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Difficulty of face-to-face-rolls in Defence Reactions

How do you handle face-to-face-rolls when making an attack met with a Defence reaction?

RAW, the default difficulty of face-to-face-rolls is 0. But as attacks (at least in our games) are often made under circumstances that increase the base difficulty (e.g., outside optimal range or low visibility), defaulting to 0 would actually make it easier for the attacker to hit if reacted to, as he can now ignore those modificers and just has to overcome the defender’s momentum.

I have thus ruled that difficulty modifiers from range etc. still apply to face-to-face attack rolls, but I fear this helps the defender too much and I generally like games where offensive action is rewarded. I really would have liked more guidelines in the book how to handle this kind of situation, but maybe you can give me some advice.

I came to this forum with the same question.
What I do (until I know how it should work). I make two role’s. First the defender makes his/her 2D20 roll. And then I add their succes(es) to the Attackers Difficulty.

Thanks for chiming in, it’s eerily quiet here (and Modiphius doesn’t seem too eager to support rules questions here, either…).

I like your solution, but still fear it might make Defence reactions too strong. How does it work for your games? Do attackers still have a chance to hit their targets? I really would like to hear about your experience before trying it for my own group.

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I dont have lots of experience, tbh. I just started using the Infinity rules.
If an attacker shoots a victim that is aware and ducks, it should be more difficult to hit it.
You say you want to reward players that make a offencive choice. Thats cool!
In my game there is a lot of player vs player action, so I prefer a realistic and fair approach.

If the attacker wants a better chance to hit, it wil have to position it self better.

I can keep you up-todate on my experience with this if you like.

I found it. Its on page 31 of the Corebook

“If either side has some circumstance which would
make the test more challenging for them than
for their opponent, simply adjust the difficulty of
their check. (Remember that success is determined
by the total Momentum generated; not the total
number of successes rolled.)”


I read the rules as a ‘standard’ face-to-face test comprises of a difficulty of Simple (D0). This is essentially two opponents facing off with only their raw abilities as factors. So a 100m sprint will be Simple (D0) - that is flat ground, no obstacles (that would be the hurdles) and just comes down to Athletics vs Athletics.

With combat, things are a little more difficult. As the standard difficulty of an Attack test is Average (D1), both the attacker and the defender will roll against that difficulty unless factors change that (for example the defender has multispectrum visor and the attacker doesn’t, the attacker would have their Attack difficulty increased due to darkness but the defender wouldn’t - same goes for ‘detected’ only stealthy defenders and the like).
If both the attacker and defender succeed, compare the Momentum to see who’s successful.
If only the attacker succeeds then all their successes beyond the attack difficulty (this always counts no matter how bad the defence reaction was) count as Momentum.
If only the defender succeeds, then nothing happens except a frustrated attacker.

From experience, I can offer this advice: Trying to get a number of successes beyond 1 if not a PC or Nemesis NPC is really very tricky. For many NPCs it is best just to stick with the base difficulty for attacks against them rather than waste Heat on a test they’re unlikely to get more than 1 success with (the base difficulty of an attack).

Yes, it is eerily quiet. That’s because some of us are still waiting on the kickstarter…

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Which Kickstarter are you talking about?

Is there another Infinity RPG Kickstarter going on soon?

I have the same doubt, but I have a slight difference.
It seems to me that the Face-to-face tests are the correct roll to resolve the situation, but I don’t agree that the same difficulty applies to both the attacker and the defender.

I have the impression that hitting a combi rifle doesn’t have the same difficulty as dodging it.

For example, in other role-playing games such as Changeling (world of darkness, d10), although the combination of attributes and skills to dogde is the same (Dexterity + athleticism) in any physical attack, a special difficulty is established to dodge depending on the type of weapon:
Throwing weapons 6 (which is normal)
Bows: Dif 8
Firearms: 9
Automatic weapons: 10 (the higest difficulty)

While the attacker will shoot using the standard difficulty + modifiers of the use of the weapon.

Thus making the analogy with Infinity, I believe that the difficulty of the face-to-face tests doesn’t necessarily have to be the same for the attacker and the defender. This should be adjusted independently for each one, according to its own modifiers (positive or negative), something that as @kingkoos has shown, is perfectly possible according to the rules of face-to-face test.

The challenge then would be to generate a criterion for the difficulty of the dodge, since for the attack with weapons it is well regulated in the manual.

