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I raised my shield to fend off one of the monsters, and hewed at another with my sword, but I missed my first swing. Morningstar swung at one of the monsters and struck it, but her sword did the bony thing little harm. I saw that Apoqulis still stood by the door; of Barthal there was no sign. Fortunately, Apoqulis also had a torch.

Apoqulis raised his holy symbol and called in a loud voice, “In the name of Tah, begone!” To my surprise, several of the monsters turned as if afraid and ran out the door, disappearing into the gloom. Unfortunately this left quite a few of them still in the room.

Even as I saw all this I continued to hack at the monsters. It took two good blows to down the first one; it appeared that Morningstar was having similar trouble with the monsters. Then one of the skeletons hit her, just a minor wound, but still I felt good that I had invested my part of the proceeds of our last excursion in a suit of plate mail armor; I was shrugging off blows that would have harmed me were I still wearing chain mail.

To my surprise, I saw Apoqulis down one of the monsters in a single blow, then do the same to another in his very next strike. His mace seemed to be much more effective against the monsters than our swords. As I finally managed to down a second skeleton, I heard a high-pitched yell… it was Barthal, a little ways down the hallway, and he was throwing something.

There was a sound of glass breaking, and I felt a splash of water on my face. Several of the skeletons began to smoke, and then one of them fell in a heap. Holy water, I decided, but I didn’t have time to think about it. I just kept hacking at the skeletons.

By the time they were all gone, I had taken a wound, and Morningstar had taken a second. We had one potion of healing left of those that Apoqulis’ temple had given us; Morningstar told me to drink it, but I could tell she was in worse shape than I, so I insisted she take it.

Then we turned back to the sarcophagus…

Order of Play

When the party of adventurers comes in contact with potential enemies, time shifts to combat rounds (10 seconds long, as described previously). Before beginning combat, surprise is checked (see below). Unsurprised characters then roll for Initiative, and act in order of the rolls (again, as described below).


When surprise is possible, roll 1d6 for each side which might be surprised; most normal characters are surprised on a roll of 1-2. Surprised characters are unable to act for one round. Characters or creatures which are well hidden and prepared to perform an ambush surprise on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6. Some characters or creatures (such as Elves) are described as being less likely to be surprised; reduce the range by 1 for such creatures.

For example: Darion the Human Fighter and Morningstar the Elven Fighter/Magic-User open a door and come face-to-face with a party of goblins. The GM rolls 1d6 for the goblins; on a 1-2 they are all surprised. Then the GM rolls 1d6 for Darion and Morningstar. If the roll is a 1, both of them are surprised; if the roll is a 2, only Darion is surprised. If the roll is 3 or more, neither of them are surprised.

Surprised characters or creatures stand flat-footed for one round. They still defend themselves, so there is no penalty to Armor Class, but they cannot move nor attack during the round of surprise.

Monster Reactions

When a group of player characters meet one or more monsters, it’s important to know how the monsters will react to the party. In many cases, the reaction of the monster or monsters is obvious… zombies guarding a tomb will virtually always attack intruders, for example.

In cases where the reaction of the monsters to the party is not obvious, a reaction roll may be made. The Game Master rolls 2d6, adding the Charisma bonus of the “lead” character (or applying his or her Charisma penalty) along with any other adjustments he or she feels are reasonable, and consults the table below:

Reaction Roll Table
Adjusted Die Roll Result
2 or less Immediate Attack
3-7 Unfavorable
8-11 Favorable
12 or more Very Favorable

A result of 2 or less means that the player characters have so offended the monsters that they attack immediately. An Unfavorable result means that the monsters do not like the player characters, and will attack if they may reasonably do so. A Favorable result simply means that the monsters will consider letting the player characters live if they choose to parley; it does not necessarily mean that the monsters like the player characters. A Very Favorable result means that the monsters (or perhaps only the monster leader) do, in fact, like the player characters; this does not mean that the monsters will just hand over their treasure, but it does indicate that they may choose to cooperate with the player characters in mutually beneficial ways.

As always, interpreting the results of this roll is left to the GM, who may choose to alter the result if he or she believes a different result would be more enjoyable to play out than the one rolled.


Each round, 1d6 is rolled for Initiative for each character or monster. This roll is adjusted by the character’s Dexterity bonus. High numbers act first. Any characters/monsters with equal numbers act simultaneously. The GM may make single rolls for groups of identical monsters at his or her option.

As the GM counts down the Initiative numbers, each character or monster may act on his or her number. If desired, a combatant can choose to wait until a later number to act. If a player states that he or she is waiting for another character or monster to act, then the player character’s action takes place on the same Initiative number as the creature he or she is waiting for. In this case, the player character’s action is simultaneous with the creature waited for, just as if they had rolled the same number.

A character using a weapon with a long reach (spears, for instance) may choose to attack a closing opponent on the closing opponent’s number and thus attack simultaneously with the opponent, even if the character rolled lower for Initiative.


Each character or creature involved in combat may move, if desired, up to its encounter movement distance, and then attack, if any opponent is in range, when its Initiative number comes up. After attacking, a character or creature may not move again until the next round.

Opponents more than 5′ apart may move freely, but once two opposing figures are within 5′ of each other, they are “engaged” and must abide by the rules under Defensive Movement, below.


Characters may choose to run; a running character is not normally allowed to attack (but see Charging, below). Running characters can move at double their normal encounter movement rate. Characters are allowed to run a number of rounds equal to 2 times the character’s Constitution, after which they are exhausted and may only walk (at the normal encounter rate). For monsters not having a given Constitution, allow the monster to run for 24 rounds. Exhausted characters or creatures must rest for at least a turn before running again.


