Heroes of Destiny (logo)
Skip Navigation Skip to Page Navigation
Swap Theme

Combat

The world can be a dangerous place, especially when it is filled with monsters, magic, and villains of all stripes. Combat is a frequent occurrance for heroes.

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 if not treated.

Wound Thresholds

Wound Thresholds
Vitality Moderate Severe Critical Fatal
-51234
-41356
-32468
-225810
-136912
0371114
1481216
2491418
35101520
45111722
56121824

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 5 + your Size. Each wound threshold above light is equal to your light wound threshold plus the number listed in the table to the right, based on your Vitality. Regardless of any bonuses or penalties, each wound threshold after all modifications is always at least 1 point higher than the next lower threshold.

If you are wearing armor, your wound thresholds increase by the armor's corresponding threshold values against most attacks. Certain attacks bypass armor, so your base wound thresholds should be noted separately.

When you take damage, subtract whatever Defense was targeted from the damage dealt before comparing the resulting final damage value to your wound thresholds. You gain a wound of the highest level whose threshold the damage exceeds or equals. If an effect modifies the level of wound directly, apply that modification before determining the final wound level received. However, if the damage is less than your lowest threshold, then it does not cause a wound regardless of any potential modifiers to the wound level.

Wound Slots

Each wound level has a number of corresponding wound slots. Each time you receive a wound, fill one wound slot of that level. If all the slots of that level 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. The more wounded you are, the worse the effects and the slower you heal. A fatal wound will lead to death if not treated promptly. Certain effects apply only to characters that are wounded to a certain level. See the wounded condition for details.

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.

NPCs and Wounds

Generally, monsters and other NPCs do not follow the rules for being staggered or fatally wounded 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 immune to the staggered condition and die immediately when they receive a fatal wound.

Stamina

Stamina represents your level of readily expendable energy. Your stamina pool begins with a value based on your race plus your Vitality. Many actions, such as running or using certain abilities, will reduce your current stamina. If an action or effect would reduce your stamina below 0, your stamina instead becomes 0 and you take fatigue equal to the excess stamina cost. You can continue to use abilities with a stamina cost in this way even when your stamina is 0.

Fatigue

Fatigue represents a longer-term drain on your stamina, and can be caused by spending more stamina than you have or by other forms of overexertion. Your maximum stamina is reduced by your fatigue level. If your current stamina is higher than your new maximum, it immediately decreases to match. Otherwise, gaining fatigue has no effect on your current stamina. You can recover from fatigue by resting. If your fatigue is greater than or equal to half your normal maximum stamina, you become exhausted. If it is greater than or equal to your normal maximum stamina, you become staggered.

Mana

Mana is a source of magical energy that is used to fuel spells, magical items, and certain abilities, and often functions similarly to stamina. Your mana pool begins with a value based on your race plus your Lore. All effects that use mana will either require spending it or investing it. Spending mana reduces your current total, which can be recovered by resting. When you invest mana, your current and maximum mana decrease by the same amount until you retrieve the invested mana, as that mana is placed into an object or tied up in a particular effect. Each effect specifies how invested mana is retrieved. Usually, it is either returned as soon as the effect ends, or can be retrieved at your option at the end of a long rest.

Resting

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. 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.

A short rest recovers half of your current maximum stamina and mana, rounded down, after accounting for fatigue and invested mana. If you are lightly or moderately wounded, it also removes a single light wound.

A long rest recovers all stamina and mana. If you are lightly or moderately wounded, you also heal all light wounds. Your fatigue is reduced by 5 + your Vitality - your highest wound level (1 for light, 2 for moderate, etc.), after which you are allowed to make one recovery check to heal a wound. You cannot take a long rest if you are fatally wounded. If you are exhausted, you do not remove any fatigue or wounds, but are no longer exhausted when the rest ends.

If you tend another character for at least two hours while they are taking a long rest, you may make a Lor [Healing/Wounds] check, substituting your check result for their recovery check if it is higher. You have a -5 penalty to your check if you do not have access to a healing kit. Time spent tending another character counts as strenuous activity.

Recovery Checks

Recovery Checks
Wound LevelTN
Light2
Moderate5
Severe9
Critical14
Fatal20

Long rests and certain other special abilities can allow you to make a recovery check to heal wounds. A recovery check is a Vit check with a penalty equal to your current fatigue. Compare the result to the TNs in the table to the right to determine the highest wound level you can affect. You may select any wound up to that level, and the selected wound is reduced by one level, assuming there is an open slot of the next lower level. If the recovery check fails to heal any wounds, you gain a cumulative +1 bonus on all future recovery checks until a check results in a healed wound or you have no more wounds.

