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Anime d20 — System Reference Document v1.0

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Chapter 12: Combat

Combat Introduction

In a role-playing game, most character or NPC actions do not require any particular rules. A player simply says his or her character walks across a room, picks up an object, drives a vehicle, or talks to someone, etc., and if the GM agrees that it is possible, this simply happens. Personal interaction between characters or NPCs normally consists of the players and GM talking “in character” and describing what their characters are doing. In the GM’s case, he or she describes what the characters are seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting.

In the course of a game, circumstances may arise where specific rules can help determine what happens. This is usually the case when the outcome of an action or event is uncertain and the result is important to the story. If a character needs to fix a broken reactor pump to prevent a nuclear meltdown, can he or she do it in time? If a character’s car drives off a cliff, can he or she jump clear in time, and if not, how badly will the crash injure the character? If two people fight, who wins?

A character’s Ability Scores, Attributes, Skills, and Calculated Values help resolve these dramatic questions. In many cases, dice rolls can add additional hazard and drama to the action. The dice rolls represent elements beyond the direct control of the character or the uncertainty that results when opposing characters interact.

In some situations, the GM may elect to determine the results by simple fiat, without rolling dice. The GM may do so if he or she thinks a particular outcome is certain or is dramatically necessary to the game.

One situation the rules cover in greater detail is combat. The rules for combat are extensive, giving players a greater sense that they are in control of their characters’ every step. If they lose, they will know the GM has not arbitrarily killed or injured their characters. The GM can also follow a similar procedure with any other actions that affect a character’s fate: treat routine activities in passing and delve into more detail whenever an action influences the player character physically or emotionally.

Anime d20 Versus Normal d20
In the creation of an anime game, certain rules changes have been made from the traditional d20 System to suit the style. Players familiar with d20 may notice some of those changes (some are specifically called out). It is recommended, when running a game of Anime d20, that GM’s use the modified, anime-specific mechanic over the traditional d20 mechanic. The mechanics have been designed with achieving a cinematic, anime feel in mind. In the end, however, you are the final arbiter of what mechanics you do and do not use and should always select the mechanics with which you feel most comfortable.

Since there is a wealth of material published by numerous companies for the d20 System, players and GMs may prefer either the traditional, core d20 system published by Wizards of the Coast or third party d20 material. Feel free to use the mechanics that best suit your style and preference of play. So long as you and your fellow players are having fun, there is no wrong way to use the d20 System.
IMPORTANT! Do not hesitate to go beyond the rules if you are the Game Master. If you dislike a rule presented in the Anime d20 RPG, you are encouraged to modify it to suit your needs and those of the players. Do not let your own vision of an anime role-playing game be superseded by anything you read in this book. This book is filled with guidelines and suggestions, but certainly do not reflect the “One True Way” to role-playing success. Use what you like, discard what you do not, and fill in the blanks with your own ideas.

The Passage of Time
“In game” passage of time in a role-playing game is fluid, just as it is in anime movies or TV series. In some situations, like a conversation between two characters, the movement of game time normally matches real world time. More often, the amount of time that passes depends on the characters’ activities as set by the players’ actions and officiated by the GM, who may something like “It takes you two hours to reach the castle” or fixing the computer takes 20 minutes.” The GM should telescope time until something interesting happens: “Two weeks pass as you go about your jobs and engage in routine training. Then the Empress summons you for a special mission....” Finally, in very dramatic situations such as combat, the GM may keep very precise track of time, using individual “combat rounds.” GMs may go back in time as well to employ flashback scenes. A flashback is a useful tool to establish the background for a story without simply recounting the information in dry lecture fashion, allowing the player to work through the event.

Scene, Round, and Initiative
Three common measures of game time in Anime d20 are a scene, round, and Initiative. A scene is any situation where the events remain linked, moment-to-moment. Think of it in anime terms — a scene lasts until the camera cuts to an entirely new setting, potentially with new characters. If, for example, a character is listening to the pleading of a distraught farmer, the conversation constitutes a scene. Once the GM switches scenes to the character entering a dark uninhabited section of the forest, the farm scene ends and a new scene begins in the forest. If a bandit interrupted the conversation by attacking the farmer, intent on shutting him up before he could reveal any important information, the scene would not yet end when the character chased after the bandits toward the forest. Since the events are still linked moment-to-moment, it is still a part of a scene although the setting has changed.
A round is a measure of time of approximately 6 seconds in length, while an Initiative is one specific moment in time. When combat occurs, characters roll Initiative and each is allowed to act on his or her Initiative. The round is broken into a number of Initiatives equal to the highest Initiative rolled for the round. For example, in a combat between three characters who roll an 11, 19, and 24, the combat round has 24 Initiatives. The round remains 6 seconds in length, but for the purposes of action within the conflict, there are 24 potential individual moments — 24 instances where a character could decide to act.

Taking Action
Every character is capable of performing or attempting a nearly endless list of actions. These can be mundane activities (talking, breathing, thinking), skilled activities (building a suit of power armour, hacking into a computer, moving silently, climbing the side of a building), or combat activities (fighting, dodging, shooting). A later section on combat covers combat action in detail and thus is not discussed here. Additionally, players can assume that characters carry out routine skilled activities successfully on a regular basis unless specified otherwise by the GM. For example, the GM can assume that characters with the Gun Combat Skill routinely keep their weapons clean, safely stored, and properly maintained.

Every GM has a preferred method for having players describe their characters’ actions. Usually this involves the GM moving from player to player asking, “What is your character doing?” Experienced GMs try to give each person equal role-playing time so that everyone is an important facet of the story (switching between characters as necessary). Conversely, players are responsible for relating their characters’ intended actions to the GM. In return, the GM will describe the results of those actions or will request an Ability or Skill check to determine the outcome.

Attributes and Actions
In some situations, it is important to know how many Attributes a character can activate at one time and how quickly he or she can activate the Attribute. Innate Attributes, such as Armour or Superstrength, are considered always active, unless the character selects a Restriction Defect whereby the Attribute is not always active. Powers which must be activated but do not usually require a dice roll, such as Force Field, can be activated at a rate of one per Initiative starting on the character’s Initiative roll; these activations do not require the character to use an action. Powers that must be activated and do require a dice roll demand focus, and thus the character must spend one or more actions to activate the Attribute. A character can have any number of Attributes active at any moment, though GMs may wish to impose penalties if the character is focusing on too many things. It is usually obvious which Attributes fall into which category, but the final classification is at the Game Master’s discretion.

Using Attributes at Reduced Ranks
Unless a character assigns the Maximum Force Defect to an Attribute, he or she can voluntarily use the Attribute at reduced Attribute Ranks. For example, a Ninja with Rank 6 Teleport (maximum safe distance of 1,000 miles) could choose to teleport any distance up to 1,000 miles.

Fractional Attribute Use
The GM might also allow the character to use a fraction of an Attribute’s effect. A character with Rank 4 Insubstantial, for instance, may only want to turn a single body part, such as a hand or head, incorporeal. The GM could decide that fractional Attribute use is more or less difficult than using an Attribute’s full effect, assigning appropriate modifiers to the Attribute’s use.

Dice and Dice Rolls
Anime d20 uses one twenty-sided die (1d20) to handle many aspects of the game mechanics. The core mechanic is a d20 dice roll plus modifiers against a number called the Difficulty Class (DC). If the dice roll plus modifiers is equal to or greater than the Difficulty Class, the attempted task is successful.
There are three major types of dice rolls, or checks, a GM or player may use during game play: an Ability check dice roll, a Skill check dice roll, and one of two combat checks (a “to hit” roll and a defence check). When a player announces the intended actions of his or her character, the GM must decide if a dice roll is necessary. Should a roll be required, the GM chooses which type of check is most appropriate.

In most cases, a player rolls dice to determine the success of an action his or her character performs, while the GM rolls the dice to determine the results of NPC actions when they impact the characters. In situations where NPCs are only involved with other NPCs, the GM should simply decide what happens rather than rolling dice.
In some circumstances, the GM may roll the dice to determine the results of a character’s action instead of having a player roll, keeping the actual dice roll — and the reason for rolling — secret. This is normally done when the player rolling would give away an event that should remain unknown to the character. If, for example, there is something hidden that the character may or may not notice, the GM can secretly roll dice to see if the character spots it. If the GM allowed the player to roll the dice, the player would know that a clue existed even if the character did not succeed in noticing it.

Should I Make My Players Roll Dice?
It is important for the GM to realise that not all actions require a dice roll. Obviously mundane character activities, such as hammering a nail, riding a horse down a road, or eating lunch, should never need dice rolls unless there are exceptional circumstances surrounding the character’s actions. In other situations, the necessity to roll dice is less obvious. If a character is virtually guaranteed to succeed at a task, then the GM should consider whether the check is really necessary. While it is true that the character might fail, having the player roll the dice will slow the game down. Thus, GMs should recognise when a character is almost certainly going to succeed at a task and, in those situations, not request the check and allow game play to continue, uninterrupted.

Conversely, one might think that if a character only succeeds if the player rolls a 20, then the GM should similarly not request a check and, instead, state that the action fails. This, however, is not the case — player characters should always be given that one slim chance of success, even at difficult tasks that seem doomed to failure (with the exception of tasks that the GM deems impossible). While the dice roll may slow game-play down a bit, that slim chance of success allows characters to accomplish heroic feats that will be remembered for years. GMs may wish to allow only player characters to make this roll, even in the face of near-certain failure — since NPCs are not the stars of the game, they should not be allowed the same chance of pulling off superhuman feats.

