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Perception Check: Perception+Investigation

Seduce/Seduction: Appearance+Subterfuge vs Perception+Alertness

Swimming: Stamina+Athletics

Combat Rolls: Edit

Disarm:

Dexterity+Melee/Firearms vs Dexterity+Melee/Firearms

If the attacker botches he drops his own weapon. If the attacker botches 5 or more times with a firearm, he gets shot.

Grapple:

Initial: Strength+Brawl (+Potence) vs Dexterity+Brawl

Sustained: Each additional turn requires opposed Strength+Brawl (+Potence) rolls. Whoever accumulates more successes may sustain the grapple; gain advantage; or break free. If both score the same number of successes, neither gains the upper hand this turn.

Inverted Takedown

Can only be performed above a target, like position precariously on a statues as your target walks beneath.

Blood Point Expendables: Edit

Combat Edit

The combat system of White Wolf's "old" World of Darkness can be tricky to understand at first. Many oWoD games shortcut the initiative part of the process for reasons of expedience. However, it's fairly straightforward once you've done it a few times, and when everyone understands what they're doing, it's just as fast and takes advantage of the game balance built into the system.

I: Roll Initiative

First, everyone rolls initiative (init). This is wits+dex+1d10.


You roll 1d10 (one ten-sided die), add the result to your wits score + your dex score, and announce the total number. For example, if you have wits 3 and dex 2, and you roll a 5, then your init is 3+2+5 = 10.

Each player should make this roll, and the Storyteller/GM should roll for each NPC (GM-controlled character) involved in the situation.

II: Declare Actions

Everyone then declares actions in order of init from lowest to highest.

The person with the lowest init number goes first to describe what they want to do. Players and NPCs then take turns until everyone involved has declared their actions.

This allows the person with highest init to know what everyone else is going to do beforehand, and adjust their action accordingly.

III: Execute Actions

Actions then resolve in order of init from highest to lowest.

The person with the highest init goes first with the dice rolling to carry out their declared action. This starts with a "to see if you hit" roll, which might be followed by a roll from the target to see if they dodge. If the hit succeeds, there is a damage roll, which might be followed by a roll from the target to see if they soak.

In large, complex combat situations, this does indeed mean that the person with the lowest init might find their actions moot by the time it's their turn. Such is the way of things sometimes, when someone just doesn't act as fast as someone else. Fortunately, init is rerolled at the beginning of each turn, so a person with low init in one round might have high init in the next.

IV: What Just Happened

Once all the dice rolls are done, the GM comes up with a summary of what just happened in the turn, so that everyone has a clear picture and is on the same page. Then the next turn begins with new init rolls.

Why The System Works

In general, characters with better combat abilities (in the form of higher dexterity and wits) will have higher init rolls. This will not ALWAYS happen, however - perhaps the best fighter was momentarily distracted or caught by surprise, for example.

Likewise, better fighters generally have more dice to roll when it comes to attacking, defending, dodging, doing damage, etc., while more resilient characters might be able to take punches better than less resilient ones, and thus have more dice for soak rolls. However, they can still do poorly in individual moves (as reflected by poor dice results). No one is going to be truly infallible at all times.

It's why we have dice rolls in the first place. There is an element of chance involved, so that poorer fighters might still take an active role in the combat and be able to affect the outcome. But it isn't PURE chance, it's weighted by the stats on the character sheets (which is why we have character sheets). On the whole, when used properly, the system reflects the probabilities of what would happen fairly well.

A Final Tip

Sometimes a GM wants to make every single dice roll, thinking it will be faster. This isn't very effective. The GM ends up having to do a lot of work - first to roll all the dice, and then summarizing what happened - while players sit around waiting and doing nothing. Players end up feeling unengaged, that they have no control over what happens to their characters, and might lose interest.

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