Combat Statistics

This section summarizes the statistics that determine success in combat, and then details how to use them.

Attack Roll

Whenever you attempt to hit an opponent in combat, you must make an attack roll. To do so, roll 1d20 and add your Accuracy plus any other modifiers that apply. If the result is at least equal to the target's appropriate defense type (as specified by the type of attack), then you deal your attack's damage. Unless otherwise specified, an attack targets the Primary defense if the opponent is able to react, or his Passive defense if he is surprised, unsteady, or immobile.


Your Accuracy is the base chance to hit with any physical attack. If no other modifiers apply to the roll, then your Accuracy is your Attack Bonus. Accuracy can be improved only by spending AP.

Table: Sizes and Size Modifiers
SizeSize ModifierHeight/LengthSpaceNatural Reach
Fine+86 in or less½ ft0 ft
Diminutive+46 in to 1 ft1 ft0 ft
Tiny+21 ft to 2 ft2½ ft0 ft
Small+12 ft to 4 ft5 ft5 ft
Medium+04 ft to 8 ft5 ft5 ft
Large-18 ft to 16 ft10 ft10 ft or 5 ft
Huge-216 ft to 32 ft15 ft15 ft or 10 ft
Gargantuan-432 ft to 64 ft20 ft20 ft or 15 ft
Colossal-864 ft or more30 ft30 ft or 20 ft

Attack Modifiers

The main modifiers to an attack roll are your Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence scores. Based on the weapon category, you will add either your Strength or Dexterity score. Spells add your Intelligence modifier.

Creatures that are sizes other than Medium also apply their size modifiers to weapon attack rolls, but not spells.

Other common modifiers to attack rolls are listed in the table below.

Table: Common Attack Roll Modifiers
+1Attacker on higher ground
+1Attacker proficient with weapon
+2Defender flanked
+4Rear attack
-2Attacker has no affinity for weapon
-2Defender has partial cover (corner, spiral staircase, 1/4)
-4Defender has half cover (low wall, other character)
-6Defender has improved cover (chest-high wall, 3/4)
-8Defender has 9/10 cover (arrow slit)

Range Penalties

Ranged attacks also have range penalties. Each ranged weapon has a listed range increment. If the distance exceeds this range, then the attack takes a penalty to hit equal to how many full range increments are exceeded. For example, a shortbow has a range increment of 40 feet, so a distance from 45 to 80 feet causes a -1 penalty, 85 to 120 is -2, etc. Missile weapons (such as bows and crossbows) have a maximum range of up to 10 times their range increments. When using a thrown weapon (such as a javelin or sling), the maximum range is 10 increments, modified by 1 increment for each point of Strength.

Natural 1s and 20s

If you roll a natural 1 (a 1 on the d20 before modifiers) on an attack roll, it is a critical fumble. A natural 20 is an automatic hit. If your attack roll beats the target's defense by at least 1, then a 20 is also a critical hit.


On a successful attack, you deal damage based on your weapon or attack form. Roll your weapon's or spell's damage, and add your Power and damage modifiers from skills or other miscellaneous modifiers. Unarmed attacks and natural weapons apply all the same modifiers as manufactured weapons. Your Power applies to all attacks, including spells.

Regardless of penalties to damage, any hit always deals at least 1 point of damage. Only a defender's damage reduction can lower the damage dealt to 0. Your total damage and your target's Threshold of Pain determine whether your damage is affects the target's current hit points or is only added to their fatigue.

Strength and Dexterity Bonuses

Whenever you hit with a weapon, you add either your Strength or Dexterity to your damage, depending on the weapon's category. Your Strength applies to Axes; Gauntlets and Claws; Hammers, Flail, and Picks; Heavy Swords; Javelins; Light Swords; Maces and Clubs; Polearms; and Tools. Your Dexterity applies to Disks and Boomerangs; Bows; Chains and Ropes; Crossbows; Daggers; and Staffs. All bows apply a Strength penalty, if you have one, in addition to your Dexterity modifier. Specially made composite bows can apply a Strength bonus as well. Unarmed attacks use whichever modifier is better.

Critical Hits

A critical hit occurs only when the attacker rolls a natural 20 on the attack roll (or a 19 or 20 if the weapon has the Precise property), and the attack roll is at least 1 point greater than the target's defense. A critical hit deals damage as if you had rolled the highest possible amount on the weapon damage roll, and adds your Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence as appropriate, to a minimum of +1. A critical hit may also have additional effects or damage based on skills and the weapon used. Extra damage dice added to the attack beyond the base weapon's damage (such as from certain magical weapons) are not maximized.

Critical Fumbles

A natural roll of 1 is always a miss. This means the attacker has made a critical fumble of some sort, automatically ending his turn. He is unsteady until he acts again, and adds 1d6 to his weapon's SF to determine when he recovers. A critical fumble with a weapon reduces the weapon's Durability Points by 1, and may break it. See weapon quality.

