Combat Cheat Sheet

Rolling dice

For Deadlands, “3d12” usually means “roll 3 12-sided dice, and read only the one with the highest result.” Usually, “Aces” add and re-roll. This means that if you roll the highest possible result on a die, (e.g., 4 on a d4 or 12 on a d12), you can take that number, re-roll that single die, and add the result of the second die roll. The exception is for rolling damage. Here, “3d12” means roll 3 d12’s and add them up. But aces still add and re-roll.


Ordinarily, a sudden encounter will surprise you if you fail an Incredible (11) cognition check. If you are expecting something to happen, you only have to make a Fair (5) roll.


  1. Make a Quickness roll to determine # of actions. You get no actions if you go bust (roll more 1’s than anything else) on the roll. You get at least 1 action if you don’t go bust. You get 2 actions if you roll at least a 5, 3 if you roll at least a 10, 4 if you roll at least a 15, or 5 if you roll 20 or more. You can’t have more than 5 actions.
  2. Draw 1 card from the player action deck for each action you have this round. A red joker means you can take the action absolutely any time. A black joker means discard the joker and your highest other card, plus, after the round, all players discard any sleeved cards and reshuffle the action deck.
  3. Cycle through phases, from Aces down to 2’s, taking an action each time one of your cards is called. On an action, you can do things like ridicule, overawe, move, shoot, partially reload, cast hexes, use favors or miracles, etc. Some weapons/hexes take more than one action to use. Some weapons have a higher rate of fire than 1/rd. Discard cards as you use them for actions. If you don’t want to take an action when the number is called, you can put it ‘up your sleeve’ to use as an interrupt card later, but you can only have one card up your sleeve at a time.

Tests o’ Wills

You can even try to do this to an animal. For a cost of one action, you can try to overawe, ridicule, or bluff an opponent. Your opponent tries to resist (it doesn’t cost an action to resist) with guts, ridicule, or scrutinize, respectively. The two of you make contested rolls, and if you win: Target is unnerved If you get a raise: Target is distracted If you get 2 raises: Target is broken.
  • ‘Unnerved’ means opponent is -4 to next action (including resisting further tests of wills).
  • ‘Distracted’ means opponent is unnerved, plus loses next action card.
  • ‘Broken’ means target is distracted, plus you get a fate chip, and the target probably flees, surrenders, or tries later.


Your pace is your Nimbleness. You can walk your pace or run double your pace (giving -4 on all actions) in yards per round. You can also push yourself an extra d4 yards per round, but it cost you 1 wind to ‘pick up the pace’ in this manner. You move this movement rate per round, not per action. You can divide it up between your actions however you want, but moving at any point in the round affects combat for the whole round.

Shootin’ and Fightin’

On a round when you make an attack, do the following:
  1. Figure out your modifiers, and roll to see if you hit.
  2. See if the target dodges/parries.
  3. If you still hit, roll hit location.
  4. Roll the weapon’s damage (incl. location bonus dice).
  5. Determine wounds.
  6. Determine wind.
  7. See if the target is stunned.

Rolling to Hit:

For shooting, your target number to hit is 5. This is modified by:
  • Each range increment to target -1
  • Per action spent aiming (max 3 actions) +2
  • Total concealment/ low light -4
  • Darkness -6
  • Total darkness/blindness -8
  • Target is double man size +1
  • Target is moving >20 yds. this round -4
  • Shooter is running -4
  • Shooter is mounted -2
  • Shooter is wounded varies
  • Hand-to-hand attack vs. target w/defense mod -def mod
  • Attack with each hand -4
  • Attack with off hand -2
  • Shot from the hip -2
  • Fannin’ the hammer (requires shot from hip) -2
  • Attacker is 3’ higher in hand-to-hand +2
Called shots:
  • Guts -2
  • Leg, arm, gizzards -4
  • Rifle or shotgun -5
  • Head, knee, elbow, hand, foot, or pistol -6
  • Knife -7
  • Bow, whip, or lariot -8
  • Derringer -9
  • Eyeball, heart, finger, hat, or belt buckle -10


When an opponent successfully hits you, you can discard your highest card to try to dodge a shot or parry a hand-to-hand attack. To do this, make a skill roll higher than what your opponent rolled to hit you. Use your Dodge skill to avoid missile fire; use your Fightin’ skill to avoid hand-to-hand hits. You must also jump to the ground, roll out of the way, or jump behind cover in order to dodge, or yield ground in order to parry.

