Typically used with: Endurance.
When you receive an attack in combat (and you're aware of it), you get to make an Evasion Roll to get out of the way. If that fails, your opponent makes a Damage Roll and you make a Guard Roll. If you're wearing armor, you can add the armor's bonus to your Guard check. If you meet or exceed the incoming Damage Roll, you don't lose any HP.
If the Damage Roll is higher than your Guard Roll, you deduct the difference from your HP. See the "Guard" entry in the Defending section of Chapter 10: Combat. A Critical Failure of a Guard Roll actually causes harm to any armor you're wearing. See the "Degradation" entry in the Defending section of Chapter 10: Combat for more information.
In addition to attacks from opponents, you also use Guard to resist damage from hazards, like a spiked pit. A very well-equipped and tough hero might be able to fall in a pit trap and have the metal spikes below clang harmlessly off her armor.
You can use a Gymnastics check to soften a fall, removing one foot of distance per point of the roll. Whatever distance remains calls for a Guard roll. Make a Guard check excluding worn armor (unless you have some kind of miracle armor that protects against falls). You can turn 10 feet of falling damage into one step down the Knockout Track per every 5 points of your Guard Roll (maximum 25). Anything left over is deducted from your HP.
|Drinnin and Skorna are knocked from a cliff ledge 90 feet above a rocky beach.
Shrieking and flailing, Drinnin rolls 16 for Gymnastics. He's left with 74. He crits for a whopping 35 on his Guard Roll. Since he made over 25, this converts 50 feet into 5 steps down the Knockout Track. 24 remains, which he takes as damage. Drinnin smacks into the rocks below, knocked out cold, but clinging onto life with 6 HP.
Skorna, on the other hand, rolls 20 for Gymnastics. She's left with 70. She makes 19 on her Guard Roll. This converts 30 feet into 3 steps down the Knockout Track. 40 remains. Sadly, Skorna only has 30 HP, so she hits the rocks like a trashbag full of ham.