Players make opposed rolls with one another depending on what they are doing. This guide will cover one-on-one encounters predominantly. These can work in multiperson encounters, but be warned it gets a little more tricky.
–Consent: Sometimes scenes take an unintended turn, but that doesn’t mean an open line of communication shouldn’t be kept with partners. If you really want to test out a combat-oriented character, get consent from people. Do not spring random combat on another player.
–Guns are loud, even with suppressors: Guns are not silent and are likely to get reported if heard. This goes for suppressors (“silencers”) as well: they sound about as loud as ambulance sirens. Think about this when firing.
–Threatening with a weapon is illegal in Seattle, but carry is fine: Carry a sword or have a firearm, that’s fine. Point it at someone or threaten someone, that will be hard to handwave to the cops.
–Think about the cops: If a fight scene is getting chaotic, consider surroundings and how long one would have before the cops arrive. Getting arrested overnight is a death sentence for Kindred.
–Do you really need to fight?: Will the fight get you to your goal in the most effective way? Is the blood spent mending worth it or can you solve the situation with more finesse? Not every encounter needs to be handled with fists or weapons, no matter how dangerous it seems.
In Combat, the two players get to choose their dice pools to reflect their actions. If someone is swinging a bat at an opponent with a gun, for example, it would be Strength + Melee vs Composure + Firearms. If the opponent wanted to dodge instead it would be Strength + Melee vs Dexterity + Athletics
Hand to Hand
Strength + Brawl – punches, scratches, kicks, headbutts
This calls for the grappler to make a Strength + Brawl check vs the opponents pool (depends on opponents weapons/action). On a win, the opponent is grappled, but no damage is dealt. The opponent cannot move from their position. In the next turn, the grappler may roll Strength + Brawl to either deal damage or just keep them bound; the opponent may roll Strength + Brawl to attempt escapes each turn.
Strength + Melee – Two-handed weapons (Large axe, claymore, baseball bat, etc.)
Dexterity + Melee – One-handed weapons (hand axe, dagger, knife, baton, etc.)
Dexterity + Firearms – Pulling the gun out quickly to shoot. Only the first shot. (Quick draw)
Composure + Firearms – Keeping aim while shooting. In the heat of a shootout. (Gun fights)
Resolve + Firearms – Focusing on a target to maximize aim or aim from afar. (Sniping)
Strength + Firearms – Aiming while in melee/close combat with opponent (close quarters shooting)
Defense against Firearms: Without Rapid Reflexes or cover, kindred have -2 dice to dodge incoming bullets.
Stationary Targets: Effectively diff 1 to hit.
-Firing outside effective range of a weapon incurs a -2 penalty
-In close quarters combat, the opponent doesn’t incur a -2 penalty to dodge gun without cover.
-In close quarters combat, gun users take -2 to shoot at an opponent outside the close range fight.
-These pools can be used for crossbows.
Other Ranged Weapons
Dexterity + Athletics – Toss a smaller weapon at an opponent (throwing knives, shurikens, etc.)
Strength + Athletics – Throw a larger at an opponent (Large rock, chair, TV, etc.)
Composure + Athletics – Shooting a bow and arrow (Archery)
Dexterity + Athletics – Get out of the way of attacks.
Note: On ties, dodger takes 1 superficial damage, but the attacker doesn’t. If dodger wins they inflict no damage, but don’t receive any.
Players may choose to gain a damage bonus. Going “all in” for an attack. For most attacks, this means forfeiting any defense. For ranged weapons, this is equivalent to “emptying the clip” as ranged weapons use up all their ammunition. Failures with this tactic give opponents +1 die on their next roll.
Adam rolls Strength + Brawl vs Bethany’s Dex + melee
Adam takes the full force of Bethany’s attack even on a win, but deals +1 damage to her.
Players may have their character dedicate fully to defense. They get a bonus die to all defensive actions. Doing so behind solid cover can make them impervious to ranged damage.
A called shot is when you make an attack for a specific effect or part of the target. Shoot out car tires, knock the keys from an ally’s hand, go for the knee caps. When this is done the action and aim is declared before rolling, further more successes are subtracted. The penalty is usually -2 but can be adjusted depending on STs discretion.
Below are some highlighted examples.
Nonlethal Damage: A called shot can be used to “pull a punch” or “shoot them in the leg” If there is an effort to not attack with lethal damage.
Staking mid-combat: Stakes are a +0 weapon. To stake, the attacker must inflict a net 5 damage after the – 2 called shot penalty. (Before halving).
Decapitation: with a – 2 penalty, net 10 damage must be inflicted. (before halving)
Rapid Reflexes allow these for free. A player may take a few dice off their roll to perform a small action before their turn. This is largely up to ST discretion to keep things reasonable.
No matter what, there is always a chance to defend against a surprise attack! Obfuscate, stealth, etc. The moment an enemy attacks, obfuscation breaks.
Dexterity + Stealth vs Wits + Awareness
The attacker makes the above a contested roll against an opponent’s wits + awareness. Ties go to the attacker. If the attacker wins, then they get to launch their attack versus a 1 difficulty.
If the discipline has a contested roll, then that is your main action for a turn. (i.e. Mesmerize, Dread Gaze, Theft of Vitae, etc.) If it is an ability that only requires a rouse check, then it is okay to still have a main action. (I.e Fleetness, Prowess, toughness, etc.)