Combat

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'+rules combat' says "Combat rules come from the character's sphere respective book", however this doesn't account for combat involving characters from multiple game lines. This is an attempt at a common set of rules suitable for such situations. Players can use different rules if they all agree (+policy hand waving).

  • Typical base difficulty for all rolls is 6
    • If a roll is stated in terms of a primary ability, then a relevant secondary ability can be substituted at -1 difficulty
    • If a roll is stated in terms of a secondary ability, then a relevant primary ability can be substituted at +1 difficulty
    • If a substitution is explicitly mentioned below, then it's reiterating these clauses, not stacking with them
  • Actions without a roll are automatically successful
  • "Reflex" rolls don't count as actions
    • Spending from a pool is a reflex
  • General combat maneuvers described here are allowed
    • Pack Tactics (WtA Revised pages 212-213) are allowed
  • Special combat maneuvers (including Kailindo, Do, Martial Arts, etc.) are not used
    • Attacks can be described in terms of such maneuvers, but still use the game mechanics of general maneuvers
  • Standard weapons and armor use WtA Revised stats (page 206 for armor, 207 for ranged weapons, 208 for thrown weapons, 210 for melee weapons)
  • Rules for taking multiple shots with a bow are taken from Werewolf: the Wild West 239.

Contents

Basics

Initiative

Determining initiative

Each character's initiative is their initiative rating (Dexterity + Wits) + 1 die

  • Recalculated each turn
  • PCs: '+combat/init'
  • NPCs: '+combat/init <NPC's name>=<sum of NPC's Dexterity + Wits>'
  • Wound penalty reduces your initiative
    • '+combat/init' doesn't apply this or any other modifier automatically, you must account for them manually

Declaring actions

Characters declare intended actions in order of initiative, low to high

  • Characters performing multiple actions, using supernatural powers, or spending Willpower must declare those things during this step
  • Characters will act in the opposite order (high to low), thus slower characters telegraph their intent and faster ones can take it into account

Simpler alternative (mostly for PRPs)

Characters declare and act in order of initiative, high to low

  • This should be agreed upon before combat starts
  • First character declares and rolls, then types their pose while the next character is declaring and rolling, and so on
  • OOCly faster and simpler, no one has to deal with a large stack of upcoming declared actions
  • PRP runner should consider declaring for NPCs at start of round, so that they still telegraph

Performing actions

Characters act in order of initiative, high to low

  • A character can delay their action and take it at any point later in the turn
  • If two characters have the same initiative (or delay until the same moment), then the one with the higher initiative rating acts first. If their initiative ratings are also equal, then they act simultaneously

Timing of multiple actions

  • Main phase: Each character acts once (unless they lose their action due to being stunned, etc.)
  • Extra phase: Any characters with multiple actions perform the rest of their actions in the usual order of initiative
    • Even if multiple actions are described by a book or +note as simultaneous, the player must choose an order for the purpose of determining their outcomes, and only the first one occurs in the main phase

Attack

Close combat

Roll:

  • Without a weapon: Dexterity + Brawl
  • With a weapon: Dexterity + Melee

Modifiers:

  • If you don't have Brawl, roll Dexterity at normal difficulty
  • If you don't have Melee, roll Dexterity at +1 difficulty
  • +(variable) difficulty for wearing armor / shield
  • +1 difficulty for melee with a weapon designed for throwing

Ranged combat

Attacker rolls:

  • With a gun: Dexterity + Firearms
  • With a thrown weapon: Dexterity + Athletics (or Dexterity + Throwing at -1 difficulty)
    • Maximum range = (5 * Strength) yards
    • This is for objects up to 3 pounds (e.g. grenades, knives); -5 yards for every 2 additional pounds, down to minimum of 1 yard
    • If you can't lift it, you can't throw it
  • With a bow: Dexterity + Archery (or Dexterity + Athletics at +1 difficulty)
    • Before shooting a bow, a character must spend an action nocking and drawing an arrow (house rule: Archery 4+ eliminates this requirement)
    • On a botch, the bowstring snaps. Repair requires a spare bowstring and an action (Wits + Archery, or Wits + Crafts at +1 difficulty)
  • With a crossbow: Dexterity + Archery (or Dexterity + Firearms at +1 difficulty)
    • Before shooting a crossbow, a character must spend two actions reloading it (house rule: Archery 4+ reduces this to one action)

Modifiers:

  • If you don't have the appropriate skill, roll Dexterity at +1 difficulty
  • +(variable) difficulty for wearing armor / shield
  • +1 difficulty for throwing a weapon designed for melee