Just what a critical fumble entails is up to the DM and the situation. It could mean the character's axe got stuck in a tree, the arrow slipped just before he released his bowstring, a backpack strap slipped off his shoulder and tangled his arms, or he simply tripped and fell to his knees. In any event, when the character recovers, he is in the same position and condition he was in before the fumble occurred (provided no other effects have moved or otherwise changed the condition of the character).

Threshold of Pain

Your Threshold of Pain (ToP) represents the point at which an attack is actually a strong hit rather than a glancing blow or even a near miss that tires you out as you dodge.

All characters begin with a base ToP of 3. This can be increased by spending AP. Your effective ToP is equal to your base + Persona + armor or other special modifiers.

Any single attack that does damage greater than your effective ToP adds fatigue equal to your ToP and subtracts the excess damage from your current hit points. If the attack deals less damage than this, then you only add it to your current fatigue level.

Any attack that hits, regardless of whether it passes your ToP or not, also reduces your effective ToP by 1 for future attacks. If your effective ToP reaces 0, then you are considered wounded.

Impairments (optional rule)

Table: Impairments
Attack TypeEffect
Bludgeoning-1 to Fortitude
-1 to Accuracy
Piercing-1 to Willpower
-1 to Power
Slashing-1 to Agility
+1 to Weapon Speed Factors

An impairment is a way to simulate the fact that a single large injury is often more debilitating than many small ones. Whenever damage from an attack exceeds your Threshold of Pain, you gain one impairment based on the type of attack (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing). Occasionally, certain attacks may cause impairments even if the damage doesn't exceed the Threshold of Pain. Certain creatures are immune to impairments.

You recover one point from your single worst impairment every night, or two worst for a day of bed rest. If more than one type is tied for worst, it is randomly determined. The Heal discipline can also be used to remove impairments.

Multiplying Damage

Certain skills and special abilities allow you to multiply damage, such as the Backstab skill. When this happens, roll the damage with all modifiers multiple times and total the results. Do not roll once and multiply the result.

Additional damage dice from skills, abilities, or magical effects are never multiplied. Only weapon damage and modifiers are multiplied.

Attribute Damage

Some creatures, poisons, or magical effects will temporarily lower your attributes. Generally, damage is restored at the rate of 1 per day to each damaged attribute.

Nonlethal Damage

Some attacks or effects deal nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. Nonlethal damage never lowers your current hit points. It can only cause fatigue, even if the damage exceeds your Threshold of Pain. It does, however, reduce your Threshold of Pain on a successful hit.


There are five types of defense that all characters have. These are your Primary defense, Passive defense, Vigor, Celerity, and Spirit. In all cases, in order for an attack to succeed, the attack roll must be equal to or greater than whatever type of defense is being targeted.

Primary Defense

Attacks that do not specify a defense type target your Primary defense. Your primary defense represents how difficult it is for an opponent to successfully land a damaging blow on you. It incorporates both your equipment and your natural defensive characteristics. Most physical attacks target your Primary defense, as do spells that rely primarily on impact. Certain conditions cause you to use your Passive defense instead.

Primary defense is equal to 10 + armor bonus + shield bonus + size modifier + Fortitude, Agility, or Willpower (whichever is highest).

Passive Defense

Your passive defense is your defense when you are not able to actively avoid being hit. It generally involves only your armor and size. Passive defense replaces your Primary defense whenever you are surprised, unsteady, immobile, or are targeted in melee while not wielding a melee weapon.

Passive defense is equal to 10 + armor bonus + size modifier.


Vigor represents your overall vitality and ability to stand up to physical punishment. It is used primarily against poisons, diseases, and magical effects affecting the body's systems directly.

Vigor is equal to 10 + Constitution + Fortitude.


Your Celerity measures how well you can avoid incoming blows. It most often comes up against traps and spells that target large areas (such as Fireball). Attacks that only need to touch a target to take effect also target the Celerity defense.

Celerity is equal to 10 + Dexterity + Agility.


Spirit defines your resistance to mental attacks and fear. It applies most often to spells and abilities that affect the mind.

Spirit is equal to 10 + Wisdom + Willpower.

Other Modifiers

In addition to the base defenses listed above, there are many other factors that can modify your defenses.

Hit Points

Hit points (HP) are a vague representation of the amount of punishment your character can take. A greater number of hit points indicates not only increased physical endurance, but also a greater overall energy, and an ability to shrug off or reduce the effects of lesser blows. While 10 points of damage is almost completely lethal to a lower level character, a stronger one might consider it just a scratch, because he has learned to roll with the blow, and actually take less physical damage from it. When your hit point total reaches 0, you are dead.

Healing Magic

Many spells, potions, or other magical effects grant healing to characters. Magical healing can never cause your current hit point total to exceed your maximum, or your fatigue to drop below 0. All healing is recorded separately from normal hit points, and if you take damage after being healed, these healing points are lost before any normal damage is dealt.