The following rules may be considered optional. They are hardly needed for most dungeon adventures, but will add measurably to combat situations in the wilderness, especially in waterborne combat situations or when some or all combatants are flying.

Characters, creatures, and vehicles of various sorts have a turning distance. This is given as a distance in feet in parentheses after their movement rate, and it determines how far they must move between facing changes when moving about in combat.

All normal player characters, and in fact most moderately sized creatures which walk on the ground, have a turning distance of 5′. If no turning distance is given for a creature, assume that it is 5′.

In general, a facing change is any turn of up to 90º (a right-angle turn); on a square-gridded map, this means turning to face directly to the right or left of the figure’s current facing. A half-turn (45º) still counts as a full facing change. If using hexes, “diagonal” movement is not available, so a facing change is the 60º turn to face toward the hex-side to the right or left of the current facing.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

First, any creature that does not move away from its starting position during the combat round may make as many facing changes as desired (though circumstances, such as trying to turn a horse around in a narrow corridor, may prevent this).

Incorporeal flying creatures, such as spectres, can turn freely at any point while moving.

Creatures which are running (moving at double speed) may not make facing changes of more than 60º, and their turning distance increases by 10′ (or, if it is 5′ normally, it increases to 10′).

Also, most creatures can shift one space laterally while preserving their facing (this is called “sidestepping”), but this may only be done when moving at normal (“walking”) speed, not at fast (“running”) speed. “One space” means either 5′ or 10′, depending on the map or board being used.

Climbing and Diving

For battles involving three dimensions, each creature or vehicle has an altitude (when flying) or depth (underwater). For air or sea battles, at least one of the creatures or vehicles should start at an altitude/depth of 0, and a new 0 level can be established at any time, to simplify play, by adjusting the altitudes of each creature or vehicle.

A winged flier can gain up to 10′ of altitude after moving forward by the distance shown for its maneuverability class, and can dive (lose altitude in a controlled fashion) at up to twice the normal movement rate; if the creature does not move horizontally by at least one-third its normal speed, it will stall, being forced to dive at maximum rate for one round. Floating creatures or vehicles (balloons, fly spell, flying carpets, etc.) can climb vertically without horizontal motion up to half the normal movement rate, but such “floaters” can only descend at the normal movement rate, unless they have lost the ability to float entirely.


Under some circumstances, characters or creatures may be allowed to attack after a running move. This is called a charge, and some specific limitations apply. First, the charging character or creature must move at least 10 feet, and may move up to double his or her normal movement rate, as given above. The movement must be in a more or less straight line toward the intended target, and the path to the target must be reasonably clear. Finally, the attacker must be using a weapon such as a spear, lance, or pole arm which is suitable for use while charging. Certain monsters, especially including those with horns, are able to use natural attacks when charging. If the attacker does not have line of sight to the opponent at the start of the charge, that opponent can’t be charged.

The attack made after the charge is made at +2 on the attack roll. The charging character or creature takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class for the remainder of the round. If the attack hits, it does double damage.

Set Weapon Against Charge: Spears, pole arms, and certain other piercing weapons deal double damage when “set” (braced against the ground or floor) and used against a charging creature. For this to be done, the character or creature being charged must have equal or better Initiative; this counts as holding an action: both attacker and defender act on the attacker’s Initiative number and are therefore simultaneous.

Evasion and Pursuit

Sometimes a party of adventurers will want nothing more than to avoid a group of monsters (or sometimes, it’s the monsters avoiding the adventurers). If one group is surprised, and the other is not, the unsurprised group may be able to escape automatically (unless something prevents them from making an exit).

Otherwise, the characters wanting to flee begin doing so on their Initiative numbers. The GM may easily play out the pursuit, following along on his or her map (note that the players can’t draw maps while they run headlong through the dungeon or wilderness area). Any time a character must pass through a doorway, make a hard turn, etc., the GM may require a saving throw vs. Death Ray (with Dexterity bonus added); if the save is failed, the character has fallen at that point and moves no further that round; he or she may stand up and make a full move on his or her Initiative number in the next round. If at any point the pursuers are within 5′ (melee range) at the start of a round, they may begin melee combat; the fleeing characters will be subject to “parting shots” as described under Defensive Movement if they continue to flee after the pursuers close to melee range. If the fleeing characters or creatures are ever able to get beyond the pursuer’s sight for a full round, they have evaded pursuit… the pursuers have lost them.

Defensive Movement

Any time a character turns his or her back on an adjacent opponent (who has a ready weapon) and begins movement, that opponent is allowed a “parting shot” with a +2 bonus to attack, even if that opponent has already made all attacks for the round. Opponents with attack routines must choose one attack mode; for instance, a tiger with a claw/claw/bite routine could only claw once or bite once.

Alternately, the character may begin backing away (at up to half normal walking movement) while continuing to fight (if the opponent remains within reach, that is, follows the retreating character). This is termed a fighting withdrawal.

