Achtung! Cthulhu: The Secret War
Advanced Combat Academy
Due to the greater emphasis placed on shoot-em-up action, some extra rules and procedures are in place regarding combat procedure to provide greater realism and more tactical options.
These selected rules are taken from the Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity sourcebook.
Instead of rolling a die to determine the number of shots that hit, compare the attack roll to the attacker’s effective chance to hit (remember to add +5% to effective skill for each round fired beyond the first). Specifically, look at the “tens” digits.
Subtract the attack roll’s “tens” digit from the attack chance’s “tens” digit. (If the chance is greater than 100%, treat the hundreds and tens digits as a single number of 10 or greater). That’s how many of the shots hit.
This rule makes automatic fire less deadly than in the standard Call of Cthulhu rules; even with a sustained burst of 100 or more rounds a character with 99% skill can’t hit any single target with more than 20 bullets.
Example: Lt.-Cmdr. Riley has a Submachine Gun skill of 45% and fires a burst of 10 shots at a darting Nazi, giving him a 90% chance to hit. He rolls 28, hitting. To see how many of his bullets hit, he subtracts the “tens” digit of his attack roll (2, from 28%) from the “tens” digit of his chance to hit (9, from 90%): Seven of his bullets hit.
For a large target, add one extra bullet impact per 50 SIZ points over 150. This should be used in conjunction with the standard Big Targets rule that adds +5% chance to hit per 50 SIZ points over 150.
“It is always better to maim than to kill”—that is your Keeper’s maxim, and these rules help enforce it (and keep your characters alive to fight another day!).
When an investigator takes a wound for more than half of his or her total hit points the player can attempt a Luck roll. If the Luck roll fails, the character takes full damage as usual and suffers a disabling wound. If the Luck roll succeeds, the character takes half damage but still suffers a disabling wound.
With a disabling wound, the character suffers several side effects:
- The character must roll CON or be knocked unconscious.
- Until treated with First Aid, at the beginning of each round the character must make a CON roll. Each time the CON roll fails, the character loses one hit point. If the roll equals one-fifth of the character’s CON or less, the wound stabilizes and the character doesn’t need to keep rolling for hit point loss.
- The character receives a long-term effect from the Disabling Wounds table. The Keeper should choose an appropriate one or roll for a result.
- After the combat is over (and after waking up if knocked unconscious), the character loses 0/1D4 SAN.
|1–2||Leg wound (left): –20 STR, –4 Move|
|3–4||Leg wound (right): –20 STR, –4 Move|
|5–6||Leg wound (left): –10 STR, –10 DEX, –4 Move|
|7–8||Leg wound (right): –10 STR, –10 DEX, –4 Move|
|9–10||Arm wound (left): –30 STR|
|11–12||Arm wound (right): –30 STR|
|13||Arm wound (left): –20 STR, –20 DEX|
|14||Arm wound (right): –20 STR, –20 DEX|
|15||Abdomen wound: –20 STR, –20 CON|
|16–18||Chest wound: –30 CON|
|19||Head wound: –20 APP; –20% to Spot Hidden rolls and ranged attacks|
|20||Head wound: –20 INT; –20% to Listen rolls|
Recovery from a Disabling Wound
If the disabling wound inflicted more than half the victim’s total hit points even after being reduced to half normal damage, the penalties are permanent and the SAN loss is 1/1D6 instead of 0/1D4—the limb is blown off, paralyzed, or the character is otherwise mauled. Otherwise, if the victim is treated with a successful Medicine roll in a modern hospital within one hour of suffering the wound, the character eventually recovers.
All three of those factors must be present, however. If the Medicine roll fails, if the surgeon is not in a modern hospital, or if the surgery occurs more than one hour after the wound, the penalties are likewise permanent. There is a reason why so many soldiers and police officers are given medical discharges following injury in combat. The human body simply cannot completely heal major traumas.
If the effects are not permanent, the victim loses half the penalties after being treated with Medicine, and then loses the remaining penalties upon recovering to full hit points using the standard recovery rules.