The following is a list of suggestions when the dice should and should not be rolled. If a check is unnecessary, the character should gain an automatic success for the action.

Roll dice when...
• the unpredictability of dice adds to the excitement of the game
• the action is foreign to the character
• the action has been a weakness for the character in the past
• the character is distracted or cannot concentrate
• another character or NPC is working directly against the character
• the action is not of trivial difficulty
• outside forces influence the actions
• the player wants to roll the dice

Do not roll dice when...
• a roll would reduce the enjoyment of the game
• the action is routine for the character
• the action requires a trivial amount of talent compared to the character’s Skill rank

Ability Checks
An Ability check is used when the GM believes that innate ability is more important than any learned expertise or combat capability. During an Ability check, the GM decides which Ability Score would be most relevant to the action in question. For actions that fall under the domain of an Attribute, the relevant Ability Score is usually given in the Attribute description.

A successful Ability check involves the player rolling equal to or greater than the difficulty class for the given task with 1d20 + the character’s modifier for the applicable Ability Score. DCs usually fall between 5 (rather easy task) and 30 (very challenging task) though they can certainly be higher for exceptionally difficult or near impossible tasks.

The check is unsuccessful if the value is less than the DC. The greater the difference between the value and the DC, the greater the degree of success or failure (see Table 12-1: Degrees of Success).

Table 12-1: Degrees of Success
Roll is less than the DC by 16+ Overwhelming Failure
Roll is less than the DC by 11 to 15 Extreme Failure
Roll is less than the DC by 7 to 10 Major Failure
Roll is less than the DC by 4 to 6 Minor Failure
Roll is less than the DC by 1 to 3 Marginal Failure
Roll is equal to or 1 greater than the DC Marginal Success
Roll is greater than the DC by 2 or 3 Minor Success
Roll is greater than the DC by 4 to 6 Major Success
Roll is greater than the DC by 7 to 10 Extreme Success
Roll is greater than the DC by 11+ Overwhelming Success

Task Difficulty Classes
The Difficulty Class (DC) is a number set by the GM that reflects how easy or challenging any given task is to complete. Providing a list of sample DCs is pointless because the DC of each task changes based on the situations involved. Walking across a tightrope may be a DC 15 task one time but may be a DC 12 task the next time (the GM decides the rope is thicker or more stable this time) or the DC may be 22 (a thinner rope with a stiff and erratic cross-breeze). The GM must take all variables into account when assigning a DC to a task and should endeavour to remain as consistent in selecting the DC of a task as possible. If the GM decides a “difficult” task has a DC of 20, then all “difficult” tasks should have a DC of 20. GMs should use Table 12-2: Difficulty Classes as a rough guideline when determining the DC of a task.

Table 12-2: Difficulty Classes


Task Difficulty


Practically Guaranteed (why roll dice?)


Extremely Easy




Average Difficulty


Above Average Difficulty


Difficult — success above this DC is possible only under favourable conditions (when a situational bonus is applied) or by talented characters (who have a Skill Rank and/or Ability bonus)


Quite Difficult


Extremely Difficult


Supremely Difficult


Practically Impossible

Critical Success or Failure
Regardless of the actual DC, an unmodified or “natural” roll of 20 always succeeds (it is considered at least a “marginal success”), and an unmodified roll of 1 always fails (it is considered at least a “marginal failure”). This rule is important because it reflects the extreme possibilities that even the most talented characters sometimes fail in their tasks, while even the most awkward characters can succeed.

Contested Actions
If two or more characters are working directly or indirectly against each other (such as two people pulling on a contested object), each character must make a check. The character with the greatest degree of success (or least degree of failure if both characters fail) is considered to have the advantage over the contested action. In the event of a tie, the characters are locked in contest and may re-roll next round.

Often, a character can try a Skill check again if he or she fails, and can keep trying indefinitely. Some actions have consequences to failure that must be taken into account, however, as determined by the situation and GM.
In some instances, the GM shouldn’t even bother to make the player roll dice and instead allow the player to Take 10 or Take 20.

Checks Without Rolls — Taking 10
When the character is not in a rush and is not being threatened or distracted, the character may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the Skill check, calculate the character’s result as if the character had rolled a 10.

Checks Without Rolls — Taking 20
When the character has plenty of time, and when the Skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, the character can take 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the Skill check, calculate the character’s result as if the character had rolled a 20 (but its is not considered a “natural” 20). Taking 20 means the character is trying until the character gets it right. Taking 20 takes about twenty times as long as making a single check would take. Unless the GM deems the task is considered impossible (such as performing brain surgery without any training), the character automatically succeeds.

For example, a character who is attempting to break the coding on a computer disk to read the top secret files can take a 20 — nothing bad will happen if the character fails and the character has all the time in the world to slowly break the code. If the character had to break the code in ten minutes to learn the location of the bomb that is about to explode, however, he or she could not take a 20. The character is working against the clock and doesn’t have the luxury of slowly puzzling the coding out. Further, if the character was instead attempting to disarm the explosive, he or she similarly could not take a 20 since failure will probably result in the bomb exploding.

Skill Checks
A Skill check is similar to an Ability check, except it is used when the task is one that the GM decides would be governed by both a particular ability and a particular Skill. For example, if a task required general intellectual ability (such as remembering the name of a person the character had met), an Intelligence check would be made. Determining the origin of a rare alien species would also require an Intelligence check, but this task is governed by the Knowledge: Biological Sciences Skill (more specifically, the Xenobiology Specialisation, if Specialisation optional rule is used). In game terminology, this task would require a “Intelligence-based Knowledge: Biological Sciences (Xenobiology) Skill check.”
The DC of a Skill check is determined by the difficulty of the task. If the character possesses the appropriate Skill (even without the exact Specialisation), he or she receives a bonus to the check. This bonus is equal to the character’s Skill Rank (if the task does not fall under his or her Specialisation) or one more than the character’s Skill Rank (if his or her Specialisation does apply). A successful Skill check involves the player rolling equal to or greater than the DC.
The GM is responsible for deciding which Ability Score, Skill, and specialisation are relevant to a particular task, using the Ability Score and Skill descriptions given in Chapter 7: Skills. Since these questions can often be tricky, the GM should listen to the player’s reasoning why a particular Skill or Specialisation might apply. The final decision belongs to the GM, however.

Combining Skill Checks
When more than one character tries the same Skill at the same time towards the same goal, their efforts may overlap — they can work together and help each other out. In this case, one character is considered the leader of the effort and makes a Skill check against the assigned DC, while each helper makes a Skill check against DC 10 (the character can’t take 10 on this check). For each helper who succeeds, the leader gets a +2 circumstance bonus to his or her Skill check. In many cases, a character’s help won’t be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once. The GM limits co-operation as she sees fit for the given conditions.

Skill Synergy
It is possible for a character to have two Skills that work well together, such as Investigate and Knowledge: Streetwise, or Computer Use and Open Lock for a computerised lock. Having 5 or more Ranks in one Skill gives the character a +2 synergy bonus on Skill checks with its synergistic Skills, as determined by the situation and the GM.

Unskilled Attempts
Often, a character will attempt an action for which he or she does not possess the relative Skill.

Familiar Action
If the character is undertaking a familiar action, the Skill check is unchanged — the task is treated as a simple Ability check without a bonus from the relevant Skill. The familiarity should have been established previously, such as in the character’s background story, or be consistent with the character’s role within the setting. The player should explain to the GM why his or her character is familiar with the current task. The GM, of course, has final say whether the character is sufficiently familiar to avoid an unfamiliar action penalty.

For example, a student who attends university to study astronomy undoubtedly has at least a cursory familiarity with many academic fields. Similarly, almost all characters living in New York City will be familiar with the process of driving a car, even if they do not possess the Drive Skill; in North America, attempting car-related actions is familiar to nearly everyone. A hermit living in the depths of the Amazon, however, is likely not familiar with motor vehicles and therefore driving would be an unfamiliar action.

Unfamiliar Action
If the character is undertaking an action with which he or she is unfamiliar, the task should be treated as a normal Ability check with an unskilled penalty applied to the roll. This reflects how difficult it is for an unskilled character to accomplish the task. The unskilled penalty should range from -2 to -10, depending on how much the GM feels training is required and how background aspects of the character could affect the attempt. The DC does not change; rather, the character’s chance of succeeding is reduced.

For example, keeping a plane in the air after the cabin crew suddenly falls unconscious is a daunting task for anyone who is not trained as a pilot. An average character might therefore suffer a -8 penalty to the check. A character who is an aficionado of combat jets and aircraft documentaries might only suffer a -4 penalty ... even if he or she has never actually piloted a plane before.

Required Skill
The GM may decide certain tasks automatically fail when performed by characters lacking the required Skill. Examples of required Skill activities include: performing brain surgery, deciphering ancient hieroglyphics, concocting an antidote for a poison, estimating the value of a rare piece of art, etc.

Power Usage Skills
Some characters may select the Power Usage Skill for one or more of their Powers. This Skill provides a bonus when the character makes any check involving the specific Power. Unlike other Skills, Power Usage does not provide an additional +1 bonus for Specialisations. For example, a teleporter with an Intelligence of 16 (+3 bonus) and the Power Usage: Teleportation Skill at Rank 4 (+4 bonus) makes Teleportation checks with a +7 bonus.

Combat Dice Rolls
The combat check resolves any type of physical combat including armed, unarmed, martial arts, and ranged weapons attacks. The combat check is very similar to a Skill check except the DC is now the target’s defence roll.

A character can attack or defend with a weapon (or unarmed) even if he or she does not possess the relevant attack combat Skill (combat is a Familiar Action). Consequently, attacking characters lacking the appropriate Skill do not suffer a penalty; a character without the appropriate combat Skill simply does not receive a bonus.

