Most important action/combat terms

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This article briefly defines the most important terms, abbreviations and acronyms pertinent to physical actions (especially combat and movement), sorted alphabetically. Note that there are separate articles for more specific terms as well as for important English language words that are not specific to Sagatafl.


Action Class

Action Class is a system used to classify and categorize combat actions based on how quick they are to carry out and how much and how fast their execution speed can be improved.

There are five Action Classes of Combat Actions, going from Class A with a base Action Point (AP) cost of 6 AP, and to Class E with a base AP cost of 14. Thus Class A is used for things that tend to be quick, such as staff parries and shield blocks, Class C is used for "normal" things like regular sword attacks, and Class E is used for slow things such as Power Strike.

Each Action Class has its own progression for how applied Speed Factors (SF) reduce the AP cost, as shown in the Initiative table on the character sheet. For Class C, each SF simply reduces the AP cost by 1, whereas for Class A and B there are some "dead levels" where the AP cost is not reduced for specific SFs, and for Class D and E, there are some SF values where the AP cost is reduced by two. This funkiness only occurs at SF3 and higher. Always count on SF1 and SF2 to reduce the AP cost of any Combat Action by 1 or 2, respectively.

Further Action Classes may be created to cover Move Actions.

high-Agility Skills

Skills that are Agility-High are ones that are affected by the larger of the two Fleetness Skill roll modifiers. These Skills involve swift and precise full-body movement, and tend to have the Agility Attribute heavily present in their APT Block, e.g. with weight 3/7, 4/7 or even 5/7. Examples are Dodge, Acrobatics, Jumping, Stealth, Climbing, and the various unarmed combat skills (Brawling, Judo, Karate and Wrestling), and quick "fencing"-like weapon styles. The Agility Attribute itself also takes the greater Fleetness modifier, as do Balance rolls.

Note that for very normal Fleetness values, of 3 or close to 3, the greater modifier is zero.

low-Agility Skills

Skills that are Agility-Low are affected by the smaller of the two Fleetness Skill roll modifiers. These Skills require a modest amount of swift full-body movement and legwork to be used properly, and tend to have some Agility presence in their APT Block, usually with weight 1/7 or 2/7, such as most melee weapon Skills, excepting the "swift" and more fencing-like styles.

Note that the smaller Fleetness Skill roll modifier tends to be zero, unless the character's Fleetness is rather far from the default value of 3.

non-Agility Skills

These are skills that are not affected by either of the Fleetness Skill roll modifiers. They include most (if not all) ranged attack Skills, although some heavy armours may have intrinsic "special case"-penalties to some or all forms of ranged attack. Also Lockpicking and Traps and most other physical Skills, and probably all mental Skills, are unaffected by Fleetness. Such Skills tend to have little or no Agility presence in their APT Blocks; a weighting higher than 1/7 would be unusual.


Action Point, a number of Points that each character generates each Round, used to determine how he can act and how much he can do. Highest AP count gets to act first, and each action or reaction costs a number of AP. Characters may continue to act as long as they have remaining AP, but there are few things that can be done with small amounts of AP, and so some unspent AP can be put into the Bank to carry over to the next Round.

AP are generated with an Initiative Roll, sometimes penalized for Surprise in the first Round. The AP cost of specific Actions is reduced via Speed Factors, abbreviated SF.


AV, or Armour Value, is a number that indicates the degree of injury protection that a character enjoys (it is not yet clear whether non-living ntities like vehicles will use have AVs, or will instead use some other mechanic). Natural AV, such as from thick scales, and worn AV, from armour, are added together (and multiplied by the number of unCountered Successes) and are subject to Armour Piercing (PA). After this, magical or mystical or otherwise supernatural AV is added (also multiplied by unCountered Successes), with any given character usually only being allowed to enjoy a single source of AV (if a character is subject to multiple supernatural AV values, ignore all but the highest). This sum is subtracted from Damage Rolls.


Sometimes called the AP Bank, this is a value that represents a character's ability to store unused Action Points (AP) which then carry over to the next Round and go "on top" of whatever AP his Initiative Roll generates.

