Dungeons of Olde

Trashing old-school dungeons, one tile at a time!

Action Phase

WARNING: Outdated Rules

The rules in this section have become obsolete following the recent rules overhaul. The most current version of the rules are those included in the Core Rules section of this website.

In the Action Phase of a turn, every character will have the opportunity to move and take at least one action. The Action Phase is conducted in Rounds; in each Round, each character has the opportunity to perform one action. Characters act in order of their current Action Point total, from highest to lowest. When it’s the character’s turn to act in the current Round, he may choose to act, or to pass; he may not delay his action until later in the current Round. Of course, any AP he has left at the end of the current Round carry over into the next Round, so he may get to act sooner in that Round than he could have in the current one.

In order to do anything in Crisis Mode, he must have available and spend either Free Steps, Action Points, or both. At the end of each turn, during the Reset Phase, each character’s Free Steps and Action Points are restored to full.

Free Steps

Every character gets the opportunity to take a small number of Free Steps once each Action Phase, regardless of how many Action Points they have for the turn. For most medium-sized characters, including humans, elves, orcs and hobgoblins, the Free Step allowance is 2 squares; for smaller-than-human characters, including dwarves, halflings, kobolds and goblins, the Free Step allowance is just 1 square. Creatures larger or faster than humans may get extra free-step squares; their Free Step allowance will be listed on their character card. A character’s Free Step allowance may also be adjusted by a special ability, spell, or gear card.

A character may take his Free Steps in any Round in which he still has Action Points available. Free Steps must be taken before any other action in that Round, though a character doesn’t have to spend AP in order to take his Free Steps. If a character spends all his Action Points before taking his Free Steps, though, he forfeits his Free Steps for that Action Phase. For example, if Lunk has 2 AP when it’s his turn to act in the current Round, and he has his Free Steps remaining, he may use his Free Steps to move two squares up to an enemy, and then spend his 2 AP to attack that foe. However, if he began the Round adjacent to the enemy, and spent his last 2 AP to attack, he would forfeit his Free Steps, and could not use them to back up two squares after the attack.

A character must spend his entire allowance of Free Steps in a single Round; he may not break them up and spend them in separate Rounds. In other words, even if a character has a Free Step of two squares, he cannot take a one-square Free Step in one Round, and another one-square Free Step in a later Round in the same Action Phase. If a character fails to use his entire allotment of Free Step squares when he takes his Free Steps, any remaining squares of Free Step movement are forfeited.

Within a single Round, a character may use her Free Steps in combination with Action Points spent on movmement, or with Action Points spent to attack, but not both. That is to say, a character can Free Step and then move, or Free Step and then attack, but she can’t Free Step and move and attack within a single Round.

A character may take his Free Steps before performing an Only action (see below), but not afterwards.

The availability of Free Steps is tracked using the Action Point (AP) tracking token. Whenever Action Points are set, during the Set-Up Phase or Reset Phase, the AP token should be turned green-side-up, indicating that the character’s Free Steps are still available in the current turn. When the character uses his Free Steps, he flips his AP token from green to red, indicating that his Free Steps for the round have been spent.

A character must begin the Action Phase in a standing position in order to be allotted Free Steps for the Round, and remain standing until the Free Steps are used. She loses her Free Steps for the Action Phase immediately if she sits, kneels, or falls prone.

Unused Free Steps may not be carried over from one turn to the next.

Action Points

In order to take any action in a Round other than Free Steps, a character must spend one, two, or three Action Points. To do so, he moves his AP tracking token down the AP track by the number of AP spent. When his Action token reaches 0, he has no Action Points remaining; he may take no further actions during the current Round. The Action Phase for the current turn ends when all characters have spent all of their Action Points for the Round, or passed their opportunity to act in the final Round.

In most cases, a character may only perform one action per Round. The only exceptions to this rule involve combining movement and an attack in the same Round; see “Combining Movement and Attacks,” below.