Resolution

Damage

Attacker rolls damage

  • A botch just counts as a failure
  • If you got multiple successes on the attack roll, add 1 damage die for each one beyond the first

Soak

Target rolls soak

  • Reflex
  • A botch just counts as a failure
  • Unsoaked damage decreases target's health (Corpus for Wraiths/Risen)
  • If an attack is described as "unsoakable" or "cannot be soaked", then it cannot be soaked at all, even if the target can normally soak that type of damage
  • Vampires:
    • Firearms do bashing damage unless head is targeted (VtM Revised page 215)
    • Electricity does lethal damage unless soak botches (VtM Revised page 227)
    • Unsoaked bashing damage is halved (round down) (VtM Revised page 217)
Race Bashing Lethal Aggravated
Vampire Stamina + Fortitude Stamina + Fortitude Fortitude
Ghoul Stamina + Fortitude Fortitude Fortitude
Werewolf Stamina Stamina (see below) Stamina (see below)
Changeling Stamina Stamina (house rule) none
Wraith Stamina Stamina Stamina
Demon Stamina Stamina (apocalyptic form only) none
Other Stamina none none

When does a werewolf's Stamina apply to soak?

  • Silver
    • For homid or lupus in breed form, silver does whatever damage it would do to a normal human or wolf with same stats, and Stamina applies
    • Otherwise, touching silver does aggravated damage, and Stamina doesn't apply
  • Other lethal/aggravated damage
    • In breed form, Stamina doesn't apply
    • Otherwise, Stamina applies

Armor:

  • Generally adds to soak, regardless of severity (bashing / lethal / aggravated)
  • May not apply, depending on damage type (kinetic, fire, electricity, mental, etc.)
  • Doesn't apply if an unarmored body part is successfully targeted
  • If damage (before soak) is at least twice the armor rating, then the armor is damaged until the wearer has time to repair or replace it
    • Only if the armor applied to that attack

Werewolves trying to heal during combat: Stamina, +2 difficulty, reflex

Running out of health:

  • Health 0 -> incapacitated
  • Incapacitated and take more bashing -> convert it to lethal
  • Incapacitated and take more lethal -> vampires go into torpor (VtM Revised page 216), werewolves revert to breed form but die if they take yet more lethal (WtA Revised page 187), others die
  • Incapacitated and take more aggravated -> die
    • Once per scene, a werewolf past incapacitated can roll Rage (difficulty 8) to heal one health level per success (can avoid death this way), but start next turn in berserk frenzy. This is not a soak roll and is not applied to the damage done, but is rather counted from Incapacitated backwards. Example: 3 Successes on the Rage vs 8 roll puts you at Wounded regardless of damage taken.

Wound penalties and healing

  • Wounds may subtract dice from your action dice pools.
    • Not reflex dice pools
    • Not damage dice pools
    • Not Arete rolls unless mage is incapacitated (MtA 130)
  • Wounds may also limit your movement.
  • Spend a Willpower to ignore all wound penalties for one turn, unless you're incapacitated or worse (VtM 137, MtA 126, DtF 163)
Damage Description Penalty Time to heal 1 bashing Time to heal 1 lethal/agg
1 Bruised none 1 hour 1 day
2 Hurt -1 1 hour 3 days
3 Injured -1, half speed 1 hour 1 week2
4 Wounded -2, walk 1 hour 1 month2
5 Mauled -2, hobble (3 yards/turn) 3 hours1 2 months2
6 Crippled -5, crawl (1 yard/turn) 6 hours1 3 months3
7 Incapacitated cannot act or move 12 hours1 5 months3

1 Requires medical care to avoid further effects (e.g. extreme pain, broken bones, concussion, impaired senses)
2 Requires medical care to avoid worsening (1 level per day), then healing continues on its own
3 Requires continuous medical care to heal at all

Supernatural healing

Race Time/cost to heal 1 bashing Time/cost to heal 1 lethal Time/cost to heal 1 agg
Vampire, ghoul 1 blood, 1 turn 1 blood, 1 turn 5 blood, 1 day
Ananasi 1 blood, 1 turn 1 blood, 1 turn 5 blood, 1 scene
Other shifter 1 turn 1 turn 1 day
Changeling in Dreaming as mortal 1 day twice as fast as mortal, minimum 1 day
Demon 1 Faith, 1 turn, heals all bashing 1 Faith, 1 turn as mortal
Wraith 1 Pathos, 1 turn 1 Pathos, 1 turn 3 Pathos, 8 hours
Mummy as mortal as mortal but 1 level faster (Bruised in 12 hours) as mortal

Vampires:

  • Do not heal due to passage of time like mortals.
  • If healing with blood and doing something else in same turn, roll Stamina + Survival vs 8 (reflex). Fail = blood spent but no healing, botch = lose another blood and another health level.
  • Blood spent per turn (healing or otherwise) is limited by generation. Ghouls are limited to 1 per turn.
  • Healing 2+ aggravated per day also costs 1 Willpower for each level beyond the first.

