Indirect Combat is a form of combat where you do not actually enter battle against other characters, and instead try to harm or kill the other characters without being noticed. Usually driven by the need to meet an assigned goal or kill a target, this method of combat is the most sneaky form of combat there is. It is the form of combat you would use when hunting wild game or trying to take out a target without being noticed, but it is not only reserved for these instances.
Indirect Combat can also be used for combat in a pinch. You would be limited to what skills you could do, but it could be done. You would basically run the combat with everyone using Indirect Combat and role play it out.
For example, you could be exploring some long forgotten ruins when you decide to stop and make a perception check, looking around for danger. The GM kindly tells you that you spot a couple of imps farther down the hall but they didn’t see you yet. Well instead of trying to get away or trying to sneak up on them and ambush them, you could use indirect combat. In this manner, it is possible for you to take out your enemy without ever being noticed and thus avoiding a full-fledged combat, or at least decrease the amount of targets you would have to face, greatly increasing your odds in battle. However should you fail to kill your target you could be noticed and drawn into either a dual or a full-fledged battle.
1. Rules of Indirect Combat
The rules to indirect combat are simple, yet they do depend on whether you are attacking a target or group of targets that is not already in battle, or if you are a spectator to a full fledged battle or a duel.
If you are attacking a target or a group that is not in battle then you can simply attack them. Once you attack a target, that target would have to make a perception check to be able to defend against or evade the attack, and if the target survives your attack, that target will make a perception check to find your character. The GM may or may not give that target a bonus to their perception. If you are using any skills that conceal your character, those penalties will apply to that target's perception check. If there are any other enemy targets nearby, they too may get to make a perception check.
If no enemy target manages to perceive you, you may continue on with your covert indirect combat. If any of the targets perceive you, you will enter into a full fledged battle, however only the targets that have managed to perceive you will know that you are there. If it is only one enemy target, and that target perceives you and is sentient, it is possible that you could enter a duel instead, with any nearby enemies and allies becoming spectators.
If you are the spectator and decide to attack targets that are engaged in battle, the attacked target will first have to make a successful perception check to be able to defend against or evade the attack. Then, when it is that target's active round, it will have to make another perception check to attack you, unless you manage to be out in the open and visible, in which case that target would simply attack you. Should the target be able to attack you, you would be drawn into the full fledged battle as a participant. If the target can not find you to attack you, you would be able to continue using indirect combat as a spectator.
Should you ever be attacked by an enemy using indirect combat, you would have to make a successful perception check to defend against or evade the attack and a separate perception check to find the attacker.
2. Possible Outcomes
There are only two possible outcomes for this type of battle, victory for you or being drawn into a more traditional battle. If you get drawn into either a duel or a full fledged battle then you will need to refer to their rules on what to do and possible outcomes.
However, if you manage to be victorious and kill your target, you will be able to loot that target’s body. Whatever that target has on them is up to the GM. If the GM is using a pre-made enemy from this book’s bestiary, there is a detailed listing on what each beast could have on them to loot. Please remember that anytime you use skills you will get your skill points right away.