The following rules cover environmental hazards one may end up encountering out in the world. Some are natural, others are more supernatural in nature.


Contact with acid, especially pools of it, corrodes the skin and causes intense pain and suffering in those subject to it. Coming into contact with corrosive acid deals 2 points of acid damage per round you remain in contact with the acid (thus, a spray of acid would deal damage once while being prone in acid for two rounds would deal damage twice). Being completely submerged in acid deals 10 points of acid damage per round, and even those resistant to or immune to acid are capable of drowning in it if they are still unable to breathe underwater.

If you are adjacent to or standing over a pool of acid your lungs are assaulted by the toxic substances, causing you to suffer Moderate Illness until you move away from it. Gas masks and sealed suits (such as Powered Armor) negate this, and without a gas mask or other form of protection, holding your breath can negate this until you start breathing again.


Most atmospheres are typical, especially in regards to the planet's atmosphere. However sometimes gravity or the substances within the air make living difficult. Some of these (such as corrosive and toxic atmospheres) can be encountered in particularly hazardous areas; a toxic area may be the surroundings of a lake of ammonia whereas the corrosive atmosphere may be a man-made substance within a building eating away at everything inside, not dissipating until the building is sufficiently aired out.


Something within the air corrodes and eats away at clothing, skin, and sometimes even metals. Unprotected characters take 1 point of damage per round while within a corrosive atmosphere, and items in a corrosive atmosphere which aren't environmentally protected take 1 point of damage to integrity per round.


Atmospheres which contain different poisons, toxins, and chemicals which make living creatures have trouble surviving for long. Unprotected characters take 1 point of damage per round while within a toxic atmosphere, and suffer Severe Illness until you escape the toxic atmosphere. Wearing a gasmask can prevent this effect.


Sometimes areas, particularly those of man-made origin, may include higher or lower gravity. Most of the time however this is encountered off planet, or when dealing with ships being shot into space.

High gravity for those unaccustomed to high gravity treats everywhere as difficult terrain. For those in high gravity, increases the TN of all Physical skills by 5, and characters suffer Trivial Staggered. Characters weigh twice as much as normal in high gravity, items weigh twice as much in high gravity, and ranged weapons halve their range.

Low gravity allows for some physical feats one otherwise wouldn't be able to accomplish. Characters in low gravity can jump three times as far, triple movement speed(s), and their carrying limit is three times as much. Triple the range of ranged attacks as well (thus, a 4 hex ranged attack would instead have a 12 hex range). You gain a +2 die bonus to Physical skill checks, and your items weigh half as much.


Avalanches occur at mountainsides, either from an accident or due to someone intentionally pushing rocks off the mountain to cause this to occur. An avalanche is typically at minimum Immense size (9 hexes) and at maximum Titanic size (15 hexes), and have a movement speed of 6 hexes per turn, and only move in a straight line (diagonally down from their origin). Those who are caught within hexes of the avalanche have a 12D attack made against their Avoid, and on a successful hit they take 24 points of bludgeoning damage. On a missed attack roll, only half damage is taken. In addition, the avalanche may spend 2 successes from its attack in order to bury an individual within the rubble. When buried, a TN 9 Contortion check must be made in order to escape, else someone must spend at least 2d6 minutes digging the character out.

A rockslide is similar to an avalanche, except it is smaller (between Large and Immense) and only deals 12 bludgeoning damage or half (6) on a miss. If hit, a character is still buried but only a TN 5 Contortion is required, and digging the character out only takes 1d3 minutes.

Boiling Water

Water which is boiling, either naturally (in the case of geysers and the like) or through man-made means such as from boilers, is extremely dangerous. Coming into contact with boiling water deals 6 points of damage whereas being fully submerged in boiling water deals 12 points of damage per round.

Catching on Fire

Being doused with flame or otherwise being lit on fire leads to one catching fire. Catching on fire deals 3 points of fire damage per round until the person is extinguished or until the duration of the fire runs out.


Occurring within caves, cave-ins involve the interior collapsing in on those within and potentially trapping or killing them. Cave-ins function similarly to a rock slide as per the Avalanche rules above, except only occurs underground.


When unable to breathe in certain liquids, characters may begin drowning. Characters are able to hold their breath underwater for a number of rounds equal to their Vitality. When taking a Major Action while holding their breath, a character reduces the amount of rounds they can hold their breath by 1 (in addition to reductions due to time). When unable to hold their breath, a character will start taking 2 points of damage per round. If a character is reduced to 0 HP or lower due to this, they are knocked unconscious (but not bleeding out).

