Health, Damage, and Healing
Your character's general condition is represented by a series of wound slots with corresponding damage thresholds, and a stamina value. There are five types of wounds: light, moderate, severe, critical, and fatal. More severe wounds take longer to heal, and a fatal wound means death.
Wound slots are divided into five categories, each associated with a level of wound from light to fatal. Each time you take damage, compare the total to your wound thresholds. If the damage is less than your lowest threshold, then the attack has no effect. Otherwise, it causes a wound of the highest level whose threshold the damage exceeds or equals. If an effect modifies the level of wound, apply that modification before filling in one slot of the appropriate wound level. If after all modifications all the slots of that type are already full, increase the wound's severity until there is an empty slot.
While you have at least one wound, you are considered wounded with a severity equal to your highest wound. For example, if you have 3 light wounds and 1 critical wound, you are considered critically wounded. Certain effects apply only to characters that are wounded to a certain level.
You have a number of light wound slots equal to 5 + your Persona. Your moderate, severe, and critical wound slot counts are determined by your race. All characters have only a single fatal wound slot.
Each wound level is associated with a specific numeric threshold to determine how much damage is needed to cause a wound of that level. Your base light wound threshold is equal to 0. Each wound threshold above light is equal to the previous threshold plus 6 + your Vitality + your Size. Regardless of penalties, each threshold is at least 1 point higher than the previous one.
If you are wearing armor, your wound thresholds increase by the armor's corresponding threshold values.
When you are fatally wounded, you are not necessarily immediately killed, but will die without aid. You use your immobile defense and can no longer perform strenuous activities, but you may speak some final words, scrawl out a short message, turn a key in a lock, or do some similar final action. Make a Vitality check and add the number of unfilled wound slots you have remaining to determine how many counts you will remain alive. If an effect removes the fatal wound during that time, you are no longer in danger of dying but are exhausted. If you take any additional wounds while fatally wounded, you immediately die.
Losing and Regaining Consciousness
While severely wounded, you are at risk of falling unconscious. When you first become severely wounded and any time you incur a wound thereafter, you must make a Focus (Vit) check with a TN equal to 10 + the number of wounds you have received. If the check fails, you fall unconscious.
Every ten minutes while unconscious, you repeat this check, regaining consciousness on a success. On a critical success, you also gain the benefits of a short rest. On a failure, you gain a light wound, while on a critical failure, you instead gain a moderate wound. If an effect reduces a wound's level or removes a wound while you are unconscious, you may immediately make another check, applying results only on a success.
While unconscious or incapacitated, you use your immobile defense and you do not count as resting.
Waking Up During Combat
If you regain consciousness during combat, roll initiative as if you were surprised and add the current count to determine your new initiative score. You are considered Busy.
NPCs and Wounds
Generally, monsters and other NPCs do not follow the rules for falling unconscious or remaining alive with a fatal wound unless the GM determines they are a special case and deserve special treatment (such as allies in combat, political leaders, or other important characters). Instead, NPCs are assumed to always succeed on all checks to avoid losing consciousness from wounds and die immediately when they receive a fatal wound.
Stamina represents your level of readily expendable energy. Many actions, such as casting a spell or using an ability, will reduce your current stamina. If an action or effect would reduce your stamina below 0, your stamina instead becomes 0 and you must succeed on a wild Vitality check with a TN equal to 10 + the excess stamina cost or take a light wound. If you fail by 5 points or more you instead take a moderate wound. You can continue to use abilities with a stamina cost in this way even when your stamina is 0.
While your stamina is 0, you take a -2 penalty to the speed class of all actions and you move at half your normal movement rate.
You can spend AP to increase your base maximum stamina. To determine the cost, subtract your Vitality from the stamina you are about to purchase and multiply the result by 2. For example, increasing your maximum stamina from 17 to 18 when you have a Vitality of 3 costs 30 AP ((18 - 3) × 2).
Some effects or activities, such as a forced march, cause fatigue. Fatigue reduces your maximum stamina by an amount equal to the level of fatigue you have taken.
There are two categories of rest: short and long. A short rest lasts at least 15 minutes, while a long rest lasts 8 hours. You can take as many short rests as you like, but you can only gain the benefits of a long rest twice per day. While resting, you may not perform any activity more strenuous than casually walking around camp or preparing a simple meal. The effects of each type of rest depend on how wounded you are. If you are exhausted, you cannot heal wounds or fatigue by resting, including during the rest that heals your exhaustion.
