Damien’s Hard and Fast Combat Rules
These rules are designed to be easily memorised and followed. The White Wolf combat system is convoluted, and really slows down play more than even an experienced group would like.
It is the considered opinion of our group that far and away the most annoying part is the split dice pools rules, and scarcely one session goes by without someone getting lost. The next thing that slows things up is the last initiative player declaring actions then everybody with higher initiative countering and what not. I’ll agree that these things are more realistic than what follows, but we would rather get back to the intrigue as fast as possible!
With an eye towards doing away with all the confusion, I am using the following rules on a trial basis. They are hard and fast rules, and yes, they are full of holes. But combat seems to be going much quicker these days.
COMBAT ROUND PHASE 1
Initiative: each player rolls Wits + Alertness (diff 4), modified by wound penalties and situational modifiers on an ad hoc basis.
Order of Actions: Highest initiative goes first and so on.
Split Dice Pools: A character with a dice pool of 6 or more may split that dice pool once in the combat round, provided they do not move or talk. The dice pool must be an even split, and the second action is at +1 difficulty.
Dodge: Dodge is an instinctive roll, meaning that it can be done as many times in a combat round as you like. However, each roll after the first reduces that dice pool by 1, and each attacker after the first increases the difficulty by 1. A player may elect not to Dodge certain attacks to save dice for others.
Accuracy: Every success on an attack roll after the third (which would be classed as a complete success on most other d10 rolls), grants 1 bonus die of damage.
Damage: Wound penalties apply to all rolls except virtue and soak rolls. In accordance with the Fortitude rules outlined under Disciplines, Lethal and Bashing damage are always soaked at difficulty 6, Aggravated damage from the teeth and claws of other supernaturals may be soaked at difficulty 8, and sunlight and fire may only be soaked with a Fortitude roll.
COMBAT ROUND PHASE 2 on
Celerity actions take the same format as above, but may not be split for any reason.