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Glossary

This page contains short summaries for many of the essential rules of the game, full definitions for most traits, and partial definitions and calculations for many other rules.

Contents

List of Terms

Aberration (trait)

Aberrations are creatures from beyond the planes or corruptions of the natural order.

Ability

This is a general term referring to rules that provide an exception to the basic rules. An ability could come from a number of sources, so “an ability that gives you a bonus to damage rolls” could be a feat, a spell, and so on.

Ability Boost

An ability boost allows you to increase one of your ability scores by 2, or by 1 if the ability score was already 18 or higher. When you get more than one ability boost at once, you must apply each to a different score.

Ability Flaw

An ability flaw decreases one of your ability scores by 2.

Ability Modifier

A value added to calculations based on your ability score.

Ability Score

Each creature has six ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. These scores represent a creature’s raw potential and basic attributes.

Abjuration (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the abjuration school of magic, typically involving protection or wards.

AC (Armor Class)

See also Armor Class

Acid (damage type)

Acid (trait)

Effects with this trait deal acid damage. Creatures with this trait have a magical connection to acid.

Acrobatics (skill)

Perform tasks requiring coordination and grace. (Dex)

Actions

Discrete tasks that generate a specific effect, possibly requiring a check to determine the result. Actions can be used to accomplish a variety of things, such as moving, attacking, casting a spell, or interacting with an item or object. Most creatures can use up to 3 actions during their turn.

Single Action ([one-action])

See also single action.

Activate an Item (activity)

You provide specified components to activate an alchemical or magical item. The number of actions this takes varies by item.

Activity

A category of action that typically takes more than a single action. Activities on your turn take 2 actions ([two-actions]) or 3 actions ([three-actions]). Exploration and downtime activities can take minutes, hours, or days

Administer First Aid [two-actions] (skill action)

Stabilize a dying creature or stanch bleeding. (Medicine)

Adventure

A single narrative—including the setup, plot, and conclusion. The player characters play through an adventure over the course of one or more game sessions, and the adventure might be part of a larger campaign.

Affix a Talisman (activity)

Activity used to attach a talisman to an item.

Affliction

An affliction can affect a creature for a long time, over several different stages. The most common kinds are curses, diseases, and poisons.

Aid [reaction] (basic action)

Reaction used to Grant a bonus to an ally’s skill check or attack roll.

Air (trait)

Effects with the air trait either manipulate or conjure air. Those that manipulate air have no effect in a vacuum or an area without air. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of air or have a magical connection to that element.

Alchemical (trait)

Alchemical items are powered by reactions of alchemical reagents. Alchemical items aren’t magical and don’t radiate a magical aura.

Alchemist (trait)

This indicates abilities from the alchemist class.

Alignment

Alignment represents a creature’s basic moral and ethical attitude on a law-to-chaos axis and a good-to-evil axis.

Alignment (damage type)

An umbrella category of damage including chaotic, evil, good, and lawful damage.

Ally

An ally is someone on your side. You are not counted as your own ally.

Anathema

When a character violates restrictions on their behavior imposed by the source of their power, they can lose related abilities.

Ancestry

A broad family of people that a creature belongs to. Each player character chooses an ancestry as the first step of character creation.

Angel (trait)

This family of celestials is native to the plane of Nirvana. Most angels are neutral good, have darkvision, and have a weakness to evil damage.

Animal (trait)

An animal is a creature with a relatively low intelligence. It typically doesn’t have an Intelligence ability modifier over –4, can’t speak languages, and can’t be trained in Intelligence -based skills.

Apex (trait)

When you Invest an Item that has the apex trait, it improves one of your ability scores, either increasing it by 2 or to a total of 18, whichever grants the higher score. This gives you all the benefits of the new ability score until the investiture ends. An apex item grants this benefit only the first time it’s invested within a 24-hour period, and you can benefit from only one apex item at a time. If you attempt to invest an apex item when you already have one invested, you don’t gain the ability score increase, though you do gain any other effects of Investing the Item.

Arcana (skill)

Know things about arcane magic and creatures. (Int) See Arcana

Arcane (trait)

This magic comes from the arcane tradition, which is built on logic and rationality. Anything with this trait is magical.

Archetype

A special additional theme for your character that you can choose using your class feats.

Archetype (trait)

This feat belongs to an archetype.

Archon (trait)

Members of this family of celestials are the protectors of Heaven and are lawful good. They have darkvision and a weakness to evil damage.

Area

A specified shape and size of an effect.

Armor

magical and special armor

Armor Class (AC)

This score represents how hard it is to hit and damage a creature. It typically serves as the DC to hit a creature with an attack. AC = 10 + Dex modifier (up to your armor’s Dex Cap) + proficiency bonus + armor’s item bonus to AC + other bonuses + penalties.

Arrest a Fall [reaction] (specialty basic action)

Use Acrobatics to slow your fall while flying.

Astral (trait)

Astral creatures are native of the Astral Plane. They can survive the basic environmental effects of the Astral Plane.

Athletics (skill)

Perform deeds of physical prowess. (Str)

Attached (weapon trait)

Attack

When a creature tries to harm another creature, it makes a Strike or uses another attack action. Most attacks require an attack roll and target Armor Class. Melee attack roll modifier = Str modifier (or optionally Dex modifier for a finesse weapon) + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties; Ranged attack roll modifier = Dex modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Aid

A reaction used to grant a bonus to an ally’s attack roll.

Multiple attack Penalty

–5 on your second attack, –10 on further attacks

Unarmed attack attack (trait)

An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

Attack of Opportunity [reaction]

A reaction fighters and some other characters gain.

Auditory (trait)

Auditory actions and effects rely on sound. An action with the auditory trait can be successfully performed only if the creature using the action can speak or otherwise produce the required sounds. A spell or effect with the auditory trait has its effect only if the target can hear it. This applies only to sound-based parts of the effect, as determined by the GM. This is different from a sonic effect, which still affects targets who can’t hear it (such as deaf targets) as long as the effect itself makes sound.

Aura

An aura is an emanation that continually ebbs out from you, affecting creatures within a certain radius. Aura can also refer to the magical signature of an item or a creature with a strong alignment.

Avert Gaze [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Get a +2 bonus against visual abilities.

Avoid Notice (exploration activity)

Use Stealth to move without being detected.

Azata (trait)

This family of celestials is native to Elysium. They are typically chaotic good and have darkvision and a weakness to evil and cold iron.

Background

The experiences your character had before becoming an adventurer. Each player character chooses a background during character creation.

Backstabber (weapon trait)

Backswing (weapon trait)

Balance [one-action] (skill action)

Move on a narrow or unstable surface. (Acrobatics)

Barbarian (class)

Barbarian (trait)

This indicates abilities from the barbarian class.

Bard (class)

Bard (trait)

This indicates abilities from the bard class.

Basic Action

An action all creatures can use.

Beast (trait)

A creature similar to an animal but with an Intelligence modifier of –3 or higher is usually a beast. Unlike an animal, a beast might be able to speak and reason.

Bleed (damage type)

A type of persistent damage.

Blinded (condition)

You’re unable to see.

Bludgeoning (damage type)

A type of physical damage.

Bomb (trait)

An alchemical bomb combines volatile alchemical components that explode when the bomb hits a creature or object. Most alchemical bombs deal damage, though some produce other effects.

Bonus

A positive value added to a calculation. Add only the highest bonus of a single type (circumstance, item, status).

Borrow an Arcane Spell (skill action)

Temporarily gain access to an arcane spell. (Arcana, trained)

Bright light

You can see normally in bright light.