Spells that heal damage can be split between granting temporary hit points that disappear once the character heals from an overnight rest (known as Invigoration), and permanently reducing fatigue. For example, the caster rolls 8 points of healing with a spell. He decides to give the target 5 Invigoration and reduce the target's fatigue by 3. Once the target sleeps for the night, any remaining points of Invigoration are lost.

Bonus Hit Points

Some magical effects grant bonus hit points instead of healing a character. Unlike healing, bonus hit points can cause your current hit point total to exceed your maximum. If you take damage while you have bonus hit points, these bonus points are lost first before any damage is dealt to either your Invigoration or your normal hit points.

Bonus hit points have a specific duration as determined by the effect that grants them.


Fatigue represents your overall stamina, morale, and level of fatigue. Spells, skills, disciplines, and other physically or mentally draining activities increase your current fatigue, as do many attacks against you in combat. If your current fatigue ever equals or exceeds your current HP, you risk falling unconscious. If your fatigue equals or exceeds double your current HP, you are dying, but may still be conscious.

To determine if you fall unconscious, when your fatigue first exceeds your current hit points, and every time thereafter that either your fatigue increases or your hit points decrease, you must make a Constitution check (DC equal to your current fatigue minus your current hit points). If the optional impairment rules are used, then for each impairment you have taken, you take a -2 penalty to the check. If you succeed, you remain conscious and can act normally. If you fail, you fall unconscious.

Regaining Consciousness

Once unconscious, you will remain that way at least 10 TC for each point by which you failed your check. After this time, you may make a Constitution check to regain consciousness, DC equal to the check to stay conscious. If you fail, you make another check every 1d10 TC. A natural 17 or 18 does not guarantee success, so if the DC is too high to pass, then you remain unconscious until you heal sufficiently to give you a chance, and may be subject to starvation in the meantime.

If you were dying, unconscious, and stabilized, then you begin making checks to regain consciousness after 2d10 minutes, and continue to make them every 1d6 minutes thereafter.

Movement Rate

Your movement rate measures how far you can move in a given time period, and is primarily based on your race and what armor, if any, you are wearing. All spaces during combat count as 5 feet of movement (including diagonals if you are using a square-based battle grid). Hindering terrain may take longer to pass through.

Your base combat speed is actually your jogging or hustling pace rather than your normal walking speed. When not involved in combat, and walking at a normal pace, you walk at half this speed. If you are sneaking, you move at one-fourth this speed.

Halflings, Gnomes, and Dwarves have an unencumbered combat speed of Slow (15 feet).

Humans, drow, aleiram, niera, and half-elves have an unencumbered combat speed of Normal (20 feet).

Alidran and lyorae have an unencumbered combat speed of Fast (25 feet).

Handling Movement in Combat

Table: Movement Rates
Movement RateTC 1TC 2TC 3TC 4
Extremely Slow (5 ft)0100
Very Slow (10 ft)1010
Slow (15 ft)1101
Normal (20 ft)1111
Fast (25 ft)1211
Very Fast (30 ft)2121
Extremely Fast (35 ft)2212
40 ft2222
45 ft2322
50 ft3232
55 ft3332
60 ft3333

Movement rates are numbered in feet per 4 TC (2 seconds). A speed of Normal means you move 5 feet, or 1 square, every TC. Slow characters move 5 feet every TC for 2 TC, then cannot move on the third TC, and can move again on the fourth. Fast characters can move 5 feet every TC, except 10 feet on the second. The chart to the right shows this as well. Whenever you start a new movement, begin at the first count, and every consecutive movement you make uses the next count.

Entering a Space Simultaneously

When two or more characters try to enter a single space simultaneously, the one with the fastest movement rate is assumed to have entered first. If there is a tie, then the winner is the one with the highest Dexterity. If that ties, then the winner is determined randomly. For all other characters attempting to enter the space, it is treated as already occupied, and follows the rules below. Their attempts to enter are resolved in decreasing order of movement rate and Dexterity. Characters may choose to not attempt to enter the space if it becomes occupied before their movement is resolved, but they cannot perform another action on that TC.

Moving Through Occupied Spaces

Characters may enter any occupied space that is not completely full, provided that all creatures already there allow the entry. Creatures of different sizes count differently when determining whether a space is full. Normal-sized creatures count as one each, and Large or larger creatures count as three Normal-sized creatures for each space they occupy. Small creatures count as half, Tiny creatures count as one fourth, Diminutive creatures count as one eighth, and Fine creatures count as one sixteenth. A single space cannot hold more than 4 Normal-sized creatures or the equivalent. Certain creatures cannot share spaces at all, but this should be evident with the creature itself. For example, a creature that is a 5 by 5 foot cube fully occupies its space.

Creatures that are at least two size categories larger or smaller than you cannot prevent you from entering their space.

Fighting in Occupied Spaces

Fighting in an occupied space is more difficult than simply entering one. When determining how well a creature may fight, only creatures within one size category count as occupying the space. If at least two creatures are sharing a space and the total size is equivalent to more than one Normal-sized creature, then all attacks made by the creatures suffer a -4 penalty to hit. If the total size is more than two Normal-sized creatures, then none of the creatures may make an attack action, and they all use their Passive defenses.

