Attack Types

Brawl and Melee


Brawl and melee are both integrated in to the +combat system. In this context, they are not that complicated.

Brawl is the talent of fighting without weapons. This includes punching, grappling, kicking, blocking, parrying, et cetera.
Melee is the skill of fighting with hand-held melee weapons; from knives, to clubs, to swords, to lawn chairs, to telephone poles (if you have enough Potence).

In general, a character wielding a melee weapon can claim Advantage in CBT over a character attacking with brawl. Similarly, a character wielding a large melee weapon can claim Advantage over a character wielding a significantly smaller weapon. This situation could reverse itself should the wielder of the shorter weapon succeed in their attack, thus getting "inside the guard". Always consider the situation.



Grappling is combat at close quarters where at least one of the combatants has actually grabbed hold of the other and is attempting to maintain physical control of the fight. While in a grapple, combatants may only use Brawl, fang, small Melee (e.g. knife), and claw attacks. Evading is not possible. Once combatants have entered a grapple, they make a "grapple" check at the beginning of every combat round to determine the state of the grapple, and then resolve allowable attacks as normal.

Initiating Grapple

A character wishing to initiate a grapple must declare that they are attempting to grapple as their attack. The grappling character attacks using their Brawl CBT. If they are successful, no damage is inflicted and a grapple is started. The grappling character is "in control" of the grapple. All normal combat rules apply to this contest: the only difference is the result if the grappling character wins. If you declare a grapple against someone with a sword, and they win this contest, you will still take damage. (If both characters declared grapple, the winner of the contest is "in control" although no damage is inflicted.)

A character initiating a grapple against an opponent with a ranged or melee weapon gives away Advantage. This is in addition to the normal consequences of brawl attacks versus melee or ranged combatants.

The Grapple Check

When combatants are in a Grapple, each round begins with a "Grapple check": the combatants +contest their Grapple CBTs. Each player declares whether they are attempting to continue the grapple, or escape it. If both characters wish to continue the grapple, then the winner of the Grapple check has advantage for that round of combat. If both characters wish to escape the grapple, then the grapple is broken and the characters may do nothing else that round. If one character wishes to escape the Grapple and the other wishes to continue it, the characters make a Grapple check:

  • If the "escaping" character wins, the grapple is ended and that round of combat is over.
  • If the "continuing" character wins, combat proceeds in a grapple and the "continuing" character has advantage. A character may only claim advantage for Celerity in a Grapple check if one of the combatants is attempting to escape.

A character in rage or hunger frenzy may not attempt to break a grapple. A character in fear frenzy must attempt to break a grapple.

Fighting in Grapple

As mentioned above, while in a grapple, combatants may only use Brawl, fang, small Melee (e.g. knife), and Claw attacks. The following rules apply:

  • A character cannot Evade while in grapple.
  • Celerity cannot be used to gain Advantage on either CBT or DMT in grapple.
  • Soak totals are reduced by a character's Dodge score, as "rolling" with the blow is not an option in a grapple.

Fang Attack

To use a fang attack, a vampire must be in a grapple. To make a fang attack, a character makes a Brawl attack as normal, but damage will be:

HIGH: Brawl-LOW rating (Aggravated, minimum 1)
LOW: 1A if Brawl-LOW > 3 else 0 _

A vampire can heal the feeding bite by licking the wound. This is limited to healing 1 level of aggravated damage from a puncture bite caused only by the vampire's own fangs.

Q: What about for a Gangrel in wolf form?
A: The combat system will have coded effects for being bit by a Gangrel in such a form. This is also true of their use of Wolf's Claws. Follow standard combat rules for these.

Ranged Combat

Combat with ranged weapons is slightly different to that with melee weapons and brawling. Fights using firearms, bows, and thrown weapons consist of exchanges of fire, diving for cover, et cetera.

Basic Ranged Attack

Ranged weapons have two CBT values listed, normal and Aimed CBT. You may use the Aimed CBT if you spend a full action aiming before firing. While aiming, a character's CBT against all attacks is 0.

