Section 4 - Game Mechanics

The GM describes a situation and asks each of the players what his character is doing. The players answer, and the GM tells them what happens next. At some point, the GM won’t be certain that the characters can automatically do what the players say they are doing … “You’re carrying what and jumping the chasm?” … and the dice come out.

Encumbrance and Move
“Encumbrance” is a measure of the total weight you are carrying, relative to your ST. The effects of encumbrance are divided into five “encumbrance levels.” All but the lowest level will reduce your actual Move to a fraction of your Basic Move and give a penalty to Dodge, as follows:

No Encumbrance (0): Weight up to Basic Lift. Move = Basic Move. Dodge
Light Encumbrance (1): Weight up to 2 x BL. Move = Basic Movex0.8. Dodge -1.
Medium Encumbrance (2): Weight up to 3 x BL. Move = Basic Movex0.6. Dodge -2.
Heavy Encumbrance (3): Weight up to 6 x BL. Move = Basic Move x0.4. Dodge -3.
Extra-Heavy Encumbrance (4): Weight up to 10 x BL. Move = Basic Move x 0.2. Dodge -4.

Drop all fractions. Encumbrance can never reduce Move or Dodge below 1.

Note that these levels are numbered from 0 to 4. When a rule tells you to add or subtract your encumbrance level from a die roll, this is the number to use. For instance, encumbrance gives a penalty to Climbing, Stealth, and Swimming skills.

Physical Feats

Below are rules for common physical tasks of importance to adventurers. For tasks not listed here, make DX rolls for matters of precision and HT rolls for feats of endurance. To determine weight moved or work done, use Basic Lift. Movement speed should generally be proportional to Basic Move.


To climb anything more difficult than a ladder, roll against Climbing skill (p. 14). This defaults to DX-5. Modifiers to the roll depend on the difficulty of the climb (see below). In all cases, subtract your encumbrance level from your roll as well. Combat speed on the table below costs 1 FP per Climbing roll.

Make one roll to start the climb and another roll every five minutes. Any failure means you fall (see Falling, p. 32). If you secured yourself with a rope, you will fall only to the end of the rope unless you rolled a critical failure.

Type of Climb Modifier Combat Regular
Ladder going up no roll 3 rungs/sec 1 rung/sec
Ladder going down no roll 2 rung/sec 1 rung/sec
Ordinary Tree +5 1ft/sec 1 ft./3
Ordinary Mt 0 1ft /2 secs 10ft /min
Vertical stone wall -3 1ft/5 sec 4 ft/min
Modern building -3 1ft. 10/sec 2ft/min
Rope-up -2 1ft/sec 20ft/min
Rope-down -2 - -
w/o equipment -1 2ft/sec 30ft/min
w/ equipment -1 12ft/sec 12ft/sec


Sustainable cross-country speed on foot depends on ground Move. Start with Basic Move and reduce it for encumbrance (see Encumbrance and Move), injury (see General Injury), and exhaustion (see Lost Fatigue Points), as applicable. The distance in miles you can march in one day, under ideal conditions, equals 10xMove.

A successful roll against Hiking skill increases marching distance by 20%. Roll daily. A group led by someone with Leadership skill at 12+ may make a single roll against the group’s average Hiking skill. (Hiking defaults to HT-5 for those who have not studied it.) Success lets the entire group march 20% farther; failure means the whole group must forgo the bonus.

Once you know your ideal daily mileage, modify it for circumstances as follows:

Very Bad: Deep snow, dense forest, jungle, mountains, soft sand, or swamp. x0.2.
Bad: Broken ground (including streams), forest, or steep hills. x0.5.
Average: Light forest or rolling hills x1.
Good: Hard-packed desert or level plains. x1.25.

Adverse weather conditions – rain, snow, or ice – often reduce these values further.


When you want to jump over something much smaller than you, the GM should say, “Okay, you jumped over it,” and get on with play. Such jumps succeed automatically. But when the obstacle seems really significant, or if the GM put it there as a deliberate hazard, use the following rules.

Jumping Distance

Your Basic Move determines jumping distance, as follows:

High Jump: (6¥Basic Move) - 10 inches. For example, a Basic Move of 6 lets you jump 26” straight up. For a running jump, add the number of yards you run to Basic Move in this formula. Maximum running high-jump height is twice standing highjump height.

