Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Narrative Combat in Vampire


For my upcoming game of Vampire, I'm thinking of doing something different with combat. I've never been terribly in love with the standard Storyteller combat system. I've always felt it was a bit clunky and awkward. Since I tend to run fairly combat lite games anyways, I'm thinking of giving the “narrative combat” from the Storytellers Handbook a whirl. Naturally, I'm going to tweak it a bit, though. I think some of this is similar to the New World of Darkness combat, but I'm not sure, as I haven't played a game with that system in several years now. In any case, here’s what I've come up with.

Initiative
Rolling initiative is not necessary for every fight--in some cases it's obvious who should go first, assuming I even bother with turns. In those situations where it's not obvious, initiative will be determined by the following:
     Standard Initiative roll is Wits + Alertness, difficult 4; highest number of successes goes first.
     Non-standard Initiative may apply based on the situation. For example, striking first at a prepared ambush might be Perception + Streetwise, while assassinating a target at a party might call for a Manipulation + Etiquette.


Attack Roll
     Hand to Hand (fists, kicks, grabs, etc): Strength + Brawl
     Melee (daggers, clubs, etc): Strength + Melee
     Ranged: Perception + Firearms or Dexterity + Athletics (thrown or archery)
Note: Potence does factor into the attack, per normal rule (each dot = 1 success).

Defense
Dexterity + Dodge (or Brawl/Melee to parry attacks, if possible)

Damage
Damage is equal to the number of success on the attack rolls. Various weapons can add to the dice pool of the attack.
Weapon
Bonus
Fist
--
Grapple
--
Claw
2 (aggravated)
Knife
1
Bite
1 (aggravated)
Club
1
Sword
2
Axe
3
Stake
2
Pistol
1
SMG
2
Rifle
3
Shotgun
4

Resisting Damage

For mortals, base Stamina.
For vampires, Stamina + 2.
Fortitude functions as an automatic soak against normal damage.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. I'm not 100% sure about some of the numbers, and I might need to tweak them once I see them in action. Of course, I might not worry about it too much, since this isn't meant to be a mechanically tight system, but rather a loose “let’s have fun and see what happens” type thing. I'm also not sure if I even want to keep aggravated damage. I might just change it to normal damage, but still make sunlight and fire highly damaging things vampires need to flee or soak.

The Vampire Primer

Vampire is a role-playing game in which the players take on the role of vampires in the modern world (Masquerade) or the medieval one (Dar...