Attack Bonus Table
Fighter Level Cleric or Thief Level Magic-User Level Monster Hit Dice Attack Bonus
NM less than 1 +0
1 1-2 1-3 1 +1
2-3 3-4 4-5 2 +2
4 5-6 6-8 3 +3
5-6 7-8 9-12 4 +4
7 9-11 13-15 5 +5
8-10 12-14 16-18 6 +6
11-12 15-17 19-20 7 +7
13-15 18-20 8-9 +8
16-17 10-11 +9
18-20 12-13 +10
14-15 +11
16-19 +12
20-23 +13
24-27 +14
28-31 +15
32 or more +16

How to Attack

To roll “to hit,” the attacker rolls 1d20 and adds his or her attack bonus (AB), as shown on the Attack Bonus table, as well as Strength bonus (if performing a melee attack) or Dexterity bonus (if performing a missile attack) and any other adjustments required by the situation. If the total is equal to or greater than the opponent’s Armor Class, the attack hits and damage is rolled. A natural “1” on the die roll is always a failure. A natural “20” is always a hit, if the opponent can be hit at all (for example, monsters that can only be hit by silver or magic weapons cannot be hit by normal weapons, so a natural “20” with a normal weapon will not hit such a monster).

Attacking from Behind

Attacks made from behind an opponent usually receive a +2 attack bonus. This does not combine with the Sneak Attack ability (see the Thief, above).

Normal Men

A note about normal men: The NM entry in the table above is for normal men, also known as zero level characters. These characters represent the artisans, shopkeepers, scullery maids, and other non-adventurer characters who will appear in the game. All such characters are NPCs, of course. Demi-human races have few if any zero-level characters among their numbers; the vast majority of “normal men” are humans.

Average zero-level humans have 1d4 hit points, and usually are not proficient with any weapons except bare hands. Green troops (those who have not been in battle yet) are zero-level, but they have 1d6 hit points and are allowed to use any weapon allowed to a Fighter.

It is recommended not to waste time in detailing the ability score or other statistics of such characters further; they are normal, as in “average,” and so very few would have extreme statistics. A blacksmith might be credited with a Strength score of 13 or more, or a savant with Intelligence of 16 or more, but in general such things need not be detailed for most of these characters.

Monster Attack Bonus

When looking up a monster’s hit dice on the Attack Bonus Table, ignore all “plus” or “minus” values; so a monster with 3+2 hit dice, or one with 3-1, is still treated as just 3 hit dice. The exception is monsters with 1-1 or lower hit dice, which are considered less than one hit die and have an attack bonus of +0.

Melee Combat

Melee occurs after a character has closed for combat and strikes at a monster or other foe. Melee weapons or attacks may generally only be used against foes who are engaged with the attacker (as described above).

Missile Fire

Missile weapons may be used to attack foes at a distance. The distance the attacker is from his target affects the attack roll, as shown on the Missile Weapon Ranges table in the Characters section, above. In general, opponents within Short range are attacked at +1 on the die, those beyond Short range but within Medium range are attacked at +0, and those beyond Medium but within Long range are attacked at -2. Foes beyond Long range cannot be effectively attacked. If a character attempts to use a missile weapon against a foe who is within 5′ of him or her (i.e. who is engaged with the shooter), a penalty of -5 is applied to the attack roll. This is due to the shooter dodging around to avoid the foe’s attacks. The only exception is if the attacker is behind the target creature and undetected, or that creature is distracted so as to not be able to attack the shooter; in these cases, apply the usual +1 bonus (+3 total bonus if attacking from behind).

Cover and Concealment

In certain situations, the intended target of a missile (or melee) attack may have cover or concealment of some kind. Cover is defined as “hard” protection such as that afforded by a thick tree trunk or stone wall, that is, anything that will stop or slow a missile weapon. Concealment is “soft” cover like fog or light foliage that makes the target difficult to see but does not affect the missile itself. Cover or concealment makes it more difficult to strike an intended target, and thus a penalty will be applied to the attacker’s die roll depending upon how much of the target is protected from attack. For concealment the attack penalty should range from -1 (25% obscured) to -4 (90% obscured). For hard cover, these penalties should be doubled.

Missile Weapon Rate of Fire

In general, missile weapons are allowed a single attack per round, just as are melee weapons. However, crossbows are an exception, as reloading a crossbow between shots is time-consuming.

A light crossbow can be fired once per two rounds, and the user may not perform any other actions (including movement) during the “reloading” round. A heavy crossbow can be fired just once per three rounds, again requiring the user to spend two rounds doing nothing other than cocking and loading the weapon in order to fire it again.

Siege engines also fire less often than ordinary weapons. The rate of fire for such a weapon is presented as a fraction, indicating the number of attacks per round; for example, 1/6 means one attack every six rounds.

Of course, the user of such a weapon may drop or sling the weapon and switch to another weapon rather than reloading. Also, it is possible (especially when defending a position) to load more than one crossbow in advance and then switch weapons each round until all have been fired. In a dungeon environment this sort of strategy is unlikely, of course.

Grenade-Like Missiles

When throwing grenade-like missiles (flasks of oil, etc.), a successful attack roll indicates a direct hit. Otherwise, the GM will roll 1d10 and consult the diagram below to determine where the missile hit. Treat each number as representing a 10′ square area.

7 8 9
5 Target 6
2 3 4
(in front)

Missiles That Miss

With the exception of grenade-like missiles, missile weapons which miss the intended target are normally considered lost. However, if the weapon is fired into a melee where allies of the shooter are involved, and the attack misses, it may hit one of the allied creatures. The GM should decide which allies may be hit, and roll attacks against each until a hit is made or all possible targets are exhausted. These attack rolls are made with the shooter’s normal attack bonus, just as if he or she intended to attack the allied creature. However, the GM must make these rolls, not the player.

This rule is applied to attacks made by monsters, when appropriate. However, the GM still makes the rolls.

This rule is intentionally vague; the GM must decide when and how to apply it based on the circumstances of the battle. It is recommended that no more than three allies be “tried” in this way, but the GM may make an exception as he or she sees fit.