Broad Jump: (2¥Basic Move) - 3 feet. For example, a Basic Move of 6 lets you jump 9 feet from a standing start. For a running jump, add the number of yards you run to Basic Move in this formula. Maximum running broad-jump distance is twice standing broad-jump distance.

Lifting & Moving Things

Basic Lift governs the weight you can pick up and move. The GM may let multiple characters add their BL (not their ST) whenever it seems reasonable; e.g., to carry a stretcher or pull a wagon.

One-Handed Lift: 2xBL (takes two seconds).
Two-Handed Lift: 8xBL (takes four seconds).
Shove and Knock Over: 12¥BL. Double this if you have a running start. The GM can also make allowances for precariously balanced objects, to make them easier to tilt.

Carry on Back: 15xBL. Thus, you can carry more than you can lift by yourself … but every second that your encumbrance is over 10xBL (that is, Extra-Heavy encumbrance), you lose 1 FP.

Shift Slightly: Depending on your footing and the way you are braced, you could shift or rock 50xBL.


Your running speed, or ground Move, is equal to your Basic Move score modified for encumbrance – see Encumbrance and Move. Sprinting is all-out running. It is very fast, but also fatiguing (see Fatigue Cost, below). You can sprint if you run forward for two or more seconds. Add 20% to your Move after one second. For instance, with a Move of 7, you could sprint at 8.4 yards/second after running for one second at 7 yards/second.

If you need to run a long distance, you will want to pace yourself to avoid exhaustion. Paced running averages exactly half the sprinting speed calculated above.

After every 15 seconds of sprinting or every minute of paced running, roll against HT. On a failure, you lose 1 FP. Once you are reduced to 1/3 or less your FP, halve your Move for any kind of running; see Fatigue.


Make a roll against Swimming skill any time you enter water over your head, and again every 5 minutes. Subtract twice your encumbrance level; add 3 if you entered the water intentionally. If you fail, lose 1 FP and roll again in 5 seconds, and so on until you reach 0 FP and drown, get rescued, or succeed at a roll. If you recover, roll again in 1 minute. If you succeed, go back to rolling every 5 minutes.

Land-dwellers such as humans have water Move equal to Basic Move/5 (round down), minimum 1 yard/second. After every minute of top-speed swimming, roll against the higher of HT or Swimming skill. On a failure, you lose 1 FP. Once you are reduced to 1/3 or less your FP, halve your water Move; see Fatigue.


You can throw anything you can pick up that is, anything with a weight of 8xBL or less. If the object you wish to throw is not already in your hands, you must take one or more Ready maneuvers to pick it up. See Lifting and Moving Things, above, for details.

Throwing an object during combat whether as an attack or not requires an Attack maneuver. You can throw objects that weigh up to 2xBL using one hand;
heavier objects require a two-handed throw. Roll against DX-3 to hit a specific target, or against DX to lob something into a general area. Apply the usual modifiers for target size, speed, and distance.

Throwing Distance Table

To avoid slowing down the game with math, the GM should allow any throw he deems reasonable … but when you need to know the exact distance you can throw an object, use the following procedure:

Weight Ratio Distance Modifier Weight Ratio Distance Modifier
0.05 3.5 2.0 0.30
0.10 2.5 2.5 0.25
0.15 2.0 3.0 0.20
0.20 1.5 4.0 0.15
0.40 1.0 6.0 0.10
0.50 0.8 10 0.06
1.0 0.60 12 0.05
1.5 0.40

1. Divide the object’s weight in pounds by your Basic Lift to get the “weight ratio.”
2. Find the weight ratio in the Weight Ratio column of the table above. If it falls between two values, use the higher value.
3. Read across to the Distance Modifier column and find the “distance modifier.”
4. Multiply your ST by the distance modifier to find the distance in yards you can throw the object.

Throwing Damage Table

Thrown objects inflict thrust damage for your ST (see Damage Table, p. 6), modified for weight as shown on the table below. Damage is usually crushing. A fragile object (or a thrown character) takes the same amount of damage it inflicts; roll damage separately for the object and the target.

Weight Damage
Up to BL/8 Thrust, -2 per die
Up to BL/4 Thrust, -1 per die
Up to BL/2 Thrust
Up to BL Thrust, +1 per die
Up to 2xBL Thrust
Up to 4xBL Thrust, -1/2 per die (round down)
Up to 8xBL Thrust, -1 per die

Mental Feats

Sense Roll

Sense rolls” include Vision rolls, Hearing rolls, and Taste/Smell rolls. To notice something using a given sense, roll against your Perception score.