Hit locations:

  • 1-4 Leg (roll d6: 1-3 left, 4-6 right)
  • 5-9 Lower Guts (Guts)
  • 10 Gizzards (guts) Roll 1 extra die damage
  • 11-14 Arm (roll d6: 1-3 left, 4-6 right)
  • 15-19 Upper Guts (Guts)
  • 20 Noggin Roll 2 extra dice damage

Modifiers to location chart:

  • Per raise on attack roll +/-1
  • If fighting hand-to-hand +2
  • Height advantage +2
  • Point-blank gun range +2

Doin’ Damage

Once hit location is determined, roll damage, including modifiers for gizzards or noggin. If the target has armor, this reduces damage by one die type per level of armor. Remember that dice are added together. If your weapon does STR+dice, roll strength reading only the highest die, and then add all the other dice. Aces add and re-roll.

Determinin’ Wounds

Divide total damage by your target’s size, rounding down. This is the number of wound levels you do. Wound levels add to any previous wound levels in a location. The wound levels in the target’s most wounded location acts as a modifier to everything the target does. An area with 3 wound levels (a serious wound) bleeds 1 wind per round. An area with 4 wound levels (a critical wound) bleeds 2 wind per round. An area with 5 wound levels is maimed or gone, and bleeds 3 wind per round. If your guts or head take 5 wound levels, you are dead. Note that you can (and probably should) burn fate chips to reduce wounds you take: a white chip reduces an incoming wound by 1 level, red 2 levels, blue 3 levels. Reducing wounds reduces wind loss due to wounds. You can also burn chips to reduce woundless wind loss (due to drownin’, Soul Blast, etc.

Determinin’ Wind

Each time you wound an opponent, you also do 1d6 wind per wound level. Aces add and re-roll, so a light wound can knock a person out. If you take 1-5 points of damage, but no wounds, you still take 1d6 wind.

Checkin’ Stun

Whenever you get hit, you must also make a Vigor roll to see if the pain incapacitate you. The target number you need to stay functioning is dependent on your most recent wound:
  • Wind only: 3
  • Light wound: 5
  • Heavy Wound: 7
  • Serious Wound: 9
  • Critical Wound: 11
  • Maimed: 13
The stun roll is modified by your current wound modifier. If you fail the roll, you can do nothing until you recover from stun.

Stun Recovery:

When you are stunned, re-roll on the table above every time you have an action. The target number depends on your worst wound level. If you succeed, you can act on the following action. If you fail, you can keep trying on subsequent actions. If you go bust, you pass out for 1d6 rounds or until someone makes a Fair (5) Medicine roll.

Other ways to burn chips:

You can burn chips to avoid damage, as described under ‘Determinin’ Wounds.’ In addition, you can:
  • Burn a white chip to include an additional die in one trait or skill roll.
  • Burn a red chip to add an additional die to the current highest number (as if an ace exploded). Note: this gives the GM a random chip.
  • Burn a blue chip to add a die to the current highest number (as if an ace exploded) without giving the Marshall an extra chip.
  • Burn a chip after an adventure to earn 1 (white), 2 (red), 3 (blue) bounty points.
    Note: Chips can not be used to improve rolls where you go bust. They can not be used to increase any rolls that aren’t Trait rolls. This means you can’t use chips to increase damage rolls, aside from the Strength portion of hand-to-hand damage(since that is a Trait roll).

Combat Cheat Sheet

The Road to Hell WadeL WadeL