take further damage from the collision (see Collisions).


If a shell crashes into or intentionally rams a person or object, someone is likely to get hurt. To determine how much DV is in icted, roll 1d10 and add the shell’s DUR divided by 10 (round up). This is the damage applied at walking speeds. If the shell was moving at running speeds, multiply the DV by 2. If the shell was moving at chase speeds, multiply the DV by the shell’s velocity ÷ 10 in meters per turn. Both the shell and whatever it strikes suffer this damage, assuming the collision is with something equal dense and hard. Soft and squishy objects like biomorphs will be less damaging to a shell (unless they happen to be in a hardsuit or battlesuit), in which case the shell will only suffer half damage from the collision. Kinetic armor defends against crash DV.
If two moving shells collide head-on, calculate the damage from both and inflict to both. If two shells moving in the same direction collide, only count the difference in velocity.
Passengers in a vehicle may also be damaged by collisions if they are not wearing proper safety restraints. They suffer one half the DV applied to their vehicle (Less their own kinetic armor).
Collision Damage
Base Collision DV: 1d10 + (DUR ÷ 10)
Running: DV x 2
Chase Speeds: DV x (velocity ÷ 10)

Attacking Vehicle Passengers

During combat, passengers within a vehicle may be targeted separately from the vehicle itself. Attacks made against passengers this way do not harm the vehicle itself (unless an area effect weapon is used). Targeted passengers benefit both from cover (usually Major, –30) and from the vehicle’s structure, adding the vehicle’s Armor Value to their own.
Passengers within a vehicle are generally not harmed by attacks made against the vehicle itself. Area effect weapons are an exception to this rule, but in this case the passengers also benefit from the vehicle Armor Value.

Shell Remote Control

Any shell (or biomorph) with a puppet sock (also included with all cyberbrains) may be remote controlled, either by a character or a remote AI. This requires a communications link between the teleoperator and the shell (the “drone”). The teleoperator controls the drone via an entoptic interface, and receives sensory input and other data via the drone’s mesh inserts.
When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator, but is still limited by the shell’s Speed. The teleoperator’s skills and stats are used in place of the shell AI’s (though the shell’s aptitude maximums and penalties apply). The teleoperator uses Pilot skills for movement, dodging, and melee tests, and Gunnery skill for ranged combat. Due to the nature of remote operation, all tests are made with a –10 modifier. Multiple drones may be controlled at once as long as they act in unison; the teleoperator must use separate actions to control them separately. Direct control teleoperation is not very feasible at extreme distances, due to the light-speed lag with communications.
Alternately, the teleoperator can put the drone in autonomous mode, allowing the shell’s AI to resume normal operations. The drone still follows the teleoperator’s commands to the best of its abilities. Each instruction counts as a Quick Action. In this mode, the drone functions normally, using its own Initiative and AI skills and stats.

Shell Jamming

“Jamming” is the colloquial term for a more direct form of remote-control, using VR and XP technology. When jamming, the drone’s puppet sock feeds the drone’s sensory data directly to the teleoperator’s mesh inserts. The teleoperator subsumes themself in the drone’s sensorium, essentially “becoming” the drone. In this case, the teleoperator surrenders control of their own morph, which slumps inertly. While jamming, they suffer –60 on all Perception Tests or attempts to take action with their morph.
Jamming takes a Complex Action to engage and disengage. A jamming teleoperator controls a drone as if it were their own morph. Like direct control teleoperation, the jammer’s own skills and Initiative are used in place of the drone’s AI. Jammers do not suffer any teleoperation modifiers, but only one drone may be jammed at a time. If the drone is killed or destroyed, the jammer is immediately dumped from their connection, resuming control of their own morph as normal. Getting dumped in this manner is extremely jarring, not the least because the jammer experienced being killed/destroyed. As a result, the jammer suffers 1d10 mental stress.

Called Shots

Sometimes it’s not enough to just hit your target—you need to shoot out a window, knock the knife out of their hand, or hit that hole in their armor. You may declare that you are making a called shot before you initiate an attack, choosing one of the outcomes noted below. Called shots suffer a –10 modifier and require an Excellent Success (MoS 30+). If you beat that margin, you succeed with the called shot, and the results noted below apply. If you don’t beat the margin but still succeed in the attack, you simply strike your target as normal.

Bypassing Armor

Called shots may be used to target a hole or weak point in your opponent’s armor. If you beat the MoS, you strike an armor-defeating hit, and their armor does not apply. Note that in certain circumstances, a gamemaster may rule that an opponent’s armor simply doesn’t have a weak spot or unprotected area, and so disallow such called shots.


You may take a called shot to attempt to knock a weapon out of an opponent’s hand(s). If you beat the MoS, the victim suffers half damage from the attack (reduced by armor as normal) and must make a SOM x 3 Test with a –30 modifier to retain hold of the weapon.

Specific Authorization

You may make a called shot with the intention of hitting a specific location or component on your target—for example: disabling the sensor unit on a bot, sweeping someone’s leg, or poking someone in the eye. If you beat the MoS, you hit the specific targeted spot. The gamemaster determines the result as appropriate to the attack and target—the component may be destroyed, the opponent may fall or be temporarily blinded, and so on.


