Combat Actions

Combat Actions

Characters can normally take only a single combat action per turn, and receive only one turn per round.

There’s an exception to this rule. Characters are allowed to declare that they’re taking a flurry. When you flurry, you’re allowed to take two combat actions on your turn. However, a character can never flurry two of the same action—you can’t attack twice, for example, even if they’re different kinds of attack (a thrown knife and a sword slash can’t be put in a flurry). Further, when a character flurries, he suffers a -3 penalty to both actions, and his Defense is reduced by 1 until his next turn.

Below is a comprehensive list of available combat actions:

  • Attack: The most common combat action. An attack may be withering or decisive—see page 190 for more details. Attacks may be made with one of four Abilities. For withering attacks: Archery attacks are rolled as (Dexterity + Archery + accuracy modifier based on range). Melee attacks are rolled as (Dexterity + Melee + weapon’s accuracy modifier). Thrown attacks are rolled as (Dexterity + Thrown + accuracy modifier based on range). Finally, Brawl and Martial Arts attacks are rolled as (Dexterity + [Brawl or Martial Arts] + weapon’s accuracy modifier). Unarmed attacks fall under Brawl and Martial Arts; “Unarmed” is considered a light weapon (p. 580).
    • Decisive attacks use the same pools, save that they don’t add an accuracy modifier.
  • Aim: The character spends a few moments taking aim at his intended target. The player must declare which target he is taking aim at when he uses this action. Should his character attack that target on his next turn, the attack gains a +3 bonus. If the target moves out of the weapon’s range or behind full cover (see p. 198) before the character’s next turn, this action is wasted. An aim action is required before an attack can be made from medium or greater range (see p. 203), even one assisted by magic; attacks from medium or greater range don’t gain a +3 bonus unless two consecutive turns are spent aiming. Characters cannot move and aim during the same round without some form of magic to permit it. This action cannot be placed in a flurry.
  • Defend Other: The character protects an ally within close range (see p. 197), interposing himself to deflect attacks. The defending character may apply his Parry against any attacks directed at his ward until his next turn. Should an attack defeat the guardian’s Parry, the attacker may choose either to apply the attack to the guardian, or may attempt to strike his original target by using his threshold successes to attempt to overcome the original target’s Defense. If he chooses to strike his original target with a decisive attack, he loses one Initiative die from his damage roll for each two points of the protecting character’s Defense.
  • Draw/Ready Weapon: The character draws a close-range weapon, or readies a long-range weapon for use (stringing a bow, adjusting a brace of throwing knives, and so on). If a character wishes to change weapons during battle (sheathing a sword and unslinging a bow, for example), he must use a draw/ready weapon action to do so. This action reduces a character’s Defense by 1 until his next turn. Characters are assumed to begin combat with a weapon of their choice already drawn or readied, unless they are ambushed (p. 203). Natural weapons such as fists and claws never need to be readied before use, making unarmed fighters very resistant to being blindsided.
  • Full Defense: The character dedicates himself completely to protecting himself. Until his next turn, his Defense rises by 2. Using Full Defense causes the character to lose one Initiative point. This action cannot be placed in a flurry with anything save social influence actions (p. 212), nor used during Initiative Crash.
  • Miscellaneous Action: This is a ‘catch-all’ category for a wide variety of possible actions. The character takes some non-combat action which can still be completed in a matter of only a few seconds. Examples might include picking a lock or searching a fallen opponent’s pockets. The Storyteller is the ultimate arbiter of what is or isn’t possible in the span of a single miscellaneous action. The character’s Defense is reduced by 1 until his next turn.
  • Ranged Attacks: Melee, Brawl, and Martial Arts attacks can only be made from close range, barring the use of specialized magic. Thrown and Archery attacks can be made from a greater distance; the weapon used determines a ranged attack’s maximum range, usually medium range for Thrown weapons and long range for Archery weapons. Ranged withering attacks determine their accuracy bonus (or penalty) based on the range they’re made from, rather than the weapon’s innate accuracy.
    • Archery and Thrown attacks made from medium or greater range become very inaccurate unless the character takes care to aim first. A character must take an aim action before launching an Archery or Thrown attack from medium range or greater, or the attack automatically misses. This aim action doesn’t provide an accuracy bonus—it only allows the character to draw an accurate bead on her target so she has a chance of hitting at all. Taking two aim actions in a row before attacking at such range provides the normal accuracy bonus.
  • Delaying Actions A character may delay his turn, waiting until a point later than his Initiative to act, if he desires. The delayed action may be deployed on any tick later in the round that the player wishes. This is an excellent way to force Clash Attacks, (see p. 202), for characters who know powerful Clash-enhancing Charms. However, delaying an action drops the character’s Initiative by 2.


Certain attacks, particularly attacks modified by some Charms, are unblockable, undodgeable, or both. An unblockable attack bypasses Parry entirely, necessitating an application of Evasion to defend against. Likewise, an undodgeable attack bypasses Evasion. Using an attack that’s rolled but both unblockable and undodgeable is a difficulty zero action (p. 186).


Join Battle: Wits + Awareness (plus 3 successes to determine starting Initiative).
Withering attack pool: Dexterity + (Combat Ability) + weapon’s accuracy
Decisive attack pool: Dexterity + (Combat Ability)
Parry: ([Dexterity + (Brawl, Martial Arts, or Melee)] / 2, round up) + weapon’s defense.
Evasion: ([Dexterity + Dodge] / 2, round up) – armor’s mobility penalty
Rush pool: Dexterity + Athletics
Disengage pool: Dexterity + Dodge
Natural Soak: equal to Stamina rating
Armor soak: specifically provided by armor
Total soak: natural soak + armor soak
Resolve: ([Wits + Integrity + specialty] / 2, round up)
Guile: ([Manipulation + Socialize + specialty] / 2, round up)

Combat Actions

Champions of the Sun GMJJ