|Heroic Action Role-Play|
This is a game system developed from house rules and modifications to other systems. It is more and more becoming a separate system.
It began with Space Critters, though it has no direct effect on Action. Space Critters was a derivative of Star Wars (West End Games) and Cyberpunk. It worked reasonably well, but had limited development potential due to inherent flaws in the basic system.
T1 was TORG, pure and simple. T2 was our add-ons and developments of TORG. The name is a fake; we never actually called either of these systems T1 or T2. [T3] was a merger of T2 and Feng Shui, and was actually called by this name. It was a complete game in itself, but became increasingly complex and conflict-filled as the two merged parts grated on each other. It continued to evolve until a major revision was felt to be required.
T4 or Action started as a concept for a revision of T3, but ended up as a separate game, re-thinking many of the basic systems of T3. It was developed during a period when I gamemasterted other games, and its basics could be written in peace. It has not ween in use and under polish for a few years, and has grown to an amazing number of powers and schticks, but the system framework remains very simple.
Action! is a name in progress. It was originally intended to be called Action, but Oscar Ubeda-Segmar took that name for his own TORG-Feng Shui derivate, that differs significantly from mine. Thus, it was called T4 for a while. However, that name never stuck, and we are back to "Action!".
Action concentrates on the action elements. The scope is cinematic. Things that are done on-screen are described in detail. Things that happen mostly off-screen are described cursorily. In character generation, cinematic elements are relatively expensive to get, while background skills such as lore and professions are cheap.
Combat and Damage
Damage in Action builds on the the somewhat vague notion of "advantage". The superior side in any challenge can force the weaker side to exert themselves more and more to counter feints and blows designed specifically to stretch the weaker side's limits. A telling hit is generally only scored after your opponent's guard has been worn down - all the attacks prior to that are really preliminaries, not really made to hurt but to force the target to take more and more extreme defensive actions. I believe this is most easily observed in tennis - how the player who has the advantage forces his opponents to run further and further with each ball, and finally sends the ball to the opposite side of the court from where his opponent is, making that ball impossible to catch. It is not any single ball that is impossible to catch, it is the sequence of balls that builds a pattern where the opponent is forced into an impossible situation.
The above explains hits and why there is no physical damage until you reach zero hits - any damage before that point simply represents building advantage and fatigue that can be recovered fairly quickly. This also removes the need for much healing in Action - heroes are rarely seriously hurt.