A short rest recovers half of your maximum stamina. If you are moderately wounded or less, it also removes a single light wound if you have any.
A long rest recovers all stamina and cures exhaustion or removes one light wound. If you are lightly or moderately wounded, it also removes all fatigue and heals any remaining light wounds. If you are severely wounded, it reduces your fatigue by 1. In any case, if you have no light wounds at the beginning of the rest, then your lowest level wound is reduced by one level. A long rest does not require that you sleep through it, but you cannot benefit from a long rest if you have not slept a full night's sleep within 24 hours of the end of the rest. Most characters require 8 hours of sleep minus half an hour for each point of Vitality, though certain races may require more or less.
Interrupting a Rest
If a short rest is interrupted, you gain no benefits and must start over, resting for the full 15 minutes again. If a long rest is interrupted, provided that the interruption lasts no more than half an hour, you may resume the long rest and gain the normal benefits by adding an extra hour onto the remaining rest time. If a long rest is interrupted after at least 15 minutes, then you may apply all the benefits associated with a short rest for every 15 minutes that have passed.
The Combat Sequence
Combat is measured in units called counts. Each count is roughly equivalent to half a second, but the exact measurement is variable. Combat begins with the count equal to the lowest rolled initiative and increases indefinitely over the course of combat until the battle is resolved. At any given time, all characters in combat are defined as Busy or Ready. Your current status affects your available options on each count.
Initiative determines when you act in combat. Your base initiative is equal to 15 - your Reaction - your Perception. To make an initiative check, make a wild roll and add the result to your base initiative. This is your initiative value at the start of combat. You are considered Busy until the count reaches your initiative.
When a participant is caught unaware, they may be surprised by the start of combat. The GM determines who is at risk of being surprised and calls for a check if necessary. Most often, this is done by making the participants roll opposed checks of some sort such as Stealth (Dex) and Stealth (Prc). Frequently, there will be no risk for either side to be surprised, and on some occasions both sides may be at risk or one or both sides may automatically be surprised. If you are surprised, you replace your base initiative value with your surprise initiative value, which is equal to the base value + 5 - your Perception. Creatures with a Perception of 5 or higher cannot be surprised.
Events on a Count
On each count, the following sequence of events occurs:
- Busy characters whose initiatives match that count have their actions take effect and they become Ready.
- Ready characters choose to move, take an action, or delay their turn. If they take an action, their initiative increases by that action's speed class value and they become Busy. Otherwise, their initiative increases by 1 and they remain Ready.
- Movement and any actions chosen in step 2 that have the Instantaneous property take effect.
- The count increases by 1 and the sequence begins again.
If multiple actions take effect on the same step, they are resolved independently and simultaneously. This means that, for example, two characters can incapacitate each other at the same time. If there is a conflict between simultaneous actions such that they cannot both possibly happen, such as two characters attempting to enter the same space, then they must make an opposed Speed check. The winner has their action take effect, and the others lose their actions. In the event of a tie, reroll until a winner is determined.
|Movement Rate||Yards Per Count|
|1||0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1|
|2||0 - 0 - 1|
|3||0 - 1|
|4||0 - 1 - 1|
|5||0 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1|
|7||1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2|
|8||1 - 1 - 2|
|9||1 - 2|
|10||1 - 2 - 2|
|11||1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2|
|13||2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3|
|14||2 - 2 - 3|
|15||2 - 3|
|16||2 - 3 - 3|
|17||2 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3|
|19||3 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 4|
|20||3 - 3 - 4|
|21||3 - 4|
|22||3 - 4 - 4|
|23||3 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4|
|25||4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 5|
On any count in which you are Ready and take no action, you may instead choose to move. Your movement rate is equal to 10 + your Size + your Athletics + your Speed. In one count, you can move a distance up to half of your movement rate in feet, or ⅙ of it in yards.
Some actions require little or no attention and don't inherently hamper your movement, such as drawing or sheathing a weapon or retrieving an object from an easily-accessible pouch. In these cases, you may also move while you are Busy, as above. You may not move while performing any more intensive actions.
