[Let’s Study Degenesis: Rebirth] Part 6: Combat

Posted: March 23, 2016 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Degenesis: Rebirth, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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Hey everyone, we’re back to the not-so-cheery world of Degenesis today to take a look at the combat rules.

Degenesis is a bleak setting, and combat reflects this reality… but hopefully not in a way that turns off players from playing.


In Degenesis, attacks of a particular combat skill are countered by a different skill as a form of active defense. These matchups are:

Brawl vs Brawl or Melee to defend
Melee vs Brawl or Melee to defend
Projectiles vs Mobility to defend
Mental or Social vs Faith or Willpower to defend


Taking a hit can either be a Flesh Wound, or the more serious Trauma.


Ego is a resource that reflects a fighter’s mental condition. If Ego drops to 0, the fighter is exhausted and falls to their knees.


Maps are optional in Degenesis. If your group likes to use them, then there’s nothing stopping them from using it to help visualize the positioning of the combatants.


Initiative in Degenesis: Rebirth allows for players to spend Ego in order to boost their Initiative rolls. This is a bit of a change from the previous edition where it was a blind bidding. I kind of liked the old initiative system better but this sort of works too.


Resolving an attack is similar to a standard mechanics resolution, with an Action Number modified by the various conditions of the fight, such as the weapon used, the range that the attacker is firing from and any other conditions such as cover and concealment.


If the target sacrifices an action, they can roll against the attack roll with the skill noted above. If they can roll at least as many sucesses  as the attacker, then they defend successfully. If they roll more and get 3 triggers, then they manage a counterattack (unless, of course, they rolled a dodge.)


On a successful hit, the attacker takes his weapon damage and adds the Trigger and bonuses from any Potentials that apply. The defender’s Armor rating is subtracted from the damage total.

Take note that this isn’t a roll. Weapon damage goes right through to wounds. Nasty.

That said, that first applies to Flesh Wounds, which won’t kill you right away. But if you run out of Flesh Wounds, then you take Trauma. Trauma penalizes you by -1D for each one you take, and if you run out, you’re pretty much dead.

The rest of the combat chapter goes over some edge cases, such as Mental Attacks as well as Vehicle Combat. I have to say that having vehicle combat in the game is a big plus for Degenesis: Rebirth as I’m certain there are many players who are looking forward to go all Fury Road on people in a post-apocalyptic landscape.


Combat in Degenesis is pretty straightforward if you’re used to other RPGs. That said the choice for damage to go through unrolled will definitely hurt, and I imagine this will go a long way to forcing people to play dirty, as it were, to ensure that they always have the upper hand and dispatch of their opponents as quickly as possible without giving them a chance at reprisal.

Next up, we’ll be doing a look at the last few chapters of Degenesis: Rebirth, from the Almanac to the fearsome opponents that lurk the desolate landscape of Degenesis before arriving at my conclusion and review of this Let’s Study series.


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