Defending Against Ranged Attack

The best defense against ranged combat is complete cover. Alternatively, Evade is used. Evade is considered getting out of the line of fire, generally toward some manner of complete cover.

Taking any action in the face of a ranged attack other than an Evade means your character resists the ranged attacker's CBT with a 0. Of course, some say that the best defense is a good offense…

Ranged Attack versus Close Attack

A ranged combatant may use a ranged weapon until someone has successfully engaged them in a Grapple.

If someone wants to engage a ranged attacker in Melee or Brawl combat, the ranged combatant essentially gets a free shot. The ranged combatant contests their CBT versus a CBT of 0 to hit the close combatant. Resolve ranged damage as appropriate. If the close combatant is still able, the close combatant gets to contest their Brawl/Melee CBT against a CBT of 0, taking into account any wound penalties just incurred. If the close combatant wins this contest, they have hit the ranged combatant and have engaged the ranged combatant in close combat. Firing from cover might get the ranged attacker Advantage on this second test.

If a close combatant has to run to reach the ranged combatant to engage in close combat, the ranged combatant gets Advantage on their ranged attack CBT. If the close combatant is too far away to reach the ranged combatant this combat round, the ranged combatant may get an additional free shot.

Once a close combatant has engaged a ranged combatant in close combat, further CBT contests are resolved directly between the appropriate Ranged Weapon CBT and Melee/Brawl CBT. The close combatant, however, has CBT Advantage. Unless there is a tie, someone will get struck.

Ranged Attack versus Ranged Attack

When two characters just stand and shoot at each other, someone is going to get hurt. The person left standing in such encounters is generally the quickest and best shot. Therefore, both ranged combatants contest the CBT of their respective ranged weapons. The loser gets shot and damage is resolved as normal. If there is a tie, both combatants missed. The combatant with the best cover may claim Advantage.
Be sure to check weapon ranges.

Advantage and Firearms

There is great potential for use of Advantage in ranged combat. Here are some examples, but the full range of applications is left for your imagination and negotiation.

Full automatic weapon - Give away Advantage on CBT, claim Advantage on DMT (fire it like a hose).
Full automatic weapon - Claim Advantage on CBT, give away Advantage on DMT (spray an area)
Gunfight situation - Claim Advantage for having better cover than your opponent.
Drive-by shooting - Lose Advantage on both CBT and DMT.
Vampire Perk - All vampires get DMT Advantage when attempting to soak gunfire.

Note, more than one set of modifiers can apply in a given situation. For example, the drive-by shooting and full automatic (spray) weapon modifiers can cancel each other out with with regard to CBT.

Some Notes on Firearms

The combat stats for firearms are a little more complex than those for other weapons, but these are hidden within the +combat code. The end result is two CBT totals: one for unaimed shots, and one for aimed shots.

The base CBT is Dex+Firearms. This is modified as follows:

  • Each gun has a SNAPSHOT number: If your skill is below the Snapshot number, you get -3 on your unaimed CBT.
  • Each gun has an ACCURACY number. Aimed shots add this accuracy to the CBT, up to a maximum addition of your Firearms skill.

Weapon RANGE is listed on each weapon. Beyond this range, the shooter gives away advantage on CBT. Beyond twice the range, the weapon is completely ineffective.

You cannot find out what the Snapshot and Accuracy of a gun are. All you see is the effects on your CBT values.

On Combat Range

Please read about Clusters and Places code at +help ic/clusters and places.

Any persons at the same Place or Cluster are presumed to be no more than 10 feet away from each other. This presumption concerning Places (not Clusters) can be modified by room description data (i.e. a room @desc or a +view).

Except in rooms that are described as being less than 10 feet in diameter, characters are presumed to be more than 10 feet away from each other unless they are at the same Place or Cluster. As a consequence, your character must be at the same Place or Cluster with any other character upon whom they attempt to use a power with the Range modifier (+power/modifier Range) or with whom they wish to engage in melee, brawl, or grapple combat.

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Original Work is licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 US License.