1.3 Combat Essentials


This one page summarizes the basics of combat. If you’re unfamiliar with the full combat rules, this is enough information to get you through a fight. For now, don’t worry about the details.


Combat is broken up into rounds. Every round, each combatant gets to do something. A round represents about six seconds in the game world.


Before the first round of combat, each player makes an Initiative check for his character. The referee makes Initiative checks for the monsters or foes. To make an Initiative check, roll 1d20 and add your character’s Perception modifier (do not add any Prime or class bonus):

  • Initiative: 1d20 + base Perception modifier.

Characters act in order from highest Initiative result to lowest, with the check applying to all rounds of the combat.


You can move and make a single attack in one round (in either order).


Distance in combat is broken into five range categories: Melee, Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. In one round, you can move your ‘base speed’ and still attack. Most characters will be able to move one range category (from Short range to Melee range, for example) as their base speed. You can move before or after attacking.

In one round, you can choose to skip your attack run all-out instead. This lets you move your ‘running speed’ (typically two range categories) but takes your entire turn.


To score a hit that deals damage on your Attack roll, you must roll the target’s Defense Class or better:

  • Melee Attack Roll: 1d20 + class Attack bonus + base Strength modifier.
  • Ranged Attack Roll: 1d20 + class Attack bonus + base Agility modifier + range penalty.

A melee attack is one using a weapon you physically strike an opponent with, such as lunging with a knife or swinging a crowbar. (A creature’s claw or bite attack is also a melee attack.) A ranged attack is one that you use at a distance, such as throwing a rock or firing a pistol.

Thrown and projectile weapons (such as crossbows and firearms) are considered ranged attacks, even if your opponent is at melee range. Ranged attacks up to ‘Short’ range suffer no penalty, but you take a -1 range penalty to attacks at ‘Medium’ range, a -2 penalty to attacks at ‘Long’ range, and a -4 penalty to attacks at ‘Extreme’ range.

Defense Class:

A character’s Defense Class is the number you need to get on your Attack roll to hit that character in combat.

  • Defense Class: 10 + class Defense bonus + base Agility modifier + equipment bonus + size modifier.

You can use armour and shields to provide an equipment bonus to Defense. Characters who are larger or smaller than normal may have a size modifier to Defense (see individual mutation descriptions for details).


If you score a hit, roll damage and deduct it from the target’s current Hit Points. Add your Strength modifier to damage from melee and thrown weapons.

If you’re using a light melee weapon, you add half your Strength bonus instead. If you’re wielding a two-handed melee weapon, add one and one-half times your Strength bonus to the damage. You can’t add your Strength modifier to the damage from most projectile weapons, such as crossbows and firearms. (These details are explained later, in the Advanced Rules.)

Hit Points:

Hit Points (or ‘HP’) represent how much damage a character can take before being disabled, knocked unconscious, or killed. If your Hit Points are reduced to zero (0), you’re knocked unconscious and may die.

After taking damage (assuming you’re still standing), you can recover Hit Points through natural healing or other means. In any case, you can’t regain more Hit Points than your full normal HP total.

Natural Healing: With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover Hit Points equal to one-half your character level plus your base Endurance modifier (minimum of 1 HP). Any significant interruption during your rest prevents you from healing that night. If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day, you also recover Hit Points equal to your base Endurance modifier (again, to a minimum of 1 HP if you don’t have an Endurance bonus) – so by resting day and night, you can recover Hit Points equalt to double your base Endurance modifier.

A savant can use his Treat Injury class ability to heal himself or others. Various special items, Ancient relics, and mutant powers can also restore Hit Points.


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