All characters of mammalian and avian species are born with a Bank size of 1, as a function of their neurostructure. A bank-less such creature would be a profoundly retarded specimen and would be entirely unsuited as a player character┬┤(although not necessarily in such a helpless and incompetent state as to warrant the term "vegetable"). Less sophisticated biological families, such as ichthyoids, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, are born with a Bank size of zero, but exceptions should be made for highly evolved species, such as for velociraptors and for humanoid reptilians, and perhaps (but not necessarily) for humanoid insectoids or arachnids.

Extremely sophistcated life forms (hyper-evolved species) may be born with higher natural Bank sizes (2, very rarely 3), and the same should perhaps be the case for sophisticated robots.

On top of whatever natural Bank a character is born with, he can increase his Bank size, usually by up to 3, with the first +1 being via a simple Lore, the next +1 requiring either an expensive Lore or an inexpensive Martial Arts Stunt (this has not yet been decided), and the last +1 being an expensive MA Stunt.

Since most Combat Actions, and even many Reactions, cost several AP, characters in combat will often find themselves with a few APs at the end of a Round that they have nothing worthwhile to spend on. For this reason, it is very advantageous to increase one's Bank size, and any even half-serious combatant (e.g. a "rogue" with some fencing experience, or a scholar who used to be a duellist in his university days decades ago) should have a Bank size of 2, while for a serious combatant it is debatable whether a Bank size of 4 is the best choice, or if one should go for a Bank size of 3 and then spend the saved SP on other combat-relevant traits.

Please note that the Bank size defines the total number of AP that may be stored. It does not define the number of AP per Round that may be saved up, to be unleashed en masse at an opportune time.



Block is a Reaction, a defensive action taken in response to being attacked (or, at a penalty unless the character has a trait to negate or reduce the penalty, to an ally in an adjacent hex being attacked), and consists of using the shield to "parry" the attack, in Sagatafl referred to as a Block to distinguish it from a Parry which is using a weapon, or a Deflect which is an unarmed "parry".

All attacks that the character is aware of can be attempted Blocked, but note that there are serious RD penalties for blocking thrown, missile and Spell attacks (although Martial Arts Stunts and magical effects, such as Enchantments or Spell effects, can reduce these penalties or even negate them completely).

A Block requires a shield. Trying to block with an item that isn't entirely suitable to use as a shield is classified as a Parry.

In addition to active usage for Blocking, any shield also gives the character a bonus to his TBH value, making him harder to hit. Small shields add +1 to the TBH RD, Large shields add +2, and Medium shields add +1 to melee TBH and +2 to all ranged TBH (write this by writing down the melee TBH, and then a note that it is +1 higher vs ranged).

Shields are not damaged with routine usage (having rules for that would be overly complicated), but a Power Blow can be used to deliberately attempt to damage a shield; depending on sturdiness, a successfully executed such Power Blow would either destroy the shield, or else weaken it such that it becomes more vulnerable to subsequent Power Blows.



The term Blow was originally used in Sagatafl to define the number of attacks per weapon or other held item (shield, e.g.) that a character can make per Round, but this is no longer used. See AP for information.


CFP means Fatigue Point, sometimes caled Combat Fatigue Point because they're mostly used in combat, and in combat-like situations (such as if one wanted to create rules for playing a sports game). They represent intensive, fast-twitch usage of white-fibre muscles, rather than long-term exertion.

Long-term exertion, such as most forms of strategic movement (walking, jogging, climbing or swimming from one place to another) does not use CFP but instead relies on the character's Fatigue Interval (which defines for how long he can keep going, relative to a person of average physical fitness).

CFP are used by the character, with some Combat Actions having a cost in CFP (1, sometimes 2, rarely more), in addition to the cost in AP (Action Points). As such, a fatigeuing action represents an important tactical choice made by the character. Examples include making a Power Blow or a Charge, or using the Dodge Skill (instead of trying to Block or Deflect or Parry), making a long Jump.

Some Combat Actions that cost CFP can have their CFP reduced, sometimes to zero.

