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Combat

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.

 
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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.

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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.

Determine Awareness

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. 

Initiative Problems: 

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!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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

  • Attacking enemies

  • 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

 
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Action Tables

 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.



Big Actions

Little Actions (LA): Little Actions occur quickly and require a small amount effort to complete.


Little Actions

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.


Swift Actions

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.

 

Full-Round Actions

 
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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)

 
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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. 


While Protecting: 

  • 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 up to half your Move Speed without Provoking AOO for doing so. 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.

 
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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.

 
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 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!

 
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Combat Statistics - Hit Rating (HR), Armor Class (AC), Hit Points (HP), Saving Throws (Saves):

Hit Rating & Save Rating by Level

“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.

 
 
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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.

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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!

 
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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.

 
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Saving Throws

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.

 
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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!

 
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Attack Rolls

 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.

 
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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)

 
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Critical Hits

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]

 
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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.

 
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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)

 
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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!

 
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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!

 
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 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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

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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

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Size Categories

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.

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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

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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.)

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Space Explained

  •  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.

  • Battles in crowded city streets, secret tunnels, busy taverns, and other enclosed spaces or densely populated areas may force you to fight with the Cramped condition.

  • Two Large Size+ creatures may share 1 hex (or 33%) of their total space with one another without penalty. Anything beyond that causes the Cramped condition.


See 9.6a for more information about creature size and using the Battle Map.

 
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Momentum of Impact (Different Sizes, Knockdown, Crushing Advance) – SIZE MATTERS!

Very large creatures are extra dangerous to smaller creatures. Use the following rules to enhance the suspense, danger, and realism of combat with creatures of different size categories!

Momentum of Impact: Bigger Creatures hitting Smaller Creatures – Getting Knocked Down

If a creature strikes a foe at least 1 size category smaller than itself with any sort of physical attack, the target is subject to Knockdown based on the attacker’s HR and STRMod, as follows:

Knockdown: The creature struck must make Wrestling or Acrobatics check or be knocked Prone.

-Knockdown DC = 10+HR+STRMod

  • If the creature fails their check by 5+, they must also make a FORT Save DC15 (or Damage Taken, whichever is more) or be Confounded for 1 Round.

  • Knockdown activates upon striking your target or their shield. (If your attack misses by an amount less than or equal to the enemy’s Shield Rating, their shield has been struck.)

Knockdown Modifiers:

  • If the attacking creature is 2+ Size categories larger, the Knockdown DC increases by +5 per additional size category. (Max DC35. If the DC would be higher than 35, creature struck is also Unfortunate on their check to resist.)

  • Striking on a Charge Attack after moving at least 20 feet grants a +2 Innate Bonus to Knockdown DC.

  • A weapon with the Knockdown trait grants a +2 Innate Bonus to Knockdown DC and may cause Knockdown on a creature the same size as the wielder. (This is a more powerful version of the Impact trait)

  • A weapon with the Impact trait gains a +1 Innate Bonus to Knockdown DC. 

  • Light Weapons & Ranged Projectile Weapons (Bows, Crossbows) suffer a -2 Penalty to Knockdown DC.

  • Striking with a Power Attack grants a +2 Innate Bonus to Knockdown DC.

  • Cavalry count as the size of the Mount for Knockdown when using Heavy Attacks or Charge Attacks.

  • The Knockdown trait does not apply to attacks or strikes made by creatures in a grapple. 

  • Quadrupeds and creatures with more than 4 legs gain a +4 Innate Bonus on checks to resist Knockdown.

  • Flying creatures are Unfortunate when resisting Knockdown strikes.

  • A flying creature affected by a Knockdown drops 10 feet. If they reach the ground, they fall prone. If not, they regain control & continue flying. Creatures with Clumsy or Poor Maneuverability fall 20 feet before recovering.

  • Creatures that are larger but with very low mass for their size or that make attacks with low impact may lose their Knockdown ability if it makes logical sense against the target (at GM Discretion).

 

Wrestling against much larger creatures: (For full details, see the Wrestling Skill, Ch 4.26)

  • You cannot Pin a creature 2+ Size categories larger than you. 

  • You cannot use the Wrestling Skill to grapple & restrain a creature 3+ size categories larger than you.
     

Crushing Advance: Very big creatures stepping on smaller creatures!

-A creature 3+ Size categories larger may step into occupied spaces without having to roll opposed checks be resisted. -The smaller creatures in the space may make AOO as normal, but successful strikes will not affect the larger creature’s movement.
 

A) If the much larger creature is trying to move through or into a space occupied by much smaller creatures but is not actively trying to harm them:

  • The smaller creature may spend a Reaction to avoid the footsteps of the much larger creature. The smaller creature shares its space with the larger creature without incident.

