THE BASICS

Dice Notation

These rules use the following die notations:

D4 four sided die
D6 six sided die
D8 eight sided die
D10 ten sided die
D12 twelve sided die
D20 twenty sided die
D% percentile dice

Die rolls are expressed in the format: [#] die type [+/- modifiers]

Example: 3d6+2 means: "Roll 3 six-sided dice. Add the result of the three dice together. Add 2."

Rounding Fractions

In general, if you wind up with a fraction, round down, even if the fraction is one-half or larger.

Exception: Certain rolls, such as damage and hit points, have a minimum of 1.

Multiplying

Sometimes a special rule makes you multiply a number or a die roll. As long as you're applying a single multiplier, multiply the number normally. When two or more multipliers apply, however, combine them into a single multiple, with each extra multiple adding 1 less than its value to the first multiple. Thus, a double (x2) and a double (x2) applied to the same number results in a triple (x3, because 2 + 1 = 3).

Basic Task Resolution System

These rules assume a standardized system for determining the success or failure of any given task. That system is:

d20 + Modifiers vs. Target Number

The Modifiers and Target Number are determined by the type of task.

If the result of the d20 roll + the Modifiers equals or exceeds the Target Number, the test is successful. Any other result is a failure.

A "natural 20" on the die roll is not an automatic success. A "natural 1" on the die roll is not an automatic failure, unless the rules state otherwise.

ABILITY SCORES

Every character has six basic Ability Scores:

Strength (STR)
Dexterity (DEX)
Constitution (CON)
Intelligence (INT)
Wisdom (WIS)
Charisma (CHA)

The Score of these Abilities ranges from 0 to infinity. A limit, if any, will be specified in the rules. The normal human range is 3 to 18. It is possible for a creature to have a score of "none". A score of "none" is not the same as a score of "0". A score of "none" means that the creature does not possess the ability at all. The modifier for a score of "none" is +0. A character with a CON of 0 is dead. A 0 in any other score means the character is helpless and cannot move. Keeping track of negative ability score points is never necessary. A character's ability score can't drop below 0.

Use of Ability Scores

Strength Any creature that can physically manipulate other objects has at least 1 point of Strength. A creature with no Strength score can't exert force, usually because it has no physical body or because it doesn't move. The creature automatically fails Strength checks. If the creature can attack, it applies its Dexterity modifier to its base attack instead of a Strength modifier.
Dexterity Any creature that can move has at least 1 point of Dexterity.

A creature with no Dexterity score can't move. If it can act, it applies its Intelligence modifier to initiative checks instead of a Dexterity modifier. The creature fails all Reflex saves and Dexterity checks.
Constitution Any living creature has at least 1 point of Constitution. If a character's Constitution changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, his or her hit points also increase or decrease accordingly at the same time. A creature with no Constitution has no body or no metabolism. It is immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect works on objects. The creature is also immune to ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, and massive damage, and always fails Constitution checks.
Intelligence Any creature that can think, learn, or remember has at least 1 point of Intelligence. A creature with no Intelligence score is an automaton, operating on simple instincts or programmed instructions. It is immune to all mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns and morale effects) and automatically fails Intelligence checks.
Wisdom Any creature that can perceive its environment in any fashion has at least 1 point of Wisdom. Anything with no Wisdom score is an object, not a creature. Anything without a Wisdom score also has no Charisma score, and vice versa.
Charisma Any creature capable of telling the difference between itself and things that are not itself has at least 1 point of Charisma.

Ability Modifiers

Each ability will have a modifier. The modifier can be calculated using this formula:

(ability/2) -5 [round result down]

The modifier is the number you add to or subtract from the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.

Changing Ability Scores

Ability scores can increase with no limit. Poisons, diseases, and other effects can cause temporary ability damage. Ability points lost to damage return naturally, typically at a rate of 1 point per day for each affected ability.

As a character ages, some ability scores go up and others go down. When an ability score changes, the modifier associated with that score also changes.

ALLEGIANCES

The allegiances system is optional.

A character may have up to three allegiances, listed in order from most important to least important. These allegiances are indications of what the character values in life, and may encompass people, organizations, or ideals. A character may have no allegiances (being either a free spirit or a lone wolf) or may change allegiances as he or she goes through life. Also, just because the character fits into a certain category of people doesn't mean the character has to have that category as an allegiance.

If the character acts in a way that is detrimental to his or her allegiance, the GM may choose to strip the character of that allegiance (and all its benefits) and assign an allegiance more suitable to those actions.

Pledging Allegiance

A hero's allegiance can take the form of loyalty to a person, to an organization, to a belief system, to a nation, or to an ethical or moral philosophy. In general, a character can discard an allegiance at any time, but may only gain a new allegiance after attaining a new level.

Having an allegiance implies having sufficient intelligence and wisdom to make a moral or ethical choice. As a result, a character must have Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 3 or higher in order to select allegiances.

Allegiances include, but are not limited to, the following examples.

Person or Group

This includes a leader or superior, a family, a group of linked individuals (such as a band of adventurers or a cell of secret agents), or a discrete unit within a larger organization (such as members of the character's squad or platoon, or individuals whose safety the character is responsible for).

Organization

This may be a company or corporation, a gathering of like-minded individuals, a fraternal brotherhood, a secret society, a branch of the armed forces, a local, state, or national government, a university, an employer, or an otherwise established authority.

Nation

This may or may not be the nation that the hero currently resides in. It may be where the individual was born, or where the hero resides after emigrating to a new home.

Belief System

This is usually a particular faith or religion, but can also be a specific philosophy or school of thought. Belief systems could also include political beliefs or philosophical outlooks.

Ethical Philosophy

This describes how one feels about order, as represented by law and chaos. An individual with a lawful outlook tends to tell the truth, keep his or her word, respect authority, and honor tradition, and he or she expects others to do likewise. An individual with a chaotic outlook tends to follow his or her instincts and whims, favor new ideas and experiences, and behave in a subjective and open manner in dealings with others.

