- Turn order is determined by Speed. There is no roll, players or NPCs with higher speed go before those with lower speed.
- An attacker needs to make sure a weapon is ready. If he is not armed, he must take one turn to get a weapon ready.
- An attacker must consider the reach of his weapon. Typical weapons have a "reach" of 1 yard, but some are longer, and some are shorter. If an opponent is within a "step" (For most intents and purposes, 1 yard, unless you are incredibly fast, or are much smaller or larger than a human) of a character's reach, the character may attack an opponent. Otherwise they must spend the entire turn moving within range of the target defender. The distance one can move in a second is determined by the Speed secondary characteristic: a user can move Speed Yards/second.
- When a defender is in reach, and an attacker has a ready weapon, an attack is started by rolling against an attack skill. (For example, if a user is using a broadsword, he needs to succeed a roll for broadsword skill.) If he succeeds, the attack may potentially hit; if he fails, he missed, his turn is over, but he may end by taking a step if he hasn't already. If he rolls extremely well and gets a "critical hit" his attack has special properties according to a random lookup table, and the opponent does not get a chance to defend. If he rolls very poorly, and gets a "critical miss" he must roll against a critical miss table for an especially disastrous result.
- If the attack skill succeeded. The defender may choose an active defense. Typically, the best of the possible three is used, but he or she does have a few tactical reasons to consider otherwise (save a high defense for a stronger enemy, playing with more advanced rules that can allow some skill rolls or other options for defense bonuses) If the defender succeeds this roll, then he successfully dodged the hit, interposed a weapon between himself and his attacker, or blocked it with a shield, and the attack does no damage. Otherwise, the attack is a success, and the attacker rolls damage.
- The character rolls to discover how much damage he does using a formula figured out earlier, He subtracts the opponents DR from this roll if he has any, and the result is the damage. A wounding modifier is applied to the damage depending on what type of attack it is. Usually damage is multiplied by 1, but, especially important for melee attacks, a cutting attack does an extra 50% damage, and an impaling attack does an extra 100% damage.
- At this point, the defender can potentially experience shock and/or knockdown. Shock is a penalty up to -4 on all rolls, one for every HP of damage done by the attack, if any at all, that will last until the end of the opponents turn. Knockdown occurs if he lost more than half of his maximum hit points. He must roll against his HT to remain standing, or fall over, and are "stunned." Stunned means losing a turn. Recovering from stun requires rolling against HT; after each turn stunned, roll against HT to see if you may act next turn or remain stunned.
- At less than 1/3 max HP, a character has halved move and dodge from reeling. A character that is at 0 or negative HP needs to roll every turn against HT to stay conscious.
- When HP reaches -1xHP (Eg, if a character has Max HP of 12, then -12) you must roll immediately against HT to not die. Every time your total passes a negative multiple of HP, you must roll with a penalty to HT to stay alive equal to the amount of additional multiples (At -2xHP, you roll HT-1, at -3xHP, you roll HT-2) etc.
- If a character lives until -5xHP, (EG, if Max HP = 12, then -60) they immediately die.
- Turn-order is determined by initiative. Players roll initiative using the appropriate modifiers; monsters have a pre-determined initiative. Higher initiative goes before lower initiative.
- A character has enough time to get his weapon, it is always ready so this is not a concern. A character can move up to an enemy at a rate of "speed" feet in one turn. Speed is typically determined by a character's race and armor. If he can come adjacent to an enemy, he may attack.
- To attack the player rolls a D20 dice. To the number they rolled, they add proficiency if using a weapon they are proficient in, and the strength modifier. If this number is equal to or greater than the opponents Armor Class, a hit is registered, and damage is rolled.
- If the attack hit, a character rolls the damage dice determined by the weapon used, and adds the same modifiers that applied to the roll to hit (eg, the proficiency bonus if appropriate, and strength always.) The opponent loses this many hit points, unless they have a particular resistance or weakness to the type of damage being done, similar to the wounding modifier in GURPS.
