Combat, Karma, and Favor

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The majority of the Battle Phase consists of combat.

Combat amongst undead is quite different from when humans fight - even if they lose their arms and head, they'll keep fighting. Thus, both the Necromancers and Players can tear each other to bits without worry.

Combat occurs between markers which the Dolls and the Necromancer move around.

Preparing for Combat[edit]

Combat takes place atop a symbolic map called the "Stage of Battle." This map is divided into five Areas.

The Players should deploy their Markers in the Area that they decided upon at the time of character creation.

Afterwards, the Necromancer should specify the Victory Condition to the players. If there is any additional Karma (explained later), it should also be given at this time. The Necromancer should then place markers representing enemies or other participants into Areas of their choice (if they have not already decided beforehand.)

Place copies of the same markers in the boxes to the right of the Stage of Battle with the numbers 15 through -5 written in them. The Players, Necromancer and any other participants should place their markers in the box corresponding to their Maximum Action Count. After the above preparations have been made, the Players and Necromancers should be sure to perform any Maneuvers, etc. that take place "at the start of the Battle Phase." If there is nothing more of the sort, combat can begin.

Victory Conditions and Annihilation[edit]

Combat takes place in a variety of situations. Depending on the particular situation, the Necromancer may specify various Victory Conditions.

When the Dolls fulfill these Victory Conditions, they are considered to have won, and even if there are enemy markers remaining the Battle Phase comes to an end. You may think of the remaining enemies as having ceased to function when their commander was taken out, for instance.

Conversely, if all of the Sisters lose their ability to attack or move, or their Fetters are entirely consumed by Madness Points, they are considered to have been annihilated.

If this happens, Battle Phase ends, and Recovery is not possible. Continue directly to the Ending in the End Phase.

Dolls that have been annihilated no longer have any ability to function. It is up to the Necromancer what happens to them after this. Even after a Doll has been annihilated, they can continue to receive Favor Points. However, they cannot be used to participate in future sessions. The best they can hope for is that parts of them might be used to make the next set of Dolls.

Victory Conditions[edit]

For more information on suitable Victory Conditions, please see the Necromancer Section.

Remaining Markers[edit]

Combat may end in the middle of a Round. However, Dolls do not take any additional Madness Points from this Round ending.

The Flow of Combat[edit]

Combat is divided into units of time known as Rounds. One Round represents about ten seconds of time within the setting.

Likewise, Rounds are themselves divided into units of time known as Count. Count, in combination with Action Points, determine the order in which the participants of the combat act. The participant with the highest Maximum Action Points is typically the first to act. The current Count will decrease by 1 at the Necromancer's command, eventually reaching zero. The markers to the right of the Stage of Battle should be managed in accordance with all Actions taken. As one's current Action Points change, their marker should be moved to the box representing their current Action Points.

At the beginning of the first Round, each combat participant's Action Points will be the same as their Maximum Action Points.

The Count will then decrease as the participants take action.

When the Count reaches 0, the Round is over. At this time, all of the Players must take a Madness Point upon a Fetter of their choice.

At the beginning of the next Round, all of the participants recover Action Points equal to their Maximum Action Points. However, be careful when deciding how many Action Points to recover.

It is possible that Parts which increase one's Maximum Action Points may have been damaged. If this is the case, the amount of Action Points one can recover is likewise different.

For example, if a Doll with 10 Maximum Action Points ends the Round at -2 Action Points, she will recover 10 Action Points and start with 8 in the next Round. However, if her Brain and Eyeballs were damaged, she won't recover the full ten Action Points and will start with less than 7.

After all participants in combat have recovered their Action Points, if they were not already defeated, the new Round begins. Until one side of the battle either escapes or is defeated, the procedure above repeats itself.

Madness Points[edit]

Battle can be a terrifying thing. Dolls who engage in it are liable to be overcome by madness if it continues for too long. Yet in Nechronica, combat is unavoidable. For the sake of the Dolls' well-being, it is wise to end combat as quickly as possible.

Maximum Action Points[edit]

Even if one's Maximum Action Points decrease, their Current Action Points do not. Therefore, take note that one's Current Action Points will not be decreased by taking damage.


When the Count is equal to a combat participant's Current Action Points, they can use Maneuvers with a Timing of "Action."

