It only started as a small sacrafice
Combat in Call of Cthulhu is dangerous and deadly. When you are confronted with the horror of
the Mythos, it is generally a better idea to run away, or avoid confrontation all together. However, often there is no other choice than to go in, guns blazing and make the best of it.
The rules for combat in Call of Cthulhu are simple. When a combat occurs, all investigators, as
well as characters and monsters controlled by the keeper act in order of their DEX scores. The highest DEX goes first, and they go in descending order from there.
A combat round in Call of Cthulhu is timed vaguely, and is best described as “long enough for
everyone to do one or two interesting things.” The flow of the round is best controlled by the keeper, and hard and fast rules for movement and actions are not part of the game. The keeper should simply give everyone a chance to do something quickly while being aware of the narrative flow. When it comes time for you to attack, you simply choose a target and roll the appropriate skill.
If you are shooting with a gun, you might have “Rifle
50%” and you would use that skill. If you are trying
to punch or kick, you use the appropriately named
skill. As with all skill rolls, you roll percentile dice and try to roll equal to or less than the designated
value on your character sheet.
If you succeed in the roll, you hit your opponent and do damage appropriate to the weapon you are using. The Weapon Table gives some sample damage values. Note that most “melee” weapons (i.e.: a weapon you use in close combat such as a knife, brass knuckles, or even your fists) also adds your character’s “Damage Bonus” to the listed damage.
When a target is hit, roll the damage dice and subtract the total value from its total Hit Points. Some targets have armor, or resistances that reduces the value of the damage, causing them to lose fewer Hit Points. This is rare for investigators in a modern setting, but most monsters you will face probably have some sort of armor.
If your investigator is taking damage, note that as soon as he is reduced to 2 or less Hit Points, he falls unconscious. If the investigator drops below – 2 Hit Points, he dies.