Combat Changes

The changes listed here supersede any rules found in the Combat section of the Core Rulebook.
  • Attacks And Critical Hits: An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target’s Defense Score, you hit and deal damage. If your result beats the target’s Defense Score by 5 or more, your attack becomes a Critical Hit. For each 5 by which your result beats the target’s Defense Score, the attack deals an additional +50% damage, rounding down. Calculate this additional damage after adding static bonuses to damage, but before adding bonuses from extra dice.
  • Weapons And Critical Threat Ranges: When making an attack roll, if your d20 result is within your weapon’s normal “critical threat range”, add +2 to the attack roll result. If the weapon’s critical multiplier is a “x3”, add +4 instead; if it is a “x4”, add +6; etc. This may cause your attack to deal additional critical damage.
  • Weapon Effort Categories And Attack Stat: When wielding a Light weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may calculate your melee attack bonus using Strength or Dexterity.
    • Weapon Finesse: This feat is changed to the following – “Requires: Dex 13. Benefit: When wielding a One-Handed weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may calculate your melee attack bonus using Strength or Dexterity.”
    • Greater Weapon Finesse: Add this feat, with the following text – “Requires: Dex 17, Weapon Finesse. Benefit: When wielding a Two-Handed weapon made for a creature of your size category, you may calculate your melee attack bonus using Strength or Dexterity.”
  • New Armor Rules
    • Damage Reduction: Armor no longer makes a target harder to hit. Instead, armor grants a target Damage Reduction that stacks with all other forms of DR.
    • Maximum Dexterity Bonus: Armor now limits how much of your Dexterity you may add to your Defense Score.
Armor Cost Damage Reduction
Dexterity Bonus To Defense
Armor Check Penalty Speed Penalty
Leather 20 gp 1/-
Full 0 None 15 lbs./Light
Chain shirt 75 gp 2/- Full –1 None 25 lbs./Light
Chainmail 125 gp 3/- Half –3 One Quarter
40 lbs./Medium
Breastplate 200 gp 4/- Half
–4 One Quarter
30 lbs./Medium
Half-plate 600 gp 5/- None –6 Half 45 lbs./Heavy
Full-plate 1500 gp 6/- None –7 Half 55 lbs./Heavy
  • Defense Score: Replacing your normal Armor Class is the new Defense Score. This represents purely how difficult it is to hit you. Your Defense Score is normally equal to the following: 10 + Shield Bonus + Dex Modifier + other modifiers. If you are unable to react to an attack, you are usually considered Flat-Footed, and are denied your Dex bonus to your Defense Score. If an opponent is only trying to touch you, it is considered a Touch Attack, and your Shield Bonus does not apply to your Defense Score in that case.
    • Armor And Dexterity Bonus: If you are wearing armor that is Medium, you will only be able to add half of your Dexterity bonus, rounded down, to your Defense Score. If you are wearing armor that is Heavy, you will not be able to add any Dexterity bonus to your Defense Score. Note that in this case, you are simply treated as having a Dexterity bonus of +0 to Defense, i.e. you are not treated as being denied your Dexterity bonus.
  • Static Damage: Attacking with a weapon no longer causes you to roll for damage. Instead, the weapon now always deals damage equal to the average of its former dice roll, rounded up. This is one of the few instances where you round up, instead of down.
    • Extra Damage Dice, Physical: If your attack causes you to deal extra damage expressed in extra damage dice, they are always subjected to the above roll if they deal mundane physical HP damage (e.g. sneak attack, vital strike).
    • Extra Damage Dice, Special: If your attack causes you to deal extra damage expressed in extra damage dice, and they do not represent mundane physical HP damage, roll the dice as normal (e.g. the +1d6 fire from a flaming weapon, ability score damage from a poisoned blade, negative levels from a wraith’s draining touch).
  • Wielding A Weapon In Two Hands: When wielding a weapon in two hands, add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus to damage, instead of only your Strength bonus. Strength penalties are not multiplied.
  • Two-Weapon Fighting
    • Basic Penalties: Attacking with two weapons at once incurs a basic penalty of -6 to all attack rolls made on your turn.
    • Light Weapons: If one of the two weapons you use to Two-Weapon Fight is a Light weapon, reduce the Two-Weapon Fighting penalty by 2, to a minimum of -0.
    • Offhand: Characters are assumed to not have an “offhand”, and add their full Strength bonus to weapons in both hands.
    • Two-Weapon Fighting feat: This feat is changed to the following – “Requires: Dex 15. Benefit: When attacking with two weapons at once, reduce the Two-Weapon Fighting penalty by two, to a minimum of -0.”
    • Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat: This feat is changed to the following – “Requires: Dex 17, Two-Weapon Fighting, Combat Mastery 8 ranks. Benefit: When taking the Full-Attack Action, and taking a penalty on all attacks to gain extra attacks, you gain the extra attacks with both of your weapons instead of only one.”
  • Five-Foot Steps: Using a move action to move only 5 ft. grants all the special circumstances that a Five-Foot Step normally grants. Note that using a move action in this way causes you to not be able to take your free Five-Foot Step as you have moved in that turn. You may turn your standard action into a move action, and use both move actions to Five-Foot Step twice in a turn.
  • Reactions: Each character normally has one reaction per turn. Reactions are a super-set of Attacks of Opportunity and Immediate Actions. If you are Flat-Footed, you may not use any reactions. If you are Flat-Footed against a certain opponent, you may not use reactions against that opponent.
    • Attack Of Opportunity: If an opponent within reach takes an action that provokes an Attack Of Opportunity, then you may spend a reaction to attack that opponent with a single melee attack at your normal attack bonus. An attack of opportunity resolves before the provoking action finishes.