Moral Philosophy

This describes one's attitude toward others, as represented by good and evil. An individual with a good allegiance tends to protect innocent life. This belief implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of other creatures. An evil allegiance shows a willingness to hurt, oppress, and kill others, and to debase or destroy innocent life.

Allegiances and Influence

An allegiance can create an empathic bond with others of the same allegiance. With the GM's permission, the character gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Charisma-based skill checks when dealing with someone of the same allegiance—as long as the character has had some interaction with the other character to discover the connections and bring the bonus into play.

REPUTATION

Reputation is used to determine whether another character (a GM character) recognizes a character. Those who recognize the hero are more likely to help the hero or do what he or she asks, provided the reputation has a positive connotation to the character who recognizes the hero. A high Reputation bonus also makes it difficult for the hero to mask his or her identity. Most of the time, a hero doesn't decide to use his or her reputation. The GM decides when a hero's reputation can be relevant to a scene or encounter. At the moment it becomes relevant, the GM makes a Reputation check for a GM character who might be influenced in some fashion due to the hero's fame or notoriety, as detailed below.

Fame and Infamy

Most characters with a high Reputation bonus (+4 or higher) are considered well known within their profession or social circle. Whether this has a positive or negative connotation depends on the point of view of the person who recognizes the hero.

When a character has a positive opinion of a hero's reputation, the hero is considered to be famous by that character. Fame, when recognized, provides a bonus to certain Charisma-based skill checks.

When a character has a negative opinion of a hero's reputation, the hero is considered to be infamous by that character. Also, at the GM's option, a hero might be considered infamous in certain situations due to events that have transpired in the campaign.

Infamy, when recognized, provides a penalty to certain Charisma-based skill checks.

Using the Reputation Bonus

Whenever the GM decides that a character's reputation can be a factor in an encounter, the GM makes a Reputation check (DC 25) for the GM character involved. A Reputation check is 1d20 + the hero's Reputation bonus + the GM character's Int modifier. (Some Knowledge skill modifiers might apply instead of the Int modifier, if the hero would be well known in the field covered by the Knowledge skill.) Modifiers to the Reputation check depend on the hero and the GM character in question, as shown below. Note that if the GM character has no possible way of recognizing a hero, then the Reputation check automatically fails.

If the GM character succeeds at the Reputation check, he or she recognizes the hero. This provides a +4 bonus or a -4 penalty on checks involving the following skills for the duration of the encounter: Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Perform.

Reputation Check Situation Modifier

The hero is famous, known far and wide with either +10 a positive or negative connotation
GM character is part of the hero's professional or +5 social circle
The hero has some small amount of fame or notoriety +2

The GM must decide that a character's fame or infamy can come into play in a given situation to make a Reputation check necessary. A character who doesn't know, or know of, the hero can't be influenced by his or her reputation.

WEALTH

Every character has a Wealth bonus that reflects his or her buying power—a composite of income, credit rating, and savings. A character's Wealth bonus serves as the basis of the character's Wealth check, which is used to purchase equipment and services for the character.

Wealth Bonus

To determine a character's starting Wealth bonus, roll 2d4 and add the wealth bonus for the character's starting occupation, plus (if appropriate) the bonus from the Windfall feat.

Over the course of play, the hero's Wealth bonus will decrease as the hero purchases expensive items and increase as the hero gains levels. A character's Wealth bonus can never fall below +0, and there is no limit to how high the Wealth bonus can climb. Since Wealth is an abstract concept, it's sometimes difficult to determine how financially well off a character is. To get a general sense of how financially solvent a character is at any given time, check the table below.

Table: Wealth Bonuses

Wealth Bonus Financial Condition
+0 Impoverished or in debt
+1 to +4 Struggling
+5 to +10 Middle class
+11 to +15 Affluent
+16 to +20 Wealthy
+21 to +30 Rich
+31 or higher Very rich

Purchasing Equipment

Wealth checks are used to determine what characters can afford and what gear they might reasonably have access to. Every character has a Wealth bonus that reflects his or her buying power. Every object and service has a purchase DC. To purchase an object, make a Wealth check against the purchase DC.

The Wealth Check

A Wealth check is a 1d20 roll plus a character's current Wealth bonus. The Wealth bonus is fluid. It increases as a character gains Wealth and decreases as the character makes purchases. If the character succeeds on the Wealth check, the character gains the object.

If the character fails, he or she can't afford the object at the time.

If the character's current Wealth bonus is equal to or greater than the DC, the character automatically succeeds.

If the character successfully purchases an object or service with a purchase DC that's higher than his or her current Wealth bonus, the character's Wealth bonus decreases.

Wealth and the Starting Hero

A newly created 1st-level character's Wealth bonus is +0 plus:

  • Wealth provided by the character's starting occupation.
  • Bonus from the Windfall feat, if taken.
  • 2d4 die roll.
  • +1 for having 1 to 4 ranks in the Profession skill.
  • Shopping and Time

    Buying less common objects generally takes a number of hours equal to the purchase DC of the object or service, reflecting the time needed to locate the wanted materials and close the deal. Getting a license or buying an object with a restriction rating increases the time needed to make purchases.

    Taking 10 and Taking 20

    A character can usually take 10 or take 20 when making a Wealth check. Taking 20 requires 20 times as long as normal. Also, there is a penalty for spending beyond a character's means. Whenever a character buys an object that has a purchase DC higher than his or her current Wealth bonus, the character's Wealth bonus decreases (see below).

    Try Again?

    A character can try again if he or she fails a Wealth check, but not until the character has spent an additional number of hours shopping equal to the purchase DC of the object or service.

    Aid Another

    One other character can make an aid another attempt to help a character purchase an object or service. If the attempt is successful, that character provides the purchaser with a +2 bonus on his or her Wealth check. The character who provides the aid reduces his or her Wealth bonus by +1.

    Losing Wealth

    Any time a character purchases an object or service with a purchase DC higher than his or her current Wealth bonus, or one with a purchase DC of 15 or higher, the character's Wealth bonus goes down. How much the Wealth bonus is reduced depends on how expensive the object is.