Movement on a Grid
Since many groups use grids to track positions, moving in non-standard increments can often be difficult to track. Instead, round your movement down to the nearest yard, and add any remaining movement on the next count if you continue to move. You can pre-calculate this and note it on your character sheet. For example, if your Movement Rate is 14, instead of moving 7 feet per count, you can record it in yards as 2-2-3. On the first and second counts of movement, you move 2 yards, but on the third count, you move 3 yards. You will have moved the full 21 feet (7 yards) after the third count, so the pattern resets and repeats if you continue to move.
These movement rates are listed in the table to the right.
A typical creature occupies a 1-yard square or hex in combat in order to fight effectively. Particularly large or small creatures may occupy more or less space. Your reach is determined by your weapon.
Approaching an Enemy
One advantage to long weapons is being able to keep others from easily approaching within striking distance. You threaten any area that you can make a melee attack into with your currently equipped weapon, provided the weapon does not have the non-threatening property. If you attempt to approach an enemy that threatens you closer than their optimal reach, they may make a free melee attack against you. If the attack misses, you may approach normally. If it hits, you may approach normally by taking the normal damage from the attack, or you may approach after spending additional movement in order to not take any damage. For each yard of movement spent, you reduce their effective attack by 1, and you can approach without being hit once this number is lower than your defense. This movement can be spent over multiple counts, provided that you never leave their optimal reach. Movement spent in this way can be used to circle around the enemy or you can remain in the same place, at your option. Once you are closer than their optimal reach, you may continue to approach normally.
Moving Through an Occupied Area
You may enter a space currently occupied by another creature, but doing so can come with several difficulties. Moving into an occupied space costs double the normal movement if the other creature is within 5 sizes of yours. In order to enter an enemy's space, you must first succeed on a Melee (Spd - Size) check against their Reaction (Dex). If you fail, you cannot try again for a number of counts equal to the margin of failure. While you are in a space occupied by at least one other creature within 5 sizes of yours, you take a -2 penalty to all attacks and melee and ranged defenses, down to a minimum of your immobile defense value.
Movement as an Action (Variant)
Rather than tracking movement each and every count, you can instead treat movement as a special action with variable duration. Determine how far you would like to move, up to a number of yards equal to your movement rate. For each ⅙ of this maximum amount (or fraction thereof) that you want to move, the action's total time is 1 count. When the action completes, you immediately move to the target position, provided a clear path exists. If you pass into, out of, or through an area that has a special effect, you must apply that effect. If at any point during execution your path becomes blocked, your movement is interrupted and you instead move to the space just before the obstruction.
Effects that normally trigger when you take an action do not trigger when you move as an action.
|Climbing a steep hill||2|
|Wading through knee-high water||2|
|Walking in mud||2|
|Moving through thick undergrowth||3|
|Wading through waist-high water||4|
|Vertical climb||4 or more|
Movement through certain areas requires more time or effort than normal. Each foot of movement in difficult terrain costs 2, 3, 4, or more feet worth of normal movement. If multiple modifiers apply (such as wading through water with mud on the bottom), multiply them together to determine the total cost.
While swimming, you add the speed and direction of the water's movement to your normal movement. Climbing speed penalties assume abundant handholds and footholds, and can increase drastically if these are not present, subject to GM discretion.
To jump, first decide whether you are attempting a long jump or high jump, then make an Athletics (Str - Size) check. If you moved at least 5 yards leading up to the jump, you use your normal result and add your Speed. Otherwise, halve your result. If you are performing a long jump, you can jump a distance up to your check result in feet. If you are performing a high jump, you jump a maximum height of double your check result in inches. If you tuck your legs up during the jump, add half your height to determine the highest obstacle you can clear.
While jumping, you are still limited to your movement speed. However, you are incapable of changing your speed or direction until after you have landed.
Landing in difficult terrain or on a slippery surface requires an Acrobatics (Dex) check to remain standing. If your long jump distance places you within one yard of a ledge, you may attempt to grab on with an Acrobatics (Dex) check. TNs for both checks are set by the GM based on the slipperiness of the surface.
|Speed||Action Speed Class|
The most common actions in combat are listed below. Other actions are also possible at the GM's discretion. On your turn, you may only take a single action unless otherwise indicated. In addition to your action, you may speak briefly, drop an item held in one or both hands, or perform other activities that take no appreciable time or effort.
Speed classes are given as grades from A+ to D whose actual values vary based on your Speed. These classes and their values are listed in the table to the right. Occasionally, an action will give a unit of time instead of a standard duration, such as a spell with a 1-hour preparation time. These durations are unaffected by your Speed. Most actions take effect at the end of the execution time. Actions with the Instantaneous property instead take effect immediately, but you are still considered Busy until the end of the time.
