zilch / agony









Most damage is physical damage or energy damage. Physical damage can be reduced by armor DR; elemental forms of energy damage can be prevented only by magical protection.

Each point of dmg taken reduces your HPs by 1. If your HPs are reduced to 0, you fall unconscious. Further damage causes Hearts drain instead.

Temporary damage

Unarmed attacks and some other types of damage are dangerous in the short term, but have a much shorter recovery time. When removing a HP chip due to temporary damage, place it in your temporary damage pool. When resting, recover all temporary damage HPs from this pool.


Drain represents poison, bloodloss, illness, etc. Drain is specific to a particular Suit. For each point of drain, mark the drained Suit with a negative token. This effectively reduces your Suit value. Among other effects, this means you will lose any chips on that Suit card that are in excess of your new effective Suit value.

If your Clubs are ever drained to 0, you are paralyzed and Helpless, too weak to stand. If your Spades are ever drained to 0, you are paralyzed and Helpless, too stiff or trembling to move. If your Diamonds are ever drained to 0, you fall comatose and Unconscious. If your Hearts are ever drained to 0, you die.


Taint represents injury or drain that does not heal normally. This could be due to a septic wound, toxin, disease, or unnatural forces. Whenever you take tainted damage or tainted drain, gain an equivalent number of taint counters on the corresponding Suit card. Taint counters may exceed your Suit value.

Whenever you would normally recover a HP or a point of drain from a tainted Suit (whether from magic or natural healing), remove a taint counter instead.

Taint counters on Hearts--whether recieved from tainted dmg or tainted Hearts drain--affect only HP recovery. Hearts drain always recovers normally even when tainted.

Ongoing Damage


Instantaneous spells light only extremely flammable things, such as gunpowder or oil-soak rags. Otherwise, you must be exposed to flames for a full Turn to catch fire. At the start of each turn you are on fire, take 2 fire dmg. You may spend a full action to stop, drop, and roll or another person might use a cloak or blanket to try to smother the fire: Make a (First Aid) test to put out the fire. Leaping into a body of water automatically puts out the flames.

Similar "burning" damage may come from any elemental energy type (such as acid) or even other sources of ongoing physical damage (such as a swarm of biting vermin).


Fatigue is usually caused by some sort of depravation: lack of sleep, thirst, starvation, suffocation, exposure to extreme whether (whether too hot or too cold), etc. Test : (CS, S: no effect, F: become more fatigued by 1 level, CF: become more fatigued by 2 levels).

Fatigue progresses as follows:

  1. Slowed (fatigued)
  2. + Hampered (exhausted)
  3. + Unconsciousness

Each additional level of fatigue taken causes 1d6 temporary dmg.

Test frequency depends on the severity of the cause. For example, lack of sleep might be tested at the start of the day; extreme weather might take its toll at the end of each encounter; and suffocation would be tested each turn.

The GM may allow a grace period before tests start. For example, with a few deep breaths, a character might be able to hold her breath for Hearts turns before starting to suffocate. On the other hand, if suddenly deprived of air during combat, the character may get only 1 turn before tests start.

Fatigue effects can only be removed by removing their cause. Again, how long this takes depends on the cause: it may take only 1 turn to catch your breath or a whole Rest period to warm up from hypothermia.


Rallying: It takes about 2 minutes of calm to rally, so it cannot be performed during combat or any similarly stressful encounter. Upon rallying, add a rally marker to your class Suit. (If multiclassed, you may choose to rally more than one Suit at a time.) You then regain all class chips in the marked Suit(s), but at -1 chip for each rally marker. So, for example, a fighter with 8 can regain up to 7 chips the first time she rallies, then 6 chips the next time, 5 the next time, and so on. Also regain up to 1 temporary dmg HP.

Resting: Takes about an hour of uninterrupted relaxation. Remove up to one rally marker and then regain all the chips in your class Suit(s). Regain all temporary dmg HPs. With a successful Diamond (First Aid) check, regain HP (CS: +2, S: +1, F: 0, CF: -1). Only one First Aid attempt can be made on a character per rest.

Resting in a dungeon normally has a 50% chance of being interrupted by a Wandering Monster encounter. This is true even if the party is secured in a room--this protects them from harm but not from discovery. Only certain magic might hide a party from discovery. If interrupted, you gain no benefits from the rest.

Sleeping: About 8 hours once per 24 hour period. Remove all rally markers, regain all chips in your class Suit(s), heal up to 2 HP, and remove up to 2 drain from each Suit. You normally cannot sleep in a Dungeon without discovery.


Take 1d6 dmg for every 2 Squares (about 10') fallen. Thus, falling from a third-story window (about 20' up) would deal 2d6 dmg. A Spades(Acrobatics) test may convert the first 1d6 of an unintentional fall to temporary dmg.

Intentionally jumping down reduces the dmg by 1d6. A Spades(Acrobatics) test may reduce it further. (CS: -2d6; S: -1d6; F: no effect; CF: +1d6, thus losing the effect of intentionally jumping).

Landing on a treacherous surface--like spikes or jagged rocks--would increase the dmg, usually by +1d6. On the other hand, a particularly soft surface or sliding down an incline upon landing may also reduce it or mean one of the dice is only temporary damage.

Lighting and Vision

Light levels determine what you can see depending on your vision ability. You might be able to see normally (OK), Occluded (Occl), or Blinded (X).

If holding a torch-like light source, treat adjacent squares as Bright and all other Close squares as Lowlight. For a candle, only your square is Bright, and adjacent squares are Lowlight.


Option: In-Dungeon Swag Conversion

As GM, you might allow a player to pay 1 Swag to suddenly retrieve from her pack a small item that normally costs 1 Swag or less. The extra "cost" for doing this in the Dungeon is that the player must also add something to the story by providing a brief flashback or soliloquy prompted by the new item. This could be about that item itself and how it came to be in her pack, or it could simply be a character memory prompted by an aspect of the item, such as the smell of it or weight of it in the character's hand. This flashback should provide some small insight into character's backstory, personality, or motivation. This option provides a chance to flesh out Lite characters a little on the fly.

Alternatively, the player may convert Swag and give the item to the GM to place within the next (usually combat) encounter. With this method, the player need not make a story contribution. However, the item will be in the possession of a foe during the combat and may be used by the foe during the encounter. If this means the item is actually consumed, the player receives a Swag refund and can try again.

Swag is an abstract point-based measure of an adventuring party's success. It is an abstraction in that each specific encounter may not necessarily provide such material wealth in the game world.

Each character earns 2, 3, or 4 swag points for each easy, average, or hard encounter that he or she successfully overcomes. An encounter does not always have to be combat--it can be a trap, puzzle, social interaction, etc. The GM may also grant additional points of swag for good roleplaying or achieving important adventure objectives.

While in Town, a character may then convert Swag into magic items, according to the cost of the item. Mundane pack-sized items cost 1 Swag. This conversion assumes the character is either having found items identified by a sage or is selling found treasure and purchasing an item.

It costs 10 Swag to have a dead character resurrected in Town.