Broken (condition)

This item can’t be used for its normal function until repaired.

Broken Threshold (BT)

When an object’s HP reaches this number, it becomes broken.

Bulk

A value indicating an item’s size, weight, and general awkwardness. It takes 10 items of light Bulk to equal 1 Bulk, and 1, coins are 1 Bulk. A character becomes encumbered if they carry Bulk greater than 5 + their Str modifier, and they can’t carry more than 10 + their Str modifier.

Bulwark (armor trait)

Burrow [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Move up to your burrow Speed.

Campaign

A serialized story focusing on a single party of characters and taking place over multiple adventures.

Cantrip (trait)

A spell you can cast at will that is automatically heightened to half your level rounded up.

Cast a Spell (activity)

You provide magical components to cast a magical spell. The number of actions this takes varies by spell.

Celestial (trait)

Creatures that hail from or have a strong connection to the good-aligned planes are called celestials. Celestials can survive the basic environmental effects of planes in the Outer Sphere.

Champion (class)

Champion (trait)

This indicates abilities from the champion class.

Chaotic (trait)

Chaotic effects often manipulate energy from chaos-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to lawful divine servants or divine servants of lawful deities. A creature with this trait is chaotic in alignment. An ability with this trait can be selected or used only by chaotic creatures.

Character

This term is synonymous with creature, but is more often used to refer to player characters and nonplayer characters than monsters.

Character sheet

Formatted pages on which you can record your character choices, statistics, feats, spells, and details.

Charisma (Cha)

This ability score measures your charm and force of personality.

Check

When you roll a d20 and add modifiers, bonuses, and penalties, then compare your result to a Difficulty Class, you’re attempting a check.

Check Penalty

A penalty to skill checks imposed by armor.

Circumstance Bonus

A bonus that comes from a situation.

Circumstance Penalty

A penalty that comes from a situation.

Class

The adventuring profession chosen by a character. Each player character picks a class during character creation.

Class DC

A class DC sets the difficulty for some abilities granted by your character’s class. Class DC = 10 + proficiency bonus + key ability modifier.

Class Feature

Any ability granted by a class is a class feature. These mainly consist of class feats and other abilities specific to the class.

Cleric (trait)

This indicates abilities from the cleric class.

Climb [one-action] (skill action)

Move along an incline or vertical surface. (Athletics)

Clumsy (condition)

You can’t move as easily or gracefully as usual.

Coerce (skill action)

Make someone do what you want. (Intimidation)

Cold (trait)

Effects with this trait deal cold damage. Creatures with this trait have a connection to magical cold.

Cold iron (material)

Comfort (armor trait)

Command (item activation component)

Command an Animal [one-action] (skill action)

Get an animal to obey you. (Nature)

Common (trait)

Anything that doesn’t list another rarity trait (uncommon, rare, or unique) automatically has the common trait. This rarity indicates that an ability, item, or spell is available to all players who meet the prerequisites for it. 13

Companion (trait)

An item with this trait can be worn by an animal companion or similar creature. A companion can have up to two items invested.

Complex (trait)

A hazard with this trait takes turns in an encounter.

Component

A process used to Cast a Spell or Activate an Item.

Composition (trait)

To cast a composition cantrip or focus spell, you usually use a type of Performance. If the spell includes a verbal component, you must use an auditory performance, and if it includes a somatic component, you must use a visual one. The spell gains all the traits of the performance you used. You can cast only one composition spell each turn, and you can have only one active at a time. If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately. 97, 99, 386–387

Conceal an Object [one-action] (skill action)

Hide an object on your person. (Stealth)

Concealed (condition)

Low visibility makes you difficult to target.

Champion (trait)

This indicates abilities from the champion class.

Chaotic (damage type)

Chaotic (trait)

Chaotic effects often manipulate energy from chaos-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to lawful divine servants or divine servants of lawful deities. A creature with this trait is chaotic in alignment. An ability with this trait can be selected or used only by chaotic creatures.

Character

This term is synonymous with creature, but is more often used to refer to player characters and nonplayer characters than monsters.

Charisma (Cha)

This ability score measures your charm and force of personality.

Check

When you roll a d20 and add modifiers, bonuses, and penalties, then compare your result to a Difficulty Class, you’re attempting a check.

Check Penalty

(penalty to skill checks imposed by armor)

Degrees of success

(critical success, success, failure, critical failure)

Circumstance Bonus

A bonus that comes from a situation.

Circumstance Penalty

A penalty that comes from a situation.

Class

The adventuring profession chosen by a character. Each player character picks a class during character creation.

Class DC

A class DC sets the difficulty for some abilities granted by your character’s class DC

Class DC = 10 + proficiency bonus + key ability modifier.

Class feature

Any ability granted by a class is a class feature. These mainly consist of

Class feats and other abilities

specific to the class.

Cleric (trait)

This indicates abilities from the cleric class.

Climb [one-action] (skill action)

Move along an incline or vertical surface. (Athletics)

Clumsy (condition)

You can’t move as easily or gracefully as usual.

Coerce (skill action)

Make someone do what you want. (Intimidation)

Cold (damage type)

Cold (trait)

Effects with this trait deal cold damage. Creatures with this trait have a connection to magical cold.

Cold iron (material)

Comfort (armor trait)

Command (item activation component)

Command an Animal [one-action] (skill action)

Get an animal to obey you. (Nature)

Common (trait)

Anything that doesn’t list another rarity trait (uncommon, rare, or unique) automatically has the common trait. This rarity indicates that an ability item, or spell is available to all players who meet the prerequisites for it.

Companion (trait)

An item with this trait can be worn by an animal companion or similar creature. A companion can have up to two items invested.

Complex (trait)

A hazard with this trait takes turns in an encounter

Component

A process used to Cast a Spell or Activate an Item.

Composition (trait)

To cast a composition cantrip or focus spell, you usually use a type of Performance. If the spell includes a verbal component, you must use an auditory performance, and if it includes a somatic component, you must use a visual one. The spell gains all the traits of the performance you used. You can cast only one composition spell each turn, and you can have only one active at a time. If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately.

Conceal an Object [one-action] (skill action)

Hide an object on your person. (Stealth)

Concealed (condition)

Low visibility makes you difficult to target.

Concentrate (trait)

An action with this trait requires a degree of mental concentration and discipline.

Condition

An ongoing effect that changes how a character can act or alters some of their statistics.

Cone (area)

Confused (condition)

You attack indiscriminately.

conjuration (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the conjuration school of magic, typically involving summoning, creation teleportation, or moving things from place to place.

Consecration (trait)

A consecration spell enhances an area for an extended period of time. A given area can have only a single consecration effect at a time. The new effect attempts to counteract any existing one in areas of overlap.

Constitution (Con)

This ability score measures your toughness and durability.

Construct (trait)

A construct is an artificial creature empowered by a force other than necromancy. Constructs are often mindless; they are immune to disease the paralyzed condition, and poison; and they may have Hardness based on the materials used to construct their bodies. Constructs are not living creatures, nor are they undead. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, a construct creature is destroyed.

Consumable (trait)

An item with this trait can be used only once. Unless stated otherwise, it’s destroyed after activation. Consumable items include alchemical items and magical consumables such as scrolls and talismans. When a character creates consumable items, they can make them in batches of four.

Contact (trait)

This poison is delivered by contact with the skin.

Controlled (condition)

Another creature determines your actions.

Copper piece (cp)

Counteract

The process used when one effect tries to negate another.

