Attacking, at its core, is quite straightforward. To make an attack, roll and determine the outcome. A critical success on an attack is always a hit unless the defender gains a critical success on a defensive action (such as dodging or parrying). If the attacker scores a critical success and the defender does not, and the math indicates a result of 0 or below, raise the result to 1. (However, it is still possible to fail to inflict damage due to armor.) A critical failure on an attack is always a miss.

Next, add your skill rating and apply any bonuses or penalties (Wound Penalties, modifiers due to circumstances, etc.). If the target is taking a defensive action such as a dodge or parry, subtract the adjusted results of the defensive roll. If the final outcome is positive, you have hit the target. The final number will also be used as the base damage for that particular target.

Numerous situational modifiers may complicate a battle. These usually provide a bonus or penalty no greater than 3. If the modifier is greater than 3, then the attempt is typically an automatic success or failure.

Multiple Actions

Characters who take multiple actions suffer a penalty to all actions equal to the number of actions taken. For example, starting a car and firing a pistol would require a roll for each, with a -2 penalty applied to each roll.

Actions that attack or evade multiple targets are always considered to be multiple actions. Thus, they suffer a penalty equal to the number of targets being attacked or evaded (plus the number of other actions being taken, if any).

When firing single shots or 3-round bursts, you are limited to engaging a maximum of 3 targets (with normal penalties for multiple actions).

It is not possible to use this rule to move twice, since the movement roll indicates the maximum distance you can cover during the turn.


A character may spend a turn aiming a firearm or bow at a stationary target, with each turn providing a cumulative +1 bonus to the attack, for a maximum of +3.

Burst Fire

A 3-round burst (or a shotgun firing buckshot at close range) grants a +1 bonus to the attack.


To hold a target, make an Unarmed attack opposed by a Physique or Unarmed Combat check (defender's choice). (This does not use the target's action; if they have not acted this turn, they still have their action available.) If successful, the target is now held, unable to take actions beyond a) harming you, or b) breaking the hold. You may continue to make attacks on the target, but cannot move or defend yourself without releasing the grapple.

To pin a target, you must make a successful grapple attack against a target which is already grappled. A pinned target can take no actions other than attempting to break the hold. It is possible to grapple and then pin a target in a single turn by taking multiple actions (with appropriate penalties).

To break a hold, the target must make a Physique or Unarmed Combat check (as they prefer) opposed by an Unarmed Combat skill check by the attacker (with a tie indicating that the target breaks free of the grapple).

Example of Combat

In the final room, the surviving Contractors see the prize on a pedestal; whomever claims it wins the Game. Player 1, 2, and 3 all think: If I can surprise the others, I can win. Naturally, no one is surprised when the guns come out.

Player 1 rolls a 2 and adds his Discipline (+3); Player 2 rolls a 2 and adds Discipline (+2), Player 3 rolls a terrible -2 and adds Discipline (+3).

Results: Player 1: 5, Player 2: 4, Player 3: 1

Player 3 declares first. Gritting his teeth, he pulls his gun and shoots at Player 1, trusting in his Pain Tolerance to see him through.

Player 2 knows futility when she sees it; she declares a defensive action, bolting out of the room.

Player 1 sees that Player 3 is drawing his gun and Player 2 is running away. He coolly draws his pistol and fires at Player 3. His action is resolved first. Since no one is attacking Player 2, she successfully runs out as fast as her Competent Physique can carry her.

Player 1 rolls a 0. He has Ranged at Professional level (+3). He does not have time to aim, so he does not receive the bonus for aiming. The GM decides that there are no situational modifiers in this particular case. His result is 3.

Since Player 3 has already declared that he is firing, he cannot dodge; the bullet strikes him. Now that a hit has been scored, the damage bonus of +3 is applied, resulting in 6 levels of damage. Player 3 has 1 point of armor, which is subtracted from the damage. Thus, the net result is 5. Player 3 is now Critically Wounded; he cannot walk. He would suffer a -3 penalty to all rolls, but his Pain Tolerance obviates the penalty.

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