Updated Combat Rules

Initiative
The order of combat, or “initiative,” is determined by rolling a d10 and adding your initiative modifier. Your initiative modifier is the sum of your Wits + Dexterity.

Whoever has the highest initiative decides what action he wants to take, the action resolves, and then the character with the next highest decision proceeds. Characters may receive an additional modifier based on the action they plan to take.

Here are some sample modifiers:
Aiming: receive +1 for your next attack (cumulative, +3 max)
Running: receive +2 as long as you only run (Stamina + Athletics), or -2 if you run while performing another action (also subtracts dice pool by 2)
Dodging/Evading: receive +1 as long as you only try to dodge or evade attacks, or -1 if you try to dodge or evade attacks while performing another action (also subtracts dice pool by 1)
“Fast-casting”: no bonus or penalty is applied to spells that are cast “on the fly”
“Channeling”: +/-1 per round of a channeled spell, depending on the format of the ritual being attempted (e.g. drawing a perfect circle in chalk, rolling dice to curse/bless the group’s luck)
Wounded: All dice pool penalties for wounds also apply to the character’s initiative modifier (e.g. Hurt characters receive -1, while Crippled characters receive -5)

Attack
To make an attack, roll the attribute and ability related to that attack (e.g. Dexterity + Firearms to shoot a gun). Standard difficulty is a 6, but additional modifiers may be used. One success equals a hit, and multiple successes increase the damage as explained below.

Defend
To defend yourself, roll the attribute and ability related to the type of attack you are avoiding/mitigating (e.g. Dexterity + Dodge for a ranged attack, Dexterity/Strength + Brawl for an unarmed attack, etc). Standard difficulty is a 6, but additional modifiers may be used. Each success cancels out one success from the opponent’s attack.

-Attacking and defending are always separate actions. Your “passive” defense is handled by the difficulty required for success and by any armor you are wearing.

Damage
Every weapon has a damage rating. On a successful hit, it applies that much damage to the target.

Here are a few damage ratings:
Small Caliber Pistol: 1L
High Caliber Pistol: 2L
Rifle: 4L
Assault Rifle: 3L
Shotgun: 3L

Knife: 0L (a knife only deals damage on extra successes)
Sword: 1L
Machete: 2L
Chainsaw: 4L

-Every two successes beyond the first increase the damage by one.
-Any character with 3 dots in an Attribute or Ability tied to the attack always deals at least one damage (before armor)
-Any character with 4 dots in an Attribute or Ability tied to the attack always deals at least two damage (before armor)
-Any character with 5 dots in an Attribute or Ability tied to the attack always deals at least three damage (before armor)

“Soaking”/Preventing Damage
“Soaking” damage refers to the ability of the character to “roll with the punches.” Human characters can typically soak an amount of Bashing damage equal to their Stamina. Supernatural characters (e.g. Vampires, Werewolves) can typically soak Lethal damage equal to their Stamina. No characters can inherently soak Aggravated damage, but some supernatural powers may allow them to do so.

To soak damage using Stamina, roll the dice equal to your Stamina rating with a difficulty of 7. Every success removes one point of damage. *Note: some attacks have a minimum amount of damage inflicted, so not all damage can be completely prevented.

Characters may also use armor to soak damage naturally. Armor automatically reduces the damage taken without having to make a roll. The amount of damage prevented is equivalent to the armor rating. A character wearing armor may also make a roll to soak additional damage.

Here are some armors and their ratings. The first number applies to melee, the second to ballistics:
Kevlar vest: 1/3
Full riot gear: 3/5 (-2 initiative)
Leather (modern-day): 1/0
Leather (archaic, reinforced): 2/0
Chainmaiil: 3/1 (-1 initiative)
Plate mail: 4/2 (-2 initiative)

-Armor soaks damage *after defensive actions have been made.
-If more damage is dealt than the armor can prevent, the damage equal to the rating is still prevented but the armor is now damaged and works at half efficiency (rounded down) until it is repaired.
-If the damage dealt is equal to double the armor rating or more, the damage equal to the rating is still prevented but then the armor is destroyed and cannot be repaired by normal means.

Updated Combat Rules

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