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.

Rolls in Combat

Combat is one of the most chaotic situations commonly represented in the game, and thus makes nearly constant use of the dice. All attack and defense rolls are wild rolls unless an ability indicates otherwise.

Attacks and Combat Checks

In order to make an attack, you must make an attack roll, which is usually a wild check using one of the main combat skills depending on what type of attack you are making. If the attack roll equals or exceeds the target's Defense, then the attack hits. In the case of a hit with a weapon attack, add your Strength and the weapon's damage value to your attack roll to determine the damage dealt. This value will then be modified by the target's Defense to determine the final damage and the wound level received, if any.

Combat checks function the same as attack rolls, except they don't result in damage and wounds, and may use a TN other than your target's Defense. They are differentiated by the word check following the type of check, as in melee weapon check or Power check. Combat checks never add weapon damage to the result.

Penetrating Attacks

Some special attacks have the penetrating property. These attacks add their damage to the attack roll before determining a hit instead of only adding it after a successful hit.

Critical Successes and Failures

If you roll a critical success on an attack roll, your initiative is increased by 2 and your target's initiative is decreased by 2.

If you roll a critical failure on an attack roll, your initiative is decreased by 2.

Modifiers to Attack

Common Attack Modifiers
Target is/has... Melee Ranged
Prone +3 -3
Crouching +2 -2
Flanked +2 +2
1/4 cover 0 -1
1/2 cover -2 -2
3/4 cover -3 -3
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.

Flanking

When two or more hostile creatures are surrounding a target, that target becomes flanked as long as there is at least a 120-degree separation between any two of the surrounding creatures from the center of the target's space and those creatures are capable of attacking the target with their currently equipped weapons and 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 on your turn or as a free reaction 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 are ignored when determining whether or not you are flanked. Likewise, you cannot contribute to flanking an ignored creature. You can choose to stop ignoring a creature on your turn.

Defense

Your Defense determines how difficult it is to hit you with an attack roll and affects how much damage you take from a successful attack. Most attacks simply target your Defense, but this can actually mean different values depending on the situation. Melee attacks target your melee Defense and ranged attacks target your ranged Defense. Certain special attacks instead target skill defenses, as specified in the attack's description. If an effect immobilizes you, you replace your melee, ranged, and Agility defenses with your immobile defense. The formulas to calculate each type of Defense are given below.

The Combat Sequence

Combat is divided into fifteen-second rounds. Each participant has one turn per round, with the order determined by their current initiative and potentially changing from round to round. Each participant also has a certain number of Action Points which are spent to move or perform various actions and reactions. In addition to defined actions, anyone can speak freely at any time, provided that it is no more than a few words that could fit into a fifteen-second period, and can perform actions that take a negligible amount of time, such as releasing a held object.

Action Points

Action Points (AP) determine how much you are able to do in a given round. Each round at the start of your turn, you gain a number of AP based on your Speed as listed in the table below. Additionally, you begin with one quarter this number, rounded down, when you join a combat. Whenever you move or perform an action or reaction, you must spend AP as determined by the action's speed class. Any unused AP carries over into the next round, up to half the amount you normally gain per round. If you want to perform an action that costs more AP than you have, you can declare the action, spend all your current AP, and continue to spend all AP on each of your subsequent turns until the total cost has been spent, at which point the action takes effect. You can also cancel the action on your turn by choosing not to spend any more AP on it. If an action has a time measured in rounds or minutes, then you spend all AP each round performing that action until the specified number of rounds have passed, with each minute equaling 4 rounds.

Action Points Per Round
Speed -10-9-8-7-6 -5-4-3-2-1 012345 678910
AP per Round 33455 678910 121416182124 2832364248
AP at Start 00111 11222 334456 7891012

Bonuses to a speed class reduce the AP cost by a number equal to the bonus, while penalties increase it in the same way. For example, an action with a base speed class of 5 that has a +1 bonus has a speed class of 4. No effect can improve a speed class beyond 1 unless it specifically says it can, in which case it has an AP cost of 0.

