Under siege by an orc tribe, your party and the town guard have managed to hold them to a stalemate. The orcs have agreed to discuss terms, and your party has been chosen to represent the town. The orc leader, an old shaman, has arranged a meeting in a small clearing outside the town. As you attempt negotiations, the shaman speaks in circles and dodges your questions. This seems to be taking too long… something is wrong. The sound of movement in the foliage catches your attention, and the Shaman’s awkward behavior becomes clear; Diplomacy has failed. Defend yourself!
Thrilling scenes like these are part of the allure of Fantasy Role-Playing Games. Once your story escalates to a point where combat is imminent, use the rules for Combat Gameplay.
Combat Gameplay functions as a turn-based strategy game using a grid and miniatures to represent the battlefield and the combatants. Whether fending off an orc ambush, leading a pirate mutiny, or closing an inter-dimensional rift before it releases demons into the world, the rules provided in this section can be used to resolve just about any combat situation.
Taking Turns in Combat (Initiative)
Actions in Combat
Combat Statistics (HR, AC, HP)
Attacks & Dealing Damage
Movement in Combat
Tactical Movement & Cover
COMBAT GAMEPLAY – OVERVIEW:
-Combat Gameplay works in 6-second intervals of time called Rounds. (10 Rounds = 1 minute)
-Combat Gameplay generally takes place upon a Battle Map, a hexagonal grid system that serves as a visual representation of the landscape. Miniatures are used to represent characters, monsters, and other objects.
-Each hexagon (hex) on the Battle Map represents a distance of 5 feet in the game world.
When Combat Gameplay begins:
-The GM determines awareness and the position of all the combatants.
-Place terrain, player characters, monsters, NPCs, & important features on the Battle Map.
-Everyone aware of danger rolls Initiative; highest goes first.
-After you take a turn, you choose the character or monster that takes the next turn.
-Every creature involved in combat takes one turn per round.
-Note: Characters who are unaware of combat do not get a turn during the first round.
-You can take a 2 Big Actions and 1 Little Action on your turn. You also have 1 Reaction.
-After all combatants have taken a turn, the round is over, and a new round begins. The character or creature what acts last in the round chooses the creature who acts first in the next round.
-This process continues until the battle is over or the situation calms to a point where second-by-second information is unnecessary. When this happens, switch back to Story Gameplay and continue your adventure!
GM Note: Combat Gameplay can also be used in scenes where exact player locations or very short amounts of time are important, even if no actual combat is occurring.
Taking Turns in Combat
When exactly combat begins is determined by the GM and is based on the awareness of creatures involved in the scenario. The turn order is determined by a method called Selective Initiative.
Before any attacks are made, the GM determines who is and is not aware of what is about to happen. Only the creatures aware of the impending combat or other dangerous situation will have a chance to act immediately. Awareness is normally determined using Listen & Spot checks.
In many situations, it is obvious that all players and monsters are aware of combat, so no Listen or Spot checks are required; you can get right into the fight!
The location of each character and other combatants should also be determined at this time.
Terrain, Characters, Monsters, & NPCs are placed on the Battle Map. If the adventuring party has been traveling normally, place them on the battle map in their regular marching order.
GM Note: If an adventuring party has been traveling or interacting casually, then Passive Listen and Spot checks should be used to determine if any characters are aware of the threat. If the party has been moving carefully, then each member should be granted an Active Listen and Spot check to notice the threat. In some situations, the GM may choose to use Sense Motive or aspects of role-play to determine awareness. (See Passive and Active Awareness – Ch8.3)
AMBUSH! - What if you’re unaware?
he first round of any combat in which some creatures are unaware is called the Surprise Round; only the creatures that are aware may roll initiative and act. Creatures unaware of combat do not roll Initiative and do not get to take a turn during the Surprise Round. All unaware creatures are Flat-Footed during the Surprise Round. When the second round of combat begins, these creatures may take turns and are no longer Flat-Footed due to surprise. (GM Note: You may have all combatants roll Initiative again to start the normal combat rounds after the surprise round, or you may proceed normally with Selective Initiative.)
Unless attackers are extremely stealthy, sleeping characters will be awakened by a scream or the sounds of combat!
Note: Flat-Footed Condition: You suffer a -2 penalty to AC or you lose your DEXMod, Dodge Bonus, and Shield Rating to AC, whichever is worse for you. You cannot take Reactions.
Rounds, Initiative, & Turn Order: 1 Round represents 6 seconds of combat.
Once the GM has determined that combat is imminent and which creatures are aware, all creatures aware of the situation roll an Initiative Check:
Initiative Check = 1d20 + Initiative Rating + DEX Mod + WIS Mod
The creature with the highest Initiative Check takes their turn first. If a player does not want to act first, they may choose not to roll their Initiative check, thereby forfeiting their chance to go first.
The creature who acts first in a round cannot be interrupted!
When you finish your turn, you select which creature takes the next turn. You may choose another player or a GM controlled NPC/monster. Players may confer with one another before making a selection.
GM controlled creatures may choose players or other GM controlled creatures to go next.
Every creature involved in combat must take a turn.
You cannot select a creature who has already taken a turn.
Once all creatures have taken a turn, the round ends and a new round begins.
The creature who acted last in the previous round selects who goes first in the next round. If you act last in the round, you may select yourself to act first in the next round.
This continues round after round until combat has ended.
GM Note: Groups of similar NPCs may act on the same turn to simplify and speed up combat. This should only be used when many weak creatures vastly outnumber the PCs. (Ex: 4 goblins archers or 2 Thugs may act on the same initiative)
-Even though turns are taken in order, all actions in a round take place at roughly the same time, with split-second reactions being represented by initiative checks and the ability to interrupt another turn.
Selective Initiative – Suggestion: To make this system work effectively, give each player (and monster) an index card that says “Ready” on one side and “Done” on the other side (or something similar). When a new round begins, everyone flips their card to “Ready.” Once a player takes their turn, they flip their card over to “Done.” This helps keep track of which creatures have already acted and who can be selected to act next.
Taking Your Turn: Your turn represents the actions you take during the 6 seconds of a combat round.
-You can take 2 Big Actions and 1 Little Action on your turn! (+1 Reaction)
These actions may be taken in any order on your turn. You may choose not to use all your actions.
-Every character also has 1 Reaction per turn, which may only be used under specific circumstances.
COMBAT ACTIONS for BEGINNERS: This list shows some of the most common actions of each type available to a low-level character. See the next section for a comprehensive list of actions.
BIG ACTIONS: Attack, Cast a Spell, Wake Up, Grab or Trip a Foe, Move up to your Move Speed, Run twice your Move Speed in a straight line, Jump/Climb/Swim a short distance, Take off your Backpack, Stand Up from Prone, Aim a Bow or Crossbow, Survey your surroundings (Level 1-4: You can only use 1 Big Action to Attack or Cast a Spell!)
LITTLE ACTIONS: 5-Foot Step, Open/Close an Unlocked Door, Duck behind a wall for Cover, Get an item off a table or out of a Belt Pouch, Shoot a loaded Crossbow, Draw/Sheathe a Weapon, Ready a Shield, Pick up an item off the ground
REACTIONS: Attack of Opportunity (AOO), Attempt an Interrupt Turn, Active Parry
When you take your turn, announce the actions you plan to take, move your piece on the map, and make rolls as needed. Depending on what you say and where you try to move, the GM may tell you other information that affects your actions. For example:
You Say: “I charge towards the prince and slash at him with my sword!” GM Says: “Remember, it’s pretty dark in this room, so you will have to make an Acrobatics check to avoid falling if you charge. Do you still want to do it?”
You Say: “I step through the door and hurl a Fireball at the ice elemental!” GM Says: “As you step forward, the ground beneath your feet gives way! Make a Reflex Save to avoid falling into the pit trap!”
You Say: “I launch an arrow at the kobold sorcerer and then I duck behind the table!” GM Says: “One of the other Kobolds tries to interrupt you to defend their leader. Roll an opposed Initiative Check!”
You Say: “I take a step to flank the cloaked villain and take a mighty swing with my axe! GM Says: “The cloaked figure looks nervously between the two of you before shouting ‘the gods will punish you!’ Make your attack roll!”
Once you have used all your actions, your turn is over, and you select the creature that goes next.
This process continues until combat has ended, at which point you may return to Story Gameplay.
If you and an ally wish to act at the same time: When it is your turn, tell your GM you wish to act together, and select your ally to “go next” if their turn is available. You both act at the same time. The GM may determine any other special details or grant Tactical Bonuses for cooperation on a case-by-case basis.
If you would like to take your turn without being selected, you will have to attempt an Interrupt Turn.
Interrupt Turn: How does an Interrupt Turn work?
You must spend a Reaction to attempt an Interrupt Turn.
As an enemy attempts to do an action, let your GM know that you desire to interrupt them.
Ex: GM says, “The orc charges the priest.” You say “I want to interrupt the orc before he gets to the priest.”
You may choose to interrupt them at any specific location along their movement path.
Both parties involved (you & enemy) roll an opposed Initiative Check.
If you win the Initiative Check (higher result), you successfully interrupt and immediately take your turn. When your Interrupt Turn is complete, the creature you interrupted completes their turn. The creature you interrupted selects who takes the next turn once their turn is complete.
If you lose the Initiative Check (lower result), the other creature continues their turn as normal. You have failed to interrupt, your Reaction is used, and you will take your turn later when selected.
What if my turn is interrupted by an Interrupt Turn?
You remain in place while being interrupted. Your turn is essentially “paused.”
After the interruption ends, you must continue your intended course of action if possible.
-If you are interrupted & take damage while attempting to cast a spell, you must roll a Perseverance check or lose the spell (DC15 or DC25 based on damage, see Perseverance in Ch 4.16)
-If you were interrupted while running, you must either continue running in the same direction or stop where you are and lose any remaining movement (unless you have a Feat or other ability that allows you to change direction while running).
-If your intended action is no longer possible, you must pick a different action or forfeit the rest of your turn. You select the creature or player who goes next.
Interrupt Turn – Details and Clarifications:
You cannot interrupt the creature that acts first in the round.
You may call for an Interrupt Turn at almost any point before an action has been completed (before they move/before they attack/before they cast a spell).