Shifters:

  • Homid and lupus (or equivalents for fera) only regenerate this fast in non-breed form. In breed form, they heal 1 per day in critical condition, otherwise they heal like mortals.
  • Metis (or equivalents for fera) regenerate this fast in all forms.
  • If engaged in combat or other stressful activity, roll Stamina vs 8 (reflex). Fail = no healing that turn, botch = no healing until they rest.
  • Ananasi do not regenerate like Garou, but do heal due to passage of time like mortals. In Crawlerling form, they cannot heal by spending blood.

Changelings:

  • In a freehold, healing 1 chimerical takes 1 day. In the Dreaming, it takes 1 hour.
  • In a freehold, glade, or the Dreaming, healing 1 bashing or lethal takes 1 day.
  • In a freehold or the Dreaming, healing 1 aggravated takes half as long as usual, minimum 1 day.
  • Healing aggravated with cantrips costs an extra 1 Glamour per level.

Demons:

  • Limited to 1 Faith per turn, and only heals one type at a time, not both.
  • If further damaged during the turn, healing fails but Faith is not spent.

Wraiths:

  • Can also Slumber (fade into one of their Fetters for 8 hours). If not interrupted, roll Stamina and heal 1 level per success. This does not cost Pathos.
  • Healing aggravated by spending Pathos is limited to 1 level per 8 hours.

Mummies:

  • A mummy providing ongoing care to someone else causes them to heal lethal at the same faster rate.

References:

  • VtM 138-139, 200, 218; G:FA 29
  • WtA 188; PGttCB 44, Ananasi 73
  • CtD 43-45, 246-247
  • DtF 171, 248
  • WtO 232-233
  • MtR 136

General maneuvers

Aborting actions / Changing actions

  • Requires succeeding at a Willpower roll or spending a Willpower, unless your declared action is now pointless (e.g. attacking a target that was already killed)
    • Reflex
    • Spending a Willpower this way need not be declared ahead of time
  • New action is +1 difficulty unless it's defensive

Ambush

  • Can't target someone already in combat
  • Resisted roll, attacker's Dexterity + Stealth versus target's Perception + Alertness
    • Attacker wins: one free attack, each additional success adds 1 die to attack roll
    • Tie: attacker acts first but target can perform a defensive action
    • Target wins: determine initiative normally

Blind fighting / Blind firing

see Complications -> Blinded

Flank attacks / Rear attacks

  • Attack from target's side: +1 die
  • Attack from target's rear: +2 dice

Movement

  • A character moves by walking, jogging or running. Per turn movement is:
    • Walk 7 yards
    • Jog 12 + Dexterity yards
    • Run 20 + (3 x Dexterity) yards
      • Crinos Form: Move an additional 2 yards per turn by dropping to all fours.
      • Hispo Form: Move at one and one-half times human speed.
      • Wolf Form: Move at twice human speed.
  • Movement while performing another action:
    • Limited to half your running distance
    • Doesn't count as multiple actions, but the action is -1 die per yard moved
    • Specific types of movement (e.g. leaping, tumbling) may require an action to perform

Multiple actions

  • If you declare N actions, then subtract N dice from the first, N+1 from the second, N+2 from the third, etc.
    • Doesn't apply to desperate defense
  • Extra actions from supernatural powers:
    • Not included in the above penalty
    • Can't be split further
    • Can occur in the same turn as multiple non-supernatural actions, in which case they occur last
    • Example: A vampire with Celerity 3 spends a blood point to activate it. Next turn, he declares 2 actions (N = 2) in addition to the Celerity effect; his first action is -2 dice, his second is -3 dice, and his last three (from Celerity) are all normal.
  • Specific supernatural powers
    • Celerity: spend a blood point, next turn get one extra action per dot of Celerity
    • Rage (Certain Shifters Only): this turn, get one extra action per point spent (maximum = half your Rage)
      • The 'half your Rage' cap applies only to Rage spent for extra actions, you can spend more Rage on other things in the same turn (WtA 205)
      • If you perform more actions in a turn than either Dexterity or Wits, all actions are +3 difficulty
        • Dexterity is the only limiter during Frenzy, Wits is ignored.
    • Distort Time (Time 3): next turn, get one extra action per 2 successes
    • Quicksilver (Wayfare 2): next turn, target gets one extra action per success (Scene realm with multiple targets: successes must be divided among them)
    • Dream Time (Chronos 3): next turn, get one extra action per turn, maximum 5 (actions? turns?), can't cast on same target more than once per scene
    • Faith (some apocalyptic forms): this turn, get one extra action per point spent; first extra action is -1 initiative, second is -2, etc.
    • Tempus Fugit (Pandemonium 5): Starting next turn, get one extra action per success each turn for the rest of the scene. Can only be attempted once per scene.