Counterspell [reaction]

A reaction some spellcasters can use to negate spells.

Cover

When you’re behind a physical obstacle, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to AC, Reflex saves vs. area effects, and Stealth checks. This increases to +4 for greater cover. Creatures can provide lesser cover: a +1 circumstance bonus to AC.

Cover Tracks (skill action)

Conceal your trail during exploration. (Survival, trained)

Cp (copper piece)

Craft (skill action)

Make an item during downtime. (Crafting, trained)

Crafting (skill)

Create, understand, and repair items. (Int)

Crawl [one-action] (basic action)

Move 5 feet while prone.

Create a Diversion [one-action] (skill action)

Distract someone. (Deception)

Create Forgery (skill action)

Make a false document in downtime. (Society, trained)

Creature

An active participant in the story and world. This includes monsters and nonplayer characters (played by the Game Master) and player characters (played by the other players).

Critical

You can get a greater success—a critical success—by rolling 10 above your DC or a worse failure—a critical failure—by rolling 10 lower than your DC.

Critical hit (Strike)

Critical specialization (weapons)

Curse (trait)

A curse is an effect that places some long-term affliction on a creature. Curses are always magical and are typically the result of a spell or trap.

D4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and d%

Notations for different sizes of dice. “d20” is a twenty-sided die, for example.

Daily preparations

During your morning preparations, you ready your gear, prepare spells, and otherwise get ready for your adventuring day.

Damage

Damage dealt to a creature reduces that creature’s Hit Points on a 1-to-1 basis. Melee damage roll = damage die of the weapon or unarmed attack + Str modifier + bonuses + penalties; Ranged damage roll = damage die of the weapon + Str modifier for a thrown weapon + bonuses + penalties.

Massive damage

(You die if one blow deals double your maximum HP.)

Persistent damage (condition)

Darkness

Creatures and objects in darkness are hidden or undetected, and creatures without darkvision have the blinded condition in darkness.

Darkness (trait)

Darkness effects extinguish non-magical light in the area, and can counteract less powerful magical light. You must usually target light magic with your darkness magic directly to counteract the light, but some darkness spells automatically attempt to counteract light.

Darkvision (sense)

See clearly in darkness, though in black and white only.

Darkwood (material)

Dazzled (condition)

Everything is concealed to you.

Deadly (weapon trait)

Deafened (condition)

You’re unable to hear.

Death (trait)

An effect with the death trait kills you immediately if it reduces you to 0 HP. Some death effects can bring you closer to death or slay you outright without reducing you to 0 HP.

Debilitation

Debilitations apply conditions and other negative effects to a creature. When the creature is affected by a new debilitation, any previous one it was affected by ends.

Deception (skill)

Trick and mislead others. (Cha) –,

Decipher Writing (skill action)

Understand obscure or coded text. (Arcana, Occultism, Religion, Society; trained)

Dedication (trait)

You must select a feat with this trait to apply an archetype to your character.

Defend (exploration activity)

Travel with your shield raised.

Degrees of success

The four possible outcomes of a check: critical success, success, failure, and critical failure.

Deity

Deities are powerful entities that live beyond the world and grant power in the form of spells to their truly devoted believers.

Delay [free-action] (basic action)

Take your turn later.

Demon (trait)

A family of fiends, demons hail from or trace their origins to the Abyss. Most are irredeemably chaotic evil and have darkvision.

Demoralize [one-action] (skill action)

Frighten your enemies. (Intimidation)

Detect Magic (exploration activity)

Cast detect magic at regular intervals.

Detection (trait)

Effects with this trait attempt to determine the presence or location of a person, object, or aura.

Devil (trait)

A family of fiends from Hell, most devils are irredeemably lawful evil. They typically have greater darkvision, immunity to fire, and telepathy.

Dexterity (Dex)

This ability score measures your agility and deftness.

Dexterity modifier cap (armor)

Dice (singular “die”)

7, 8,

Die roll

Any time you roll the dice, you’re making a roll.

Difficult terrain (terrain)

It costs 5 extra feet of movement to enter a space of difficult terrain, or 10 extra for greater difficult terrain.

Difficulty Class (DC)

The number you need to succeed at a check. To generate a DC from a modifier (like Perception DC), add 10 to the modifier.

Class DC

10 + proficiency bonus + key ability modifier)

Simple DCs

untrained 10, trained 15, expert 20, master 30, legendary 40)

Spell DC

10 + spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties)

Dim light

Creatures and objects in dim light are concealed.

Dinosaur (trait)

These reptiles have survived from prehistoric times.

Diplomacy (skill)

Influence others through negotiation and flattery. (Cha) –,

Disable a Device [two-actions] (skill action)

Disable a trap or a similar complex mechanism. (Thievery, trained)

Disarm (weapon trait)

Disarm [one-action] (skill action)

Make a creature drop an item. (Athletics, trained)

Disbelieve

Attempt to ignore an illusion.

Disease (trait)

An effect with this trait applies one or more diseases. A disease is typically an affliction.

Dismiss [one-action] (action)

End a spell or magic item effect that can be dismissed.

Dispel

See also counteract.

Divination (trait)

The divination school of magic typically involves obtaining or transferring information, or predicting events.

Divine (trait)

This magic comes from the divine tradition, drawing power from deities or similar sources. Anything with this trait is magical.

Doomed (condition)

Your soul is in peril, bringing you closer to death.

Downtime

A mode of play in which characters are not adventuring. Days pass quickly at the table, and characters engage in long-term activities.

Downtime (trait)

An activity with this trait takes a day or more, and can be used only during downtime.

Dragon (trait)

Dragons are reptilian creatures, often winged or with the power of flight. Most are able to use a breath weapon and are immune to sleep and paralysis.

Dragonhide (material)

Drained (condition)

Blood loss or a similar effect has leeched your vitality.

Drop Prone [one-action] (basic action)

Fall flat on the ground.

Drow (trait)

Subterranean kin of the elves, drow typically have darkvision and inborn magical abilities.

Druid (class)

Druid (trait)

This indicates abilities from the druid class.

Duergar (trait)

Subterranean kin of the dwarves, duergar typically have darkvision and immunity to poison. They are not easily fooled by illusions.

Dwarf (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the dwarf ancestry. Dwarves are stout folk who often live underground and typically have darkvision. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by dwarves. An item with this trait is created and used by dwarves.

Dying (condition)

You have been reduced to O HP and are nearing death.

Earn Income (skill action)

Make money using a skill during downtime. (Crafting, Lore, Performance; trained)

Earth (trait)

Effects with the earth trait either manipulate or conjure earth. Those that manipulate earth have no effect in an area without earth. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of earth or have a magical connection to that element.

Effect

An effect is the result of an ability, though an ability’s exact effect is sometimes contingent on the result of a check or other roll.

Electricity (damage type)

Electricity (trait)

Effects with this trait deal electricity damage. A creature with this trait has a magical connection to electricity.

Elemental (trait)

Elementals are creatures directly tied to an element and native to the Elemental Planes. Elementals don’t need to breathe.

Elf (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the elf ancestry. Elves are mysterious people with rich traditions of magic and scholarship who typically have low-light vision. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by elves. A weapon with this trait is created and used by elves.

Elixir (trait)

Elixirs are alchemical liquids that are used by drinking them.

Emanation (area)

Emotion (trait)

This effect alters a creature’s emotions. Effects with this trait always have the mental trait as well. Creatures with special training or that have mechanical or artificial intelligence are immune to emotion effects.

Enchantment (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the enchantment school of magic, typically involving mind control, emotion alteration, and other mental effects.

