I have been recently running some big combats with the rules and have decided to run the game using a battle map, divided up into areas ala the old Marvel FASERIP game and using figures. This is because mainly my players get confused in a big combat where characters are.

I know Sentinels is not that kind of game, I know that already lol, but stay with me on this.

I am going to introduce some very easy knockback rules just to give combat a bit more physicality, this is my thoughts.

  1. for every multiple of 5 damage done by an attack a character goes back 1 area potentially. So an attack doing 10 points of damage will move them 2 areas, 15 damage 3 areas etc.

  2. If the character hit by the damage has a defensive power such as vitality or density or strength, for each power they have increases the damage multiple before they get knocked back to 6 or if they have multiples of this such as vitality and strength for example it will go to 7 and so on, before they are knocked back.

  3. If they have defensive abilities that reduce damage this will sometimes mean that if the damage reduced reduces under 5/10/15 etc it will reduce the areas knocked back, sometimes to zero.

  4. Some powers would make it impossible to be knocked back such as phasing.

  5. The attacker may have powers that reduce the damage multiple for each one they have such as strength, air, water, explosions etc this would mean the multiple might be 4 instead of 5 for knockback damage.

  6. some attacks would increase the multiple, such as martial arts attacks, magic, fire, etc.

  7. Some attacks would never cause knockback such as psychic attacks.

  8. if a character is flying they would reduce the damage multiple by 2 if they are hit by an attack, so for example a character would by knocked back 1 area for each 3 points of damage not 5.

  9. Finally if a character knocked back hits a hard surface, wood, stone, brick, metal etc they take damage depending how many areas they moved back
    1 area d4/d4/d4
    2 areas d6/d6/d6
    3 areas d8/d8/d8
    4 areas d10/d10/d10
    5 areas max damage d12/d12/d12

These rules might seem complex but they are really pretty simple, i will playtest them for a while and let you know how it goes, I am hoping they will give combats a greater comic book feel and also that positioning will change more after each attack that causes knockback.

“really pretty simple” :dizzy_face:
I guess there’s a reason I don’t play GURPS or M&M, lol.

you can already use twists, hinders, and any ability that explicitly moves people around to do this. but… if you’ve got the kind of brain that can integrate this alongside the scene tracker, environment, villains, twists, boosts/hinders/defends/reactions… then have at, and enjoy the heck out of your mod.


Of course, @deanjday, you’re allowed to do whatever you want at your own table, and if you and your players like it, go right ahead. But . . . I feel like SCRPG omits tactical maps for good reasons. To me, it doesn’t seem like it fits the comic book style. E.g.:

“Setback rushes toward the street thug-- wait, no, he doesn’t have enough movement. Sorry Setback’s player, spend the rest of your turn standing there.”

Superheroes don’t need to worry about distance like that. But if you really need Tachyon to struggle to catch that supersonic train, just have her make some Overcomes to do it.

And besides genre-things, I also see that your rules do something that appears nowhere else in the game: Giving benefits for just having a power, without even using it. This doesn’t happen anywhere else, which suggests to me that it’s a bad idea.

Also, I think Hinders attached to Attacks already work swell for knockback. But if you want characters who don’t have such abilities to get in on the fun, there’s always Risky Actions. Or, just narrate that Legacy punches that robot through a wall, and that’s that. The knockback can be part of the Damage, or if it’s to a Minion that’s destroyed, no one cares what happens to it then.

Also, Christopher & Adam have said (in The Letters Page podcast) that they encourage zone maps instead of squares or hexes. E.g. Zone A is Baron Blade’s control tower, zone B is the deck of the Mobile Defense Platform, Zone C is the MDP’s engine room, and Zone D is the big ice slide Absolute Zero made. This still allows your players to see what’s where, but without being too restrictive.

Now, this is all merely my opinion, and if you like what you’ve come up with, by all means, please continue to use it! Just consider my points.


There is one place that this comes up, the distance and movement rules on page 168 say that merely having a mobility power is enough to let you move to a different location for free. I do agree with the rest of your assessment though.


Huh, silly me, I forgot about that. Oh well, I think the rest of my points still stand pretty well.

Welcome to the Forums, @Omegatron!

One of the main reason I am working on the house rule is that sentinels does talk about movement and locations and areas but in a really fluffy kind of do what you think approach which I find quite frustrating.
Maybe its my group of players but in combat they prefer a visual guide to where everyone is. You might then say of well sentinels is not for your group use hero, gurps, m&m, etc. but i love Sentinels in many aspects, I just need to make the movement rules a bit clearer for my group.

As i said in my original post big combats FOR MY GROUP get very confused and I for one feels the game could use some more clarity here.

In our game I have a “map” with pictures of the different locations in a scene. That way there’s still movement between locations without the nitty gritty of a battle map. This is the one I did up for Insular Primalis