If an attack hits, the attacker rolls damage as given for the weapon. Melee attacks apply the Strength bonus or penalty to the damage dice, as do thrown missile weapons such as daggers or spears. Usually, attacks with bows or crossbows do not gain the Strength bonus, but sling bullets or stones do.

Also, magic weapons will add their bonuses to damage (and cursed weapons will apply their penalty). Note that, regardless of any penalties to damage, any successful hit will do at least one point of damage.

As explained elsewhere, a creature or character reduced to 0 hit points is dead.

Subduing Damage

Attacks made with the “flat of the blade” for non-lethal damage are made at a -4 attack penalty and do half damage. Most weapons can be used this way; only those with penetration or slashing features on all sides cannot. If a character is reduced to zero hit points who has taken at least some subduing damage, the character becomes unconscious rather than dying. (Any further subduing damage is then considered killing damage, allowing the possibility that someone might be beaten to death.) A character knocked out in this way, but not subsequently killed, will wake up with 1 hit point in 1d4 turns, or can be awakened (with 1 hit point) by someone else after 2d10 rounds.


Sometimes a character will attack without a weapon, striking with a fist or foot. This is called brawling. Normal characters do 1d3 points of subduing damage with a punch, 1d4 with a kick; kicks are rolled at a -2 attack penalty. A character in no armor or leather armor cannot successfully punch or kick a character in metal armor, and in fact, if this is attempted the damage is applied to the attacker instead of the defender. The GM must decide which monsters can be successfully attacked this way. All character classes may engage in brawling; there is no “weapon” restriction in this case.


A wrestling attack requires a successful melee attack roll, where success indicates the attacker has grabbed his or her opponent. This hold is maintained until the attacker releases it or the defender makes a save vs. Death Ray, which is attempted at the defender’s next action (according to Initiative). A successful wrestling attack causes the attacker to move into the same “space” as the defender (if miniature figures are used).

After achieving a hold on an opponent, the attacker can automatically inflict unarmed damage (as if striking with a fist), prevent a held opponent from speaking, use simple magic items such as rings, or take any other action the GM allows. The attacker may also attempt to acquire an item the opponent is holding (such as a weapon) or attempt to move the opponent (as described below). A held character may be voluntarily released whenever the attacker so desires.

The attacker can’t draw or use a weapon or use a wand, staff, scroll or potion, escape another’s wrestling attack, cast a spell, or pin another character while holding an opponent.

Moving the Opponent: The attacker can move up to one-half speed (bringing the defender along) with a successful attack roll, if the attacker is strong enough to carry or drag the defender.

Acquiring an Object: The attacker may attempt to take an item away from the defender. This requires an additional attack roll; if the roll fails, the defender may immediately attempt an attack roll (even if he or she has already attacked this round) which, if successful, results in the defender pinning the attacker; or, the defender may choose to escape instead of reversing the hold.

Actions Allowed to the Defender: The target of a successful hold is usually immobile (but not helpless) at least until his or her next action, as determined by Initiative. Such characters suffer a penalty of -4 to AC against opponents other than the attacker. If the defender is significantly stronger and/or larger than the attacker, he or she may move at up to one-half speed, dragging the attacker along.

On the defender’s next action, he or she can try to escape the pin with a saving throw vs. Death Ray; the defender must apply the better of his or her Strength or Dexterity bonuses (or penalties) on this roll. If the escape roll succeeds, the defender finishes the action by moving into any space adjacent to the attacker. If more than one attacker has a hold on a particular defender, a successful escape roll frees the defender from just one of those attackers.

Held characters may also use simple magic items such as rings. A character being held may not normally cast a spell, even if he or she has not been silenced by the attacker.

Multiple Opponents: Several combatants can be involved in a wrestling match. Up to four combatants can wrestle a single opponent of normal size in a given round. Creatures that are smaller than the attacker count for half, while creatures that are larger count at least double (as determined by the GM). Note that, after an opponent is pinned, other attackers benefit from the -4 AC penalty applied to the defender. However, this AC penalty is not cumulative (that is, each successful attack does not lower the defender’s AC further).

It is also possible for another character to attack the attacker in an ongoing wrestling bout. In this case, a successful hold on the attacker grants the original defender a +4 bonus on subsequent escape rolls.

Wrestling With Monsters: In general, the rules above can be used not only when character races wrestle but also when humanoid monsters are involved. The GM will decide whether or not to allow wrestling involving non-humanoid creatures on a case-by-case basis; if this is allowed, the following adjustments apply:

Creatures with extra grasping appendages (more than the usual two) gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls or saving throws for each such appendage. This includes creatures with feet capable of grasping (such as monkeys or apes, giant spiders, etc.)

Large creatures able to fly may attempt to carry off their opponents (even if the flying creature is the defender).

Wrestling attacks against creatures with touch attacks (such as wights) will cause the attacker to suffer one such attack automatically every round.


A flask of oil can be used as a grenade-like missile. The oil must be set afire in order to inflict damage; otherwise the oil is just slippery. Assuming some means of igniting the oil is at hand, a direct hit to a creature deals 1d8 points of fire damage, plus in the next round the target takes an additional 1d8 points of damage, unless he or she spends the round extinguishing the flames by some reasonable means. The GM must judge the method used; rolling on the floor (assuming it’s not oily also) or covering the flames with a wet blanket are good methods, for instance, while pouring or splashing water on burning oil does little good. In any event, a flask of burning oil only causes damage for two rounds at most. If the oil is ignited by some sort of wick or fuse, then all other creatures within 5 feet of the point of impact receive 1d6 points of fire damage from the splash. A save vs. Death Ray is allowed to avoid this damage. If the flask does not hit the intended target (as described under Grenade-Like Missiles, above), then that creature may still take damage from the splash, and receives a saving throw. No saving throw is allowed for a creature which has received a direct hit.

