Alpha Dawn Supplementation - Panic

AtomikDyce's picture
January 5, 2014 - 4:36pm
<!--[if gte mso 9]> 800x600 <![endif]-->

In an effort to apply a level of realism to the game, the supplemental rules include a panic check for players and NPCs during intense combat or other highly-stressful situations. Panic refers to the inability of an individual to act as he/she normally would, most often resulting in a state of mild shock. Following are the scenarios in which a Panic check must be made for a character:

  • The character’s Stamina drops below ten or one-fourth of their maximum Stamina, whichever is higher
  • The amount of damage sustained from a single attack or accident exceeds twenty points of damage
  • The total combined Stamina of the attacking force exceeds the character’s team Stamina total by more than a 3:1 ratio

Once one of the above situations occur, every affected character must make a panic check (please note that players with either the Inspiration or SWAT skill are immune to panic scenarios and do not require a panic check). A panic check roll is made against the character’s Personality score, and a failed roll results in the character panicking. To determine the effect on the panicked character, calculate the difference between the PC’s roll and the character’s Personality score and consult the Panic Effect table below.

Panic Effect Table



1 – 20


21 – 40




Fight – The character makes a manic attempt to fight off his/her attackers. If the character is currently armed with a ranged weapon, he/she will empty the clip at the nearest opponent. While in a panicked state, this character will fire his/her weapon at the maximum firing rate until there isn’t any ammo remaining (bullets, seu, backpack, etc.). Once the ammunition for that weapon has been exhausted, the character then succumbs to the Freeze effect until they are no longer panicking. If currently engaged in combat with a melee weapon, the character spends the remainder of their panicked state trying to defend themselves from attackers. All attacks and defense attempts by a panicked character are subject to a -10% penalty.

Freeze – The character is in shock while panicked, unable to attempt any actions or respond to any other teammates. Treat these characters as Stunned for this duration.

Flight – The character attempts to flee the scene as quickly as possible. The referee should determine the shortest escape route away from danger and have the character sprint in that direction until no longer panicking. If there is no available route of escape, then the character succumbs to the Freeze effect. Teammates may attempt to restrain the character, but it doesn’t nullify their state of panic, and damage sustained to the character while in flight mode will not deter his/her flight attempt.

A character remains panicked until one of the following conditions is met:

  • They return to their senses. The referee should make a secret roll to determine the duration of the character’s state of panic. The duration is equal to 1d5 turns for every ten points that the panic check roll failed (rounded up).
  • The source of the character’s panic is removed. This occurs if all of the attackers are defeated, after which the character must spend one turn gathering their wits.
  • They are comforted by a teammate. This condition can be automatically met if a teammate with a Psychology or Inspiration skill spends one turn comforting the panicked character. Any attempt made by a teammate without one of these two skills must pass a Leadership check in order to successfully comfort the panicked character. Neither individual can be actively engaged in combat for the duration of this turn, nor can either individual sustain any damage during this attempt. A comforted character returns to the player’s control the following turn.



AtomikDyce's picture
January 5, 2014 - 4:47pm
For example, Vrootle is part of an exploration team entering an uncharted region on a backwater planet. Suddenly a giant carnivorous beast burst through the foliage, surprising the team. The stamina of the beast far exceeds the total stamina of Vrootle's squad, so the referee makes a panic check against Vrootle's Personality score. He passes the check, but the next turn results in the beast slashing Vrootle for 25 points of damage. This requires another panic check, and this time Vrootle's roll fails by 18. His panic state results in fight mode, so he attempts to fire two shots from his blaster every turn at the present SEU setting until his clip is empty or he is no longer panicking. The referee makes a secret roll of 1d10 (result of 18 divided by 10, rounded up), resulting in eight panic turns. Should Vrootle empty his clip prior to that, he would enter into a freeze state, remaining in shock until he is no longer panicking.

jedion357's picture
January 5, 2014 - 5:04pm
I would apply panic checks to NPCs only. PCs are suppose to be a hero and or the avatar of the player.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

AtomikDyce's picture
January 5, 2014 - 7:46pm
Yeah, but I like to add more realism to the game. I also wanted to put more emphasis on the Personality/Leadership abilities, since they're the red-headed stepchildren of the bunch. It forces a player to either put more points towards their character's Personality, or more reasonably, obtain a skill that prevents a panic roll (Inspiration or SWAT, which are covered in the supplemental skills section). This is equivalent to being trained how to respond to pressure situations.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
January 6, 2014 - 12:31pm
About the closest Alpha Dawn has to this is a -10% to hit when Stamina is at half or below due to wounds.
That tells me the character or whomever is shaken or weakened from the amount of damage taken.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

AtomikDyce's picture
January 8, 2014 - 10:58am
You know, the more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards jedion's idea. This would be a nice rule to incoporate with NPCs rather than PCs. So now that my gears are turning, how about your thoughts on a Stress Check rather than a panic check?

All Stress Check situations would be identical to the Panic Check scenarios, but with different outcomes for failure. A failed stress check (Personality) would result in a -10% modifier for all rolls (combat, skills, etc.). The penalty would last for the duration of the character's stress (as they are under duress).

All other Panic rules would apply (exempt characters, attempts to comfort the player, etc.)