If a character wants to make more than one Move Action per Round, he must also pay CFP for these additonal Move Actions, beyond whatever CFP cost the individual actions may have. 1 CFP for the 2nd Move Action, 3 CFP for the 3rd, and the CFP cost for a 4th Move Action has no yet been determined, but in addition to CFP that also costs Willpower Points.

CFP are regained simultaneously with Fatigue Levels; a character doesn't have to consciously choose which one he wants to regain, and circumstances affect both regains the same way (meal, rest, and so forth).

Characters gain additional CFP by improving their Stamina (which is a Conditioning - a training). The SP cost per level of Stamina, and the number of CFP gained, depends on the character's RW Type, whether he's a red-fibre or white-fibre type or is average. A White RW Type character pays more SP per level of Stamina but gains more CFP per level, whereas a Red RW Type character pays fewer SP per level of Stamina but also gains fewer CFP per level. The result of this is that Red RW Type characters tend to make good soldiers and marathon runners (with loooong Fatigue Intervals but few CFP to burn when the shit hits the fan, or when there's a really sweet opportunity), while White RW Type characters tend to make good warriors and hockey players (with more modest Fatigue Intervals, but having generous amounts of CFP to burn).

Advice-wise, going for average RW Type isn't bad. Going for either extreme, HyperWhite RW Type or HyperRed RW Type, is a bad idea for inexperienced players, and going for White RW Type can be a small problem if the campaign is to have an infantry-military theme or otherwise involve much travel on foot (such as in classical epic fantasy).

Red RW Type (but not HyperRed) is playing it safe (being able to keep up with the rest of the PC party as they travel from point A to faraway point B, is very convenient), but some players find that they love having CFP to spend in combat, and so will regret that choice.

Critical Strike


Effect Strike

A hypothetical combat action, that works like Critical Strike, but instead of intending to cause a griveous general Wound, the attacker wants to achieve a specific effect, usually some form of abstract leg injury to reduce the target's mobility, or some kind of abstractr arm injury to impair the target's ability to use weapons.

This is a hypothetical game element, and if implemented will be there to compensate for the fact that Sagatafl does not use hit locations and specific injury effects.




Hardiness is a Secondary Attribute, with a Human average of 3, and raised or lowered during character creation in increments of 0.5. Hardiness' main purpose is to derive the Wound Thresholds for the character, with 1xHardiness being the Threshold for a Minor Wound, 2xHardiness being the Threshold for a Major Wound, and so forth (see Wound for more).

As such, it is really attractive when creating a melee combatant character (or to some extent an unarmed combatant character) to have a higher-than-average Hardiness. 3.5 is the minimum for a serious combatant (characters do not choose their own Hardness, of course, but omeone with 3.0 is likely to have a short career), and the Human maximum, 4.5, is quite worthwhile in spite of the high cost.

(Hardiness' other purpose is to derive the character's Stun Factor, in some way. Oh, and to derive Hit Points if they're actually being used.)



Short for hex, this defines a hexagonal battlemap space that can be occupied by a single character, or under some circumstances by several characters if they are allies and are cooperative (of course creatures that are significantly smaller than Humans can also fit several into a hex even if they're not close friends).

A hx is 2 meters wide, and for purposes of volume (such as in the magic system) can be assumed to be 2 meters wide. It is incorrect to say that the area of a hex is 4 square meters (it has got to be something less) but use that figure, and 8 cubic meters, until geometrical aid has solved this problem.

Initiative Roll

Martial Arts

Move Action




Power Strike

Precise Strike


A Reaction is a Combat Action that can be performed only as a response to an Action by another character. Examples include Block, Deflect, Dodge, Parry and Tactical Strik. Actions that are not Reactions can only be performed when it is the character's time to act (based on AP count).

Reactions cost AP, but tend to cost less than non-Reaction Actions.






A Strike is a specific combat action, thus distinct from an attack. See Critical Strike, Precise Strike, Power Strike and Tactical Strike for explanations (and Effect Strike for a hypothetical variant of Critical Strike).


Stun Damage

Stun Factor



Surprise Initiative Roll

Tactical Strike



Wound Damage

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