So long as the defender is conscious of the impending attack, attacks are treated as opposed rolls. Defenders determine the Target Number by rolling their Dexterity. This represents their attempt to dodge the attack.

The Attacker then rolls the Attribute that corresponds to the weapon they are using (see Weapons), adding any bonuses from their Skills and Weapon. The modified Attribute cannot be above a 9. If the weapon bonus (and weapon bonus alone) would bring the number above 9, then any points in excess of 9 will carry over to damage.

Example: In the pit, Julie runs afoul of a giant root monster. She uses her trusty lead pipe to give it a thwackin’. The monster has Dexterity of 3 and rolls a 3. Since a dead on roll equals a 1, Julie Target number for her attack will be reduced by 1.

Her Strength is 4, she has a Swing Skill (+2), and her lead pipe gives her a bonus of 1. She must then subtract the monster’s Dexterity roll: 4+2+1-1=6. So, Julie Target Number is 6.

Damage is determined by subtracting the attacker’s Attribute number from the number rolled (if the attack roll is equal to the attacker’s Attribute level, it counts as 1). The attacker then adds any remainder from their modified Attribute roll over 9, and divides by two (rounding up). The resulting number is the amount of damage inflicted, or Fate Points (see Damage and Death).

Example: Julie rolls a 4; her Target Number (6) minus her roll equals 2. 2 divided by 2 is 1, so the monster loses 1 Fate Point.

But the encounter is not finished. The defender then has the chance to reduce the severity of the attack. They attempt to roll equal to or under their Strength. If they succeed, the number they succeed by is divided by 3, rounded up. The resulting number is the amount of damage that is negated.

Example: The root monster has a Strength of 7 and rolls a 2. (7-2)÷3=1.67 (rounded up to 2). The monster is therefore strong enough to negate the entirety of Julie’s successful attack of 1.

A target who is not aware of the attack (their back is turned, they’re blind) or is unconscious cannot defend themselves, and therefore the Target Number for their attacker is their Attribute plus any modifiers. The defender is still able to roll Strength to reduce the amount of damage sustained.

Trying to hit a specific part of an enemy (the head, the leg) or cause a specific effect (disarm, knock out, blind) will reduce the Target Number of the attack.

Partial list of specific attacks:

Disarm (large weapon)-1
Hit the chest -1
Hit the brain/heart (melee)-1
Disarm (small weapon)-2
Cripple limb -2
Knock unconscious -2
Hit the brain/heart (ranged)-3
Blind -3

Rolls of 1 during combat are Critical Success, resulting in an additional benefit for the attacker, while a roll of 10 is a Critical Failure, resulting in an added negative effect.

Examples: The root brings one of its ropey appendages down toward Julie’s head. It rolls a 10 on its attack. Not only does it miss her, it gets its limb stuck on a stalagmite and won’t be able to use it in the upcoming round.

Julie then strikes again with her pipe. She rolls a 1. Not only does she hit, but dazes the creature so that it won’t be able to attack or even free its limb on the next round.

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