A flask of oil spilled or splattered on the ground will burn for 10 rounds. Those attempting to cross the burning oil will receive 1d6 points of fire damage each round they are in it (with no saving throw in this case).

Fire-resistant creatures, including creatures having fire-based abilities, are not damaged by burning oil.

Holy Water

Holy water damages undead creatures. A flask of holy water can be thrown as a grenade-like missile; the flask breaks if thrown against the body of a corporeal creature, but to use it against an incorporeal creature, it must be opened and poured out onto the target, generally requiring the attacker to be adjacent to the target.

A direct hit by a flask of holy water deals 1d8 points of damage to an undead creature. In addition, each such creature within 5 feet of the point of impact receives 1d6 points of damage from the splash. Holy water is only effective for one round.


NPCs and monsters don’t always fight to the death; in fact, most will try to avoid death whenever possible. Each monster listing includes the monster’s Morale score, a figure between 2 and 12. To make a Morale check, roll 2d6; if the roll is equal to or less than the Morale score, the monster or monsters are willing to stand and fight. If the roll is higher than the score, the monster has lost its nerve. Monsters with a Morale score of 12 never fail a Morale check; they always fight to the death.

In general, Morale is checked when monster(s) first encounter opposition, and again when the monster party is reduced to half strength (by numbers if more than one monster, or by hit points if the monster is alone). For this purpose, monsters incapacitated by sleep, charm, or hold magic are counted as if dead.

The Game Master may apply adjustments to a monster’s Morale score in some situations, at his or her discretion. Generally, adjustments should not total more than +2 or -2. No adjustment is ever applied to a Morale score of 12.

A monster that fails a Morale check will generally attempt to flee; intelligent monsters or NPCs may attempt to surrender, if the GM so desires.

Note that special rules apply to retainers; see the relevant rules in the Adventure section, above.

Turning the Undead

Clerics can Turn the undead, that is, drive away undead monsters by means of faith alone. The Cleric brandishes his or her holy symbol and calls upon the power of his or her divine patron. The player rolls 1d20 and tells the GM the result. Note that the player should always roll, even if the GM knows the character can’t succeed (or can’t fail), as telling the player whether or not to roll may reveal too much.

The GM looks up the Cleric’s level on the Clerics vs. Undead table, and cross-references it with the undead type or Hit Dice. (The Hit Dice row is provided for use with undead monsters not found in the Core Rules; only use the Hit Dice row if the specific type of undead monster is not on the table and no guidance is given in the monster’s description.) If the table indicates “No” for that combination, it is not possible for the Cleric to affect that type of undead monster. If the table gives a number, that is the minimum number needed on 1d20 to Turn that sort of undead. If the table says “T” for that combination, that type of undead is automatically affected (no roll needed). If the result shown is a “D,” then that sort of undead will be Damaged (and possibly destroyed) rather than merely Turned. If the roll is a success, 2d6 hit dice of undead monsters are affected; surplus hit dice are lost (so if zombies are being Turned and a roll of 7 is made, at most 3 zombies can be Turned), but a minimum of one creature will always be affected if the first roll succeeds. If a mixed group of undead (say, a wight and a pair of zombies) is to be Turned, the player still rolls just once. The result is checked against the weakest sort first (the zombies), and if they are successfully Turned, the same result is checked against the next higher type of undead. Likewise, the 2d6 hit dice are rolled only once. For example, if the group described above is to be Turned by a 2nd level Cleric, he or she would first need to have rolled a 15 or higher to Turn the zombies. If this is a success, 2d6 are rolled; assuming the 2d6 roll is a 7, this would Turn both zombies and leave a remainder of 3 hit dice of effect. Wights are, in fact, 3 hit die monsters, so assuming the original 1d20 roll was a 20, the wight is Turned as well. Obviously, were it a group of 3 zombies and a wight, the 2d6 roll would have to be a total of 9 or higher to affect them all. If a Cleric succeeds at Turning the undead, but not all undead monsters present are affected, he or she may try again in the next round to affect those which remain. If any roll to Turn the Undead fails, that Cleric may not attempt to Turn Undead again for one full turn. A partial failure (possible against a mixed group) counts as a failure for this purpose.

Undead monsters which are Turned flee from the Cleric and his or her party at maximum movement. If the party pursue and corner the Turned undead, they may resume attacking the party; but if left alone, the monsters will not return or attempt to attack the Cleric or those near him or her for at least 2d4 turns.

Undead monsters subject to a D (Damaged) result suffer 1d8 damage per level of the Cleric (roll once and apply the same damage to all undead monsters affected); those reduced to zero hit points are utterly destroyed, being blasted into little more than dust. Those surviving this damage are still Turned as above.