  • If the smaller creature has no Reaction (or doesn’t want to use it): There is a 50% Chance that the larger creature may step on a much smaller creature when stepping into its occupied space.

  • If the 50% chance occurs, the smaller creature must make a DC15 REF Save or Acrobatics check to avoid being stepped on or crushed. If the creature fails the REF Save: They are knocked Prone & take (1d10+STRMod) OR (25% Maximum HP) bludgeoning damage, whichever is more. If they succeed the REF Save, they avoid any damage, though they are moved into an adjacent open hex in a random direction (if possible, GM discretion).

 

B) If the much larger creature is actively trying to harm the much smaller creatures in the spaces through which it is moving: The larger creature gains access to a special “Crushing Advance” AoE Attack:

 

Crushing Advance - Big Action (Provokes AOO): Move up to half your Move Speed in a straight line through any spaces occupied by creatures 3+ size categories smaller than you. 

  • Creatures within your Line of movement must make REF Save or Acrobatics check or be crushed.
    -Crushing Advance DC = 10+HR+STRMod

  • The affected AoE includes your entire occupied space throughout the Line of your movement.
    Ex: An elephant (Level 11 Huge, 28 STR) moving through an army of goblins: Crushing Advance DC(10+7HR+9STRMod) = DC26

  • If the creature fails the REF Save: They are knocked Prone & take (1d10+STRMod) OR (25% Maximum HP) bludgeoning damage, whichever is more. If they succeed the REF Save, they avoid any damage, though they are moved into an adjacent open hex in a random direction (if possible, GM discretion).

  • A smaller creature may spend a Reaction to gain a +5 Innate Bonus on the REF Save or Acrobatics Check. If they pass the Save, they take no damage and may remain in their place or move into any open adjacent hex they desire. If they fail the Save, they are knocked Prone, but take only half damage from the impact.

  • If the smaller creature fails their check by 5+, they must also make a FORT Save DC15 (or Damage Taken, whichever is more) or be Confounded for 1 Round.

*GM Note: The Crushing Advance rules are intended to make combat with massive creatures exciting, dangerous, and dynamic. If you think a modified ruling will enhance your story, then feel free to use it! If it is too confusing or you just don’t feel like using it, then just leave it out! Remember the Prime Directive: Have Fun!

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Movement in Combat

 This section describes all the types of movement you may encounter in a combat situation. Every creature has a Move Speed that represents their ability to move about the battlefield. 

 

Move Speed: the distance (in feet) you can traverse across the ground in with a single Big Action. 

  • Most characters have Move Speed 30, which means they can move up to 30 feet (6 hexes) with a single Big Action.

  • While moving in combat, you provoke AOO for leaving any hex threatened by a foe.

  • When you use a Big Action to move, you can break up this movement on your turn, using part of your movement before and after making another action.

  • Ex: Wulfric uses 1 Big Action to move 10 feet before attacking a goblin with his sword with his second Big Action. He then finishes his movement by going another 20 feet to get in front of his allies.

  • Your Move Speed represents a jogging pace; you don’t normally walk around in combat! 
    -A walking pace is represented by using a Big Action to go only half your Move Speed.

  • Many creatures have other types of movement. These are listed with the type of movement followed by the Move Speed.
    -Ex: Swim 20, Fly 50, Climb 10. These are described later in this section. 

 

Bonus/Penalty to Move Speed: A bonus or penalty that states +X or -X feet to Move Speed is applied first. Multipliers to Move Speed are factored in after static +X/-X modifiers. Bonuses of the same type do not stack. 

Ex: Human Base Move Speed = 30’ with Barbarian Fast Movement+10’ = 40’ Move Speed. When this character runs, they move double that (up to 80 feet). If this character is encumbered to 75% Move Speed, 40’x0.75 = 30’ Move Speed.

  • -Stacking Movement Penalties: If you suffer half movement from two sources, you move at 1/3 speed, which is the same as saying each 1 hex of movement costs 3 hexes. Three such penalties cause 1/4 speed, etc.

  • -Minimum Movement: If you are ever reduced to a Move Speed of 5 feet or less, but are not Immobilized/Paralyzed/Restrained, you may spend a Big Action that Provokes AOO to move 5 feet. You cannot take a “5-Foot Step” action if your Move Speed is reduced to 5’ or less.

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Using the Battle Map – Measuring Distance in Combat

The Hexagonal Battle Map (Hex Map) makes measuring distance in combat extremely simple. The hex grid is excellent for building natural scenarios and determining the area of effect of magic spells and other abilities.

 

Determine Distance: On normal terrain, every step into a new hex costs 5 feet of movement. For range to a target, simply count the number of hexes from you to your target using the most direct route available. Do not count the hex in which you are standing. Multiply the number of hexes by 5, and that’s the distance in feet! 