You cannot interrupt a Swift Action, Free Action, Immediate Action, or Reaction.
You may interrupt a creature at any point during its movement. For example, a human that moves 30 feet could be interrupted after moving 15 feet. After the interruption, they have 15 feet of movement remaining.
If two or more creatures wish to interrupt, all involved creatures roll an opposed Initiative Check, and only the highest check succeeds. All other characters are considered to have failed the interrupt.
If you are unaware of a creature, you cannot attempt an interrupt (or other Reaction) against them.
Ex: If you cannot see or hear someone, you cannot stop them from opening a door in a different room.
If you have already taken your turn this round, you cannot attempt an Interrupt Turn (unless you used the “Prepare to Interrupt” action).
You cannot interrupt an ally’s turn if they were selected by another ally.
If you have multiple Reactions, you may not attempt to interrupt the same creature multiple times.
Interrupting an Interrupt Turn: At GM Discretion, you may attempt to Interrupt another Interrupt Turn using the same rules as above. However, the character who already succeeded on the first Interruption gains a +5 Innate Bonus on their Initiative Check.
Remember: Turn order & selection goes back to the person who was interrupted after all the interruptions finish!
Remember: Players who used their Reaction to interrupt will not be able to use a Reaction for AOO! (Unless they have a Feat that grants them extra Reactions! This is the tactical choice you must make when deciding to interrupt!)
GM Note: Interrupting requires a basic tactical awareness. NPC characters/monsters with an INT Score of 6 or lower would normally save their Reactions for AOO instead of attempting a tactical interruption.
Prepare to Interrupt – “Ready Action” (Big Action): You prepare to do something when a specific trigger event occurs. Tell your GM what you are waiting for, and what you plan to do when it happens.
You spend one of your actions now, planning to complete the remainder of your turn later as an Interrupt Turn. Your prepared action remains available until the start of your next turn.
Examples of Ready Action: “I get ready to shoot the first thing that opens that door.”
“I prepare to cut the rope on the bridge as soon as the princess makes it across.”
If the trigger event occurs before the start of your next turn, you may attempt to interrupt play. Roll an opposed Initiative Check against your foe. You are Fortunate on this check. If you win the check, you may take your intended action and finish your turn as if completing an Interrupt Turn.
If the trigger does not occur, the rest of your actions are lost.
Using the Ready Action means you do NOT have to spend your Reaction for this specific interrupt.
When to Interrupt: If you want to “catch an enemy in the act,” you’ll have to try to interrupt them as they do it.
Ex1: The classic example is the enemy archer hiding behind a castle wall. On their turn, the archer leans out, shoots, then ducks back behind the wall, getting Total Cover. If you take turns normally, you’ll never be able to attack him. Your only chance is to attempt an interruption.
If you act before the archer, you can “Prepare to Interrupt” on your Turn, stating that you would like to attack the archer as soon as he peers over the wall. You then pass the turn to the archer, who stands up and begins to draw his bow. Once this happens, you and the archer roll opposed Initiative Checks, but you are Fortunate on your check. If you win, you can make your attack against them just as they emerge from behind the wall, before they shoot their arrow!
Ex2: An enemy wizard begins chanting & moving her hands. You win the opposed initiative check and hurl your dagger at the wizard, hoping to disrupt her concentration so she loses the spell.
Ex3: A furious ogre charges your party’s healer. Upon wining the initiative check, you move directly into the ogre’s path and attack with your spear, striking with the full impact of the ogre’s momentum.
Here are a few problems that may arise during the initiative order and some suggestions on how to deal with them.
What if I don’t want to take my turn when I’m selected?
If you were selected by an enemy creature (or the GM selected you), you must take your turn!
Some actions you could use when you are unsure of what to do on your turn: “Fight Defensively” to protect yourself, “Protect Action” to defend an ally, cast a buff spell, move yourself to a better position, reload a ranged weapon, or equip a different weapon or shield, or “Prepare to Interrupt” to get ready for something you think may happen.
If you were selected by an ally, but you don’t want to take your turn yet, you can just tell your ally to pick someone else so you can go later (unless you are the last person available to act in the round).
Reminder: The whole point of this initiative system is to allow teamwork, so you should be talking to each other and saying things like “I’m not sure, so pick the goblins next!” or “Hey, let me go next, they’re within range of my Fireball!”
If your allies don’t know what to do, select a Monster or NPC to act before them! This could provide new opportunities for your ally when their turn comes later.
What if nobody wants to take their turn after combat has begun?
This may occur at some sort of impasse where both sides have a risk in acting first. You may have to allow a bit of roleplay before combat continues. Some conversation or shouting between sides using Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive checks may incite an attack, force a retreat, or maybe even work out a surrender. Who knows, maybe the players will actually talk their way out of the fight!
Ex1: Your party has engaged a group of goblins using bows and magic from across a small river, killing a few. The remaining goblins hide behind some trees & bushes to avoid your ranged attacks. The players don’t want to move into the river because they have the goblins pinned, but the goblins don’t want to move because they know they’ll be shot!
Ex2: An enemy assassin has been chased into a dark storage closet. Nobody wants to go into the closet because they fear they’ll be attacked, but the assassin doesn’t want to come out for the same reason! Some Diplomacy checks could convince them there’s no escape, or perhaps the Assassin can Bluff a discussion of surrender terms while he attempts to quietly cut through the wall to escape.
If that doesn’t work, the GM can force the creature/player with the LOWEST Initiative Roll to go first.
Alternative Initiative Option #1 – Round-By-Round Initiative: (Roll Each Round)
This functions like Selective Initiative, except all combatants roll initiative before the start of each round.
Whoever went last in the previous round gains a +5 Innate Bonus on this initiative check.
Highest goes first and cannot be interrupted. Each combatant chooses who goes next in that round.
If you do not wish to act first, you may choose not to roll initiative.
If you roll for initiative and you win, you MUST act first.
-GMs may find this option useful in a “1 versus many” fight. (Or any fight where one side is vastly outnumbered)
-This adds a bit of unpredictability to each round without having to write out every initiative roll.
Alternative Initiative Option #2 – Top-Down Initiative: (Highest to lowest)
This optional initiative style gives combat a definitive order but makes combat less dynamic and engaging.
The creature with the highest Initiative Check takes their turn first. Once their turn is completed, the next creature in the Initiative order takes their turn. This continues, from highest to lowest, until all creatures have taken their turn. Then, the next round begins and the process repeats, with the highest initiative going first.
-ny creature who has not yet acted in combat is considered Flat-Footed until their turn begins. The GM may override this rule if all creatures involved in the situation are obviously expecting combat and aware of all foes.
Benefits: Very structured & easy to understand
Classic Style: Many players are already familiar with this system (used in D&D, Pathfinder, and many other RPGs).
Turn order is very simple: Highest Initiative goes first
Easier to keep track of Spell Durations & similar effects (1 turn, 1d4 rounds, etc)
Drawbacks: Much less engaging and less realistic
More Book-keeping: The GM must write down the Initiative Check for all combatants when the fight begins. You must also call out turn order for who goes next throughout combat. -GM Note: Groups of similar NPCs may use a single Initiative Check.
This can sometimes “punish” players with high initiative; acting first may force them to move into a dangerous position or cause them to waste an action before foes appear or move within reach.
Less Dynamic & Engaging: Players may become bored or disengaged while waiting for their turn.
Less Creative & Cooperative: This system removes the option of an Interrupt Turn. You cannot spend a Reaction to attempt to interrupt an enemy turn. If you wish to interrupt while using the Top-Down Initiative system, you must use the “Prepare to Interrupt” action on your turn. If the trigger event occurs, you may take a single prepared Big Action without having to roll an opposed initiative check.
It is more difficult to work together to complete tasks. Skills & feats focused on interrupting combat are useless.
One bad initiative check and you are acting last for the whole fight!
Actions in Combat What can I do on my turn?
This section explains the different types of actions available during Combat Gameplay.
You can take 2 Big Actions and 1 Little Action on your turn! (+1 Reaction)
These actions may be taken in any order on your turn. You may choose not to use all your actions.
Every character also has 1 Reaction per round, which may only be used under specific circumstances.
Big Actions (BA): Big Actions require a decent amount of mental attention and/or physical effort to complete. You can take 2 Big Actions on a Turn. The most common uses of Big Actions are:
Moving across the battlefield at a rate determined by your Move Speed
Casting Spells & using Magic Abilities (SLA/Su)
-You may only cast 1 Spell Per Turn!
NOTE: Attacks Per Turn: How Many Attacks can I make on my turn?
At Character Level 0-4: You may use 1 Big Action per Turn to make an Attack. (1 Attacks/Turn)
At Character Level 5-9: You may use 2 Big Actions per Turn to make an Attack (2 Attacks/Turn)
At Character Level 10-14: Once per Turn, you may make 2 Attacks as a single Big Action. (3 Attack Actions/Turn)
At Character Level 15+: You may make 2 Attacks as part of a single Big Action. (4 Attack Actions/Turn)
-Additional attacks made on your Turn suffer a -2 Consecutive Attack Penalty. (See Ch9.4 for more details)
Little Actions (LA): Little Actions are simple & quick, requiring only a small amount of effort to complete.
You can always replace a Big Action with a Little Action. The most common uses of Little Actions are:
Shifting your position to an adjacent space (5’ Step)
Drawing a weapon
Opening an unlocked door
Swift Action (LAs): A Little Action that is so quick and easy that it does not provoke AOO.
There are also Free Actions, Immediate Actions, Double Actions, and Full-Round Actions.
These action types have been provided to “fill the gaps” for everything that could happen in combat. This includes things like yelling “Get over here!” to your healer, dropping a held item, or rummaging through your backpack. They are described later in this section
These tables provide many examples of Big Actions, Little Actions, and Full-Round Actions.
This list of actions is intended to cover the vast majority of your adventure, but additional actions are possible. Certain Feats, abilities, items, and magic spells may speed up actions or indicate a different action type that may be taken. Any other action not indicated here is left to your own creativity, logic, and GM Discretion.