Falling Damage

Being launched in the air or dropping from a massive distance, the force of landing from high drops can cause massive damage. Hexes in both vertical and horizontal height are meant to be 5 feet or around 1.5 meters. Falling characters take 2 points of damage for every 2 hexes in which they fall and after hitting the ground the character falls prone. When deliberately jumping down instead of falling down, the first 4 hexes of falling deal no damage however beyond 4 hexes the character takes damage as normal as if they hadn't ignored the damage previously. For example, if the character intentionally jumps 5 or 6 hexes down, they take 12 points of damage as normal whereas if they jumped down 4 hexes only they'd take no damage.

Falling 40 hexes (~200 feet) is always considered lethal from those unprotected (such as those wearing specialized Powered Armor). Under normal circumstances however, armor and other armor-like abilities doesn't reduce nor affect falling damage. Falling onto softer surfaces reduce the amount of damage to 1 point per 2 hex instead.

Characters fall at a rate of 100 hexes per round. Thus, if they want to take any actions to prevent falling damage, it must be either a Reaction or done before they land.

Falling Objects

Objects falling from long distances carry enough momentum and force to severely hurt those below. This can be from debris of a collapsing building, intentionally dropped objects, or other such situations.

Objects deal damage based on their size category. Objects smaller than Small size deal 1 damage if they fall more than 6 hexes in distance, but otherwise deal no damage. Objects which are Small size deal 3 points of damage and every size category above Small increases the damage dealt by 3.

Size Damage
Miniscule & Diminutive 1
Small 3
Medium 6
Large 9
Massive 12
Immense 15
Enormous 18
Titanic 21
Double damage if falling more than 30 hexes
Halve damage if falling less than 6 hexes


Walking on ice, especially without the proper gear, forces the one walking on the ice to only be able to move in straight lines at full speed, or non-straight lines at half speed. While moving in a straight line, the character treats their land speed as 40% faster (in other words, multiply land speed by 1.4 times).


Hot and deadly, lava as well as magma are highly lethal and are rarely found in the wild, only typically found near volcanoes. Coming into contact with lava deals 8 points of fire damage while being submerged in lava is lethal and will instantly kill the character submerged unless they are otherwise immune to fire damage.


Lighting in an area is importantly for determining who can see what, as well as determining the possibility of stealth. For lighting however there are four stages;


Light level experienced throughout the day, with little to no difficulties in sight.

Dim Light

Slightly dark areas with illuminations from patches of light, this is normally the same as daylight in terms of visibility with the added stipulation that Sneaking is able to be rolled by hiding in the more shadowy areas.


A lack of true light in an area, leaving minor ambient or natural lights (such as from dim moonlight) to guide the way. These brief patches of light are overcome by many shadows. Normally, humans are only able to see out to 4 hexes in the dark whereas some other species may be able to see further. Creatures with Night Vision can see in darkness like Dim Light, while creatures with Darksight see in both Darkness and Pitch Black conditions as if it were Daylight.

Pitch Black

Typically reserved for situations of supernatural darkness, or darkness being produced by a total lack of any ambient light (such as from a dark cave whose entrance was closed). Characters can see 1 hex out in Pitch Black conditions, characters with Night Vision can see out to 8 hexes, and finally characters with Darksight can see in both Darkness and Pitch Black conditions as if it were daylight.

Loose Sand

When a creature enters or remains within a hex designated as loose sand, they treat the terrain as difficult terrain. For every hex moved within the loose sand, the character is slowed until they're forced to stop - every hex moved invokes a 1D attack versus the mover's Avoid, with the attack roll increasing by +1 die for additional attack roll made. Upon a successful hit, the character is stopped in their tracks and cannot continue their movement on their turn.

Quicksand functions similar to loose sand except that the first attack roll to hit instead causes the character to sink to their waist and are reduced to half of their move speed in addition to the reduction to movement speed from moving through difficult terrain. If they continue to move while sunk to their waist, attack rolls are made as before but start at 4D versus Avoid and increases by +2 dice for every additional attack roll triggered. If this second attack roll hits, the character sinks up down to just under their arms and are completely immobilized. If they are not removed from the quicksand after this, they are enveloped and begin to drown (as per the drowning rules for water/liquids).

