I’m using basic combat.

I have player A and a thug. Both have a dice pool of 7. The are in ranged contest combat. They both roll 7 dice whoever is the highest wins and the margin is the damage. I get that part.

I thought the rules explained this contest roll as a summation of the two combatants fighting it out, attacking and dodging.

So this is where I get confused. Same scenario. Player A and thug. Both have dice pools of 7 and are shooting at each other again.

This time player A has no cover. In the book it says no covers gives a -2 to the players defense pool. Here is where I’m confused. They are both shooting at each other as before and they are treating the combat as a ranged combat contest. Before they just rolled their dice pools of 7 and called it a day. But now since player A has no cover is player A suppose to roll a separate defense roll as well or is their attack pool of 7 suppose to be - 2 dice. Neither option makes sense.

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    – V2Blast
    May 16, 2019 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


If you're using the Firearms vs. Firearms roll as detailed above (and on p.125 of the V5 core rules), it's assumed that what you have is a gunfight at range — meaning that you're too far away to, say, grab someone's gun hand or body check them into a trash can. In gunfights, both parties are considered to be the attacker; no one is "dodging" because barring supernatural power, you can't dodge bullets. The roll-off you describe uses the margin that you point out to determine who gets harmed in the fight.

This assumption is based on the idea that both parties are using the environment to best effect. However, in the case where one person has cover and the other person does not, that gives the person without cover a profound disadvantage, which is represented by a -2 penalty to their roll. Their pool of 7 drops to 5, reflecting the greater likelihood that the person attacking them will do harm to them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How would automatic weapons or submachine guns work in v5? \$\endgroup\$
    – Shaxcat
    May 27, 2019 at 2:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shaxcat That's covered on page 301; if you're using a weapon with a higher rate of fire than the opponent, you may add an extra die to your attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    May 27, 2019 at 4:37

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