Bonuses to a speed class reduce the duration by a number of steps equal to the bonus, while penalties increase it in the same way. For example, an action with a base speed class of C+ that has a +1 bonus has a speed class of B. If a special effect worsens a speed class below D, add the time for D to whatever letter corresponds to the number of classes by which the action is slowed. For example, if it is slowed by two steps below D, add the times for D and A together to determine the new action's time. No effect can improve a speed class above A+ unless it specifically says it can, in which case it has a speed of 0.
Special actions often cost stamina to use. In these cases, the stamina is spent when the action takes effect.
Speed class: Varies by weapon size category
- Light in primary hand or one-handed in two hands: B+
- Light in off hand, one-handed in primary hand, or two-handed: B
- One-handed in off hand or Heavy: C+
You make a single attack against a target within range. If the attack requires ammunition, then drawing it is included in the execution time. You may choose to target someone who is not currently in range but whom you expect to enter it. If the target is not in range when the attack takes effect, the attack is wasted.
Cast a Spell
Speed class: Spell's speed class
You release magical energy, activating the effect of a spell.
Speed class: Weapon's speed class
You move in a straight line, making a melee attack at the end of the movement against a target within a 90-degree arc in front of you. You must continue to move at full speed without changing directions for the entire execution time or the charge is interrupted. If you do not attack a target at the end of the execution time, you may continue the charge, using the attack at any time thereafter, following the same rules.
Crouch or Fall Prone
Speed class: A+
You drop from a standing position into a crouch or prone, or from crouching to prone.
Speed class: A
You take a defensive posture and prepare to dodge or block incoming attacks. You are defending until you take another action or receive a wound. While defending, if you are targeted by an attack from an attacker you can see, you may either double your weapon's and shield's defense bonuses, or add any one attribute to your defense. This bonus does not apply to non-standard defenses.
Speed class: C
You climb down from a horse or other mount.
Speed class: B
You attempt to escape from a grab or another effect that is preventing you from moving freely. Make an Acrobatics (Dex - Size) or an Athletics (Str + Size) check against the escape TN of the effect. On a success, you end the effect.
Speed class: B
You use a free hand to attempt to grab an opponent and prevent or slow their movement. You must be within arm's reach of your opponent to use this action. Make a Melee (Spd) attack vs their Reaction (Dex), taking the standard penalty if you use your off hand. On a success, the target is grabbed but takes no wound. While the grab is maintained, the target has a -2 penalty to either attack or defense (your choice) and cannot move away from you, and you cannot use that hand for any other action. The target can escape by taking the escape action against a TN equal to your passive Athletics (Str + Size) or you can release them at any time. The target may also move, bringing you with it, but its movement is reduced to one fourth its normal rate, and it must succeed on an Athletics (Str + Size) check against your Athletics (Str + Size) in order to begin its movement.
If both hands are free, you may attempt to grab the same target with both hands as one action, resolving the two grabs independently. If both succeed, the target must succeed on two checks to escape instead of one. These two checks can be made as part of the same escape action.
Speed class: B
You perform an action intended to hinder a target without directly harming them. You must be within arm's reach of your opponent to use this action. Choose one of the hindrances from the following table, then make the associated standard check, causing the described effect on the target on a success.
|Disarm||Melee (Dex) vs Melee (Str) or Reaction (Dex)||The target drops one item it is holding.|
|Distract||Deception (Prs) vs Focus (Rsn)||The target has a -2 penalty to attack and defense for 5 counts plus your margin of success.|
|Shove||Athletics (Str + Size) vs Athletics (Str + Size)||The target is forced to move 3 feet plus your margin of success in the direction you choose.|
|Trip||Melee (Str + Size) vs Reaction (Str + Size)|
or Deception (Dex + Size) vs Focus (Prc + Size)
|The target is knocked prone.|
Speed class: D
You climb atop a horse or other mount.
Ready an Attack
Speed class: Weapon's speed class
You prepare to make an attack as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Your next attack with a specified weapon has the instantaneous property and its speed class is reduced to A if it is slower. If you take any other action before using this attack, you lose these benefits.
Retrieve or Stow an Item
Speed class: Varies by container
- Scabbard or normal pocket: A+
- Belt pouch or concealed pocket: B+
- Sack or backpack: C
You use an empty hand to retrieve an item from your pouch, backpack, or scabbard, or you place an item you are carrying into your bags.