Ex: A character with Move Speed 30 can move up to 6 hexes with a Big Action. A target 30 hexes away = 150 feet!

-Designer’s Note: This ease of measuring was the deciding factor that led to LFG using hexagons instead of squares.

However, using hexagons leads to issues with rectangular shapes common to man-made structures and cities. When representing straight hallways or rectangular rooms on a hex-grid map, you may use the half-hex rule.

 

Half Hex Rule: If it makes it easier to determine battlefield position, you may use half of a hexagon as a full hex without suffering penalties. When using this rule, you can never have more space occupied than is available.

Example Image Right: The hallway is 10 feet wide, yet Chessan only has half-hexes available to either side. Since Chessan & Mayat are Medium Size (5 Feet), Mayat can stand next to Chessan in the half hex without penalty. Likewise, Sokaris could take a 5’ Step into the half hex next to Wulfric to engage the Troll. However, Sokaris cannot step back into the half hex at Chessan’s right, as this would place three 5-foot creatures in a space only 10 feet across. 

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Option – Square Grid: If you only have access to a Battle Map with a square grid, or you just like playing on squares, you can play LFG using a square grid.

-Square grids are great for locations with man-made structures such as hallways, buildings, streets, etc.

-Square grids make it more difficult to map out natural terrain & measure round shapes, cones, and diagonals.

-Measuring Diagonal Distance on Square Grids: The first diagonal step costs 5 feet of movement, but the second diagonal step costs 10 feet of movement. Continue in this 5/10/5/10 pattern.

Ex: When measuring diagonally on a square grid, count like this: 5, 15, 20, 30, 35, 45, 50, etc.

Square Grid - Space, Radius, Reach:

Small Size, Medium Size, 5’ Radius, 5’ Step: No change necessary; 1 hex becomes 1 square. 

-5’ Reach can reach all adjacent squares & diagonal.

Large Creatures (3 hex, 10’ Wide): Occupy a 2x2 square, or 4 squares total.

Huge Creatures (7 hex, 15’ Wide): Occupy a 3x3 square, or 9 squares total.

10’ Reach: Reaches 2 squares beyond occupied space, but only 1 square on the diagonal.

20-Foot Radius: Reaches from center out 4 squares, but only 3 squares on the diagonal.

30-Foot Radius: Reaches from center out 6 squares, but only 4 squares on the diagonal.

-If you like, you can switch between square grids for cities & towns and hex grids for natural settings!

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Moving in Combat – Terrain, Creatures, & Other Issues:

Normal Terrain: Moving along normal terrain uses 5 feet of movement per hex. The terrain you are walking on is considered Normal Terrain unless explicitly stated otherwise. Any fairly level and sturdy surface may be considered normal terrain, such as a grassy field, dirt roads, stone & wood floors, cobblestone, ship’s deck, sparse forest floor, etc.

 

Difficult Terrain: This term is used for all types of unsteady or slippery terrain.

Examples of Difficult Terrain include: Thick underbrush with many vines and roots, thick mud, loose sand, rocky debris, craggy mountain trails, a stone jetty, knee-deep water, rubble of a broken building or monument, a natural cave floor covered in stalagmites, a room full of useless junk, ice, ankle-deep snow, marshlands 

  • Entering a hex of Difficult Terrain costs 2 hexes (10 feet) of movement. (Double Movement Cost)

  • Standing on Difficult Terrain imposes a -2 penalty on Attacks & -2AC.

  • You cannot Run over Difficult Terrain. 

  • You cannot take a 5-foot Step into Difficult Terrain.

  • On ice and other and other slippery surfaces, a creature that fails a REF Save in combat also falls Prone.

  • Bodies of dead & unconscious Medium Size+ creatures cause Difficult Terrain where they lie.

  • Big creatures and Difficult Terrain: A creature that takes up 3 or more hexes may ignore Difficult Terrain if less than half of the creature occupies the Difficult Terrain. 


Friends & Enemies in Combat – Moving around Other Creatures:

Occupied Space: You cannot end your movement in a space occupied by either a friend or foe. 

  • Some special abilities, actions, or Feats may allow this, but as a general rule, it is not allowed.

 

Occupied Space-Ally/Friend: You may move through a hex occupied by a friendly creature at no extra cost. If you are Running, you can only move through 1 friendly creature; any more prevent you from Running.

  • If stuck in the same space an ally, you both gain the Cramped condition. 

 

Occupied Space-Enemy: You cannot move through a hex occupied by an enemy creature unless they are helpless (unconscious, tied-up, paralyzed, etc). Wrestling maneuvers (Ch4.26) or the Acrobatics Skill (Ch4.1) may be used to attempt to move through an occupied enemy hex. 