Skills adjust the dice roll, but other Attributes may also provide modifiers as well. A natural dice roll of 20 is a critical success and cannot be negated by an opponent’s defence (the defender does not even have the opportunity to make a defence check).

Combat Skills
Unlike most other d20 System games, Anime d20 uses combat Skills in addition to combat Feats. Offensive combat Skills are treated exactly like Skills for any other action — they serve as a bonus to a character’s dice roll. Defensive combat Skills are applied to the character’s defence roll when defending in an appropriate situation.

For example, a character with Defence Combat Mastery at Rank 2, a Dexterity of 11, and Melee Defence (Sword) at Rank 3 is wielding a sword and attacked by an opponent in melee combat. His Armour Class is normally 2 (+0 Dex modifier and +2 from the Defence Combat Mastery). When defending with his sword, he gains a +4 bonus to his defence roll (+3 for the Melee Defence Skill Rank, and +1 for the Sword Specialisation), but only against melee or unarmed attacks. If another character attacks him with a gun, thus initiating a ranged combat attack, he makes a defence roll without a bonus since he does not have the Ranged Defence Skill.

Using Attributes
If an Attribute does not specifically require an Ability check, Skill check, or a combat check, GMs can assume they function automatically in most situations, though the Game Master may decide that a check is necessary in unusual circumstances. For example, a character with the Aura of Command always commands some attention, but the GM might require a Charisma check were he or she attempting to convince someone to do something specific.

Certain Attributes occasionally require checks (sometimes Skill checks) to properly use the Attribute. Other Attributes provide favourable modifiers to Ability checks or Skill checks. If an Attribute interacts with Ability or Skill checks, this is noted in the Attribute’s description in Character Creation.

Conflict is an essential component of any role-playing game, and certainly of most anime games. Physical conflict, or combat, is an important element of the Anime d20, but important is not the same as frequent. Combat should be a vital element of a scene, and not just a distraction that the GM uses to pass the time.
The combat rules for Anime d20 were designed to mimic dynamic, fast-paced combat. Whenever a character enters physical conflict with another character or NPC, the physical Combat Phase begins. Each round of combat covers 6 seconds of time from the characters’ perspectives, depending on the characters’ actions and the circumstances.

Characters are permitted to take one action (attack or non-combat action) each round. Should the conflict not be resolved at the end of the first combat round, subsequent rounds of combat will follow.

The Physical Combat Phase is subdivided into four parts: Initiative, Character Action, Defence, and Damage.

Initiative determines the order in which characters act and is checked at the beginning of each combat to determine the character’s Initiative in the battle as is normal for most d20 System games. Alternatively, the players and Game Master can roll at the beginning of each combat round to determine their characters’ Initiatives for that particular round.

Each player involved in the fracas roll d20 plus the character’s Dexterity modifier and adds bonuses for certain Attributes and Feats (such as the Speed Attribute and Improved Initiative Feat). The GM does the same for any NPCs engaged in the conflict. The GM may also grant bonuses or penalties if he or she believes the situations calls for it.

The character with the highest total has “gained Initiative” and acts first, followed by others in descending order. Should two or more characters or NPCs have the same Initiative, the character with the highest Dexterity acts first. If the characters have the same Dexterity as well, their actions are simultaneous. This means both characters attack and deliver damage at the same time; if one character drops below zero Hit Points as a result, he or she still acts before falling unconscious.

A character may delay his or her action until any time later in the round to see what the other characters intend to do. If all his or her opponents also delay their actions waiting for something to happen, the round ends in a dramatic stand-off and a new one begins.

If a character holds one or more actions until the end of a round and does not act, he or she acts on the first Initiative in the next round. The character does not gain an additional action — he or she simply acts first regardless of Initiative rolls. All held actions occur during the first Initiative. If two (or more) characters hold their actions until the following round, then both characters act simultaneously (assuming neither continues to hold their action) and then everyone else involved in the combat acts based on Initiative rolls.

Character Action
Characters act in the sequence determined by the Initiative roll. When it is time for a character to act, he or she may make one offensive action (i.e. attack) or one non-combat action, unless the character has the Extra Attacks Attribute. Attacks are normally against a single target, though some weapons or attack Abilities may allow the character to engage multiple targets simultaneously.
Before rolling the dice, the player should clearly describe the method of attack, the weapon his or her character uses (if any), and the target. If the character is trying something unusual (such as a Called Shot or attacking with two weapons), he or she should specify this beforehand.

To successfully attack an opponent, the player (or GM for an NPC) must roll equal to or greater than the target’s AC. Remember to include all relevant Attribute, Skill, Defect, and Weapon Abilities/Disabilities.

If the Attack check succeeds, the character is on target and will hit unless the opponent can defend against the attack. Refer to defence checks for more information. If the target fails the defence roll or does not defend at all, he or she suffers the effects of the attack. This is normally damage and/or any other special effects associated with the attack. To reflect some of the brutally successful attacks demonstrated in real life, movies and TV series, a natural dice roll of 20 is a critical success and cannot be negated by an opponent’s defence.
If an Attack check fails, the character has missed. The attacker’s action is over, and the attack has no effect, though a miss with a ranged weapon may cause collateral damage if the shot strikes somewhere else instead (this is up to the GM). A natural roll of 1 will always miss and may result in an exceptional failure, such as hitting an innocent bystander or a weapon malfunctioning.

Multiple Attacks From Base Attack Bonus
Characters with a Base Attack Bonus of +6 or higher may make multiple attacks against a target. If the character decides to use these additional attacks, the character is assumed to be highly focused on combat and thus may only perform minimal other actions (move only a short distance, for example). Additional attacks gained through the Extra Attacks Attribute do not impose this restriction — only additional attacks gained via a high Base Attack Bonus. Furthermore, additional attacks gained via a high Base Attack Bonus occur after a character completes all bonus actions gained through the Extra Attacks Attribute. Lastly, unlike standard attacks, these additional attacks may not be used for non-combat actions — they may only be used for extra attacks.

Melee vs. Ranged Attacks
Some attacks are useful at a distance, while others are limited to close, hand-to-hand fighting. For simplicity, ranges are grouped into four categories. It is up to the GM to decide whether he or she wishes to track ranges and distances, or abstract them.

The distance given for each attack range is the effective reach of that attack — the maximum distance at which the attack is most effective. Some may be fired out to twice that range at -4 penalty or four times the distance at -8, though the GM may decide that some attacks or weapons cannot exceed their listed ranges.

The attack is only usable against adjacent opponents within touching distance (usually five to ten feet). This is the range for swords, melee combat, etc.

The attack has an effective range out to about 30 feet. Most pistols, shotguns, grenades, submachine guns, and hurled weapons such as a thrown rock or throwing knife, are short-ranged.

The attack has an effective range out to about 300 feet. The energy blasts from most characters, as well as bows, crossbows, rifles, and machine guns, are medium-ranged. This is the default range for weapons if none other is listed.

The attack is effective out to considerable ranges: about one to five miles (or more if specifically noted). A surface-to-air missile, an anti-tank rocket, or a tank’s main gun are examples of long-range weapons.

Range Increments and Anime d20
Anime d20 uses a simpler, abstract system for range rather than the traditional, detailed d20 System method of range increments. If GMs would prefer to use the standard d20 System method of range, simply consider half of the indicated Anime d20 range as the range increment for the attack. Thus, if an attack is “short range” (a range of 30 feet in Anime d20), its range increment is 15 feet. For each 15 feet beyond the initial 15, the attacker suffers a -2 to his or her attack roll, to a maximum range of 10 range increments.

Conversely, when converting existing d20 System material to the Anime d20 range, simply double the attack’s range increment and use this as the attack’s range in Anime d20.

Special Combat Situations
The following are special situations that can occur during combat.

Attacking Multiple Targets with One Attack
When a character absolutely must take down a number of targets but he or she does not have enough Extra Attacks to do so, the character may attempt to use one attack to strike multiple targets. For each additional target beyond the first, the character suffers a -4 check penalty. Only one attack check is made, not one check per target. Each target, however, is allowed to make a defence check as normal. Additionally, the damage inflicted to each target is reduced by one half. For example, if a character attempted to swing his sword and strike three people in one blow, he would make one attack check with a -8 penalty (-4 for each of the two extra targets). If he successfully hits any of the targets, his damage is reduced by half. Characters with certain Feats (for example, Cleave or Whirlwind Attack) are exempt from these penalties.

Attacking Multiple Weaker Opponents
Sometimes a character wants to attack multiple significantly weaker opponents with one offensive action. This action is very cinematic (representative of a powerful warrior battling hoards of lowly minions), and consequently the attack penalties are not as severe. For each additional target who is at least 5 character Levels (or 5 CRs) lower than the attacker, the penalty is only -2 instead of -4. The attacker does not suffer any penalties for each additional target who is at least 10 character Ranks (or 5 CR Ranks) lower than the attacker. Characters represented by the Flunkies Attribute are considered CR 1 characters for the purpose of determining these modifiers.

For example, a 12th Rank Magical Girl uses her magical tiara Item of Power to combat a hoard of 8 Ninja with the following Ranks: 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 4, 6, and 8. The Magical Girl suffers no penalty for the two Rank 1 and two Rank 2 Ninja (since they are at least 10 Ranks lower than she), a -2 penalty for the two Rank 4 and one Rank 6 Ninja (since they are at least 5 Ranks lower), and a full -4 for the Rank 8 Ninja (since he is only 4 Ranks lower, which is less than 5). The final attack check penalty the Magical Girl suffers for her one attack is -10 (-2 -2 -2 -4 = -10).