Targeting

  • May bypass armor or cover
  • Medium (arm, leg, briefcase): +1 difficulty, normal damage
  • Small (hand, head, laptop): +2 difficulty, +1 damage
  • Precise (eye, heart, lock): +3 difficulty, +2 damage
    • Stake through heart: target vampire's heart and do 3+ damage (after soak); vampire is conscious and can use Auspex, but can't move or spend blood

Defensive maneuvers

  • Each of the target's successes cancels one of the attacker's successes.
  • Even if you have lower initiative, you can declare a defense against an anticipated attack that hasn't been declared yet. If the attack does occur, then your defense resolves at the same time (though it may turn out to be ineffective, e.g. trying to block a gunshot).
  • To abort to a defense, see "Aborting actions / Changing actions".

Block

  • Dexterity + Brawl
  • Close combat only
  • Can't block lethal or aggravated unless you can soak it

Dodge

  • Dexterity + Dodge
  • Versus Melee or Brawl: requires enough room to bob and weave
  • Versus Firearms: requires moving at least one yard and ending up behind cover, or dropping to the ground
  • Difficulty may vary based on how much cover is available (see Cover) and how far away it is (see Movement)
  • Does not require declaring which attack you're trying to dodge

Parry

  • Dexterity + Melee
  • Close combat only
  • Requires weapon or shield
  • If you parry an unarmed attack with a lethal or aggravated weapon and get more successes, you damage the attacker, adding 1 damage die for each extra success

Desperate defense

  • Declare that you'll spend the entire turn performing defensive actions
  • Instead of the usual penalties for multiple actions, just subtract 1 die from the second action, 2 from the third, etc.

Close combat maneuvers

Bite

  • Vampire in clinch or hold, or a turn after successfully tackling
  • Werewolf (Crinos/Hispo/Lupus)
  • Redcap (must spend a Glamour, must call upon the Wyrd to make it non-chimerical)
  • Dexterity + Brawl + 1
  • Damage = Strength + 1 aggravated (Strength + 2 for Redcaps and for Garou in Hispo form)
    • Vampire can drain blood instead (up to 3 per turn)
    • Redcap can attempt to sever a limb
      • +3 difficulty
      • If redcap gets 5+ successes (3+ if target is grappled first), then limb is severed (head/neck may just be severely traumatized): +3 damage
      • No additional penalty/bonus for targeting

Claw

  • Vampire with Feral Claws (Protean 2, aggravated) or bone spurs (Vicissitude 3, lethal)
  • Werewolf (Crinos/Hispo, aggravated)
  • Dexterity + Brawl
  • Damage = Strength + 1

Clinch / Grapple

  • Strength + Brawl
  • On success, attacker does damage = Strength
  • Either character already in a clinch can use their action to:
    • Do damage = Strength
    • Escape (succeed at resisted Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl)
    • Something else that doesn't require moving limbs

Disarm

  • Target their weapon with your weapon: Dexterity + Melee, +1 difficulty
    • Target their weapon without a weapon: Dexterity + Brawl - 1, +2 difficulty
  • If damage (before soak) exceeds target's Strength, their weapon is knocked out of their hand
  • Target doesn't take damage
  • Garou can only do this in Homid/Glabro/Crinos

Hold

  • Strength + Brawl
  • On success, attacker holds target (no damage)
  • Either character already in a hold can use their action to:
    • Escape (succeed at resisted Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl)
    • Something else that doesn't require moving limbs

Jab pistol

  • Dexterity + Melee with pistol
  • On success, shoot for +2 damage
    • Rubber bullets do normal damage, but lethal instead of bashing
  • Target can try disarm if they act before you

Kick

  • Dexterity + Brawl, +1 difficulty, damage = Strength + 1
  • Garou can only do this in Homid/Glabro/Crinos

Multiple opponents

  • Attack and defense are +1 difficulty per each additional attacker, maximum +4

Riposte

  • Successful parry with weapon, next action is attack with that weapon against that character: +1 die