Comprehension Rolls: A successful Sense roll means you noticed something. That is often sufficient, but in some cases, the GM may require a second roll to understand what you have sensed; e.g., to realize that the “owl hoot” you heard is really an Indian warrior, or that the faint scent you noticed belongs to the flower of a man-eating plant. This roll is against IQ for details that anyone could figure out, or against an appropriate skill if the significance would be lost on anyone but an expert.

Danger Sense: If you have the Danger Sense advantage (p. 9) and fail a Sense roll or comprehension roll to notice something dangerous, the GM will secretly make a Perception roll for you. On a success, you sense the danger anyhow!


Make a Vision roll whenever it is important that you see something. When you try to spot something that is deliberately hidden, the GM may treat this roll as a Quick Contest against a concealment skill (Camouflage, Holdout, etc.), and may allow – or require – a skill such as Observation or Search to replace Perception for the roll.


Make a Hearing roll whenever it is important that you hear a sound. The GM will often require a separate IQ roll to make out speech, especially in a foreign language.

When you try to hear someone who is attempting to move silently, the GM may treat this roll as a Quick Contest against his Stealth skill. If you are actively listening for such activity, the GM may allow you to substitute Observation skill for Perception.


Taste and smell are two manifestations of the same sense. Make a Taste roll to notice a flavor, or a Smell roll to notice a scent.

Influence Rolls

An “Influence roll” is a deliberate attempt to ensure a positive reaction from an NPC. A PC with an appropriate “Influence skill” can always elect to substitute an Influence roll for a regular reaction roll in suitable circumstances (GM’s decision). See Reaction Rolls (p. 3) for more on NPC reactions.

Decide which Influence skill you are using: Diplomacy, Fast-Talk, Intimidation, Savoir-Faire, Sex Appeal, or Streetwise. Choose wisely! The GM may allow other skills to work as Influence skills in certain situations (e.g., Law skill, when dealing with a judge). Then roll a Quick Contest: your Influence skill vs. the subject’s Will.

If you win, you get a “Good” reaction from the NPC – “Very Good” if you used Sex Appeal. On any other outcome, the NPC resents your clumsy attempt at manipulation. This gives you a “Bad” reaction – “Very Bad” if you attempted intimidation. Exception: If you used Diplomacy, the GM will also make a regular reaction roll and use the better of the two reactions. Thus, Diplomacy is relatively safe.

Will Rolls

When you are faced with a stressful situation or a distraction, the GM may require you to roll against your Will to stay focused. On a success, you may act normally. On a failure, you submit to the fear, give in to the pressure, are distracted from your task, etc.

Fright Checks

A Fright Check is a Will roll made to resist fear. Fright Checks can occur as often or as rarely as the GM wishes. In a horror campaign where ordinary people meet shockingly gruesome Things, Fright Checks might be very common! With only minor adaptation, the GM can use these rules for awe, confusion, etc. as well as fear.

As a general rule, “ordinary” frightening things do not require Fright Checks. Fright Checks are for events so unusual and terrifying that they might stun or even permanently scar someone.

A Fright Check is subject to any number of modifiers, including ones derived from appropriate advantages or disadvantages, and the circumstances surrounding the roll.

A failed Fright Check results in the character being stunned (see p. 30) for a number of seconds equal to the margin of your failure, plus 2d. On a critical failure, the victim faints, and cannot be revived for the margin of failure plus 1d minutes. Hope the thing that scared you isn’t hungry.

Combat Sequence

Each character’s turn normally gives him one opportunity to act per second. After everyone takes his turn, one second has passed.

The one-second time scale breaks the battle into manageable chunks. A GM can drop out of combat time whenever dramatically appropriate, and resume combat time when noncombat action gives way to more fighting.

The turn sequence is the order in which active characters take their turns. It is set at the start of the fight and does not change during combat. The combatant with the highest Basic Speed goes first, followed by the next highest Basic Speed, and so on. The GM decides the order of multiple NPCs on the same side with the same Basic Speed. If PCs are involved, precedence goes to the highest DX. If there’s still a tie, the GM should roll at the start of combat to determine who acts first.