Clerics vs. Undead Table
Cleric Level Skeleton Zombie Ghoul Wight Wraith Mummy Spectre Vampire Ghost
1 Hit Die 2 Hit Dice 3 Hit Dice 4 Hit Dice 5 Hit Dice 6 Hit Dice 7 Hit Dice 8 Hit Dice 9+ Hit Dice
1 13 17 19 No No No No No No
2 11 15 18 20 No No No No No
3 9 13 17 19 No No No No No
4 7 11 15 18 20 No No No No
5 5 9 13 17 19 No No No No
6 3 7 11 15 18 20 No No No
7 2 5 9 13 17 19 No No No
8 T 3 7 11 15 18 20 No No
9 T 2 5 9 13 17 19 No No
10 T T 3 7 11 15 18 20 No
11 D T 2 5 9 13 17 19 No
12 D T T 3 7 11 15 18 20
13 D D T 2 5 9 13 17 19
14 D D T T 3 7 11 15 18
15 D D D T 2 5 9 13 17
16 D D D T T 3 7 11 15
17 D D D D T 2 5 9 13
18 D D D D T T 3 7 11
19 D D D D D T 2 5 9
20 D D D D D T T 3 7

Energy Drain

Sometimes characters are exposed to energy drain from undead or evil magic. Such energy drain is manifested in the form of “negative levels.” For each negative level a victim receives, he or she suffers a semi-permanent loss of one hit die worth of hit points, a penalty of -1 on all attack and saving throw rolls (and any other roll made on 1d20), and -5% to any percentile roll such as thief abilities. In addition, an affected spell caster loses access to one of his or her highest-level spell slots. The victim may or may not be allowed a saving throw to resist the effect (depending on the specific monster type). If the character’s hit points are reduced to zero or less by means of energy drain, the victim is immediately slain. If the energy drain is caused by an undead monster, the victim will usually be transformed into that sort of undead (exact details vary by type of monster).

Negative levels may be removed by magic, such as the restoration spell. When a negative level is to be removed, divide the total number of hit points lost by the number of negative levels (rounding normally) to determine how many hit points are restored.

For example, a character suffers three negative levels of energy drain. The hit point losses rolled were 6, 5, and 2, for a total of 13 points lost. The first negative level removed restores 13 / 3 = 4.3333 hit points (which is rounded to 4 even). Now the character has two negative levels and has lost 9 hit points. The next time a negative level is removed, the character recovers 9 / 2 = 4.5 hit points, which is rounded to 5 even. Now the character has one negative level and 4 hit points lost. Removal of the last negative level will restore the remaining 4 points.

Those who have suffered energy drain generally have a gaunt, haggard look about them, noticeable by observant characters.

Healing and Rest

Characters recover 1 hit point of damage every day, provided that normal sleep is possible. Characters who choose full bedrest regain an additional hit point each evening.

Normal characters require 6 hours sleep out of every 24. Subtract from this number of hours the character’s Constitution bonus; so a character with 18 Constitution needs only 3 hours sleep per night (and a character with 3 Constitution needs 9 hours). Note that these figures are minimums; given a choice, most characters would prefer to sleep two or more hours longer.

Characters who get less than the required amount of sleep suffer a -1 penalty on all attack rolls and saving throws (as well as not receiving any hit points of healing). For each additional night where sufficient sleep is not received, the penalty becomes one point worse. Regardless of how long the character has gone without adequate sleep, the normal amount of sleep will remove these penalties.

Constitution Point Losses

Any character who has lost Constitution points temporarily (such as due to a disease) may regain them with normal rest. The rate of recovery is one point per day, awarded each morning when the character awakens from a normal night’s sleep. If more than one Constitution point was lost, the character must make a save vs. Death Ray (without adjustments) to regain the final point; failure results in a permanent loss of that point. If a Constitution loss results in a lower bonus or penalty, the character’s maximum hit points must be reduced appropriately; for instance, a character reduced from 16 to 15 Constitution goes from +2 to +1, thus losing one hit point per die rolled. If a reduction in maximum hit points reduces that figure to less than the character’s current hit points, reduce the current hit points to the new maximum hit point figure immediately.

When regaining Constitution, any increase that increases the character’s Constitution bonus results in the restoration of the hit points lost due to the reduction, added to the maximum hit point figure only. Current hit points will not be improved in this fashion, but rather must be regained by normal healing.

Falling Damage

Characters suffer 1d6 damage per 10′ fallen, up to a maximum 20d6. Fractional distances are rounded to the nearest whole number, so that a fall of 1-4′ does no damage, 5′-14′ does 1d6, etc.

Deafness and Blindness

A deafened creature can react only to what it can see or feel, is surprised on 1-3 on 1d6, and suffers a -1 penalty to its Initiative rolls. A blinded creature is surprised on 1-4 on 1d6, suffers a -4 penalty to its attack rolls, a -4 penalty to its Armor Class, and a -2 penalty to its Initiative rolls. These effects are modified when dealing with monsters having unusual sensory abilities; for example, bats may be affected by deafness as if blinded instead.

These penalties are for characters or creatures recently handicapped. Those who are normally blind or deaf may have reduced penalties at the GM’s option.

Note that the penalty for attacking an invisible opponent is the same as the penalty for attacking blind, that is, -4 on the attack roll.

Attacking a Vehicle

Attacks against vehicles (such as wagons or ships) are made against Armor Class 11. Each vehicle has listed Hardness and Hit Point values. Roll damage against the vehicle, and then reduce that damage by the Hardness value. Any excess damage is applied to the vehicle. If the vehicle takes damage equal to or greater than the listed HP on one side, it is reduced to half speed due to wheel damage or a hull breach; if it takes this much again, it is immobilized, and this much damage will sink a ship.

Repairing a Vehicle

Damage done to a vehicle may be restored at a rate of 1d4 hit points per crew member per hour of labor. However, a vehicle can only be restored to 90% of its maximum hit points by field repairs; a damaged ship must be put into drydock and repaired by a shipwright and his crew, while a wagon, cart or chariot will require a wagonmaker to repair them. Costs of such repairs are left to the Game Master to decide.