For example: Two halflings may enter and fight freely in a single space, since they are both Small creatures, and therefore have an equivalent size of one Normal creature. Three or four halflings, or two humans, may fight in a single space with a -4 penalty to hit. More than this cannot fight in a single space. However, up to two halflings and a troll (size Large) may occupy the same space and all fight at full effectiveness, since they are more than one size category different from each other. In fact, the troll cannot prevent the halflings from entering any of its spaces, nor can the halflings prevent the troll from entering theirs.

Running and Sprinting

You can push yourself to move faster than your normal jogging speed when necessary. In order to start running, you must first move at your base speed for at least 4 TC in the same direction. If you wish to sprint, then you must first be running for at least 4 TC. If you are poised before you begin your run, then these requirements are ignored. You are unsteady while running or sprinting.


Running increases your movement by half your base speed, rounded down to the nearest 5-foot increment. While running, you must continue to move in a straight or nearly straight line. If you are using a square grid, you may turn no more than 45 degrees every 3 TCs. If you are using a hexagonal grid, you may turn no more than 30 degrees every 2 TC. Alternatively, you may move in a one-tile-wide zigzag pattern on a hexagonal grid, which counts as moving in a straight line.

When you begin running, and every 30 TC spent running thereafter, make a DC 20 Athletics (Con) check, with a -1 penalty for each previous check. If you fail by 5 or less, you gain 1 fatigue point. If you fail by more than 5, you gain 2 fatigue points. Once you fail three checks during a single run (whether consecutive or not), you must stop running. If running would cause you to fall unconscious from fatigue, then you instead must stop running, with your fatigue 1 point lower than your current hit points. If you are forced to stop running either from failed checks or fatigue, you become fatigued.


When you begin sprinting, roll a DC 10 Athletics (Str) check. If you fail, then you are unable to begin sprinting, and instead are considered running. If you succeed, your running speed is calculated as if your base movement were 5 feet faster. For every 5 points by which your result exceeds 10, your effective base movement is an additional 5 feet faster. Sprinting is always at least 5 feet faster than running. At your option, you may reroll this check every time you roll your check to continue running or sprinting and use the new value instead.

After every 20 TC spent sprinting, you must make a DC 20 Athletics (Con) check, with a -2 penalty for each previous check. These penalties are cumulative with those from running. If you spend some of the time running, and some sprinting, count the whole time as sprinting for purposes of this check. The results are the same as those for running. If you are not already running when you begin sprinting, then you must make the check when you begin sprinting as well.


Your penalty to running decreases by 1 for every minute spent resting. Assuming you are not fatigued, you may resume running at any time.

The Combat Sequence


First, in any encounter, it is necessary to decide if either side has been surprised. Most often, this is done by making the players and the NPCs roll opposed checks of some sort (such as Stealth and Perception). However, based on circumstances, the DM may decide that neither side would be surprised, that both could, or that only one could. A surprised character or group receives a +1d6 penalty to their first initiative roll. Surprised characters are unsteady until they first act. It is possible for both sides to be surprised, and in this case both suffer the initiative penalty (roll separately).

Time Count

Every combat has a Time Count (TC). This replaces the typical rounds that are in most games. Instead of allowing each character to act once per round, and then again the next round, the Time Count system tracks time realistically. For example, slower weapons prevent their wielders from acting as often as those with faster weapons, so not everyone will act the same number of times in a combat. Each TC unit is roughly equivalent to half a second. The basic system is thus:

Here is an example: Zherynn and Aeus are engaging in combat against Garret. Aeus is surprised. Each player rolls initiative: Zherynn gets a 6, Aeus rolls an 8 (+1d6 [5] for surprise = 13), and Garret rolls a 7. Zherynn rolled lowest, so he goes first (at TC 6), stabbing Garret with his dagger. He then adds 6 TC, based on his dagger's speed factor (SF), to the current TC (6), for a total of 12. The TC increases to 7, and Garret slashes Zherynn with his long sword. He adds his speed factor (9) to the current TC (7) for 16. The TC increases again to 12, and Zherynn acts, followed by Aeus 1 point later. The TC continues to increase, and characters continue to act until the battle ends.


Initiative is a fancy way of saying who goes first. Once surprise has been determined, everyone rolls 1d6+4 to determine who gets to act first in the round. Each character applies their own bonuses or penalties to the roll, even if the DM decides to use only a single roll for the whole group. Typical bonuses include the Wisdom attribute, and frequent penalties include being stunned or surprised.

After all modifications, the character or creature with the lowest resulting number acts first, followed by the next lowest, and so on until combat ends. If two numbers match, then the actions occur at the same time. This means that all actions take place and all dice are rolled before any of the effects are applied. Certain actions may have extra effects when done at the same time (See Simultaneous Actions, below).

As soon as you have completed your action, add the Speed Factor of the weapon you just used (if you attacked), or of whatever action you just completed otherwise to the current Time Count to determine when you next act. Once the Time Count reaches that number, your next turn begins.