    Purchase DC and Bonus Decrease

    Object or Service Purchase DC Wealth Bonus Decrease
    15 or higher 1 point
    1-10 points higher than current Wealth bonus 1 point
    11-15 points higher than current Wealth bonus 1d6 points
    16 or more points higher than current 2d6 points

    Along with this loss, any time a character buys an object or service with a purchase DC of 15 or higher, the character reduces his or her current Wealth bonus by an additional 1 point.

    A character's Wealth bonus only goes down if he or she successfully buys an object or service. If the character attempts to buy something and the check fails, his or her Wealth bonus is unaffected.

    Wealth Bonus of +0

    A character's Wealth bonus can never decrease to less than +0. If a character's Wealth bonus is +0, the character doesn't have the buying power to purchase any object or service that has a purchase DC of 10 or higher, and can't take 10 or take 20.

    Regaining Wealth

    A character's Wealth bonus recovers as the character advances. Every time a character gains a new level, make a Profession check. (If the character has no ranks in the skill, this check is a Wisdom check.) The DC is equal to the character's current Wealth bonus. If the character succeeds, his or her current Wealth bonus increases by +1. For every 5 points by which the character exceeds the DC, he or she gains an additional +1 to his or her Wealth bonus.

    Wealth Awards

    Adventuring may result in characters finding valuable items. In such cases, the benefit translates into a Wealth award.

    Selling Stuff

    To sell something, a character first needs to determine its sale value. Assuming the object is undamaged and in working condition, the sale value is equal to the object's purchase DC (as if purchased new) minus 3.

    Selling an object can provide an increase to a character's Wealth bonus. The increase is the same amount as the Wealth bonus loss the character would experience if the character purchased an object with a purchase DC equal to the sale value.

    Regardless of the character's current Wealth bonus, he or she gains a Wealth bonus increase of 1 whenever the character sells an object with a sale value of 15 or higher. If A character sells an object with a sale value less than or equal to his or her current Wealth bonus, and that sale value is 14 or lower, the character gains nothing.

    A character cannot legally sell restricted objects unless the character is licensed to own them. A character also cannot legally sell objects that have been reported as stolen. Selling objects illegally usually requires that the character have contacts in the black market, and reduces the sale value by an additional 3.

    DEFENSE

    Defense represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on a character (or object). It's the attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit a target. The average, unarmored civilian has a Defense of 10. A hero's Defense is equal to:

    10 + Dexterity modifier + class bonus + equipment bonus + size modifier

    Dexterity Modifier

    If the character's Dexterity is high, the character is particularly adept at dodging blows or gunfire. If the character's Dexterity is low, the character is particularly inept at it.

    Sometimes the character can't use his or her Dexterity bonus. If the character can't react to a blow, he or she can't use his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense.

    Class Bonus

    A character's class and level grant an innate bonus to Defense. This bonus measures the character's combat savvy and applies in all situations, even when the character is flat-footed or would lose his or her Dexterity bonus for some other reason.

    Equipment Bonus

    If the character wears armor, it provides a bonus to the character's Defense. This bonus represents the armor's ability to protect the character from blows.

    Armor provides a minimum bonus to anyone who wears it, but a character who is proficient in the use of a certain type of armor receives a larger bonus to Defense.

    Sometimes the character can't use the equipment's bonus to Defense. If an attack will damage the character just by touching him or her, the character can't add an equipment bonus (see Touch Attacks).

    Size Modifier

    The bigger an opponent is, the easier it is to hit in combat. The smaller it is, the harder it is to hit. Size modifiers are shown on the Table below.

    Table: Size Modifiers

    Size Colossal Gargantuan Huge Large Medium-size Small Tiny Diminutive Fine
    Size Modifier -8 -4 -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +4 +8

    Other Modifiers

    Other factors can add to Defense.

    Feats

    Some feats give a bonus to Defense.

    Natural Armor

    Some creatures have natural armor, which usually consists of scales, fur, or layers of thick muscle.

    Dodge Bonuses

    Some other Defense bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. These bonuses are called dodge bonuses. Any situation that denies the character his or her Dexterity bonus also denies the character dodge bonuses. Unlike most sorts of bonuses, dodge bonuses stack with each other.

    Magical Effects

    Some campaigns may include magic. Some magical effects offer enhancement bonuses to armor (making it more effective) or deflection bonuses that ward off attacks.

    Touch Attacks

    Some attacks disregard armor. In these cases, the attacker makes a touch attack roll (either a ranged touch attack roll or a melee touch attack roll). The attacker makes his or her attack roll as normal, but the character's Defense does not include any equipment bonus or armor bonus. All other modifiers, such as class bonus, Dexterity modifier, and size modifier, apply normally.

    SAVING THROWS

    Generally, when a hero is subject to an unusual or magical attack, he or she gets a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect. Like an attack roll, a saving throw is a 1d20 roll plus a bonus based on the hero's class and level (the hero's base save bonus) and an ability modifier.

    A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a success. A character's saving throw bonus is:

    Base save bonus + ability modifier

    The Difficulty Class for a save is determined by the attack itself. The three different kinds of saving throws are:

    Fortitude

    These saves measure the character's ability to stand up to massive physical punishment or attacks against his or her vitality and health such as poison and paralysis. Apply the character's Constitution modifier to his or her Fortitude saving throws.

    Reflex

    These saves test the character's ability to dodge massive attacks such as explosions or car wrecks. (Often, when damage is inevitable, the character gets to make a Reflex save to take only half damage.) Apply the character's Dexterity modifier to his or her Reflex saving throws.

    Will

    These saves reflect the character's resistance to mental influence and domination as well as to many magical effects. Apply the character's Wisdom modifier to his or her Will saving throws.

    ACTION POINTS

    Action points provide characters with the means to affect game play in significant ways. A character always has a limited amount of action points, and while the character replenishes this supply with every new level he or she attains, the character must use them wisely. A character can spend 1 action point to do one of these things:

    • Alter a single d20 roll used to make an attack, a skill check, an ability check, a level check, or a saving throw.