Initiative

Initiative determines when you act each round as well as how readily you are able to react to other characters' actions. At the start of combat or when you join an ongoing combat, make a Prc [Reflex/Initiative] check and add 5. Your starting initiative value is equal to the result. During a round, participants act in descending order of initiative scores. In case of a tie, the order is determined randomly each round. If an effect lowers your initiative score after you have already had your turn, you do not gain a second turn on the same round.

If your initiative is 0, you cannot take reactions and cannot take actions that would reduce your initiative. Your initiative cannot drop below 0.

Surprise

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 Dex [Stealth/Hiding] and Prc [Stealth/Observation]. 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 begin the combat with 0 AP and you take a penalty to your initiative equal to 5 - your Perception. Creatures with a Perception higher than 5 cannot be surprised.

Using Actions and Reactions

On your turn, you can move and take any number of actions, provided you have the requisite AP. You may also take an action when it is not your turn if your initiative is higher than the active character's. Doing so reduces your initiative by 2. You may take this action at the start of the turn, the end of the turn, after an action is resolved, or immediately after an action is declared but before resolution has begun. If you interrupt after an action is declared, that action does not take place and the acting character does not spend its AP cost.

Reactions are a special type of action that you can take any time that its requirements are met, whether on your own turn or someone else's, regardless of your respective initiative scores. Taking a reaction has no effect on your initiative. Unless otherwise specified, a reaction takes place immediately after the effect that triggers it. You can only take a single reaction in response to a specific trigger.

Durations and Rounds

Some effects have durations measured in rounds. The round in which the effect begins counts as round 1, and the effect ends at the end of the round equal to its duration. For example, a spell with a 2-round duration will expire at the end of the next round after it is cast, regardless of when it is cast during the round. If the order in which effects end on a given round is important, the ones that have been active longer end earlier.

Movement

Distance Moved by AP
Movement
Rate
Strength
+ Size +
Athletics
AP Spent
1 2 3 4
0-30 or less0000
1-29 – -260001
2-25 – -220112
3-21 – -180123
4-17 – -141234
5-13 – -101235
6-9 – -61346
7-5 – -21357
8-1 – 22468
93 – 62469
107 – 1025710
1111 – 1425811
1215 – 1836912
1319 – 2236913
1423 – 26371014
1527 – 30371115
1631 – 34481216
1735 – 38481217
1839 – 42491318

Just like actions, movement requires spending AP. How far you can move for a certain amount of AP is determined by your movement rate. In most cases, this is based on the sum of your Strength, Size, and Athletics, as shown in the table to the right. Certain creatures or NPCs may calculate movement rates differently, and some effects can grant new movement rates. If you spend 1 AP on movement in a round, you may move up to the distance given in the corresponding column, and so on. If you spend more than 4 AP on movement in a round, start again from the 1 AP column. Once AP is spent to move, you can divide the movement however you want for the remainder of the round. Unused movement is wasted. You may move as an action on another character's turn, provided you have unspent movement or AP and have a higher initiative than the acting character. Doing so does not affect your initiative.

A square or hexagonal grid, paired with miniatures or other tokens, can often be helpful for determining movement and position in combat, but is not strictly necessary. If you do use a grid, 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. If you are using a square grid, count every second diagonal movement as 2 yards instead of 1.

Difficult Terrain

Movement through certain areas requires more time or effort than normal. Each yard of movement in difficult terrain costs 2, 3, 4, or more yards 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.

Difficult Terrain Costs
Situation Cost
Climbing a steep hill2
Wading through knee-high water2
Walking in mud2
Moving through thick undergrowth3
Swimming3
Wading through waist-high water4
Vertical climb41
Walking underwater10
1Assumes abundant handholds and footholds. Can increase drastically, subject to GM discretion.

Jumping

To jump, first decide whether you are attempting a long jump or high jump, then make a Str [Athletics/Jumping] 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.

You cannot end a turn mid-jump. If you attempt to jump farther than you have AP available to move, you can declare your intent to jump and spend all your AP until the necessary amount has been spent, at which point the jump takes place. If an effect ends your turn when you are already in the air, then the jump completes regardless.

Landing in difficult terrain or on a slippery surface requires a Dex [Acrobatics/Balance] check to remain standing. If your long jump distance places you within one yard of a ledge, you may attempt to grab on with a Dex [Acrobatics/Gymnastics] check. TNs for both checks are set by the GM based on the slipperiness of the surface.

Actions

The most common actions and reactions in combat are divided into categories and listed below. Other actions are also possible at the GM's discretion.

