From Project: Redcap
In ArM5, the combat rules were extensively revised from previous editions (not for the first time).
They are found in pages 171-178 of the core rules book and involve the calculation of five total values to be used during combat:
- Initiative Total, used to determine the order in which combatants may act. Includes an stress die.
- Attack Total, which is influenced by the weapon used and may help in causing greater damage. Includes an stress die.
- Defense Total, which represents the ability of avoiding being hit. Includes an stress die.
- Damage Total, influenced by strength, weapon, and attack and defense totals.
- Soak Total, which determines how much of a succesful attack's damage is avoided by way of dispersion into armor and stamina.
A succesful attack may cause no damage (if the soak total compensates it entirely), or a Light, Medium, Heavy, Incapacitating or even Fatal Wound,
- Ars Magica Fifth Edition - Design Notes: The Art of Combat by David Chart, hosted at Atlas Games website and available from their ArM5 page under "Downloads".