Combat in a few words

Translated by Alain Coubart

There are two things to keep in mind about the principle of combat in Loss: the first one is that most of the opponents will be “henchmen” (see below). The second thing to keep in mind is that combat is the realm of 15 to reach when adding trait+talant+d10 and of the exploits to obtain spacial effects. Except in some cases, like that of ranged combat, hitting an opponent always has a difficulty of 15 and it rarely changes.

The method to solve a combat action is simple: the attacker rolls a test of trait+talent+d10, diff. 15. If he succeeds, the defender has a choice, if it is possible, to parry or dodge with another test with also a difficulty of 15. except if the attacker has tried one or more Exploits. The defender only has to reach 15 in his test to successfully parry or dodge an attack. Of course, the defender may then declare one or more exploits to obtain spacial effects, or cumulate Free Augmentation tokens for his future actions. If the attacker succeeds and the defender fails, the damage resolution phase takes place. They will always equal 1d10+weapon damage+other possible damage bonus, but the Exploits of the attacker may increase the amount of d10s to roll, for example.


They are guards, minions, low level gangsters, basic soldiers. A henchman has no archetype, and therefore, none of the Free Augmentations it may provide. He only has a few talents and weapon and armor scores. His traits are usually the same as his virtues.

Henchmen drop like flies. They can be dangerous as a group, but as individuals, they are not durable:

When player-characters fight henchmen, the latter can be beaten without rolling for damage: as soon as the player-character tries an Exploit (that is: reach 20) and hits the henchman, the latter is regarded as incapacitated or dead. Plus, henchmen only have 10 levels of health, and their rolling maluses are not calculated. In any case, inflicting 10 levels of health to a henchman is sufficient to beat him.

A character can only down one henchman at a time, except when she succeeds with multiple attack exploits.

Two examples of henchmen:

Low level gangster (lower henchman): melee 6, dodge 4, shooting 5, 10 HP, armor 6, sabre: dmg +5, speed 3. small pistol: dmg +5, speed 10

Ordinatori (higher henchman) : melee 6, dodge 5, shooting 6 (speciality: rifle), 10 HP, armor 7, short sword: dmg +4, speed 3. rifle: dmg +7, speed 10

Progress of a combat turn

This is what happens during a combat turn:

statement of the actions

the game master will present the situation and ask each player what she intends to do. Of course, he will also declare, or describe what the opponents who are facing the player-characters seem to be willing to do.

detemining initiative

Each one who takes part in the combat rolls 1d10+initiative. The initiative d10 never explodes.

The highest result designates the first one who will act, and how the game master will count the action phases for the combat turn, by counting down. An initiative table will be provided in the role-playing game.


Each action costs action points. Those points are removed to determine when the next action the player will attempt will take place.

Here is a non comprehensive list of the possible actions in combat and their cost in action points:

  • parry or dodge: 1
  • hand-to-hand attack: 2
  • attack with a weapon : depending on the speed of the weapon, usually between 2 and 7
  • move: 2
  • pick up an object on the ground: 2
  • get up or regain one’s balance: 4
  • complex action in combat (most of the combat exploits): 2

The turn ends when nobody has action points remaining, which means they can take no more actions.

Note: a character who has to parry or dodge before his first action uses as many action points as the times he has to parry or dodge. This cost has to be paid even if the parry or dodge fails. So a character may not be able to take any other action in his turn if he has used up all his action points in the process.

Types of combat and modifiers

The combat mechanics in the Songs of Loss always follow the pattern described above, but depending on the type of combat, modifiers change the possibilities and constraints the characters have. They are explained in detail in the game rules at

Exploits in combat

They are explained in detail at Given their number and the variery of possibilities, we advise you to read or download the combat rules.

Parrying and dodging

To parry an attack, one needs to wield either a weapon or a shield. Blocking some weapons is possible with bare hands, but it is a specific case of hazardous Exploit.

To dodge, seeing the attack is sufficient. Which means that all the attacks may be dodged in the Songs of Loss, even bullets. There are only two rules to apply: the attack or the attacker has to be seen, and an explosion cannot be dodged, if one is within the radius of the blast, it is impossible to evade.

Shields and armors

When a parry or a dodge are successful, no damage is taken. If one wears a shield, it may also provide a bonus to parry, or reduce the damage even if the parry is failed.

Armors in the Songs of Loss start with thick and strong fabric. So a good coat or a leather jacket, or even a silk shirt provide a little protection. There is no damage localization, so the extent to which an armor covers the body has an influence on the protection it provides.

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