It has been awhile since I've published the official lore books and I still see a lot of players rolling for their own combat system. Here is how you are supposed to roll for combat according to our lore books:
Combat Summary ChartStage One: Initiative
• Roll initiative (/roll (i)nitiative). Everyone declares their actions. The character with the highest initiative PERFORMS her action first and the character with the lowest initiative DECLARES his action first. Actions can be delayed to any time later in the order of initiative.
• Declare any multiple actions, reducing dice pools accordingly. Declare Discipline, Gift, Sphere, Lore, Rage, Blood Point activation and Willpower expenditure.Stage Two: Attack
• For unarmed close-combat attacks, roll Dexterity + Brawl.
• For armed close-combat attacks, roll Dexterity + Melee.
• For ranged combat, roll Dexterity + Firearms (guns) or Dexterity + Athletics (thrown weapons).
• A character can abort to a defensive action (block, dodge, parry) at any time before her action is performed, as long as you make a successful Willpower roll (or a Willpower point is spent).Stage Three: Resolution
• Determine total damage effect (weapon type or maneuver), adding any extra dice gained from successes on the attack roll.
• Targets may attempt to soak damage, if possible.
STAGE ONE: Initiative
Once combat begins, each player rolls initiative (/roll (i)nitiative) for his or her character. To do this, roll one die and then add it to your character’s initiative rating (Dexterity + Wits). The character with the highest initiative acts first, the second-highest goes next, and so on down the line.
Ties are resolved by using the highest initiative rating; if those are tied too, you could decide this tie in favor of the character with the highest Wits or Dexterity (highest rating wins). In story terms, both characters act simultaneously, and the effects of their actions hit home at the same time.
Technically, you can roll a new initiative each turn. To speed things along, though, you might decide to simply have everyone roll one initiative for that particular combat session and then stick with it for the rest of the scene. The Storyteller must decide which option applies before the action starts. Don’t try to use both options within the same scene — it’ll get messy.
Although you declare your character’s action now(including stating that your character delays her action to see what someone else does), you wait until the attack stage to implement that action. At this time, you must also state if any multiple actions will be performed, if Disciplines will be activated, and/or if Willpower points will be spent. Characters declare in reverse order of initiative, thus giving faster characters the opportunity to react to slower characters’ actions.STAGE TWO: Attack
Now, each player declares what his or her character is doing this turn. Characters with the highest initiatives act first, but their players declare their actions last so that they can anticipate and react to what the slower characters do. If you’re choosing to spend Rage this turn, this stage is the time to declare that you’re doing so.
From the highest initiative down, each player makes the necessary rolls to reflect the character ctivities. As the dice decide the results, the players describe the dramatic effects.
Most attacks are made versus difficulty 6. This can be adjusted for situational modifiers (long range, cramped quarters), but the default attack roll is versus 6. If you get no successes, the character fails her attack and inflicts no damage. If you botch, not only does the attack fail, but something nasty happens: The weapon jams or explodes, the blade breaks, an ally is hit, and so on. Rolling at difficulty 2 needs an administrator or a race moderator's permission.Aborting Actions
You can abandon your character’s declared action in favor of a defensive action as long as your character hasn’t acted in the turn. Actions that can take the place of a previously declared action include block, dodge, and parry. A successful Willpower roll versus difficulty 6 (or the expenditure of a Willpower point) is required for a character to abort an action and perform a defensive one instead. When spending Willpower for an abort maneuver, a character may declare the Willpower expenditure at the time of the abort. A Willpower roll to abort is considered a reflexive action and therefore it is allowed to be used even if the player didn't declare Willpower expenditure in the first stage of the fight.Changing Actions
Once you declare an action, that action is usually set. However, under drastic circumstances (a grenade tossed at a character’s feet, an ally in mortal danger, etc.), you may change your character’s declared activity. In such cases, add one to the difficulty of that new task, as your character reacts to meet the new challenge. You cannot abort to multiple actions.STAGE THREE: Resolution
During this stage, you determine the damage inflicted by your character’s attack, and the Storyteller describes what occurs in the turn.
Normally, additional successes gained on a Trait roll simply mean that you do exceptionally well. In combat, each extra success you get on an attack roll equals an additional die you add automatically to your damage dice pool. This creates cinematic and often fatal combat.
All attacks have specific damage ratings, indicating the number of dice to roll for the attack’s damage (called the damage dice pool). Some damage dice pools are based on the attacker’s Strength, while others are based on the weapon used. Damage dice rolls are made versus difficulty 6. Each success on the damage roll inflicts one health level of damage on the target. However, the damage applied may be bashing, lethal and aggravated.
