Combat, along with Exploration and Socializing, is one of the 3 foundational pillars of adventure RPGs. While most often used when fighting other beings, the combat rules can also be handy when fighting the eternal enemy Time. Because combat is segmented on time, it’s quite easy to use the combat rules to handle these tense situations, such as when a room is slowly filling with water, or when the party realizes too late that they’ve sprung a trap.


Each round of combat, each PC will roll against their wisdom. On a success, they go before the enemy, on a failure, they go after. When the enemy in question is Time, the world state updates instead of movement. For example, each round the water rises 6 inches, if this reduces movement based on the height of the water, characters going before Time move as if the water was 6 inches shallower than those that go after. Some particularly quick enemies might impose a penalty on PCs’ Wisdom, or act twice in each round.

On Their Turn

A PC or enemy can do one of the following:

  • Make an Attack roll against a target.

  • Run about 50’ + Movement (or 60’).

  • Make a charge attack against a target (Move 20’ + Movement and then make an Attack roll).

  • Cast a spell or activate a magic item.

  • Retrieve an item from a non-quickdraw slot.

  • Reload a crossbow, etc.

  • Try to trip, shove, or push a target.

  • Attempt to remove a Fatal Wound from a dying ally.

In addition, a PC or enemy can move 20’+Movement (or 30’).

Talking, shouting, or dropping an item can be done freely, and possibly even in other peoples’ turns. Basically, you can do one big thing a turn, plus move a bit.

Attack Rolls

Roll under Attack, opposed by the enemy’s Defense, to hit. For simplicity, enemies attributes are listed as just the modifiers, so for example, a footsoldier in leather armor’s defense is just -1 rather than 11 (since 10 - 11 = -1) Other effects (drunkenness, fog, being on fire, etc.) may impose penalties to Attack. Ranged weapons get -1 to Attack for every 10’ beyond their listed range. Most spells do not require an Attack roll. If a spell does require one, it will be noted in the spell’s description. Touching an unwilling target always requires an Attack roll.

Critical Successes and Failures

On an unmodified Attack roll of 1, the attack deals double damage (roll twice the number of dice and add any bonuses twice). On an unmodified Attack roll of 20, the attack automatically misses. Further penalties may apply if the situation is risky. A critical failure in a one-on-one fight in a clear meadow might just be a miss. A critical failure in a tight corridor, with allies and enemies jostling together, might result in an ally being hit, a weapon being dropped, or the attacker falling prone.


  • Leather armour takes up 0 Inventory Slots and provides +2 to Defense.

  • Chain armour takes up 2 Inventory Slots and provides a +4 bonus to Defense. It also imposes a -2 penalty to Movement and Stealth.

  • Plate armour takes up 4 Inventory Slots and provides a +6 bonus to Defense. It also imposes a -4 penalty to Movement and Stealth.

  • Shields take up 1 Inventory Slot and provide a +1 bonus to Defense. A PC can sunder their shield to reduce incoming damage by 1d12. The shield is broken afterwards.

Melee Weapons

  • Light weapons (daggers) are a small item, and deal 1d4 damage in melee. Given the small nature of light weapons, they can be dual wielded to grant +2 to attack, or thrown with a range of 20'.

  • Medium weapons (swords) take up 1 Inventory Slot and deal 1d8 damage if wielded in one hand or 1d10 damage if wielded in both hands.

  • Heavy weapons (hammers) deal 1d12 damage but must be wielded in both hands.

Ranged Weapons

Ranged weapons get -1 to Attack for every 10’ beyond their listed range.

  • Thrown light weapons (daggers) take up 1/3rd of an Inventory Slot and deal 1d6 damage and have a 20’ range.

  • Slings take up 1 inventory slot. They deal 1d6 damage and have a 20’ range.

  • Bows take up 1 inventory slot. They deal 1d6 damage and have a 30’ range.

  • Crossbows take up 1 inventory slot. They deal 1d12 damage and have a 30’ range. A crossbow takes 1 round to reload.

Both bows and crossbows use arrows. A quiver of 20 arrows is an average item. After combat, arrows can be recovered. 50% will be usable.

Hit Points

The danger a character can resist before taking injury is quantified by Hit Points (HP). They are better thought of as “Don’t Get Hit” Points. There are no mechanical effects for being reduced to 0 HP. Any damage in excess of this (i.e. negative HP) is known as Lethal Damage, which always incurs a roll on the Death and Dismemberment Table. PCs have a maximum HP of 20. Enemies have variable HP base on their Hit Dice (HD). A hit dice is a d8. Roll the number of HD listed and add the numbers together. An enemy with surprisingly low HP might be sickly or wounded. An enemy with high HP might be a champion (or two enemies).


  1. Lunch heals a character for 1d6+Level HP. Lunch takes 1 hour, requires a safe place, and consumes 1 ration.

  2. A Good Night’s Rest. Restores all HP. Requires 8 hours of rest, a safe place, a fire or heat source, and consumes 1 ration.

  3. Magical Healing. Some spells or potions restore HP. Others can heal Injuries.

If a character has negative HP (i.e. has taken Lethal Damage), the next Lunch or Good Night’s Rest heals them to 0 and not over 0.

Weapon Proficiency

All classes are proficient with light weapons. A PC is also proficient with any weapons they gain from a class or background. A PC has -4 to Attack with a weapon until they gain proficiency by landing 8 successful hits in combat.

Reaction & Morale Rolls

When encountering monsters, roll 2d6 plus any appropriate modifiers from the most visible party member.

Table 1. Reaction Table
2d6+ Result Notes

2 or less

Immediate Attack

Offended or disgusted



May attack if victory is likely



Parley or bargaining

12 or more

Very Favorable

May choose to cooperate

Monsters (or hirelings) may try to run away or surrender if combat turns against them. Monsters have a Morale value listed from 2 (craven) to 12 (unbreakable). Check Morale when:

  1. The side (PCs or monsters) takes their first death.

  2. When half the side has been incapacitated or killed.

  3. If some particularly frightening or spectacular effect occurs.

Roll 2d6. If the result is over the creatures’ Morale score, the creature attempts to retreat, surrenders, or panics. Morale can be adjusted (unless 2 or 12) by situational bonuses.