Attack Roll and Dodging
The attacker rolls Attribute + Ability against default difficulty 6 (although some attacks and weapons can modify this difficulty). Roll Dexterity + Melee for melee attacks, Dexterity + Brawl for brawling attacks, Dexterity + Firearms for firearms attacks etc.
If the target takes a defensive action (a Block, Dodge or Parry, as per the rulebook), subtract the target’s defence pool from the attacker’s dice pool. If a target’s defence pool cancels out the attacker’s entire attack pool, the attacker rolls a single die against difficulty 10. If this roll is successful, the attacker scores a marginal hit against the target. This ensures that there is always some chance of hitting. Rolling a 1 on this die causes a botch.
The target can perform other actions as well as taking a defensive action, splitting the dice pool accordingly, or can perform a Desperate Defence against multiple attackers, as per the rulebook.
Each weapon has a damage rating, given in the rulebook. Melee weapons base their damage rating on the attacker’s Strength while other weapons have fixed damage ratings. Every success above the first on the attack roll adds a die to the damage inflicted by the attack. Roll dice equal to the damage rating of the weapon, including any additional dice due to extra successes on the attack roll, minus any adjustments for soaking or armour – see below. The final damage is subtracted from the target’s health levels.
Damage rolls are treated as “specialties” – namely that rolls of 10 give an extra damage die. This ensures that even the most unskilled mook can point a gun at someone and kill them with a single shot. To make damage even more threatening, rolls of 1 do not cancel out damage successes and damage rolls cannot botch.
Soaking and Armour
Subtract the target’s Stamina rating from the attacker’s damage pool (depending on the type of damage – see below). If the target is wearing armour, subtract the target’s Stamina + Armour from the attacker’s damage pool.
Mortals (and mages) can only soak Bashing damage with Stamina. Supernaturals (such as vampires) can also soak Lethal damage with Stamina. Some supernaturals (such as werewolves) can also soak Aggravated damage with Stamina as well.
Armour can be used to soak Lethal damage, as well as Aggravated damage derived from purely physical sources (like the claws of a vampire but not from a blast of Prime energy). Magic can be used to grant a mortal the ability to soak Lethal or Aggravated damage.
If a target’s soak pool cancels out all damage from an attack, the attacker rolls a single die against difficulty 10. If this roll is successful, the attacker inflicts a single level of damage against the target. This ensures that there is always some chance of inflicting damage.