Action stat blocks begin with whether it is an action or reaction, followed by the name of the action and the description of its effect below. The top right corner of the block shows the speed class and may also show a stamina cost or an associated mana cost . If an action costs stamina, the stamina is spent when the action takes effect. If it requires mana, it must be invested in some way, dependent on the type of action. Reactions also specify a trigger that allows them to be used.

Offensive Actions

Action: Quick Attack

Speed Class By weapon + 1

You make a single melee attack against a target within range. On a hit, the resulting wound level is reduced by one step.

Reaction: Rebuff

Speed Class By weapon

Trigger A creature you can see attempts to approach closer than your weapon's optimal reach.

You use your weapon to make an attack against the target before it moves. On a hit, the severity of any wound dealt is increased one step.

Action: Standard Attack

Speed Class By weapon

You make a single attack against a target within range.

Action: Strong Attack

Speed Class By weapon - 2
Stamina 1

You make a single melee attack against a target within range. On a hit, you deal an additional 1d6 damage.

Common Actions

Action: Cast a Spell

Speed Class By spell

You release magical energy, activating the effect of a spell. Exactly how the spell takes effect and what other requirements must be met are determined by the school of magic you use.

Action: Defend

Speed Class 2

You take a defensive posture and prepare to dodge or block incoming attacks. Until your next turn or you receive a wound, when targeted by an attack you can see, you may replace your melee and/or ranged defenses with your Power, Agility, Fortitude, or Willpower defense, or you may gain a +2 bonus to your melee and ranged defenses.

Reaction: Harry

Speed Class 1

Trigger A creature within reach of your melee weapon attempts to make a ranged weapon attack or check.

You use your weapon to threaten and harass the target, making their attacks more difficult. The target suffers a -2 penalty to any ranged weapon attack or check made this round. You can only use this reaction once per round per target.

Action: Ready an Action

Speed Class 1

You prepare to take a specified action as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Choose an action. Until you take an action or reaction, you can take the chosen action as a reaction in response to any event.

Action: Retrieve or Stow an Item

Speed Class Varies by container

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. The speed class for different containers are as follows:

  • Scabbard or normal pocket: 1
  • Belt pouch or concealed pocket: 3
  • Sack or backpack: 6

Movement and Positioning

Action: Change Posture

Speed Class 1

You change your position between standing, crouching, or prone. If you are prone, you cannot change directly to standing.

Action: Create an Opening

Speed Class 2

You attempt to find or make an opening in a target's defenses to allow you to close the distance. Make a melee attack roll with your weapon. You can use the result in place of your Defense against any rebuff reaction made by the target for the rest of the turn.

Action: Enter Occupied Space

Speed Class 1

You attempt to enter a space occupied by another creature whose size is less than 5 larger or smaller than yours. Make a Power or Agility check against the higher of your target's Power or Agility defense. On a success, you can enter their space. Further movement within their space costs double the normal movement. While you are in the same space, both you and the target take a -2 penalty to all attacks and melee and ranged defenses.

Action: Escape

Speed Class 4

You attempt to escape from something that is preventing you from moving freely. Make a Power or Agility check against the escape TN of the effect. On a success, you end the effect.

Action: Mount/Dismount

Speed Class 4

You climb atop a horse or other mount, or climb off of the mount.

Action: Dash

Speed Class 0
Stamina 1

Each AP spent on movement counts as 2 AP spent until the end of the round. If you use this action again while already benefitting from it, make a Str [Athletics] check using the specialization that corresponds to your primary mode of movement. For every 3 points in the check result, your movement rate increases by 1 until the end of the round. You cannot increase your movement rate in this way more than once per round.

Grappling

Reaction: Cling

Speed Class 1

Trigger A target you are grappling is about to move out of reach.

You can attempt to either prevent the target's movement or move with it. Make a Power check. For every 5 points in the result, you may move 1 yard with the target, or for every 10 points, you may reduce the target's movement by 1 yard. You can mix both effects, such as by moving 1 yard with the target and reducing its movement by 1 yard by spending 15 points from your check result.

Action: Drag

Speed Class 2

While grappling, you attempt to move the grapple to a new location. Make a Power check against the highest Power defense of all opponents grappling you, with a -2 penalty for each opponent beyond the first. If you succeed, you can spend up to 4 AP on movement before the end of the round, moving all others involved in the grapple with you.