    • Use a class talent or class feature during your turn for which the expenditure of 1 action point is required.

    When a character spends 1 action point to improve a d20 roll, add 1d6 to the d20 roll to help meet or exceed the target number. A character can declare the use of 1 action point to alter a d20 roll after the roll is made—but only before the GM reveals the result of that roll (whether the attack or check or saving throw succeeded or failed). A character can't use an action point on a skill check or ability check when he or she is taking 10 or taking 20.

    When a character spends 1 action point to use a class feature, he or she gains the benefit of the feature but doesn't roll a d6. In this case, the action point is not a bonus to a d20 roll. A character can only spend 1 action point in a round. If a character spends a point to use a class feature, he or she can't spend another one in the same round to improve a die roll, and vice versa. Depending on the hero's character level (see the table below), he or she may be able to roll more than one d6 when spending 1 action point. If the character does so, apply the highest result and disregard the other rolls.

    Table: Character Level Action Point Dice Rolled

    1st-7th 1d6
    8th-14th 2d6
    15th-20th 3d6

    DEATH, DYING, AND HEALING

    Injury and Death

    Hit points measure how hard a character is to kill. Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

    Effects of Hit Point Damage

    At 0 hit points, a character is disabled.

    At from -1 to -9 hit points, a character is dying.

    At -10 or lower, a character is dead.

    Massive Damage

    Any time a character takes damage from a single hit that exceeds the character's massive damage threshold, that damage is considered massive damage. A character's massive damage threshold is equal to the character's current Constitution score; it can be increased by taking the Improved Damage Threshold feat.

    When a character takes massive damage that doesn't reduce his or her hit points to 0 or lower, the character must make a Fortitude save (DC 15). If the character fails the save, the character's hit point total is immediately reduced to -1. If the save succeeds, the character suffers no ill effect beyond the loss of hit points.

    Creatures immune to critical hits are also immune to the effects of massive damage.

    Nonlethal Damage

    Nonlethal damage is dealt by unarmed attackers and some weapons. Melee weapons that deal lethal damage can be wielded so as to deal nonlethal damage, but the attacker takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls for trying to deal nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. A ranged weapon that deals lethal damage can't be made to deal nonlethal damage (unless it is used as an improvised melee weapon).

    Nonlethal damage does not affect the target's hit points. Instead, compare the amount of nonlethal damage from an attack to the target's Constitution score. If the amount is less than the target's Constitution score, the target is unaffected by the attack. If the damage equals or exceeds the target's Constitution score, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 15). If the target succeeds on the save, the target is dazed for 1 round. If the target fails, he or she is knocked unconscious for 1d4+1 rounds.

    Disabled (0 Hit Points)

    When a character's current hit points drop to exactly 0, the character is disabled. The character is not unconscious, but he or she is close to it. The character can only take a single move or attack action each turn (but not both, nor can the character take full-round actions). The character can take non-strenuous move actions without further injuring his or herself, but if the character attacks or perform any other action the GM deems as strenuous, the character takes 1 point of damage after completing the act. Unless the activity increased the character's hit points, the character is now at -1 hit points, and is dying. Healing that raises the character above 0 hit points makes him or her fully functional again, just as if the character had never been reduced to 0 or lower.

    A character can also become disabled when recovering from dying. In this case, it's a step up along the road to recovery, and the character can have fewer than 0 hit points (see Stable Characters and Recovery).

    Dying (-1 to -9 Hit Points)

    When a character's current hit points drop below 0, the character is dying. A dying character has a current hit point total between -1 and -9 inclusive.

    A dying character immediately falls unconscious and can take no actions.

    A dying character loses 1 hit point every round. This continues until the character dies or becomes stable naturally or with help (see below).

    Dead (-10 hit points or lower)

    When a character's current hit points drop to -10 or lower, he or she is dead. A character can also die if his or her Constitution is reduced to 0.

    Stable Characters and Recovery

    A dying character (one with -1 to -9 hit points) is unconscious and loses 1 hit point every round until he or she becomes stable or dies.

    Recovering without Help

    Each round, a dying character makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 20). If the save fails, the character loses 1 hit point and must make another save on his or her turn the next round. If the save succeeds, the character becomes stable. A stable character stops losing hit points every round, but remains unconscious.

    If no one tends to the stable character (see below), he or she remains unconscious for 1 hour, at which point he or she makes a Fortitude save (DC 20). If the save succeeds, the stable character regains consciousness, becoming disabled (see above). The character's current hit point total remains where it is, however, even though it's negative. If the save fails, the character remains unconscious.

    An unaided stable, conscious character who has negative hit points (and is disabled) doesn't heal naturally. Instead, each day the character makes a Fortitude save (DC 20) to start recovering hit points naturally that day; if the save fails, he or she loses 1 hit point.

    Once an unaided character starts recovering hit points naturally, the character is no longer in danger of losing additional hit points (even if his or her current hit point total is still negative).

    Recovering with Help

    A dying character can be made stable by the use of the Treat Injury skill (DC 15).

    One hour after a tended, dying character becomes stable, he or she makes a Fortitude save (DC 20) to regain consciousness. If successful, the character becomes disabled (see above). If the character remains unconscious, he or she makes the same Fortitude save every hour until he or she becomes conscious. Even while unconscious, the character recovers hit points naturally, and he or she can return to normal activity when his or her hit points rise to 1 or higher.

    Healing

    After taking damage, a character can recover hit points through natural healing (over the course of days) or through medical technology (somewhat faster). In some campaign settings, magical healing is also available. In any case, a character can't regain hit points past his or her full normal total.

    Natural Healing

    A character recovers 1 hit point per character level per evening of rest (8 hours of sleep).

    Healing Ability Damage

    Ability damage returns at the rate of 1 point per evening of rest (8 hours of sleep). Complete bed rest (24 hours) restores 2 points per day.