- If an NPC monster reaches 0 hit points, it is defeated, if a player character reaches 0 hit points, the character falls into critical state, and must perform the procedure detailed in the previous post on defensive mechanics for stabilizing.
- Turn order is determined by "Notice" skill, and ties are broken by comparing "Athletics," and then "Physique" if there is still a tie.
- An "actively opposed conflict" occurs. An attacker will use the "Fight" skill to "Attack." The target will typically use the Fight skill to "Defend." The attacker rolls her dice and adds it to her fight skill; the defender does likewise. We subtract the defenders total from the attackers total. If it is a negative number or 0, through whatever measure of skill, the defender resisted all damage. If it is positive. The number is called a "shift"
- The defender dealt the shift chooses a stress track box or consequence box to place the shift into.
- If it is impossible to fit all the shifts into stress track boxes or consequence boxes, the actor is "taken out," and what that means is decided in narrative according to the objective of the attacker. This could be a non-lethal take-down or a grisly violent end or something entirely different even.
- Initiative has a very unique resolution mechanic. In Savage Worlds, every character and "mob" draws a card from a standard playing deck with 2 jokers. Order is determined by best card and suit. Jokers have the special advantage of going anytime they want, even interrupting someone's turn to begin, and get a +2 on all rolls.
- All players have a "Pace" of 6 meaning they can travel 6 inches per round. If they can move within range of an opponent, they may make a skill roll to attack.
- If attacking the player uses the dice determined by their "Fighting" skill and must roll at least the target's parry. Both of these concepts are explained in earlier articles. If a "raise," the equivalent of a critical hit in Savage Worlds, is scored, that is, rolling 4 over the parry, the damage gets a bonus 1d6 added. The player's get a "wild dice" for this roll that lets them roll two dice at once and choose the best result.
- The attacker now rolls again for damage which is based on the character's strength dice and the weapon's damage dice. These must score higher than the opponent's "toughness" to have a mechanical effect. Toughness is explained in a previous entry.
- If damage is less than toughness no mechanical effect occurs, If damage is greater than toughness the opponent is "shaken." Shaken opponents lose their next turn and can only spend it trying to snap out of it, similar to a "stunned" character in GURPS. If the attacker got a raise on top of doing enough damage, they inflict a wound as well, and an additional wound for each additional raise beyond the first. If attacking a shaken opponent already, each of these tiers inflict one additional wound.
- Trash enemies are defeated when they are inflicted with one wound. Important characters, called "Wild Cards," like the playable characters and major villains can sustain at minimum, three wounds. A wildcard has a penalty of -1 for each wound inflicted upon them. At three wounds, a player must roll to live and/or stay conscious. If they get a raise, they stay conscious; if they only succeed, they faint; if they fail, they are dying, and can only be saved by continuously rolling better than a 1, and someone performing first aid on them.
- All actors in a combat roll initiative based on DEX + INT, higher initiative means higher resistance to damage as well as earlier turns. Enemies and monsters have a predetermined initiative.
- Combat is abstracted into the player's front and back rows, and the enemy's front and back rows, and a melee fighter generally makes most sense in the front row. She may attack anyone in the front. If there are no enemies in the front row, the entire enemy back-row is pushed into the enemy front-row.
- To hit a target, the attacker must roll higher than her target's initiative using the formula specified by the weapon they chose. Typically two different dice. Otherwise, they miss.
- If the attacker does not miss, she rolls for damage. This formula is also determined specifically by the weapon used. If the enemy has armor, that number is subtracted from the damage they are dealt.
- An enemy is defeated at 0 or less hit points. A player faints at 0 or less hit points. An enemy or player dies if they accrue -condition damage. (EG, if a character has rolled a 10 for today's condition, and she is at -10 HP, she is dead. Monster's have predetermined condition.)