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Main / Knockdowns

Chapter 3


Some creatures can smash their opponents to the ground with raw strength or heavy weaponry. Knockdowns are based on the size of the attacker's weapon compared to the size of the defender.

Every weapon (including monster attacks) and some spells are assigned a knockdown die that is rolled when a hit is scored. Light weapons have a small die, while heavy weapons use a d10 or d12 for knockdowns. The size of the target determines what roll is required for a knockdown. If that number or higher is rolled the target is knocked down.

Target SizeKnockdown Roll

Don't confuse the knockdown die with the actual damage caused by the hit; they are two different things. It is a little quicker to roll the knockdown chance along with the damage dice, but don't feel like you have to.

Obviously, some creatures are immune to knockdowns. An ochre jelly, black pudding, or fire elemental can't really be knocked down, nor could a crocodile or shark in the water. In addition, some monsters may be unusually resistant to knockdown effects.

Knockdown Effects

Creatures who suffer a knockdown must roll a successful saving throw vs. death or be knocked prone. The victim can stand up by forfeiting a half-move or an attack. If he has already completed his actions for the round, he has to wait until next round to stand up. Refer to Sitting, Kneeling, and Prone above for more information about being on the ground.

Any character or creature armed with a loaded and cocked crossbow that is knocked down must roll a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or accidentally fire the weapon.

Monsters and Knockdowns

Monsters who wield weapons can use the knockdown die size that is listed for that weapon, and then modify the die for their own size. Increase the die one step for each Size category larger than Man-sized, or decrease it for each one under. For example, an ogre is wielding a morningstar, which normally has a knockdown die of d10. Because the ogre is Size L, one size larger than Man-sized, the knockdown die increases to a d12.

For monsters with natural attacks, choose a weapon that seems close to the attack type and then modify it for the monster's size. An adult dragon's claws may be like long swords. A wyvern's sting might be similar to a spear. Monsters may resist knockdowns better if they have four or more legs, are exceptionally dense or low-built, or seem generally tougher than normal.