Personal Combat


Combat is usually resolved using structured time divided into Rounds, Turns, and Actions. Each character, including Non-Player Characters, takes one Turn each Round. The order in which Turns are resolved depends on Initiative Order.

When a new combat begins, follow these steps to determine what happens.

Step One: Surprise
At the beginning of a combat, the GM determines if any characters are Surprised. This can only happen once at the beginning of a combat, and there will be many combats where nobody is Surprised. A Surprised character loses his Turn on the fi rst Round of combat because he has been caught unawares by his enemies and may take no actions. If no one is Surprised, move immediately to Step Two.
Step Two: Roll Initiative
At the start of the first Round, each character rolls for Initiative. Each character rolls 1d10 and adds his Agility Bonus (the tens digit of his Agility Characteristic). The result of the roll applies for all successive Rounds in the combat.
Step Three: Determine Initiative Order
The GM ranks all the Initiative rolls, including those of the NPCs, from highest to lowest. This is the order in which the characters take their Turns during each Round of combat.
Step Four: Combatants Take Turns
Starting with the character at the top of the Initiative Order, each character takes a Turn. The character currently taking his Turn is known as the Active Character. During his Turn, the Active Character can perform one or more Actions. Once his Actions have been resolved, the next character in the Initiative Order becomes the Active Character and takes his Turn, and so forth. A combat Round is roughly 5 seconds long.
Step Five: Round Ends
Once each character has taken a Turn, the Round is over. Any lingering effects that specify a duration of “until the end of “the Round” now end.
Step Six: Repeat Steps Four and Five as Needed
Play successive Rounds until the combat is complete.

During each normal Round, every character gets a Turn to act. On his Turn, a character can take one or more actions.

Types of Actions
Every Action is categorized into one of the following types.

Full Actions: A Full Action requires a character’s complete attention to accomplish. A character can take one Full Action on his Turn instead of taking any Half Actions.
Half Actions: A Half Action is fairly simple; it requires some effort or concentration, but not so much that it consumes a character’s entire Turn. A character can take two different Half Actions on his Turn instead of taking one Full Action. A character cannot take the same Half Action twice in the same Turn.
Reactions: A Reaction is a special Action made in response to some event, such as an attack. A character receives one Reaction each Round. Unlike the other types of actions, a character usually performs a Reaction when it is not his Turn.
Free Actions: A Free Action takes only a moment and requires no real effort by the character. Free Actions may be performed in addition to any other Actions on a character’s Turn, and there is no formal limit to the number of Free Actions one character can take. The GM should use common sense to set reasonable limits on what can be done in a few seconds.

Action Subtypes
In addition to its type, every Action is also categorized into one or more subtypes. Action subtypes don’t do anything in and of themselves, but they are used to clarify what a character is and is not allowed to do in a variety of special circumstances. For example, a character who is Immobilized cannot perform any Actions with the Movement subtype.

Using Actions
During his Turn, a character may perform one Full Action or two different Half Actions. A character could, for example, make an All Out Attack (Full Action) or Aim and make a Standard Attack (two Half Actions).

There are several attack Actions in ROGUE TRADER, from the All Out Attack to Full Auto Burst to the straightforward Standard Attack; regardless of which is used, the process of infl icting harm upon on an opponent is resolved the same way. Follow these steps to resolve attacks in combat.

Step One: Determine if the Attack is Possible
Melee attacks require the attacker to be engaged in melee with his target. Ranged attacks cannot be made if the attacker is engaged in melee unless he is fi ring a pistol class weapon. In either case, the attacker must be aware of his target.
Step Two: Test
A melee attack requires a successful Weapon Skill Test. A ranged attack requires a successful Ballistic Skill Test. As with other Tests, if the dice roll is equal to or less than the Skill being tested, the attack hits the target.
To determine the location of a hit on an opponent, switch the attacking dice around, so 42 becomes 24 and 69 becomes 96. Look up the new value in the chart.

Right Arm
Left Arm
Right Leg
Left Leg

Step Three: Determine Damage
If an attack hits, it damages its target. Each weapon has a Damage listing, which usually involves a die roll, plus or minus some number. Roll the appropriate die, add any relevant modifiers, and if the attack was a melee attack, add the attacker’s Strength Bonus. The result is the total Damage applied to the target. If any die rolled for Damage results in a natural “10,” there is a chance of Righteous Fury.