A maneuver is an action taken during combat. Each turn, you must choose one of the following maneuvers: Aim, All-Out Attack, All-Out Defense, Attack, Change Posture, Concentrate, Do Nothing, Evaluate, Feint, Move, Move and Attack, Ready, or Wait. Your choice determines what you can do and your options for active defense and movement.


Aiming a ranged weapon (or a device such as a camera) takes a full turn. Specify your weapon and your target. You can’t aim at something that you can’t see or detect.

If you follow an Aim maneuver with an Attack or All-Out Attack with the same weapon against the same target, you get a bonus to hit. Add the weapon’s Accuracy to your skill. If you Aim for more than one second, you receive an additional bonus: +1 for two seconds of Aim, or +2 for three or more seconds.

While aiming, you can move a step. Any Active Defense automatically spoils your aim and removes all accumulated benefits. If injured while aiming, you must make a Will roll or lose your aim.

All-Out Attack

Attack any foe with a ready weapon, making no effort to defend against enemy attacks. If you make a melee attack, you must specify one of these four options:

• Determined: Make a single attack at +4 to hit.
• Double: Make two attacks against the same foe, if you have two ready weapons or one weapon that does not have to be readied after use. Attacks with a second weapon held in the off hand are at the usual -4.
• Feint: Make one Feint (see below) and then one attack against the same foe.
• Strong: Make a single attack, at normal skill. If you hit, you get +2 to damage – or +1 damage per die, if that would be better. This only applies to melee attacks doing ST based thrust or swing damage, not to weapons such as force swords.

You may move up to half your Move, but you can only move forward.

You may take no active defenses at all until your next turn. These are the two All-Out Attack options for ranged combat:

Determined: Make a single attack at +1 to hit.
• Suppression Fire: Take your entire turn to spray an area with automatic fire. Your weapon must have RoF 5+. Ask the GM for details or see Suppression Fire (p. 410).

All-Out Defense

The maneuver of choice when beset by foes. Specify one of the following two options:

Increased Defense: Add +2 to one active defense of your choice: Dodge, Parry, or Block. This bonus persists until your next turn.
• Double Defense: Apply two different active defenses against the same attack. If you fail your defense roll against an attack, you may try a second, different defense against that attack. If you try a parry (armed or unarmed) with one hand and fail, a parry using the other hand does count as a “different defense.”

With Increased Dodge, you may move up to half your Move. Otherwise, the only movement is a step. Choose any legal active defense, with bonuses as described above.


Make an armed or unarmed attack in melee combat, or to use a thrown or missile weapon in ranged combat. A weapon used in an attack must be ready. If using a melee weapon or unarmed attack, your target must be within reach. If using a ranged weapon, your target must be within the weapon’s Max range. To move more than one step during an attack, use a Move and Attack or All-Out Attack.

Change Posture

Change between the following postures: standing, sitting, kneeling, crawling, lying prone (face down), and lying face up. Any posture other than standing slows movement and penalizes attack and defense rolls, but also creates a smaller target for ranged attacks.

Standing up from a lying position requires two Change Posture maneuvers: one to rise to crawling, kneeling, or sitting, and another to stand. You can switch between kneeling and standing as a step with another maneuver.


You concentrate on one primarily mental task (even it has a minor physical component, like operating controls, gesturing, or speaking). This may be casting a magical spell, using a psi ability, making a Sense roll to spot an invisible warrior, or any similar action, including most IQ-based skill rolls. This is a full-turn maneuver.

If you are forced to use an active defense, knocked down, injured, or otherwise distracted before you finish, you must make a Will-3 roll. On a failure, you lose your concentration and must start over.

Do Nothing

Standing still is Doing Nothing. A character Doing Nothing may still defend normally, unless stunned. Someone stunned or surprised must take this maneuver. A stunned character defends at -4.

To recover from physical or mental stun, he may attempt a HT or an IQ roll. A success allows recovery at the end of a turn.


Study an adversary to gain a combat bonus on a subsequent attack. You must specify a visible opponent close enough to attack or reachable with a single Move and Attack maneuver (see below).

An Evaluate maneuver gives +1 to skill for an Attack, Feint, All-Out Attack, or Move and Attack made against that opponent, on your next turn only. You may take up to three consecutive Evaluate maneuvers before you strike, giving a cumulative +1 per turn.