Damage dice pools can never be reduced to lower than one die; any attack that strikes its target has at least a small chance of inflicting damage before a soak roll is made. Moreover, damage effect rolls cannot botch; a botched roll simply means the attack glances harmlessly off the target.
Combat turns typically last about three seconds IC time.
Characters can resist a certain degree of physical punishment; this is called soaking damage. Your character’s soak dice pool is equal to her Stamina. A normal human can soak only bashing damage (this reflects the body’s natural resilience to such attacks). Vampires and Werewolves are tougher, and can thus use soak dice against Lethal damage at difficulty 6 while as a house rule Humans can soak Lethal damage at difficulty 8. For Vampires, Aggravated damage may be soaked only with the Discipline of Fortitude while for Werewolves Aggravated damage can be soaked in any form except their breed form. Fortitude also adds to the defender’s soak rating (When activated) against bashing or lethal damage (so a character with Stamina 3 and Fortitude 2 has five soak dice against bashing and lethal damage, but only two soak dice against aggravated damage). Silver damage cannot be soaked in any form except the breed form, and metis Garou can’t soak it at all.Armor
Armor adds to your character’s soak. The armor’s rating combines with your base soak for purposes of educing damage. Light armor offers a small amount of protection, but doesn’t greatly hinder mobility. Heavy armor provides a lot of protection, but can restrict flexibility.
Armor protects against bashing, lethal, and aggravated damage from teeth and claws; it does not protect against fire or sunlight. Armor is not indestructible. If the damage rolled in a single attack equals twice the armor’s rating, the armor is destroyed.Multiple Actions
If you declare multiple actions, declare the total number of actions you wish to attempt and determine which of the dice pools is the smallest. Then, divide that number of dice between all of your actions. If a character performs only defensive actions in a turn, use the appropriate block (Dexterity + Brawl), dodge (Dexterity + Dodge), or parry (Dexterity + Melee) system. Note that blocking, dodging and parrying ARE NOT CONSIDERED REFLEXIVE ACTIONS and if you want your character to attack and defend in the same turn you need to split your dice pool. As a house rule dodging cannot be performed by rolling the Athletics Ability, there is a specific Ability for that for a reason.Movement
Characters may choose to walk, jog, or run. If walking, a character moves at seven yards/ meters per turn. If jogging, a character moves at (12 + Dexterity) yards/meters per turn. If all-out running, a character moves at (20 + [3 x Dexterity]) yards/meters per turn.Flank or Rear Attacks
By attacking an opponent’s flank, an attacker reduces his difficulty by -1; by attacking from the rear, he reduces it by -2.Reflexive Actions
These activities don’t cost you dice from your dice pool, and may be done more or less instantly. Defensive actions such as dodging, blocking or parrying ARE NOT CONSIDERED REFLEXIVE ACTIONS.
The character chooses to hold off until someone else acts first. If she had initiative, she can move at any other point within that turn. If the turn ends, she loses that action. If everyone yields, the action turn is over.
Withstanding the damage from an attack. You are allowed to soak separately (At full dice pool) each successful hit struck on your character.
• Spending Rage:
Fera and Abominations can spend Rage at any point of the turn, within a few limitations.
Werewolves heal their injuries with terrifying speed. Regenerating damage when engaged in a stressful or physically intensive activity (like combat) is harder for a werewolf. The player must roll the Garou’s Stamina (difficulty 8) each turn. Vampires need to roll Stamina + Survival (difficulty 8) to heal reflexively by spending Blood Points.
• Reverting to Breed Form:
A Garou/Fera can revert instantly to his breed form. Homid Garou assume human form, lupus become wolves, and metis return to the frightening Crinos shape. Either way, no roll is required.
• Reflexive Powers:
Some Disciplines, Gifts, Rotes, etc. are considered reflexive supernatural powers.
• Special Rolls:
Humanity rolls, Frenzy rolls, Arete rolls (Note that rolling Arete for Magick isn't considered a reflexive action), etc.
• Spending Blood Point:
Spending Blood Points to increase attributes. (Vampires, Hybrids and some Fera)
In most cases, the only prerequisite for performing a reflexive action is that the character be conscious (or otherwise capable of choosing to take the action, in the case of dream sequences or other deviations from consciousness that still allow choice) in order to choose to do so. Unless otherwise specified, a character may perform any number of reflexive actions, and they don’t get in the way of anything else she may want to do in a turn. Charts
"Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition" published by White Wolf
"Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition" published by Onyx Path Publishing