When people start shooting, it’s always a good idea to find something to block the bullets. In this rules option, the degree of protection from cover depends on how much a character exposes himself or herself to fire back at attackers. Is the character shooting back normally, shooting back cautiously, or not shooting back at all?
If a character is behind cover and is firing back at attackers normally, all attacks against him or her are at half the normal chance to hit.
A character behind cover can also opt to fire back cautiously, making the most of the cover. In this case the character’s attacks are all at half the normal chance to hit, but all attacks against him or her are at 1/5 the normal chance to hit.
If a character doesn’t attack and just hunkers down on the other side of a barrier, the cover protects him or her no matter how well the attacker rolls.
|Stance||Modifier to Your Attacks||Modifier to Attacks Against You|
|Attacking normally||No modifier||1/2 chance|
|Attacking cautiously||1/2 chance||1/5 chance|
|Hiding||Not attacking||Can’t hit except through cover|
But is it bulletproof? There’s one major limitation to cover, and that’s its armor value. If the cover is flimsy enough that there’s a chance it might be breached by the attack’s damage, look to the attack roll. If the attack would have hit but for the target’s use of cover, then roll for damage and subtract the cover’s armor value. The target takes any damage that remains.
Getting to cover: If a character comes under attack while out in the open, he or she can attempt a Dodge roll to avoid the first shot and get behind cover. The cover has to be very near—about half the character’s usual movement rate is a good rule of thumb.
Cover or concealment? Cover is a barrier that blocks attacks. Concealment is any kind of obscurement that hides you. A sandbag is cover; smoke is concealment. Use the existing Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition rules if a character has concealment.
When bullets start flying it’s a natural instinct to find some kind of cover and stay there. Of course, characters in roleplaying games don’t often follow what we’d consider natural instincts.
Whenever an NPC comes under fire and takes damage—or would have taken damage if not for armor or cover protection—the Keeper will roll for a roll to resist suppression. The roll is against POW, subtracting 5% from the chance for each point of damage rolled from the attack that triggered the roll.
An NPC who has never been trained for combat or who has never been under fire rolls at half the normal chance.
If the roll fails, the character must use his or her next action to move to the nearest cover as quickly as possible. If there is no cover within one round’s movement, the character goes prone to try to avoid harm. After spending an action going prone or going to cover, the character can act normally again—until the next time he or she fails to resist suppression.
Player-characters who have military training do not have to roll to avoid suppressing effects. Non-player characters with 0 SAN may not roll, either (at the Keeper’s discretion).
Player-characters without military training may be called upon to try and resist suppressing fire, at the Keeper’s option.
An attacker can attempt a called shot with any weapon (or unarmed strike) to make a particularly effective attack. A called shot has 1/2 the normal chance to hit. If it fails, the attack misses. If it succeeds, it has one of the following effects—the attacker must choose before rolling.
- Impale, as if the attack roll was 1/5 the normal chance. (With an impaling weapon only.)
- Strike a sensitive area: The victim must roll CON or be stunned for 1D6 rounds.
- Choose a particular body part to hit—this is especially useful for hitting a target that is wearing armor or has cover—or some other effect that the Keeper agrees with.
If a target takes a called shot to a particular body part and opts to suffer a disabling wound instead of full hit point loss, the disabling wound applies to whatever body part was targeted; there’s no need to roll for its location.
If a called shot is combined with automatic fire, only the first shot is affected.
A called shot intended to stun or disable can be attempted on a non-human animal only with a successful Natural History or Biology roll. A called shot can be attempted on a supernatural monster only with a successful Cthulhu Mythos roll and the Keeper’s permission.
Using Two Weapons
It is possible to fight with a weapon in each hand, whether that be two pistols or a sword and dagger or some other combination.
Regardless, “dual-wielding” poses a significant challenge to accuracy. Both attacks suffer a penalty die. Furthermore, unless your DEX is 75 or higher, the attack with the off-hand weapon is at Hard (one-half) difficulty. (In the case of automatic pistols, this is in addition to the usual penalties for firing more than once in a round.)
One might mitigate these penalties with sufficient training. Your Keeper will inform you of your options once Pulp Cthulhu comes out…