Encounter

A mode of play in which time is measured in 6-second rounds and participants use precise actions. Combat takes place in encounters.

Special battles (aerial, aquatic, mounted)

Encumbered (condition)

Too much Bulk impedes your movement.

Energy (damage type)

An umbrella category including acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, negative, positive, and sonic damage.

Enfeebled (condition)

Your strength has been sapped away.

Environmental (trait)

A hazard with this trait is something dangerous that’s part of the natural world, such as quicksand or harmful mold.

Envision (item activation component)

Escape [one-action] (basic action)

Attempt to get free when grabbed, restrained or immobilized.

Ethereal (trait)

Ethereal creatures are natives of the Ethereal Plane. They can survive the basic environmental effects of the Ethereal Plane.

Evil (damage type)

Evil (trait)

Evil effects often manipulate energy from evil-aligned Outer Planes and are antithetical to good divine servants or divine servants of good deities. A creature with this trait is evil in alignment. An ability with this trait can be selected or used only by evil creatures.

Evocation (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the evocation school of magic, typically involving energy and elemental forces.

Experience Points (XP)

Points that measure a player character’s progress, accrued during play. Typically a PC gains a new level upon reaching 1, XP.

Expert (proficiency rank)

Add your level + 4 to associated rolls and DCs.

Exploration

A mode of play used for traveling, investigating, and otherwise exploring.

Exploration (trait)

An activity with this trait takes more than a turn to use, and can usually be used only during exploration mode. 17,

Extradimensional (trait)

This effect or item creates an extradimensional space. An extradimensional effect placed inside another extradimensional space ceases to function until it is removed.

Failure

A result on a check that fails to meet the DC. Failing by 10 or more is a critical failure. If a check has no failure entry, nothing happens on a failure.

Falling

When you fall more than 5 feet, you take bludgeoning damage equal to half the distance you fell and land prone.

Familiar

A Tiny creature mystically bonded to you.

Fascinated (condition)

You must focus on one subject of your fascination.

Fatal (weapon trait)

Fatigued (condition)

Your defenses are lower, and you can’t focus while exploring.

Fear (trait)

Fear effects evoke the emotion of fear. Effects with this trait always have the mental and emotion traits as well.

Feat

An ability you gain or select for your character due to their ancestry, background, class, general training, or skill training. Some feats grant special actions.

Feat, skill

General feat that improves skills

Feint [one-action] (skill action)

Misdirect someone to make them flat-footed. (Deception trained)

Fey (trait)

Creatures of the First World are called the fey.

Fiend (trait)

Creatures that hail from or have a strong connection to the evil-aligned planes are called fiends. Fiends can survive the basic environmental effects of planes in the Outer Sphere.

Fighter (class)

Fighter (trait)

This indicates abilities from the fighter class.

Finesse (weapon trait)

Fire (damage type)

Fire (trait)

Effects with the fire trait deal fire damage or either conjure or manipulate fire. Those that manipulate fire have no effect in an area without fire. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of fire or have a magical connection to that element.

Flank

When two creatures are on opposite sides of their enemy, the enemy is flanked becoming flat-footed to those creatures.

Flat check

A d20 roll that measures pure chance. A flat check can’t have any modifiers bonuses, or penalties applied to it.

Flat-footed (condition)

You take a –2 circumstance penalty to AC.

Fleeing (condition)

You must run away.

Flexible (armor trait)

Flourish (trait)

Flourish actions are actions that require too much exertion to perform a large number in a row. You can use only 1 action with the flourish trait per turn.

Fly [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Move up to your fly Speed.

Focus (spell component)

Focus Point

If you can cast focus spells, you have a pool of Focus Points you can use to cast them. You regain a Focus Point using the Refocus activity.

Focus spell

A type of spell, specific to a class, that can be cast using Focus Points and is automatically heightened to half your level rounded up. Focus spells always have a descriptive term such as “domain spell” or “ki spell.”

Refocus (activity)

Focused (trait)

An item with this trait can give you an additional Focus Point. This focus point is separate from your focus pool and doesn’t count toward the cap on your focus pool. You can gain this benefit only if you have a focus pool, and there might be restrictions on how the point can be used. You can’t gain more than 1 Focus Point per day from focused items.

Follow the Expert (exploration activity)

Benefit from another’s skill proficiency.

Force (damage type)

Force (trait)

Effects with this trait deal force damage or create objects made of pure magical force.

Force Open [one-action] (skill action)

Physically wrench something open. (Athletics)

Forceful (weapon trait)

Formula

A recipe or instructions required to Craft an item.

Formula book (alchemist)

Fortitude (Fort)

A type of saving throw used to resist diseases, poisons, and other physical effects. Fortitude modifier = Con modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Fortune (trait)

A fortune effect beneficially alters how you roll your dice. You can never have more than one fortune effect alter a single roll. If multiple fortune effects would apply, you have to pick which to use. If a fortune effect and a misfortune effect would apply to the same roll, the two cancel each other out and you roll normally.

Free action ([free-action])

An action you can use without spending one of your actions. Free actions with triggers can be used at any time, but they don’t use up your 1 reaction per round.

Free-hand (weapon trait)

Frequency

An ability that can’t be used at will might list a frequency.

Friendly (condition)

An NPC with this condition has a good attitude toward you.

Frightened (condition)

Fear makes you less capable of attacking and defending.

Fumble

A colloquial term for a critical failure.

Fungus (trait)

Fungal creatures have the fungus trait. They are distinct from normal fungi.

Game Master (GM)

The player who adjudicates the rules and narrates the elements of the story and world that the other players explore.

Gargantuan (size)

Gather Information (skill action)

Socialize to learn things. (Diplomacy)

General (trait)

A type of feat that any character can select, regardless of ancestry and class, as long as they meet the prerequisites. You can select a feat with this trait when your class grants a general feat.

Giant (trait)

Giants are massive humanoid creatures.

GM (Game Master)

See also Game Master.

Gnome (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the gnome ancestry. Gnomes are small people skilled at magic who seek out new experiences and usually have low-light vision. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by gnomes. A weapon with this trait is created and used by gnomes.

Goblin (trait)

A creature with this trait can come from multiple tribes of creatures including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. Goblins tend to have darkvision. An ability with this trait can be used or chosen only by goblins. A weapon with this trait is created and used by goblins.

Gold piece (gp)

Good (damage type)

Good (trait)

Good effects often manipulate energy from good-aligned Outer Planes and are antithetical to evil divine servants or divine servants of evil deities. A creature with this trait is good in alignment. An ability with this trait can be selected or used only by good creatures.

Gp (gold piece)

Grab an Edge [reaction] (specialty basic action)

Try to catch yourself while falling.

Grabbed (condition)

A creature, object, or magic holds you in place.

Grapple [one-action] (skill action)

Grab or restrain a creature. (Athletics)

Grapple (weapon trait)

Grid

A map with 1-inch squares used for indicating position and movement.

Hag (trait)

These creatures are malevolent spellcasters who form covens.

Half-elf (trait)

A creature with this trait is part human and part elf. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by half-elves.

Half-orc (trait)

A creature with this trait is part human and part orc. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by half-orcs.

Halfling (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the halfling ancestry. These small people are friendly wanderers considered to be lucky. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by halflings. A weapon with this trait is created and used by halflings.

Hardness

A statistic representing an object’s durability.

Haunt (trait)

A hazard with this trait is a spiritual echo, often of someone with a tragic death. Putting a haunt to rest often involves resolving the haunt’s unfinished business. A haunt that hasn’t been properly put to rest always returns after a time.