Righteous Fury
When rolling Damage after a successful attack, if any die roll results in a natural “10,” there is a chance the Emperor’s favour is with the attacker. (This includes a result of “10” when rolling 1d5 for Damage.) This result calls for a second attack roll that is identical, all modifi ers included, to the original attack. If that second attack hits, the attacker may roll an additional die for Damage and add it to the Damage total.
If the additional Damage roll also results in a natural “10,” the Emperor has indeed smiled upon the attacker and the attacker may roll another die for Damage and add it to the Damage total. This process continues until a number other than “10” is rolled on the Damage die. Normally, only Player Characters gain the benefitts of Righteous Fury. The Game Master may, at his discretion, allow important NPC’s and villains to gain the benefitts of Righteous Fury as well.

Step Four: Apply Damage
From the Damage total, the target of the attack subtracts his Toughness Bonus and his Armour Points (modified by Penetration—see below). If this reduces the Damage total to zero or less, the attack is shrugged off with no ill effect. Otherwise, any remaining Damage is applied to the target. If the target’s Damage exceeds his Wounds, he is killed.
Penetration: All weapons have a Penetration rating, reflecting how good the weapon is at going through armour. When a shot or blow from this weapon hits a target, reduce the target’s Armour Points by the weapon’s Penetration, with results of less than 0 counting as 0 (i.e., the armour provides no protection at all). Then, work out Damage as normal.

Combat Actions

Several combat actions modify standard combat rolls giving advantages and disadvantages to players and npc’s. Specifics for each action can be found in the Rogue Trader book starting on page 237.

+10 to next attack per half action
All Out Attack
+20 WS, cannot Dodge or Parry
Brace Heavy Weapon
Prepare to fire a heavy weapon
Called Shot
Attack a specific location, -20 to WS or BS
Must move 4 meters, +10 WS
Defensive Stance
Gain a reaction, -20 to WS
Take a half action before next turn
Break off from melee and move
Test dodge to negate a hit
On opposed WS Test win, opponent can’t dodge/parry next attack
Full Auto Burst
+20 to BS, additional hit per DoS
Affect a grappled opponent or escape from a grapple
Guarded Attack
-10 WS, +10 to Parry and Dodge
Jump or Leap
Jump vertically or leap horizontally
Opposed S test to knock opponent prone
Opposed WS test, on win, move enemy 1 meter
Move your move per half action
Multiple Attacks
Attack more than once – requires multiple weapons or talents
Shoot targets coming into a kill zone, -20 to BS
Test WS to negate hit a melee hit
Ready a weapon or item for use
Reload a ranged weapon
Move triple, attacks against you -20 BS, +20 WS
Semi-Auto Burst
+10 to BS, additional hit per two degrees of success
Stand up or mount a riding animal
Standard Attack
Make one melee or ranged attack
Attempt to stun with Hard WS test and test S vs T +armor
Suppressing Fire
Force opponents to take Pinning test or become pinned
Tactical Advance
Move characters move from cover to cover with benefit of cover

Combat Modifiers

Range, size of target, and surprise are a few of the modifiers to attacks in combat. For each size category greater than the attacker, the BS difficulty is one less; each smaller size, one greater difficulty. For each additional friendly in melee, the difficulty decreases by one.

These changes to difficulty are cumulative with a maximum penalty or bonus of six degrees (+/- 60).

Easy (30%)
Attacking a Surprised or Unaware target
Shooting a massive target
Shooting at Point Blank Range (<3>1 meter)
Routine (
Melee attack against foe outnumber 3 to 1
Attacking a Stunned opponent
Shooting an enormous target
Ordinary (10%)
Melee attack against foe outnumber 2 to 1
Melee attack against a prone opponent
Attacking from higher ground
Shooting a Hulking target
Shooting a target at Short Range (half the weapon’s range)
Challenging (
A Standard Attack
Difficult (-10%)
Any test whilst Fatigued
Attacking or dodging whilst in the mud or heavy rain
Shooting a target at Long Range (twice the weapon’s range)
Shooting a Prone target
Shooting a Scrawny target
Hard (-20%)
Shooting into melee combat
Dodging whilst Prone
Making an unarmed attack against an armed opponent
Melee attacks in darkness
Shooting at a target in fog, mist, shadow, or smoke
Shooting a Puny target
Using a weapon with the correct Talent
Very Hard (-30%)
Attacking or dodging in deep snow
Firing a heavy weapon that has not been braced
Shooting a miniscule target
Shooting a target at extreme range (three times weapon’s range)
Shooting at a completely concealed target
Shooting at a target in darkness

Fatigue is gained from exertion or some attacks and effects. Taken from the Rogue Trader book, page 251:
“A character can take a number of levels of Fatigue equal to his Toughness Bonus and still function, albeit with some side-effects. Should a character take a number of levels of Fatigue in excess of his Toughness Bonus, he collapses, unconscious for 10-TB minutes; after the character awakens, his levels of Fatigue revert to a number equal to his Toughness Bonus.”

Personal Combat

The Murder of Crows Skampaw