  • -Special: If you are smaller than your foe by 3+ size categories, you may move through their space as if threatened hexes, and even stop in an occupied space, assuming there is space between the limbs or other reasonable circumstances.

  • -Special: If you are 3+ size categories larger than your foe, you may move through their spaces as if threatened hexes without having to use the Overpower Maneuver. If you use this option, these creatures automatically avoid being damaged by your movement. If you stop in a hex occupied by one of these foes, they may share your space with no penalty.

Accidental / Illegal Locations: If you accidentally end up in a location that is not a legal position, such as in an enemy’s hex or within a wall or table, you are instead placed in the last legal position along your movement path. If none is available, the nearest legal space should be used at GM Discretion. In these circumstances, the GM may place you in the same hex as an ally, causing both of you the Cramped condition.

Other Movement Issues:

 

Conditions: There are many negative conditions that can reduce the mobility of an adventurer, such as Weakened, Sickened, Staggered, and many more. (See Ch9.10 – Conditions for details.)

Doors: An unlocked door or a door with an easily accesses latch may be opened as a Swift Action. Unlocking a door with a normal key lock requires a Move Action that Provokes AOO (+Swift Action to open it).

Encumbered: Your STR determines how much you can carry without trouble. If you carry more than your Light Load (40 lbs for an average human), you will become encumbered. If you carry more than double your Light Load, you will be heavily encumbered. These conditions greatly reduce your mobility in combat. This explains why many adventurers drop their backpacks before they start fighting! (see Strength, Ch2.3b)

  • Encumbered: 75% Move Speed, -3 Mobility Penalty, -1 AC, -1 Attack Rolls

  • Heavily Encumbered: 50% Move Speed, -6 Mobility Penalty, -2 AC, -2 REF Save, -2 Attack Rolls, Cannot Fly, May be struck by Precision Damage

Obstacles: You may move up onto an obstacle of half your height, such as a low wall, using 10 feet (2 hexes) of movement. You may hurdle over an object of ¼ your height, or across a space less than half your height in length, in stride at no extra movement cost during a Normal Move or Run Action. 

-See the Jump&Sprint Skill (Ch4.10) for ways to bypass obstacles more efficiently.

Tight Spaces: If you must move through tight spaces (about half your height), you are cramped while doing so. Cramped: ½ Move Speed, -2AC, -2 REF Saves, -2 all Physical Actions.

Weather & Other Terrain: Weather has various effects in combat. Incredibly bad weather, such as a blizzard or very dense fog, can reduce your movement by half. See Terrain & Weather Effects in Ch8.6a for details.

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Special Combat Movement

5-Foot Step, Trade Spaces, Retreat, Run, Charge Attack

 

What is a 5-Foot Step? This quick tactical adjustment is used to carefully approach, move away from, or reposition around a foe. (Also written as 5’ Step)

  • A 5-Foot Step is a Swift Action.

  • You move 1 hex (5 feet) without provoking AOO for leaving a threatened hex.

  • You may only make one 5’ Step per round. You may not use a 5’ Step before or after using any other type of movement to leave your hex on your turn.


Trade Spaces Action: This action is used to swap places with an adjacent ally.

  • The Trade Spaces Action is a Big Action. Both characters must be willing to trade spaces.

  • The character with whom you wish to trade must spend their Reaction to trade spaces with you.

  • Both characters that swap places provoke AOO if they leave a threatened hex.

  • Two creatures trading spaces must be within 1 size category of each other.


Retreat Action / Disengage: (Full-Round Action, *No AOO): You may move up to your Move Speed without Provoking AOO for doing so. 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. If you move directly towards a new enemy, you will Provoke AOO from that enemy as normal.

  • You cannot move through occupied enemy spaces. 

  • You may Retreat while Prone, but you move only half your Move Speed.

  • You are Unfortunate on any Attack Rolls made before the start of your next turn.

 

Running in Combat – Full Details: 

What is a Run Action? A Run Action (Running) is a type of Big Action-Move.

The Run Action is a single Big Action that allows you to move up to double your Move Speed in a straight line.

  • Creatures that Swim, Fly, & Climb may use the Run Action as described here unless specifically indicated otherwise.

  • You suffer -2 AC against Melee Attacks until the start of your next turn. You also suffer a -2 Penalty to AC against Ranged Attacks if running directly towards the attacker. You gain a +2 Tactical Bonus on AC against Ranged Attacks from indirect angles.

  • You must Run in a straight line. (A single turn of 30 degrees or less may be allowed at GM discretion.)

  • You cannot Run through any hex that would hamper your movement, such as difficult terrain or an enemy or non-allied creature. You may Run through a single ally’s occupied space without hindrance, but additional allies prevent your running movement.

  • You suffer a -2 Penalty on Ranged Attack Rolls until the start of your next Turn. 

  • You cannot break up the movement of your Run Action with other actions. 