Table: Speed Classes
SpeedRandom SFStatic SF

Speed Factors and Speed Classes

Every weapon or combat action has a Speed Class (SC) associated with it. The table to the right lists the Speed Factor (SF) rolls and numbers for each Speed Class. Player characters roll their SF after each action using the roll under the Random SF heading. NPCs use the Static SF for every action, to reduce the number of rolls for the DM. At his option, he may choose to roll for any given NPCs instead of using the static number.

Many skills, spells, or special actions modify the base speed factor or speed class of an action. Effects that modify speed class cannot improve the class beyond Rapid unless otherwise specified, and effects that modify speed factor cannot reduce the result below 1. If modifiers of both types apply to the same action, first apply the modifiers to the speed class and then to the speed factor. There is no upper limit to modifications of either type, although if a speed class is slowed beyond sedentary, then just add another 4 points onto the SF for every additional step it is slowed.

Spellcasting and TCs

Spellcasting affects initiative differently than weapon use. Spells do not have Speed Factors. Instead, they have Casting Times. When your turn comes to act, you select the spell you wish to prepare, as you would select any other action. However, instead of the action being completed immediately, you spend the whole of the casting time performing the action. You may decide to cancel the action at any time and resume acting normally on the following TC. Otherwise you may act again immediately when the spell is prepared. Actually casting a spell (and not just preparing it) has a speed factor of 1. See Preparing a Spell for more information.

Table: Speed Factor for Actions in Combat
Free Actions (0 TC)
Cease concentration/Dismiss a spell
Drop a held item
Rapid Actions (1d4 TC)
Draw a normal weapon
Drop to the floor
Lower spell resistance
Ready an action
Sheathe a weapon
Swift Actions (1d4+2 TC)
Direct or redirect an active spell
Draw a hidden weapon
Open or close a door
Pick up an item from the floor
Retrieve an item from a belt pouch
Set a weapon against a charge1
Stand up from prone
Fast Actions (1d6+3 TC)
Activate a magic item
Drink a potion
Mount or dismount a horse
Ready or loose a shield
Standard Actions (1d6+6 TC)
Light a torch
Slow Actions (1d8+8 TC)
Retrieve an item from a backpack
Stabilize a dying friend
Other Actions
Attack with a primary weaponWeapon SF
Cast a spell1
Concentrate to maintain an active spell2+1
Control a frightened mount2+2
Escape from a net1d8+5
Extinguish flames1d6+6
Prepare a spell1Casting Time
Read a scrollCT of spell
  1. This action does not take effect until the end of the delay.
  2. This action does not take a turn on its own. Instead, add the SF of this action to that of whatever other action you perform.


In one turn, each character may perform any single action. Certain actions may be combined with others, and each one will delay the character's next action by a certain amount, as shown in the table.

Special Combat Actions

These actions are all specific maneuvers you may make in combat, and they each follow a set format.


Wrestling involves many hand-to-hand maneuvers and requires ample freedom of movement to do successfully. There are several types of actions involved in wrestling with an opponent, the most basic of which is the grab. All other moves require that you first grab or be grabbed by a target.

Break Grab

Requirements: Target is grabbing you or an ally

Attack: Athletics (Str) vs. Vigor

Speed: Swift (1d4+2)

Range: Touch

Hit: You break the target's grab.

Great Success (5): You deal damage equal to your Strength.


Requirements: Grabbed by target

Attack: Strength - 2 vs. Vigor

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Fatigue: 1

Range: Touch

Hit: You and your target move 5 feet in any direction. The target takes damage equal to your Strength. You are still being grabbed by your target.

Great Success (5): At your option, your target's grab may be broken.

Escape Grab

Requirements: Grabbed by target

Attack: Acrobatics (Dex) vs. Celerity

Speed: Fast (1d6+3)

Range: Touch

Hit: You escape from the target's grab.

Great Success (5): You deal damage equal to half your Dexterity.


Requirements: Cannot be wielding a two-handed weapon or tower shield; target must be no more than one size category larger than you

Attack: Unarmed vs. Celerity

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Range: Touch

Hit: The target is immobilized, takes a -2 penalty to hit until released, and must succeed on an Arcana (Con) check (DC 10 + spell level) to cast any spells.

Great Success (5): Your target takes a -2 penalty to any Break Grab or Escape Grab attempts.

Critical Success: Your target is unable to attack or cast spells with somatic components.

Special: While grabbing an opponent, you must remain adjacent to them. You can release an opponent at will.


Requirements: Grabbing target; cannot be wielding a one- or two-handed weapon

Attack: Weapon vs. Vigor

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Range: Touch

Hit: You deal damage as if by an unarmed strike or with a light weapon you are using, but improved by one die step.

Great Success (5): Your damage die improves by an additional step.

Great Success (10): Your damage die improves by an additional step.