Saving Throws

Saving throws represent the ability of a character or creature to resist or avoid special attacks, such as spells or poisons. Like an attack roll, a saving throw is a d20 roll, with a target number based on the character’s class and level; for monsters, a comparable class and level are provided for the purpose of determining the monster’s saving throw figures. A natural (unadjusted) roll of 1 on a saving throw is always a failure, while a natural 20 is always a success.

The five categories of saving throw as follows: Death Ray or Poison, Magic Wands, Paralysis or Petrify, Dragon Breath, and Spells. Spells and monster special attacks will indicate which category applies (when a saving throw is allowed), but in some unusual situations the Game Master will need to choose a category. One way to make this choice is to interpret the categories metaphorically. For example, a GM might be writing an adventure wherein there is a trap that pours burning oil on the hapless adventurers. Avoiding the oil might be considered similar to avoiding Dragon Breath. Or perhaps a stone idol shoots beams of energy from its glaring eyes when approached. This attack may be considered similar to a Magic Wand, or if especially potent, a Spell. The saving throw vs. Death Ray is often used as a “catch all” save versus many of the “ordinary” dangers encountered in a dungeon environment.

In general, saving throw rolls are not adjusted by ability score bonus or penalty figures. There are a few exceptions:

  • Poison saving throws are always adjusted by the character’s Constitution modifier.
  • Saving throws against illusions (such as phantasmal force) are always adjusted by the character’s Intelligence modifier.
  • Saving throws against charm spells (and other forms of mind control) are adjusted by the character’s Wisdom modifier.

The GM may decide on other saving throw adjustments as he or she sees fit.

Item Saving Throws

Area effects (such as fireball or lightning bolt spells) may damage items carried by a character as well as injuring the character. For simplicity, assume that items carried are unaffected if the character or creature carrying them makes his or her own saving throw. However, very fragile items (paper vs. fire, glass vs. physical impact, etc.) may still be considered subject to damage even if the bearer makes his or her save.

In any case where one or more items may be subject to damage, use the saving throw roll of the bearer to determine if the item is damaged or not. For example, a character holding an open spellbook is struck by a fireball spell; he or she must save vs. Spells, and then save again at the same odds for the spellbook.

The GM should feel free to amend this rule as he or she wishes; for instance, a backpack full of fragile items might be given a single saving throw rather than laboriously rolling for each and every item.

Saving Throw Tables by Class
Cleric Level Death Ray or Poison Magic Wands Paralysis or Petrification Dragon Breath Spells
1 11 12 14 16 15
2-3 10 11 13 15 14
4-5 9 10 13 15 14
6-7 9 10 12 14 13
8-9 8 9 12 14 13
10-11 8 9 11 13 12
12-13 7 8 11 13 12
14-15 7 8 10 12 11
16-17 6 7 10 12 11
18-19 6 7 9 11 10
20 5 6 9 11 10
Fighter Level Death Ray or Poison Magic Wands Paralysis or Petrify Dragon Breath Spells
NM 13 14 15 16 18
1 12 13 14 15 17
2-3 11 12 14 15 16
4-5 11 11 13 14 15
6-7 10 11 12 14 15
8-9 9 10 12 13 14
10-11 9 9 11 12 13
12-13 8 9 10 12 13
14-15 7 8 10 11 12
16-17 7 7 9 10 11
18-19 6 7 8 10 11
20 5 6 8 9 10
Magic-User Level Death Ray or Poison Magic Wands Paralysis or Petrify Dragon Breath Spells
1 13 14 13 16 15
2-3 13 14 13 15 14
4-5 12 13 12 15 13
6-7 12 12 11 14 13
8-9 11 11 10 14 12
10-11 11 10 9 13 11
12-13 10 10 9 13 11
14-15 10 9 8 12 10
16-17 9 8 7 12 9
18-19 9 7 6 11 9
20 8 6 5 11 8
Thief Level Death Ray or Poison Magic Wands Paralysis or Petrify Dragon Breath Spells
1 13 14 13 16 15
2-3 12 14 12 15 14
4-5 11 13 12 14 13
6-7 11 13 11 13 13
8-9 10 12 11 12 12
10-11 9 12 10 11 11
12-13 9 10 10 10 11
14-15 8 10 9 9 10
16-17 7 9 9 8 9
18-19 7 9 8 7 9
20 6 8 8 6 8


Name: The first thing given for each monster is its name (or its most common name, if the monster is known by more than one). If an asterisk appears after the monster’s name, it indicates that the monster is only able to be hit by special weapons (such as silver or magical weapons, or creatures affected only by fire, etc.) which makes the monster harder to defeat.

Armor Class: This line gives the creature’s AC for normal combat. If the monster customarily wears armor, the first listed AC value is with that armor, and the second, in parentheses, is unarmored. Some monsters are only able to be hit (damaged) by silver or magical weapons; these are indicated either in words or with a dagger †; some monsters may only be hit with magical weapons, indicated by a double dagger ‡.

Hit Dice: This line gives the creature’s number of hit dice, and lists any bonus hit points. Monsters always roll eight sided dice (d8) for hit points, unless otherwise noted. So for example a creature with 3+2 hit dice rolls 3d8 and adds 2 points to the total.