  • Casting a spell after using the Run Action requires a DC(10+[2xSL]) Perseverance check or the spell fails.

  • For calculating Run Speed, applying any bonuses/penalties to your Move Speed first, then multiply.
    -Wearing certain armors or carrying too much weight can reduce your Run speed (See Ch7.4 - Armor)

  • Interrupted while Running: If you can no longer continue in a straight line, the rest of your movement for this action is lost unless you have a Feat or ability that allows you to change direction while running. If a foe is located directly in front of you, you may continue running & make a charge attack against them. 


 

How much can I Run in Combat?

  • You may use both Big Actions on your Turn to Run. It counts as “Running for 1 Round” either way.

  • You can Run for 1 Round per point of Constitution before you risk fatigue. Then, you must make a DC15 Perseverance check or gain +1 Weakened Stage. Add +1DC per consecutive Round of running.

  • Perseverance DC resets with a new Weakened Stage OR after 1 Round of rest.
     

Charge Attack: A melee or thrown weapon attack made on your turn directly after Running at least 10 feet.

  • A Charge Attack grants a +2 Innate Bonus to melee & thrown weapon damage & any Wrestling check made to knock an opponent over. If running directly at your target, you do not suffer the -2 Attack Penalty for throwing a weapon at them due to running (such as a spear or hatchet).

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Other Types of Movement

Swim, Climb, Leaper, Fly

While regular Move Speed assumes traversing across the ground, many creatures can Swim, Fly, or Climb about the environment. Any creature with a Move Speed shown as Fly X, Climb X, or Swim X may use a Big Action to move up to X feet using that type of locomotion. 

  • Creatures with multiple types of movement may easily shift between whichever type of movement they desire. Any movement made using 1 type of motion is subtracted from all other available movement types. 
    -Ex: A Griffon has Move Speed 50, Fly 110[average], Leaper 20 – Using a Move Action, the Griffon could make a Jump&Sprint check to Leap 30 feet, move 20 more feet along the ground, and then fly an additional 60 feet.

  • Creatures with a Fly, Swim, or Climb Speed may use the Run Action normally in appropriate terrain.

 

Swim - Creatures with a “Swim Speed”:  Ex: A Razortooth Gar has a movement type listed as “Swim 50.”

  • You do not have to make Swim checks to move, attack, or cast spells underwater. 

  • You can move normally in all 3-dimensions while swimming, and suffer no penalties for actions, attacks, defenses, reactions, or physical damage dealt for being underwater.

  • Suffer no penalty to vision for being underwater.

-See the Swim Skill (Ch4.23) for more details.

 

Climb - Creatures with a “Climb Speed”: Ex: A Rust Monster has a movement type listed as “Climb 10.”

  • You do not have to make Climb checks to move, attack, or cast spells while climbing.

  • Suffer no penalties for actions, attacks, reactions, or defenses while climbing. 

  • You Threaten AOO for any available attacks.

  • If a creature is using their limbs to climb, those limbs may be unavailable for attacks at GM discretion. Bite attacks are generally available while climbing.
    -See the Climb Skill (Ch4.3) for more details.

 

Leaper - Creatures with “Leaper X”: Ex: A Deinonychus has a movement type listed as “Leaper 10.”

  • You may move from 1 point to another by leaping. You cannot fail on a horizontal jump of X feet or less. Whenever you jump horizontally, the distance traversed may be increased by up to +X feet if desired. A vertical leap may be increased by +(X/2) feet. You may make a Jump&Sprint check to hurdle a barrier or leap over an obstacle as part of a Big Action movement. You may make a Charge Attack after making successful Jump&Sprint check to land within reach of an opponent. Movement by leaping is subtracted from your available movement for the round. Creatures with the Leaper trait can jump distances up to their normal land Move Speed+X.

  • If purposefully jumping downwards, you reduce the effective distance of a fall by (X/2) feet. 
    -Ex: A creature with Leaper 20 can treat a 15-foot fall as only a 5-foot fall.


 

Flying - Creatures with a “Fly Speed [Maneuverability]”: Ex: An Imp has a movement type listed as “Fly 50 [Perfect].”

  • Any Fly Speed also indicates a Maneuverability rating after the move speed.

  • Flight is the ability to move through the air in 3-Dimensions. Ascending is generally more difficult than descending due to gravity. Natural flight requires a moderate amount of atmosphere to function properly. 

  • For simplicity, taking off & landing requires no additional effort, movement, or actions. As long as you can reach the ground using your Fly movement, you can land safely. Certain creatures may indicate a minimum wingspan or other flight details in their individual descriptions.

  • You cannot take a 5-Foot Step while Flying. (unless you have Perfect maneuverability)

 

Maneuverability: A creature’s Fly Speed also indicates how maneuverable they are while flying. Maneuverability affects numerous aspects of the creature’s motion and combat ability while flying, as shown in the chart below.