An opponent who runs and attacks an opponent in melee combat in the same Action Phase is considered to be charging. A charging attacker still suffers the –10 modifier for running, but they receive a damage bonus on account of their momentum: increase the damage they inflict by +1d10.

Receiving a Charge

You may delay your action in order to receive a charge, bracing yourself for impact, interrupting their action, and striking right before your charging does. In this situation, you receive a +20 modifier for striking the charging opponent.


The most common use of the Demolitions skill is the placement, disarming, or manufacture of explosive devices, such as superthermite charges or grenades.A skilled demolitionist can place charges in a manner that will boost their effect. They can identify structural vulnerabilities and weak points and focus a blast in these areas. They can determine how to blast open a safe without destroying the contents. They can focus the force of an explosion in a particular direction, increasing the directed force while minimizing splash effects.

Placing Explosives

Each of these scenarios calls for a successful Demolitions Test. The exact result is determined by the gamemaster according to the specific scenario. For example, using the examples above, targeting a weak point could double the damage inflicted on that structure. Shaping the charge to direct the force can triple the damage in that direction, as noted in the superthermite description. An Excellent Success is likely to increase an explosive’s damage by +5, whereas a critical success would allow the blast to ignore armor.

Disarming Explosives

Disarming an explosive device is handled as an Opposed Test between the Demolitions skills of the disarmer and the character who set the bomb.

Making Explosives

A character trained in Demolitions can make explosives from raw materials. These materials can be gathered the traditional way or they can be manufactured using a nanofabricator. Even nanofabbers with restricted settings to prevent explosives creation can be used, as explosives can be constructed from all manner of mundane chemicals and materials. The timeframe for making explosives is 1 hour per 1d10 points of damage the explosive will inflict. If a critical failure is rolled, the demolitionist may accidentally blow himself up, or the charge may be extremely weaker or more potent than expected (whichever is more likely to be disastrous).


If a character falls, use the Falling Damage table to determine what injuries they suffer. Kinetic armor will mitigate this damage at half its value (round down). Gamemasters may also reduce this damage if anything helped to break the fall (branches, soft surface) at their discretion.
Falling Damage
Distance Fallen
1-2 meters
3-5 meters
6-8 meters
Over 8 meters
+1 per meter


Objects that come into contact with extreme heat or flames may catch fire at the gamemaster’s discretion, keeping in mind both the flammability of the material and the strength of the heat/flames. Burning items (or characters) will suffer 1d10 ÷ 2 (round up) damage each Action Turn unless otherwise noted. Energy armor will protect against this damage, though it too may catch fire, reducing its value by the damage inflicted. Depending on the environmental conditions, fires are likely to grow larger unless somehow abated. Every 5 Action Turns, increase the DV inflicted (first to 1d10, then 2d10, then 3d10, then by increments of +5). Adverse conditions (such as rain) or efforts to extinguish the blaze will reduce the DV accordingly.
Note that fire does not burn in vacuum. In microgravity, fire burns in a sphere and grows more slowly, as expanding gases push away the oxygen (increase the DV every 10 Action Turns). If there is a lack of air circulation, some microgravity fires may extinguish themselves.

Firing Modes and Rate of Fire

Every ranged weapon in Eclipse Phase comes with one or more firing modes that determines their rate of fire. These firing modes are detailed below.

Single Shot (SS)

Single shot weapons may only be fired once per Complex Action. These are typically larger or more archaic devices.

Semi-Automatic (SA)

Semi-automatic weapons are capable of quick, repeated fire. They may be fired twice with the same Complex Action. Each shot is handled as a separate attack.

Burst Fire (BF)

Burst fire weapons release a number of quick shots (a “burst”) with a single trigger pull. Two bursts may be red with the same Complex Action. Each burst is handled as a separate attack. Bursts use up 3 shots worth of ammunition.
A burst may be shot against a single target (concentrated fire), or against two targets who are standing within one meter of each other. In the case of concentrated fire against a single target, increase the DV by +1d10 or gain +10 to hit.

Full Automatic (FA)

Full-auto weapons release a hail of shots with a single trigger pull. Only one full-auto attack may be made with each Complex Action. This attack may be made a single target or against up to three separate targets, as long as each is within one meter of another. In the case of a concentrated fire on a single individual, increase the DV by +3d10 or gain +30 to hit. Firing in full automatic mode uses up 10 shots.

Full Defense

If you’re expecting to come under fire, you can expend a Complex Action to go on full defense. This represents that you are expending all of your energy to dodge, duck, ward off attacks, and otherwise get the hell out of the way until your next Action Phase. During this time, you receive a +30 modifier to defend against all incoming attacks.
Characters who are on full defense may use Freerunning rather than Fray skill to dodge attacks, representing the gymnastic movements they are making to avoid being hit.