One or two asterisks (*) may appear after the hit dice figure; where present, they indicate a Special Ability Bonus to experience points (XP) awarded for the monster. See Character Advancement in the Adventure section for more details. If the monster’s Attack Bonus is different than its number of Hit Dice, for convenience the Attack Bonus will be listed in parentheses after the Hit Dice figure.

Movement: This line gives the monster’s movement rate, or rates for those monsters able to move in more than one fashion. For example, Bugbears have a normal walking movement of 30, and this is all that is listed for them. Mermaids can only move about in the water, and so their movement is given as Swim 40′. Pegasi can both walk and fly, so their movement is listed as 80′ Fly 160′. In addition, a distance may appear in parentheses after a movement figure; this is the creature’s turning distance (see The Encounter). If a turning distance is not listed, assume 5′.

Attacks: The number (and sometimes type or types) of attacks the monster can perform. For example, Goblins may attack once with a weapon, so they are marked 1 weapon. Ghouls are marked 2 claws/1 bite as they can attack with both claws and also bite in one round.

Damage: The damage figures caused by successful attacks by the monster. Generally this will be defined in terms of one or more die rolls.

No. Appearing: This is given in terms of one or more die rolls. Monsters that only appear underground and have no lairs will have a single die roll; those that have lairs and/or those that can be found in the wilderness will be noted appropriately. For example, a monster noted as “1d6, Wild 2d6, Lair 3d6” is encountered in groups of 1d6 individuals in a dungeon setting, 2d6 individuals in the wilderness, or 3d6 individuals in a lair. Note that number appearing applies to combatants. Non-combatant monsters (juveniles, and sometimes females) do not count in this number. The text of the monster description should explain this in detail where it matters, but the GM is always the final arbiter.

Save As: The character class and level the monster uses for saving throws. Most monsters save as Fighters of a level equal to their hit dice.

Morale: The number that must be rolled equal to or less than on 2d6 for the monster to pass a Morale Check. Monsters having a Morale of 12 never fail morale checks, and fight until destroyed (or until they have no enemies left).

Treasure Type: This line reflects how much wealth the creature owns. See the Treasure section for more details. In most cases, a creature keeps valuables in its home or lair and has no treasure with it when it travels. Intelligent creatures that own useful, portable treasure (such as magic items) tend to carry and use these, leaving bulky items at home.

XP: The number of experience points awarded for defeating this monster. In some cases, the figure will vary; for instance, Dragons of different age categories will have different XP values. Review the Experience Points awards table in the Adventure section, above, to calculate the correct figure in these cases.

Beasts of Burden
Camel Donkey Horse, Draft Horse, Riding
Armor Class 13 13 13 13
Hit Dice 2 2 3 2
No. of Attacks 1 bite/1 hoof 1 bite 2 hooves 2 hooves
Damage 1/1d4 1d2 1d4/1d4 1d4/1d4
Movement 50′ (10′) [ 40′ (10′) ] 40′ (10′) 60′ (10′) 80′ (10′)
No. Appearing Wild 2d4 Wild 2d4 domestic only Wild 10d10
Save As Fighter: 2 Fighter: 2 Fighter: 3 Fighter: 2
Morale 7 7 7 7
XP 75 75 145 75
Horse, War Mule Pony
Armor Class 13 13 13
Hit Dice 3 2 1
No. of Attacks 2 hooves 1 kick or 1 bite 1 bite
Damage 1d6/1d6 1d4 or 1d2 1d4
Movement 60′ (10′) 40′ (10′) 40′ (10′)
No. Appearing domestic only domestic only domestic only
Save As Fighter: 3 Fighter: 2 Fighter: 1
Morale 9 7 6 (9)
XP 145 75 25

For convenience, animals commonly used to carry loads and/or characters are listed here together. Such creatures obviously have no treasure.

Camels are known for their ability to travel long distances without food or water. The statistics presented here are for the dromedary, or one-humped camel, which thrives in warm deserts. A dromedary stands about 7 feet tall at the shoulder, with its hump rising 1 foot higher. The two-humped, or Bactrian, camel is suited to cooler, rocky areas. It is stockier, slower (speed given in brackets), and tougher than the dromedary. A light load for a camel is up to 400 pounds; a heavy load, up to 800 pounds.

Donkeys are long-eared, horselike creatures. They are surefooted and sturdy, and can be taken into dungeons or caverns. The statistics presented here could also describe burros. A light load for a donkey is up to 70 pounds; a heavy load, up to 140 pounds.

Draft Horses include large breeds of working horses such as Clydesdales. These animals are usually ready for heavy work by age three. A light load for a draft horse is up to 350 pounds; a heavy load, up to 700 pounds.

Riding Horses include smaller breeds of working horses such as quarter horses and Arabians as well as wild horses. These animals are usually ready for useful work by age two. Riding horses cannot fight while a rider is mounted. A light load for a riding horse is up to 250 pounds; a heavy load, up to 500 pounds.

War Horses are trained and bred for strength and aggression. They usually are not ready for warfare before age three. A light load for a warhorse is up to 350 pounds; a heavy load, up to 700 pounds.

Mules are sterile crossbreeds of donkeys and horses. They can be taken into dungeons or caverns. A mule is similar to a riding horse, but slightly stronger and more agile. A light load for a mule is up to 300 pounds; a heavy load, up to 600 pounds.

A Pony is a small horse, under 5 feet tall at the shoulder. Ponies are otherwise similar to riding horses and cannot fight while carrying a rider. Ponies can be trained for war, and the morale in parentheses above is for a war pony; this does not allow them to fight while carrying a rider. A light load for a pony is up to 275 pounds; a heavy load, up to 550 pounds.