Strike / punch

  • Normal brawl attack
  • Garou can only do this in Homid/Glabro/Crinos

Sweep

  • Dexterity + Brawl (leg) or Melee (weapon)
    • Garou in Crinos can sweep smaller target with arm
  • +1 difficulty
  • On success:
    • Damage = Strength (leg) or normal (weapon)
    • Target knocked down unless they succeed at Dexterity + Athletics (+2 difficulty, reflex)

Tackle / Body slam

  • Strength + Brawl
  • +1 difficulty
  • On success:
    • Damage = Strength + 1
    • Attacker knocked down unless they succeed at Dexterity + Athletics (+1 difficulty, reflex)
    • Target knocked down unless they succeed at Dexterity + Athletics (+1 difficulty, reflex)
    • Target is +1 difficulty to all actions next turn
  • On botch, attacker is knocked down or takes damage = target's Stamina

Weapon length / Close distance

  • Target's weapon longer than yours: -1 die

Weapon strike

  • Normal melee attack

Ranged maneuvers

Aiming

  • Requires Firearms 1+ for a gun or Archery 2+ for a bow
  • Can't be used with shotguns or SMGs
  • Spend one or more turns doing nothing but aiming
  • +1 die per turn (maximum of your Perception)
  • Additional +2 dice (regardless of number of turns) if using a scope or laser sight
  • Target must be moving no faster than walk

Automatic fire

  • Requires SMG or assault rifle with clip at least half full
  • +2 difficulty, +10 dice, empty clip
  • Damage isn't increased, except by extra successes as usual
  • Can't target specific body parts
  • Counts as a single action

Cover

  • Light (lying prone, behind telephone pole / streetlight): +1 difficulty to be hit, normal difficulty to hit
  • Good (behind wall): +2 difficulty to be hit, +1 difficulty to hit
  • Superior (only head exposed): +3 difficulty to be hit, +2 difficulty to hit
  • Relic bullets discorporate upon hitting a solid Skinlands object

Multiple shots

  • Multiple-action penalties apply as normal
  • Can't exceed weapon's rate of fire

Range

  • Within 2 yards (point-blank): -2 difficulty
  • Outside normal range: +2 difficulty
  • Outside maximum range (twice normal range): automatic miss

Reloading

  • Takes an action
  • While readying another arrow for a bow normally takes an action, if the archer has prepared additional arrows for easy acceess beforehand - such as by stabbing them tip-first into the ground in front of them - they may freely split pools and otherwise take extra shots as normal without having to spend actions on reloading (at least until they run out of prepared arrows).

Strafing / Spraying

  • Requires SMG or assault rifle with clip at least half full
  • +2 difficulty, +10 dice, empty clip
  • All targets must be within 3 yards of each other
  • Successes divided evenly among all targets, attacker chooses how to assign leftovers
    • If only one target, successes are halved
  • Damage isn't increased, except by extra successes as usual
  • Dodging such an attack is +1 difficulty
  • Can't target specific body parts
  • Counts as a single action

Three-round burst

  • Requires rate of fire 3+
  • +1 difficulty, +2 dice
  • Damage isn't increased, except by extra successes as usual
  • Counts as a single action

Two weapons

  • Multiple-action penalties apply as normal
  • Off hand is +1 difficulty unless you have the Ambidextrous merit

Complications

Blinded

  • Attacking a blinded target: +2 dice
  • Close combat or other vision-dependent action while blinded: +2 difficulty
  • Ranged combat or other vision-dependent action while blinded: +6 difficulty
  • Partly/fully reduced by:
    • Heightened Senses (Auspex 1, penalty halved)
    • Eyes of the Beast (Protean 1, no penalty)
    • Blind Fighting skill (close combat only, Perception + Blind Fighting without applying blindness penalty, reflex)
      • A success reduces your penalty by 1 or reduces bonus to attack you by 1
      • Each 2 additional successes reduce your penalty by 1 or reduce bonus to attack you by 1
    • Other relevant supernatural effects

Dazed / Stunned

  • Occurs when damage successes (after soak) exceed target's Stamina (mortal or mortal+) / Stamina+2 (supernatural)
  • Target loses all actions next turn
  • Attacking a dazed target: -2 difficulty

Immobilized

  • Attacking a partly immobilized target: +2 dice
  • Attacking a fully immobilized target: minimum 1 success

Knockdown

  • Dexterity + Athletics (reflex)
    • Success: get up immediately, but -2 initiative next turn
    • Failure: getting up requires an action
    • Botch: 1 bashing, unsoakable
  • Until you get up:
    • Close combat attacks by you are -2 dice
    • Attacks against you are +2 dice

Movement

  • Attacker moving faster than walk: +1 difficulty
  • Target moving faster than walk: +1 difficulty