Hazard

Hazards are non-creature dangers that adventurers encounter during their journeys, including environmental hazards, haunts, and traps. Simple hazards have a one-time effect, but negotiating a complex hazard takes place in encounter mode, wherein the hazard has a specific routine.

Hazardous terrain (terrain)

You take damage when moving through this terrain.

Healing (trait)

A healing effect restores a creature’s body, typically by restoring Hit Points, but sometimes by removing diseases or other debilitating effects.

Helpful (condition)

An NPC with this condition is likely to assist you.

Heritage

A choice made to further define your ancestry.

Hero Point

These points last only within a session. You can spend 1 Hero Point to reroll a check, or all your Hero Points to avoid dying. 29, awarding Hero Points (GM)

Hidden (condition)

A creature knows your location but can’t see you.

Hide [one-action] (skill action)

Make yourself hidden. (Stealth)

High Jump [two-actions] (skill action)

Jump vertically. (Athletics)

Hit Points (HP)

A statistic representing the amount of physical harm a creature can take before it falls unconscious or dies. Damage decreases Hit Points on a 1-to-1 basis, while healing restores Hit Points at the same rate.

Hostile (condition)

An NPC with this condition is likely to attack you.

HP (Hit Points)

See also Hit Points.

Huge (size)

Human (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the human ancestry. Humans are a diverse array of people known for their adaptability. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by humans.

Humanoid (trait)

Humanoid creatures reason and act much like humans. They typically stand upright and have two arms and two legs.

Hustle (exploration activity)

Move at double your travel Speed.

Identify Alchemy (skill action)

Determine specifics of alchemy. (Crafting, trained)

Identify Magic (skill action)

Determine specifics of magic. (Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion; trained)

Illusion (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the illusion school of magic, typically involving false sensory stimuli.

Immobilized (condition)

You can’t move.

Immunity

An immunity causes a creature to ignore all damage, effects, or conditions of a certain type.

Impersonate (skill action)

Pass yourself off as someone else. (Deception) imprecise sense A sense that can make creatures hidden, but not observed, such as human hearing.

Incapacitation (trait)

An ability with this trait can take a character completely out of the fight or even kill them, and it’s harder to use on a more powerful character. If a spell has the incapacitation trait, any creature of more than twice the spell’s level treats the result of their check to prevent being incapacitated by the spell as one degree of success better, or the result of any check the spellcaster made to incapacitate them as one degree of success worse. If any other effect has the incapacitation trait, a creature of higher level than the item, creature, or hazard generating the effect gains the same benefits.

Incline (terrain)

You must Climb up an incline.

Indifferent (condition)

An NPC with this condition neither likes nor dislikes you.

Infused (trait)

Ingested (trait)

This poison is delivered when drunk or eaten.

Inhaled (trait)

This poison is delivered when breathed in.

Initiative

At the start of an encounter, all participants involved roll for initiative to determine the order in which they act.

Delay (basic action)

Injury (trait)

This poison is delivered by damaging the recipient.

Intelligence (Int)

This ability score measures your reason and intellect.

Interact [one-action] (basic action)

Grab or manipulate an object.

Intimidation (skill)

Bend others to your will using threats. (Cha)

Invest an Item (activity)

Invest your energy in an item as you don it.

Invested (trait)

A character can wear only 10 magical items that have the invested trait. None of the magical effects of the item apply if the character hasn’t invested it, nor can it be activated, though the character still gains any normal benefits from wearing the physical item (like a hat keeping rain off their head).

Investigate (exploration activity)

Study your surroundings.

Invisible (condition)

Creatures can’t see you.

Item

An object you carry, hold, or use. Items sometimes grant an item bonus or penalty to certain checks.

Jousting (weapon trait)

Key ability

Your key ability is the ability score you use to determine your class DC, as well as your spell attack roll and spell DC if you’re a spellcaster. A key ability for a skill is the ability modifier used for that skill.

Knocked out

When reduced to 0 HP, you fall unconscious and start dying.

Lawful (damage type)

Lawful (trait)

Lawful effects often manipulate energy from law-aligned Outer Planes and are antithetical to chaotic divine servants or divine servants of chaotic deities. A creature with this trait is lawful in alignment. An ability with this trait can be selected or used by lawful creatures only.

Leap [one-action] (basic action)

Jump horizontally 10 feet (15 feet if your Speed is 30 feet or more), or vertically 3 feet and horizontally 5 feet.

Learn a Spell (skill action)

Learn a new spell. (Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion; trained)

Legendary (proficiency rank)

Add your level + 8 to associated rolls and DCs. 13,

Leshy

These are small plant creatures, roughly humanoid in form.

Level

A number that measures something’s overall power. A character has a level from 1st to 20th, and other aspects of the game also have levels.

Spell level

(spells range in level from 1–10)

Lie (skill action)

Trick someone with a falsehood. (Deception)

Light (trait)

Light effects overcome non-magical darkness in the area, and can counteract magical darkness. You must usually target darkness magic with your light magic directly to counteract the darkness, but some light spells automatically attempt to counteract darkness.

Linguistic (trait)

An effect with this trait depends on language comprehension. A linguistic effect that targets a creature works only if the target understands the language you are using.

Litany (trait)

Litanies are special devotion spells, typically used by champions and requiring a single action, that usually give temporary immunity to further litanies.

Long Jump [two-actions] (skill action)

Jump horizontally. (Athletics)

Lore (skill)

Know specialized information on a narrow topic. (Int)

Low-light vision (sense)

See in dim light as though it were bright light.

Magical (trait)

Something with the magical trait is imbued with magical energies not tied to a specific tradition of magic. A magical item radiates a magic aura infused with its dominant school of magic. Some items or effects are closely tied to a particular tradition of magic. In these cases, the item has the arcane, divine, occult, or primal trait instead of the magical trait. Any of these traits indicate that the item is magical.

Magical tradition

Arcane, divine, occult, and primal are the traditions of magic.

Make an Impression (skill action)

Change someone’s attitude. (Diplomacy)

Maneuver in Flight [one-action] (skill action)

Execute a difficult movement while flying. (Acrobatics, trained)

Manipulate (trait)

You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.

Master (proficiency rank)

Add your level + 6 to associated rolls and DCs. 13,

Mechanical (trait)

A hazard with this trait is a constructed physical object.

Medicine (skill)

Heal people and help them recover from afflictions. (Wis)

Medium (size)

Mental (damage type)

Mental (trait)

A mental effect can alter the target’s mind. It has no effect on an object or a mindless creature.

Metamagic (trait)

Actions with the metamagic trait, usually from metamagic feats tweak the properties of your spells. You must use a metamagic action directly before Casting the Spell you want to alter. If you use any action (including free actions and reactions) other than Cast a Spell directly after, you waste the benefits of the metamagic action. Any additional effects added by a metamagic action are part of the spell’s effect, not of the metamagic action itself.

Mindless (trait)

A mindless creature has either programmed or rudimentary mental attributes. Most, if not all, of their mental ability modifiers are –5. They are immune to all mental effects.

Minion (trait)

Minions are creatures that directly serve another creature. A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. Your minion acts on your turn in combat, once per turn, when you spend an action to issue it commands. For an animal companion, you Command an Animal; for a minion that’s a spell or magic item effect, like a summoned minion, you Sustain a Spell or Sustain an Activation; if not otherwise specified, you issue a verbal command, a single action with the auditory and concentrate traits. If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for long enough, typically 1 minute, mindless minions usually don’t act, animals follow their instincts, and sapient minions act how they please.