    Temporary Hit Points

    Certain effects can give a character temporary hit points. When a character gains temporary hit points, make a note of his or her current hit points before adding the temporary hit points. When the temporary hit points go away, the character's hit points drop to that score. If the character's hit points are already below that score at that time, all the temporary hit points have already been lost, and the character's hit point total does not drop. When temporary hit points are lost, they can't be restored as real hit points can be, even with medical treatment or magic.

    Increases in Constitution Score and Current Hit Points

    An increase in a character's Constitution score—even a temporary one—can give the character more hit points (an effective hit point increase), but these are not temporary hit points. They can be restored through normal healing. When a character's Constitution drops back down to its previous score after a temporary increase, the character's full normal hit points go down accordingly.

    CONDITION SUMMARY

    A number of adverse conditions can affect the way a character operates, as defined here. If more than one condition affects a character, apply both if possible. If not possible, apply only the most severe condition.

    Ability Damaged

    The character has lost 1 or more ability score points. The loss is temporary, and these points return at a rate of 1 per evening of rest. This differs from “effective” ability loss, which is an effect that goes away when the condition causing it goes away.

    Ability Drained

    The character has lost 1 or more ability score points. The loss is permanent.

    Blinded

    The hero can't see at all, and thus everything has total concealment to him or her. The character has a 50% chance to miss in combat. Furthermore, the blinded character has an effective Dexterity of 3, along with a -4 penalty on the use of Strength-based and Dexterity-based skills. This -4 penalty also applies to Search checks and any other skill checks for which the GM deems sight to be important. The character can't make Spot checks or perform any other activity (such as reading) that requires vision. Heroes who are blind long-term (from birth or early in life) grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them (at the GM's discretion).

    Cowering

    The hero is frozen in fear, loses his or her Dexterity bonus, and can take no actions. In addition, the character takes a -2 penalty to his or her Defense. The condition typically lasts 10 rounds.

    Dazed

    Unable to act, a dazed character can take no actions, but still gets the benefit of his or her normal Defense. This condition typically lasts 1 round.

    Dead

    A character dies when his or her hit points drop to -10 or lower, or when his or her Constitution drops to 0.

    Deafened

    The hero can't hear and takes a -4 penalty on initiative checks. The character can't make Listen checks. Heroes who are deafened long-term (from birth or early in life) grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them (at the GM's discretion).

    Disabled

    The character has 0 hit points. The character can take only a single move action or attack action, and takes 1 point of damage after any action.

    Dying

    The character is near death and unconscious, with -1 to -9 wound points. The character can take no actions, and each round a dying character loses 1 hit point until he or she dies or becomes stable.

    Entangled

    An entangled character takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls in addition to a -4 penalty to Dexterity. If the entangling bonds are anchored to an immobile object, the entangled hero can't move. Otherwise, the character can move at half speed, but can't run or charge.

    Exhausted

    Heroes who are exhausted move at half speed and cannot run or charge. Furthermore, they take a -6 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. After 1 hour of complete, uninterrupted rest, an exhausted character becomes fatigued.

    Fatigued

    Characters who are fatigued can't run or charge and take a penalty of -2 to Strength and Dexterity. After 8 hours of complete, uninterrupted rest, a fatigued character is no longer fatigued.

    Flat-Footed

    A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flatfooted, not reacting normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense.

    Grappled

    When grappled, a hero can't undertake any action other than attacking with his or her bare hands, attacking with a light weapon, or attempting to break free from his or her opponent. The character loses his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense, except on attacks from characters with whom he or she is grappling.

    Helpless

    Paralyzed, sleeping, or unconscious characters are helpless. A helpless character has an effective Defense of 5 + size modifier. An attacker can attempt a coup de grace against a helpless character.

    Nauseated

    Characters who are nauseated are unable to attack or do anything else requiring attention or concentration. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.

    Panicked

    A panicked character flees as fast as possible and cowers (see Cowering, above) if unable to get away. The character defends normally but cannot attack.

    Paralyzed

    Heroes who are paralyzed fall to the ground, unable to move (they have an effective, but not actual, Dexterity and Strength of 0). They are helpless.

    Pinned

    A pinned character is held immobile (but not helpless) in a grapple. The character takes a -4 penalty to Defense against melee attacks and loses his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense.

    Prone

    An attacker who is prone (lying on the ground) takes a -4 penalty on melee attack rolls and can't use bows or thrown ranged weapons. The character gains a +4 bonus to Defense against ranged attacks, but takes a -4 penalty to Defense against melee attacks.

    Shaken

    A shaken character takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks.

    Stable

    A stable character is no longer dying, but is still unconscious.

    Stunned

    A character who becomes stunned loses his or her Dexterity bonus, drops what he or she is holding, and can take no attack or move actions. In addition, the character takes a -2 penalty to Defense. The condition typically lasts 1 round.

    Unconscious

    An unconscious character is unable to defend him or herself. The character is helpless and typically falls prone.

    ENVIRONMENT & HAZARDS

    Darkness and Light

    It's a rare mission that doesn't end up in the dark somewhere, and heroes need a way to see. See Table: Light Sources for the radius that a light source illuminates and how long it lasts.

    Table: Light Sources

    Item

    Light

    Duration
    Candle 5 feet 12 hours
    Torch 20 feet 2 hours
    Halogen lantern 40 feet 24 hours
    Flashlight 20 feet* 6 hours

    *Creates a beam 30 feet long and 5 feet high.

    Heat and Cold

    Heat and cold deal damage that cannot be recovered until the character counteracts or escapes the inclement temperature. As soon as the character suffers any damage from heat or cold, he or she is considered fatigued.

    A character not properly equipped to counteract the heat or cold must attempt a Fortitude saving throw each hour (DC 15, +1 for each previous check). Failure means that the character loses 1d4 hit points. Heavy clothing or armor provides a -4 penalty on saves against heat but grants a +4 equipment bonus on saves against cold. A character who succeeds at a Survival check (DC 15) gains a +4 competence bonus on the save (see the Survival skill).

