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Start of combat

At the Start of Combat, each PC must make a DEX save for a chance to act before their adversaries.

  • Success: The PC may act before their opponent.
  • Failure: The PC does not get to go during the Start of Combat round. After the Start of Combat round, order proceeds with PCs acting, then adversaries.


The game typically plays without strict time accounting. If timing is necessary, use 10 second rounds to keep track. A round is comprised of character turns. During each turn all actions, attacks, and movements take place simultaneously.


On their turn a character may move up to 40ft and take up to one action. This may be casting a spell, attacking, making a second move, or some other combat maneuver.

Players state what actions they will take before rolling dice. If they attempt something risky, the Facilitator will call for a save from the appropriate party.

All actions, attacks, and movements take place roughly at the same time.

Attacking & Damage

There are no rolls to hit. There are no misses, only varying levels of damage.

On their turn, the attacker rolls their weapon die, subtracts any Armor bonus, and deals the remaining total to the opponent’s HP. Excess damage is then dealt to STR (see Critical Damage)

Some attacks deal Stress instead. These follow the same process of rolling the stress die, subtracting any relevant Stability bonus and then dealing the remaining total to HP. Excess Stress is dealt to CTRL (see Critical Stress - Fallout Trigger)

Multiple Attackers

If multiple attackers target the same foe, roll all damage dice and keep the single highest result.

Attack Modifiers

An attack is Impaired if the attacker is in a position of weakness that would impact your effectiveness. Impaired attacks deal 1d4 damage. Some examples of a position of weakness are attacking through cover, being bound, mind clouded by shadows.

An attack is Enhanced if the attacker is in a position of advantage. Enhanced attacks deal 1d12 damage. Some examples of a position of advantage would be leveraging a daring maneuver, attacking a helpless adversary, or having your arm guided by the void. Unarmed attacks always do 1d4 damage.

Dual Weapons

If attacking with two weapons at the same time, roll both damage dice and keep the single highest result.


The blast quality denotes an attack that hits everything in a target area with damage rolled separately for each affected. Blast can be anything from explosions to spectral tentacles to the impact of a space embryo. If scale is unclear, roll damage dice to determine the number of targets affected.


Escaping a doomed situation requires a successful DEX save and a safe destination in order to get away. Safely retreating is a victory in its own way.

Critical Damage

If damage brings a target’s HP below zero, their STR is decreased by the amount remaining. They must then make a STR save to avoid taking critical damage.
Suffering critical damage disables the victim. All they can do is crawl and grasp for life. Aid and rest required to persevere or they will die in the hour.

Critical Stress = Fallout

Stress that reduces a target’s HP below zero decreases a target’s CTRL by the amount remaining. They must then make a CTRL save to avoid Critical Stress.
If a character fails their CTRL save they take critical stress and gain fallout from the Stress Fallout table.

Ability Score Loss

If a PC’s STR is reduced to 0, they die. If their DEX is reduced to 0, they are paralyzed. If their CTRL is reduced to 0, they are lost.

Unconsciousness & Death

When a character dies, the player is free to create a new character or take control of an associate. They immediately join the party in order to reduce downtime.


Large groups of similar combatants fighting together are treated as a single detachment. When a detachment takes critical damage, it is routed or significantly weakened. When it reaches 0 STR, it is destroyed.

Attacks against detachments by individuals are impaired (excluding blast damage).

Attacks against individuals by detachments are enhanced and deal blast damage.


Morale is a mechanical trigger used to simulate a NPCs’ desire to survive.

Enemies must pass a CTRL save to avoid fleeing when they take their first casualty and again when they lose half their number. Some groups may use their leader’s CTRL in place of their own. Lone foes must save when they’re reduced to 0 HP.

Some NPCs transcend measures of morale. Their proximity to the weird means their behavior diverges from other NPCs.

Morale does not affect PCs.

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Liminal Horror was written and designed by Goblin Archives