Misfortune (trait)

A misfortune effect detrimentally alters how you roll your dice. You can never have more than one misfortune effect alter a single roll. If multiple misfortune effects would apply, the GM decides which is worse and applies it. If a fortune effect and a misfortune effect would apply to the same roll, the two cancel each other out, and you roll normally.

Mode of play

The three types of playing the game—encounters, exploration, and downtime—each has a different time scale and degree of rules precision.

Modifier

A value added to a calculation that can be positive or negative ability modifier

Monitor (trait)

Creatures that hail from or have a strong connection to the neutrally aligned planes are called monitors. Monitors can survive the basic environmental effects of planes in the Outer Sphere.

Monk (trait)

Abilities with this trait are from the monk class. A weapon with this trait is primarily used by monks.

Monster

A monster is a creature that is typically inhuman and serves to thwart the PCs in some way. Beneficial monsters are exceptions in most games. The GM plays the role of any monster the PCs encounter.

Morph (trait)

Effects that slightly alter a creature’s form have the morph trait. Any Strikes specifically granted by a morph effect are magical. You can be affected by multiple morph spells at once, but if you morph the same body part more than once, the second morph effect attempts to counteract the first (in the same manner as two polymorph effects, described in that trait). Your morph effects might also end if you are polymorphed and the polymorph effect invalidates or overrides your morph effect. The GM determines which morph effects can be used together and which can’t.

Mount [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Get on an allied creature to ride it.

Mount

An animal companion with this special ability supports its rider.

Move (trait)

An action with this trait involves moving from one space to another.

Multiclass (trait)

Archetypes with the multiclass trait represent diversifying your training into another class’s specialties. You can’t select a multiclass archetype’s dedication feat if you are a member of the class of the same name.

Multiple attack Penalty

You take this penalty on all attacks after the first on your turn. This is a –5 penalty on your second attack and –10 on all subsequent attacks (or –4 and –8 if your weapon or unarmed attack has the agile trait).

Mutagen (trait)

An elixir with the mutagen trait temporarily transmogrifies the subject’s body and alters its mind. A mutagen always conveys one or more beneficial effects paired with one or more detrimental effects. Mutagens are polymorph effects, meaning you can benefit from only one at a time.

Narrow surface (terrain)

You must Balance to cross a narrow surface

Natural 1, natural 20

When you roll a d20 and the number on the die is a 1, decrease your degree of success by one step. When the number is a 20, increase the degree of success by one step.

Nature (skill)

Know about the natural world and primal magic. (Wis)

Necromancy (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the necromancy school of magic, typically involving forces of life and death.

Negative (trait)

Effects with this trait heal undead creatures with negative energy deal negative damage to living creatures, or manipulate negative energy.

Nonplayer character (NPC)

A character controlled by the GM.

Observed (condition)

You’re in clear view.

Occult (trait)

This magic comes from the occult tradition, calling upon bizarre and ephemeral mysteries. Anything with this trait is magical.

Occultism (skill)

Know about philosophies, mysticism, and occult magic. (Int)

Oil (trait)

Oils are magical gels, ointments, pastes, or salves that are typically applied to an object and are used up in the process.

Onset

The delay before an affliction, elixir, or potion takes effect.

Ooze (trait)

Oozes are creatures with simple anatomies. They tend to have low mental ability scores and immunity to mental effects and precision damage.

Open (trait)

These maneuvers work only as the first salvo on your turn. You can use an open only if you haven’t used an action with the attack or open trait yet this turn.

Orc (trait)

A creature with this trait is a member of the orc ancestry. These green-skinned people tend to have darkvision. An ability with this trait can be used or selected only by orcs. An item with this trait is created and used by orcs.

Paladin

A lawful good champion.

Palm an Object [one-action] (skill action)

Take an object without being noticed. (Thievery)

Paralyzed (condition)

You can’t move or fully defend yourself.

Parry (weapon trait)

PC (player character)

See also player character.

Penalty

A negative value added to a calculation. Add only the worst penalty of a single type (circumstance, item, status).

Multiple attack Penalty

(–5 on your second attack, –10 on further attacks)

Perception

A statistic measuring your ability to notice hidden objects or unusual situations. Perception is usually used for initiative rolls. Perception modifier = Wis modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Perform (skill action)

Impress people with a performance. (Performance)

Performance (skill)

Use your talents to put on a show. (Cha)

Persistent damage (condition)

You keep taking damage every round.

Petrified (condition)

You’ve been turned to stone.

Physical (damage type)

An umbrella category including bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Pick a Lock [two-actions] (skill action)

Open a lock. (Thievery, trained)

Piercing (damage type)

A type of physical damage.

Plant (trait)

Vegetable creatures have the plant trait. They are distinct from normal plants. Magical effects with this trait manipulate or conjure plants or plant matter in some way. Those that manipulate plants have no effect in an area with no plants.

Platinum piece (pp)

Player Character (character or PC)

A character created and controlled by a player other than the GM.

Point Out [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Indicate an undetected creature’s location.

Poison (damage type)

Poison (trait)

An effect with this trait delivers a poison or deals poison damage. An item with this trait is poisonous and might cause an affliction.

Polymorph (trait)

These effects transform the target into a new form. A target can’t be under the effect of more than one polymorph effect at a time. If it comes under the effect of a second polymorph effect, the second polymorph effect attempts to counteract the first. If it succeeds, it takes effect, and if it fails, the spell has no effect on that target. Any Strikes specifically granted by a polymorph effect are magical. Unless otherwise stated, polymorph spells don’t allow the target to take on the appearance of a specific individual creature, but rather just a generic creature of a general type or ancestry. If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties. Unless otherwise noted, the battle form prevents you from casting spells, speaking and using most manipulate actions that require hands. (If there’s doubt about whether you can use an action, the GM decides.) Your gear is absorbed into you; the constant abilities of your gear still function, but you can’t activate any items.

Positive (trait)

Effects with this trait heal living creatures with positive energy, deal positive energy damage to undead, or manipulate positive energy.

Possession (trait)

Effects with this trait allow a creature to project its mind and spirit into a target. A creature immune to mental effects can’t use a possession effect. While possessing a target, a possessor’s true body is unconscious (and can’t wake up normally), unless the possession effect allows the creature to physically enter the target. Whenever the target takes damage, the possessor takes half that amount of damage as mental damage. A possessor loses the benefits of any of its active spells or abilities that affect its physical body, though it gains the benefits of the target’s active spells and abilities that affect their body. A possessor can use any of the target’s abilities that are purely physical, and it can’t use any of its own abilities except spells and purely mental abilities. The GM decides whether an ability is purely physical or purely mental. A possessor uses the target’s attack modifier, AC, Fortitude save Reflex save, Perception, and physical skills, and its own Will save, mental skills spell attack roll, and spell DC; benefits of invested items apply where relevant (the possessor’s invested items apply when using its own values, and the target’s invested items apply when using the target’s values). A possessor gains no benefit from casting spells that normally affect only the caster, since it isn’t in its own body. The possessor must use its own actions to make the possessed creature act. If a possessor reaches 0 Hit Points through any combination of damage to its true body and mental damage from the possession, it is knocked out as normal and the possession immediately ends. If the target reaches 0 Hit Points first, the possessor can either fall unconscious with the body and continue the possession or end the effect as a free action and return to its body. If the target dies, the possession ends immediately and the possessor is stunned for 1 minute.

Potion (trait)

A potion is a magical liquid activated when you drink it.

