Fatal harm and fairness

Here’s the situation: The crew gets ambushed by a faction they’ve pissed off. Both the crew and the faction are Tier III.

During the course of the battle the Cutter gets surrounded. He’s got two shot gunners about fifteen or twenty feet away leveling their weapons at him. Three melee (swords, hatchets, knives, etc) are within his range (and he in theirs). And finally there’s a sneaky dude the Cutter hasn’t even seen behind him drawing a bead on him with a pistol.

The Cutter is already Not To Be Trifled With and he’s rocking a claymore. He decides he’d better deal with the shot gunners first, so he ignores the melee guys and charges the gunners.

So I figure with NTBTW he’s about equivalent to the small gang that’s trying to take him down, so that’s a wash. Since he’s charging gunners who are ready to fire, I put him in a desperate position.

He rolls Skirmish and oh my god, nothing above a 3!

So I ponder his fate for a few minutes and I just can’t see how he’s not dead. The shotgunners are going to hit him full blast, the three melee guys hammer on him from behind, and the pistol sneak nails him from his flank. So, after much consideration I announce Level 4 fatal harm. The first time I’ve ever done that in a two year campaign.

He uses heavy armor, drops it to Level 2, then resists and gets another crap roll. He traumas out.

So… did I make the right call? Should I have stuck with Level 3 harm? Should I have maybe had him roll against the shotgunners, the melee guys and the pistol guy separately , thereby giving him more chance to come up with good rolls?

The player isn’t fighting me on the call, but I want to make sure I didn’t screw him over either.

Thoughts?

Hey, new to the forum and game but from my read it looks right. If he’d have taken a flashback/used his load to have something on him to account for being surrounded (flash bang, etc) I could see bumping it down to risky. Then with the failure it would have bumped up to desperate with a reroll.

But based on knowing the standing, making an action, and failing a desperate roll, I’d say you’re right on the money.

It sounds like a perfectly fair call, the cutter was surrounded, and unless they described their action in a number of granular steps you have no need to make it more granular for them. So unless you think you threw to much firepower at them in the first place, this sound’s like it’s just dire circumstances and bad rolls.