Most characters in Eclipse Phase have considerable experience maneuvering in low gravity or microgravity and can perform normal actions without penalties. Even characters who grew up on planetary bodies or in rotating habitats have some familiarity with alternate gravities thanks to childhood training in simulspace educational scenarios. The same is also true in reverse; characters who grew up in free fall have likely experienced simulations of life in a gravity well.
At the gamemaster’s discretion, characters who have spent long periods acclimating to one range of gravity may find a shift in conditions a bit challenging to cope with, at least until they grow accustomed to the new gravity. In this case, the gamemaster can apply a –10 modifier to both physical and social skills. The physical penalty results from simple difficulties in maneuvering. The social penalty applies because it’s hard to look impressive, intimidating, or seductive when you haven’t figured out how to arrange your clothes so that they don’t float up into your face. The physical penalty can be increased to –20 for situations involving combat skills and skills requiring fine manipulation, building, or repairing of items. These penalties will apply until the character adjusts, which typically takes about 3 days.
Any biomorph with basic biomods is immune to ill health from the effects of long-term exposure to microgravity.


Microgravity includes both zero-G and gravities that are slightly higher but negligible. These conditions are found in space, on asteroids and some small moons, and on (parts of) spaceships and habitats that are not rotated for gravity. Objects in microgravity are effectively weightless, but size and mass are still factors. Things behave differently in microgravity. For example:
  • Objects not anchored down will tend to drift off in whatever direction they were last moving. Floating objects will eventually settle in the direction of the densest part of the habitat or spacecraft.
  • Thrown or pushed items will travel in a straight line until they hit something.
  • Smoke does not rise in streams. Instead, it forms a roughly spherical halo around its source.
  • Liquids have little cohesion, scattering into clouds of tiny droplets if released into the air. Drinks come in sealed bulbs or bottles. Food is eaten so that sauces and bits of liquid don’t escape. Blood goes everywhere.
Movement and maneuvering in microgravity is handled using Free Fall skill. Most everyday activity in free fall does not require a test. The gamemaster can, however, call for a Free Fall Test for any complicated maneuvers, flying across major distances, sudden changes in direction or velocity, or when engaged in melee combat. A failed roll means the character has miscalculated and ends up in a position other than intended. A Severe Failure means the character has screwed up badly, such as slamming themselves into a wall or sending themselves spinning off into space. For convenience, most microgravity habitats feature furniture covered with elastic loops, mesh pockets to keep individual objects from floating all over the place, and moving beltways with hand loops for major thoroughfares. Magnetic or velcro shoes are also used to walk around, rather than climbing or flying. Zero-g environments are often designed to make maximum use of space, however, taking advantage of the lack of ceilings and floors. Because object are weightless, characters can move even massive objects around easily.
Movement Rate: Characters who are climbing, pulling, or pushing themselves along move at half their movement rate in microgravity.
Terminal Velocity: It is not difficult to reach escape velocity on small asteroids and similar bodies—something to keep in mind with thrown objects and projectile weapons. In some cases, characters who move fast enough and jump can reach escape velocity themselves, though these situations are left up to the gamemaster.

Low Gravity

Low gravity includes anything from 0.5 g to microgravity. These conditions are found on Luna, Mars, Titan, and the rotating parts of most spun spacecraft and habitats. Low gravity is not that different from standard gravity, though characters may jump twice as far and thrown/projectile objects have a longer range. Increase the running rate for characters in low gravity by x1.5.

High Gravity

High gravity is anything significantly stronger than standard Earth gravity (1.2 g +). High gravity in Eclipse Phase is typically only found on exoplanets. High gravity can be particularly hard on characters as their bodies are strained because they carry more weights, muscles are fatigued from needing to push more around, and the heart must work harder to pump blood. For every 0.2 g over 1 that a character is not acclimated to, treat it as if the character is suffering from the effects of 1 wound. At the gamemaster’s discretion, movement rates may also be modified.

Grenades and Seekers

Modern grenades, seekers, and similar explosives do not necessarily detonate the instant they are thrown or strike the target. In fact, several trigger options are available, each set by the user when deploying the weapon. Missed attacks, or attacks that do not explode in transit or when they strike, are subject to scatter.
Airburst: Airburst means that the device explodes in mid-air as soon as it travels a distance programmed at launch. In this case, the explosive’s effects are resolved immediately, in that user’s Action Phase. Note that airburst munitions are programmed with a safety feature that will prevent detonation if they fail to travel a minimum precautionary distance from the launcher, though this can be overridden.
Impact:The grenade or missile goes off as soon as it hits something, whether that be the target, ground, or an intervening object. Resolve the effects immediately, in the user’s Action Phase.
Signal: The munition is primed for detonation upon receiving a command signal via wireless link. The device simply lays in wait until it receives the proper signal (which must include the cryptographic key assigned when the grenade was primed), detonating immediately when it does.
Timer: The device has a built-in timer allowing the user to adjust exactly when it detonates. This can be anywhere from 1 second to days, months, or even years later, effectively using the device like a bomb, but also increasing the likelihood it will be discovered and neutralized. The minimum detonation period—1 second—means that the munition will detonate on the user’s (current) Initiative Score in the next Action Phase. A 2-second delay would last two Action Phases, a 3-second delay three Action phases, and so on.