Fly Speed – Flight & Maneuverability

Turning: This indicates how well the creature can turn and change direction while in flight. During a single Move Action, the creature may make the indicated number of direction changes, turning up to 90 degrees each time. You must move at least 5 feet in the same direction between turns.

 

Combat Ability: Your ability to effectively evade, reposition, and attack is affected by your maneuverability. You suffer any penalties listed above, and can use the actions shown for your maneuverability.

  • Dive Attack: If you use the Run Action and descend at least 10 feet before striking in melee, your attack strikes as a Charge Attack and your attack deals damage as if 1 die size larger (1d4🡪1d6🡪1d8, etc). (Innate Bonus)

 

Ascend Rate: You must spend the indicated amount of movement to increase your altitude by 1 hex (5 feet). 

Ex: A Creature with Fly 30 [Poor] must spend 15 feet of movement to increase their altitude by 5 feet.

  • If your Fly Speed is less than the indicated Ascend Rate, you may spend your full movement to ascend 5 feet.

 

Minimum Flight Speed: You must move at least this many hexes forward to maintain lift. A creature that moves less than this amount in a single round while airborne begins to fall.

Falling while Flying & Regaining Control: If you start falling while flying, you will fall about 300 feet in 1 round. If you have not struck the ground and you are physically still capable of flying when your next turn starts, you can spend a Move Action to regain control and fly as normal. (A second round of falling sends you 1000 feet down!)

 

Perfect Maneuverability: You can move freely in all directions while flying. You are able to hover and do not have to maintain a minimum flight speed. While flying, you can turn as often as you like and can make a 5-Foot Step. So long as you are physically capable of flying, you can regain control after only 50 feet of falling.


“Trip”or “Knockdown” a flying creature: If a flying creature is successfully tripped or hit with a Knockdown, they fall 10 feet down (& take damage normally). If they reach the ground, they fall prone. If they do not strike the ground, they regain control & may continue flying. Flying creatures with Clumsy or Poor Maneuverability fall 20 feet instead of 10 when tripped.

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Tactical Movement (Combat Gameplay Tactics)

Flanking, Positioning, Cover, Concealment

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Locating Targets

Who are your trying to affect? Can you affect them?

-Line of Sight – Can you see your target?

-Line of Effect – Can your attack strike your target?

 

Line of Sight (LoS): The ability to locate your target visually (or with a Primary Sense). 

-If you do not have Line of Sight to your target, you cannot target them with a direct attack, or a spell that requires you to choose a target creature or object. Total Concealment & Total Cover block Line of Sight.

Ex: Chessan cannot use her Hold spell on an enemy orc surrounded by dense fog because she cannot find her target! 

 

Line of Effect (LoE): The ability of an attack or spell to travel from the attacker to their target. Sometimes you may not have Line of Sight, but you could still have Line of Effect (some attacks & spells can affect a target even if you can’t see it). Most attacks require a direct, straight line of effect from attacker to the target. 

  • Total Cover blocks Line of Sight and Line of Effect.

  • Some spells & attacks may bypass barriers or go around obstacles. (Ex: The radius of a Slow spell & the Channel Energy ability of a Priest can function through walls & around corners! Arrows & bombs may be shot or tossed over walls.)

  • Concealment does not block Line of Effect. (Ex: Fog does not stop an arrow. Darkness does not stop a Fireball!)

  • Cover & Concealment are described in detail later in this section.

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 Flanking / Being Flanked

If two attackers threaten you in melee from opposite sides, you are flanked. The enemy creatures are said to be flanking you. Being flanked causes you a -2 penalty to AC.

  • To Flank a Small or Medium creature, there must be at least 1 hex of space between threatening enemies.

  • To Flank a Large creature, there must be at least 2 hexes of space between the threatening enemies.

  • Creatures who do not threaten cannot cause a creature to be flanked.

In the top and bottom portion of this image, Ally 1 and Ally 2 are flanking the Enemy. Ally 3 is also Flanking with Ally 2. Ally 1 and Ally 3 are not in a flanking position. In both, the enemy suffers a -2 penalty to AC for being flanked.

 

-Note: The rules for LFG function on a mostly “human-sized” scale. Once creatures get larger than a house or smaller than a cat, things get weird. With exceptionally tiny or enormous combatants, use these rules as a guide & shift the scale appropriately.

Ally 4 and 5 are not flanking, nor are Ally 4 and 6. However, since 5 and 6 are in a flanking position, the enemy is flanked.

Ally 7 and 8 are not flanking independently, nor are Ally 7 and 9. However, since Ally 8 and 9 are in a flanking position, the large enemy is flanked.

