There are three common forms of attack: melee, ranged, and magical. All are resolved by the following basic system:
Step One: Attack Roll
Attacker's d6 roll + Attack Bonus vs. Defender's Target Score
This determines whether or not the attack will hit the target if they fails their defence roll. A failed attack roll is a miss. If the attack roll succeeds, move on to step two. Characters and objects have a Target score of 4 ƒ their scale. Your attack bonus is generally equal to your bonus in the skill involved (weapon skill for melee attacks, ranged skill for ranged attacks, magic skill for attack spells, etc.), minus your scale.
Step Two: Defence Roll
Defender's D6 roll + Defence bonus vs. 4 + attacker's Attack Bonus (except scale) vs. Defence DC
The defender can then choose to defend. He picks one of his available defence options (typically Block, Dodge, or Parry using the Shield use, Reflex, and Weapon Skill skills respectively) and rolls. A successful defence roll negates the attack. If the defence roll fails, move on to step three. Attackers do not subtract their scale from the DC to defend against their attacks.
Step Three: Damage
Attacker's Damage vs. Defender's Toughness
If the attacker's damage exceeds the defender's Minimum Toughness (Toughness - 6), the defender receives a wound. If it exceeds the defender's Toughness, the defender starts dying and receives a wound. See Death, Dying and Healing for more details. The damage depends on the type of attack being used. Creatures typically add three times their scale to melee attack damage.
A melee attack can be made with a weapon or unarmed. The target has to be in a square threatened by your weapon. Threatened areas are all squares in reach of the weapon you are using. For melee attacks, your attack bonus is equal to your Weapon Skill bonus minus your scale.
Your target must be in your reach in order to attack it. Humans have a natural reach of Close, meaning they can use unarmed attacks against targets in their occupied area only. Most melee weapons have reach of Standard.
Close: In your occupied area
Standard: Areas adjacent to your occupied area
Long: Areas one square away from adjacent to you
Long X: X squares away
You can't generally use a weapon to attack an enemy closer than their reach without a special technique or ability.
Ranged attacks use your Ranged Skill bonus to attack. There are a few considerations necessary for Ranged Attacks that are not usually necessary for Melee:
1. Range : As targets get further away, they likewise become more difficult to hit. All ranged weapons have a range increment, listed in metres. For every full doubling of the range increment, the attacker gets -1/0 to his attack. For example, the heavy crossbow has a range increment of 15m. If the target were between 0m and 15m, the attack is made at no penalty. Between 16 and 30, the attack is made at -1. Between 31 and 60, -2. 61 and 120, -3. Lastly, if the attack were made at a target between 121 and 240m (the maximum range) away, there would be a -4 penalty. Four is usually the maximum number of range increments a ranged weapon can be used at without special weapons or techniques.
2. Ammunition: some ranged weapons (ex. firearms and crossbows) need to be reloaded. Reloading a weapon of your scale or smaller is a 4SA unless otherwise specified. The time it takes to reload a larger weapon increases by 4 seconds for every scale larger than you it is. Multiple people can reload a weapon at the same time, dividing the time between them.
3. Aiming : Before attacking with a ranged weapon, you may choose to take time to aim. Aiming takes 2 seconds. If you move or the target leaves your line of sight between aiming and attacking, you lose any benefits of having aimed. Aiming decreases any range penalties by one point, but various techniques from Ranged Skill can increase the effects of aiming.
Magical attacks are like melee or ranged attacks, but typically use the caster's Magic Skill modifier instead of Weapon or Ranged skills. See Chapter 5: Magic for more detailed information.
Ranged magical attacks otherwise work like ranged attacks, except the caster cannot aim.
An attack bonus (such as from an advantageous situation or technique) increases your chance to hit your target either by increasing your attack roll or your defence DC. Attack penalties (such as from range or cover), meanwhile, do the opposite. Bonuses and penalties are written in the following format: +X/+Y. The number before the slash (X) is added to your initial roll against your opponent‚s Target score, while the number after the slash (Y) is added to the DC to defend against your attack. Most modifiers increase or decrease both ratings at the same time, but some (such as range penalties and scale) do not. For example, the Ranged Skill technique On the Exhale grants an attack bonus of +1/0, meaning that a +1 bonus is added to attack rolls, but there is no change to the DC to defend against. Conversely, the technique Shoot from the Hip imposes a -1/-1 penalty to attack, meaning that both attack rolls and defence DCs are decreased by 1 point.
Attacks with an area of effect can hit more than one target at a time. Attacks with an area of effect include explosives, flame-throwers, vials of acid that splash, and spells with the Explosive Spell , Cone Spell , or Line Spell metamagics applied.
Step One: Choose a square in range, and make an attack roll. The target area has a Target score the same as if it were your scale ƒ so, Target 4 for a human-sized (scale 0) creature.
Step Two: If you hit, everything (friend or foe unless otherwise specified) that is even partly in the target area is affected. If you miss, your attack still has to go somewhere. Roll a scatter die and 1d6 per range increment out to see how many squares (of your scale or the weapon‚s scale, whichever is larger) away it lands and in which direction.
Step Three: All viable targets (typically all creatures and objects) in the area are affected by the attack. If a target can defend against area attacks they may make an attempt. By default, shields may be used to block area attacks without penalty, and dodges can be used to reduce damage. A successful dodge without the Evasion technique reduces damage by 3 points. Non-damage-dealing effects cannot be dodged at all without Evasion.
Step Four: Resolve effects. Most often, this is some form of damage, in which you attempt to beat the target's toughness. Remember that you only roll one damage die and compare it to all targets' toughness.
Area attacks generally come in one of three forms „ lines, cones, or spheres. If the area doesn‚t specify, assume it is a sphere.
Spheres : have a diameter the length of one square across, so a scale 0 sphere has a diameter of 1m, and a scale 4 square has a diameter of 8m across. The illustration shows a scale 0, 1, and 2 sphere area overlayed over a scale 0 grid. The scale 0 sphere affects everything in one square, the scale 1 in a 2x2 area, and the scale 2 in a 4x4 area.
Lines: Lines are generally half a square across, and two squares long. The illustration shows scale 0, 1, and 1 lines on a scale 0 grid.
Cones: Cones are generally one square long, and one square wide at the end. The illustration shows cones of scale 0, 1, and 2.