Speed class: Instant
Your movement rate on foot doubles for 10 counts. While running in this way, you may spend another 1 stamina and make an Athletics (Spd) check to further increase your movement rate by half the result of your check for 10 counts or until you stop running. You may take this action and begin your movement on the same count.
Stand Up from Crouch
Speed class: A+
You move from crouching to a standing position.
Stand Up from Prone
Speed class: A
You move from lying on your chest or back to a standing position.
Speed class: D
You attempt to treat a single harmful condition affecting yourself or an adjacent target. Choose one of the following effects currently affecting the target: bleeding, burning, hobbled, or poisoned. Make a Healing (Lor) check against the effect's TN. On a success, you end a hobbled effect, reduce a poison's effect as detailed in the poison's description, or reduce the level of bleeding or burning by one step, removing it completely if the level is reduced below light. You have a -5 penalty to your check if you do not have a healing kit in hand.
Use an Object
Speed class: Varies by object. Examples:
- Open or close a door: A
- Light a torch or candle from an existing flame: A
- Drink a potion: B
- Ring a large warning bell: C
- Start a fire with flint and steel: D
This action consists of using any object that you have in hand or nearby. You can drink a potion, open a door, light a torch, activate a magical device, and so on. Many items include an execution time in their descriptions. Other actions have an execution time at the GM's discretion.
Interrupting an Action
At any point while Busy, you may choose to cancel your action. If you do so, you may reduce your initiative by an amount up to 5 + your Reason, but not below the current count. If your action is interrupted by another character or event, your initiative is unaffected.
Performing Actions More Quickly
In some cases, you may be able to attempt to perform an action more quickly than the standard speed. This cannot be done for any attack action or spellcasting, but may be possible for movement-related actions such as mounting a horse or for other situations where you interact with the environment. You must feasibly be able to speed up the action, such as by jumping off a horse rather than climbing down normally, or putting forth extra effort and energy to turn a heavy crank faster than usual. In such cases, the GM will call for an appropriate check based on how you intend to speed up the action (often an Acrobatics (Dex) or Athletics (Str) check), and passing the check will grant you a +1 bonus to the action's speed class at the cost of 1 stamina. For every 3 points by which you beat the TN, the bonus increases by 1. If you fail the check, at the GM's discretion, the action may take a -1 penalty to its speed class plus one for every 3 points by which you failed depending on the action and what you were doing to make it faster. For example, you may attempt to leap from your horse only to get a foot caught in a stirrup and slow you down, or to fall to the ground and stumble, requiring you to take some extra time repositioning yourself.
Rolls in Combat
All attack and defense rolls are wild rolls unless an ability indicates otherwise.
Your Defense determines how difficult it is to hit you with an attack roll. Your standard Defense is equal to 10 - your Size + your Speed + your Reason + your weapon and shield defense bonuses + any other special abilities. If your Speed plus your Reason is less than -5, treat them as totaling -5 instead. If you are unconscious, restrained, or otherwise unable to move properly to defend yourself, you instead use your immobile Defense, which is equal to 5 - your Size + any other special abilities that you can use while immobile. If for some reason your standard Defense is lower than your immobile Defense, use your standard Defense instead.
When you take damage, subtract your Defense from the damage dealt before comparing the damage to your wound thresholds. If your Defense is greater than the damage dealt, you take no wound.
Some abilities and spells target certain skills and attributes instead of your Defense. Most commonly, the targeted skill will be Focus or Reaction, and attributes are typically Speed, Vitality, or Persona. When an attack targets a skill, the GM decides whether to use an attack roll or defense roll. If the attacker rolls, the defender uses their passive check as their Defense against the attack. If the defender rolls, they make a wild check and use the result as their Defense while the attacker uses a passive check and rolls only their damage dice if any. A critical failure on a defense roll increases the resulting wound by one level.
Making an Attack
In order to make an attack, you must make an attack roll, which is always a wild check involving one skill and one attribute. Typically, you roll either a Melee (Dex) check for a melee attack, or an Aim (Dex) check for a ranged attack. Spells and abilities that require attack rolls may specify different attributes and skills instead. If this attack roll equals or exceeds the target's Defense, then the attack hits. Add your weapon's or ability's damage to the attack roll to determine your damage dealt. For weapon attacks, you also add your Strength to the damage dealt unless otherwise specified.
