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Vehicular Combat is Always an Option

A Chronicles of Darkness Strategy

By Neal LitherlandPublished 3 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read

There are certain sayings that have become associated with me over the years as a player. While my most infamous is, "It is always better to do the thing," perhaps the most infamous line most players and Game Masters associate with me is, "Vehicular combat is always an option!"

Whether it's running someone down with a lance from horseback, or hitting someone with a truck, vehicular combat is a potent weapon that is rather... underutilized by a lot of players.

And if you're in a Chronicles of Darkness game, vehicular combat can unlock a whole strategy that most players forget about entirely.

For other World/Chronicles of Darkness articles, check out my series Discussions of Darkness over on The Azukail Games Youtube channel, along with the following articles:

- 5 Tips For Running a Better World of Darkness Game

- 5 Tips For Running Better "Changeling: The Lost" Games

- 5 Films You Should Watch To Really "Get" Changeling: The Lost

- 5 Non-Vampire Movies You Should Watch Before Running a Vampire Game

Pedal To The Metal

When most of us think of combat in a Chronicles of Darkness game, we tend to think of Brawl, Weaponry, and Firearms, along with the magical powers of whatever particular type of supernatural character you're playing. Most characters will have at least a few dots in these categories because while not every character is a fighter, most players want their characters to be capable of participating if (or when) a fight happens.

And when it comes to forgotten skills, Drive is usually top of the list. After all, most characters can (within reason) just get behind the wheel and drive down the road from Point A to Point B as long as there's no inclement weather. Most games don't have much in the way of high-speed chases or high-stakes car races, so Drive tends to be an overlooked skill since it's rarely brought to bear on a game.

However, there are few things as devastating as being run over by a driver who knows what they're doing.

Or even one who doesn't quite know what they're doing...

Page 99 of the the Chronicles of Darkness lays out just how devastating being hit by a vehicle can be. In short, a Dexterity + Drive check is used for your attack (with the bonus dice from the vehicle added as bonus equipment dice), and the successes are added to the damage caused to the target. In addition to those successes, the target takes half the vehicle's size + 1/10 the vehicle's speed. When combined with the Stunt Driver merit on page 50, this puts a potent weapon in your hands... because even a howling werewolf or tooled-up vampire is going to have a moment of pause if they get hit by an SUV hard enough to take 20+ levels of bashing damage.

With that said, vehicles take time to get up to speed, and there's difficulties in maneuvering them, even if you have the necessary skills, stats, and merits to be a serious threat behind the wheel. Because of this, it's a good idea to have a gun in your free hand, or a friend riding shotgun, to help provide a little extra support while you're laying on the speed. Vehicles also take damage when used as battering rams, so it's important to make sure you've got enough durability to make it to the end of the fight.

Though it can be a little fiddly, it may be worth the time, energy, and effort just for the thrill of getting onto a motorcycle, grabbing a lance, and riding someone down like a heavy metal knight at a modern-day joust.

Like, Share, and Follow For More!

That's all for this week's Crunch topic! Don't forget to check out my full Vocal archive for more... or if you'd like to read some of my books, like my sci-fi dystopian thriller Old Soldiers, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, head over to My Amazon Author Page!

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About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.



Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary

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  • Emily Ashburne3 months ago

    I think a lot of DMs forget this. I don't recall ever having one try to mow down their players, even the ones that hated us. Guess I'm going to have to put a gattling gun mounted on a chariot pulled by a team of dire bears somewhere in a campaign. Or see if I can give my next DM a headache with this concept.

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