Calculating Attack Modifiers and Damage

The Attack

The most common Action in combat is the attack—the characters are fighting, after all. Whether armed with a melee or ranged weapon, the process is the same. Before a character makes an attack, the GM should verify that the attack is even possible by checking the basic requirements for the attack. Melee attacks require the attacker to be engaged in melee combat with his target. Ranged attacks cannot be made if the attacker is engaged in melee unless he is firing a pistol class weapon. In either case, the attacker must be aware of his target.
Assuming the attack is possible, follow these steps:

  • Step One: Apply modifiers to attacker’s Characteristic
  • Step Two: Attacker makes a Test
  • Step Three: Attacker determines Damage
  • Step Four: Target applies Damage

Step One: Apply Modifiers to Attacker’s Characteristic
A melee attack requires the attacker to make a Weapon Skill Test. A ranged attack requires the attacker to make a Ballistic Skill Test. Apply any modifiers to hit (see Combat Circumstances below).

Step Two: Attacker Makes a Test
After the GM has determined the value of the modified Characteristic, the attacker makes a Weapon Skill Test if he is performing a melee attack or a Ballistic Skill Test if he is performing a ranged attack. Both of these are resolved like any other Test. If the roll is equal to or less than the modified Characteristic, the attack hits (see Evasion reactions, below).

Step Three: Attacker Determines Damage
Each weapon has a Damage listing, which is usually a die roll, plus or minus a number. Roll the appropriate die and apply any indicated modifiers. Finally, if the attack involved a melee weapon, add the attacker’s Strength Bonus. The result is the Damage total.

Step Four: Target Applies Damage
From the Damage total, the target subtracts his Toughness Bonus and any Armour Points that protect the area of the attack. If this reduces the Damage to zero or less, the target shrugs off the attack. Any remaining Damage is recorded by the target.

Injury & Death
As a consequence of fighting, characters take Damage. A combatant can take Damage up to an amount equal to his Wounds. When the Damage equals the character’s Wounds, he is killed.

Critical Damage
The injury rules in this booklet have been simplified due to space restrictions. Only War includes a full array of colorful critical damage effects, including permanent injuries such as limb loss.

Combat Circumstances

The chances of hitting in combat can be modified in a similar manner to Skill Tests. These combat circumstances can be used to reflect the effects of terrain, the weather, tactical situations, and a variety of other factors. Characters should make as much use of beneficial circumstances as possible. A good plan, suitable equipment, or skillful use of tactics can often make the difference between life and death for a Player Character. The following circumstances are some of the most common encountered in combat. The GM has the final say about the Difficulty of any particular Test.

Weapon Skill Tests made in darkness are at –20, while Ballistic Skill Tests are at –30.

Difficult or Arduous Terrain
Weapon Skill and Evasion Tests made while standing in difficult terrain, such as mud, are at –10. Tests made while standing in arduous terrain such as deep snow or upon ice are at –30.

Ganging Up
If a group of characters outnumber their opponent two-to-one, their Weapon Skill Tests gain a +10 bonus. At three-to-one, they gain +20.

Helpless Targets
Weapon Skill Tests made to hit a sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise helpless target automatically succeed. When rolling Damage against such a target, roll twice and add the results.

Off Hand Attacks
Weapon Skill Tests or Ballistic Skill Tests made to attack with a weapon wielded in the off hand of a character not trained in Two-Weapon Wielding suffer a –20 penalty.

Point Blank
Ballistic Skill Tests made to hit a target within three meters are at +30. Note that this bonus does not apply when shooting targets that are engaged in melee combat with the character.

Shooting into Melee Combat
Ballistic Skill Tests made to hit a target that is engaged in melee combat suffer a –20 to hit.

Unaware Targets
Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill Tests made to attack unaware targets (i.e. Surprised targets), gain a +30 to hit.

Calculating Attack Modifiers and Damage

Only War: The Tsadian Campaign Damian_Drayden