Alternately, if they do not wish to use a Maneuver, they can declare that they wish to wait. Waiting results in their Action Points decreasing by 1.

If they declare that they will use a Maneuver, their Action Points immediately decrease by the Cost of that Maneuver.

When the Count decreases to their new Action Points, they can use that Maneuver a second time. However, it is possible the Maneuver may become unusable if the Part that enables it is damaged. Be careful.

Maneuvers with "Check", "Damage" or "Rapid" timing can be used regardless of one's current Action Points or the current Count if their other requirements are met ("Rapid" Maneuvers must be declared in response to an Action.) However, Maneuvers with these Timings can be used only one time each Round.

One can use a Maneuver even if paying its Cost would send their Action Points to zero or less. However, be careful of going into negative Action Points. When one's Action Points are zero or less, they can use no Maneuvers except for those with Timing "Auto."

For example, if at Count 2 a Doll uses a Maneuver with a Cost of 4, their Action Points will now be at -2. As their Action Points are zero or less, until the next Round, they can only use Maneuvers with Timing "Auto."


Costs are paid at the time the use of a Maneuver is declared. If that Maneuver is negated by a Rapid Maneuver, its Cost is paid nonetheless.

Reusing Maneuvers[edit]

There is no limit to the number of times an Action Maneuver can be used during a Round. As long as the Part granting it is not damaged, use it as many times as you wish.

Once Per Round[edit]

This applies only to Maneuvers with the same name. Even if the effect and Timing are the same, if they are not an exact duplicate, similar Maneuvers can be used at another time. For instance, all Dolls can use their "Forearm" and "Foot" each once per Round.

Count Processing[edit]

It is not uncommon that during combat, allies and enemies will have the same number of Action Points and act during the same Count.

Actions that occur on the same Count are treated as if they occurred simultaneously.

For example, if a Movement Maneuver and an Attack Maneuver are used at the same time, the target is assumed to have not yet moved from their original Area. However, if made using a Maneuver with the Timing "Check" or "Rapid", the movement will take place before the attack.

When Actions take place during the same Count, the Necromancer should declare theirs first.

If the Necromancer's Attacks result in Parts being destroyed, Dolls acting on the same Count can still use Maneuvers dependent upon these Parts (but cannot use the Parts to to pay Costs and such.)

However, Maneuvers with the timing "Check" or "Rapid" are considered to pre-empt these simultaneous actions. If an Attack with the timing "Check" or "Rapid" destroys a Part, a Maneuver using that Part cannot be made during the same Count. When made at the same time, even if a "Check", "Damage" or "Rapid" maneuver causes one's Action Points to decrease, an Action Maneuver can be made during that Count.

However, if one's current Action Points fall to zero or less, they cannot perform any simultaneous maneuvers.

Combat participants may perform multiple "Check", "Damage" and "Rapid" maneuvers at the same time. To give an absurd example, a Doll could use their Forearm to support a Check, while simultaneously hindering it with their Foot (though doing so would be meaningless.)

Likewise, multiple combat participants may perform "Check", "Damage" and "Rapid" maneuvers in response to the same action.

When the Timing of Maneuvers overlaps, those Maneuvers declared last should be carried out first. It's thus possible to cancel a Rapid Maneuver with another Rapid Maneuver. When multiple combat participants are in the fray, "Check", "Damage" and "Rapid" maneuvers also follow this rule.

Attack Checks[edit]

These Checks are performed when an Attack Maneuver is used. Perform a Check to determine which location the attack hits, and look up the result on the table below.

1 or Lower Critical Failure (The attacker chooses an ally in the same Area as the target or themselves, and hits them in a Location of their choice)
2-5 Failure
6 The target chooses which Location is hit (it cannot be one in which all Parts are damaged)
7 Legs (if all Parts are already damaged, the attacker chooses another Location)
8 Torso (if all Parts are already damaged, the attacker chooses another Location)
9 Arms (if all Parts are already damaged, the attacker chooses another Location)
10 Head (if all Parts are already damaged, the attacker chooses another Location)
11 or Higher Critical Success (the attacker hits a Location of their choice and does bonus damage equal to the Check Result - 10)

Basically, if the Check Result is 6 or higher, it will hit a Location in accordance with the result, and do damage in accordance with the Maneuver.

In the case of a Critical Failure, the attack will hit an ally in the same area as the target (if the attack was an Area Attack, that property is lost.)