Certain special attacks have the unblockable property. These attacks do not need to beat the target's Defense in order to apply their damage, but may still have no effect if the total fails to reach the target's light wound threshold. Unblockable attacks still list a defense that is subtracted from the total before comparing damage to the target's thresholds.
Critical Successes and Failures
If you roll a critical success on an attack roll, any resulting wounds are one level more severe than normal.
If you roll a critical failure on a weapon attack roll, your initiative is increased by an amount equal to half your attack's execution time (minimum of 1 count).
Modifiers to Attack
|9/10 cover (arrow slit)||-5||-5|
Certain situations grant bonuses or penalties to your attack roll. The most common situations are given in the table to the right. Attack penalties for cover and prone or crouching targets do not stack; only the higher penalty applies. However, dropping behind a low wall can increase the effective level of cover. Penalties and bonuses do stack.
When two or more hostile creatures are surrounding a target, that target becomes flanked as long as there is at least a 135-degree separation between any two of the surrounding creatures from the center of the target's space and those creatures are threatening the target if using melee weapons or within the first range increment if using ranged weapons. All attacks against a flanked creature benefit from the flanking bonus.
Ignoring Your Flank
At any time while Ready or when you first become flanked, you may choose to ignore specific creatures. All attacks coming from the ignored creatures are considered rear attacks and gain double the normal flanking bonus, but those creatures cannot be used to determine whether or not you are flanked. You never threaten an ignored creature. You can choose to change which creatures you are ignoring or stop ignoring them only when you are Ready.
Special Combat Situations
Adventurers often find themselves in combat in unusual locations or relying on less than ideal methods. Rules for some of these situations are given here.
Fighting underwater is difficult for any non-aquatic creature. While underwater, you use your immobile defense and cannot make ranged weapon attacks. When you make a melee attack, you have a -2 penalty to your speed class and a -5 penalty to your attack roll, and all weapon damage is halved except from aquatic weapons. You still apply your full Strength damage modifier.
Fire spells and effects instead create an area of superheated water and steam. All fire damage is halved underwater. Anything that deals lightning damage has its normal effect and additionally deals damage to nearby creatures. The damage dealt in this expanded area is equal to the normal damage reduced by 1 for every foot away the creature is from the original area of effect. The creator of the lightning effect may be subject to this damage if close enough.
Swimming and Climbing
Fighting while trying to maintain a hold on a wall or trying to remain above water is especially challenging. Any time you make an attack roll, you must make an Athletics (Str) check to not fall or sink underwater. If you fail the check, then your attack automatically misses. Additionally, whenever you take a wound, you must make another check at a -5 penalty for each wound level beyond light, falling or sinking on a failure.
Fighting with two weapons at once generally provides few offensive benefits, instead acting more as a weapon and shield. When fighting with two weapons, you must designate one weapon as being in your primary hand and the other as being in your off hand. You may swap hands as a speed class A action. Each time you attack, you may select which weapon to use. Weapons in your off hand may suffer penalties to speed class and accuracy, depending on their size.
In order to act as a mount, a creature must be at least the size of its rider. Most mounts are 4 to 7 sizes larger. Creatures much larger than this typically act more as moving platforms than actual mounts. While riding a mount, you sacrifice your ability to move in order to control your mount's movement. You may move your mount freely while Ready. You may also move the mount while Busy, but if the mount moves while you are Busy, whether voluntarily or due to another effect, your action is interrupted. You gain a +1 bonus to melee defense and melee attack rolls against any opponents of a size smaller than your mount unless they are also mounted on a creature at least as large as your mount, and your reach is reduced by 1 yard against creatures smaller than your mount.
Mounts that are not trained for combat often pose a significant challenge to control, and require a Nature (Prs) check each time they or you take damage or you come into reach of an enemy's melee weapon. Failing this check means you lose control of your mount, which will typically attempt to flee from battle by the most obvious route. You may attempt to regain control by making the same check as a speed class D action, with a -1 penalty for each enemy within 30 feet, and a +1 bonus for each consecutive action spent to calm the mount to a maximum of +5. The TN to control an average untrained horse is 15.
Trained mounts can be made to attack on command. They follow all normal rules of actions and movement during actions. You cannot control a sentient mount's movement or actions, though it may choose to follow your commands as a normal mount would.