    Searing heat or bitter cold (desert or arctic conditions) forces a character to make a Fortitude save every 10 minutes. Failure means that the character loses 1d6 hit points. Appropriate clothing and successful use of the Survival skill can modify the save, as noted above.

    Catching on Fire

    Heroes exposed to open flames might find their clothes, hair, or equipment on fire. Heroes at risk of catching fire are allowed a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) to avoid this fate. If a hero's clothes or hair catch fire, he or she takes 1d6 points of damage immediately. In each subsequent round, the burning hero must make another Reflex saving throw. Failure means he or she takes another 1d6 points of damage that round. Success means that the fire has gone out. (That is, once the character succeeds at the saving throw, he or she is no longer on fire.)

    A hero on fire may automatically extinguish the flames by jumping into enough water to douse him or herself. If no body of water is at hand, rolling on the ground or smothering the fire with blankets or the like permits the hero another save with a +4 bonus.

    Starvation and Thirst

    Sometimes heroes might find themselves without food and water. In normal climates, heroes need at least 1/2 gallon of fluids and about 1/4 pound of decent food per day to avoid the threat of starvation. In very hot climates, heroes need two or three times as much water to avoid dehydration.

    A character can go without water for one day plus a number of hours equal to his or her Constitution score. After this, the character must make a Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d6 points of damage. A character can go without food for three days, in growing discomfort. After this, the character must make a Constitution check each day (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or sustain 1d6 points of damage.

    Damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the hero gets water or food, as needed. Even magical or psionic effects that restore hit points cannot heal this damage.

    Suffocation and Drowning

    A character in an airless environment (underwater, vacuum) can hold his or her breath for a number of rounds equal to his or her Constitution score. After this period of time, the character must make a Constitution check (DC 10) every round to continue holding his or her breath. Each round, the DC of the Constitution check increases by 1.

    When the character fails one of these Constitution checks, he or she begins to suffocate or drown. In the next round, the character falls unconscious with 0 hit points. In the following round, the character drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round after failing the check, the character dies of suffocation or drowning.

    Smoke

    Characters breathing heavy smoke or similar toxic gases must make a Constitution check (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) each round or spend that round choking and coughing. Characters who choke for 2 consecutive rounds take 1d6 points of damage.

    Smoke also obscures vision, giving one-half concealment (20% miss chance) to characters within it.

    Strangulation

    When a character is strangled by an instrument or an attacker, use the rules below.

    A character can strangle or choke a target of the same size

    category or one size category larger or smaller. The strangling attempt incurs an attack of opportunity.

    To begin the choke, the attacker must succeed at an opposed grapple check. If the grapple succeeds, the attacker can choose to deal normal unarmed damage as well as choke the target. The target can hold his of her breath for a number of rounds equal to his or her Constitution score. After this period of time, the target must make a Constitution check (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) every round to continue holding his or her breath. The target begins to suffocate on a failed check (see Suffocation and Drowning).

    If at any time the target breaks free or slips free of the grapple, the stranglehold is broken (although any damage that was dealt remains). Note that a grappled target who is not pinned can use his or her attack action to strangle his or her attacker.

    Falling

    A character takes 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet of a fall, to a maximum of 20d6 points. If the character succeeds on a Reflex saving throw (DC 10, +1 for each 10 feet fallen), this damage is halved. If the saving throw fails, full damage is applied.

    A character can make a Tumble check (DC 15) to treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter when determining the damage and Reflex saving throw DC required by the fall.

    Falling Objects

    Objects that fall upon characters (or creatures or vehicles) deal damage based on their size and the distance fallen, as noted on Table: Damage from Falling Objects.

    Objects deal the initial damage given in Table: Damage from Falling Objects if they fall 10 feet or less. An object deals an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 10-foot increment it falls beyond the first (to a maximum of 20d6 points of damage). Objects of Fine size are too small to deal damage, regardless of the distance fallen.

    A successful Reflex save indicates that the target takes half damage. The size of the falling object determines the save DC. If the save fails by 10 or more, and the object is at least three size categories larger than the character, the character is pinned under the fallen object. A pinned character cannot move but is not helpless. The character can make a Strength check to lift the object off him or herself or an Escape Artist check (DC 20) to get out from underneath. The GM can modify the DCs for these checks based on the circumstances.

    Object Size Examples Initial Damage Reflex Save DC Strength Check DC
    Fine Penny 0 n/a n/a
    Diminutive Paperweight 1 0 n/a
    Tiny Wrench 1d3 5 n/a
    Small Vase 1d4 5 10
    Medium-size Briefcase 1d6 15 10
    Large Garbage can 2d6 20 20
    Huge Oil barrel 4d6 25 30
    Gargantuan Piano 8d6 30 40
    Colossal Vehicle 10d6 35 50

    Poison

    When a character takes damage from an attack with a poisoned weapon, touches an item smeared with contact poison, consumes a poisonous substance, inhales a poisonous gas, or is otherwise poisoned, the character must make a Fortitude saving throw. If the character fails, he or she takes the poison's initial damage (usually ability damage). Even if the character succeeds, he or she typically faces secondary damage 1 minute later. This secondary damage also requires a Fortitude saving throw to avoid.

    Poisons are detailed in the Craft(chemical) skill description.

    Poisonous liquids are usually administered through injection or by application to a weapon. Poisonous gases must be inhaled to be effective. Poisonous solids are usually ingested with food or drink.

    Perils of Using Poison

    A character has a 5% chance (roll of 1 on 1d20) to expose him or herself to a poison whenever the character applies it to a weapon or otherwise readies it for use. Additionally, a character who rolls a 1 on an attack roll with a poisoned weapon must succeed at a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) or accidentally poison him or herself with the weapon.

    Poison Immunity

    Creatures with natural poison attacks are immune to their own poison. Nonliving creatures and creatures without metabolisms are immune to poison. Oozes and certain kinds of creatures are immune to poison, as detailed in their descriptions, though it is conceivable that a special poison could be synthesized specifically to harm them.

