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Encounters are periods of fast-paced action where every second counts. Encounters are divided into rounds, which represent about six seconds of action. Within a round, each character gets a turn, which is the point at which they get to act. Encounter challenges are typically combat challenges, where you must fight a group of enemies to determine how well you succeed and what happens next.


Whenever a new encounter begins, each player makes an Initiative check to determine the turn order. The DM will then likewise make an Initiative check for each group of enemies in the encounter. Whoever got the highest Initiative check result goes first, and then each other player or NPC goes from next-highest Initiative to lowest. Specific rules for determining your Initiative check bonuses will be provided later.

Sometimes there is a chance that you might be surprised by the start of an encounter. If there is a chance to be surprised, the DM will set a difficulty level for the surprise; your Initiative check then also becomes your check to see if you’re surprised by the encounter. Being surprised means that you have to wait out the first round of the encounter to gather your wits; once everyone who isn’t surprised has gone, you stop being surprised and may participate normally in the second round. Even if there normally isn’t a chance to be surprised, a critical failure on your Initiative check will still cause you to be surprised for the first round of combat.

Taking Your Turn[]

When it becomes your turn during an encounter, you get to decide what your character does during the next few seconds. During your turn, you can perform four different kinds of actions. You can perform one standard action, one move action, one immediate action, and a reasonable number of free actions (where “reasonable” is decided by the DM).

Standard Actions[]

During your turn, you may perform a single standard action. Standard actions are generally acts that require a good deal of your focus and concentration to pull off. You will have a good number of standard actions that you can perform, based on the choices you make when you create your character. However, all characters can perform the following basic standard actions, regardless of who they are.

Making Attacks[]

One of the things you are likely to do a lot during an encounter is make an attack. When you make an attack, you choose what kind of attack you wish to perform, then choose one or more targets - the specific attack will tell you how many targets to choose, and what valid targets you may choose from.

Once you have chosen your targets, you will make your attack roll. This is a standard check using the skill or weapon proficiency specified in the attack's action block, vs. a DC that is usually determined by one of the target's defenses. If you succeed, the attack hits; otherwise, it misses. Some attacks also have various effects that occur whether the attack hits or misses. Always read down the action block's list of Hit:, Miss: and Effect: lines, and apply them in the order that they appear.

Melee Attack[]

Melee attacks are used to attack creatures who are within reach of your weapons, while ranged attacks are used to attack creatures who are too far away to reach with a sword or a spear. When you make a ranged attack, you provoke an opportunity attack from any adjacent creature - the creature can perform a basic melee attack against you as an immediate interrupt.

Basic Melee Attack[]

(at-will standard actionbasic attack )



One creature within reach of your melee weapon (Proficiency vs. Armor).


1dW + [ melee damage bonus ] damage, plus any effects from the weapon used.

If you are at least two squares away, you may also attempt to charge a creature. Charging allows you to move up to your speed during the same standard action that you make a melee basic attack, but you end your turn when you resolve the charge.

Charge Attack[]

(at-will standard actionbasic attack )



One creature at least 3 paces away that you could reach with a basic move action.


You move in a straight line into the closest space that you could attack the target from with your melee weapon or an unarmed attack, then make a basic melee attack against the target with a +1 charge bonus to damage. When you have resolved this attack, your turn ends.

Ranged Attack[]

Ranged attacks are used to attack creatures who are too far away to reach with a sword or a spear. When you make a ranged attack, you provoke an opportunity attack from any adjacent creature - the creature can perform a basic melee attack against you as an immediate interrupt.

Basic Ranged Attack[]

(at-will standard actionprovoking basic attack )



One creature within range of your ranged weapon (Proficiency vs. Armor).


1dW + [ ranged damage bonus ] damage (or [ Melee damage bonus ] if thrown), plus any effects from the weaponused.

Full Defense[]

Full Defense is used when you don’t want to attack or perform some other action, but don’t want to be hit by an attack either. Full Defense is a stance - an activity that you begin with an action, but continue to maintain until you decide to stop it, or some other event causes the stance to end.

Full Defense[]

(at-will standard actionbasic stance )



You may shift one pace as you enter into a defensive stance, which makes it harder to be attacked by other creatures and lets you catch your breath. You gain a +2 stance bonus to all defenses and saving throws, and double your bonus to defenses from cover or a shield. While you are in this stance, you may spend a free action to use your second wind per-encounter feat, expending one healing reserve to regain hit points equal to your heal value.

You automatically end this stance at the beginning of your next turn unless you perform another standard action to sustain it; you may shift one pace as part of this standard action. If you make any attack, you automatically end this stance before making your attack roll.

