The combat rules in each game line are similar but not identical. In mixed combat, ST discretion applies. (If there's no ST and no agreement between players, then flip a coin.)

Here are some general reminders and guidelines/suggestions. For full details, have a book handy.


  • Weapon and armor stats are per +equip. (more information)
  • Extra successes on the attack roll add dice to the damage roll.
  • Successful defensive actions subtract dice from the damage roll, but never all of them.
  • Powerful attacks may damage armor but generally don't destroy it.
  • Unnamed mooks may only have 3 or 4 health levels.
  • Penalties may be mitigated by relevant merits, gifts, etc.


  • Each turn, your initiative rating is Dexterity + Wits + 1d10, see '+help +combat'.
    • Option: Keep the first turn's order for the entire combat.
    • Option: Pack initiative (W20 267).
  • Declare intended actions, low to high, including spending Willpower / blood / Rage (extra actions).
  • Perform actions, high to low.
    • Faster option (mostly for PRPs): Declare and perform, high to low. Pose your result while the next PC works on their game mechanics.
  • Split actions: Split smallest dice pool across all actions.
    • Alternatively, first has penalty of N (N = number of additional actions), second has penalty of N+1, third has penalty of N+2, etc.
    • All defensive actions: Instead, first is normal, second has penalty of 1, third has penalty of 2, etc.
  • Extra actions (e.g. Celerity, Rage): No penalty, but cannot split them further.
  • Extra (not split) actions occur at the end of the turn.


Race Bashing Lethal Aggravated
Vampire, revenant Stamina + Fortitude Stamina + Fortitude Fortitude
Ghoul Stamina + Fortitude Fortitude Fortitude
Shifter (non-breed form) Stamina Stamina Stamina*
Shifter (breed form) Stamina n/a n/a*
Changeling (Wyrd not invoked) Stamina Stamina** n/a
Changeling (Wyrd invoked) Stamina Stamina n/a
Anyone else Stamina n/a*** n/a

* Garou vs silver (+rules kryptonite): Only homid and lupus in breed form can soak it. Similar for fera.
** Only for chimerical attacks.
*** Too Tough to Die merit allows soaking lethal.


Description Penalty Movement Heal bashing Heal lethal/aggravated
Bruised No penalty Normal 1 hour 1 day
Hurt 1 Normal 1 hour 3 days
Injured 1 Half 1 hour 1 week*
Wounded 2 Walk 1 hour 1 month
Mauled 2 Hobble 3 hours 2 months
Crippled 5 Crawl 6 hours 3 months**
Incapacitated Can't act Can't move 12 hours 5 months
Torpid (vampire)

* Injured or worse: If untreated, worsens by 1 lethal per day
** Crippled or worse: Requires continuous treatment to heal

  • If you're incapacitated from bashing and take more bashing, it converts to lethal.

Bonuses (more dice or lower difficulty)

Condition Bonus
Successful ambush 1 free attack, 1 per extra success
Rear attack 2
Flank attack 1
Spent previous turn(s) aiming* 1 each (max Perception), +2 with scope
Point-blank range (within 2 yards/meters) 2
Defender blinded 2
Defender partly immobilized, knocked down, dazed/stunned 2
Defender completely immobilized Automatically succeed

* Requires Firearms 1+, or Archery 1+ for bow. No other actions except aiming. Target moving no faster than walk.

Penalties (fewer dice or higher difficulty)

Condition Penalty
0 dots in talent No penalty
0 dots in skill 1
0 dots in knowledge Automatically fail
Abort/change action 1 (roll or spend Willpower to negate)
Attacker behind light cover (lying prone) No penalty
Attacker behind good cover (behind wall) 1
Attacker behind superior cover (only head exposed) 2
Attacker moving 1
Automatic fire or strafing/spraying* 2 (+10 attack dice)
Beyond normal range 2
Beyond maximum range (twice normal range) Automatically fail
Blinded, close combat 2
Blinded, ranged combat Automatically fail
Defender behind light cover (lying prone) 1
Defender behind good cover (behind wall) 2
Defender behind superior cover (only head exposed) 3
Defender moving 1
Dodge strafing/spraying attack 1
Facing multiple opponents in close combat 1 each, max 4
Facing opponent with longer melee weapon 1
Mage fast-casting** 1
Non-dominant hand 1
Targeting medium location (limb, briefcase) 1
Targeting small location (hand, head, cellphone) 2 (+1 damage)
Targeting precise location (eye, heart, lock) 3 (+2 damage)
Three-round burst 1 (+3 attack dice)

* Cannot target specific location. Clip must be at least half full. Strafing/spraying covers a 3 yard/meter area, halved if only one target.
** Does not apply if effect was prepared prior to combat, or if using martial arts as a practice or weapon as an instrument.


  • V20 pages 271-286
  • W20 pages 288-301
  • M20 pages 409-430
  • C20 pages 275-288