Conflict

Physical combat basically follows the rules in the ‘’V:tM Revised’’ book, with some exceptions to streamline the process. Additionally, similar rules are used for social and mental combat.

Physical (Combat)

Physical combat rounds are typically about three seconds.

Initiative

Except in a situation of ambush (Stealth vs. Alertness), the first character to act is the one with the highest Dexterity + Courage (speed and the will to act). After acting, the player of that character designates another character that has not yet acted that round to take an action, and then that character selects the next, etc.

At any point, a character that has not acted may spend Willpower to interrupt the order and go. If the preempted character also spends Willpower, the two compare Dex + Courage to see who actually goes first.

Once all combatants have acted in a round, the last one to act designates the first one to act on the next round, and all characters can go again.

A character that is targeted before acting in a round can abort to a defense, taking a Full Defense as her only action. If she has already gone and did not save an action to defend she cannot abort.

Actions

When it is a character’s turn to act, she may move a few yards or make a minor maneuver as well as attack. More complicated maneuvers or movements take the whole action.

A character may choose to “split” a dice pool to take multiple actions. The GM is the ultimate arbiter of what is reasonable to do within a round. The first action loses a number of dice equal to total actions, and each subsequent action loses one additional die (e.g., three actions imposes a -3, -4, and -5 penalty). A full defense allows the character to avoid the initial die penalty, merely losing one die for each additional Dodge.

The type of attack made determines the dice pool. Heavy melee weapons and aggressive brawling styles roll Strength plus the applicable skill. Light melee weapons, finesse-based brawling styles, and firearms roll Dexterity plus the applicable skill. Dex-based attacks are generally lower damage than Str-based ones.

When making an attack, the sequence is as follows:

  1. Attacker declares dice pool (based on weapon/style): Str or Dex + Brawl, Melee, or Firearms.
  2. Defender decides whether to use an action to defend. If she does:
    1. Determine the type of defense: Block (Brawl; only against other Brawl attacks), Parry (Melee; only against other Melee or Brawl attacks; must be armed), or Dodge (Athletics).
    2. Subtract Dex + the chosen skill from the attacker’s dice pool. If there are no dice left, the attack simply misses.
  3. If the attacker still has dice, roll them against difficulty 6. If there are any successes, the attack hit.
  4. Add the successes on the attack to the weapon’s damage number.
  5. The defender Soaks, subtracting several traits:
    1. Subtract Stamina from bashing damage (and lethal damage for Kindred).
    2. Subtract Fortitude and Armor from all damage (including aggravated, and lethal for mortals).
  6. Roll the remaining dice against difficulty 6.
    1. The successes are the damage taken by the target.
    2. Kindred targets halve all Bashing damage and damage from most firearms.

Wounds

Most characters have seven boxes of Health Levels. Mark off a box for each point of damage taken. Most damage is recorded with a /, but Aggravated damage is recorded with an X (if you already had normal damage, Aggravated “pushes” the other wounds down, filling the top boxes).

A character may begin to suffer dice penalties to physical actions after taking wounds: take the highest penalty next to a filled in box on your sheet.

A Kindred can use her action for the round to spend blood to heal: each blood point spent heals a point of normal damage. The number of points that can be healed in this manner is based on Generation (lower Generations can spend more points per round). Aggravated damage is much harder to heal: it costs five points per wound (plus one Willpower per wound past the first) and can only be healed on first waking for the night.

Social (Gossip)

Social conflict is the delicate dance of ruining another character’s Status. Rounds take a shifting amount of time based on the venue: a screaming argument may only take a few seconds per round, a slow rumormill at an Elysium may take an hour per round, and a longterm smear campaign may take weeks per round.

Initiative

Initiative for social conflict is more fluid than in combat. The conflict progresses in the order of whoever is talking at the time. However, every character involved does get a chance to take an action (if only to defend) before the next round.

Actions

Actions in social conflict mirror those in physical combat: a character can attack, defend, and split actions.