Using Skills[]

Finally, Skills are specific collections of activities that you can gain training in. Most actions that aren’t attacks are covered by making skill-based checks.

Use Skill[]

(at-will variable actionskill utility )



You perform a standard, move, immediate or free action listed in the Skill section.

Extended Actions[]

Extended actions are actions that take longer than a full round to complete. An extended action will usually describe exactly how long it takes, such as '3 rounds' or '1 minute'. Extended actions are best performed in Scene pacing; the frantic pace of an Encounter is not condusive to the detail and attention required to finish an extended action. Sometimes, though, you need to perform an extended action in combat. While this is risky, it is occasionally necessary. Extended actions are handled as stances:

Perform Extended Action[]

(at-will standard actionprovoking stance )



You begin performing an extended action. If you maintain this stance without interruption for a number of turns equal to the action’s duration in rounds (or ten times the action’s duration in minutes), you may make the check for that action.

Move Actions[]

During your turn, you may also perform one move action. Move actions generally involve legwork and maneuvering to perform. If you need to move quickly, you may also expend your standard action as if it were a move action, giving you a total of two move actions during your turn.

All characters have a speed rating, which is how fast they can move at a jog in one move action. Speed is measured in five-foot steps; if you have a speed of 3, you can move 15 feet in a turn. The most basic move action that you can perform is to move this distance. However, movement is not particularly defensive - if you are adjacent to a hostile creature when you attempt to move, you provoke an opportunity attack.


(at-will move actionbasic provoking movement )



You move a number of 5-foot paces equal to your speed.

If you need to move move safely, you may shift. Shifting only moves you one pace, but you maintain full awareness of all threats around you, and so you do not provoke opportunity attacks while shifting.


(at-will move actionbasic movement )



You shift one 5-foot pace.

Some areas are more difficult to move through than others. Each square of difficult terrain counts as two squares, so you may not normally shift through it in a single move action. If you use two different actions to move, you may combine them into a single movement and count your speed as doubled for this movement - either shifting two paces (or shifting through one pace of difficult terrain), or moving a total number of paces equal to twice your speed (counting each pace of difficult terrain twice).

Immediate Actions[]

You may also perform one immediate action during each turn. Immediate actions are simple, reflexive acts that you can perform without paying much attention, such as picking up an item, pulling something out of a pocket or holster, or taking a drink from a bottle. If you need to do several simple things in a turn, you may also expend your move action or your standard action or both as if they were immediate actions, giving you a total of two or three immediate actions during your turn.

Drink Potion[]

(at-will immediate action]] ✦ utility )



You drink a readied potion.

Draw or Sheath Weapon[]

(at-will immediate actionutility )



You draw and ready a weapon, or return a wielded weapon to its sheath.

Unlike Standard and Move Actions, you may perform Immediate-speed actions outside of your turn - but may only do so as a Reaction or Interrupt to another creature's action. In other words, you may perform one Immediate Reaction or Immediate Interrupt per other creature's turn, if that creature performs an action that allows you to trigger the reaction or interrupt.

Free Actions[]

Free Actions are simple things that you can do without really thinking about, such as speak a few words or give a hand signal. You can perform any number of free actions during your turn, but if it stretches the limits of credulity or bogs down play the DM is likely to cut you off and tell you to move on.

Reacting to Other People’s Actions[]

There are certain actions that you may perform in response to another character’s action. These are called Immediate Actions. You may perform one Immediate Action per turn, whether it’s your turn or not, but all immediate actions have a ‘trigger’ that must be fulfilled before you can perform the immediate action.

Immediate Responses[]

There are two kinds of immediate actions that you may take in response to an event: Immediate Reactions and Immediate Interrupts. Immediate Reactions must be performed after the triggering event has fully resolved; you get to perform your action in response to theirs. Immediate Interrupts, on the other hand, happen before the triggering event has resolved - if an Immediate Interrupt changes the circumstances around their action, you might cause that action to fail or succeed when it otherwise would not have, or enhance or degrade the effects of their success or failure.

Opportunity Attack[]

(at-will immediate interruptbasic attack )



An enemy within a space that you threaten performs an action with the provoking keyword.


You make a basic melee attack against the provoking creature.

Free Responses[]

In addition to immediate responses, some special powers or feats will allow you to take Free Reactions or Free Interrupts. A Free Reaction is just like an Immediate Reaction, except that you may perform any number of them per turn. Similarly, a Free Interrupt is just like an Immediate Interrupt, except that you may perform any number of them per turn. You may only respond to a single action once with any single response, however - you cannot perform a single response several times to the same triggering event.

Automatic Responses[]

Some responses occur automatically, even if you cannot perform a free or immediate action or response. These operate identically to free responses, except that you can perform them even while stunned or unconscious.