Low-Hanging Branches

Running through areas of low hanging branches causes various tree branches to potentially whip their face and cause bleeding. For every hex moved through an area of low hanging branches, the character takes 1 point of nonlethal slashing damage. If the character is mounted (for example, on a horse) they instead take 3 points of nonlethal slashing damage.


Various holes in the ground, whether manmade or natural, can potentially lead to tripping up those standing near them. A character ending their turn adjacent to a pit must roll a Balance with a TN of 4 else they'll fall into the pit. For every size category larger than the individual the pit is, the TN is increased by 1. If the pit is smaller than they are, it is instead difficult terrain.

Psychokinetic Phenomenon

Areas of intense psychic phenomenon or trauma can create lingering effects, typically invisible or only partially visible through translucent electric jolts riding through the air. Characters within the area of a psychokinetic phenomenon have a 5D attack roll made against their Grit for the first time they enter it and every round they end their turn within it, suffering 6 psychokinetic damage on a successful hit. Characters immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to this.


Creating a gaseous barrier which blocks vision, smoke is typically the result of fires or burning of other material. While within an area of smoke an unprotected character is Trivial Staggered and suffers Moderate Illness. Their vision is also obscured, granting everyone within the smoke concealment, and everyone within the smoke trying to attack treat everyone else as having concealment. A character takes 2 points of nonlethal damage within smoke for every minute spent within it. Gasmasks negate the penalties of smoke.

Smoke created by burning toxic substances is treated as also being a Atmosphere (Toxic).

Starvation & Thirst

Characters typically need to eat and drink, and going without food and beverages is disastrous for one's health. For these conditions, they are alleviated by drinking and eating once again, and are usually only an issue when on the road and provisions may be low or spoiled.


Characters can survive around three days without food, with an additional day for each point of Vitality the character has. If a character goes longer than this without food, they begin taking 4 points of damage for each day beyond the limits of the character's starvation.


Characters can survive around three days without water with discomfort getting worse and worse over time. For every day the character is afflicted with thirst, they suffer from Trivial Illness and Trivial Pain. On the second day, the character increases their Illness by one step. On the third day, the character increases their illness and pain become more severe, increasing the intensity by both of these to the next step (Illness goes from Moderate to Severe, and Pain increases from Trivial to Moderate.


Creatures who need to breathe can suffocate when their airflow is cut off, resulting in them suffocating - potentially to their death. Characters are able to hold their breath for 2 rounds per point of Vitality, and any time the character takes a Major Action reduce the amount of rounds they're able to keep holding their breath by 1, similar to Drowning. For every round a character's no longer able to hold their breath, they take 2 damage per round. If they are brought to 0 HP due to this, they are knocked unconscious (but not bleeding out).

Thorn Bushes

A thorny bush may take up a single hex or take up multiple hexes, and stepping through these bushes unprotected deals damage to characters as they walk through. Thorn bushes count as difficult terrain and deal 1 point of piercing damage to those unprotected walking through it, with "unprotected" typically being those not wearing Powered Armor or similarly heavy or bulky armor (for example, old "Knight Armor" may be considered good enough protection, however padded pants or chain skirts wouldn't). Thorn bushes can be cut down or burnt, each hex of thorn bushes having 5 integrity, and take only half damage from bludgeoning attacks and no damage from piercing attacks.


Rare and typically only experienced if one ends up in the great void of space without any form of protection. Characters unprotected (as in, not wearing a space suit of some sort) in the vacuum of space take 8 points of damage per round in addition to any damage that may be taken from suffocation due to the vacuum of space lacking any air to breathe. Dying from a vacuum's damage causes explosive decompression, severely reducing or negating any chance for the character to be revived medically and/or negates the usage of Back from the Brink.


Under normal circumstances, swimming in water isn't necessarily a hazard however fast moving water can prove lethal, especially for those unskilled in swimming. Failing to swim in rough or stormy waters can lead to the character taking 2 bludgeoning damage. If the water is deep enough, they are pulled under and begin holding their breath lest they drown.


Creatures in the same hex as a whirlpool must make a TN 10 Athletics (Swim) check lest they end up taking 2 points of bludgeoning damage and are moved 3 hexes in a random direction. Whirlpools are also considered difficult terrain for swimmers.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License