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I've been running a few more monsters and animals in my 7th Sea campaign lately, and find myself a little confused by the notation used in the Game Master's Guide.

For example:

Attack Roll: Claw 4k2, Bite 4k2
Damage: Claw 5k3, Bite 4k2

How should the attack roll line be interpreted? Does it have a claw that it can attack with, and if that is disabled in some way, it can fall back on a (strictly worse) bite? Or does it have D&D-style multiple attacks (each action taken resulting in both a claw attack and a bite attack)?

The Zombie is even more perplexing, in that its attacks aren't related to its other stats, and "Claw" is listed twice:

Finesse: Host -1
Attack Roll: Claw 5k3, Claw 5k3
Damage: 0k2 Claws, and See Below

[...] When it hits with both of its claws, it has grabbed the victim by the throat, and its tendrils are burrowing into the victim's neck. [...]


  • Can the zombie potentially grab a character in a single attack action?

  • Or does it take a minimum of two actions?

  • Should the attack rolls be modified by the zombie's host's finesse?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've had the same problem, found no answer for it in the book and ran monsters successfully by using the following algorithm:

  • Multiple entries in a bestiary are multiple weapons available to the monster. It can use only one for an attack or parry, but can choose where it is sensible. The classic example is a Grappling bear falling back to its bite, just like a character would use a dagger. In another example, the Leviathan can only use its Ram attack when it had time to get up to speed.
  • The zombie takes a minimum of two actions. Any successful defensive action (like hitting the zombie, ripping it off, or others) by the attacked character in the meantime between two successful zombie attacks can break the sequence.
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One other question... How well do the monsters play when run this way? The bear looks like he'd have a pretty tough time hitting even a starting character. – AceCalhoon Dec 22 '11 at 16:46
@AceCalhoon: Yes, that's pretty much my experience. Starting swordsmen can beat a bear, but only one at a time, and normal animals cease to be a problem very soon. – thiton Dec 22 '11 at 16:56
I think this is a good way of looking at it. My GM also uses it that way, and my Pyeryem character also worked like this. – Paul Paulsen Jun 22 at 14:53

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