Striking an opponent is not enough to do damage - they may be wearing armour that could deflect or absorb the blow.
All armour has a defensive strength, called Armour Factor (AF), which must be overcome by a weapon's Armour Bypass on a successful hit.
The die rolled to attempt to bypass armour is the first item in a weapon's notation. A dagger, for example, with which all first-rank characters start, is noted as a (d4,3) weapon, meaning it uses a four-sided armour bypass die (d4).
To bypass armour, roll over the target's AF with your armour bypass die.
Armour Bypass Roll > Opponent's AF = BYPASSED!
- The armour bypass result must be GREATER than the opponent's AF, not greater than or equal.
- A character with a Strength of 16 or more will add 1 to all armour bypass rolls in melee combat.
- A Critical Hit (that is, rolling a 1 to hit) automatically bypasses armour.
- To save time during combat, roll to hit and to bypass armour at the same time - if you miss or get a Critical Hit, just ignore the armour bypass die.
Having now struck the orc, Sir Balin must bypass its armour to cause any damage.
The orc's armour has an Armour Factor (AF) of 2 and Sir Balin is attacking with a sword, which has an eight-sided Armour Bypass Die (d8).
Sir Balin's player needs to roll 3 or more on a d8 to bypass the orc's armour.