Provoke AOO: A “Yes” indicates that doing these actions provokes AOO from any creature threatening you. Some entries will have qualifiers explained in the description. (AOO means “Attack of Opportunity” – see 9.2b)
Big Actions (BA): Big Actions require a decent amount of mental attention and/or physical effort to complete. You can take 2 Big Actions on a Turn.
Little Actions (LA): Little Actions occur quickly and require a small amount effort to complete.
Swift Action (LAs): Swift Actions are Little Actions that do not Provoke AOO. They have been given a special name and sub-category to make them more easily identifiable.
Full-Round Actions (FRA): This consumes both Big Actions for a single turn and the action is not completed until the start of your next turn! Once started, you cannot take another action (or Reaction) until your FRA is complete.
-All Full-Round Actions provoke AOO.
Other Types of Actions
There are also Free Actions, Immediate Actions, Double Actions, and Full-Round Actions.
-Certain scenarios, Feats, magic spells, or special abilities will allow you to do some of these actions.
Free Action: A Free Action can be taken at any point on your own turn, but does not consume any of your available turn actions. These are often situational, granted at GM Discretion.
-Speaking a short phrase or two is the most common Free Action. Remember, a turn is only 6 seconds; not enough time for a real conversation! Up to 2 Free Actions may be made per turn; any Free Actions used beyond this number should be considered Swift Actions. Other possible Free Actions include:
You may drop any item(s) held in one or both of your hands as a Free Action.
You may change your grip on a weapon from One-Handed to Two-Handed (or vice versa).
Immediate Action: This special type of action occurs immediately, regardless of whose turn it is in combat, and consumes none of your available actions. When activated, Immediate Actions briefly interrupt the turn order until completed. Immediate Actions may only be taken if you possess a Feat or other ability that indicates you may do so.
Double Action (DA): This consumes both of your Big Actions on your Turn.
Getting an item onto or off of a Tie-On Slot is a Double Action.
Full-Round Action (FRA): This consumes both Big Actions for a single turn and the action is not completed until the start of your next turn! You cannot take another action (or Reaction) until your FRA is complete.
You may take a Little Action before beginning the Full-Round Action.
-All Double Actions & Full-Round Actions Provoke AOO. (Except for the Retreat Action)
Special Actions in Combat
These actions offer you a few more options to create a dynamic and exciting battle!
Aim (Big Action, Provokes AOO): You focus on your target and steady your aim.
-You gain a +1 Focus Bonus on your next ranged attack this turn. (Aim cannot affect an AOO) If you move, are struck with an attack, or take any other action before making the attack, you lose this bonus.
Fight Defensively (Big Action, No AOO): You sacrifice offense to improve your defenses until your next turn.
-You must be wielding a melee weapon (or otherwise threaten your area) to fight defensively.
-You may not choose to fight defensively if you have already made an attack or cast a spell on your turn.
While fighting defensively (or “fighting on the defensive”):
-You suffer a -4 penalty on Attack Rolls and gain a +2 Dodge Bonus to AC until the start of your next turn.
-You may spend a Reaction to use Active Dodge while fighting defensively. (see Ch9.2e)
-Active Parry Rolls you make while fighting defensively ignore the -4 Attack Penalty. (see Ch9.2e)
Knockout Strike (Attack Action, No AOO): You can knockout a target using an attack that only deals bludgeoning damage. Announce your intentions to knock the target out and attack normally. If you land a Critical Hit against an unaware target OR if the target is struck with enough damage to be Injured, they become unconscious yet stable (not bleeding out). A character knocked unconscious in this way will awaken with in 1d10 minutes.
The affected creature may make a FORT Save DC(Damage Dealt) to resist being knocked unconscious.
Awakening a character knocked out in this manner requires a Full-Round Action spent attempting to awaken the creature, or any other efforts at GM Discretion (smelling salts, food, healing salve, etc).
Power Attack (Attack Action, No AOO): You make a single, powerful strike at your foe at the expense of accuracy. You deal extra damage, but are left off-balance after the attack.
You make a single melee attack with a -2 Attack Penalty and you suffer -2 AC until your next turn.
Your strike deals damage as if 2 die size larger. (1d3🡪1d4🡪1d6🡪1d8🡪1d10🡪2d6🡪2d8, etc)
Prepare to Interrupt – “Ready Action” (Big Action, No AOO): You prepare to do a single Big Action when a specific trigger event occurs. When the trigger occurs, you are Fortunate on the Initiative check used to interrupt.
(See additional details & examples in Ch9.1)
Protect Action (Big Action, No AOO): You closely defend an ally like a bodyguard until the start of your next turn.
You must be standing in the same space as the ally you wish to protect.
You must be the same size or larger than your ally to use this action.
You grant your ally Good Cover (+4AC) against attacks from all directions. You grant Superior Cover (+6AC) if you are wielding a Large Shield (or larger) or if you are at least 1 size category larger than them.
You suffer the Cramped Condition, but the ally you are defending does not.
Cramped: Half Move Speed, -2AC, -2 REF Save, -2 Attack Rolls, -2 Physical Skills.
The ally you are protecting suffers a -2 penalty to Attack Rolls.
Shield Bash (Attack Action, No AOO): Strike your foe with the face of your shield & slam them to the ground.
You must be wielding a Light or larger shield to attempt a Shield Bash.
Make an Unarmed Melee Touch Attack Roll against your target. If it hits, continue as follows:
-If you roll a Nat20 on your Touch Attack, you gain a +5 Innate Bonus on your opposed Wrestling check.
Roll a Wrestling check. Your check is opposed by the Wrestling Check or Acrobatics Check of your target (target’s choice). If you win, you knock your foe prone. If you win the check by 5+, you deal (1+STRMod) [b] damage, knock them prone, and may also shove them 5 feet in a desired direction.
You lose your Shield Rating to AC against all other enemies besides the target of your Shield Bash until the start of your next turn.
Retreat Action / Disengage: (Full-Round Action, No AOO): You may move out of 1 threatened hex without without Provoking AOO for doing so and continue a distance up to your Move Speed.
You must attempt to move away from enemy units.
This is a special Full-Round Action that does not provoke AOO; You carefully move away from a threatening foe.
You must be wielding a melee weapon or otherwise threaten your area to be allowed to use this maneuver. You cannot also make a 5-Foot Step when you use this action.
You are Unfortunate on any Attack Rolls made before the start of your next turn.
Certain Skills can provide you with additional Actions in Combat. A brief description is given here.
These actions are described in detail in the Skill section associated with the action. (See Skills – Ch 4)
Intimidate Skill - Demoralize an Opponent (Big Action, AOO): Roll an opposed check vs Sense Motive or Intimidate to make an within 30 feet frightened for 1d4 rounds.
Sleight of Hand Skill - Dirty Tricks in Combat (Big Action, AOO): Roll an opposed check vs Sense Motive or Tactics in order to steal from your opponent or cause them a negative condition for at least 1 Round by tossing sand in their eyes, pulling down their pants, or striking a sensitive area.
Bluff – Combat Feint / Fake-Out (Big Action, No AOO): Roll an opposed check vs Sense Motive or Tactics to make your foe Flat-Footed against your next attack.
Perform(Comedy & Stories) – Insult an Opponent (Big Action, AOO): Roll an opposed check vs Sense Motive or a WILL Save to insult or aggravate your foe to make them Unfortunate or force them to attack you next turn.
Wrestling Skill - Maneuvers & More (Big Action, AOO): Make an Unarmed Melee Touch Attack Roll against your target. If your Touch Attack hits, use an opposed Wrestling check to attempt to affect your foe.
-The Wrestling Skill has many options for combat. The Wrestling Skill is fully detailed in Ch 4.26.
Reactions & AOO:
A Reaction is an immediate response to a specific event which immediately interrupts the turn order when activated. Every creature has 1 Reaction available per round. You cannot make a Reaction unless an appropriate trigger event occurs.
You can use a Reaction to do one of these 3 things: AOO, Interrupt Turn, Active Parry
-Other Reactions may be granted by class abilities, Feats, and so on. Using a Reaction never provokes AOO.
Provoke AOO: A creature is said to “Provoke an Attack of Opportunity” when their defenses drop momentarily as they perform an action.
-Anyone that threatens a creature that provokes AOO may use a Reaction to make an AOO against that creature. This means one provoking action could end up with you being struck multiple times, with a single strike coming from multiple enemies.
Threaten: The “Threatened Area” around a character is the area in which they can strike a foe at any moment if given the chance. A medium-sized character wielding a normal melee weapon threatens up to 5 feet (1 hex) away from them. Reach Weapons extend your threatened area. (See Ch9.5 for details on Size, Reach, & Threatened Areas)
-Most Ranged-Only Weapons do not threaten. (Exception: Loaded Crossbows Threaten out to 10 feet.)
Attack of Opportunity (AOO): A reactive strike against a foe that momentarily drops their defenses. An AOO can only be made if you threaten a creature that performs an action that Provokes AOO.
-Making an AOO expends a Reaction.
-An AOO is a single Attack. Make an Attack Roll and resolve damage normally. (See Ch9.4a)
An AOO must be made with a weapon that threatens the target. (Most ranged weapons do not threaten)
You can only make 1 AOO per provoking action. (Ex: You cannot strike a foe twice for standing up from prone.)
If you have multiple Reactions, each consecutive AOO suffers a -2 Consecutive Attack Penalty.
If wielding 2 weapons, you suffer only a -1 C.A.P. if you alternate attacks between weapons.
What actions normally Provoke AOO?
Exiting a threatened hex provokes AOO from any creature threatening that hex.
Even if you move through multiple hexes threatened by a single creature, you provoke only 1 AOO from that creature for that movement. Reminder: A 5-foot Step does not provoke AOO.
Moving into a creature's occupied space provokes AOO from that creature.
Standing up from Prone
Loading a ranged weapon (Drawing and nocking and arrow, loading a stone into a sling, etc)
Casting a Spell (There are some spells that may be cast as Swift Actions, which don’t Provoke AOO.)
Drawing/Sheathing a Weapon, Readying/Stowing a Shield, Getting an item out of a bag or pouch.
Mounting or dismounting a horse (or other animal or vehicle).
No single action can provoke more than 1 AOO per threatening creature. A creature that uses one action to move through and exit the threatened hexes of multiple foes Provokes AOO once per foe for exiting a threatened hex.
