Tales From the Fallen Empire
- Strength (STR) – Capacity for exerting physical power on ones environment; a measure of physique
- Agility (AGI) – Balance, grace, speed, and fine motor skills, whether in the hands or the feet
- Stamina (STA) – Endurance, resistance to pain, disease, and poison, capacity for physical punishment, and overall vitality
- Intelligence (INT) – Ability to discern information, retain knowledge, and assess complex situations
- Personality (PER) – Force of will, personal resolve, ability to attract or repel entities, and overall charismatic appeal; does not necessarily include appearance
- Awareness (AWA) – Capacity for observation & perception, both in ones environment, but also in people or creatures one observes; also includes intuitive abilities and thus susceptibility to being surprised or tricked; very high Awareness scores can indicate potential for premonition or facilitate contact with other planes of existence
For each character, choose a few skills to start with at level 0. Choose one of the following:
- Start with 3 skills, rolled at 1d20
- Start with 2 skills, rolled at 1d20+2
- Start with 1 skill, rolled at 1d20+4
Untrained skill checks are rolled at 1d10. All chosen skills must relate to the characters starting occupation or culture.
Fortitude: Is now comprised of the Base Fort mod from the class, plus STA & STR mods
Reflex: Is now comprised of the Base Ref mod from the class, plus AGI & AWA mods
Will: Is now comprised of the Base Will mod from the class, plus PER & INT mods
Combat & Armor
In addition to improving AC, armor also provides Damage Reduction (DR):
- Light armor provides a DR of 1 (padded, leather, studded leather, hide)
- Medium armor provides a DR of 2 (scale mail, chainmail, banded mail)
- Heavy armor provides a DR of 3 (half-plate, full plate)
Helmets and shields do not add to DR unless magical.
Nonmagical bows & arrows and crossbows & bolts can pierce 1 DR.
Magical armor has additional points of DR equal to its enhancement modifier.
A magical weapon bypasses points of DR equal to its enhancement modifier, to a minimum of zero DR.
Crit protection from helmets
Wearing a helmet in combat forces the result of any crit scored against the wearer to decrease in number until the result does not impact the head, face, or neck. The protection granted depends on the type of helmet: skull caps only protect the head, visors helms protect the face & head, and full helms (usually worn only in conjunction with full plate) protects all three. Generally worst to best protection is: head > head+face > head+face+neck. Some cultures offer face masks made of various, non-metallic materials, which can effectively protect the face only 25% of the time, given that their intended use is not armor. Similar protection can be afforded for other vulnerable spots on the body if the character is expressly wearing special protection there.
Initiative & Surprise
Initiative rolls are now comprised AGI mod and AWA mod. Warriors add their class level to Initiative rolls too.
Wielding two-handed weapons no longer decreases Initiative die.
Those wearing heavy armor roll a d16 when rolling Initiative.
A character’s AWA mod affects their rolls to avoid being surprised.
Optional: Defense Rolls
Players roll defense rolls, which is rolling a d20, instead of taking a 10, to determine AC for each attack. This should be done per incoming attack.
If ever the attackers attack roll meets the exact AC of the defender, those two characters enter a Clash which is like a mini-duel and must resolve it with a series of Strength and/or Personality rolls. A combatant involved in a Clash who simply disengages prior to the resolution of the Clash immediately loses the Clash (see below for consequences).
The winner of the Clash gains an immediate, free attack on the loser.
If the winner was the original attacker, he may choose instead to trade this free attack for a Taunt (see below). This occurs in addition to his original attack, which hits.
If the winner was the original defender, he may choose instead to trade this free attack to deflect the original attack.
Taunt: Toss your opponent aside with a demoralizing taunt. The target of the Taunt receives a -2 to all rolls on their next turn, but may roll a Will save vs. 15 to avoid that. A Taunt ends the Clash immediately.
Remember that the original attack still hits (unless of course traded per an option above), and is resolved at the same time as the free attack resulting from the Clash (in this way, a defender who may have been felled by the original hit still strikes out in his death throes).