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In W:TA how do I calculate the damage from an attack?

As an example, consider Lina. Her stats in homid form are: Strength (1), Dexterity (2), Melee (3). She uses a pool cue (using the stats from a club on pg. 238) to attack an enemy. Her attack roll has a pool of 5 (Dexterity + Melee). She rolls 2 successes.

How much damage does she do? My table has two interpretations:

  • She does 4 damage. Her attack had 2 successes. Clubs have a damage rating of Strength+1. Lina's strength is 1. 2 successes + 1 strength +1 = 4. This is based on the description of Damage on pg. 238.
  • She rolls damage. The size of her pool is her previous number of successes, plus the weapon's damage rating (2 + 2 = 4). The book frequently refers to "damage pools" (e.g., pg. 120 "In melee combat, [Strength] is added to your damage Dice Pool."). It wouldn't make sense to talk about dice pools unless damage was rolled.

I'm using the 1991 1e book.

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1 Answer 1

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I just looked over my copy of 1e and wow is that poorly worded. The whole combat section seems to imply damage is a flat number though as you said the damage dice pool is referenced elsewhere. The first edition rules were kinda all over the place.

So here's how combat works.

  • You roll your attack dice pool against whatever difficulty your ST sets. If you get at least one success you've hit. Any additional successes mean you hit really well and get added to your damage dice pool.
  • Then you roll your damage dice pool against whatever difficulty your ST sets. This is 6 in Mage 1e and opponent's stamina+3 in Vampire 1e, universally 6 in later editions of everything including Werewolf, though I've been paging through my books and I can't find a number specifically for Werewolf 1e.
  • The result is the amount of damage you do, though it can never be less than one.
  • The target may or may not be able to roll soak, depending on factors. If they can, then they roll their soak and the number of successes are subtracted from the number of successes you got from your damage dice pool.
  • The resulting number is how much damage you actually end up doing to the target.

So in your example: The club has a damage of Strength+1 and Linda has 1 strength, so a basic damage dice pool of two. Since she got two successes, one more than she needed to hit, the extra die is added to the damage pool. So the total damage dice pool, in this case, is three. Or a flat three damage, if you want to take the combat section in isolation. Not only does this book bring up damage dice pools elsewhere, but I know the 1e Player's Guide explicitly references damage successes, so the damage dice pool is certainly the correct interpretation.

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