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Shadows over Baltimore

Other Combat Factors

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Armor and Called Shots

Other Combat Factors

Unless otherwise noted, the following rules apply to both ranged combat and melee attacks.



Two types of armor exist in Shadowrun: Ballistic and Impact. Armor is used with Body to make damage resistance

tests. The armor rating is reduced by the attack’s AP value. Good armor will protect a character from serious physical harm. If the modified DV of an attack causing Physical damage does not exceed the AP-modified armor rating, then the attack will cause Stun damage instead. Ballistic and Impact armor ratings are frequently noted as (B/I), with Ballistic armor to the left of the slash and Impact armor to the right.


Ballistic Armor

Ballistic armor protects against projectiles that deliver large amounts of kinetic energy to a small area in short amounts of time, such as bullets, bolts, and arrows.


Impact Armor

Impact armor protects against projectiles with lesser kinetic transfer: blunt projectile weapons, explosives, melee weapons, and stun ammunition. To a lesser extent, Impact also protects against falling, fire, laser weapons, electrical attacks, and Indirect Combat spells—apply half of the Impact armor rating (round up) to such damage, unless otherwise specifically noted.


Armor and Encumbrance

If a character is wearing more than one piece of armor at a time, only the highest value (for either Ballistic or Impact) applies. Note that some armor items, like helmets and shields, provide a modifier to the worn armor rating and so do not count as stacked armor. Too much armor, however, can slow a character down. If either of a  character’s armor ratings exceeds his Body x 2, apply a –1 modifier to Agility and Reaction for every 2 points (or fraction thereof ) that his Body is exceeded. Note that this may affect Initiative as well. If a character is wearing multiple armor items, add their ratings together before comparing to Body.


Called Shots

Characters may “call shots” in an attempt to increase the damage their weapons will do. Calling a shot means that the character is aiming at a vulnerable portion of a target, such as a person’s head, the tires or windows of a vehicle, and so on. The gamemaster decides if such a vulnerable spot is accessible. A character can only make a called shot with weapons that fire in single-shot, semi-automatic, and burst-fire modes. A character can aim and then call a shot

at the time of the attack. Calling the shot is a Free Action. When a shot is called, either of the following may occur, at the player’s choice and with the gamemaster’s agreement.

• Target an area not protected by armor. The attacking character receives a negative dice pool modifier equal to the target’s armor (better armor is more difficult to bypass). If the attack hits, the target’s armor is ignored for the damage resistance test; the target rolls only Body.

• Target a vital area in order to increase damage. The attacking character can choose to increase the DV of his attack

by +1 to +4, but receives an equivalent dice pool modifier to the attack. So a character that opts to increase his attack

by the maximum +4 DV suffers a –4 dice pool modifier on the attack.

• Knock something out of the target’s grasp. The attacking character receives a –4 dice pool modifier on the attack. If the modified Damage Value of the attack exceeds the target’s Strength, the target loses his grip on the object. The gamemaster determines whether or not the object is damaged and how far away it is knocked.

• The gamemaster may also allow other specific effects for called shots if he chooses. For example, you could use called shots to knock an opponent over a ledge, shoot out a tire, temporarily blind an opponent, etc.


If movement takes a character within one meter of an opponent, and the character attempts to pass by without

attacking the opponent, that opponent can spend a Free Action to take a free melee attack. This rule also applies to

characters who are attempting to move out of melee combat. If the opponent has a weapon ready, he uses his normal

melee weapon skill rating; otherwise, he uses Unarmed Combat skill. This attack follows all of the normal rules for

melee combat. If the character attempting to pass takes damage, he is intercepted and cannot continue his movement.



Characters who take damage may be knocked down by the attack. If a character takes a number of boxes of damage (Stun  r Physical) from a single attack that equal or exceed his Body, then the attack automatically knocks him down. Characters who take 10 or more boxes of damage in a single attack are always knocked down. Note that certain less-than-lethal weapons are specifically designed to knock a target down, including gel rounds

and shock weapons such as tasers and stun batons. Gel rounds reduce the Body of a character by 2 when comparing

it to the DV to determine knockdown. Shock weapons have their own effects.


Attacking to Knock Down (Melee Only)

An attacking character may intentionally intend to knock his opponent to the ground by bowling him over, sweeping his feet out from under him, pulling him off balance, or some similar maneuver. The attacker must declare his intention to perform a knockdown attack during the Declare Actions part of the Action Phase. The attacker makes a melee attack as normal. If he succeeds (he scores more hits than the defender), compare the attacker’s Strength + net hits to the defender’s Body. If the attacker’s total exceeds the defender’s Body, the attacker knocks the defender to the ground. This knockdown attack causes no damage.

The attacker chooses whether to follow the defender to the ground or stay on his feet—unless he glitches, in which case he falls as well. On a critical glitch, the attacker falls down while the defender stays standing.


Subduing (Melee Only)

Sometimes, characters will find it necessary to subdue an opponent without beating him into unconsciousness. To do so, the attacker must engage in subduing combat. To subdue a character, resolve melee combat normally. If the attacker successfully hits, compare his Strength + net hits to the defender’s Body. If the attacker’s total exceeds the defender’s Body, the attacker grapples and immobilizes the defender. This subduing attack causes no damage to the defender. To break out of the lock, the defender must take a Complex Action and succeed in a Strength + Unarmed Combat Test with a threshold equal to the net hits scored on the grappling test. Otherwise the defender remains

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