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Shadows over Baltimore

Combat Defense

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Defense Modifiers

Defending against attacks is not an easy task—bullets are faster than people. Various situational modifiers affect a

character’s ability to get out of the way of both ranged and melee attacks. These defense modifiers are listed on the Defense Modifiers Table.


Defender Unaware of Attack

If the defender is unaware of an incoming attack (he does not see the attacker, the attacker is behind him, or he is surprised), then no defense is possible. Treat the attack as a Success Test instead. This does not apply to defenders who are already engaged in combat.


Defender Wounded

Wound modifiers apply if the defender has taken damage.


Defender Has Defended Against Previous Attacks

If a character has defended against at least one other attack (melee or ranged) since his last action, apply a –1 cumulative modifier for each additional defense roll.


Defender Prone

Characters who are on the ground have a more difficult time getting out of the way and suffer a –2 dice pool modifier. This modifier does not apply to defending against ranged attacks unless the attacker is extremely close (5 meters or less).


Defender Running

Moving targets are harder to hit with ranged attacks, and give a character more maneuverability when dodging.

Defenders who are running receive a +2 dice pool bonus.


Defender in Melee Combat

A character dodging and weaving in melee combat with another opponent has a more difficult time dodging attackers coming from a distance. The defender suffers a –3 dice pool modifier against ranged attacks, regardless of how many characters he is in melee with.


Attacker Firing Burst or Shotgun

The more bullets or flechettes thrown at a character, the harder it is to avoid them. Defending characters

suffer a –2 dice pool modifier against wide bursts, –5 against long wide bursts, and –9 against f ull-auto wide bursts. Likewise, the defender suffers a –2 modifier if the attacker is using a shotgun set on medium spread, –4 against wide spread.


Attacker Using Area Attack Weapon

Dodging explosions is not as easy as it seems in the movies. Apply a –2 modifier when trying to defend against weapons like grenades, rockets, or missiles with a blast effect.


Full Defense

Characters who are expecting to be attacked can spend a Complex Action and go on full defense until their next Action Phase. Characters who choose this option focus all of their energy on dodging, weaving, ducking, and blocking incoming attacks. Characters on full defense may still walk or run, and in fact may be better off moving towards cover. Full defense can either be taken as a full dodge, full parry, or gymnastics dodge.


Full Dodge: Character on full defense may add their Dodge skill to their dice pool when defending against incoming

attacks. So a character on full defense against a ranged attack rolls Reaction + Dodge, whereas a character on full defense against a melee attack could roll Reaction + Dodge + Dodge, or Reaction + melee combat skill + Dodge. Full dodge may be used against both ranged and melee attacks.


Full Parry: Characters who go on full parry roll their Reaction + (melee combat skill x 2) against any and all melee

attacks made against them. Full parry may not be used against ranged attacks.


Gymnastics Dodge: Characters skilled in Gymnastics can spend their action flipping, rolling, cartwheeling, etc. out of danger, and may add Gymnastics skill to their dice pool against either ranged or melee attacks.


Full Defense as an Interrupt Action

A character may invoke full defense against an attack at any point in a Combat Turn, so long as the character is not surprised. This means a character does not necessarily need to declare a full defense and take a Complex Action in

advance—he can instead declare a full defense when attacked, even if it is not yet his Action Phase in the turn. Going on full defense as an interrupt, however, uses up the character’s next available action.

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