Pp (platinum piece)

Precious (trait)

Valuable materials with special properties have the precious trait. They can be substituted for base materials when you Craft items.

Precise sense

A sense that can make creatures observed, such as human sight.

Precision (damage type)

A type of damage that increases the attack’s listed damage, using the same damage type, rather than adding a separate amount.

Prediction (trait)

Effects with this trait determine what is likely to happen in the near future. Most predictions are divinations.

Prerequisite

Many feats and other abilities can be taken only if you meet their prerequisites. Prerequisites are often feats or proficiency ranks.

Press (trait)

Actions with this trait allow you to follow up earlier attacks. An action with the press trait can be used only if you are currently affected by a multiple attack penalty. Some actions with the press trait also grant an effect on a failure. The effects that are added on a failure don’t apply on a critical failure. If your press action succeeds, you can choose to apply the failure effect instead. (For example you may wish to do this when an attack deals no damage due to resistance.) Because a press action requires a multiple attack penalty, you can’t use one when it’s not your turn, even if you use the Ready activity.

Price

The amount of currency it usually costs to purchase an item.

Primal (trait)

This magic comes from the primal tradition, connecting to the natural world and instinct. Anything with this trait is magical.

Proficiency

A measure of a character’s aptitude at a specific task or quality, with five ranks: untrained, trained, expert, master, and legendary. Proficiency gives a proficiency bonus. Being untrained adds a +0 bonus. Being trained, expert, master, or legendary adds your level plus 2, 4, 6, or 8, respectively.

Prone (condition)

You’re lying on the ground and easier to attack.

Propulsive (weapon trait)

Quickened (condition)

You get an extra action each turn.

Rage (trait)

Raise a Shield [one-action] (specialty basic action)

Gain your shield’s bonus to AC.

Ranger (class)

Ranger (trait)

This indicates abilities from the ranger class.

Rare (trait)

This rarity indicates that a rules element is very difficult to find in the game world. A rare feat, spell, item or the like is available to players only if the GM decides to include it in the game, typically through discovery during play.

Rarity

How often something is encountered in the game world. The rarities are common, uncommon, rare, and unique. Anything that doesn’t list a rarity is common.

Reach (weapon trait)

Reaction ([reaction])

An action you can use even if it’s not your turn. You can use 1 reaction per round.

Ready [two-actions] (basic action)

Prepare an action to use when it’s not your turn.

Recall Knowledge [one-action] (skill action)

Try to remember something using a skill.

Recovery check

A flat check made to see if you get worse or better while dying.

Reflex (Ref)

A type of saving throw used to quickly dodge. Reflex modifier = Dex modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Refocus (activity)

Regain 1 focus point.

Release [free-action] (basic action)

Let go of something you’re holding.

Religion (skill)

Know about deities, faith, and divine magic. (Wis)

Repair (skill action)

Fix a broken or damaged item. (Crafting)

Repeat a Spell (exploration activity)

Repeatedly Cast a Spell as you move.

Request [one-action] (skill action)

Convince someone to do you a favor. (Diplomacy)

Reroll

An ability that causes you to roll again has the fortune or misfortune trait.

Resistance

Reduce damage you take of a certain type.

Rest

Characters recover HP (normally Con modifier × level) and resources with 8 hours of sleep.

Restrained (condition)

You are bound by restraints or a grappling creature.

Retrain

You can retrain during downtime to change character choices.

Revelation (trait)

Effects with this trait see things as they truly are.

Ritual

A type of spell that takes downtime to cast and doesn’t use spell slots.

Rogue (trait)

This indicates abilities from the rogue class.

Roleplaying

Describing a character’s actions, often while acting from the perspective of the character.

Roleplaying game (RPG)

An interactive story where one player, the Game Master (GM), sets the scene and presents challenges, while other players take the roles of player characters (PCs) and attempt to overcome those challenges.

Roll

Any time you roll the dice, you’re making a roll. The most common type of roll is a check (comparing a d20 plus modifiers against a DC).

Round

A period of time during an encounter in which all participants get a chance to act. A round represents approximately 6 seconds in game time.

Saving throw (check)

A roll made to avoid or mitigate a dangerous effect. You roll a save automatically, with no action or a reaction. The character who isn’t acting rolls the d20 for a saving throw, and the creature who is acting provides the DC. There are three types of saves: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.

Scent (sense)

Sense things using smell as an imprecise sense with a limited range.

School

Magic is divided into eight schools: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation.

Scout (exploration activity)

Look ahead for danger.

Scroll (trait)

A scroll contains a single spell you can cast without a spell slot.

Scrying (trait)

A scrying effect lets you see, hear, or otherwise get sensory information from a distance using a sensor or apparatus, rather than your own eyes and ears.

Search (exploration activity)

Look for hidden things.

Secret (trait)

The GM rolls the check for this ability in secret.

Seek [one-action] (basic action)

Scan an area for creatures or objects using Perception.

Sense Direction [one-action] (skill action)

Figure out your precise location. (Survival)

Sense Motive [one-action] [(basic action)

Determine if a creature is lying.

Shadow (trait)

This magic involves shadows or the energy of the Shadow Plane.

Shove (weapon trait)

Shove [one-action] (skill action)

Push a creature. (Athletics)

Sickened (condition)

You’re sick to your stomach.

Silver (material)

Silver piece (sp)

Single action ([one-action])

An action that takes one of your three actions on your turn.

Size

A creature can be Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan.

Skill

A statistic representing the ability to perform certain tasks that require instruction or practice. Skill modifier = modifier of the skill’s key ability score + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Skill feat

(a type of general feat related to skills)

Skill (trait)

A general feat with the skill trait improves your skills and their actions or gives you new actions for a skill. A feat with this trait can be selected when a class grants a skill feat or general feat. Archetype feats with the skill trait can be selected in place of a skill feat if you have that archetype’s dedication feat.

Slashing (damage type)

A type of physical damage.

Sleep (trait)

This effect can cause a creature to fall asleep or get drowsy.

Slowed (condition)

You lose actions each turn.

Small (size)

Snare (trait)

Traps typically made by rangers, snares follow special rules that allow them to be constructed quickly and used on the battlefield.

Sneak [one-action] (skill action)

Move quietly while hidden. (Stealth)

Society (skill)

Know about civilization, culture, and history. (Int)

Somatic (spell component)

Sonic (damage type)

Sonic (trait)

An effect with the sonic trait functions only if it makes sound, meaning it has no effect in an area of silence or in a vacuum. This is different from an auditory spell, which is effective only if the target can hear it. A sonic effect might deal sonic damage.

Sorcerer (class)

Sorcerer (trait)

This indicates abilities from the sorcerer class.

Sp (silver piece)

Space

The squares a creature takes up on a grid.

Speed

A measure of the distance a character can move using a single action measured in feet. See also movement.

Spell

A magical effect created by performing mystical incantations and gestures known only to those with special training or inborn abilities.

Focus spells

(bloodline spells, composition spells, devotion spells, domain spells, ki spells, order spells, and school spells)

Spell level

(spells range in level from 1 to 10)

Spell repertoire

(the spells a spontaneous spellcaster knows)

Spell attack roll

(spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties)

Spell DC

(10 + spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties)

Spellcaster

A spellcaster is a character whose class or archetype grants them the spellcasting class feature. The ability to cast focus spells or innate spells does not by itself make a character a spellcaster.