Action: Grapple

Speed Class By weapon

You attempt to initiate a close-quarters grapple with a target. Make a melee attack against an adjacent target using any weapon that has a reach of 0. You cannot target a creature whose size is 5 or more greater or smaller than yours or if your or their form prevents you from meaningfully grappling with them (such as with slimes or ghosts). If the attack hits, you deal no damage but instead both you and the target are grappling each other.

Reaction: Interpose

Speed Class 2

Trigger A creature you can see makes an attack against you while you are grappling.

You attempt to force the attack to target another creature you are grappling instead. Select a target you are grappling and make a Power or Agility check against the higher of your opponent's Power and Agility defenses. If the target is not pinned, you have a -2 penalty on this check. If you succeed, your target becomes the target of the attack. The attack is resolved as if the target were in your space.

Action: Pin

Speed Class 2

While grappling, you attempt to gain a decisive advantage over your opponent, pinning them in place. Make a Power check at a -2 penalty against the higher of the target's Power or Agility defense. On a success, the target is now helpless and immobile until it succeeds on an Escape attempt as if escaping the grapple, which ends the pin but not the grapple. The target is unable to take any other actions while pinned.

Miscellaneous

Action: End a Magical Effect

Speed Class 1

You end an ongoing effect caused by a magical item that you control. The item reverts to its original form. If the item has multiple effects active, each one must be ended individually.

Action: Hinder

Speed Class 4

You perform an action intended to hinder a target without directly harming them. You must be within melee 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.

Hinder Effects
Hindrance Attacker Defender Effect
Disarm Melee weapon check Melee weapon check or Agility defense The target drops one item it is holding.
Distract Prs [Deception] Prc [Deception] The target has a -2 penalty to attack and defense until the end of the round.
Shove Power Power or Agility defense The target is forced to move 1 yard plus up to one third of your margin of success in the direction you choose.
Trip Power Power or Agility defense The target is knocked prone.

Action: Seize Initiative

Speed Class 4

You spend a moment surveying your situation and attempting to gain more control over the battle. Your initiative increases by 1d6 points.

Action: Treat Condition

Speed Class 8

You attempt to treat a single harmful condition affecting yourself or an adjacent willing or helpless target. Choose one of the following effects currently affecting the target: bleeding, burning, hobbled, or poisoned. Make a Lor [Healing] check with any appropriate specialization 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 plus one step for every 2 points by which your check exceeds the TN, 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.

Action: Treat Wound

Speed Class 8
Treat Wound TNs
Wound Level TN
Light 7
Moderate 10
Severe 13
Critical 16
Fatal 19

You attempt to reduce the level of a wound on yourself or an adjacent willing or helpless target. Choose what level of wound to treat and make a Lor [Healing/Wounds] check against the corresponding TN as listed in the table to the right. On a success, the wound is reduced by one step, plus one step for every 2 points by which your check exceeds the TN. You have a -5 penalty to your check if you do not have a healing kit in hand.

Whether the check succeeds or fails, the target takes fatigue equal to the level of its highest remaining wound and loses twice that much stamina.

Action: Use an Object

Speed Class Varies by object

You use an object that you have in hand or that is within reach. You can drink a potion, open a door, light a torch, activate a magical device, and so on. Many items include a speed class in their descriptions. Other actions have an speed class as listed below or at the GM's discretion.

  • Open or close a door: 2
  • Light a torch or candle from an existing flame: 2
  • Drink a potion: 4
  • Ring a large warning bell: 6
  • Start a fire with flint and steel: 8

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 a Dex [Acrobatics] or Str [Athletics] 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.

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.

Underwater Combat

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 a Str [Athletics/Swimming] or Str [Athletics/Swimming] 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. If you sink below the surface, you can return to the surface by making a successful Str [Athletics/Swimming] check on your turn as an action (Speed Class 4).

Mounted Combat

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 and your mount share a single turn, using the worse of your two initiative scores. 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 you are considered 1 yard farther from creatures on the ground smaller than your mount. Controlling your mount's movement requires spending AP equal to that spent by the mount to move.

Mounts that are not trained for combat often pose a significant challenge to control, and require a Prs [Nature/Riding] check each time they or you are wounded 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 an action (Speed Class 8), 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 or perform other actions on command. You cannot control a sentient mount's movement or actions, though it may choose to follow your commands as a normal mount would. A sentient mount may optionally retain a separate initiative score and turn.