Mooks in Anime d20
The rules for Attacking Multiple Weaker Opponents is for cinematic games where the heroes are able to dispatch significantly weaker foes without much concern. The rules should not be used in grittier, realistic games.

Attacks With Two Weapons
A character with a one-handed weapon in each hand may use both at once against the same target or attack two different targets (even if he or she does not have Extra Attacks) but at a severe penalty to both checks. A two-weapon attack incurs a -6 penalty for the primary or first hand and a -10 for the other hand (the off hand). An additional -2 penalty is applied on each attack (-8 and -12 penalties) if the attacks are aimed at different targets. If a character has Extra Attacks, he or she can only use this option with one attack and not every attack.

The penalty applied to the off hand attack is reduced by 4 if the character has the Ambidexterity Feat. Additionally, each time the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat is assigned, penalties applied to both attacks are reduced by 2.

Called Shots
An attacking character may opt to suffer a penalty to hit in exchange for a Called Shot that provides some special advantage. For example, a Called Shot may ignore Armour (by attacking a small, unarmoured spot) or strike a vital point, inflicting greater-than-normal damage results. Players must specify a Called Shot before rolling the dice.

Called Shot - Disarming
A character may attempt to shoot or knock a weapon out of another person’s hand. If using a ranged attack, this requires an attack at a -8 penalty. If the attack hits, the character knocks away the weapon (probably damaging it). If using a melee weapon or unarmed attack to disarm, the character only suffers a -4 penalty, but the target may make a Strength check to retain control of the weapon. If the check succeeds, the weapon’s user still suffers a -4 penalty on his or her next action with that weapon (since it is off balance), but he or she retains control of it.
Called Shot to Partial Armour

Some armour may provide partial protection, like a flak vest only protecting a person’s torso. An attack aimed at a thin or unarmoured area suffers a -4 attack check penalty and ignores the effects of the armour if successful.

Called Shot to Vital Spot
A character attacking a living being can specify he or she is aiming for a vital spot (heart, brain, spine, etc.) rather than simply shooting at the centre of mass as usual. He or she suffers a -8 attack check penalty, but, if successful, the damage dice used in the attack increases to the next size: d4 becomes d6; 6d becomes d8; d8 becomes d10; d10 becomes d12; and d12 becomes d20. For example, a character with a Rank 6 Special Attack, which normally delivers 6d8 damage, would inflict 6d10 damage if he or she made a successful Called Shot to Vital Spot.

Called Shot to Weak Point
If the character knows his or her enemy has a Weak Point Defect, a Called Shot can be made to hit it in combat. The attack check penalty depends on the size of the Weak Point: a tiny spot gives a -6 penalty; a small spot gives a -4 penalty; and a large spot gives a -2 penalty.

Combined Attacks
Sometimes, characters will find themselves facing an extremely tough opponent whose Armour or Force Field is tough enough to prevent the characters from inflicting harm. In these situations, characters will often co-ordinate their attacks, attempting to strike the same point at the same time in the hopes of overwhelming the target’s defences. For each character attempting a combined attack after the first, the attackers each suffer a -2 penalty to their attack check. Each character must hold his or her attack until the slowest character’s Initiative (or later) before launching the attack. Each character makes an attack check to see if he or she hits the target. If the character hits, he or she determines how much damage is inflicted by the attack normally. All successful attackers combine their damage values into one total and this amount is inflicted upon the target as if from one attack.

If one attack fails to hit with the combined attack penalty but otherwise would normally hit, the character still hits the target but does not successfully co-ordinate with the other characters. Naturally, if only one character co-ordinates, a combined attack does not occur. The character determines how much damage is inflicted but reduces the damage delivered by half (round down). If the character misses, no damage is delivered.

The target of a successful combined attack is only required to make a single defence roll to determine if she or he is hit by the incoming combined attack. A penalty of -1 is applied to the roll for each opponent beyond the first who participates in the combined attack.

Characters who possess the Combination Attack Attribute have special rules for performing this manoeuvre, and are not subject to the same limitations.

Extra Aim
A character making a ranged attack may deliberately take extra time to aim. If a character aims a ranged weapon for an entire round and does not move during that period, he or she receives a +4 attack check bonus, or +6 if he or she is using a scope. If an aiming character chooses to move or suffers any damage before he or she can fire, the character loses the benefit of Extra Aim.

Striking to Incapacitate
A character attacking in hand-to-hand combat or with a blunt melee weapon may attempt to knock a surprised opponent unconscious. The target of the attack must be unaware of the attack to be vulnerable. The attacker makes his or her attack check with a -6 penalty. If the target suffers any damage (after all defensive Attributes are applied), he or she must make a Fort Save (DC 10 + attacker’s Strength modifier). If the target succeeds on this save, he or she maintains consciousness. If the target fails this check, however, he or she falls unconscious. Damage inflicted by an Incapacitating Strike is one-quarter of the attack’s maximum damage (round down).

For example, a character wants to capture an opponent so she strikes to Incapacitate. Her punch (with three Ranks of Massive Damage) normally inflicts 1d3 + 6, for a maximum of 9 damage. She rolls to hit with a -6 penalty and successfully hits her opponent, forcing the target to make a Fort save. Regardless of whether or not the target remains conscious, he takes 2 (9 ÷ 4 = 2.25, rounded down to 2) damage from the blow.

Striking to Wound
A character in combat can elect to reduce his or her delivered damage below the normal damage value to a minimum of 1 (known as striking to wound). He or she may not attempt this with attacks possessing the Area Effect, Auto-Fire, or Spreading Ability, however.

Throwing Heavy Things
A character with a high Strength Ability (sometimes gained through the Superstrength Attribute) can lift heavy things — up to 10% of his or her maximum capacity — and throw them to deliver damage. It takes one action to grab and lift a large, awkward object, and another to throw it. Consequently, throwing objects is slower than firing most weapons. The advantage of throwing an object is that big things are harder to dodge than smaller ones. The GM should assign each object a size category based on its size and weight.

The attack delivers damage, and receives an attack roll bonus, based on the size of the object (see Table 12-3: Throwing Damage Bonuses). The damage is increased by the attacker’s Strength modifier plus any bonuses for Massive Damage.

TABLE 12-3: Throwing Damage Bonuses

Size Category  

Damage (*)  

Attack Roll Bonus
















* Plus the attacker’s Strength modifier and any other bonuses

Total Attack
A character can take this option in conjunction with an attack. It means he or she focuses intently on an offensive action with little thought given to defence. The character gains a +2 bonus to a single attack check, but the character’s Armour Class decreases by 2 for the entire round in which he or she is making an Total Attack. A character with the Extra Attacks Attribute can initiate more than one Total Attack each round, but each Total Attack reduces his or her AC by 2.

Touching a Target
Some Attributes require a character simply touch his or her target. It is much easier to just touch a person than it is to physically strike him or her with enough force to cause damage. Thus, any character who is simply attempting to touch an opponent gains a +6 bonus to his or her attack check. Touching a specific part of a target’s body may require a Called Shot. This assumes the character is simply attempting to make physical contact with the target. If prolonged contact is required, the target must either be willing or the character must grapple the target. This rule replaces the standard d20 System method for resolving Touch Attacks.

Instead of striking to inflict damage in melee combat, a character can attempt to grab someone and pin him or her. This is a grappling attack, and a character must have at least one empty hand free. Grabbing a small, inanimate object not that is not held by someone else (see Sphere of Control) does not require a full action.
Game Masters resolve a grappling attempt like a normal attack using the Unarmed Attack (Grappling) Skill. If the attack hits and the target’s defence (if any) fails, then the attacker successfully grabbed his or her opponent. The attacker gains a grappling advantage if he or she has more free hands than the defender. “Free” means not holding weapons or other objects, or not otherwise incapacitated. In this case, the defender suffers a cumulative -2 penalty for each free hand the attacker uses to grapple in excess of the number of free hands the defender is using. The maximum penalty assigned for this disadvantage is -8. For example, if a Mecha Pilot (two hands) tries to escape from the grasp of a Mantis Man (four hands), she suffers a -4 penalty (4 — 2 = 2; 2 x -2 = -4). If the Mantis Man is holding an object in one of its four hands, however, the Magical Girl only suffers a -2 check penalty (3 — 2 = 1; 1 x -2 = -2). Characters with the Elasticity Attribute gain a bonus to attempts to grapple.

The attacker can hold a grabbed character relatively stationary. The target suffers a -4 penalty on all checks when performing other melee attacks (including grabbing, biting, kneeing, etc.) or -8 when attempting to perform other tasks requiring freedom of movement like using hand-held equipment. Exception: if the grabbed character is much stronger (or more agile, at the GM’s discretion) than the opponent, his or her penalty is halved, and the character can still move freely. The GM may consider a character much stronger if his or her Strength is at least 8 points higher. Thus, a small child (Strength 4) could not stop a strong man (Strength 16) from pinning him or her, while the strong man would be able to move freely if grabbed by the small child. It is, of course, possible for one character to grab an opponent who then grabs the character in return (this is what often happens when grappling).

Grappling Manoeuvres
Once a character grabs an opponent, he or she can attempt a grappling special manoeuvre (Lock, Throw, or Pin) as his or her next attack.

Instead of attacking normally, the grabbing character can choke, crush, or strangle his or her foe. This attack automatically hits and inflicts damage equal to 1d4, plus bonuses from Strength and Massive Damage.