“Fake” a melee attack if your weapon is ready and your foe is within reach. This maneuver is not an
attack and does not make your weapon unready.

To Feint, choose a single opponent and roll a Quick Contest of Melee Weapon skills. Your opponent may roll against his Melee Weapon skill, unarmed combat skill, Cloak or Shield skill, or DX.

If you fail your roll, your Feint is unsuccessful. Likewise, if you succeed, but your foe succeeds by as much as or more than you do, your
Feint fails. If you make your roll, and your foe fails, subtract your margin of success from the foe’s active defense if you attack him with Attack, All-Out Attack, or Move and Attack on your next turn. If you and your foe both succeed, but you succeed by more, subtract your margin of victory from the foe’s defense.

A Feint lasts one second. But if you Feint and then make an All-Out Attack (Double), the Feint applies to both attacks.

You can move one step while feinting and it allows any active defense. Allies cannot take advantage of your successful Feint.


Move any number of yards up to your full Move score, but take no other action. Most other maneuvers allow at least some movement on your turn; take this maneuver if all you want to do is move.

During a Move, a character can defend themselves normally.

Move and Attack

Move as described for the Move maneuver, but during or after your move, make a single, poorly aimed
attack – either unarmed or with a ready weapon. You attack as described for the Attack maneuver, but at a penalty. If making a ranged attack, you have a penalty of -2 or the weapon’s Bulk rating, whichever is worse. If you are making a melee attack, you have a flat -4 to skill, and your adjusted skill cannot
exceed 9.

You can only dodge or block during this maneuver.


A Ready maneuver can be used to:
•Pick up or draw any item, prepare it for use, regain control of an unwieldy weapon after a swing, or adjust the reach of a long weapon.
• Complete physical actions other than fighting: opening or closing a door, picking a lock, etc.
• Switch an advantage “off” or “on” if it is not always on and does not require an Attack or Concentrate maneuver. The combatant can both step and defend while taking a Ready.


Do nothing unless an event you specified in advance occurs before your next turn; e.g., a foe moves into range. If that happens, you may transform your Wait into an Attack, Feint, All-Out Attack (you must specify the option before acting), or Ready maneuver. You interrupt the turn sequence, but it resumes after you’ve acted.

Specify your action and its trigger when you take the Wait maneuver. You may Wait with a ready ranged weapon if you have specified the zone that you are covering.

Range Attacks

A “ranged attack” is any attack with a weapon used at a distance, from a thrown rock to a laser rifle to a specified spell.

Make a ranged attack on a target only if it falls within your weapon’s range. To find this, see the relevant weapon table or advantage or spell description. Most ranged attacks list Half Damage (1/2D) range and Maximum (Max) range, in yards. Your target must be no farther away than Max range; 1/2D range only affects damage.

A few weapons have a minimum range, as they lob projectiles in a high arc, or have fusing or guidance limits.

Figure your adjusted chance to hit by:

1. Taking your base skill with your ranged weapon.
2. Adding your weapon’s Accuracy (Acc) if you preceded your attack with an Aim maneuver.
3. Applying the target’s Size Modifier (SM).
4. Modifying for the target’s range and speed (done as a single modifier).
5. Modifying for circumstances (rapid fire, movement, darkness, cover, etc.), including any special conditions determined by the GM.


You attempt to hit a foe or other target by executing an Attack, All-Out Attack, or Move and Attack maneuver. You can only attack with a weapon if it’s ready (see Ready, p. 325). Two basic types of attacks exist: melee attacks and ranged attacks. Your target must be within reach to make a melee attack, or within range to make a ranged attack. Resolving either type of attack takes three die rolls:

• First is your attack roll. If your roll is successful, your attack was a good one.
• Now your foe must make a defense roll to see if he can defend against. your blow. If he makes this roll, he evaded or stopped the attack, and is not hit.
• If he misses his defense roll, your blow struck and you roll for damage.

Attack Roll

Your “attack roll” is a regular success roll (see Chapter 10, Book 2). Figure your effective skill (base skill plus or minus any appropriate modifiers) with the weapon you are using. If your roll is less than or equal to your effective skill, your attack will hit unless your foe successfully defends (see Defending, below). If he fails to defend – or if he can’t – you’ve hit him.

If your roll is greater than your effective skill, you missed!

