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You’re made of meat and when people poke holes in you you bleed and die. If you’re going to fight you have to be prepared for it to be to the death, and you should be sure you’re going to win before you draw your blade.


When you attack something, pick which attribute you’re using. Unless you can come up with a good reason why it should be different, use Agility for ranged attacks, Brawn for melee attacks, and Cunning if there’s magic or trickery involved.

Roll 1d20. If your result is less than or equal to your attribute and above their Armour Class (AC), you hit them. Roll your weapon's damage.

If your result is either higher than your attribute or equal to or lower than your enemy's AC, you miss.

If you roll your attribute exactly your enemy is temporarily stunned and you get to make another attack immediately.

If you roll the enemy's AC exactly you deal no damage but reduce their AC by 1 for the rest of the encounter. Armour breaks when the AC reaches 0.

Once per initiative round you can modify a roll you make in combat by +/- X, where X is the number of Scars you possess.

Enemy attacks work in the same manner as adventurer attacks, rolling between their Attack and the adventurer's AC.

Roll morale for enemies when they reach half health to see if they stay and fight or try to flee.

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If you reach 0 health for any reason, gain a new Scar. Then roll 2d6 and compare the result to the number of Scars you have earned.

If your roll is equal to or lower than the number of Scars you have earned, you succumb to your accumulated injuries and die.

If your roll is higher than the number of Scars you have earned you regain consciousness at 1 health in Xd6 Rounds, where X is the number of Scars you have accrued.

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Combat Rounds

At the start of combat, each character involved makes an initiative roll by rolling 1d20 versus their Agility. Characters who roll under their Agility act before enemies. Those who fail act after enemies.

Characters who roll their Agility exactly may make one quick action before combat commences - readying a weapon, quaffing a potion, etc.

On your initiative you have enough time to traverse a normal-sized room and perform one action.

Accessing items in your pack during combat requires a Cunning check to quickly lay hands on it. Passing the check means that it takes your action on your initiative to locate the item, which may be used the next Round. Rolling your Cunning exactly means that you can use the item on the same initiative Round that you retrieved it. Characters failing this check can't quickly locate the item and must either forgo retrieving it or spend 1d3 Rounds searching for it while unable to take other actions.

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Rituals In Combat

Performing Rituals while fighting is difficult and dangerous. You can't cast a spell and move in the same Round. If you take damage before your go in a combat Round, your Cunning check to perform the Ritual only succeeds if it is equal to or below your Cunning but greater than the amount of damage you took. If you fail, roll a Mishap as normal.

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Surprise & Distance

When enemies are encountered in the dungeon, the fiction will tell you whether one side surprises the other. If one side is surprised and combat begins, the surprised party takes no actions in the first combat Round.

If not made obvious by the fiction, encounters in the dungeon occur at 2d6 x 10 feet. Encounters outside occur at 2d6 x 10 yards.

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Roll to determine the initial attitude of any enemy whose reaction to the adventurers isn't obvious from the fiction.

2d6 Reaction
2-3 Friendly.
4-6 Helpful.
7 Uninterested.
8-10 Hostile.
11-12 Murderous.

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Most enemies won't fight to the death, preferring to flee and live to fight another day. If the enemy response to violence isn't clear from the fiction, make a Morale check for them.

  • When the adventurers face a lone enemy, roll Morale at the end of the first Round in which the enemy is reduced to half hit points and for every subsequent Round in which they take damage.
  • When facing a group of enemies, roll Morale at the end of each Round in which one of them dies.
  • If a group of enemies has a clear leader or is well organised, you may decide to roll for the leader as though they were a lone enemy rather than making checks for the group. This check should also occur at the end of the first Round in which half of the group is slain, and for every subsequent Round in which one of them dies.

To test Morale, roll 1d20 under (10 + the enemy's HD). If they are successful, they continue to fight. If they fail, they flee or surrender at the first opportunity. Enemies who flee may regroup and strike again, lay ambushes, pursue the adventurers, or simply hold a grudge.

Enemies who roll exactly (10 + their HD) on a Morale test rally themselves. They gain an additional attack in the next combat Round, and don't test Morale again during the encounter.

Hireling Morale

Hirelings who find themselves in combat are likely to break and flee. At the end of the first Round in which a hireling takes damage or witnesses a member of the party die, the adventurer who hired them must test their Morale.

To test Hireling Morale, roll under your Cunning but over the Hireling's HD on a d20.

  • On a success, the hireling's morale holds.
  • On a failure, the hireling flees and cannot be hired again.
  • If you roll exactly the hireling's HD, they waver. They can be convinced to stand and fight if paid an additional HD x 15sp.
  • If you roll exactly your Cunning, you inspire the hireling to heroics. They may make an additional attack in the next combat Round, and their Morale can't be broken during this fight.

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Time in the dungeon is measured in exploration turns (Turns) and combat rounds (Rounds).

An exploration Turn is approximately ten minutes. This is enough time to search a single room, traverse a corridor, take a short rest, perform an attribute check, or the like.

Check for random encounters after every Turn by rolling 1d6. On a 1, an encounter occurs.

Combat is measured in Rounds. Each Round is approximately one minute in game time. Characters have enough time to traverse a normal-sized room and take an action - ready a weapon, retrieve something from a pack, make an attack, make an attribute check, etc.

Time outside the dungeon passes in 6 hour Watches. This is enough time to cross or explore a single hex, or make camp and sleep overnight. Roll for random encounters once per Watch.

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