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Multiple Opponents

Strength in Numbers / Gang Up

-If 3 or more combatants attack the same target creature in a round, you can gain a Tactical Bonus (Max +5) to your attacks after the first two attackers.

-Attacks from the first two creatures work normally, regardless of the number of attacks they make.

-If attacking the same target, each attacker beyond the second gains a cumulative +1 Tactical Bonus against that foe until the foe takes their turn.

Ex: Rock & Crysta both swing at an enemy Orc. When Sokaris then tosses a dagger at the Orc, he gains a +1 Tactical Bonus on his attack. If Wulfric also attacks the Orc this round, he gains a +2 Tactical Bonus on the attack. If the Orc survives these attacks and finally takes its turn, these bonuses are removed.

  • The creatures involved must be within two size categories of their foe to gain the Tactical Bonus.

  • This applies to physical attacks (melee or ranged) as well as spells that make attack rolls.

  • This does not function against helpless or immobile targets.

 

Advanced Option - Ignore an enemy: If you are being attacked by multiple foes, but feel some of them are harmless, you may completely ignore these foes to attempt to avoid AC penalties against the “more dangerous” ones. You must use a swift action on your turn to designate the foe (or foes) you will ignore for 1 round. You are considered Flat-Footed against this foe (even if you normally cannot be Flat-Footed). In addition, an enemy you ignore is Fortunate on all attacks made against you. Their attacks do not count towards the number of attackers this round, and they cannot cause you to be Flanked.

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High Ground / Low Ground

Benefits of higher positions in combat

-If you are positioned above your opponent in a way which allows you a better chance of striking vital areas of your target in melee (usually the head & neck), you may gain a +1 Tactical Bonus on Attack Rolls.

 

-If you are positioned below your opponent in a way which makes it less likely for you to strike vital areas of your target in melee, you suffer a -1 Attack Penalty.

 

-Creatures that are taller or shorter or of different size categories, do NOT gain the High/Low Ground bonuses or penalties unless they are even higher or lower than normal due to use of terrain and tactical positioning.

-Note: These bonuses/penalties are commonly granted by standing a couple of steps higher/lower than a foe of similar size. These should only be granted due to rational use of tactical positioning. If you are unsure if a creature should earn a bonus or penalty, or there is some confusion or disagreement, do not apply this rule.

  • Ex: Two swordsmen fighting in a stairwell; the combatant higher up the stairs gains the +1 Tactical Bonus to Attack Rolls, while the lower opponent suffers the -1 Attack Penalty.

  • This Tactical Bonus applies to a human on horseback making melee attacks against standing medium-sized foes.

 

High Ground & Ranged Attacks: If you make a physical ranged attack against an enemy at least 10 feet below you, you gain a +1 Innate Bonus to weapon damage. High ground may allow you to shoot over some pieces of cover.

 

High Ground & Stealth: A character in a tree or other position 20+ feet above the ground may be granted a +2 Tactical Bonus on their Hide check, provided the enemy has not specifically indicated searching above them.

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Cover & Concealment

These rules describe how terrain & the environment affect your ability to locate, evade, & attack your enemies.  If you wish to use the Hide Skill effectively, you must have Cover or Concealment.

 

Cover - What is it?

  • Cover represents physical barriers that can stop attacks. Walls, trees, tables, and other creatures can provide cover. Cover commonly affects ranged attacks, but it can block some melee attacks as well. 

  • If you are behind a piece of cover, you gain a Cover Bonus to AC. The more your body is covered, the higher the Cover Bonus to AC. See the table below for varying levels of cover. 

  • Cover assumes a direction of attack. If an attack comes from a direction that does not risk striking the piece of cover, then you gain no Cover Bonus against the attack.


 

Cover & Cover Bonus

Cover Bonus to REF Saves: If your cover is provided by a solid physical structure, you gain the indicated bonus against explosions or spells with “burst” AoE originating from the opposite side of the piece of cover. Cover provided by creatures does not grant this bonus, unless the creature is truly immense (GM Discretion) 

  • Note that some magical effects ignore barriers or go around corners, negating this bonus.

  • Improved Evasion allows you to ignore all negative effects on a passed REF Save, or half damage on a failed Save.

Cover - Additional Rules:

  • Creatures the same size or larger than your target normally provide Partial Cover against any attack that passes through their occupied space to reach the target. (At long ranges, the GM may allow a shot to bypass this rule due to the arc-shaped trajectory of an arrow or javelin toss if it seems logical.)

  • If you are directly adjacent to an object providing you cover (such as a low wall, tree, or an ally), your ranged attacks ignore that piece of cover when attacking enemies at least 10 feet away.

  • When making Ranged Attacks, you may ignore the cover provided by 1 allied creature of your size who is in your line of sight to the target but not directly adjacent to the target. 