Throwing Back Grenades

It is possible that a character may be able to reach a grenade before it detonates and throw it back (or away in a safe direction). The character must be within movement range of the grenade’s location, and must take a Complex Action to make a REF + COO + COO Test to catch the rolling, sliding grenade. If they succeed, they may throw the grenade off in a direction of their choice with the same action (treat as a standard throwing attack).
If the character fails the test, however, they may find themselves at ground zero when it detonates.

Jumping On

Given the possibility of resleeving, a character may decide to take one for the team and throw themselves on a grenade, sacrificing themselves in order to protect others. The character must be within movement range of the grenade’s location, and must take a Complex Action to make a REF + COO + WIL Test to fall on the grenade and cover it with their morph. This means the character suffers an extra 1d10 damage when the grenade detonates. On the positive side, the grenade’s damage is reduced by the sacrificing character’s armor + 10 when its damage effects are applied to others within the blast radius.
If the gamemaster feels it appropriate, a WIL x 3 Test might be called for in order for a character to sacrifice themselves in this manner.

Hostile Environments

The solar system might be friendly to life on a grand scale, but if you’re stranded in the gravity well of Jupiter during a magnetic storm, trying to breathe without a respirator on Mars, or swimming in hard vacuum without a space suit, it doesn’t seem so friendly. This section describes a few of the hostile environments that characters in Eclipse Phase might face.

Atmospheric Contamination

Habitats sometimes fall ill. The effects of a habitat suffering from ecological imbalance or out-of-control pathogens can range from mildly allergenic habitat atmospheres to rampaging environmental sepsis. Characters without breathing or filtration gear in a contaminated environment should suffer penalties to physical and possibly social skills, ranging from –10 (mild contamination) to –30 (severely septic atmosphere). Depending on the contamination, other effects may apply, as the gamemaster sees fit.

Extreme Heat and Cold

Planetary environments can range from the extremely hot (Venus, Mercury’s day side) to the extremely frigid (Neptune, Titan, Uranus). Both are likely to kill an unprotected and unmodified biomorph within minutes, if not seconds. Synthmorphs and vehicles fare better, especially in the cold, but even they are likely to quickly succumb to the blazing furnaces of the inner planets without strong heat shields and cooling systems.

Extreme Pressure

Similarly, the atmospheric pressures of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus quickly become crushingly deadly anywhere beyond the upper levels. Only synthmorphs and vehicles with special pressure adaptations can hope to survive such depths.

Gravity Transition Zones

The widespread use of artificial gravity in space habitats means that characters will often encounter places where the direction of down suddenly changes. In most rotating habitats, the standard design includes an axial zone where spacecraft can dock in microgravity and a carefully designed and marked transition zone (usually an elevator) where people and cargo coming and going from the axial spaceport can orient to local “down” and be standing in the right place when gravity takes effect. Gravity transitions in rotating habitats are almost always gradual but can be very dangerous if a character encounters them in the wrong place or time.
A character cast adrift in the microgravity zone at the axis of a rotating space habitat will slowly drift outward until they begin to encounter gravity, at which point they will fall. How long this takes varies on the size of the habitat. A good rule of thumb is that for each kilometer of diameter possessed by the habitat, the character has 30 seconds before they begin to fall. If the character was given a good push out from the axis when set adrift, this time should be halved, quartered, or more at the gamemaster’s discretion.

Magnetic Fields

Magnetism isn’t a direct problem for most characters; transhumans need to worry more about the radiation generated by a powerful magnetosphere. For unshielded electronic devices and similarly unshielded transhumans sporting titanium, however, the effects of strong magnetic fields can be devastating. Note that many of the conditions that result in vehicles, bots, and gear being exposed to strong magnetic field activity coincide with strong radioactivity.
Magnetic fields affect synthmorphs, robots, vehicles, cybernetic implants, and electronics after 1 minute of exposure. Like radiation exposure, these effects can vary drastically. At the low end, communication and sensors will suffer interference and shortened ranges; at high ends, electronic systems will simply suffer damage and fail.


Ionizing radiation is one of the more prevalent hazards in the solar system and one of the most difficult problems for transhumanity to defeat. Radiation damages genetic material, sickens, and kills by ionizing the chemicals involved in cell division within the human body. Effects range from nausea and fatigue to massive organ failure and death. However, radiation sickness is not solely a somatic phenomenon. The real terror of radiation for transhumans, especially at high dose levels such as those experienced on the surface of Ganymede and other Jovian moons, is damage to the neural network. This can lead to flawed uploads and backups. Nanomedicine that can rapidly reverse the ionization of cellular chemicals and new materials that offer thinner and better shielding help, but the sheer magnitude of the radiation put out by some bodies in the solar system defeats even these.
Radiation poisoning is a complicated affair, and detailed rules are beyond the scope of this book. Sources of radiation include the Earth’s Van Allen belt, Jupiter’s radiation belt, Saturn’s magnetosphere, cosmic rays, solar ares, fission materials, unshielded fusion or antimatter explosions, and nuclear blasts, among others. Effects can vary drastically depending on the strength of the source, the amount of time exposed, and the level of shielding available. The immediate effects on biomorphs (manifesting anywhere from within minutes to 6 hours) can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue (reduced SOM), as well as both physical damage and minor amounts of mental stress. This is followed by a latency period where the biomorph seems to get better, lasting anywhere from 6 hours to 2 weeks. After this point, the final effects kick in, which can include hair loss, sterility, reduced SOM and DUR, severe damage to gastric and intestinal tissue, infections, uncontrolled bleeding, and death. Synthmorphs are not quite as vulnerable as biomorphs, but even they can be damaged and disabled by severe radiation dosages.