You could apply a +1 to the difficulty to dodge when de attack comes to firearms and maybe a +2 to automatic (burst) weapons. Doing this I think would benefit the attacker the most and would give a bit more realism to trying to dodge a throwing a stone or an arrow bow versus dodging a combi rifle or an HMG.

What do you think?

It actually isn’t. Depending on the individual circumstances, attacker and defender might face different base Difficulties for their respective tests.
An attacker who fires into a smoke filled area, might have D3 to hit with an attack, while a defender using a MSV2 has only D1 on the defense test.

As I understand, you want firearms to be more dangerous than bows, automatic weapons more dangerous than single-shot guns.

That is already modelled by the Burst stat of every weapon
If you shoot a bow, it has Burst 1 and rather low damage code.
If you shoot a Combi-Rifle, it has Burst of 2 and a higher damage code.
If you shoot a HMG, it has Burst 3 and an even higher damage code.

The Burst rating is, how to make dodging much more difficult. Firing several loads means rolling more d20s in your pool, generating more Momentum.
In a Face-to-Face test the generated Momentum of attack and defense is compared. Being able to generate lots of Momentum on an attack helps succeeding to hit your opponent, by making it harder to dodge your attack.
Having an Expert quality does add to the Momentum, making dodging your attack even harder.

So there is no need for setting different base difficulties for different classes of weapons to dodge their attacks in a Face-to-Face test. That is regulated by Burst rating and by Bonus Momentum, from Expert quality and other sources (like Surprise).

If the attacker does not use the Burst rating, so only firing single shots, then it does not matter if it is a bow, a handgun or a full auto-capable gun. That does not make it harder to dodge.

One could, and rightfully so, argue, that dodging ranged weapons is from a realistic point of view not possible at all. Even considering a bow, not a weak LARP bow or for sports archery, but a war bow, you will not dodge an arrow fired at close to medium distance. You wouldn’t be able to dodge any kind of firearm at all.

So you could make a case to drop the Dodge Reaction altogether from Infinity. That would make it VERY deadly, but a bit more realistic.

Though, Infinity uses Vigor stress for damage - how realistic is that? Not at all, of course.
Infinity uses external hit locations, but does not consider which internal organs were hit - how realistic is that? Not at all.

Infinity allows for dodging attacks by ranged weapons where under real world considerations no dodge would be physically possible.

Infinity is a very cinematic action-movie like setting. That means, realistic weapon usage and - even more important - an equally realistic wound ballistic model is not at all appropriate.

You get shot at by a squad of the Celestial Guard. All five are firing like hell at you. And you get not only a chance to dodge that barrage, as a player character you have a good chance to dogde that hail of projectiles and not even get a scratch. Because it is an action-movie.

This is, as I understand it, the intention of the Infinity rules. Action-movie shoot-outs, high-octane action scenes, big damn heroes pulling off stunts that are not at all possible using real world physics and physiology.

Changing this action-movie cinematic premise by introducing “realism” would make Infinity a very different game - and a very deadly one at that.
If you and your players want it that way, you can easily change the rules to your liking.
I do like the cinematic approach Infinity takes for action hero scenes.


To be fair, dodging fire from fireteams is extremely challenging unless you really stack the deck in your favour. They roll a lot of dice. Best case scenario you’ll get what? 7 successes? And that’s with max amount of extra dice, Expert systems, high skills…I would say that dodging isn’t that easy in that situation.

You have 2d20 as base, then buy +3d20 for 3 Momentum for a total of 5d20.
Each d20 comes up equal or below the Focus value, meaning 2 successes per die.
That makes 10 successes.
But as in such a face-to-face roll not successes are compared, only Momentum, you get for dodging at D1 a success with 9 Momentum, plus 1 Bonus Momentum for an Expert 1 weapon.

The chance to get this maximum result is rather slim.

But if you have an Elite fireteam leader supported by four Troopers, that would mean the leader gets to roll 2d20+4d20 (for the Troopers assisting) = 6d20. If the GM pays 3 Heat for +3d20, the attack would roll 9d20.

In the rarest of occasions such an attack might end with 18 Successes, so a success with 17 Momentum - plus eventually Bonus Momentum from an Expert system.

I believe you can have up to 5 Troopers supporting the Elite, actually, which only makes dodging attacks from full fireteams that much harder. Truth be told, defense reactions against groups are more damage mitigation than full evasion, particularly if the enemy is ready for an evasive character.

That is correct. The limit in Infinity is Elite plus 5 Troopers, in Conan it is Toughened plus 4 Minions.