    Disease

    When a character is exposed to a treatable disease, the character must make an immediate Fortitude saving throw. The victim must make this roll when he or she comes into contact with an infectious carrier, touches an item smeared with diseased matter, consumes food or drink tainted with a disease, or suffers damage from a contaminated attack. If the character succeeds, the disease has no effect on him or her—the character's immune system fights off the infection. If the character fails the save, he or she takes damage after an incubation period; once per day thereafter, the character must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw to avoid secondary damage. Two successful saving throws in a row indicate that the character has fought off the disease and recovers, taking no more damage.

    The characteristics of some treatable diseases are summarized on Table: Diseases.

    Type: The disease's method of delivery—ingested, inhaled, or via an injury—and the DC needed to save. Some injury diseases can be transmitted by a wound as small as an insect bite. Most diseases that are inhaled can also be ingested (and vice versa).

    Incubation Period: The amount of time before initial damage takes effect (if the victim fails his or her Fortitude save).

    Initial Damage: The damage the victim takes after the incubation period.

    Secondary Damage: The amount of damage the hero takes one day after taking initial damage, if he or she fails a second saving throw. This damage is taken each day the saving throw fails.

    Disease Type IncubationPeriod Initial Damage Secondary Damage
    Anthrax Inhaled/Injury DC 16 1d2 days 1 Con 1d4 Con*
    Small pox Inhaled/Contact DC 15 2d4 days 1 Str and 1 Con 1d2 Str and 1d2 Con
    Pneumonia Inhaled DC 12 1d4 days 1 Str 1d3 Str and 1d3 Con
    Hantavirus Injury DC 14 1 day 1d2 Str 1d2 Str* and 1d2 Con*
    Necrotizing faciitis Contact DC 13 1d6 days 1 Con 1d3 Con*
    West Nile virus Injury DC 12 1d4 days 1 Dex and 1 Con 1d2 Dex and 1d2 Con*
    Salmonellosis Ingested 1 day DC 13 1 Str and 1 Dex 1 Str and 1d3 Dex

    *If damage is sustained, make a second saving throw to avoid 1 point being permanently drained (instead of damaged).

    Acid

    Corrosive acids deal damage each round of exposure. The amount of damage varies depending on the acid's strength, as noted on the following table:

    Acid Strength Splash Attack* Total Immersion*
    Mild 1d6 1d10
    Potent 2d6 2d10
    Concentrated 3d6 3d10

    *Damage per round of exposure.

    Acid damage from an attack reduces hit points. A character fully immersed in acid takes potentially more damage per round of exposure than a character splashed with acid. The fumes from most acids are inhaled poisons. Those who come within 5 feet of a large body of acid must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or take 1 point of temporary Constitution damage. A second save must succeed 1 minute later to avoid taking another 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

    Electricity

    Electrical hazards come in many forms, including stun guns, downed power lines, and electric security fences. Table: Electricity Damage gives damage values for various electrical hazards based on relative voltage. A character can make a Fortitude saving throw to reduce the damage by half. If that character is not grounded or is otherwise insulated from the current, a successful save indicates that no damage is suffered.

    Electricity Damage

    Type Examples Damage Fort DC
    Jolt Car battery, stun gun 1d3 10
    Low voltage Fuse box, electrical socket 2d6 15
    Medium voltage Industrial transformer, electric fence 4d6 15
    High voltage Power line, electric chair, lightning 8d6 20

    STARTING OCCUPATION

    A hero may hold other jobs as his or her career unfolds, but the benefits of a starting occupation are only applied once, at the time of character creation. Many starting occupations have a prerequisite that the character must meet to qualify for the occupation. Each occupation provides a number of additional permanent class skills that the character can select from a list of choices. Once selected, a permanent class skill is always considered to be a class skill for the character. If the skill selected is already a class skill for the character, he or she gains a one-time competence bonus for that skill.

    Some starting occupations provide a Reputation bonus or a bonus feat (in addition to the two feats a 1st-level character already receives). Finally, a starting occupation increases the character's Wealth bonus.

    Choose one occupation from the available selections and apply the benefits to the character as noted in the occupation's description. Choose three of the following skills as permanent class skills. If a skill the character selects is already a class skill, he or she receives a +1 competence bonus on checks using that skill.

    Academic

    Includes librarians, archaeologists, scholars, professors, teachers, and other education  professionals.
    Prerequisite Age 23+
    Skills Computer Use, Craft (writing), Decipher Script, Gather Information, Knowledge (arcane lore, art, behavioral sciences, business, civics, current events, earth and life sciences, history, physical sciences, popular culture, tactics, technology, or theology and philosophy), Research, or add a new Read/Write Language or a new Speak Language.
    Wealth Bonus Increase +3

    Adventurer

    Includes professional daredevils, big-game hunters, relic hunters, explorers, extreme sports enthusiasts, field scientists, thrill-seekers, and others called to face danger for a variety of reasons.
    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Bluff, Climb, Demolitions, Disable Device, Drive, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcane lore, streetwise, tactics, or technology), Move Silently, Pilot, Ride, Spot, Survival, Swim, Treat Injury.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Brawl, or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Athlete

    Includes amateur athletes of Olympic quality and professional athletes of all types, including gymnasts, weight trainers, wrestlers, boxers, martial artists, swimmers, skaters, and those who engage in any type of competitive sport.
    Prerequisite Strength 13 or Dexterity 13.
    Skills Balance, Climb, Drive, Jump, Ride, Swim, Tumble.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat Archaic Weapons Proficiency or Brawl.

    Blue Collar

    Includes Blue-collar occupations include factory work, food service jobs, construction, service industry jobs, taxi drivers, postal workers, and other jobs that are usually not considered to be desk jobs.
    Prerequisite Age 18+
    Skills Craft (electronic, mechanical, or structural), Climb, Drive, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Repair, Ride.
    Wealth Bonus +2

    Celebrity

    Includes

    anyone who, for whatever reason, has been thrust into the spotlight of the public eye. Actors, entertainers of all types, newscasters, radio and television personalities, and more fall under this starting occupation.

