Static Initiative
The fluid initiative system allows for great tactical flexibility, but also requires the GC or the players to keep track of each character’s current Initiative Count. The GC may desire a faster, more streamlined Initiative system — particularly if he and his team are new to RPGs. To play with ‘static’ or ‘classic’ Initiative, make the following changes to the scripted Initiative system.
  • After each character makes an Initiative check, his Initiative Count is only affected by the Regroup action and applicable character options.
  • No character’s Initiative Count may fall below 1, or rise above 20 + his Initiative bonus.
  • No character may take the Press action, nor may he be sent reeling (see pages 356 and 342, respectively).
With these changes in place, Initiative is largely set by a single roll at the beginning of each combat, with only a handful of feats and one action adjusting a character’s Count once combat has begun.

To accurately represent movement and position, it’s easiest to use a miniature figure to represent each character and opponent. By placing these miniatures on a grid of 1-in. squares, you can easily eliminate arguments about line of sight, cover, and range. The standard scale used in this book is 5 ft. per 1-in. square.

Special Note: For players more comfortable with the metric system, the standard scale is close to 2m per 1-in. square.


A Medium character possesses a base Speed of 30 ft., meaning that he can move 30 ft. during each standard half-action move, or a total of 60 ft. if he spends both his half actions during a round performing Standard Move actions.

Encumbrance, wearing armor, and other factors often reduce the distance a character may move during a standard half-action move. Special terrain modifies the distance a character moves, as shown on Table: Special Surface Speeds. Obstacles and specific terrain features may further define or restrict movement as noted in certain skill descriptions and with each map (and per the GC’s discretion).

dIAGOnAl MOvEMEnT ( THE “5/10 RulE”)

When a character moves diagonally for the first time during any single move action, the distance traversed is considered 5 ft. of his total move. When a character moves diagonally for the second time during any single move action, however, the distance traversed is considered 10 ft. of his total move.

The third and all subsequent odd-numbered diagonal movements again count as 5 ft. of the character’s total move for the round, while all even-numbered diagonal movements count as 10 ft. of his total move.

These rules apply when the character takes any diagonal move, whether it’s taken along with straight moves or not. A character may combine straight and diagonal moves to reposition around a round obstacle or to circle around an opponent, so long as every other diagonal move taken counts as 10 ft.

Example: Kevin possesses a Speed of 30 and performs a standard half-action move. He could move six 5-ft. squares in a straight line, following a row or column of the map grid (6 × 5 ft.) or he could move up to 4 squares diagonally (5 ft. + 10 ft. + 5 ft. + 10 ft.). He could also move 1 square diagonally and then move 5 squares in a straight line (6 × 5 ft.) or he could move 1 square diagonally, then 3 squares in a straight line, then 1 last square diagonally (5 ft. + 15 ft. + 10 ft.).

 Table: Special Surface Speeds
Terrain5-ft. Move Becomes*Effect
Barbed/concertina/razor wire 15 ft. Reflex save (DC 15) or suffer 1d6 lethal damage
Cluttered surface 10 ft. None
Ice 5 ft. –4 penalty with all Acrobatics and Maneuver checks
Ladder (per 5 ft. of height) 5 ft. Ascending a ladder as part of a move is diagonal movement (see above)
Mud, knee-deep 15 ft. None
Mud, waist-deep 30 ft. None
Snow (up to 2 ft.) 5 ft. None
Snow (more than 2 ft.) 10 ft. None
Stairs 5 ft. Ascending stairs as part of a move is diagonal movement (see above)
Step (up to 3 ft.) 5 ft. None
Step (3–5 ft.) 10 ft. None
Step (more than 5 ft.) Athletics/Climb check required (see page 113)
Water, knee-deep 5 ft. Acrobatics/Balance check required (see page 106)
Water, waist-deep 10 ft. None
Window (up to 3-ft. × 3-ft.)** 10 ft. With a successful free action Acrobatics/Tumble check (DC 15), the character uses only 5 ft. of Speed to get through a window
Window (more than 3-ft. × 3-ft.)** 5 ft. None
* This is the amount of Speed used to move 5 ft. across each terrain. A bonus 5-ft. step may not be taken across any terrain that doubles or triples the movement required to traverse it.
** If the window is closed, character suffers 1d2 lethal damage, which may be negated with a successful Acrobatics/Tumble check (DC 15).

When a character takes two separate move actions during the same round, this rule is applied to each action separately.

Example: Kevin’s Speed is reduced by 10 ft. due to terrain. With his first half-action move, he makes 3 diagonal moves (5 ft. + 10 ft. + 5 ft.). The first diagonal move of his second half-action move action is considered to be 5 ft., even though it’s taken immediately after another 5-ft. diagonal move.

Distance between characters and points on the map grid are likewise calculated using this rule. For an example of how it’s applied to circular effects, see the Blast Diagram on page 344.

BOnuS 5-fT. STEP

If a character takes no other move action, he gains 1 bonus 5-ft. step in addition to all other actions he takes during a round. This 1-square move may be taken at any time during his Initiative Count — before, during, or after any of the character’s non-movement actions. Once a character takes a bonus 5-ft. step, he cannot take any other move action during the same round.


Unless otherwise specified, only 1 character of Medium or greater Size may occupy any 1 square at a time. Up to 2 Small characters, 4 Tiny characters, 8 Diminutive characters, 16 Fine characters, or any number of Nuisance characters may occupy any 1 square at a time.

A character may move through an occupied square only when one of the following conditions applies.

  1. The square’s occupant is a teammate or an ally (see page 29).
  2. The square’s occupant is bound, flat-footed, helpless, hidden, invisible, stunned, unconscious, or dead (see page 340).
  3. The character’s Size is Tiny or smaller.
  4. The character’s Size is 3 or more categories larger or smaller than the square’s occupant.
  5. The character makes a successful Acrobatics/Tumble check.

For more about Size, see page 347.


A character is considered adjacent to another when the two characters occupy immediately touching squares with no intervening obstruction.


When a character moves into a square adjacent to an opponent who is not bound, flat-footed, helpless, hidden, invisible, stunned, unconscious, or dead, he must stop moving. Further, while adjacent to such an opponent, a character may not take any movement action other than Withdraw. He may take his bonus 5-ft. step.