In the case of a Critical Success, the attacker can hit a Location of their choice on the target, and the amount of damage they deal is raised by the Check Value - 10.


When an Attack is made, it causes damage to a Location such as the Head, Arms, Torso or Legs. The Location which took damage has an number of Parts equal to the amount of taken damage become damaged.

Unless Recovered during the End Phase (explained later), the effects of these damaged Parts is lost. Maneuvers that they enable cannot be used. And Parts that have been damaged cannot be damaged again.

If all of the Parts in a Location hit by an attack are already damaged, the attacker may choose from among the remaining Locations.

If all of a Doll's Parts in all her Locations are damaged, she cannot participate in combat until she recovers.

Damaged Parts[edit]

If all of a Doll's Parts are damaged, yet the Victory Condition is fulfilled, she may be able to Recover (explained later.) However, if defeated, she will not be able to fight again. In order to win, take care not to get too damaged.

Dismemberment Checks[edit]

There are Attacks capable of cutting parts off of a body without damaging them.

The target of these attacks must make a "Dismemberment Check."

If this check is failed, all Parts in the Location hit are damaged without regard to the numerical quantity of damage received.

Types of Enemies[edit]

However, this rule differs when fighting enemies such as Legions and Horrors. Explosive and Area Attacks are also treated differently. See the Necromancer Section for details.


When there is little chance of victory, and the Necromancer recognizes this, escape may be possible.

This can be attempted by any Dolls within Eden. If they are all make Movement Maneuvers, they may make an additional Check in the fashion of an Action Check.

Within combat, this Check is considered to be a maneuver with "Check" Timing. As such, "Check" Timing Maneuvers can affect it (treat the distance as being 1 area away from Eden).

If the Check is successful, the Doll escapes without suffering any further harm.

However, if the Check fails, she remains on the battlefield. She is still located in Eden. If she uses another Movement Maneuver, she may try again.

In the case of a Critical Failure, she may not attempt to escape again until the next Round.

If all of the Dolls escape, any Dolls that were annihilated cannot Recover (explained later) during the End Phase. Defeated enemies and one's own damaged parts remain upon the battlefield. The remaining Dolls will have to endure the next Session before they can recover.

Other Situations[edit]

During the Battle Phase, it is possible that other rules will be invoked depending on the situation.

For example, Action Checks may be commonly used for certain sutuations.

These are typically treated as Action Maneuvers with a Cost decided by the Necromancer. Below are a few examples.

Noticing Something[edit]

This is a Rapid Maneuver with a Cost of 0. However, if it takes careful observation, it should be an Action Maneuver with a cost of 1.

Reading Something[edit]

Depending on its difficulty or length, a Doll should make an Action Maneuver with a cost of at least 1.

Opening a Door[edit]

This has the same Cost as a Movement Maneuver. However, if it requires a key or a password, the cost should go up to 3~4.

Destroying a Wall[edit]

Attacks should be made against the wall with a certain amount of damage required to destroy it.

Operating a Machine[edit]

If this would dramatically alter the situation, give it a cost of 3~4. However, if it needs to be operated multiple times or its utility is minimal, a cost of 1~2 is enough.

Climbing a Wall or Cliff[edit]

This has the same cost as an Action Maneuver. However, there may be modifiers based on the steepness of the climb, whether the one making it has Talons, and such.

Moving Something Heavy[edit]

These should have the same cost as using one's Fists or Shoulers. However, if a Doll has unusual strength due to Super Strength or the like, they may have an advantage.

In addition, certain Maneuvers that enemies make during combat may require the Dolls to make Madness Checks. For a detailed explanation, see the Necromancer Section.

However, Conversation Checks cannot be made during the Battle Phase unless allowed by Maneuvers. When one's Madness rises high during Battle, it's essential to make conversation afterwards and calm down.


Maneuvers with Timing other than "Auto" can only be used during the Battle Phase. These abilities only take effect under the extreme conditions of combat. While it might be useful to repair parts and such at other times, that unfortunately can't be done at one's will.

Recovery after Battle[edit]

Dolls will often suffer injuries from battle and other kinds of trouble.

However, Dolls are undead. Because of that, they're able to take Parts that once belonged to others and use them to repair themselves. Whether sown on, glued on, or regenerated, they can attach them somehow.

