COMBAT – Who gets attacked?

  • I wrote this for Numenera, but can be used in any syste.

Very often, PC’s say “I’ll attack the one that he just hit”. In the reality of melee; this would be hard. Watch any TV brawl; everyone fights everyone. Also, it is sometimes difficult for the GM to decide who gets attacked.


  1. On the centre of the table, have a pot with nine counters, three of each colour.



  1. GM notes – split the number of creatures between the colours as desired.


Six creatures would be 2 RED. 2 BLUE, 2 YELLOW. Seven creatures could be 2 RED, 4 BLUE, 1 YELLOW


  1. Player attacks a creature, pulls a counter. It’s RED. GM says, pick creature 1 or 2 and make the attack. The counter is returned to the pot. Next Round the Player pulls a BLUE. Now they have to pick a number in the BLUE range.


  1. This allows for the players to remember who they have hit; whilst still putting in some randomness.


  1. If a colour is pulled that has no option, then the PC can choose any colour, or do something else.


Creatures attack

                Each PC pulls a counter, plus one for any NPC allies. The colour indicates who will be targeted by the creatures; dividing attacks equally and also allowing for any multiple attackers.



If there is one (or more) Boss Monsters, then add ONE GREEN token to the pot.


This has been tested and it works quite well. GMI are still used as desired by the GM and can override anything.



Sica and Vantarn have been ambushed by 5 Murden out on the road.

GM assigns the Murden 2 RED, 2 BLUE, and 1 YELLOW


Round 1

Vantarn goes first, pulls Yellow. Attacks the Yellow Murden and does 4 damage.

Sica goes next, pulls Red. Chooses to attack Red Murden 1, does 5 damage.


Murden attack. Sica pulls Yellow, Vantarn pulls Blue.

– The Yellow Murden attacks Sica

– Both Blue Murden attack Vantarn


– The RED Murden don’t act, but the GM could use them to act as a GMI


Round 2

Vantarn pulls Yellow. He’s already hurt this creature, so he puts Effort into damage. He hits and the YELLOW Murden goes down.


Sica pulls Yellow. The Yellow Murden is down; so Sica can pick who he wants. He picks Red Murden 1; hits and puts it down.


Murden attack. Sica pulls Yellow, Vantarn pulls Blue.

– The Yellow Murden is down, so Sica is not attacked (unless the GM invokes a GMI)

– Both Blue Murden attack Vantarn



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