Other actions that provoke AOO are indicated in the rules for that particular action.
At the GM’s discretion, any other action not specifically indicated that requires a bit too much concentration or movement to properly defend oneself may be deemed to provoke AOO.
Active Defense - Active Parry & Active Dodge
As you develop, you may wish to rely more on your skill with the blade or incredible agility rather than your armor & the attacking prowess of your enemies. These two actions grant you defensive options that use special Opposed Skill Checks or Opposed Attack Rolls to determine the outcome. Use of these abilities can be risky, but they just might save your life!
There are two types of Active Defense: Active Parry & Active Dodge
Active Parry: You deflect an incoming melee attack using your own melee combat skills.
Active Dodge: You avoid an incoming attack using your acrobatic skills.
-Active Defenses come in handy when you don’t have access to all your weapons or armor, such as if you have been taken prisoner or awoken by bandits in your campsite.
Active Parry - If you are attacked in melee and are aware of the attack:
You may spend a Reaction to replace your Armor Class with an Attack Roll against a single melee attack.
You may add your Shield Rating to this Attack Roll.
Any penalties to your Attack Rolls apply normally. (Encumbered, non-proficient, weakened, etc)
This is modified Attack Roll is referred to as your “Active Parry Roll.”
Ex: Level 4 Fighter: 3HR+3str+1weapon training+1mw weapon+2shield-1 Medium Armor = +9, Rolls an 11 = Active Parry 20, which acts as AC20 against the incoming attack.
-If your Active Parry Roll is higher than the enemy Attack Roll, you successfully deflect the blow and are unharmed by the attack. If your result is less than or equal to the attacker’s roll, you are struck.
Active Parry – Clarifications & Limitations:
You must threaten your area with a melee weapon or natural weapon to use Active Parry.
Active Parry cannot be used against Ranged Attacks or Touch Attacks.
You cannot use Active Parry against a creature 2+ size categories larger than you.
Weapons that affect Active Parry:
Some weapons are well-designed to aid in parrying, while others are designed to bypass such defenses.
Weapon Trait – Parry+X: If proficient, this weapon grants a +X Gear Bonus to any Active Parry Roll.
If wielding multiple “Parry” Weapons, only the highest Gear Bonus applies to your Active Parry Roll.
Weapon Trait – Knockdown: This weapon grants a +2 Gear Bonus against foes attempting an Active Parry.
Weapon Trait - Anti-Shield: This weapon grants a +1 Gear Bonus against foes attempting an Active Parry.
Using the Active Dodge ability requires the Active Dodger Feat OR you must be Fighting Defensively.
Active Dodge - If you are attacked in melee and are aware of the attack:
You may spend a Reaction to replace your Armor Class & Touch AC with an Acrobatics Check against this attack.
-You must have at least 1 Rank in Acrobatics & be Fighting Defensively or have the Active Dodger Feat to use this ability.
If your Acrobatics check is higher than the enemy Attack Roll, the attack misses you completely.
-This means that you are not “touched” by the attack.
Ex: Level 4 Rogue: 4ranks+3dex+2c = +9 Acrobatics, Rolls a 13+9 = AC & Touch AC22 against the incoming attack
Active Dodge – Clarifications & Limitations:
-You cannot “Take 5” on an Active Dodge Acrobatics Roll!
You also cannot “Take 10,” even if you have a special ability that would allow you to do so!
-If attacked by a Bow, Crossbow, or Magic Ray, you are Unfortunate on your Acrobatics Check.
It is much harder to dodge these incredibly fast projectiles.
Active Defense Limitations:
You must choose to use an Active Defense before the result of the enemy Attack Roll is known.
You cannot use Active Defense if you are Flat-Footed. You must be aware of the incoming attack.
You suffer a -2 penalty on your Active Defense Roll if you are Flanked.
If you have multiple Reactions, you suffer a -2 cumulative penalty to your Active Defense Roll each additional time you use an Active Defense in a single round.
A Nat20 on an Active Defense automatically deflects/dodges the attack UNLESS the attacker also rolls a Nat20, in which case the results are tallied normally. (vice versa -Nat20 Attack auto-hits unless defender also rolls Nat20)
A Nat1 on an Active Defense automatically fails to parry/dodge the attack UNLESS the attacker also rolls a Nat1, in which case the results are tallied normally. (vice versa -Nat1 Attack auto-fails unless defender also rolls Nat1)
You cannot use an Active Parry against an AOO because you cannot use a Reaction against another Reaction.
If you fail to parry/dodge a Critical Threat, the Critical Hit is confirmed normally against your ACvsCrit.
-Player Note: Using Active Defense does not factor in many of your bonuses to AC. By attempting the Active Parry or Active Dodge, you accept the possibility that a poorly timed parry or dodge could lead to a strike bypassing your normal defenses. Consider this before using one of these abilities!
Hit Rating (HR)
Armor Class (AC)
Hit Rating (HR)
Your HR represents your martial training. A higher HR indicates greater skill in combat, including weapon strikes and special combat maneuvers such as trips and counters. Your HR is determined by your character class and increases as you gain levels.
High HR: Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger
Mid HR: Bard, Druid, Rogue
Low HR: Priest, Sorcerer, Wizard
-Whenever you make an Attack Roll your HR is added to your d20 roll. (Section 9.4 covers Attacks in detail)
-Your HR increases as you gain levels.
The Math behind HR:
High HR = [0.74xlvl], round down, +1
Medium HR = 0.64xlvl
Low HR = 0.49xlvl
-Your HR is located in the top-left corner on the front of your character sheet.
“I know what I want to do on my turn. So how does it work?”
-The statistics presented here are used in nearly every combat situation. They determine how well you attack, how hard you are to hit, and how much punishment you can handle.
Hit Rating & Save Rating by Level
Armor Class (AC) - What is it?
Your Armor Class (AC) represents your ability to avoid a solid, damaging blow. Your AC takes into consideration your nimbleness, awareness, combat training, physical protection such as armor and shields, as well as magic, size, thick skin, and more. Your Armor Class is the Difficulty Class of an enemy attack made against you.
-On the character sheet, AC is located at the top of your character sheet in the center.
-Whenever you are attacked by an enemy, the enemy Attack Roll is compared to your AC. If the attack roll is greater than or equal to your AC, you get hit! Your Armor Class is calculated as follows:
AC = 10+DEXMod+ArmorRating+NaturalArmorRating+ShieldRating+SizeMod
-Small creatures have a +1 SizeMod to AC. Large creatures have a -1 SizeMod to AC.
-You may only have one source of Armor Rating, one source of Shield Rating, and one source of Natural Armor Rating. If you somehow have multiple Armor Ratings, only the highest Armor Rating applies.
What are the other kinds of AC? (FFAC, TouchAC, ACvsCrit)
Some attacks only need to touch you to hurt you, some attacks happen when you aren’t paying attention, and some attacks strike critical areas. These other AC types are used in these situations.
Your GM may ask for a particular AC score depending on the situation. If you aren’t sure, just ask! Also, it’s okay to remind your GM when you make an attack. For example, say “Hey, isn’t that guy surprised?” or “This is a touch attack spell.”
-Any “Bonus to AC” (or penalty) also applies to FFAC, TouchAC, and ACvsCrit unless indicated otherwise.
Flat-Footed AC (FFAC): Attacks target your FFAC when you are unaware of the attack and cannot defend yourself properly, such as when caught off-guard by a surprise attack (You have the Flat-Footed condition).
Flat-Footed: You cannot take Reactions. You suffer a -2 penalty to AC or lose your DEXMod to AC, whichever is worse for you. You lose any Dodge Bonus and Shield Rating to AC.
If your DEXMod is +3 or higher: FFAC = AC-DEXMod-ShieldRating-Dodge Bonus
If your DEXMod is +2 or lower: FFAC = AC-ShieldRating-Dodge Bonus-2
*GM Note: At your discretion, you may allow a Flat-Footed character to retain their Shield Rating to FFAC depending on the direction of the incoming attack, the facing of the character, and in which hand the shield is held.
-A quick calculation for an average medium-sized character is: FFAC = 10+ArmorRating
TouchAC: Attacks that only have to make contact to cause an effect target your TouchAC. Many magic spells strike as Touch Attacks. Your TouchAC does not include your Armor Rating, Shield Rating, or Natural Armor Rating. Even if an item you’re holding gets touched, you will be affected!
TouchAC = AC-ArmorRating-ShieldRating-NaturalArmorRating
-Note: A touch attack that is a Critical Threat is confirmed against TouchAC, rather than confirming against ACvsCrit.
-A quick calculation for an average medium-sized character is: TouchAC = 10+DEXMod
ACvsCrit: Attacks that strike as a Critical Threat must roll against your ACvsCrit to successfully become a Critical Hit. ACvsCrit is calculated just like your regular AC, but use your Armor’s “Armor Rating vs Crit” in place of the normal Armor Rating. Helmets and other gear can also alter your ACvsCrit. Check your equipment for details!
ACvsCrit = 10+DEXMod+ArmorRatingvsCrit+NaturalArmorRating+ShieldRating+SizeMod
*Note: There are many magic items, spell, Feats, size modifiers, and special abilities that can affect some or all of your AC scores. Make sure to read each item or ability carefully to see which ones are affected!
Hit Points (HP) - Taking Damage, Injury, Death:
Hit Points (HP) – What are HP?
Hit points are an abstraction of not only physical hardiness, but your ability to avoid or resist damaging blows. As you increase in level, your higher HP represents the ability to parry a deadly thrust into a slight graze or move your body with a strike to reduce the impact of a blow. Combat-oriented classes train more to resist physical punishment, and therefore these classes gain more Hit Points each level.
Acquiring Hit Points: You gain a set number of HP each character level as indicated by your character class. Each level, you also gain an amount of HP equal to your CONMod.
Note: A Negative CONMod reduces the amount of HP you gain each Level. You always gain at least 1HP each level.