Instead of attacking normally, a grabbing character can hurl the foe to the ground. A character must make an attack check at a +4 bonus, modified by the Unarmed Attack (Throws) Skill. If successful, a throw delivers 1d6 damage (as well as bonuses from Strength). Additionally, if the defender fails his or her defence check, the attacker may throw the character out a window or off a ledge, and the GM can assign extra damage based on the situation. If the attacker throws the opponent at another enemy, he or she may make an attack check. If the attack is successful, the grabbed opponent hits the target and both suffer equal damage. A throw normally breaks the grip on the target unless the attacker attempts to maintain a hold and succeeds in an Unarmed Attack (Grappling) check against a DC of 15 (which must be made whether the throw is successful or not).

A character who has grabbed someone may attempt to improve his or her hold during the next attack by completely immobilising the opponent in a pin. Treat this manoeuvre the same as the first grab attack. If the attack succeeds, then the foe is pinned, usually under the weight of the attacker’s body. Attackers may not attempt a pin if the opponent is much stronger (see earlier for definition of much stronger). Once a character pins an opponent, the target suffers a -6 penalty on checks when attempting to escape. A pinned character cannot attack or move.

Since biting does not require the use of hands, it is an effective tactic when a character has either grabbed or been grabbed by an opponent. Game Masters should treat this as a normal attack that inflicts 1d3 damage, unless the aggressor is using a Natural Weapons Attribute (Fangs, Beak, or Mandibles).

A grabbed character may attempt to struggle free. On the character’s Initiative, he or she can attempt to escape instead of attack. Both characters roll a Strength or Dexterity check (as appropriate) with modifiers for the Unarmed Attack (Grappling) Skill. The character with the highest degree of success (or least degree of failure) wins. If the grabbed character wins, he or she escapes, and may also attack or take another action. If the characters tie, the grabbed character escapes, but forfeits his or her current action. If the grabbed character loses, he or she is immobilised and forfeits one attack action that round. If a grabbed character chooses to attack the person who grabbed him or her (with appropriate penalties) and inflicts damage equal to or greater than his or her foe’s Constitution, he or she automatically escapes the grab.

Fighting from the Ground
Fighters thrown to the ground or who are otherwise forced to fight from a prone position make all attacks at a -4 penalty.

Movement in Combat
The GM decides whether he or she wishes to keep detailed track of movement, ranges, and distances. In most close-in combat situations, GMs should not worry about exact speeds and distances — a general idea of the overall situation is sufficient. Alternatively, GMs can measure ranges in a more abstract fashion: “you’re behind him and in melee range” or “you can reach her in three rounds, if you hurry.” The GM should judge how quickly range shifts from relative speeds to dramatic necessity. For example, in a race between two opponents with equal speeds, the GM can allow the character who keeps winning Initiative to increase the gap gradually between him or her and the other runner.

If the GM wishes to keep precise track of movement and distances, assume an average character moves a number of feet equal to his or her size-related moment modifier (3 for an human) times his or her Dexterity while walking (one-half foot times Dexterity if swimming or crawling). Jogging is a double move, running a triple move and sprinting a quadruple move. This guideline assumes six-seconds per round, but the GM can modify exact speeds when necessary.

GMs can allow characters to jump as far as seems dramatically appropriate for the game. If distance is important, a person can jump about 6 feet forward, or 3 feet up or back, with range doubled on a short running start. Use the Jump Skill to determine exact distances for trained characters and for characters with the Jumping or Speed Attribute. A wheeled or tracked vehicle or a boat can only jump if it has a ramp.

Movement Attack Penalties
When a character is moving in combat, he or she may incur penalties to attack and Block Defence checks (see Table 12-4: Movement Attack Penalties). The penalty incurred depends on how quickly the character is moving relative to his or her maximum movement ability. The following chart indicates the movement rates and penalties incurred. For a normal character who does not have or is not using an Attribute to move (Speed, Flight, Hyperflight, or Water Speed), the character’s movement rate is dictated by his or her Dexterity, as outlined in the Normal Character column. Characters who are using a movement Power refer to the Movement Attribute column to determine their rate of movement.

If a character is sprinting, he or she incurs a -4 penalty to attack and Block Defence checks. If the character is running, he or she incurs a -2 penalty on attack and Block Defence checks. Characters who are jogging do not incur penalties. Additionally, characters do not incur penalties when attempting Parry/Dodge Defence checks regardless of their speed. GMs do not need to keep exact track of movement rates unless they wish; they may simply keep movement abstract.

Table 12-4: Movement Attack Penalties

Character Movement  

Attribute Penalty


no penalty

Jogging (Base Movement x 2)  

Maximum Attribute Rank - 1

Running (Base Movement x 3)  

Maximum Attribute Rank -2

Sprinting (Base Movement x 4)  

Maximum Attribute Rank -4

Firing Weapons from Moving Vehicles
Characters who are inside a fast-moving vehicle fire their weapons at a penalty. Firing weapons when moving at moderate speeds incurs a
-4 penalty, while moving very quickly earns a -8 attack check penalty. Game Masters should impose an additional -4 penalty for characters also piloting the vehicle while firing.

Attacking Moving Targets
Attempting to hit a target that is moving at exceptional speeds is very challenging. When attempting to hit a target that is moving quickly, the character suffers an attack check penalty. See Table 12-5: Attack Situation Modifiers for the appropriate penalty based on the target’s speed.

Attack Check Modifiers
The GM may impose appropriate modifiers when the players make an attack check. An attack action normally assumes characters are engaged in active combat — dodging enemy attacks, making quick strikes when the opportunity arises, moving about, etc. The GM should not apply any penalties for this sort of normal combat-related activity. If circumstances are such that a character’s aim or concentration seems likely impeded (such as shooting someone whom the character cannot clearly see or attacking a foe while hanging upside down), the GM may assign penalties to the attack check. Likewise, in stress-free situations (such as whacking an immobile victim, or target range shooting with nothing riding on the outcome), the GM can apply favourable bonuses or assume automatic success.

A number of possible penalties or bonuses are described on Table 12-5: Attack Situation Modifiers. The GM may adjust or ignore these modifiers if he or she prefers.

Table 12-5: Attack Situation Modifiers
Attacker is:
Taking an action to aim +2, or +3 with scope
Attacking Multiple Targets with one action 0, -2, or -4 per additional target
Attacking with two weapons (same target) -6 and -10
Attacking with two weapons (different targets) -8 and -12
Attempting a Combined Attack -2 per attacker after the first
Attempting to Touch the Target +6
Making a Total Attack +2
Firing personal weapons from a moving vehicle -2 or -4
Firing personal weapons while piloting a vehicle -8
Firing personal weapons while swimming or performing acrobatics -4
In an awkward position (on the ground, etc.) -4
Jogging: At Base Movement x 2 or lower no modifier
Running: At Base Movement x 3 per round -2
Sprinting: At Base Movement x 4 per round -4
Jogging: At two Ranks below maximum Attribute movement rate no modifier
Running: At one Rank below maximum Attribute movement rate -2
Sprinting: At maximum Attribute movement rate -4
Attacker is Attempting a Called Shot:
Disarming (with melee attack) -4
Disarming (with a ranged attack) -8
Targeting a partially armoured point -4
Targeting a vital spot -8
Targeting a Weak Point -2, -4, or -6
Target is Moving at:
up to 99 mph no modifier
100 to 499 mph -2
500 to 999 mph -4
1,000 to 4,999 mph -6
5,000 to 10,000 mph -8
10,000 mph or more -10
Target within melee range, and:
Concealed by trees or brush -2 to -6
Partially concealed by darkness, fog, or smoke -2 to -4
Fully concealed by darkness, fog, or smoke -6 and up
Taking cover -2 to -8
Target beyond melee range, and:
Concealed by trees or brush -4 to -8
Partially concealed by darkness, fog, or smoke -4 to -6
Fully concealed by darkness, fog, or smoke -12 and up
Taking cover -4 to -10
Range Modifiers:
Attacking at up to twice range -4
Attacking at up to four times range -8

Non-Combat Actions
Rather than taking an offensive action during any combat round, a character may use a non-combat action on his or her Initiative. Such actions include untying a rescued captive, running, changing weapons, climbing into or out of a vehicle, writing a note, changing clothes, etc. Players may also use non-combat actions to safely withdraw from armed or melee combat, provided the opposition does not attack at a later Initiative number in the same round. Note that speaking a few words during combat, running about while attacking, or making a short dramatic speech does not constitute an action.

A non-combat action may succeed automatically, or the GM can require an Ability check or Skill check to determine whether it succeeds. Some non-combat actions may require several rounds to perform at the GM’s option.

Other Actions
Some activities do not count as attack or non-combat actions. A character can perform either of the following activities in addition to an attack or non-combat action:
• Move a short distance or manoeuvre his or her vehicle.
• Say anything that fits within the span of 6 seconds.
• Perform Defensive Actions in response to any attacks against him or her. Note that if the character performs more than one defensive action in a round, subsequent defensives after the first (or later, if he or she has the Extra Defences Attribute) in the same round suffer penalties.