Toxic Atmosphere

Neptune, Titan, Uranus, and Venus all have toxic atmospheres. Similar atmospheres may be found on some exoplanets, or might be intentionally created as a security measure within a habitat or structure.
A character who is unaware of atmospheric toxicity and does not immediately hold their breath (requiring a REF x 3 Test) suffers 10 points of damage per Action Turn. A character who manages to hold their breath can last a bit longer; apply the rules for asphyxiation.
Corrosive Atmospheres: In addition to being toxic, Venus has the only naturally occurring corrosive atmosphere in the system. Corrosive atmospheres are immediately dangerous: characters take 10 points of damage per Action Turn, regardless of whether they hold their breath or not. Corrosive atmospheres also damage vehicles and gear not equipped with anticorrosive shielding. Such items take 1 point of damage per minute. At greater concentrations, such as in the dense sulfuric acid clouds in the upper atmosphere of Venus, items takes 5 points of damage per minute.

Unbreathable Atmosphere

Very few of the planetary bodies in the solar system actually have toxic atmospheres. In most unbreathable atmospheres, the primary hazard for transhumans without breathing apparatus or modifications to their morph is lack of oxygen. Treat exposure to unbreathable atmospheres the same as asphyxiation.


In general, any physical skill performed underwater suffers a –20 penalty due to the resistance of the medium. Skills relying on equipment not adapted for underwater use may be more difficult or impossible to use. A character’s movement rate while swimming or walking underwater is one quarter their normal rate on land. If a character begins to drown underwater, follow the rules for asphyxiation. Note that drowning characters do not immediately recover if rescued from the water; they will continue to asphyxiate until medical treatment is applied to clear the water from their lungs.


Biomorphs without vacuum sealing can spend one minute in the vacuum of space with no ill effects, provided they curl up into a ball, empty their lungs of air, and keep their eyes closed (something kids in space habitats learn at a very young age). Contrary to popular depictions in pre-Fall media, a character exposed to hard vacuum does not explosively decompress, nor do their internal fluids boil (other than relatively exposed liquids such as saliva on the tongue). Rather, the primary danger for characters on EVA sans vacsuit is asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen and associated complications such as edema in the lungs.
After one minute in space, the character begins to suffer from asphyxiation. Damage is doubled if the character tries to hold air in their lungs or is not curled up in a vacuum survival position as described above. Additionally, characters trapped in space without adequate thermal protection suffer -10 modifier to all actions and 2 DV per minute from the extreme cold and other factors.
Improvised Weapons
Armor Penetration
Damage Value
Average DV
(1d10 / 2) + (SOM / 10)
2 + (SOM / 2)
Throwing Weapons
1 + (SOM / 10), Breaks after one use
1 + (SOM / 10)
Clubs or Throwing Weapons
Bottle (Broken)
1d10-1 (min. 1)
1d10 + (SOM /10)
5 + (SOM / 10)
Exotic Melee
1d10 + (SOM / 10)
5 + (SOM / 10)
Clubs or Throwing Weapons
Plasma Torch
Exotic Ranged
1d10 + (SOM / 10)
5 + (SOM / 10)

Improvised Weapons

Sometimes characters are caught off-guard and they must use whatever they happen to have at hand as a weapon—or they think they look cool wailing on someone with a meter of chain. The Improvised Weapons table offers statistics for a few likely ad-hoc items.
Gamemasters can use these as guidelines for handling items that aren’t listed.

Knockdown / Knockback

If an attacker’s intent is to simply knock an opponent down or back in melee, rather than injure them, roll the attack and defense as normal. If the attacker succeeds, the defender is knocked backward by 1 meter per 10 full points of MoS. To knock an opponent down, the attacker must score an Excellent Success (MoS 30+). A knockback/knockdown attack must be declared before dice are rolled.
Unless the attacker rolls a critical success, no damage is inflicted with this attack, the defender is simply knocked down. If the attacker rolls a critical hit, however, apply damage as normal in addition to the knockback/knockdown.
Note that characters wounded by an attack may also be knocked down.

Melee and Thrown Damage Bonus

Every successful melee and thrown weapon attack, whether unarmed or with a weapon, receives a damage bonus equal to the attacker’s SOM ÷ 10, round down.

Multiple Targets

When doling out the damage, there’s no reason not to share the love.