Player Character Classes - HP per Level:
Barbarian-10, Bard-6, Priest-4 (War Priest-6), Druid-4, Fighter-8, Ranger-8, Rogue-6, Sorcerer-4, Wizard-4
Every starting character or creature gains +2 Hit Points upon creation. (Even Level 0 creatures and Goons)
Ex: Level 3 Wizard with 12 CON = 4HP/level from Wizard, +1 HP/Level from CONMod, +2 HP creation = 12+3+2 = 17 Hit Points
-Monster HP and other statistics are calculated based on Monster Level & Monster Role (see Ch15.1).
Taking Damage: Whenever you are stuck with an attack or ability that deals damage, subtract the amount of damage from your Hit Points, and mark down how many HP you have remaining in the Current HP section. All damage taken is cumulative and remains until you are healed or until you regain HP by resting.
-On the character sheet, your Hit Points are located at the top and slightly to the left, just above HR. There is a section for your Maximum HP, as well as an open space for marking Current HP based on damage taken.
Injury & Injured Threshold: If you take too much damage, your mental and physical capabilities decline.
-Your Injured Threshold is one-quarter (25%) of your maximum HP.
If you are reduced to an amount of HP less than or equal to your Injured Threshold, you become Injured:
Injured: You suffer -2 AC and a -2 penalty on all d20 rolls. Your Move Speed is reduced by 5 feet. You must make a DC(10+SL) Perseverance check for any spell you wish to cast or the spell fails. This condition is automatically removed when you heal above your Injured Threshold, but cannot be removed in any other way.
-You cannot have your Move Speed reduced to less than 5 feet by the Injured Condition.
-Creatures with 3 or fewer HP do not have an Injured Threshold.
Healing lost HP: Characters regain HP by healing naturally, the Heal Skill, or through healing magic. Healed HP are added to your current HP, up to your Maximum HP. Healing can never bring your HP above your HP Maximum.
-You slowly heal naturally: When you complete a Long Rest, you heal +1 HP per Level, and an additional +1 HP per CON Mod (or -1 per negative CONMod). You cannot heal naturally if you are bleeding.
-Magical healing and HP healed from the Heal Skill reduce Bleed damage by the amount of HP healed.
Ex: If you are suffering Bleed 3 and you are healed +2HP, you are now suffering only Bleed 1.
Unconscious & Dying: Your conscious body has shut down, but you are still alive.
-An Unconscious creature falls Prone, drops held objects, cannot act, and is Helpless.
-If you are struck to 0 Hit Points or less, you fall unconscious and gain +1 Weakened Stage.
-If struck to 0HP or less by a Slashing or Piercing weapon, you also gain Bleed 1; you are dying.
-If your current Hit Point total is raised above 0HP, you regain consciousness.
Stabilize when Dying: If dying, you may attempt a DC20 FORT Save once per round to reduce the bleeding by 1. If the bleeding stops, you are unconscious while at 0HP or less, and you may heal naturally as if resting.
Death: A character dies if reduced to a negative number of HP equal to its CON Score. A dead creature cannot be brought back to life by healing lost Hit Points; much more powerful magic is needed. Only spells or abilities that specifically state “resurrect” or “bring back to life” may bring dead characters or creatures back to life.
-Ex: A character with 18 HP and a 13 CON Score is struck for 20 damage. They fall unconscious at -2 HP and suffer Bleed 1. If they are not healed, they may continue to bleed 1 HP per round. If they reach -13 HP, they die.
NPC & Enemy Death: Goons, basic monsters, & most NPCs die when they reach (-Level) HP. Use this rule for any of your “cannon fodder” enemies. Boss villains, important story NPCs, & powerful monsters may use the PC rules for dying.
*See the Resurrection spell & read about “The Price of Death” in Ch11.4 for more information about bringing creatures back from the dead.
Temporary Hit Points (TempHP): These special extra HP are gained by certain spells or special abilities. Temporary Hit Points are a separate set of extra Hit Points that serve as a damage buffer. Temporary Hit Points are lost first, before any damage strikes your actual Hit Points. Once all Temporary Hit Points have been removed by taking damage, any remaining damage is dealt to your current HP.
-You may never have more Temporary HP than 25% of your Maximum HP.
Ex: A character with maximum 36HP may never have more than 9 Temporary HP.
-Temporary Hit Points disappear in 1 hour and cannot be healed.
Saving Throws (Saves) - What are Saves?
Saving Throws represent your ability to avoid or resist effects from things other than direct physical attacks. Spells are the most common cause of Saving Throws, though special attacks, poisons, and traps may also cause them. Your character class provides the Save Rating used for each of the three types of Saves.
Save DC: Any spell or ability that causes a Saving Throw indicates a Save DC. If the Saving Throw meets or exceeds the Save DC, the Saving Throw is successful. (This is sometimes called “Passing” a Saving Throw.)
-Whenever you are subject to an effect that calls for a Save, roll your appropriate Saving Throw and tell your GM the results. If you are the one causing the Save, tell your GM the type of Save and Save DC required.
-Most Spells & SLA have a Save DC of (10+Spell Level+CastingAbilityMod)
Ex: I cast SL2 “Hold Animal” on the bear. I have a +3 WISMod, so total WILL Save DC 15 to resist!
-If you succeed on a Saving Throw, you either reduce or avoid the effects. Spells & abilities that cause Saving Throws also describe what happens to you depending on if you pass or fail the Save.
-If you fail a Saving Throw, you suffer all negative effects described by the spell or ability.
-If a spell or ability does not indicate what happens on a successful Save, you ignore all effects.
-Some spells & abilities say “Save for Half.” This means that if you pass the indicated Save, you take half damage.
The 3 Types of Saving Throws – FORT, REF, WILL:
Fortitude Saving Throw = FORT Save: This represents an amalgam of physical toughness, immune system functionality, hardiness, endurance, and overall physical health. FORT Saves are used to resist physical exertion, poisons, and spells that attempt to directly alter your physical body.
FORT Save = 1d20 + FORT Save Rating + CONMod
Reflex Saving Throw = REF Save: This represents your innate reaction speed to avoid unexpected effects such pit traps, Area of Effect spells like Fireball, or explosions from an alchemical shrapnel bomb.
REF Save = 1d20 + REF Save Rating + DEXMod
-If your DEXMod is reduced by encumbrance or armor, your REF Save is affected.
-A helpless character automatically fails REF Saves.
-You do not suffer any penalty to REF Saves for being surprised or Flat-Footed.
Will Saving Throw = WILL Save: This represents your metal resilience and determination. WILL Saves are used to defend against effects that seek to deceive your senses or alter or control your mind.
WILL Save = 1d20 + WILL Save Rating + WISMod
-Note: A willing creature targeted by a spell may choose to be affected without rolling the indicated Save.
Important Note – Bonuses & Penalties: The calculations shown for combat statistics are generalized. They show only the most common bonuses and penalties applied to these values. As you read through other sections, you will discover circumstances, magical effects, equipment, or conditions that provide bonuses or penalties to various statistics or rolls. Just apply the bonuses or penalties appropriately as described in the specific section and follow these general rules:
Bonuses: Bonuses of different types stack together. Bonuses of the same type do not stack; only the highest applies. Special Exception: Innate Bonuses stack together. Dodge Bonuses stack together. Gear Bonuses from different types of gear may stack.
Penalties: Penalties do not have types. All penalties stack with one another.
Attacks & Dealing Damage
If you want to strike a foe with your sword, stab them with a spear, slash them with your claws, or shoot them with an arrow, you are making an attack!
How do I attack an enemy?
The rules for attacking assume you have some sort of weapon or combat training that allows you to deal lethal damage beyond that of an average punch or kick.
If you want to attack a foe with a melee weapon, your target must be within your Melee Reach. For most player characters, this means you must be adjacent to your target on the battle map (within 5 feet). If you have a long weapon like a spear, you may be able to strike a foe 10 feet away. If using a ranged weapon such as a bow, you can attack any target within the weapon’s maximum range.
Making an attack on your turn is a Big Action. You make an Attack Roll which must meet or exceed the Armor Class (AC) of your target to strike them. As a character of level 1-4, you can make 1 attack on your turn.
Melee and Ranged Attack Rolls are calculated as follows:
Melee Attacks: Roll 1d20 and add to that your HR plus your Strength Modifier (STRMod). If using a light or finesse melee weapon, you may choose to use your Dexterity Modifier (DEXMod) in place of your STRMod.
Melee Attack Roll: 1d20+HR+STRMod+SizeMod
Your Attack Bonus is the total value added to 1d20 for an Attack Roll.
Ranged Attacks: Roll 1d20 and add to that your HR plus your Dexterity Modifier (DEXMod). You may choose to use your Wisdom Modifier (WISMod) in place of your DEXMod for ranged Attack Rolls.
Ranged Attack Roll: 1d20+HR+DEXMod-Range Penalty+SizeMod
-The Range Increment of a weapon indicates how far the weapon can strike before losing accuracy.
Range Penalty: Ranged attacks suffer a cumulative -2 penalty for each fully divisible Range Increment to the target. Ranged Attacks made within one Range Increment suffer no penalty to hit.
-Maximum Range: A thrown weapon has a maximum range of five Range Increments. A projectile weapon can shoot ammunition a maximum distance of 10 Range Increments.
Ex: Shortbow(0) (Range Increment = 60 feet); a target 200 feet away is just over 3 full Range Increments away, which incurs a -6 Range penalty on Attack Rolls. Maximum Range = 10x60’ = 600 feet.
-If your Attack Roll is equal to or greater than your target’s Armor Class (AC), your attack hits!
Small creatures have a +1 SizeMod to Attack Rolls. Large creatures have a -1 SizeMod to Attack Rolls.
Other modifiers, bonuses, and penalties may apply to your Attack Roll depending on the situation.
Attack Rolls - Automatic Success & Failure: Nat20 & Nat1
-A Natural 20 on an Attack Roll is always a success. A Natural 1 on an Attack Roll is always a failure.
Touch Attack: A “Touch Attack” functions exactly as a normal Attack Roll, except you must meet or exceed the TouchAC of your target for the attack to land. Many magic spells and alchemical effects use this type of attack.