If a character is the target of a successful attack (any attack check that is equal to or greater than the character’s Armour Class), he or she may attempt to defend against it with a Dodge/Parry defence (avoiding the attack by moving out of the way, or using a weapon to push the attack to the side or “off-line”), an Attribute defence, or a Block Defence (interposing an object between the attack and the target). Defensive actions are not dependent on Initiative order but resolved immediately after the attack before the attack damage is calculated or revealed.
To successfully defend, the player must roll greater than the attacker’s modified attack roll. The character’s defence roll is equal to 1d20 + the character’s base Armour Class + any additional appropriate modifiers. Each character can attempt a defence only once against a particular attack (including grapples). A character may defend against more than one attack in a round, but with an appropriate penalty to each defence after the first (unless the character has the Extra Defences Attribute; the penalty then applies to each defence after the final bonus defence). Should the opponent not defend (perhaps in anticipation of a more powerful attack still to come), he or she cannot change that decision later in the round.
If a vehicle is the target of an attack, its driver or pilot makes the defence checks. If a vehicle is unable to manoeuvre (trapped in a confined space, for example) the GM may rule that it cannot defend at all. Likewise, a vehicle cannot normally defend against attacks made by a character who is riding in or on it.
A defence combat check of a natural 1 is an automatic failure, regardless of the modifiers. In this case, the GM may decide the character automatically suffers full damage from the attack or perhaps even double damage.

Defending Against Multiple Attacks
When defending against multiple attacks in a single round, each defence after the first incurs a cumulative defence roll penalty of -2 penalty: -2 for the second defence, -4 for the third, -6 for the fourth, etc. This means that even the greatest fighter may be overwhelmed if badly outnumbered. Remember to include all relevant Attribute, Skill, Feat, and Defect modifiers. If successful, the defender blocks, dodges, or otherwise negates the attack, and suffers no damage. The Extra Defences Attribute allows the character to make a certain number of additional defences without penalty.

Relevant Defence Skills
When a character defends against a ranged attack, the relevant Skill is Ranged Defence. For a hand-to-hand or other melee attack, the relevant Skill is either Unarmed Defence (if the character is dodging, or blocking the attack with his or her body), or Melee Defence (if the character is using a weapon to parry).

Block Defence
Rather than attempting to avoid an attack with a Dodge/Parry defence, the character may instead choose to block the attack with a shield or other suitably large and resistant object (a Block defence). When a character attempts to block, he or she gains a +2 bonus to his or her defence roll. If the defence is successful, the character has interposed the object in front of the attack. The object’s Armour Rating provides protection to the character. Thus, a plank of wood can be used to block a powerful energy blast but, if the attack does more damage than the wood’s Armour Rating, it will still strike the character, inflicting reduced damage. See Breaking Objects for suggested Armour Ratings of common items or Table 11-4: Armour and Protective Devices for shields. If the attack delivers five times the object’s Armour Rating, the object is destroyed. Characters may only attempt to block melee or unarmed attacks unless they have the Block Ranged Attack Feat.

Indefensible Attacks and Flat-Footed
A character may not attempt a defence check if he or she is completely unaware of the attack, unable to move, or is struck with a Critical Hit. If a character is caught unprepared but who is aware of the attack (such as when surprised), however, he or she is considered flat-footed and may still attempt a defence but does not gain any bonuses from a high Dexterity score.

Total Defence
A character can elect to forgo any attempt to act and focus solely on defence. Instead of attacking or engaging in another activity, he or she concentrates completely on defence. A character performing a Total Defence may still move normally, but may not attack or take non-combat actions; the character is dodging and weaving, parrying frantically, ducking, and hiding. The character receives a +4 bonus to his or her defence roll for the round, starting on the character’s Initiative, lasting until the character acts again next round. Total Defence is a good tactic for anyone retreating, or someone buying time until his or her allies arrive.

Table 12-6: Defence Situation Modifiers
Defence Situation Defence Roll Modifier
Dodge/Parry Defence No Modifier
Block Defence +2
Total Defence +4 per attack sacrificed
Defending Against Multiple Attacks -2 per additional attack (cumulative)
Defending Against Undetectable Assailant -8
Defending When Surprised or Flat-Footed No Dex Bonus
Defending Against Critical Hit No Defence Possible

Defending Others
A character can defend the target of an attack in three ways: by pushing/pulling him or her out of the way, by interposing an object (such as a shield, or the character’s body) between the target and the attacker, or using an Attribute. The first two methods are described, while the final method is detailed under Defending With an Attack.

The first option, pushing or pulling (or grabbing a target as the character swing by), is similar to a Dodge/Parry Defence. The character uses a defence action, and rolls a defence check. It is difficult to defend someone else, however, and the attempt usually suffers a significant penalty (see Table 12-7). Obviously the action has to make sense — if the character has no way to reach a target, he or she cannot defend the individual.

To shield another person is akin to a Block defence. Like any other Block defence, the character gains a +2 to his or her Amour Class, and must have the Block Ranged Attacks Feat in order to defend against missile weapons. A character can Block for another person with a Shield, weapon, extendable Force Field, or simply by standing in the way and absorbing the brunt of the attack.

If the character is out of defence actions, however, he or she normally cannot attempt to defend another (although in dire situations a GM might allow the character to make a roll with the normal cumulative penalty for additional defences, plus any other modifiers).

Table 12-7: Defending Others
Defence Situation Modifier
Target is within reach -2
Target is at medium range -4
Target is at long range -6
Target is in an awkward position -2
Defender is in an awkward position -2
Target concealed by trees or bush -2
Target concealed by darkness, smoke -4
Defending against additional attacks -4 (cumulative)
Defender is surprised Defence Not Possible
Defending against Undetectable assailant Defence Not Possible

Characters suffer damage through combat, accidents, or other hazards. Damage ratings indicate the dice roll required to determine the amount of damage inflicted. The target character subtracts any damage inflicted from his or her Hit Points if the attack successfully penetrates Armour, Force Fields, and other defences.

Amount of Damage Inflicted
Each attack has a damage rating, which is equal to the base damage of the attack (which includes a weapon’s damage value) plus any bonuses from Massive Damage and Strength, as is appropriate for the attack. When the character successfully strikes an opponent, he or she rolls the number of dice indicated, plus any bonuses, to determine the amount of damage the attack inflicts.

Characters may choose to inflict less damage than the dice roll indicates, if they desire. Thus, a heroic character who scores a crushing blow against her opponent on his last legs can reduce the damage inflicted to ensure that he does not kill her foe by mistake, rendering him unconscious instead. For example, a character attacking with an 5d8 Special Attack that scores 32 damage may elect to only inflict 15 damage if he or she sees the target is about to collapse.

Unarmed Combat
The attack’s damage is equal to 1d3 plus the character’s bonuses for Strength and Massive Damage.

Melee Weapons
The attack’s damage is equal to the weapon’s damage value, plus bonuses for Strength and Massive Damage. If the weapon has Abilities or Disabilities, refer to the relevant section for their effects. See Table 11-2: Weapons for damages delivered by various melee weapons.

Ranged Weapons
The attack’s damage is equal to the weapon’s damage value, plus bonuses for Massive Damage. A Strength bonus may also be added when appropriate (such as for thrown weapons). If the weapon has Abilities or Disabilities, refer to the relevant section for their effects. See Table 11-2: Weapons for damages delivered by various ranged weapons.

Special Attacks
The attack’s damage is equal to the Special Attack’s damage value, plus bonuses for Strength (as appropriate) and Massive Damage.

Impact Damage
Damage may also result from a non-combat action such as crashing a speedboat into land or falling from a tree. Naturally, some non-combat actions may result in an NPC’s death, but these events should only kill a player character in exceptional circumstances.

During the course of an adventure, a character’s vehicle may accidentally (or deliberately) crash into objects along the road, in the sky, in or on water, or in space. GMs should assess whatever damage they deem appropriate upon both the vehicle and occupants in a crash. The Armour and Force Field Attributes may protect against this damage. Similar damage can be applied to a character who jumps or is pushed from a speeding vehicle, or is struck by one.

Table 12-8: Crashing and Falling Damage assists the GM in determining the damage for hitting the ground, water, a building, or some other immovable object based on how fast the vehicle was moving during that round. If a speed falls between two damage values, use the greater of the two.

A character who falls a great distance will suffer damage depending on the height he or she plummeted. He or she may also make an Acrobatics Skill check with success halving the sustained damage to indicate a proper break fall (DC of 15 + 1 per foot fallen above 10 feet). The Armour and Force Field Attributes may protect against this damage (GM’s discretion).

Table 12-8: Crashing and Falling


Falling Distance  

Damage Delivered

10 mph  

10 ft  


20 mph  

20 ft  


30 mph  

30 ft  


45 mph  

40 ft  


60 mph  

50 ft  


75 mph  

60 ft  


90 mph  

70 ft  


120 mph  

80 ft  


150 mph  

90 ft  


180 mph  

100 ft  


300 mph  

110 ft  


400 mph  

120 ft  


500 mph  

130 ft  


1,000 mph  

140 ft  


2,000 mph  

150 ft  


3,000 mph  

160 ft  


4,000 mph  

170 ft  


5,000 mph  

180 ft  


7,500 mph  

190 ft  


10,000 mph  

200 ft  


each additional 2,500 mph above 200 ft. +3d6

Armour or Force Fields and Damage
If a character has Armour or a Force Field, this reduces the delivered damage from each successful attack by an amount equal to its rating. The character suffers any damage not negated by the Armour or Force Field, subtracting it from his or her current Hit Points. See Effects of Damage to a Character for the result.

Critical Hits
In the event of a natural attack dice roll of 20, the attacker inflicts a critical strike. Unlike other d20 games, the character is not required to make a second to hit roll to see if the critical is, in fact, delivered. A roll of 20 always inflicts a double-damage critical hit, unless the GM decides otherwise. For example, a 6d8 attack inflicts 12d8 damage when a critical is scored.
GMs may wish, alternatively, to use the normal rules from traditional d20, requiring a player to roll a second to hit roll to see if the attack is a critical hit.

