April 2, 2021 rules guns violence


Been tooling about with a fast, nasty system for violence resolution and then I stumbled on this

Update 11/10/2021 - as a number of people have asked - please feel free to use Violence in your own creations - I only ask you credit me for Violence, and don’t make anything hateful._

Update 14/05/2021 - added a better system for dis/advantage cribbed from Shadow of the Demon Lord. Added non-combat resolution. Melee is not unified under the dis/advantage system to leave it shockingly nasty and feeling like a different thing entirely. Part of me doesn’t like having non-violence be so similar to violence as a mechanic element. They should feel different. If it is is not obvious, games using this system should not principally be about doing combat. The parameters below should exert more of a negative influence - serious and likely consequences, hopefully mapping to something like real life.

Update 11/05/2021 - added Initiative and Suppression. I might sub out initiative for Troika style chitpull for maximum chaos - but that makes getting domed sting even worse. It’s a lot slower than d6 side-based but when so much can happen per-turn that seems like the right way to do it. Changed Shooting - being in Cover or on the move is now the assumption - stolen from Nights Black Agents lol. Tightened up the melee bands - realised it was too brutal probably. That said, knife fights really do fucking suck.


Roll a d20 for each individual or group* involved in the combat. Write these down and resolve, highest first.

Do this at the beginning of each round.

*Groups can be used for larger scale actions involving, for example, 3-4 bands per side” of a conflict.


To shoot someone, roll 16+ on a d20.
If they are not in cover or moving, roll with Advantage.
If firing multiple shots, add +1 per additional shot. If successful, roll for how many shots find their mark. Resolve each bullet individually.

If someone is shot, roll a d20.

  • Add +2 to the roll for each Injury they have.
  • Pistol-calibres add +2 to this roll.
  • Rifles-calibres add +4 to this roll.
  • Shotguns add +5 at close ranges and +2 at medium.

If the result is 10 or more, they go Down. Otherwise, they are Injured.


Both combatants roll a d12 and add relevant modifiers.

  • If the difference between them is 1 or less, both are Injured and go Down.
  • If the difference is 2-3, the high-scored is Injured. The low-scorer is Injured and goes Down.
  • Is the difference is 4+, the low-scored is Injured and goes Down.

A sword would add +3. A bayonet would add +2. Training would add up to +2.


After the violence is concluded, roll a d20 for each person Down. Add +2 for each Injury. On a 10+, they are dead. Otherwise, they are Critically Injured and will die without medical attention.

Rolling with Dis/Advantage

When making a d20 roll, keep a track of all factors which afford a Disadvantage or Advantage. These factors should be easy to spot in natural language, but might also be called out in the text below.
Advantages and Disadvantages cancel each other out. Once all factors are considered, follow one of the procedures below:

  • if all Advantages and Disadvantages cancel one another out, roll 1d20 normally.
  • if there are remaining Advantages, roll 1d20 and a number of d6s equal to the number of remaining Advantages. Add the highest rolled value of d6s to the d20 roll.
  • If there are remaining Disadvantages, roll 1d20 and number of d6s equal to number of remaining Disadvantages. Subtract the highest rolled value of d6s to the d20 roll.

Sources of Dis/Advantages include things such as position, training, traits, equipment, weapons, assistance, elevation, weather, light levels, blessings, curses, illness, psionic destabilisation or injuries.

Edge Cases


Resolve as Shooting against all in the blast radius.

  • Those in the kill-zone add +8 to the roll and receive 1d6 Injuries.
  • Those in the shrapnel-zone add +4 to the roll and receive 1d6-2 Injuries.
  • Those in the tertiary-zone roll normally.


When firing to suppress, no roll is required.
When a suppressed target attempts to take an action which could expose them, roll 1d6. If the number rolled is equal to or less than the number of people firing to suppress, the target is shot. The number rolled is how many individuals hit - resolve each separately, determining randomly who hits.

If Suppression is at hidden or obscured targets, it only has half effect (e.g. 2 people would have to fire to have a 1-in-6 chance of shooting individuals as they take action.)

Firing to suppress uses half the ammunition in a weapon. Weapons without magazines or similar cannot be used to suppress. If a shooter doubles their ammunition expenditure, they count as 2 people firing.

Machine-guns and the like use only 1/10th of their ammunition to suppress.

basically keep it fast and put the drama on getting hit rather than the damage is the goal here, without skimping on that part. for a wargamier feel i’d just have Down as dead no fuss no muss but this is already a hard sell for most

Not Violence

When discussion and common sense is insufficient to resolve an issue, roll 1d20 and try and score over a Difficulty Value. This DV is set by the Referee and stated publicly - they should be able to justify this, excluding any hidden difficulties unbeknownst to the characters.
This roll is subject to Dis/Advantages.

Hacks of Violence

Things others have done using Violence:

Colonial Philippines by Nico Santagoy
Laid out & combined version of The Country, written by me and laid out by Roz

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