Attack Roll Annotations: Whenever you see the statistics for a monster, NPC, or player character in this manual, their Attack Rolls are listed in the following format:
Weapon: +Attack Bonus / Critical Threat / Critical Multiplier / Range (if projectile) / Damage [dmg type]
Ex: Shortsword: +3 / 19-20 / x2 / 1d6+1 [s/p] -An Attack Roll with this sword is 1d20+3. If the attack dice lands on 19 or 20, it is a Critical Threat, and it deals double damage on a Critical Hit. It deals 1d6+1 slash or pierce dmg on a normal hit.
Dealing Damage with Attacks:
When your attack succeeds, you deal Physical Damage to your target depending on the type of attack and the weapon used. (For more specifics on Damage Types, see Ch9.9a)
Three Attack Types – Basic, Heavy, Ranged:
Basic Attack: A Basic Attack deals the listed weapon damage plus an amount of extra weapon damage equal to your STRMod. Basic Attack Damage = Weapon+STRMod
Weapons wielded in one hand, thrown weapons, and most other melee attacks strike as Basic AttacksEx:
Basic - A dagger wielded by a character with +1 STRMod deals 1d4+1 [p] damage on a successful strike.
Heavy Attack: A Heavy Attack deals the listed weapon damage plus an amount of extra weapon damage equal to 1.5 times your STRMod. Heavy Attack Damage = Weapon+(1.5xSTRMod)
Weapons wielded in a two-handed fashion and certain powerful natural attacks strike as Heavy Attacks.
Ex: Heavy - A pollaxe wielded by a character with +3 STRMod deals 1d8+4 [b/p] damage on a successful strike.
Ranged Attack: A Ranged Attack deals only the listed Weapon Damage.
-Bows, Crossbows, and Blowguns strike as Ranged Attacks.
-Note: Thrown weapons deal damage as Basic Attacks, not as Ranged Attacks.
Ex: Ranged - A heavy crossbow deals 1d10 [p] damage on a successful strike, regardless of the STR of its wielder.
Minimum Damage: If you strike with an attack, you always deal at least 1 damage (before any DR is applied).
If you have a STRMod below zero, you do NOT add your STRMod to your physical damage rolls!
When dealing physical damage, you never have to subtract damage due to a lower strength score.
Weapon Damage & Other Statistics: Physical weapons indicate a numerical value for damage using dice (1d4, 2d6, etc) as well as a damage type. Normal physical weapons can deal slashing [s], piercing[p], or bludgeoning[b] damage. Each weapon also has a Critical Threat & Critical Multiplier. Range Weapons have a Range Increment. (See Weapons in Ch 7.1, 7.2, & 7.3)
Sometimes you land an especially devastating strike against a foe, which is called a Critical Hit. To score a Critical Hit you must first land an Attack Roll with a Critical Threat, then roll again to confirm the Critical Hit.
Critical Threat: If you make an Attack Roll and the number showing on the d20 matches that of your weapon’s Critical Threat and your Attack Roll is high enough to strike your foe’s AC, you score a Critical Threat.
Critical Hit: If you scored a Critical Threat, roll again to “confirm” this threat into a Critical Hit. Make another Attack Roll using the same attack modifiers as before, but against your target’s ACvsCrit. If this confirmation Attack Roll is successful, you land a Critical Hit!
-If confirmation is unsuccessful, your attack strikes as a regular hit and deals normal damage.
Critical Hit Success - Critical Multiplier: The damage from your attack is multiplied by an amount equal to your weapon’s Critical Multiplier. Use the following information to properly multiply the damage dealt:
Multiply the Weapon’s Physical Damage (including any applicable STRMod)
Do NOT multiply damage added from extra dice, such as Precision Damage, Sneak Attack Damage, Elemental Damage, or Energy Damage.
A successful Critical Hit always deals at least 1 physical damage to the target.
DR reduces damage normally, but cannot reduce physical damage from a Critical Hit to 0.
If within Melee Reach of a Helpless foe, you may use a Big Action to automatically strike them with a Critical Hit.
Reminder – Helpless Foes: Unable to move & completely defenseless. (Asleep, hog-tied, unconscious, etc)
Special Option - Nat20 Maneuver: On a successful melee Attack Roll of Nat20, an attacker may opt-out of confirming a Critical Hit to attempt a Wrestling maneuver instead. (See Wrestling Skill, Ch4.26 for details)
Critical Hit Example 1: Attacker using a Battleaxe has HR4, 14STR. Target has AC 18, ACvsCrit 16.
Battleaxe = +6 /20/x3/1d8+2 [s+b]: On an Attack Roll of 20+6 (total Attack Roll=26), this attacker scores a Critical Threat. The attacker rolls again, getting a 11+6 (total Attack Roll=17). This beats the 16 ACvsCrit & strikes as a Critical Hit!
-The Battleaxe has x3 Critical Multiplier:
3x (Weapon Damage+STRMod)= 3 x (1d8+2) = Total Critical Hit Damage = 3d8+6 [s+b]
Critical Hit Example 2: Attacker using a +1 Flaming Shortsword has HR5, 14DEX, 12STR. Target has AC19, ACvsCrit19.
+1 Flaming Shortsword = +8 /19-20/x2/ 1d6+2+(1d6fire) [s/p]: An Attack Roll of 19+8 = 27 is a Critical Threat. The attacker rolls to confirm, getting 11+8 = 19, which scores a Critical Hit. The Shortsword has x2 Critical Multiplier:
2x (Weapon Damage+STRMod) = 2 x (1d6+2) = 2d6+4 [s/p] dmg
DO NOT MULTIPLY the 1d6 Fire damage. Total Critical Hit Damage = 2d6+4 [s/p] +1d6 [fire]
Attacks Per Turn
As you gain levels, you learn how to land more strikes against your foes.
At Character Level 0-4: You may use 1 Big Action per Turn to make an Attack. (1 Attacks/Turn)
At Character Level 5-9: You may use 2 Big Actions per Turn to make an Attack (2 Attacks/Turn)
At Character Level 10-14: Once per Turn, you may make 2 Attacks as a single Big Action. (3 Attacks/Turn)
At Character Level 15+: You may make 2 Attacks as part of a single Big Action. (4 Attacks/Turn)
-Additional attacks made on your turn suffer a -2 Consecutive Attack Penalty (C.A.P. – See 9.4c below).
-You may also make attacks using your Reactions against foes who provoke AOO.
-A spellcaster of level 5+ can use 1 Big Action to cast a spell and 1 Big Action to make a normal attack (or vice versa).
Consecutive Attacks: Making more than 1 attack on your turn (Consecutive Attack Penalty, or C.A.P.)
-Each Consecutive Attack made with a single weapon on your turn suffers a cumulative -2 Consecutive Attack Penalty. This assumes use of one weapon at a time.
(-2 C.A.P.) = First Attack: +0, Second Attack: -2, Third Attack: -4, Fourth Attack: -6
-Ex: A soldier wielding a greatsword, a bandit with a single shortsword, an archer with a longbow, a guard striking with their mace while defending with a shield, or a wolf with a Strong Bite attack.
When wielding multiple weapons at the same time, each Consecutive Attack made with a different weapon than the previous attack suffers a cumulative -1 Consecutive Attack Penalty.
This assumes wielding a weapon in each hand, using multiple natural weapons, a combination of wielded and natural weapons, or the two different striking ends of a Double Weapon.
Ex: A thief with a pair of daggers, a gnoll wielding an axe plus a natural Bite attack, a warrior who bashes foes with both their shield and hammer, or a martial artist who attacks with a flurry of their staff and unarmed combat strikes.*Reminder: Attacks with your Off-Hand suffer a -2 Attack Penalty without the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat.
Consecutive Attack Examples:
Level 6 Priest (HR2, Attack Bonus+4) with mace & shield: They use a Big Action to attack with their mace at a +4 Attack Bonus. Their next Big Action attack with the mace suffers a -2 Consecutive Attack Penalty, so it uses a +2 Attack Bonus.
Level 5 Rogue (HR3, Attack Bonus+6) with Two-Weapon Fighting: They make a Big Action sword attack at a +6 Attack Bonus. Their next Big Action strike with their Off-Hand dagger suffers a -1 CAP, so it uses a +5 Attack Bonus.
Level 11 Barbarian (HR9, Attack Bonus+13) with Dane Axe: They use their first Big Action to make two attacks with their Dane Axe. The first attack is at a +13 Attack Bonus, followed by the second strike with a -2 C.A.P. for an Attack Bonus of +11. Their next Big Action strike now has a -4 C.A.P., so they make their third attack using a +9 Attack Bonus.
What About Reactions & Attacks of Opportunity (AOO)?
AOO are not considered “Attacks on Your Turn.” The Consecutive Attack Penalty applies separately to AOO. If you can make multiple Reactions, your first AOO is at your full Attack Bonus, then the C.A.P. will be applied to any additional AOO you make this round as described in the section above.
Coup de Grace / Killing Blow
(Full-Round Action, Provokes AOO) Slay a helpless foe. (Or knockout)
-You must be within Melee Reach of a Helpless target. You must be wielding a melee weapon capable of slaying a foe with a single strike. Knocking a foe unconscious requires a bludgeoning weapon.
How to do a Coup de Grace: The Attacker rolls 1d20
-On a result of 1: Your attack strikes as a Critical Hit, but something goes awry. If the target survives, they may immediately take a Big Action. Even if the target is killed, it does not go smoothly. There may be a loud noise, you get covered in blood, or the body falls in a strange direction, breaking something valuable or tumbling down the stairs.
-On any result besides a 1, your foe is affected as follows: (The GM chooses Option 1 or 2)
Option 1) Your target is killed (or knocked unconscious). Describe how you dispatch your foe.
Option 2) You strike with either a maximum damage Critical Hit OR you deal an amount of damage equal to 75% of the target’s Maximum Health, whichever is more.
Coup de Grace – Additional Notes: Players (and villains) may choose to use their “Coup de Grace” in other ways, using this attack to sever a limb, knock them unconscious, cause some grievous injury or scar, or otherwise inflict massive pain and suffering upon their target. You & your players are free to be as creative as you like with these actions. (GM Discretion)
Perfect Critical (Optional Rule)
This adds some extra brutality to critical hits. (GM Discretion)
If you roll a Nat20 when confirming a Critical Threat, you score a Perfect Critical.
Your strike deals maximum Physical Damage!