  • Creatures 1 or more size categories smaller than your target do not normally provide cover.

  • Cover on Large+ Creatures: Cover functions normally using the “percentage of body covered” rule as indicated above (Ex: If you can only see half of an Ogre, it has Good Cover, even if one full hex of the Ogre’s body is visible).


Determine Cover: How do you determine if a target has Cover?

  • Draw an imaginary line from the center of your hex to the center of your target’s hex. If the line passes through an occupied space, or strikes a wall or other solid object, your target has cover.

  • If you cannot draw a line from center to center, try to draw a line from the center of your hex to any part of your target’s hex. If this works, your target has cover, but not total cover. If you cannot make a line from the center of your hex to any part of your target’s hex, they have Total Cover.

  • If you can draw a line from the center of your hex to every part of your target’s hex without interruption, then your target does not have cover.

  • An attack for a larger creature can originate from the center of any one of its occupied hexes.

  • Suggestion: A simple piece of string is a handy tool to help determine if targets have Cover or Line of Sight!

Cover Examples

The adventuring party is attacked by pair of Orcs & a Troll at an old cottage with a small wooden shed.

-Sokaris & Orc #1 have a clear shot at each other.

-Wulfric, Orc#2, and the Troll have clear line of sight with no cover against one another.

-Wulfric & Chessan cannot see Orc#1, and Orc#1 can’t see them.

-Sokaris & the Troll each have Partial Cover due to the shed.

-Wulfric is standing directly in front of Mayat, providing her with Good Cover against Orc#2 & the Troll. Since Wulfric is an adjacent ally, Mayat’s Attacks against Orc#2 & the Troll do not treat Wulfric as cover.

-Chessan has found a safe spot in the wrecked cottage. She has Total Cover against all foes, but has kept a clear line of sight to both Mayat & Wulfric to cast her healing & protection spells.

-Orc#1 can use the tree trunk for Good Cover against Mayat. Since he is adjacent to the tree, his attacks against Mayat ignore the tree, but the corner of the wooden shed still provides Mayat with Partial Cover against Orc #1.

 

Cover - Shooting another creature on accident (Unintended Targets): A creature providing cover for another creature against a ranged attack may end up being struck by this attack unintentionally. (See Accuracy by Volume and Unintended Targets in the Archery Special Rules, Ch9.13)

 

Lean Out from Cover / Take Cover (Swift Action): You remain in your current hex, but lean out from behind (or take cover behind) an adjacent object or object in your hex that provides Total Cover. While leaning out, you have Good Cover (+4 Cover Bonus to AC). This is generally used to make a ranged attack or cast a spell from a defensive position, such as behind a large tree, window, low wall, etc.

-If the piece of cover is not large enough to cover you entirely, you may still use this action to increase the amount of cover granted by 1 step at GM Discretion. (A human could crouch behind a small chair to gain Good Cover.) 

New Player Note: If an enemy is constantly hiding behind cover while attacking from a distance, you may want to attempt to take an Interrupt Turn to catch them while they are exposed. (see Ch9.1d – Interrupt Turn)

 

Concealment - What is it?

Concealment represents something that visually obscures your target, making it harder to properly aim an attack. Concealment doesn’t directly stop a physical attack; it just makes it more likely to miss. Fog, foliage, rain, illusions, and darkness can all provide concealment. 

  • Concealment causes a % Miss Chance, meaning that an attack has a set percentage chance of missing, regardless of the total Attack Roll. Roll 1d10 when determining the results of % Miss Chance. 

  • If the result on 1d10 is less than or equal to the tens place of the % Miss Chance, the attack misses.
    -Ex: With Partial Concealment (20% Miss Chance), rolling a 1 or 2 on 1d10 results in a miss.

  • You cannot deal precision damage to a target with Partial or Total Concealment.

 

Partial Concealment - 20% Miss Chance: You can see the generic shape and location of your target, but cannot make out specific details on the target. (Roll 1d10; a roll of 1 or 2 is a miss) 

Total Concealment – 50% Miss Chance: You cannot see your target at all. (Roll 1d10; a roll of 1-5 is a miss) 

Total Concealment blocks Line of Sight, but does not block Line of Effect.

Determine Concealment: How do you determine if a target has Concealment?

  • Concealment is determined by the GM, checking your Line of Sight while also considering the light levels, your vision type, weather, magical effects, and other factors before making a reasonable decision. 

  • Light Levels & Vision Types are the main factors to consider when determining Concealment. (Ch8.4)

  • Certain spells & abilities indicate a specific level of Concealment or a % Miss Chance caused by their magic.

  • Terrain & Weather Effects may cause Concealment due to storms, fog, foliage, and the like. (Ch 8.6a)

  • GM Note: If you can’t decide exactly how much Concealment a target has, choose the lower concealment value.