No matter what your effective skill, a roll of 3 or 4 always hits, and is a critical hit. Depending on your effective skill, a roll of 5 or 6 may also be a critical hit. An attacker with an effective skill of 15 gets a critical hit on a roll of 5 or less; one with effective skill 16+ gets a critical hit on a roll of 6 or less.

On an attack roll of 3, you do not roll for damage – your blow automatically does the maximum damage. Other critical hits bypass the defense roll, but roll normally for damage. A roll of 17 or 18 always misses.


If your attack roll succeeds, you have not (yet) actually struck your foe, unless you rolled a critical hit. Your attack is good enough to hit him – if he fails to defend.

A fighter can use three active defenses to evade or ward off an attack: Dodge, Parry, and Block. These active defense scores should be calculated in advance and recorded on the character’s sheet.

If a foe makes a successful attack roll, choose one active defense and attempt a “defense roll” against it. Exception: The All-Out Defense (Double Defense) maneuver lets you attempt a second defense against a particular attack if your first defense fails.

The active defense chosen depends on the situation – especially the maneuver chosen last turn. Some maneuvers restrict which active defenses can be made. No active defense is available if the PC is unaware of the attack. And active defenses don’t apply to fighters who are unconscious, immobilized, or otherwise unable to react.

Active Defense Rolls

The defender rolls 3d against his active defense score. If his roll is less than or equal to his effective defense, he dodged, parried, or blocked the attack. Otherwise, his active defense was ineffective and the attack hit. If this occurs, roll for damage.

An active defense roll of 3 or 4 is always successful – even if the effective defense score was only 1 or 2! A roll of 17 or 18 always fails.


A Dodge is an active attempt to move out of the perceived path of an attack. It is normally the only active defense you can take against firearms.

Your Dodge active defense is Basic Speed + 3, dropping all fractions, minus a penalty equal to your encumbrance level (see Encumbrance and Move, p. 17). List Dodge on your character sheet for quick reference.

You may dodge any attack except one that you did not know about! You only get one Dodge roll against a given

If a single rapid-fire attack scores multiple hits, a successful Dodge roll lets you avoid one hit, plus additional hits equal to your margin of success. A critical success lets you dodge all hits you took from that attack.


Blocking requires a ready shield or cloak. Your Block active defense is 3 + half your Shield or Cloak skill, dropping all fractions.

You can block any melee attack, thrown weapon, projected liquid, or muscle-powered missile weapon. You cannot block bullets or beam weapons … these come too fast to be stopped this way.

You may attempt to block only one attack per turn.


Parry to deflect a blow using a weapon or your bare hands. You cannot parry unless your weapon is ready or, if unarmed, you have an empty
hand. You can use most melee weapons to parry. Some hefty weapons (e.g., axes) are unbalanced: you cannot use them to parry if you’ve already used them to attack on your turn. (You can still parry with a weapon in your other hand, if you have one.) A few long,well-balanced weapons (e.g., the quarterstaff) get a +1 or +2 bonus to parry due to their ability to keep a foe at bay.

Your Parry active defense with a given weapon is 3 + half your skill with that weapon, dropping all fractions.

A parry won’t stop anything except melee attacks or thrown weapons, unless you have special skills.

Exception: If a foe attacks you with a You can parry thrown weapons, but at a penalty: -1 for most thrown weapons, or -2 for small ones such as knives, shuriken, and other weapons that weigh 1 lb. or less.

If you successfully parry an unarmed attack (bite, punch, etc.) with a weapon, you may injure your attacker. Immediately roll against your skill with the weapon used to parry. If you succeed, your parry struck the attacker’s limb squarely. He gets no defense roll against this! Roll damage normally.

Damage & Injury

your attack roll succeeds and your target fails his defense roll (if any), you may make a damage roll. This tells you how much basic damage you dealt to your target. Your weapon (and, for musclepowered weapons, your ST), or your natural or Innate Attack, determines the number of dice you roll for damage. If your target has any Damage Resistance (DR), he subtracts this from your damage roll.

If your damage roll is less than or equal to your target’s effective DR, your attack failed to penetrate – it bounced off or was absorbed. If your damage roll exceeds your target’s DR, the excess is the penetrating damage. If your foe has no DR, the entire damage roll is penetrating damage.