Melee Combat

A character taking a Complex Action to engage in a melee attack may choose to attack two or more opponents with the same action. Each opponent must be within one meter of another attacked opponent. These attacks must be declared before the dice are rolled for the rst attack. Each attack suffers a cumulative –20 modifier for each extra target. So if a character declares they are going to attack three characters with the same action, they suffer a cumulative –40 on each attack.

Ranged Combat

A character firing two semi-auto shots with a Complex Action may target a different opponent with each shot. In this case, the attacker suffers a –20 modifier against the second target.
A character firing a burst-fire weapon may target up to two targets with each burst, as long as those targets are within one meter of one another. This is handled as a single attack; see Burst Fire, above.
A character firing a burst-fire weapon twice with one Complex Action may target a different person or pair with each burst. In this case, the second burst suffers a –20 modifier. This modifier does not apply if the same person/pair targeted with the first burst is targeted again.
Full-auto attacks may also be directed at more than one target, as long as each target is within one meter of the previous target. This is handled as a single attack; see Full Auto, above.

Objects and Structures

As any poor wall in the vicinity of an enraged drunk can tell you, objects and structures are not immune to violence and attrition. To reflect this, inanimate objects and structures are given Durability, Wound Threshold, and Armor scores, just like characters. Durability measures how much damage the structure can take before it is destroyed. Armor reduces the damage inflicted by attacks, as normal. For simplicity, a single Armor rating is given that counts as both Energy and Kinetic armor; at the gamemaster’s discretion, these may be modified as appropriate.
Wounds suffered by objects and structures do not have the same effect as wounds inflicted on characters. Each wound is simply treated as a hole, partial demolition, or impaired function, as the gamemaster sees fit. Alternately, a wounded device may function less effectively, and so may inflict a negative modifier on skill tests made while using that object (a cumulative –10 per wound). In the case of large structures, it is recommended that individual parts of the structure be treated as separate entities for the purpose of inflicting damage.

Ranged Attacks

Ranged combat attacks inflict only one-third their damage (round down) on large structures such as doors, walls, etc. This reflects the fact that most ranged attacks simply penetrate the structure, leaving minor damage.
Agonizers and stunners have no effect on objects and structures.

Shooting Through

If a character attempts to shoot through an object or structure at a target on the other side, the attack is likely to suffer a blind fire modifier of at least –30 unless the attack has some way of viewing the target. On top of this, the target receives an armor bonus equal to the object/structure’s Armor rating x 2.
Sample Objects and Structures
Wound Threshold
Advanced Composites (Ship/Habitat Hull)
Airlock Door
Alloys, Concrete, Hardened Polymers (reinforced doors/walls)
Armored Glass
Ecto Link
Metallic Foam (walls, doors, etc.)
Metallic Glass
Polymer or Wood (walls, doors, furniture, etc.)
Quantum Farcaster Link
Transparent Alumina (walls, furniture)


Every type of ranged weapon has a limited range, beyond which it is ineffective. The effective range of the weapon is further broken down into four categories: Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. A modifier is applied for each category, as noted on the Combat Modifiers table, above. For examples of specific weapon ranges, see the Weapon Ranges table. Ranges are listed in meters.

Range, Gravity, and Vacuum

The ranges listed on the Weapon Ranges table are for Earth-like gravity conditions (1 g). While the effective ranges of kinetic, seeker, spray, and thrown weapons can potentially increase in lower gravity environments due to lack of gravitational forces or aerodynamic drag, accuracy is still the defining factor for determining whether you hit or miss a target. In lower gravities, use the same effective ranges listed, but extend the maximum range by dividing it by the gravity (for example, a max range of 100 meters would be 200 meters in 0.5 g). In microgravity and zero g, the maximum range is effectively line of sight. Likewise, under high-gravity conditions (over 1 g), divide each range category maximum by the gravity (e.g., a short range of 10 meters would be 5 meters in 2 g). Beam weapons are not affected by gravity, but they do fare much better in non-atmospheric conditions. Maximum beam weapon range in vacuum is effectively line of sight.
Weapon Ranges
Weapon (Type)
Short Range
Medium Range (-10)
Long Range (-20)
Extreme Range (-30)

Light Pistol
Medium Pistol
Heavy Pistol
Assault Rifle
Sniper Rifle
Machine Gun

As Firearms, but increase the effective range in each category by 50%
Beam Weapons

Cybernetic Hand Laser
Laser Pulser
Microwave Agonizer
Particle Beam Bolter
Plasma Rifle

Seeker Micromissile
Seeker Minimissile
Seeker Standard Missile
Spray Weapons

Shard Pistol
Vortex Ring Gun
Thrown Weapons

To SOM / 5
To SOM / 2
To SOM x 2
To SOM / 2
To SOM x 2
To SOM x 3
Standard Grenades
To SOM / 5
To SOM / 2
To SOM x 3


Some weapons extend a character’s reach, giving them a significant advantage over an opponent in melee combat. This applies to any weapon over half a meter long: axes, clubs, swords, shock batons, etc.
Whenever one character has a reach advantage over another, they receive a +10 modifier for both attacking and defending.