When making an attack, the sequence is as follows:

  1. Attacker declares dice pool:
    1. Charisma for direct attacks (arguments, shaming, etc.)
    2. Poise for indirect attacks (smears, gossip, etc.)
    3. Empathy, Intimidation, Subterfuge, Expression, or other depending on method of attack.
  2. Defender decides whether to use an action to defend. If she does:
  3. Subtract Poise + an appropriate defensive skill from the attacker’s dice pool.
  4. If there are no dice left, the attack simply misses.
  5. If the attacker still has dice, roll them against difficulty 6. If there are any successes, the attack hit.
  6. Add the successes on the attack to the attacker’s Status.
  7. The defender Soaks, subtracting Composure + Status.
  8. Roll the remaining dice against difficulty 6. The successes are the damage taken by the target.

Wounds

As with physical damage, most characters have seven boxes of Status Levels. Most damage is normal, but a social wound might be counted as “Aggravated” in particularly embarrassing circumstances. As with physical damage, the wounds carry penalties (to social actions with anyone that cares about your Status).

When a character is “killed” socially, she loses a point of the relevant Status and will be ‘’persona non grata’’ for a few days or weeks (and, thus, unable to engage in other social conflicts). If not killed, the social damage heals slowly (similar to the mortal healing rate), but can be instantly repaired by socially “killing” a target with equal or greater Status (and not necessarily the one that did damage to you).

Mental (Frenzy)

Mental conflict is the simple attempt of a character’s Beast to drive her to Frenzy (or do something awful without completely losing control). It does not generally take place in rounds, but the Beast attacks when provoked, slowly wearing down the character.

Initiative

The Beast attacks whenever the character faces a trigger event:

  • Rage: The character is provoked or threatened and Fight reflexes would kick in
  • Hunger: The character spends down to one or zero blood or is faced with an obvious chance to feed when low on blood
  • Fear: The character is faced with fire, sunlight, or something else that would trigger Flight reflexes

Actions

Characters don’t make Frenzy actions, but they can respond to attacks by the Beast. If a trigger comes in combat rounds, defending against the Beast uses an action (either the whole round’s action, or splitting dice pools between acting and defending).

When the Beast attacks, the sequence is as follows:

  1. The Beast declares a dice pool based on the significance of the trigger.
    1. A very minor stressor might only be 1 die, while a major event might be 4.
    2. The character’s Beast Traits for that stressor are added to the total.
  2. The character can decide to relent and do what the Beast wants (attack, feed, or flee). If this is chosen, the Beast deals no damage because it got what it wanted.
  3. The character decides whether to use an action to defend. If she does:
  4. Subtract Perception from the attacker’s dice pool. Willpower can be spent to reduce it further.
  5. If there are no dice left, the attack simply misses.
  6. If the attacker still has dice, roll them against difficulty 6. If there are any successes, the attack hit.
  7. Add the successes on the attack to the appropriate Beast Trait.
  8. The defender Soaks, subtracting Composure (Rage), Stamina (Hunger), or Courage (Fear).
  9. Roll the remaining dice against difficulty 6. The successes are the damage taken by the target.

Wounds

As with physical damage, most characters have seven boxes of Frenzy Levels. Most damage is normal, but a mental wound might be counted as “Aggravated” if the Beast is somehow being stressed by an external supernatural force. As with physical damage, the wounds carry penalties (to mental actions related to thinking clearly and social actions to act like a human with other mortals).

When a character is “killed” mentally, she enters Frenzy and takes actions related to the last trigger (attacking until the provocation is destroyed, feeding until sated, or fleeing and fighting anything in the way). At that point, all mental damage is healed as the beast is quiescent (but the player probably has a new Beast Trait). If not killed, the mental damage heals slowly (similar to the mortal healing rate). On rising for the evening, a player can choose to heal one normal health level instead of receiving a point of Willpower (Aggravated damage can only be healed with time).

Conflict

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