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Typically used with: Endurance.

In short: take a hit. If Dodge gets you out of the way of damage, Guard's your buddy once you've screwed that up.

Resisting Damage

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 5 feet of distance per 5 points 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). For every 5 points of your result (to a maximum of 25 points), you can subtract 10 feet from the distance fallen and move one stage down the Knockout Track. You cannot subtract more than half of the remaining distance. If you're already suffering Knockout Track penalties, you're limited to subtracting 10 feet for each remaining stage. For example, if you're at stage 3 on the Knockout Track, you must subtract a maximum of 20 feet.

Use the remaining distance to calculate the damage you take. For every 5 feet, you take 5 points of damage. Your own mass is a factor as well. For every 10 feet, you take damage equal to your Size. Creatures bigger than Size 0 take more falling damage, creatures smaller than Size 0 take less falling damage.

Falling Example
Drinnin and Skorna are knocked from a cliff ledge 80 feet above a rocky beach.

Shrieking and flailing, Drinnin rolls 16 for Gymnastics. He's left with 65. He then gets a 20 on his Guard Roll. Even though this is enough to subtract 40 feet, he can't subtract more than half, so this converts 32 feet into 4 steps down the Knockout Track. 33 remains, so he takes 30 damage. Luckily, Drinnin has 35 hit points. Drinnin smacks into the rocks below, dazed and injured, but clinging onto life with 5 HP.

Skorna, on the other hand, rolls 20 for Gymnastics. She's left with 60. She makes 12 on her Guard Roll. This converts 20 feet into 2 steps down the Knockout Track. 40 remains. Sadly, Skorna only has 30 HP, so she hits the rocks like a trashbag full of ham.