When you are using a blast weapon, you may still catch your target in the blast radius even if you fail to hit them directly. Weapons such as grenades must go somewhere when they miss, and exactly where they land may be important to the outcome of a battle. To determine where a missed blast attack falls, the scatter rules are called into play.
To determine scatter, roll a d10 and note where the die “points” (using yourself as the reference point). This is the direction from the target that the missed blast lands. The die roll also determines how far away the blast lands, in meters. If the MoF on the attack is over 30, this distance is doubled. If the MoF exceeds 60, the distance is tripled. This point determines the epicenter of the blast; resolve the effects of damage against anyone caught within its sphere of effect as normal (see Blast Effect, above).

Shock Attacks

Shock weapons use high-voltage electrical jolts to physically stun and incapacitate targets. Shock weapons are particularly effective against biomorphs and pods, even when heavily armored. Synthmorphs, bots, and vehicles are immune to shock weapon effects.
A biomorph struck with a shock weapon must make a DUR + Energy Armor Test (using their current DUR score, reduced by damage they have taken). If they fail, they immediately lose neuromuscular control, fall down, and are incapacitated for 1 Action Turn per 10 full points of MoF (minimum of 3 Action Turns). During this time they are stunned and incapable of taking any action, possibly convulsing, suffering vertigo, nausea, etc. After this period, they may act but they remain stunned and shaken, suffering a –30 modifier to all actions. This modifier reduces by 10 per minute (so –20 after 1 minute, –10 after 2 minutes, and no modifier after 3 minutes). Many shock weapons also inflict DV, which is handled as normal.
A biomorph that succeeds the DUR Test is still shocked but not incapacitated. They suffer half the listed DV and suffer a –30 modifier until the end of the next Action Turn. This modifier reduces by 10 per Action Turn. Modifiers from additional shocks are not cumulative, but will boost the modifier back to its maximum value.


To grapple an opponent in melee combat, you must declare your intent to subdue before making the die roll. Any appropriate melee skill may be used for the attack; if wielding a weapon, it may be used as part of the grappling technique. If you succeed in your attack with a margin of success equal to your target's Durability, you have successfully subdued your opponent (for the moment, at least). Grappling attacks do not cause damage unless you roll a critical success (though even in this case you can choose not to).
A subdued opponent is temporarily restrained or immobilized. They may communicate, use mental skills, and take mesh actions, but they may not take any physical actions other than trying to break free. (At the gamemaster’s discretion, they may make small, restrained physical actions, such as reaching for a knife in their pocket or grabbing an item dropped a few centimeters away on the floor, but these actions should suffer at least a –30 modifier and may be noticed by their grappler).
To break free, a grappled character must take a Complex Action and succeed in either an Opposed Unarmed Combat Test or an Opposed SOM x 3 Test, though the subdued character suffers a –30 modifier on this test.

Suppressive Fire

A character firing a weapon in full-auto mode may choose to lay down suppressive fire over an area rather than targeting anyone specifically, with the intent of making everyone in the suppressed area keep their heads down. This takes a Complex Action, uses up 20 shots, and lasts until the character’s next Action Phase. The suppressed area extends out in a cone, with the widest diameter of the cone being up to 20 meters across. Any character who is not behind cover or who does not immediately move behind cover on their action is at risk of getting hit by the suppressive fire. If they move out of cover inside the suppressed area, the character laying down suppressive fire gets one free attack against them, which they may defend against as normal. Apply no modifiers to these tests except for range, wounds, and full defense. If hit, the struck character must resist damage as if from a single shot.


Characters who wish to ambush another must seek to gain the advantage of surprise. This typically means sneaking up on, lying in wait, or sniping from a hard-to-perceive position in the distance. Any time an ambusher (or group of ambushers) attempts to surprise a target (or group of targets), make a secret Perception Test for the ambushee(s). Unless they are alert for surprises, this test should suffer the typical –20 modifier for being distracted. This is an Opposed Test against the ambusher(s) Infiltration skill. Depending on the attacker’s position, other modifiers may also apply (distance, visibility, cover, etc.).
If the Perception Test fails, the character is surprised by the attack and cannot react to or defend against it. In this case, simply give the attacker(s) a free Action Phase to attack the surprised character(s). Once the attackers have taken their actions, roll Initiative as normal.
If the Perception Test succeeds, the character is alerted to something a split-second before they are ambushed, giving them a chance to react. In this case, roll Initiative as normal, but the ambushed character(s) suffers a –3 modifier to the Initiative Test. The ambushed character may still defend as normal.
In a group situation, things can get more complicated when some characters are surprised and others aren't. In this case, roll Initiative as normal, with all non-ambushers suffering the –3 modifier. Any characters who are surprised are simply unable to take action on the first Action Phase, as they are caught off-guard and must take a moment to assess what’s going on and get caught up with the action. As above, surprised characters my not defend on this first Action Phase.