-Precision Damage, Sneak Attack, Energy Damage, & Elemental Damage are rolled normally.
If you deal at least as much damage as your target’s Injured Threshold, you also cause the following:
Perfect Critical – Continued:
Broken Arm: Cannot hold items, -1AC, -4 on Skill Checks requiring both hands. +10% Spell Failure
Broken Leg: Fall Prone. -2 Attacks, -2AC & REF Saves, ½ Move Speed, Cannot Run or 5-Foot Step.
Broken Ribs: Distressed with pain
*Severed Arm/Leg: Applies same penalties as Broken, but cannot heal naturally
-A Severed or broken arm could be the whole arm, lower arm, hand, or even a finger. (Similar with leg or foot)
-Use common sense to determine which Perfect Critical occurs for weapons with multiple damage types.
-A character wielding a large/tower shield cannot have their shield-wielding arm severed by a perfect critical; If you roll randomly for that arm, the arm is broken instead.
GM Note: If a Perfect Critical deals enough damage to kill the creature outright, there is no need to waste time rolling to determine additional effects; you may assume the foe has been decapitated or something similarly gruesome, at Player & GM Discretion. Allow your player to describe their killing blow & have a moment in the spotlight!
Killer Criticals (Optional Rule)
This suggested option makes combat more suspenseful, realistic, & gritty!
Killer Criticals: A Critical Hit always deals a minimum amount of damage to your target based on your Critical Multiplier and a percentage of your target’s Maximum Health.
A strike with x2 Critical Multiplier deals at least 20% Maximum HP damage to your target.
A strike with x3 Critical Multiplier deals at least 30% Maximum HP damage to your target.
-x4 deals 40%, x5 deals 50%
-The easiest way to calculate this amount quickly is to find 10% of your foe’s max health, then double or triple that number as needed for your multiplier. (Ex: 62HP maximum = 6HP for 10%, 12 HP for 20%, 18HP for 30%)
If your maximum damage output is less than this amount, save time when you score a critical and just deal the percentage instead of rolling your weapon damage.
If your maximum damage output is higher than this amount, you can roll damage as normal, but your attack will always deal at least the listed percentage as damage.
Damage Resistance applies after this calculation has been made (as normal).
You can land a Killer Critical against any foe up to 1 size category larger than you. Much larger creatures are just too big for your comparatively tiny weapons to have a guaranteed effect.
Examples of Killer Criticals:
Ex#1: 8 STR - Dagger Critical Hit against a Gang Boss (Level 5 Fighter, 52HP Max). Normally, this strike would deal 1d4(x2) damage for a maximum of 8, but with the Killer Critical, this deals at least 20% of the Fighter’s Max HP, which is 10 damage! The boss is wearing a Chain Hauberk with DR1/AA, so they end up taking 9 damage from the strike.
Ex#2: 12STR - Longbow(1) Critical Hit against an Ogre (Level 6 Monster, 74HP Max). Normally, this strike would deal 1d8+1(x3) damage, ranging from 6-27. The attacker rolls 3d8+3, but only rolls 2, 2, & 1, for 8 damage total. With the Killer Critical, minimum damage is increased to 30% of the Ogre’s HP, so the strike results in 21 Damage to the Ogre.
-GM Note: Killer Criticals increase the deadliness of all weapons & makes weaker foes & groups of enemies more threatening. It also allows weaker characters to deal significant damage against powerful foes with a well-placed strike. After all, a knife is still a deadly weapon! If your players are stomping groups of 10-15 goblins or goons, you may want to try this rule! A Spriteling Rogue or Gnome Fighter in your group will enjoy the outcome!
Bypassing Hit Points – GM Guide for Damage & Hit Points in Dramatic Story Scenes:
-Hit Points are a good representation of physical hardiness, skill, and luck in combat. However, the HP & Damage system can fail in certain dramatic scenes where all characters are not engaged in open combat.
-In these situations, the suspense & excitement are more important than the numerical mechanics of the attack or damage. If the action and result make sense in the story, then it may be allowed to bypass the normal rules for damage and hit points.
If you are not in active combat, the GM may progress the story and resolve attacks or other actions without resorting to Damage & Hit Point calculations.
-GM Note: If a player has done a lot of work and “earned” a cool scene, then let it happen! Similarly, if a character has done something foolish or the result is obvious, there is no need to spend time rolling dice and doing calculations when some dramatic flair can move the story forward in a believable manner.
Here are a few examples in which the GM may decide to bypass the use of Weapon Damage & Hit Points:
A talented fighter incapacitates a drunken thug bumbling about a dark alley with a single blow.
A crossbow to the temple or a dagger to the throat of a hostage may result in a deadly strike before combat begins, especially if a PC makes a rash decision and lunges at the captor.
An assassin has stalked their mark for weeks and finally has them alone in their room, completely unaware of any threat. Their mark allows them to approach as if they were lovers. At this point, perhaps a good description is all the scene needs to come to a fitting and dramatic conclusion. Let the player decide; “You’ve got them alone. They’re peering out the window and clearly don’t suspect a thing. What do you do?”
A skilled Ranger hiding in the forest rolls a Nat20 on his longbow attack against the level 1 guard in the tower. Before the player rolls damage, you say “The arrow strikes true, and the body falls to the ground below with a hefty thud.”
12 crossbowmen surround a single, unarmored warrior. They demand he remain still or he will be shot. The warrior screams, draws a sword, and rushes towards the nearest guard. A hail of crossbow bolts streak into the target. Sure, maybe the warrior strikes one of them, but without magic, this scene has only one rational ending.
Attacking Without Weapons
The rules for attacking assume you have some sort of weapon or combat training that allows you to deal lethal damage beyond that of an average punch or kick. However, situations will arise where characters do not have any weapons available.
Basic Unarmed Attacks – Punch & Kick:
A Player Character without specific unarmed combat training can only make basic unarmed attacks as described here. Peasants & other unarmed, low-level NPCs will also use these attacks.
The most basic attack available to a human-like creature (body with 2 hands and 2 feet) is an unarmed “punch” or “kick” attack. Any character proficient with simple weapons can make basic unarmed attacks.
A punch attack requires a free hand. A kick attack requires your feet to be free.
Any basic unarmed attack may use your STRMod or DEXMod.
A basic unarmed attack deals 1 [b] damage, plus half your STRMod (minimum 1 dmg).
-Weapon Stats for Basic Unarmed Attack at Medium Size: 20 / x2 / 1+[1/2 STRMod] [b]
You do not Threaten AOO with Basic Unarmed Attacks.
Basic Unarmed Attacks cannot deal precision damage.
-The Wrestling Skill is often used when fighting without weapons (Ch4.26).
-The Unarmed Combat Feat gives a character an Unarmed Strike Natural Weapon.
Natural Weapons (also called “Natural Attacks”)
A Natural Weapon is any part of a creature that can be used to attack a foe with a level of efficiency & lethality like that of a wielded weapon.
-Example Natural Weapons: Sharp teeth for bite attacks, vicious claws, powerful limbs, reinforced tails
A Natural Weapon allows you to Threaten AOO within your Natural Reach.
Natural Weapon statistics are written the same way as normal weapons.
As for as gameplay is concerned, Natural Weapons function exactly as normal weapons.
-Some creatures can use both natural weapons & wielded melee weapons, while others have multiple Natural Weapons.
If you have 2+ Natural Weapons (or 1 wielded melee weapon & 1+ Natural Weapon):
Once per turn, if you strike a Flat-Footed enemy with your primary weapon, you may use a Reaction to make a single attack with your second natural weapon against the same foe (counts as an AOO).
Ex: A level 2 creature with both a Claw & Bite Attack who surprises a foe could make a Claw Attack first, then spend a Reaction to make a Bite attack!
If you are capable of making multiple attacks on a turn, you suffer only a -1 Consecutive Attack Penalty if you alternate strikes between different weapons. (-1 C.A.P.)
*Note: These benefits assume a Creature with 2+ Natural Weapons that could both effectively be used to attack the intended target. (Ex: An alligator could not effectively bite & tail slap the same creature) – GM Discretion
-Monsters with other natural weapons apart from those listed here are described in each individual monster’s description.
Common Natural Weapons
Natural Weapons score Critical Hits on 20/x2
S/M/L/H indicates damage based on Size Category. (Small/Medium/Large/Huge). Changing size categories affects some Natural Weapons differently than wielded weapons.
-Creatures with long, narrow fangs may have the slashing damage type removed from their bite (Viper, Spider, etc).
Natural Weapon Descriptions:
Bite: A basic attack with sharp teeth.
Strong Bite: A heavy attack with powerful jaws designed to crush, hold, or tear apart other creatures.
Claw: This is a basic attack with sharp claw swipes against a foe.
Strong Claws / Talons: A heavy attack with a pair of claws or a set of vicious, hooked talons.
Smack: A basic attack with a blunt natural weapon.
Bash/Slam: A single heavy attack using a powerful strike with a strong, blunt natural weapon. These attacks also have the Knockdown property. (Grants +2 Knockdown DC, Knockdown functions against creatures of the same size)
-A tail smack or tail bash is a common natural weapon. A tail can never target the same foe in a turn that was targeted with a bite. A tail attack cannot normally strike a target in the hex directly in front of you (GM Discretion).
Ram or Gore: A heavy attack with a powerful headbutt or similar single, powerful blow with the reinforced (or horned) head or front of a creature. A successful attack activates a Shove Maneuver (Opposed Wrestling Check).
-A Creature with one of these abilities normally gains a +2 or higher Innate Bonus to their Wrestling Skill.
Sting: A basic attack with a piercing natural weapon that also injects a poison if the strike deals damage.
Special Natural Attacks: Many creatures have additional types of natural attacks and abilities. A few of the more common ones are described here:
Grab/Trip/Shove (Attack): The listed attack allows an attempted Grab/Trip/Shove Wrestling maneuver on successful hit. A Creature with one of these abilities normally gains a +2 or higher Innate Bonus to their Wrestling Skill.
Pounce: You can make a two natural attacks as part of a single Big Action Charge Attack. (The creature must have at least 2 different natural weapons)
Rake Attack: While in a grapple, if you win a Wrestling check to damage or pin an opponent, you may spend a Reaction to deal the listed slashing damage to your foe. (This requires something like rear legs with talons or claws.)
