Combat Modifiers

The universal combat modifier is +2 when you have advantageous circumstances. Similarly, –2 is the right penalty for adverse situations.

Shooting into Melee

When using a ranged attack to target an enemy that is engaged with one or more of your allies and you fumble (roll a 1), reroll that attack considering the engaged ally as the target. If there are multiple allies, the GM rules which ally is the target.


Invisibility grants a big modifier to any stealth skill checks—at least +5 unless you’re dealing with creatures who can detect you without sight.

Once engaged in battle, attacks against invisible enemies have a 50% chance to miss completely, before the attack roll. Attacks that miss in this fashion don’t deal any damage or have effects on the invisible creature, though other effects on a miss might occur.

Special Attacks and Effects


You can only be affected by the same condition once at a time. The worst one affects you and the lesser effects are ignored. Similarly, penalties from these conditions don’t stack.


You can’t make opportunity attacks or use your limited powers. Your next attack action will be a basic or at-will attack against any nearby ally, determined randomly.


You take a –4 penalty to attacks.


Fear dazes you and prevents you from using the escalation die.


You can only make basic attacks. You can still move normally.


If you’re unconscious or asleep, you’re helpless. While helpless, you take a –4 penalty to all defenses and you can be the target of a coup de grace.


You can’t move, disengage, pop free, change your position, or let anyone else move you without teleporting.


You suffer a –4 penalty to defenses and can’t take any actions.


Attacks against you have their crit range expanded by 2 (normally 18+).


You take a –4 penalty to attacks and to defenses.

Coup de Grace

When you attack a helpless enemy you’re engaged with, you score an automatic critical hit if you follow these three steps:

  • Skip your move action and your quick action that turn.
  • Make a standard action attack on your turn against the helpless enemy you are engaged with.
  • Your attack only targets the helpless enemy, even if the attack would normally target multiple creatures.


Some monsters grab you. Generally they grab you after a successful hit. A creature can let go of a creature it is grabbing as a free action.

When you’re grabbed you are engaged with the creature grabbing you and you can’t move away unless you teleport, somehow pop free first, or successfully disengage. Disengage checks take a –5 penalty unless you hit the creature that is grabbing you the same turn that you’re trying to disengage.

If you are smaller than the creature that is grabbing you, it can move and carry you along with no problem. If you are the same size or larger, it has to let go of you if it wants to move.

Grabbed creatures can’t make opportunity attacks. That also applies if the creature grabbing you decides to let go and move away from you; it doesn’t have to disengage or take an opportunity attack from you, it just leaves you behind.

Grabbed creatures can’t use ranged attacks, although melee and close attacks are fine.

The creature grabbing you gets a +4 attack bonus against you.

Ongoing Damage

A creature (including PCs) taking ongoing damage takes that damage at the end of its turn immediately before it rolls its save (11+ unless otherwise specified) against that ongoing damage. Success with the save means the creature won’t take the damage again; failure means the effect will be repeated at the end of the creature’s next turn.

Once a battle is over, the PCs automatically make their next saves.


The save mechanic, a d20 roll with no standard modifiers, handles everything from power recharge to saves against power effects to death saves. There are three difficulty values for saves. If a save doesn’t specify what type it is, it’s a normal save: 11+.

  • Easy: Roll 6+ on a d20
  • Normal: Roll 11+ on a d20
  • Hard: Roll 16+ on a d20

There are no standard bonuses to saves, but there are occasional talents, feats, and magic items that provide small bonuses to saves.


Resistance to types of damage is rated as a number corresponding to the attacker’s natural d20 roll. The higher the number, the more resistance you have.

When an attack with a damage type you are resistant to targets you, the natural attack roll must equal or exceed your resistance number to deal full damage. If the roll is lower than your resistance, the attack deals half damage.

If you take ongoing damage of a type you resist, use the original attack roll to determine whether you take the full amount of ongoing damage or half the amount (rounded down).

Any creature with resistance to an energy type is immune to normal energy of that type. Magical attacks, magical weapons, and spells are different: the damage they do can get past the resistance. This resistance = immunity rule only applies to energy types, not to weapons. Weapon resistance does not mean immunity to non-magic weapons.

If there’s an automatic damage effect that feels like it should have a chance of being reduced by resistance, fake an attack roll to see if the effect penetrates resistance for full damage or only deals half.

Situational Weapon Use

When the action in the story backs it up, at the GM’s discretion, a weapon’s normal dice can be swapped for bigger or smaller dice, letting the character roll the same damage dice of a larger or smaller weapon. This is an optional rule in for memorable situations.


Teleportation is an effect by which a creature moves instantaneously from one location to another. Teleporting doesn’t draw opportunity attacks, but casting the spell may; spellcasting rules don’t change because you are casting a teleport spell.

Temporary Hit Points

Temporary hit points are beneficial effect that keeps a character from harm. When you gain temporary hit points, keep track of them separately from your regular hit points. Temporary hit points don’t stack; when you gain more temporary hit points while you still have temporary hit points left, use only the higher amount and ignore the lower amount.

When you take damage, subtract it from your temporary hit points first, and only apply damage to your regular hit points after the temporary hit points are used up.

Temporary hit points reset to 0 after a battle and drop to 0 when you roll initiative.