Requirements: Grabbing target

Attack: Strength vs. Vigor

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Fatigue: 1

Range: Touch

Hit: Both you and your target slide 5 feet in the same direction, as decided by you.

Great Success (5): You may slide your target (but not yourself) an additional 5 feet in any direction.

Special: If your target remains adjacent to you, then you may continue your grab at your option. If you do not maintain your grab, then make a free Strength attack against your target's Celerity. If successful, your target falls prone.


Requirements: Grabbing target

Attack: Strength vs. Vigor and Celerity

Speed: Slow (1d8+8)

Fatigue: 2

Range: Touch

Hit Vigor: The target lands in any space you specify within 5 feet of his starting location and takes damage equal to your Strength. You may throw the target into your own space provided that you are able to move, in which case you swap places.

Great Success (5): You deal 1d6 additional damage.

Great Success (10): You may throw the target an additional 5 feet.

Hit Celerity: The target falls prone.

Miscellaneous Special Actions


Requirements: Target's space must have enough free room to hold you

Attack: Acrobatics (Dex) vs. Vigor or Celerity (target's choice)

Speed: Fast (1d6+3)

Range: 5 feet

Hit: You enter the target's space.

Special: If multiple creatures are in the space, you must make a separate attack roll against each. If the creature allows you to enter, then the attack automatically succeeds.

Bull Rush

Attack: Strength vs. Vigor or Celerity (target's choice)

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Fatigue: 1

Range: Touch

Hit: The target is pushed 5 feet directly away from you. For every 5 points by which your attack beats your opponent's defense, you may push them another 5 feet. To do so, you must also move with them, staying adjacent.

Critical Success: The target takes damage equal to your Strength.

Special: If you get at least a 10-foot running start, you gain a +2 bonus to your Strength attack. The attacker adds his size modifier to his attack roll, and the defender adds his to his defense.

Coup de Grace

Requirements: Target must be helpless

Preparation: Slow (1d8+8)

Attack: Weapon+10 vs. Passive (or automatic if not engaged in combat)

Speed: Weapon SF

Range: Weapon (10 ft. max)

Hit: The target sustains double your normal critical damage. If the target survives, you make a followup Vigor attack at your normal weapon attack bonus. If successful, the target is killed.

Special: You are considered immobile during preparation. If the target moves during the preparation time, then it automatically fails. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are not subject to the extra damage nor the followup attack from a coup de grace.


Attack: Weapon-4 vs. Celerity

Speed: Weapon Speed Class+1

Fatigue: 1

Range: Weapon

Hit: The target releases a held item and drops it to the ground.

Great Success (5): At your option, you may deal damage to either the item or the target equal to your Dexterity.

Great Success (8): If you have at least one hand free and you used a melee weapon to disarm, then you may grab the item from the target.

Special: You take an additional -4 penalty if your target is holding the item in two hands. If you attempt to disarm with a ranged weapon, you take an additional -2 penalty to hit.

Distract Opponent

Attack: Melee vs. Spirit

Speed: Fast (1d6+3)

Range: Melee

Hit: The target takes a -2 circumstance penalty to either his attack or defense against a specific ally, at your option. The penalty lasts until you act again.

Critical Success: The penalty applies to both attack and defense.


Attack: Melee vs. Spirit

Speed: Weapon SF/2

Range: Melee

Hit: You gain a +2 bonus to hit with your next attack against the target, provided it occurs on your next available action.

Great Success (5): You gain a +2 bonus to damage on your next attack against the target, provided it occurs on your next available action.

Quick Strike

Attack: Weapon vs. Defense

Speed: Weapon Speed Class-1

Range: Weapon range

Hit: The target takes half damage.

Critical Success: The target takes half of your critical damage.

Special: No attack can go faster than Rapid.


Requirements: Target must be in front of a wall or other surface that your weapon could stick into; you must be using a piercing weapon

Attack: Weapon-4 vs. Celerity

Speed: Weapon Speed Class+1

Fatigue: 1

Range: Weapon

Hit: The target's clothing is pierced by your weapon, which is stuck in the wall. The target is immobile until the weapon is removed. Removing the weapon or breaking free requires an Athletics (Str) check or an Acrobatics (Dex) check. The DC for each is equal to your attack roll.

Great Success (5): At your option, your weapon pierces either the target or his clothing. If you hit the target, you deal damage equal to your Dexterity, and the target cannot escape with an Acrobatics check.


Requirements: Target must be no more than one size category larger than you, and your previous action must have been to move towards the target

Attack: Unarmed vs. Vigor

Speed: Standard (1d6+6)

Fatigue: 1

Range: Touch

Hit: The target takes damage equal to your Strength and is knocked prone. At your option, you may attempt to grab the target as a free action.

Great Success (5): You deal 1d6 additional damage.


Requirements: Target must be no more than one size category larger than you

Attack: Unarmed vs. Vigor

Speed: Fast (1d6+3)

Fatigue: 1

Range: Melee

Hit: The target is knocked prone.

Great Success (5): You deal damage equal to your Strength.