Effects of Damage to a Character
Total loss of Hit Points can cause a character to pass out or die. Should a character or NPC’s Hit Points ever drop below zero, he or she suffered a severe wound and is rendered unconscious. If a character is reduced to the negative value of his or her Hit Points, he or she has suffered a mortal wound and will die (or fall into a coma, depending on the tone of the game) unless medical attention arrives immediately. The GM may allow the character to linger long enough to say a few last words or perform some other final, heroic action.

Unlike most d20 System games, characters in Anime d20 do not die when they reach -10 Hit Points (unless they only have 10 Hit Points normally). Anime d20 is a cinematic game that rarely inflicts lethal wounds. If the GM wishes to have a grittier, more realistic game, they may use the standard d20 rule for Hit Points — when a character drops to -10 Hit Points, they die.

Wound Difficulty Penalties
The Game Master may wish to assign difficulty penalties to characters who have been injured in combat. When the character’s Hit Points are reduced to 75% of their original value or less, all tasks suffer a -2 penalty. This penalty applies to all Ability, Skill, and combat checks. At 50% Hit Points, tasks suffer a -4 penalty; at 25%, tasks suffer a -6 penalty.

Second Wind
If an event occurs during the course of combat that induces an affect (a powerful emotional response) within a damaged character, the character is given an opportunity to refocus on the combat and eliminate all damage difficulty penalties — getting a “second wind.” The GM decides which events are significant enough to evoke such a reaction. In these situations, the penalties are removed if the character makes a successful Willpower or Fortitude save (player’s choice) against a DC of 10.

If a character drops below one of the remaining damage tiers (50% or 25% of original Hit Points) after getting a second wind, he or she will immediately suffer from the corresponding damage difficulty penalties once again: -4 at 50% or -6 at 25%. A character can only get a second wind once during any combat scene.

Table 12-9: Damage Difficulty Penalties

Percentage of Original Health Points  










Shock Value and Critical Injury (Optional Rule)
The rules for Shock Value and Critical Injuries are only appropriate for dark and gritty and are not recommended for the average light-hearted anime game.
If a character suffers an amount of damage equal to his or her Shock Value, there is a danger that the character will be stunned. If the attack penetrates the skin (such as a bullet or knife), the Shock Value also represents the damage necessary to inflict a major wound, which, if untreated, can result in the character bleeding to death. The Shock Value is equal to the character’s maximum Hit Points divided by 5.

If a character suffers more damage from a single attack than his or her Shock Value, he or she must make a Fortitude save vs a DC of 15 + 1 per 5 damage inflicted above the character’s Shock Value (round down). If the check fails, the character is stunned and will collapse. The character will also let go of anything he or she is holding. The character’s incapacitation will last for a number of rounds equal to the amount by which the save was failed. An incapacitated character is effectively out of action, either knocked out or awake but immobilised by pain or shock. He or she may not take any offensive, defensive, or non-combat actions. The duration of incapacitation from multiple failed saves from several injuries occurring in a short period of time is cumulative.

Critical Injury
A character that suffers more damage than his or her Shock Value from an attack that breaks the skin (such as a bullet, knife, arrow, grenade fragment, etc.) has taken a critical injury. A character who suffers a critical injury loses one additional Hit Point every round (every minute, if out of combat) until given successful first aid. Just stopping the bleeding through first aid is not enough, however — it only slows the loss of Hit Points. A critically injured character that has undergone successful first aid will lose one Hit Point every 10 minutes until he or she undergoes successful surgery (best performed in a hospital) or magical healing. Thus, a character who is badly hurt might die because of shock and internal injuries before he or she can be stabilised. A character can suffer multiple critical injuries. If so, each must be treated separately, and Hit Point losses are cumulative.

Medical Treatment for Critical Injuries
If a character suffered a critical injury, he or she will lose one Hit Point every round (or every minute if out of combat) until treated via first aid. This requires a successful Medical (Emergency Response) Skill check against a DC of 15 + 1 per critical injury suffered. Each attempt takes 10 rounds (or one minute); several tries can be made until successful. If the character is trying to perform first aid on him or herself, apply a -2 penalty. If the character does not have an actual first aid kit handy but is forced to improvise dressings, etc., apply a -2 penalty.
As mentioned before, a critical injury that is treated will still result in the loss of one additional Hit Point every 10 minutes until the character undergoes surgery or magical healing. This requires a Medical (Surgery) Skill check against a DC of 15 + 1 per critical injury suffered. There is no penalty if performed with a full staff in a modern hospital, but a -4 penalty applies if it is performed with less adequate medical facilities (for example, in a doctor’s office or a poor third-world hospital) or -8 if performed with completely improvised equipment. Each attempt will take at least 10 minutes. Success stabilises the patient while failure causes him or her to lose additional Hit Points equal to twice the margin of failure. Another try is possible, however.

Optionally, a character who has been badly injured (negative Hit Points) because of cumulative Hit Point loss may also require treatment, even if he or she did not suffer a critical injury. This may be dependent on the nature of the injuries — someone who was badly burned may be in worse condition than someone who was beaten up. The GM can rule that keeping the character alive until adequate medical attention is available requires a successful Medical (Emergency Response) Skill check and that full recovery (at doubled healing rate) will require a Medical (Surgery) Skill check.

Mind Combat
Mind combat is a special type of conflict, that uses the Telepathy Attribute to forcibly invade another’s mind. Most telepaths make mental attacks using the Special Attack Attribute with the Mind Attack Ability. This mental conflict, however, is a clashing of two psyches, each struggling to subdue the other — it is akin to two people getting into a mental fist fight. Mental combat can become lethal if either person begins tearing down neural pathways, erasing memories, or destroying brain cells. Physical strength does not play a role in this battle, only the power of the mind. Each round of mind combat covers 6 seconds of time from the characters’ perspectives, the same amount of time as one round of physical combat.

Mind combat can only be carried out once mental contact has been established, usually using the Telepathy Attribute. Once two minds have touched, the initiator of the contact may withdraw at any time. Alternatively, physical damage to the initiator or perhaps use of an appropriate Item of Power can break the contact. For the target to break unwanted mind contact, the player cannot initiate any other actions for one round and must make a successful Willpower save against a DC of 15 plus the attacker’s Telepathy Attribute Rank. If the check is successful, the aggressor is forced from the character’s mind and the mind combat ends immediately.

If any character in mental contact forfeits all physical actions for the round, he or she can attack through mind combat. A successful attack requires the player to make a successful Wisdom check against a DC of 10 plus the target’s Wisdom modifier (plus any bonuses from Mind Shield or other appropriate abilities). The GM has the option of modifying the DC should the attack be particularly easy or difficult.

The psychic damage of a successful attack is equal to the attacker’s Intelligence modifier (thus, only characters with a positive Intelligence modifier can inflict damage in mind combat). The damage is removed from the target’s Hit Points. If a character is ever reduced to or below zero Hit Points while in mind combat, his or her mind has been broken and is now at the mercy of the opponent. The victor can end the character’s life, search through memories, plant powerful suggestions, erase thoughts, or simply render the character unconscious. Any changes to a character’s mind (other than death) will remain until reversed by another character skilled in the Telepathy Attribute. The GM should decide exactly how this must be accomplished. Role-playing a character whose mind has been altered is challenging but can also be very rewarding when played with consistency.

A telepath who wishes to alter a target’s mind after winning a mind combat battle must spend a great deal of time to alter it. Minor changes such as removing unimportant memories or implanting unessential false memories can take a couple of hours. Massive changes, such as instilling (or removing) a prejudice or phobia, rebuilding a large portion of the target’s memories, or similar large scale remodelling should take days to complete. Characters may rush the procedure, if pressed, but there is a risk of the alteration failing over time. The target may notice a gap in his or her memory and question what happened, or a personality adjustment (new phobia, for example) may weaken over time. If the character wishes to perform a change quickly, the character may perform minor changes in a matter of rounds while the character can accomplish massive changes in about an hour.

When a character attempts to alter a target’s mind, he or she must make a Knowledge: Social Sciences (Psychology) Skill check against a DC appropriate for the extent of the change; 10 for minor changes, 20 for major changes, 30+ for massive changes. The GM may increase the DC further if the alteration is particularly severe or drastic. The character’s margin of success determines how long the modification lasts, measured in years if the character took his or her time with the procedure or measured in days if the character rushed things. GMs should make this Skill check secretly and not inform the player of the result unless it is a failure — he or she will not know how long the change will hold, only that it has occurred or not.

The Mind Shield Attribute provides a bonus to the character’s attempt to resist mind combat and mental alterations, as well as Armour against mind combat damage.

A character who suffers lost Hit Points due to damage may heal naturally (or be repaired, for mechanical characters).

Recovering Hit Points
Hit Points regenerate at a rate equal to one Hit Point per character Level for each day (or each hour for less “realistic” campaigns) of rest. For example, a Level 5 character rejuvenates 5 Hit Points every day while resting. The healing rate doubles if the character is in the care of someone with Medical Skill but halved if he or she does not spend time resting.

Recovering Energy Points
The highest of the character’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifiers equals the number of Energy Points the character recovers every hour whether the character rests or not.

Repairing Equipment
Equipment, such as weapons, vehicles, or other gadgets can become damaged in the course of fighting crime. Characters can repair damage to equipment by making a Knowledge: Mechanics Skill check. If the object has Hit Points, each successful Skill check repairs 10 Hit Points. Each Skill check should take approximately one day of work (approximately six to ten hours), depending on the extent of the repairs required.

Using Attributes in Combat
In some situations, players will want to use various Attributes in inventive ways in the middle of a fight. The following rules outline the use of Attributes in combat. In many instances, the appropriate Power Usage Skill can influence the chances of success.