Spell attack roll

You attempt a spell attack roll when targeting a creature with aimed magic. Your multiple attack penalty applies. Spell attack roll modifier = spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Spell DC

Your spell DC measures how hard it is to resist your spells with saving throws or to counteract them. Spell DC = 10 + spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Spirit (trait)

Spirits are ephemeral creatures defined by their spiritual self and often lacking a physical form.

Splash (trait)

When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure) the target of the attack still takes the splash damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s weaknesses or resistances. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Squeeze (skill action)

Move through a gap while exploring. (Acrobatics, trained)

Staff (trait)

This magic item holds spells of a particular theme and allows a spellcaster to cast additional spells by preparing the staff.

Stage

One of the steps of an affliction.

Stance (trait)

A stance is a general combat strategy that you enter by using an action with the stance trait, and that you remain in for some time. A stance lasts until you get knocked out, until its requirements (if any) are violated, until the encounter ends, or until you enter a new stance, whichever comes first. After you use an action with the stance trait, you can’t use another one for 1 round. You can enter or be in a stance only in encounter mode.

Stand [one-action] (basic action)

Stand up from prone.

Status Bonus

A bonus that typically comes from a spell or condition and represents a beneficial status.

Status Penalty

A penalty that typically comes from a spell or condition and represents a detrimental status.

Steal [one-action] (skill action)

Pilfer an object in someone else’s possession. (Thievery)

Stealth (skill)

Avoid detection and conceal items. (Dex)

Step [one-action] (basic action)

Move 5 feet without triggering reactions.

Strength (Str)

This ability score measures your brawn.

Stride [one-action] (basic action)

Move up to your Speed.

Strike [one-action] (basic action)

Make an attack with a weapon or unarmed attack.

Structure (trait)

Stunned (condition)

You can’t act for a number of actions or an amount of time.

Stupefied (condition)

Your can’t access your full mental faculties, and you have trouble casting spells.

Subsist (skill action)

Find food and shelter for free. (Society or Survival)

Success

A result on a check that equals or exceeds the DC. Exceeding the DC by or more is even better—a critical success. If a stat block has no success entry, that means there is no effect on a success.

Summoned (trait)

A creature called by a conjuration spell or effect gains the summoned trait. A summoned creature can’t summon other creatures, create things of value, or cast spells that require a cost. It has the minion trait. If it tries to cast a spell of equal or higher level than the spell that summoned it, it overpowers the summoning magic, causing the summoned creature’s spell to fail and the summon spell to end. Otherwise, the summoned creature uses the standard abilities for a creature of its kind. It generally attacks your enemies to the best of its abilities. If you can communicate with it, you can attempt to command it, but the GM determines the degree to which it follows your commands. Immediately when you finish Casting the Spell, the summoned creature uses its 2 actions for that turn. Summoned creatures can be banished by various spells and effects. They are automatically banished if reduced to 0 Hit Points or if the spell that called them ends.

Support [one-action]

Direct your animal companion to support you.

Survival (skill)

Travel and survive in the wild. (Wis)

Sustain a Spell [one-action] (action)

Extend a spell with a sustained duration.

Sustain an Activation [one-action] (action)

Extend a magic item activation with a sustained duration to the end of your next turn.

Sustained

A spell with this duration can be extended with Sustain a Spell.

Swim [one-action] (skill action)

Move through the water. (Athletics)

Take Cover [one-action] (basic action)

Gain cover, or improve cover to greater cover.

Talisman (trait)

A talisman is a small object affixed to armor, a shield, or a weapon (called the affixed item). You must be wielding or wearing an item to activate a talisman attached to it. Once activated, a talisman burns out permanently.

Target teleportation (trait)

Teleportation effects allow you to instantaneously move from one point in space to another. Teleportation does not usually trigger reactions based on movement.

Temporary immunity

An effect that makes a creature temporarily immune lets that creature avoid new effects of the same name, but it doesn’t end anything caused by the effect that gave the temporary immunity.

Thievery (skill)

Steal objects and dismantle locks and other mechanisms. (Dex) thirst thrown (weapon trait)

Tiny (size)

tool alchemical tool tools and kits touch A spell range requiring you to touch the target.

Track (skill action)

Follow a creature’s tracks. (Survival)

Tradition

A fundamental category of magic (arcane, divine, occult, or primal).

Train Animal (general feat)

trained (proficiency rank) Add your level + 2 to associated rolls and DCs. Some skill actions and many other rules require you to be trained. 13, trait A keyword that conveys information about a rules element. Often a trait indicates how other rules interact with an ability, creature, item, or other rules element with that trait. Individual traits appear by name in this appendix.

Transmutation (trait)

Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the transmutation school of magic, typically changing something’s form.

Trap (trait)

A hazard or item with this trait is constructed to hinder interlopers. — travel Speed treasure See also item.

Treat Disease (skill action)

Remedy a disease in downtime. (Medicine, trained)

Treat Poison [one-action] (skill action)

Help a poisoned patient recover. (Medicine, trained)

Treat Wounds (skill action)

Restore Hit Points to a creature. (Medicine, trained) tremorsense (sense) Detect the movement of creatures along surfaces.

Trigger

A specified event when you can use a reaction or free action.

Trip [one-action] (skill action)

Knock a creature down. (Athletics)

Tumble Through [one-action] (skill action)

Move through someone’s space. (Acrobatics) turn During a round in an encounter, each creature takes a single turn. A creature typically uses up to 3 actions during its turn.

Uncommon (trait)

Something of uncommon rarity requires special training or comes from a particular culture or part of the world. Some character choices give access to uncommon options, and the GM can choose to allow access for anyone.

Unconscious (condition)

You’re asleep or knocked out.

Undead (trait)

Once living, these creatures were infused after death with negative energy and soul-corrupting evil magic. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, an undead creature is destroyed. Undead creatures are damaged by positive energy, are healed by negative energy, and don’t benefit from healing effects.

Undetected (condition)

A creature doesn’t know your precise location.

Uneven ground (terrain)

You must Balance or fall when crossing uneven ground.

Unfriendly (condition)

An NPC with this condition doesn’t like you.

Unique (trait)

A rules element with this trait is one-of-a-kind.

Unlimited

A spell with this duration lasts indefinitely.

Unnoticed (condition)

A creature is entirely unaware you’re present.

Until the next time you make your daily preparations

A spell with this duration lasts until you next prepare, and you can extend it by leaving its spell slot open.

Untrained (proficiency rank)

The lowest proficiency rank (+0 bonus).

Usage

An indication of how an item must be worn, held, or otherwise used.

Vague sense

A sense that can detect an unnoticed creature but not determine its position, such as a human’s sense of smell.

Virulent (trait)

Afflictions with the virulent trait are harder to remove. You must succeed at two consecutive saves to reduce a virulent affliction’s stage by 1. A critical success reduces a virulent affliction’s stage by only 1 instead of by 2.

Visual (trait)

A visual effect can affect only creatures that can see it. This applies only to visible parts of the effect, as determined by the GM.

Wand (trait)

A wand contains a single spell which you can cast once per day.

Water (trait)

Effects with the water trait either manipulate or conjure water. Those that manipulate water have no effect in an area without water. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of water or have a magical connection to the element.

Weakness

Increases damage you take of a certain type.

Wealth

A character’s wealth by level.

Will

A saving throw used to resist effects targeting the mind and personality. Will modifier = Wis modifier + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties.

Wisdom (Wis)

This ability score measures your awareness and intuition.

Wizard (trait)

This indicates abilities from the wizard class.

Wounded (condition)

You’ve returned from the brink of death but remain at risk.

XP (Experience Points)

See also Experience Points.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition) © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Designers: Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and Mark Seifter.