After the Battle Phase ends, Recovery takes place at the beginning of the End Phase. However, this only occurs if the battle was won.

The number of Parts that can be recovered after battle depends on the sum of the enemies' Threat Level. As long as victory was achieved, even if some of the enemies escaped or were not destroyed, this calculation remains the same. The formula for the number of parts the sisters can recover is below.

  • Basic Parts = (Sum of Enemy Threat Level) ÷ 4 (round up)
  • Reinforcement Parts = (Sum of Enemy Threat Level) ÷ 8 (round up)

The stock of Parts received must be divided amongst the sisters. They should mention which parts they need and share them among themselves.

Although Basic Parts are relatively easy to repair. Reinforcement Parts can be more difficult. It's a good idea to keep that in mind when taking damage.

Also, when recovering Reinforcement Parts, it's possible to replace them with others (but only with Parts from the same category, and the same tier or below.) At this time, you may not acquire the same Part twice.

If no one took damage to any of their Reinforcement Parts and only to their Basic Parts, it's fine to add the number of Reinforcement Parts received to the stock of Basic Parts. However, the reverse cannot be done to increase the stock of Reinforcement Parts.

Finally, it's important to note that damaged Treasures cannot be recovered. You'll have to find new ones.

Threat Levels[edit]

This refers to the cost of the Necromancer's troops. Powerful ones will have a high Threat Level. For a detailed explanation, see the Necromancer Section.

Acquiring New Treasures[edit]

This can be done during the Adventure Phase and End Phase.


"Karma" refers to objectives and missions the Dolls are burdened with. Each Doll will be given a number of Karma. The nature of this Karma may differ amongst them. Typically, during a single session, the Dolls will be given two or three Karma.

All Dolls begin with the Karma "Find Fragments of Memory." This Karma is considered to have been fulfilled as long as one or more (if more, the Karma was only fulfilled onced) Fragments of Memory were acquired during the session.

The Necromancer may issue Karma to the Players at the beginning of either the Adventure Phase or the Battle Phase. The conditions to fulfill these Karma may vary. Players are welcome to ask the Necromancer questions concerning how the Karma should be fulfilled.

At the end of the Session, each Karma that was fulfilled will earn 2 Favor Points.

Fulfilling their Karma is necessary for the Dolls to become stronger.


As they watch the Dolls struggle to maintain their sanity in this world, the Necromancers bear a twisted kind of "Favor" towards them.

This Favor warps the Dolls' bodies and allows them to become stronger.

From the end of the Session until the beginning of the next one, the Dolls can spend Favor to produce the effects described on the table below.

Points Effect
2 Change the type of a Fetter of your choice. However, "Dependent on Treasure" cannot be changed.
2 Erase a Fetter towards a target other than your Treasure or your sisters.
2 Acquire a new Fetter (with the Necromancer's permission.)
4 Remove a single Madness Point upon yourself.
4 Regenerate a damaged Basic Part of your choice.
6 Regenerate a damaged Reinforcement Part of your choice (or replace it with another of the same category, and same level or below.)
10 Learn a new skill from your Position or Class (if you have the same Class twice, this can be its Special Skill.)
10 Gain a Reinforcement Point in any category (up to a maximum of 9.) You may acquire a new Reinforcement Part in this category; see the Doll Section.
20 Learn a new skill from a Position or Class other than yours (this may not be a Special Skill.)

When acquiring a new Fetter, you should choose a target that was featured during the Session. If the Dolls have acquired new companions, or Savants or the Necromancers themselves have made multiple appearances, the Necromancer may allow the Dolls to create Fetters towards them.

At this time, with the permission of the Necromancer, the type of the Fetter can be freely chosen (though the Necromancer may make a suggestion.) Brand-new Fetters begin with three Madness Points upon them.

Gaining a new Fetter will help one's heart grow stronger in the sessions to come.

However, the maximum number of Fetters one may have is six. Be careful.

Though Favor is bestowed upon individual Dolls, if all the Dolls entered a Heart-Broken state or were annihilated in combat, remaining Favor Points are inherited by the next Doll created by that Player. Think of it as the Necromancer learning from their previous mistakes to create stronger Dolls.

Also, depending on the format of the session, the Necromancer too may be able to acquire Favor. See the Necromancer Section for details.