Typically used with Courage.
In short: be brave. When danger rears its ugly head(s), some fight, some take flight, and some pee their pants. Guts checks are called for when a creature or situation is particularly terrifying. Situations like encountering a towering monster which could swallow people whole, facing off single-handedly against an army, or overcoming the object of a character's phobia in order to move forward are terrifying.
We all have to face our fears sometimes. Make a Guts check to amass your resolve, grit your teeth, and press on. The scarier the situation, the higher the DL.
|Bumps in the night||5|
|Entering combat without experience||10|
|Dangerous situations (e.g. firefighting)||15|
|Facing your phobia||20|
If you fail the check, you refuse to proceed and cower hopelessly until it goes away. It's not that you're frozen in place — you can certainly defend yourself — it's just that your allies will have to drag you kicking and screaming into or past the source of your fear. If your check is a Critical Failure, you turn tail and run for safety.
When you ride a mount into combat that hasn't been bred for war, it has to make a Guts check against a DL of 20 or flee in terror. You can make an Animal Control to placate a mount that fails this check.
Fear, or terror, is different from horror in that terror is usually acute and short-lived and once the object of the terror has passed, the character continues on as normal. The effects of something horrifying, on the other hand, affects a character's notions of reality and can be felt for days, years, or a lifetime. The Sanity Skill is used to deal with horrifying situations.
You must make a Guts check when a creature uses Intimidate to coerce you into following its instructions. If your result meets or exceeds the Intimidate check, you patently refuse. If your result is lowest, you give into their demands out of fear. As soon as they leave your presence, your Disposition toward them falls one level.
Guts checks are also used to oppose a creature's attempt to demoralize you with an Intimidate check. If your result meets or exceeds the Intimidate check, you stand your ground. If your result is lowest, you take a −2 penalty on all rolls during the encounter. If your check is a Critical Failure, you are compelled to surrender or flee the fight immediately.
Certain spells can be overcome with a Guts check, for instance You and What Army? and Demoralize. In this case, you may add any points in Magic Defense to this roll. The mage makes a Casting Roll. You make a Guts check. If your result meets or exceeds the Casting Roll, you elude the effects of the spell.