Your foe suffers injury (lost HP) equal to the penetrating damage for a crushing attack, 1.5¥ penetrating damage for a cutting attack, or 2¥ penetrating damage for an impaling attack. Other damage types exist, and have further effects.

General Damage

If injured, subtract the points of injury from your Hit Points. Usually, you are still in the fight as long as you have positive HP. The most important effects are:

• If you have less than 1/3 of your HP remaining, you reel from your wounds. Halve your Move and Dodge (round up).

•If you have zero or fewer HP left, you hang onto consciousness through sheer willpower and adrenaline – or barely hold together, if you’re a machine. You must roll vs. HT each turn to avoid falling unconscious.

• If you go to fully negative HP (for instance, -10 if you have 10 HP), you risk death! You must make an immediate HT roll to avoid dying. You must make another HT roll to avoid death each time you lose an extra multiple of your HP – that is, at -2xHP, -3xHP, and so on. If you reach -5xHP, you die automatically. The sudden loss of HP can have additional effects:

Major Wounds: Any single injury that inflicts a wound in excess of 1/2 your HP is a major wound. For a major wound to the torso, you must make a HT roll. Failure means you’re stunned or knocked out; failure by 5+ means you pass out.

Shock: Any injury that causes a loss of HP also causes “shock.” Shock is a penalty to DX, IQ, and skills based on those attributes on your next turn (only). This is -1 per HP lost unless you have 20 or more HP, in which case it is -1 per (HP/10) lost, rounded down. The shock penalty cannot exceed -4 no matter how much injury you suffer.

Stunning: If you’re stunned, you are -4 to active defenses, and must Do Nothing on your next turn. At the end of your turn, attempt a HT roll to recover. If you fail, you’re still stunned and must Do Nothing for another turn. And so on.


The Damage rules may seem harsh, but don’t despair … you can get better!

Recovering from Unconsciousness

The GM decides whether you are truly unconscious or just totally incapacitated by pain and injury – but either way, you can’t do anything. If unconscious, you recover as follows:

• If you have 1 or more HP remaining, you awaken automatically in 15 minutes.

• At 0 HP or worse, but above -1xHP, make a HT roll to awaken every hour. Once you succeed, you can act normally. You do not have to roll against HT every second to remain conscious unless you receive new injury. But since you are below 1/3 your HP, you are at half Move and Dodge.

• At -1xHP or below, you are in bad shape. You get a single HT roll to awaken after 12 hours. If you succeed, you regain consciousness and can act as described above. But if you fail, you won’t regain consciousness without medical treatment. Until you receive help, you must roll vs. HT every 12 hours; if you fail, you die.

Natural Recovery

Rest lets you recover lost HP, unless the damage is of a type that specifically does not heal naturally (see Illness, p. 442). At the end of each day of rest and decent food, make a HT roll. On a success, you recover 1 HP. The GM may give a penalty if conditions are bad, or a bonus if conditions are very good.


Fatigue represents lost energy and reduces FP, just as injury represents physical trauma and comes off of HP. Your Fatigue Points (FP) score starts out equal to your HT, but can be modified.

Lost Fatigue Points

The chart below summarizes the effects of being at low or negative FP. All effects are cumulative.

Less than 1/3 your FP left – You are very tired. Halve your Move, Dodge, and ST (round up). This does not affect ST-based quantities, such as HP and damage.

0 FP or less – You are on the verge of collapse. If you suffer further fatigue, each FP you lose also causes 1 HP of injury. To do anything besides talk or rest, you must make a Will roll; in combat, roll before each maneuver other than Do Nothing. On a success, you can act normally. You can use FP to cast spells, etc., and if drowning, you can continue to struggle, but you suffer the usual 1 HP per FP lost. On a failure, you collapse, incapacitated, and can do nothing until you recover to positive FP.

-1xFP – You fall unconscious. While unconscious, you recover lost FP at the same rate as for normal rest. You awaken when you reach positive FP. Your FP can never fall below this level. After this stage, any FP cost comes off your HP instead!

Recovering from Fatigue

You can recover “ordinary” lost FP by resting quietly. Reading, talking, and thinking are all right; walking around, or anything more strenuous, is not. Lost FP return at the rate of 1 FP per 10 minutes of rest. The GM may allow you to regain one extra FP if you eat a decent meal while resting. Certain drugs, magic potions, etc. can restore missing FP, as can spells such as Lend Energy and Recover Energy.

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