    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Bluff, Craft (visual art or writing), Diplomacy, Disguise, Perform (act, dance, keyboards, percussion instruments, sing, stand-up, stringed instruments, or wind instruments).
    Wealth Bonus +4
    Reputation Bonus Increase +1

    Creative

    Includes artists of all types who fan their creative spark into a career. Illustrators, copywriters, cartoonists, graphic artists, novelists, magazine columnists, actors, sculptors, game designers, musicians, screenwriters, photographers, and web designers all fall under this occupation.
    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Bluff, Computer Use, Craft (visual art or writing), Disguise, Forgery, Knowledge (arcane lore or art), Perform (act, dance, keyboards, percussion instruments, sing, stand-up, stringed instruments, or wind instruments), Spot.
    Wealth Bonus +2

    Criminal

    Includes con artists, burglars, thieves, crime family soldiers, gang members, bank robbers, and other types of career criminals.
    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Disable Device, Disguise, Forgery, Gamble, Hide, Knowledge (streetwise), Move Silently, Sleight of Hand.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat Brawl or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Dilettante

    Includes

    Dilettantes usually get their wealth from family holdings and trust funds. The typical dilettante has no job, few responsibilities, and at least one driving passion that occupies his or her day. That passion might be a charity or philanthropic foundation, an ideal or cause worth fighting for, or a lust for living a fun and carefree existence.
    Prerequisite Age 18+
    Skills Gamble, Intimidate, Knowledge (current events or popular culture), Ride, or add a new Speak Language.
    Wealth Bonus +6
    Reputation Bonus Increase +1

    Doctor

    Includes A doctor can be a physician (general practitioner or specialist), a surgeon, or a psychiatrist.
    Prerequisite Age 25+
    Skills Craft (pharmaceutical), Computer Use, Knowledge (behavioral sciences, earth and life sciences, or technology), Search, Treat Injury.
    Wealth Bonus +4

    Emergency Services

    Includes Rescue workers, firefighters, paramedics, hazardous material handlers, and emergency medical technicians.
    Prerequisite Age 18+
    Skills Balance, Climb, Computer Use, Drive, Jump, Knowledge (behavioral sciences, earth and life sciences, or technology), Search, Treat Injury, Swim.
    Wealth Bonus +2

    Entrepreneur

    Includes Entrepreneurs have an obsession about being their own boss. They believe in themselves, have an abundance of confidence, and the ability to acquire the funds necessary to bankroll their newest moneymaking venture. These small to large business owners have a knack for putting together business plans, gathering resources, and getting a new venture off the ground. They rarely want to stick around after the launch, however, as they prefer to put their energies into the next big thing.
    Prerequisite Age 18+
    Skills Bluff, Diplomacy, Gamble, Knowledge (business, current events, or technology).

    Wealth Bonus

    +4
    Reputation Bonus Increase +1

    Investigative

    Includes

    investigative reporters, photojournalists, private investigators, police detectives, criminologists, criminal profilers, espionage agents, and others who use their skills to gather evidence and analyze clues.

    Prerequisite Age 23+
    Skills Computer Use, Craft (visual art or writing), Decipher Script, Forgery, Gather Information, Investigate, Knowledge (behavioral sciences, civics, earth and life sciences, or streetwise), Research, Search, Sense Motive.
    Wealth Bonus +2
    Bonus Feat Brawl or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Law Enforcement

    Includes uniformed police, state troopers, federal police, federal agents, SWAT team members, and military police.

    Prerequisite Age 20+
    Skills Diplomacy, Drive, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (civics, earth and life sciences, streetwise, or tactics), Listen.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat Combat Martial Arts, Light Armor Proficiency, or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Military

    Includes covers any of the branches of the armed forces, including army, navy, air force, and marines, as well as the various elite training units such as Seals, Rangers, and Special Forces.
    Prerequisite Age 18+
    Skills Climb, Demolitions, Drive, Hide, Knowledge (tactics), Move Silently, Navigate, Pilot, Survival, Swim.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat: Brawl, Combat Martial Arts, Light Armor Proficiency, or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Religious

    Includes Ordained clergy of all persuasions, as well as theological scholars and experts on religious studies fall within the scope of this starting occupation.
    Prerequisite Age 23+
    Skills Decipher Script, Knowledge (arcane lore, art, behavioral sciences, history, streetwise, or theology and philosophy), Listen, Sense Motive.
    Wealth Bonus +2

    Rural

    Includes Farm workers, hunters, and others who make a living in rural communities
    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Balance, Climb, Drive, Handle Animal, Repair, Ride, Survival, Swim.
    Wealth Bonus +1
    Bonus Feat: Brawl or Personal Firearms Proficiency.

    Student

    Includes A student can be in high school, college, or graduate school. He or she could be in a seminary, a military school, or a private institution. A college-age student should also pick a major field of study.
    Prerequisite Age 15+
    Skills Computer Use, Knowledge (arcane lore, art, behavioral sciences, business, civics, current events, earth and life sciences, history, physical sciences, popular culture, technology, or theology and philosophy), Perform (act, dance, keyboards, percussion instruments, sing, stand-up, stringed instruments, or wind instruments), Research.
    Wealth Bonus +1

    Technician

    Includes Scientists and engineers of all types fit within the scope of this starting occupation.
    Prerequisite Age 23+
    Skills Computer Use, Craft (chemical, electronic, mechanical, or structural), Knowledge (business, earth and life sciences, physical sciences, or technology), Repair, Research.
    Wealth Bonus +3

    White Collar

    Includes Office workers and desk jockeys, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, bank personnel, financial advisors, tax preparers, clerks, sales personnel, real estate agents, and a variety of mid-level managers fall within the scope of this starting occupation.
    Prerequisite Age 23+
    Skills Computer Use, Diplomacy, Knowledge (art, business, civics, earth and life sciences, history, physical sciences, or technology), Research.
    Wealth Bonus +3