Spot rules cover a variety of situations in and outside of combat. These include environmental issues, damage from other sources, or modifiers that may affect gameplay.

6.1 Ambush

If an attacker successfully made a Stealth or Hide roll and remained undetected (versus a Listen, Sense, or Spot roll), they can ambush an opponent. If the attacks are with missile weapons, the ambusher gets a single combat round where all their attacks are Easy. If the ambusher is using a melee weapon, the defender can only try to Dodge or parry (if a weapon is available) for one combat round. Next round, combat is handled as normal.

6.2 Backstab

If the target is unaware of the specific whereabouts of an attacker in a combat, the target must make a Difficult Listen, Sense, or Spot roll. If the target remains unaware (fails the roll), an attacker behind or to the side of them can try to backstab the opponent: an Easy attack. Dodging or parrying this attack is considered Difficult.

6.3 Cover

Hiding behind something larger, equal to, or up to half the character’s SIZ offers a defensive bonus. If the item can serve as cover, any missile attacks against the character are considered Difficult. An attack that would normally hit but misses is assumed to hit the cover. The gamemaster should determine if the attack passes through the cover, reducing damage appropriately (a brick or metal wall might stop the attack completely, a thin wood wall might only reduce damage by 4 points, etc.).

6.4 Darkness

If fighting in near-total darkness (without any night vision or equivalent), all combat skills become Difficult. In pitch black darkness, all combat skills are equivalent to POW expressed as a percentage or are Difficult (whichever is lower).

6.5 Disease

If a character is exposed to a minor disease, such as a bad cold or mild flu, they should make a Stamina roll (CON×5) to see if the disease is contracted. Success means that it is avoided, while failure means that the character catches the disease. For a minor disease, the extent of the illness should merely cost 1 or 2 hit points over a few days. On the morning of the second day the character suffers from a minor disease, roll CON×2. If the roll is successful, the character recovers. If the roll fails, the disease persists for another day. On the morning of the third day, roll CON×3, continuing by increasing the multiplier by the roll until the disease is finally overcome.

The character must rest and be cared for while recuperating from a disease. Less-than-ideal conditions (adventuring, combat, rough environment, etc.) reduces this characteristic roll by one multiple per outstanding condition, at the gamemaster’s discretion. As a general guide, if the recovery roll would normally be CON×5, reduce it to CON×4 if the character is not at home in bed, reduce it to CON×3 if hiking in the wilderness, reduce it to CON×2 if engaged in strenuous activity, and reduce it to CON×1 if already suffering from other injuries.

Medical attention may be of use, but the character must recover naturally by succeeding in a CON roll as described above. At the gamemaster’s discretion, successful use of the Medicine skill may increase the CON multiple by one or more steps. Other powers and/or equipment may help against disease, to a degree determined by the gamemaster.

A major disease such as plague might attack any characteristic, but most diseases will attack CON or hit points. Immensely powerful diseases could even inflict 1 or 1D3 hit points per hour, enough to kill an average human in eight hours. Symptoms vary greatly. Lesser diseases might inflict 1 hit point per day, or per week, coupled with loss of characteristic points.

Cross-index the number of times the character has failed the CON roll on the Illness Severity table below.

Illness Severity
FailuresDegree of Illness
1Mild: Lose 1 characteristic point per week
2Acute: Lose 1 characteristic point per day
3Severe: Lose 1 characteristic point per hour
4+Terminal: Lose 1 characteristic point per minute

The first characteristic point is lost when the character initially contracts the disease (failing the first roll). Each successive loss is added to the total whenever a CON roll is being made to shake the disease.

The type of disease dictates what characteristic points are lost. When a character reaches 0 in a characteristic, they die. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some diseases may affect multiple characteristics, and have other effects as well. Natural healing, medical treatment, rest, counseling, rehabilitation, etc. can restore these lost characteristic points at the rate of 1 per week once the character is free from the disease.

6.6 Drawing a Weapon

Drawing a weapon from a sheath or holster reduces effective DEX rank by 5. Putting a weapon away takes the same amount. It takes no DEX ranks to drop a weapon.

6.7 Falling

A falling character takes 1D6 points of damage per three meters distance, rounded up. For example, a seven-meter fall does 3D6 points of damage. A successful Dodge roll reduces damage by 1D6, at the gamemaster’s discretion.

6.8 Firing into Combat

Firing a missile weapon at a character that is engaged in combat penalizes the attacker by –20% to their skill chance. Firing a missile weapon at another character while both the attacker and target are engaged in combat makes an attack Difficult.

6.9 Knockout Attacks

It is possible to attempt to knock another character unconscious rather than killing them. To knock someone out, make a Difficult attack and roll damage as normal, subtracting armor. Compare the damage done against the character’s hit points (total, not current). If the damage is greater than half the character’s normal hit point total, the character is knocked out, with no actual damage being done. If the damage rolled is equal to or less than half the normal hit point total, the attack does minimum possible damage (the lowest the dice can roll, including the minimum strength bonus) in hit points, and the target is not knocked out.

6.10 Poison

All poisons have a potency value (POT) that is matched against the CON of a poisoned character on the resistance table (see 3.4. The Resistance Table). Poison damage always affects hit points or one or more characteristics. If the poison overcomes a character’s CON, then its full POT is done as damage to their total hit points or a specified characteristic is lowered. If the poison does not overcome the character’s CON, it has a lessened effect—usually this means that half the poison’s POT (round up) is suffered as damage to the victim’s hit points or a characteristic.

Poison damage is usually not suffered on the same combat round in which a character is poisoned. The delay before poison damage takes effect depends upon the poison. Unless otherwise specified by the gamemaster, the delay is three combat rounds for fast-acting poisons, or three full turns for slower poisons. Depending on the type of poison, the gamemaster may allow a Sense roll to detect the poison’s presence, if it is being fed to a character, disguised in food or drink. If ingesting more than one dose of a poison, the victim must make separate resistance rolls versus each one: two doses of a POT 10 poison are not the same as one dose of a POT 20 poison.

Poison Antidotes

Almost all poisons have antidotes. All antidotes have a POT rating, just like poisons. If a character takes a poison’s antidote within six full turns before being poisoned, the antidote’s POT is subtracted from the poison’s POT before damage is figured. An antidote for one type of poison may give a lessened benefit even when used with the wrong poison type, at the gamemaster’s discretion.

Unlike poison, multiple doses of the same antidote haveno effect, and are applied to the poison effects on an individual basis.