Tactical Networks

Tactical networks are specialized software programs used by teams that benefit from the sharing of tactical data. They are commonly used by sports teams, security outfits, military units, AR gamers, gatecrashers, surveyors, miners, traffic control, scavengers, and anyone else who needs a tactical overview of a situation. Firewall teams regularly take advantage of them.
In game terms, tacnets provide specialized software skills and tools to a muse or AI, as best fits their tactical needs. These tools link together and share and analyze data between all of the participants in the network, creating a customizable entoptics display for each user that summarizes relevant data, highlights interactions and priorities, and alerts the user to matters that require their attention.

Combat Tacnets

The following list is a sample of a typical combat tacnet’s features. Gamemasters are encouraged to modify and expand these options as appropriate to their game:
  • Maps: Tacnets assemble all available maps and can present them to the user with a bird’s eye view or as a three-dimensional interactive, with distances between relevant features readily accessible. The AI or muse can also plot maps based on sensory input, breadcrumb positioning systems, and other data. Plotted paths and other data from these maps can be displayed as entoptic images or other AR sensory input (e.g., a user who should be turning left might see a transparent red arrow or feel a tingling sensation on their left side).
  • Positioning: The exact positioning of the user and all other participants are updated and mapped according to mesh positioning and GPS. Likewise, the positioning of known people, bots, vehicles, and other features can also be plotted according to sensory input.
  • Sensory Input: Any sensory input available to a participating character or device in the network can be fed into the system and shared. This includes data from cybernetic senses, portable sensors, smartlink guncams, XP output, etc. This allows one user to immediately call up and access the sensor feed of another user.
  • Communications Management: The tacnet maintains an encrypted link between all users and stays wary both of participants who drop out or of attempts to hack or interfere with the communications link.
  • Smartlink/Weapon Data: The tacnet monitors the status of weapons, accessories, and other gear via the smartlink interface or wireless link, bringing damage, shortages, and other issues to the user’s attention.
  • Indirect Fire: Members of a tacnet can provide targeting data to each other for purposes of indirect fire (see above).
  • Analysis: The muses and AIs participating in the tacnet are bolstered with skill software and databases that enable them to interpret incoming data and sensory feeds. Perhaps the most useful aspect of tacnets, this means that the muse/AI may notice facts or details individual users are likely to have overlooked. For example, the tacnet can count shots fired by opponents, note when they are likely running low, and even analyze sensory input to determine the type of weaponry and ammunition being used. Opponents and their gear can also be scanned and analyzed to note potential weaknesses, injuries, and capabilities. If sensor contact with an opponent is lost, the last known location is memorized and potential movement vectors and distances are displayed. Opponent positioning can also identify lines of sight and fields of fire, alerting the user to areas of potential cover or danger. The tacnet can also suggest tactical maneuvers that will aid the user, such as flanking an opponent or acquiring better elevation.
Many of these features are immediately accessible to the user via their AR display; other data can be accessed with a Quick Action. Likewise, the gamemaster decides when the muse/AI provides important alerts to the user. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some of these features may apply modifiers to the character’s tests.

Touch-Only Attacks

Some types of attacks simply require you to touch your target, rather than injure them, and are correspondingly easier. This might apply when trying to slap them with a dermal drug patch, spreading a contact poison on their skin, or making skin-to-skin contact for the use of a psi sleight. In situations like this, apply a +20 modifier to your melee attacks.

Two-Handed Weapons

Any weapon noted as two-handed requires two hands (or other prehensile limbs) to wield effectively. This applies to some archaic melee weapons (large swords, spears, etc.) in addition to certain larger firearms and heavy weapons. Any character that attempts to use such a weapon single-handed suffers a –20 modifier. This modifier does not apply to mounted weapons.

Wielding Two or More Weapons

It is possible for a character to wield two weapons in combat, or even more if they are an octomorph or multilimbed synthmorph. In this case, each weapon that is held in an off-hand suffers a –20 off-hand weapon modifier. This modifier may be offset with the Ambidextrous trait.

Extra Melee Weapons

The use of two or more melee weapons is treated as a single attack, rather than multiple. Each additional weapon applies +1d10 damage to the attack (up to a maximum +3d10). Off-hand weapon modifiers are ignored. If the character attacks multiple targets with the same Complex Action (see Multiple Targets, above), these bonuses do not apply. The attacker must, of course, be capable of actually wielding the additional weapons. A splicer with only two hands cannot wield a knife and a two-handed sword, for example. Likewise, the gamemaster may ignore this damage bonus for extra weapons that are too dissimilar to use together effectively (like a whip and a pool cue). Note that extra limbs do not count as extra weapons in unarmed combat, nor do weapons that come as a pair (such as shock gloves).
A character using more than one melee weapon receives a bonus for defending against melee attacks equal to +10 per extra weapon (maximum +30).

Extra Ranged Weapons

Similarly, an attacker can wield a pistol in each hand for ranged combat, or larger weapons if they have more limbs (an eight-limbed octomorph, for example, could conceivably hold four assault rifles). These weapons may all be fired at once towards the same target. In this case, each weapon is handled as a separate attack, with each off-hand weapon suffering a cumulative off-hand weapon modifier (no modifier for the first attack, –20 for the second, –40 for the third, and –60 for the fourth), offset by the Ambidextrous trait as usual.

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