On page 125 of the core rules (Basic Conflict section) there is an example of Katarina defending against 3 attackers. She uses her regular dice pool to defend against the first, is at -1 die to defend against the second and at -2 dice to defend against the 3rd.

What happens if Katarina’s first action was an attack, not a defence? Does that mean she can wriggle out of a penalty? Like this:

  • Full dice pool to attack the first person
  • Full dice pool to defend against the 2nd person
  • Penalty of -1 to defend against the 3rd person

2 Answers 2


In the simplified system, there's no "first action," there's just your action. If Katarina is choosing to attack one target, then the other two people there are just going to hit her — she's not defending against them. If she wants to fight more than one person, giving her a chance to mitigate their attacks, she'll need to split her dice pool. Defending gives her the option to focus on protecting herself at the cost of the possibility of doing damage to her attackers.


The combat primer answers this question really well and it's based off comments from a VtM 5e developer.

You still lose -1 dice from your defence pool to the second opponent and -2 dice from your defence pool to the third etc. regardless of whether you attack or defend, each consecutive opponent will diminish your defence pool.

For example you may even decide to attack the first 2 opponents and defend against the 3rd, your defence roll for the third opponent will have -2 dice penalised from it.


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