Special: Certain weapons may be used to make trip attacks in place of an unarmed strike.

Combat Stances

Stances allow you to shift your focus in combat, granting bonuses for certain actions and penalties in others. Certain skills allow you to use special abilities that are only available in specific stances, or improve the benefits you gain from a given stance.

Shifting into a given stance is a standard action with an SF of its shift speed. During this transition time, you have the drawbacks of the given stance without its benefits. Reverting to a basic stance is a free action unless otherwise specified.


You fight with a strong focus on your personal defense, sacrificing advantageous offensive opportunities.

Shift: Swift (1d4+2)

Benefit: You gain a +2 to your Primary defense.

Drawback: You suffer a -2 penalty to all attacks.


You drop to one knee.

Shift: Rapid (1d4)

Benefit: You gain a +2 to defense against ranged attacks.

Drawback: You suffer a -2 penalty to defense against melee attacks, cannot use longbows, and suffer a -2 penalty to hit with melee attacks.

Special: Standing up from a crouch is a Rapid action.


You focus entirely on protecting yourself, dodging and deflecting all incoming blows at the cost of mobility and all offensive capability.

Shift: Fast (1d6+3)

Benefit: Your Primary defense increases by half your attack bonus. Parrying with two weapons counts only the higher attack bonus. You can use a ranged weapon to parry. If you have a shield equipped, the shield bonus is doubled. Parrying always increases your Primary defense by at least 2.

Drawback: You move at half speed and are unable to attack or cast spells without special abilities that allow you to do so.


You drop to a high crouch, hands pressed to the ground, ready to run.

Shift: Swift (1d4+2)

Benefit: You may begin a movement at either running or sprinting speed. Normally, moving your running speed requires moving at base speed for 4 TC beforehand, and sprinting requires running for 4 TC. Once you begin moving, you revert to a basic stance automatically.

Drawback: You are considered immobile until you begin running.


You are lying flat on the ground.

Shift: Rapid (1d4)

Benefit: You gain a +4 to defense against ranged attacks.

Drawback: You take a -4 to defense against melee attacks, cannot use ranged weapons except for crossbows, and suffer a -4 penalty to attack with any melee weapon.

Special: Standing up from prone is a Swift action.


You lower your guard and your eyes glaze over as you focus all your thoughts into casting a spell.

Shift: Free (automatic when you begin preparing a spell)

Benefit: You are able to prepare a spell.

Drawback: You use your Passive defense and cannot do anything else except move at half speed while casting.

Special Combat Situations

Flanking and Facing

A character who has enemies both in front of him and behind him is considered flanked. This provides all melee attackers with a +2 bonus to hit the flanked character. Ranged attacks do not benefit from this.

Alternatively, a flanked character may choose to keep a set facing rather than meeting all foes equally. This must be stated as soon as the character becomes flanked, and it may only be changed on that character's turn or when a new enemy approaches within melee range. Once the character has decided to maintain a set facing, he can only change his facing or revert to all-around on his turn. Keeping a set facing means that the character is paying more attention to attacks from that direction (or from that attacker, at his option) than he is to those coming from behind. This negates the +2 flanking bonus for attackers in the front, but grants those behind him an additional +2 bonus to hit his rear (for a total of +4). Those on the side gain the normal +2 flanking bonus. Character facing for front, side, and rear attacks is shown in the table below.

Table: Front, Side, and Rear Facing
Facing StraightFacing Diagonally
The "X" is the character, "F" is the front, "S" is the side, and "R" is the rear.

Magic in Combat

Preparing a Spell

In order to cast any spell, you must first prepare it. Preparing a spell is really performing most of the casting, leaving only the last moment until later. There are several steps to preparing a spell, as follows.

  1. Select a spell to prepare. Note its fatigue cost and begin with a base casting DC of 10 plus the fatigue cost plus your armor spell failure. Roll the spell's casting time as your SF.
  2. If you have cast the spell previously in the same day, add 3 to the casting DC for each prior casting.
  3. If you take damage or fatigue before the spell is prepared, add the total amount taken to the casting DC.
  4. You may walk while preparing the spell, but each turn of movement adds 1 to the casting DC.
  5. At the end of the casting time, the spell is prepared and you may act normally.
  6. If you want to charge the spell, you may spend 1 TC to do so, which also increases the casting DC and fatigue cost by 1. You may charge the spell however many times you want and at any time while the spell is prepared. You may also release a single charge per TC if the spell has already been charged, which reduces the fatigue cost and casting DC accordingly.
  7. Any time while the spell is prepared, you may cast the spell with a Speed Factor of 1. In order to cast it successfully, you must roll a successful Arcana (Int) check equal to the casting DC. You may take 10 on this check. Whether successful or not, you spend the fatigue cost of the spell plus any charges when you attempt to cast, and the base DC of the next casting goes up by 3.

You need not finish casting the spell immediately. You may act normally until the spell is cast, except that if you prepare another spell, you lose the first.

