ICRGP Combat Example?


I have read through the QuickStart and the Master Edition 1.7 but am still not clear on combat. I am not seeing it spelled out step by step. It is assumed that you start with D&D5 and then replace anything mentioned in the ICRPG book? Can someone confirm or correct my example below?

Each player and GM rolls d20 for Initiative, no stat bonuses. Highest goes first, then clockwise.
Players roll d20 and add STR for melee or DEX for ranged. If they hit or beat target attack is success.
GM rolls d20 for mobs and adds STR or DEX, has to meet or beat player Defense.
For 1 or 20 see Crit or Blunder.
For successful attacks roll the appropriate Effort Dice, d6 for swords for example.

In D&D5 you would also add STR mod to a sword attack but have not noticed that being mentioned in the ICRPG rules so I am guessing not?

Thanks! I am really liking the ruleset so far.


You pretty much nailed it at every bullet. Monsters roll with their “bonus” to hit. It may or may not be STR or DEX, strictly speaking. Otherwise, you have it all on point. Some tables don’t roll for initiative at all and just go in turn order.

Joe and I walk through it step by step here:


The Stat Str/Dex adds to hit etc but effort has separate bonuses from the 4 points you assign to effort so for example your warrior may have Str 3 weapon 2 Basic 1 and ultimate 1 so rolls d20 plus 3 to hit then d6+2 for damage with an additional d12+1 if they crit (average on the normal hit comes out at 5.5 so half a heart, the crit comes out at 13 )


The fact that con adds to defence dex to hit initiative is a straight roll and damage has separate bonuses fixes a lot of the Dex is a god stat issues from 5e


Thanks both of you for clearing that up!


Also OG ICRPG had no initiative. You sat down at the table. Person to the left of the GM always goes first; continue clockwise. If the players are surprised, GM goes first. For the entire SESSION you stay in turn order. This gives each player a voice.

Even when the session is ‘open’, you still control the table as if there is a turn order which makes the more aggressive talkative player get reigned in and brings the quieter player to the forefront. Usually the quiet players are quiet because they are waiting their turn. This clockwise turn order really shines.

In terms of your question regarding bonuses, stats (STR, DEX, CON, etc.) is your D20 bonus when attempting to do something and effort (basic, weapon, magic, etc.) is the damage you do at the task. This can be ANYTHING. You have to think outside of the D&D damage only mindset. Picking a lock, breaking open a door, hitting someone. All of these tasks can have Hearts (HP) and your players are attempting to do effort (damage) to overcome the obstacles you create.

The cool part about checks and effort is the addition of the timer. When a locked door has 2 Hearts of effort, the room timer is on 2, and dark critters are swarming into the room while the thief tries to pick the lock… Suddenly every player is doing what they can to protect the thief on their turn and then watching with anticipation when the thief rolls against the door lock later on their own turn. It brings everyone into the scene way more than D&D does (in my opinion).

Mainly look at a character sheet. Left side stats – roll to succeed. Right side effort – roll to deal effort (damage). Each are independent of one another when it comes to bonuses.

I recommend you trying the trial scenario solo in the Master Edition to get the best feel for how it is done.