Defenders of Aylanae
Tactical zones change some aspects about how the game is played. In effect, a zone is an artbitrary area (usually about 30′×30′ or so, though distances are abstracted). Outdoors a zone is often just a large hex of space of similar terrain. Indoor zones are often defined by rooms, corridors, etc. The actual size of a zone isn’t particularly important.
Moving Between Zones: A character can move a number of zones equal to 1+ his speed rank as a move action. Note that this is somewhat slower than the normal speed rank progression, which double speed at each rank where this instead uses a linear increase.
Elevation/Altitude: Characters that are flying can be a number of zones upwards in elevation as well. A flying character can choose to elevate a zone or move to another horizontal zone with a move or to put it another way, zones are only adjacent to the zone directly above them for purposes of movement. When making ranged attacks against a flying target, to determine their total number of zones away, add the highest of their horizontal zones or vertical zones to half the lower value (round down). This is a simplification to avoid having to do pythagorean calculations. Example: A character that is 3 zones away and 2 zones higher than a shooter would be considered 4 zones away (3 + 2/2).
Ranged Attacks: Ranged attacks can go a number of zones away equal to half their rank as short range, equal to their ranks in zones for medium range, and double their ranks for long range. Each rank of the extended range mod lets you add your effect rank again for purposes of determining range. Example: A ranged damage 6 power could fire up to 3 zones away as short range, 6 zones as medium range, and 12 zones as long range. If this power had extended range 2, it would have the range equivalent of a rank 18 power (9/18/36).
Engaging: A character who is not engaged can choose to engage one target in the same zone. This can be done as a free action upon entering a zone (assuming no one intercepts the character first), or a move action for a character already in the zone. A character must engage a target to launch a close attack against it. A character is considered engaged with all targets that are engaged with each other. In other words, treat a melee as one giant blob of engaged targets. You can also automatically engage as a reaction (see interception below).
Interception: As a reaction to a foe entering their zone, any non-engaged character who is aware of the incoming threat can move to intercept, automatically engaging them. A foe that wishes to specifically avoid one target to try to reach another in the same zone, can make an acrobatics check against a DC of 10 + interceptor’s acro. Doing so results in all the targets (intended target, attacker and interceptors) being in the same engagement.
Disgengaging: Disengaging isn’t always easy. It requires a move action if any enemy has you engaged. Further, unless you have an engaged ally for each engaged enemy, at least one foe can attempt to stop you from disengaging. In this contest, You must make an acrobatics check against a DC of 10 + their acrobatics bonus or their close attack bonus (whichever is higher) with a +2 if 2 foes are trying to stop you and +5 if more than 2 are doing so. Dazed/Stunned/etc enemies and allies do not count for purposes of determining disengaging.
Exception: In the case of trying to bypass a narrow zone (see below), all foes may try to stop you, whether or not they’re distracted by other engaged allies.
If a disengage roll fails, a number of things can happen depending on circumstance. If the enemy is unable to totally block you in, the enemy creature chooses which zone you must retreat to (assuming you still wish to). If it wishes, it may also follow you as a reaction, up to its speed. If you are faster than the enemy you can almost always disengage in this way (assuming you can flee at all), though you’ll often have to give a significant amount of ground in a direction of the enemy’s choice, as it can continually follow you and force the direction of your retreat until it’s out of movement. Movement used during this chase movement counts against the chasing creature on his next turn’s movement.
However, if the enemy has 2 greater ranks in speed than you do or there are multiple free enemies to stop your engagement, then your move action is simply wasted as the enemy/enemies circle you and prevent you from going anywhere. It’s also possible to be intercepted (see interception) during your movement while retreating after a disengage as well. In this case, you’ll need to make another acrobatics check against the foe(s) who intercepted you.
Area Attacks: Area attacks target entire zones. A rank 0 area targets a single zone. Rank 1 and above target multiple zones, as defined below. A rank -1 area can hit only engaged characters in the target zone. Note that area attacks aren’t selective by default, so nuking a zone gets friend and foe alike.
Burst: Targets initial zone and a radius of zones equal to distance rank.
Line: Targets foes in the same zone and those in roughly the same direction as the initial target. A line can target one foe per zone without penalty, however if multiple targets are selected, then the targets get a +1 bonus to their dodge check per target selected (so 2 targets grants +2). Unlike most area effects, lines are precise enough to target engaged characters without striking friendlies. However, targets you can’t see always make their saves (or at least get a +5 bonus if there’s not much room to dodge).
Cone: A cone can target either one foe engaged with you, or (if you are not engaged) an engaged group of creatures (friend or foe) in the same zone. In either case, it then proceeds outward in a rough cone shape to other zones equal to its distance rank.
Half-Areas/Cover Zones: Sometimes an area effect may not hit the entire zone, in such a case all in the zone gain a +5 bonus to their dodge rolls. Success by 3 or more degrees on the dodge roll indicates no damage. This is usually the case with a zone with a bunch of cover, or for instance firing a blast down a corridor which ends up in a room.
Narrow Zones: Sometimes a zone may be narrow, such as a corridor. In such cases there may be specific sides to the zone that aren’t necessarily easy to cross if there are blockers. Such cases may require acrobatics checks to get by, or potentially not at all without teleportation powers. In cases where an acrobatics check is required to get through a target, such checks are made at a -5 penalty due to the zone, or in the case of ultra tight zones, may be denied altogether.