Combat

Making an attack in combat is normally a resisted roll of Fighting vs. Dodge or Shooting vs. Dodge. The amount the attacker’s score beats the defender’s score by is added to the standard damage dealt by a given weapon, as listed below. For example, in the example above, Murphy has hit her assailant with a pistol shot. The shot hit by only one point, so a total of 3+1 damage was dealt.

Weaponry Base Damage
Fists- 0
Dog bites, Knives- 1
Swords, Axes, Hammers, Arrows- 2
Handguns, Claymores- 3
Rifles, Grenades- 4
Bombs, Flamethrowers- 5
Heavy Machineguns- 6

In a fight (or similar action scene) play is divided up into rounds. Each round follows this procedure:
Step 1: A new combat round is declared. The Storyteller describes the current situation, as far as the players can make out.
Step 2: The Storyteller asks each player in turn what they wish to do in this round, and decides what the enemy are doing.
A character can make one main action a turn (such as shooting, attacking, aiding an ally and so on) but can move reasonable distances whilst they do that. They can make one conditional statement (such is 'if the enemy throws a grenade, I'll try to kick it back at them rather than shooting.).
Step 3: The Storyteller asks each player for any dice rolls for actions they may want to take or to avoid bad stuff happening to them.
Step 4: The Storyteller describes the outcome of the round, including any damage taken by PCs. A new round then begins.

Note that sometimes you can make an attack without needing to drop into Combat Rounds- for example sneak-attacking an unaware enemy. Chase scenes and similar may also use combat rounds.

Complications in combat

There are a few common situations that will come up in combat as the players try tactics more advanced than a simple ‘I stab the enemy with my knife’. Obviously, the potential situations are many and varied, limited only by the imaginations of the players, but a few common actions, and how they might be resolved, are given below. The storyteller is free to rule differently if it better fits the situation.

Using Cover

In a fire-fight, a character might be relying on stealth and use of cover to avoid return fire, or be sniping from a concealed position some way away. In this case, they can use Stealth rather than Dodge to avoid returning fire, and will probably use the fighting defensively option below.

Fighting Defensively

A character can fight defensively, concentrating more on fending off their enemy than on landing a killing blow themselves. Maybe they’re shooting from cover, defending a doorway or slowly backing up whilst parrying blows. Whatever is the case, for that round they get +2 on all rolls to defend themselves (such as dodge or possibly stealth), but -2 on all rolls to attack.

Fighting Aggressively

Similarly, a character can fight recklessly aggressively, concentrating on injuring their enemy without any real concern for their own safety. For that round, a character fighting aggressively gets +2 on rolls to attack, but -2 on rolls to defend themselves.

Combat Manoeuvres

A character might try to grapple, trip or otherwise disadvantage their opponent. This is probably a roll of Combat opposed by the enemy’s Combat. No damage is dealt, but if the roll succeeds the target is grabbed, tripped or whatever. Depending on the nature of the manoeuvre, other characters might get +2 on their rolls to hit the enemy whilst that enemy remains disadvantaged. A grappled or grappling character can probably only attack the enemy they are wrestling with.

Called Shots

A character might opt to make a called shot against a particular location, such as going for their enemy’s eyes or trying to cut a hamstring. This roll is made at -2, but if it deals any damage, an additional effect (such as being rendered lame, blinded or similar) might also happen, depending on the area attacked. A particularly successful attack (one that knocks the target down to Disabled, for example) might inflict a permanent flaw on the victim.
Similarly to aiming for a specific location, a character could aim for an item (such as a weapon) being carried. Again, roll to hit at -2, but if the attack succeeds rather than dealing damage the item is knocked from the victim’s grasp or possibly even broken.

Vehicles in Combat

A fight may involve combatants in vehicles rather than on foot. In this situation, a number of factors come into play. Firstly, any vehicle larger than a motorbike may offer cover to those riding in it, allowing or possibly forcing them to use the Fighting Defensively option.
If a combatant attacks a moving vehicle itself, they will probably need to roll versus a difficulty of three. A driver who’s vehicle is being attacked might try to avoid the danger through skilful manoeuvring, jinking out of the way of attacks. They may use their action to roll Driving to oppose their opponent’s attack roll.
A vehicle has a number of Structure Points, that function like a living creature’s Stamina score. Structure has four rows, like any other Resistance score. The top row is ‘Intact’, followed by ‘Battered’, ‘Damaged’ and ‘Wrecked’.
An Intact vehicle operates normally, with at most scratches and cosmetic damage. A Battered vehicle has taken some damage, but is still in working order save for perhaps a smashed windshield or broken headlights. A Damaged vehicle still works, but inflicts a -2 penalty on any drive rolls made to use it. Finally, a Wrecked vehicle crashes catastrophically, being utterly ruined in the process. Any excess damage beyond the vehicle’s Wrecked boxes is dealt to all passengers within the vehicle.
If a vehicle is used to ram an enemy or another vehicle, then roll to hit using Driving as normal, just like for any other attack. A vehicle has a Ramming Damage modifier, just like a weapon. Once the amount of damage dealt is calculated, this much is dealt both to the target and to the ramming vehicle.

Killing Blows

A character with some form of weapon can easily kill a victim who is unable to defend themselves. As such, against an opponent who is unconscious, tied down or similarly helpless, any armed character can make a roll of Combat resisted by the victims Endurance- if the roll passes, then their victim is killed by a headshot, slit jugular or similar.
If failed, the attack still does d6 damage plus the weapon’s damage modifier. If the character is unarmed, they may still attempt to kill a helpless victim by strangling, but this will take significantly longer. The storyteller should be very careful with which situations they allow one-hit kills to happen in, particularly when player characters are on the receiving end.

The Storyteller is encouraged to use these options when working out the attacks of enemies, since they tend to make fights more complex and interesting. It is worth noting that combat has been deliberately kept quite free-form, relying on the storyteller to arbitrate who acts when and so forth. Those wishing for three chapters to tell them how to fight are advised to find another game to play, possibly one involving dragons.

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