      • Provoking: Three kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving other than Five-Foot Steps, taking a standard action other than a standard attack or combat maneuver, and taking a full-round action other than a full-attack. Any other action or excess movement requires you to drop your guard, thus provoking an attack of opportunity.
    • Immediate Actions: All actions formerly categorized as “Immediate” are now reactions. Using a reaction as an Immediate Action no longer takes your swift action for the next round (as there are no swift actions), and you are not restricted to one per round, though you are still restricted by your number of reactions.
    • Parrying With A Weapon: You may use a reaction to parry an incoming attack with a weapon. Make an attack roll as normal. If your attack roll beats the attack roll for the incoming attack, you successfully parry it.
    • Parrying With A Shield: You may use a reaction to parry an incoming attack with a shield. Make an attack roll as if you were to attempt a shield bash with your shield, adding your shield’s Defense Bonus to the roll. If your roll beats the attack roll for the incoming attack, you successfully parry it.
    • Aid Another: You may use a reaction to grant an ally within reach a +2 bonus on his attack.
    • Guard An Ally: If an ally is attacked by an opponent, and either the ally or the opponent is within your threatened area, you may make a Reflex save. If the results of your save beat the opponent’s attack roll, your opponent’s attack resolves against you instead.
    • Combat Reflexes feat: This feat is changed to the following – “Requires: Dex 13. Benefit: You may use reactions while Flat-Footed. In addition, you gain an additional reaction per turn. Special: You may take this feat multiple times. For each time after the first, the required Dex score increases by 4, and you gain two additional reactions per turn.”
  • Unarmed Attacks: Every character with at least 2 ranks in Combat Mastery gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.
  • Free Actions: All swift actions become free actions that may be used once per round. Note that this allows you to use multiple formerly-swift actions in one turn.
  • Spells And Spellcasting
    • Starting Spells Known: Each character begins play knowing one spell of each level that a Wizard of equal level could cast (e.g. 1st-level characters start knowing one 0th-level and one 1st-level spell, a 9th-level character would start knowing one spell of each level from 0th to 5th). These spells may be selected from the Wizard or Cleric spell list.
    • Gaining Spells Known: Characters do not learn spells by leveling up, rather through their adventures they come across items that grant them knowledge of various spells. A character can know any number of spells, and are not limited as a Sorcerer is.
    • Casting Time: All spells with a casting time of 1 round or faster are now free actions to cast. You may cast one spell per turn as a free action, and you may use a standard action to cast a second spell. All spells are cast spontaneously.
    • Casting Cost: Each spell has a cost associated with it equal to twice the spell’s level, minus one (minimum 0). In order to cast a spell, a character’s current and maximum number of hit points and reserve points are reduced by an amount equal to the spell’s cost. After 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, a character’s maximum number of hit points and reserve points returns to their normal amounts.
    • Metamagic: Metamagic feats are removed. In their place, some spells the group comes across will be metamagic’d versions of normal spells.
    • Components: All spells have their material and focus components removed, unless they cost at least 1 gp. All spells have their somatic components removed. Arcane Spell Failure Chance is removed. The vast majority of spells simply require uttering the correct magical incantations.
  • Reserve Points: Each character has a pool of reserve points. A creature’s maximum hit points and maximum reserve points are always equal. After 8 hours of uninterrupted rest, a creature’s reserve points fill to maximum.
    • Catch Your Breath: You may take 10 minutes to engage in only calm actions. After doing this, you may sacrifice any number of reserve points (up to your current amount) in order to gain that amount of hit points. Your current hit points cannot be greater than your maximum hit points.
    • Magical Healing: If you receive magical healing which would increase your current hit points past your maximum hit points, you heal to your maximum hit points, and any excess goes to your reserve points, as long as they do not go over maximum.
  • Stunts: Stunts are free-form combat actions that fall outside the normal scope of the combat rules. These help you come up with imaginative, clever, and exciting actions in combat. Each stunt replaces a certain normal action, and counts as that action with regards to attacks of opportunity. To attempt a stunt, pick out an effect you want to create. Next, describe the stunt to the table and GM. How do you attempt it? What happens if it succeeds? Make sure to announce the total penalty you would like to inflict or bonus you would like to gain. The GM then picks one or more skills for you to use for the stunt. You make this “stunt check” against a DC chosen by the GM, or one determined by the effects you are seeking. The GM has final say on how a stunt works. After the GM gives you the required skill, you may choose to cancel the stunt and use a different action. Please postpone any disagreements until after the session.
    • Attack Stunt – Full Attack
      • Description: You combine some sort of agile maneuver with a single normal attack, in order to make the attack more potent. The target rolls CMB, the same skill you used, or an appropriate opposing skill. If your roll is equal to his or higher, the stunt succeeds.
      • Bonus: You gain either a +1 bonus to attack or a +2 bonus to damage. You can increase either of these bonuses by taking a -2 penalty to your stunt check for each multiple increase (e.g. you can take a -6 penalty for a total +8 to damage).
      • Failure: You attack without the bonus.
      • Examples: Leap over a foe and attack from above. Run along a massive creature’s arm to slash at its neck. Roll between an ogre’s legs to slash it from behind.
    • Disrupting Attack Stunt – Full Attack
      • Description: You somehow cause an opponent to lose access to a supernatural or extraordinary ability temporarily, whether with a well placed attack or with smart use of your environment. You pick a Save DC for the foe to attempt, and you must succeed on a stunt check against that DC + 10.
      • Success: The foe must succeed on an appropriate save against that DC or lose access to that ability for 1 round. If the creature recharges this ability, it takes an extra round to recharge.
      • Failure: The creature can continue to use its ability.
      • Examples: Pick out the exact place in a dragon’s throat to shoot an arrow, to delay its breath attack a round. Cover a medusa’s face with ink, to negate her gaze attack for a round.

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