Using Attributes Against Opponents
Creative characters can use a number of seemingly inoffensive Attributes in very effective ways in the middle of combat. Special Attacks are obviously designed for offensive use against an opponent, but what about Teleportation? Could a character not teleport an opponent in front of a moving truck or simply out of a fight entirely?

When a character wishes to use a normally inoffensive Attribute against an unwilling opponent, the character must use a non-combat action to make a Power Usage Skill check. If the check is successful, the target is allowed a save (whichever type of save is most appropriate) to defend against the Attribute’s effect. The DC of the save is equal to 10 + 1 per Rank of the Attribute being used against him or her.

Sphere of Control
If a character attempts to use an Attribute on an object within the sphere of control of a character, the character is allowed to make a save to resist the effect as though he or she was the target of the attack. For example, a teleporter who wished to teleport the bullets out of an opponent’s gun would still be required to make an Intelligence check against the target’s AC (the appropriate DC for the action) and the person holding the gun would be allowed a Willpower save to resist the effect. Other common objects usually in a target’s sphere of control include: the ground beneath the target, air around the target, objects the target holds or carries, etc. The GM determines what objects are under the defender’s sphere of control.

All-or-Nothing or Partial Effects
When an Attribute is used against a group of targets, GMs may use one of two options for resolving the resistance check. When a large group of people attempt to resist the effect of a Power, the GM makes one save, using the average save modifier of the targets. Important characters (player characters or key NPCs) should be allowed to make individual rolls for themselves to prevent villains from teleporting a group of 50 people, including the players characters, thereby using the more vulnerable citizens to avoid the player characters’ higher saves. In this way, either all of the targets are affected by the Attribute (on a failed save) or none are affected (on a successful save).

Alternatively, the GM may wish to use one dice roll which is used as the same roll for each character’s check — characters with high saves bonuses within the group may successfully resist the effects of the Attribute while characters with low saves are affected.

Attribute vs. Attribute
When two characters pit their Attributes against each other, who wins? In most situations, the character with the highest Rank wins. For example, a criminal alien is attempting to make his get-away by Flight. The hero grabs the alien with Telekinesis and tries to hold the character back, preventing him from flying away. The hero has Telekinesis at Rank 5 while the alien has Flight at Rank 3. The hero, therefore, is strong enough to prevent the alien from escaping.

If the two Attributes are close in Rank (usually the same or differing by one Rank), the GM may request an opposed check to see who wins the contested action. Using the above example, if the alien’s Flight Rank was 4, instead of 3, the GM could request an opposed check. The alien makes a Dexterity check (since Dexterity is the relevant Ability for Flight) and scores a result of 16. The hero must now make an Intelligence check (since Intelligence is the relevant Ability for Telekinesis) and score a result of 16 or higher to prevent the alien from escaping.

What if a character has two or more Attributes that can be used in the opposed check? What if the alien, in the first example, also has Telekinesis at Rank 4? In a situation like this, the GM should simply add the two Attribute Ranks together to determine who wins the opposed action. Thus, the alien has Flight at Rank 3 and Telekinesis at Rank 4 for a total of 7 which is much higher than the hero’s Telekinesis Rank of 5. The alien is therefore able to make his escape (possibly lifting the hero into the air or simply breaking free of his hold, depending on the GM’s discretion).

Using Attributes as Attacks
In anime movies and TV series, characters regularly use seemingly passive, non-hostile Attributes to attack opponents, causing harm. A character who can teleport may disorient foes by teleporting them repeatedly within one combat round or selectively teleporting portions of non-living foes away, causing massive trauma, for example. The list of possible attack applications of an Attribute is endless — anime characters are well known for pushing the bounds of innovation. Most Attributes, however, do not account for these offensive tricks and stunts — they are accomplished using Special Attacks. A Special Attack is not limited simply to powerful energy blasts — it can be any “attack” that causes harm or detriment to an opponent. The teleporter who repeatedly teleports a target in a combat round may have a Special Attack with the Drain Body Ability and the No Damage Disability, reflecting the sudden disorientation the target feels after the attack and the fact that no real physical harm is inflicted on the opponent. Alternatively, if the teleporter is capable of teleporting just a select portion of a target away causing harm to the target, the Special Attack may be designed to do an incredible amount of damage. By using the Attack Abilities and Disabilities, players can create any sort of attack, which will account for the numerous and creative ways that characters utilise their abilities. Some Special Attacks designed this way will have the Linked (Attribute) or Dependent Defect.

Using Attributes Defensively
Just as characters can find imaginative ways to use their Attributes against opponents, they are just as likely to think of ways to use their Attributes to defend themselves from harm. For a character to utilise such a Attribute defensively, he or she must select the Power Defence Attribute. If the character does not select this Attribute, he or she does not have the experience required to use the Power defensively. Thus, a character with Teleportation who does not have the Power Defence: Teleportation Attribute may be able to teleport but he does not have the training or knowledge needed to teleport at a moment’s notice and avoid an incoming attack.

Defending with an Attack
By holding an action until attacked by an opponent, a character can defend him or herself with the offensive use of an Attribute. This simultaneous attack and defence option combines the advice under Using Attributes Against Opponents and Using Attributes Defensively into a single action. To succeed, the character must activate the Attribute with an appropriate check and also make a successful save (for the Power Defence Attribute) to activate the effect properly. For instance, when a character attacks a criminal who has a held action remaining, the criminal might attempt to use Teleportation to place a bystander between him and the character’s ki blast. The criminal must first make a successful Intelligence check to see if the Teleportation works. If the attempt is successful, and the bystander fails to resist, a Reflex save determines if the criminal activates the Teleportation in time.

This method can also be used to defend others with an Attribute. If an ally (or innocent bystander, etc.) is attacked, the character can attempt to Teleport (for example) the target out of the way of the attack with a successful use of Teleportation and Power Defence.

Character Advancement
Character advancement is unnecessary in a short adventure, but during a lengthy campaign, players may wish to improve their characters. Advancement is not a requirement, but it can reflect the characters’ learned knowledge through conflicts with the environment, with other characters or NPCs, or even with themselves.
The GM is encouraged to award all characters Experience Points (XP) at the end of each game session. The amount of the award should depend on the events of the game session as well as the quality of the role-playing of the player. Use the following as a guideline for determining the XP award for each player:
See the PHB for rules on the application of XP.

TABLE 12-10: XP Awards
Base Award = 100 times the average character Level of the player group

Add half the base award if the characters overcame weak/inferior conflict
Add the base award if the characters overcame moderate/comparable conflict
Add 1.5 to 2 times the base award if the characters overcame strong/superior conflict

Add 10% of the base award if the characters fail to overcome minor/inferior conflict
Add 20% of the base award if the characters fail to moderate/comparable conflict
Add 30% of the base award if the characters fail to overcome strong/superior conflict

Add half the award for good, heroic, in-character role-playing
Add the base award for strong, heroic, in-character role-playing
Add 1.5 to 2 times the base award for exceptional, heroic, in-character role-playing

Base Award
All players who participate in a game session should earn a number of XP equal to 100 times the average character Level (not class Level) of the characters in the group.

Overcoming Conflict
When determining the XP awards for conflict, GMs must remember that conflict does not necessarily mean combat. While combat is a type of conflict, it is not the only form. Solving a mystery, saving someone from a raging fire, escaping a magician’s death trap, negotiating the release of hostages, or other similar situations where the character is pitted against an opposing force, is considered conflict. Any situation where there is a consequence for the character failing his or her attempted course of action is conflict.

For conflicts of note, GMs should award a number of XP, which represents the characters learning from the events. All characters involved in a conflict earn the XP, regardless of their involvement. For example, the Samurai who went toe-to-toe with the main villain while his Tech Genius ally attempted to diffuse the bomb while the third member of the team flew the innocent bystanders to safety all earn the same number of XP for the conflict. Each character played a role in successfully resolving the situation.

The quantity of the award depends on how much of a challenge it was for the characters to overcome. If the characters are virtually guaranteed of success, the GM should not provide an XP bonus — it is essentially a mundane activity and is subsumed in the base XP award. If the conflict presents a minor challenge to the characters but one they are likely to overcome, such as the skilled Gun Bunny thwarting a simple bank-robbery or a team of characters saving residents from a burning building, the GM should provide a bonus of one half the base award. If the conflict is comparable to the characters, such as the characters defeating a group of criminals of similar level or solving a complex mystery, the GM should provide a bonus award equal to the base award. Lastly, if the conflict is superior to the characters, such as defeating a powerful archmagi in her lair, thwarting a world-threatening plot, or something similar, the characters should earn a bonus award equal to 1.5 to 2 times the base award.

This award should be provided per conflict overcome but GMs should keep in mind that the average 4- to 6-hour game session usually has one or two conflicts-of-note — most situations are covered through the base XP award.

Failing in Conflict
Characters can learn something even when they fail — what not to do. When characters fail to overcome conflict, GMs should provide a bonus equal to 10% of the base award for a minor conflict, 20% of the base award for a moderate conflict, or 30% for a superior conflict (round down).

Exceptional Role-Playing
Exceptionally talented or active players (those who remain true-to-character, encourage other players to participate, help advance the plot of the game, etc.) may earn a bonus XP award. When a player does a good job role-playing his or her character, the GM should provide a bonus equal to half the base award. For strong role-playing, a bonus equal to the base award should be provided. For exceptional role-playing, a bonus equal to 1.5 to 2 times the base award should be provided. GMs should not feel obliged to provide this award — it is only for role-playing that stands out. The base award covers players who simply show up for the game and role-play adequately.

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