This expands on the terse description of determining the combat sequence in the Shadowrun 5th Edition rulebook. Where they went for compactness, this version goes for clarity.
Physical Combat Sequence
Shadowrun, 5th Ed.
Process (p. 173)
a. Attacker declares attack (Step 3.A on the Initiative Sequence)
b. Defender declares type of Defense:
• Standard Defense Test (Reaction + Intuition)
• Block: Melee only, -5 Initiative, add Unarmed Combat dice to this Defense
• Perry: Melee only, -5 Initiative, add melee weapon skill dice to this Defense
• Dodge: -5 Initiative, add Gymnastics dice to this Defense Test
• Full Defense: -10 Initiative, add Willpower to all Defense Tests for entire
a. Attacker rolls their Combat Skill + Attribute ± modifiers [Limit]
b. Apply Wound (p169), Environmental (p175), Recoil (p175), and Situational (p176)
a. Roll Defense Test (based on declared defense in Step 1.b) and apply Wound,
Environmental, and Situational modifiers. Compare to the Attack Roll:
• Attacker > Defender: Attacker hits
• Attacker = Defender: Grazing Hit – no damage, but contact was made. Touch
• Attacker < Defender: Attacker missed
b. If Attacker hit:
i. Add the Attacker’s net hits to the weapon’s damage
ii. Apply the attacks AP (if any) to the Defender’s armor for a modified armor
iii. Compare the modified damage to the modified AV:
• If Damage ≥ Armor: Physical damage is done
• If Damage < Armor: Stun damage is done
iv. If the modified AV > 0, the Defender rolls Body + modified AV to soak damage
v. If the modified AV ≤ 0, the Defender only rolls Body to soak damage
vi. Each Hit rolled by the Defender reduces the damage taken by 1. If the damage
is reduced to 0, the attack bounced.
4. Apply Effect
a. For each point of damage that made it through, fill one box on the Defenders
• Wound modifiers for each filled row on the Condition Monitor now take effect.
• If damage taken from a single attack > Physical limit, the target is knocked
• Knockdown is automatic if the target takes ≥ 10 boxes of damage.
• Shooting at a Running character has a -2 die penalty
• Shooting at a Sprinting target has a -4 die penalty
• Combat Actions table: p163
• Matrix Actions table: p214
• Magic Actions table: p276