Spells cannot be held indefinitely. Generally, if a spell is not completed and cast within the span of the encounter, or immediately thereafter, it is lost to no effect (assume a time limit of approximately 1 minute to finish the spell if there is any doubt).

Attack Rolls

Spells can target Primary Defense, Passive Defense, Vigor, Celerity, or Spirit. If a spell requires an attack roll, then the caster has a bonus to hit equal to his Accuracy plus Intelligence plus 2 for each charge applied to the attack roll. On a hit, the spell takes full effect. On a miss, the spell may fail completely, do half damage, or have some other effect. Spells cannot yield a critical hit or critical fumble unless specified in the spell's description. A natural 1 will still always miss, and a natural 20 will always hit.

If a spell has multiple targets, then a separate attack roll must be made for each target.

Abandoning a Spell

You can abandon a spell at any point during the casting time. If you do so, you lose the spell and you can act again on the following TC. Abandoning a spell that is already prepared is simply a matter of not casting it and waiting until it dissipates.

Simultaneous Actions (optional rule)

As an optional rule, some actions may have an altered or increased effect when they occur at the same time.


When two or more characters attack a single target simultaneously, the target's threshold of pain is lowered by 1 for each successful attack beyond the first when determining Impairments taken during that TC. This modifier applies to all attacks. For example: four characters all attack Hadwin at the same time, who has a threshold of pain equal to 8. Three of the attackers hit, meaning that Hadwin's effective threshold of pain is only 6 for this TC (8 - 2 successful attackers beyond the first). The attacks deal 3, 6, and 8 damage, so Hadwin takes two Impairments instead of the one he would normally have taken had the attacks occurred at different times.

This counts only when the attacks are from different attackers. A character wielding two weapons and hitting with both at once does not lower the opponent's effective threshold of pain.

If two characters attack each other at the same moment, they each gain a +1 to hit for that attack.

Two-Weapon Combat

Using two weapons effectively in melee is much more difficult than using only a single weapon. You may attack with both weapons simultaneously at a -6 to hit with each, provided that both attacks are against the same target. Roll both speed factors and take the worse result. You may instead alternate attacks. If your previous attack was with the other weapon, then you may choose to take a -4 penalty to hit and make your attack one speed class faster than normal.

Unarmed Combat

Fighting unarmed normally deals only 1d3 damage (1d2 for small creatures, 1d4 for large), although normal bonuses still apply. This damage is nonlethal. Additionally, without special training, whenever you are fighting unarmed, you use your Passive defense against all melee attacks. You may attempt an unarmed strike with your feet, knees, elbows, etc. instead of your hands, but doing so imposes a -4 penalty to the attack roll. You may attack twice when unarmed as if attacking with two light weapons, provided that you have at least two appendages free.

Ranged Weapons in Melee

Using a ranged weapon in melee combat is a risky proposition. You cannot fully defend yourself without a melee weapon ready, and use your Passive defense against melee attacks instead of your Primary defense, as if fighting unarmed.

Special Abilities


Paralysis DamagePenalties
½ × Vigor+1 SC, -1 hit, -1 damage, -1 Cel
1 × Vigor+2 SC, -2 hit, -2 damage, -2 Cel
1½ × Vigor+3 SC, -3 hit, -3 damage, -3 Cel
2 × Vigor+4 SC, -4 hit, -4 damage, -4 Cel
2½ × Vigor+5 SC, -5 hit, -5 damage, -5 Cel
3 × VigorImmobile

Certain monsters and abilities can paralyze their opponents. Paralyzing attacks deal paralysis damage. You take increasing penalties as your total paralysis damage increases. When your total paralysis damage is greater than or equal to half your Vigor, all actions you take are slowed by one speed class, you take a -1 penalty on all attack and damage rolls, and you take a -1 penalty to Celerity. For each additional multiple of half your Vigor, all penalties are worsened by 1. Penalties cannot drop your Celerity below 5. A character who is completely immobile also has a Celerity of 5.

If your total paralysis damage is three times your Vigor or more, you are completely immobile and unable to move or act.

Paralysis damage recovers at different speeds based on the monster or effect that dealt the damage.


Some monsters are able to petrify their foes (such as the well-known cockatrices and medusae). Petrifying attacks deal a certain amount of petrification damage. Each point of petrification damage causes a -1 to hit, +1 to SF, -1 to Celerity, and +1 to Vigor. Additionally, every 2 points reduces your speed by ¼ (to a minimum of 0 ft at 8 damage). Once a character has sustained 10 points of petrification damage, he is fully petrified.

Creatures recover from petrification naturally at the rate of 1 point every 8 hours unless they are fully petrified, in which case only magical aid can restore the creature to its original form.


Poison damage can only be healed through natural healing or certain spells that specifically heal poison damage. Poison can cause either fatigue or hit point loss. A few creatures deal damage to an attribute instead of or in addition to the normal damage. Poison damage to attributes heals at the rate of one point per day of bed rest for each damaged attribute.

Many poisons deal ongoing or delayed damage as well, as specified in the individual poison descriptions.