Swallow Whole: If the larger creature begins a turn with a creature 2+ size categories smaller than itself held with its mouth, it can attempt another Wrestling check as a Big Action. If it succeeds, it swallows its prey.
A swallowed creature cannot breathe and takes 1d4[b] +1d4[acid] damage each round.
-Damage based on Large Sized creature. Add +1 die size per size category above Large.
A swallowed creature keeps the grappled condition, while the creature that did the swallowing does not.
A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon. It must make a DC15 Wrestling or Acrobatics Check to deal damage while inside. Precision & Critical Hit damage cannot be applied. The amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 the larger creature’s max Hit Points.
Once enough damage is dealt, the creature will regurgitate the meal on its next turn (Big Action), and will not attempt to eat that creature again, although it will still attack if threatened.
A swallowed creature may also attempt a DC30 Acrobatics or Wrestling Check to force its way back into the larger creature’s mouth, causing it to regurgitate the creature. However, it will still try to eat this creature if it gets the chance.
Creature Size: Size, Space, Reach
What is a Size Category? From tiny faeries to gargantuan dragons, a creature’s Size Category gives players a frame of reference for the physical size of creatures in their fantasy setting. The following statistics are used to describe the physical size of a creature:
Size: The Size Category of the creature. Ranges from: Diminutive(D), Tiny(T), Small(S), Medium(M), Large(L), Huge(H), Gargantuan(G).
Space: How much space on the Battle Map the creature takes up, indicated in a number of contiguous hexes. A size in feet, such as Length x Width, may also be indicated. The map “footprint” of a creature.
-A creature also occupies an amount of vertical space equal to their height.
Reach: The Natural Reach of a creature is how far out of its space it can reach with a limb or other body part. Natural Weapons can threaten & strike foes within their Natural Reach. Listed in a number of feet (& hexes).
-See the “Size-Space-Reach Diagram” and “Creature Size Category Table” for clarifications & statistics.
Generic Weapon Dice Size List: (See Ch7.2f for more details on damage die size)
1 🡪 1d2 🡪 1d3 🡪 1d4 🡪 1d6 🡪 1d8 🡪 1d10 🡪 2d6 🡪 2d8 🡪 3d6 🡪 3d8 🡪 3d10 🡪 4d8 🡪 4d10 🡪 4d12
Medium Size (M): Most player characters and hominid creatures are Medium Size, falling somewhere within the plausible physical size of an adult human. Medium Size creatures are generally about 4-7 feet tall or long.
Space: A Medium Size creature takes up one 5-Foot hex.
Reach: An average Medium Size creature has a Natural Reach of 5 feet (1 hex).
Equipment & Damage: Medium Size is the standard size used in the LFG system. Unless a size category is expressly indicated, all rulings and equipment assume creatures of Medium Size.
NOTE: Any creature larger or smaller than Medium Size will have modifications to various statistics. See the “Creature Size Category Table” below for details.
Small Size (S): Most small creatures are around the size of a traditional pet dog, such as a collie or golden retriever. This is also the size category of the smallest available PC races (Goblin, Gnome, Spriteling), at roughly half the size of an adult human. Small humanoids are often mistaken for children of medium size races.
Space: A Small Size creature takes up one 5-Foot hex. (5’x5’ area)
Reach: An average Small Size creature has a Natural Reach of 5 feet (1 hex).
Equipment & Damage: Small Size equipment has 1/3 the standard weight for the same price. Small Weapons deal damage 1 die size smaller. Small shields & armor may have reduced HP or DR. (See Ch 6.6)
Large Size (L): About 9-13 feet tall or long, Large Size creatures such as ogres, stone golems, horses, and griffons are often encountered by an adventuring party. No standard PC races are Large Size.
Space: A Large Size creature takes up 3 contiguous hexes. (10’x10’ area)
Reach: A human-shaped Large Size creature has a Natural Reach of 10 feet (2 hexes). They can strike foes up to 10 feet away with no penalty. Attacks from short limbs or bite attacks may only have a reach of 5 feet.
Large Size: Most Large Size equipment has 3x the standard weight. Prices are usually 2x higher. Large Weapons generally deal damage 1 die size larger. Large Armor and Shields may have increased HP or DR. Crafting Large Size equipment is generally more difficult. (See Ch 6.6)
Note: Even Large creatures with long bodies, such as horses, tigers, and giant snakes, take up 3 hexes of space. While the creature is not actually 10 feet in all directions, this represents the full space needed for the creature to move, dodge, and fight effectively. It also standardizes creature sizes and makes rulings easier. At GM Discretion, certain “Long” creatures may be allowed to share their space with allies or fit into smaller spaces without penalty.
Other Size Categories:
Tiny (T) & Diminutive (D): Creatures such as house cats, squirrels, and some faeries fall into these size categories.
Space: A Tiny or Diminutive creature takes up less than 1 hex. Four Tiny or 16 Diminutive creatures can fit into a single hex, and these creatures can share spaces with larger creatures without penalty.
Reach: A Tiny or Diminutive creature has a Reach of 0, meaning it must enter an opponent’s hex to attack it in melee, which provokes AOO as normal.
Huge (H) & Gargantuan (G): Creatures such as elephants, dragons, and some dinosaurs fit into these categories.
Space: A Huge creature takes up an area of 7 contiguous hexes (3 hexes in diameter; 15’x15’), while a Gargantuan creature requires 10-12 hexes (four hexes long, 20’ long. 3-4 hexes wide, 15-20 feet across).
Reach: A Huge creature often has a reach of 10 to 15 feet (2-3 hexes), while a Gargantuan creature may have up to 20-foot reach (4 hexes). Attacks from short limbs or bite attacks may have a slightly shortened reach.
Size Categories & Statistics - Rules for Big and Little Creatures
-Creatures of a size category larger or smaller than Medium Size have modifications to numerous statistics, as indicated in the table below:
Creature Size Category Table
Creature Size: The Size Category of a creature.
Space: How much space on the Battle Map an average creature of this size takes up, indicated in a number of contiguous hexes (Length x Width in feet). See the corresponding diagrams for clarifications.
Reach: The Natural Reach for an average creature of this size listed in a number of feet (and hexes).
-See the Jump & Sprint Skill (Ch4.10) for a chart showing the vertical reach of creatures in each size category.
Attack & AC Modifier: Size Modifier to Attack Rolls and Armor Class (AC) due to size. (SizeMod to AC). Big creatures are easier to hit, so they have a penalty to AC. Smaller creatures find it easier to hit bigger targets!
Wrestling Modifier: SizeMod to the Wrestling Skill.
Hide & Move Silent: SizeMod to the Hide and Move Silently Skills.
Acro, Climb, Jump: SizeMod to the Acrobatics, Climb, and Jump&Sprint Skills.
Height/Length: The approximate range of heights or lengths of a creature of this size. Example creatures are indicated in parentheses to assist with comprehension.
Weight: The approximate weight range of an average creature of this size.
Creature Size Table
Reach & Threatened Area
Natural Reach: The distance you can reach with your limbs or other parts of your body.
Most small & medium sized creatures have a Natural Reach of 5 feet, meaning they can reach any creature or object in adjacent hex.
Larger creatures can generally reach enemies further away. A large-sized ogre has a Natural Reach of 10 feet, meaning it can reach out to 10 feet (2 hexes) away from its body position.
Creatures with Natural Weapons threaten AOO and can strike enemies within their Natural Reach.
Melee Reach: The area you can strike and threaten with a wielded melee weapon. Unless otherwise noted, melee weapons threaten the same distance as your Natural Reach. However, certain melee weapons, such as longspears and halberds, can alter your Melee Reach. (See Melee Weapons, Ch 7.2)
Threaten: The “Threatened Area” around a character is the area in which they are capable of striking a foe at any moment if given the chance. When a character is said to “Threaten,” it means they can make an Attack of Opportunity (AOO) against any creature who provokes AOO. If you are unarmed, you do not threaten.
Most Ranged-Only Weapons do not threaten. (Exception: Loaded Crossbows Threaten out to 10 feet.)
A Human being isn’t actually 5 feet across, so why do they occupy a Space of 5 feet?
The Space statistic is an indication how much space is needed to move freely & fight effectively; it considers total body size & full range of motion.
Normally, you could easily fit 4 humans in a 5-foot wide space. However, if they tried to duck for cover, use a longbow, or swing a battleaxe, they would have trouble!
Story Gameplay & Space: During Story Gameplay, creatures may share space as long as it is reasonable, such as in busy marketplaces & taverns. As long as people can physically fit past you, it is generally not a problem. You can function reasonably well in area of half your indicated space.
-If you have less than half your required Space, or if the GM determines space is becoming an issue, you will gain the Cramped condition. This slows your rate of travel, but has little other impact in Story Gameplay. Once combat erupts, the need for space becomes more important.
Designer’s Note: Creatures outside the size categories provided here are not commonly confronted by an adventuring party. While microscopic bacteria and 1cm long mosquitoes may exist, it is simply illogical to write out rules and stat blocks for such creatures. Similarly, enormous creatures are either so rare or powerful that they are not common combatants for an average adventuring party. Any other creatures are welcome to be added by the GM as desired to enhance your story!
Space in Combat Gameplay:
In combat, no two creatures may occupy the same space. (There are actually many situations that involve multiple creatures in the same space, but use this general rule until those situations arise!)
You cannot move into a foe’s occupied space unless you are attempting a wrestling maneuver or other special strike against them. You cannot end your turn in a foe’s space (unless grappling).
In combat, if you occupy the same space as an allied or indifferent creature within 1 size category of your own, you both gain the Cramped condition. Grappling does not cause the cramped condition.
Cramped Condition: Half Move Speed, -2AC, -2 REF Save, -2 Attack Rolls, -2 Physical Skills. You cannot attack foes with Large Space Needed weapons while Cramped.
Situations involving creatures in the same space:
You may occupy the same space as a creature 2+ size categories smaller than you without penalty.
Tiny or Diminutive creatures must enter their foe’s space to strike them in melee. These creatures are so small that it generally does not cause any issues with space for other creatures, and many of them can be in a single hex without issue.