Action Point Costs

Anything the character does in Crisis Mode is considered an Action (except taking Free Steps), and requires the expenditure of Action Points. The Crisis Mode Actions Table lists the most common Crisis Mode actions (that is, all the ones we’ve thought of so far…), along with the number of AP each one costs.

Movement Actions: In addition to taking Free Steps, characters may also spend Action Points to move on the game map. They may either step or run. Stepping covers less ground per AP spent, but doesn’t put the character at any special risk. Running moves farther, faster, but requires the character to lower his guard somewhat (see Actions Table for details).

Characters are limited to spending 1, 2 or 3 AP on movement in a single Round. Thus, the maximum distance most heroes can move in a single Round is 8 squares: two Free Step squares, followed by 6 squares of Running (AP cost 3, and -3 Defense until next Reset). The most a hero can move in a single Round without taking a Defense penalty is 5 squares: Free Stepping for 2 squares, then Stepping for 3 more, spending 3 AP to do so.

Movement may be combined with attack actions in a single Round, according to the rules for “Combining Movement and Attacks,” below.

Normal Actions: Normal actions cost a set amount of AP to perform. If the listed AP cost for an action consists of a single number—1, 2, or 3—then that action costs exactly that many AP, and cannot be performed if the character has fewer than that number available to spend.

Only Actions: If a character performs an action with an AP cost of “Only”, then that is the only action he can take in that Action Phase. Regardless of how many AP he had before performing this action, his AP Marker is immediately set to 0, where it remains until the next Reset Phase. Only actions must be literally the only thing the character does in a turn; he may not take other actions first, and then perform an Only action, regardless of how many Action Points he has that turn. A character may take his Free Steps before taking an Only action, but not afterwards.

X/Only Actions: Actions that show an AP cost of some number X, then Only, ordinarily cost X number of AP to perform. For example, if Lunk has 5 AP this turn, he may pay 3 AP to perform an All-Out Attack—a 3/Only action—in the first Round. After doing so, he has 2 AP remaining to spend in subsequent Rounds in the current turn. For his action in the next Round, he might Step one square (1 AP), and make a Rushed Attack (also 1 AP), spending his remaining 2 AP.

If a character wants to perform an X/Only action, but begins the turn with fewer AP than the listed cost of X AP, he may perform that action as an Only action for that turn. So if Lunk starts a turn with just 2 AP, he could still perform an All-Out Attack, this time as an Only action, using up all his AP for the turn in the process.

Essentially, an X/Only action is either X or Only. If a character can afford listed AP cost at the start of the turn, that action costs that many AP, no matter when she attempts it. If she starts the turn with less than the listed AP, that character can take that action as her only action that turn; she may take no other actions before or after it, except for her Free Steps (which must be taken before the action).

For example, Audacia starts an Action Phase with 4 AP. In the first Round, she Casts a Firebolt spell, which costs 2 AP, leaving her with 2 AP in the next Round. Before her next action, though, she takes 6 points of damage from a nasty enemy attack, which reduces her HP from 9 to 3. Feeling vulnerable, she thinks of quickly Drinking the Healing Potion on her belt for her action in the next Round. Unfortunately, the action “Drink potion” costs 3 AP, and she has only 2 remaining. She doesn’t have the option to drink the potion as an Only action in the current Action Phase, since she’s already spent AP to act this Phase. Lacking a better option, she spends her remaining 2 AP to Run four squares away from the enemies, and hopes they forget about her until next turn.

Once the current Action Phase has ended, Audacia gets to roll her Finesse Effect die (a d6) for Action Points in the next Action Phase. She rolls a 1, severely limiting her options for the Turn. Fortunately, since drinking a potion is an X/Only action, she can Drink the potion as an Only action in the first Round of the new Action Phase, immediately reducing her AP to 0, but healing 4 points of the damage she suffered in the previous turn.

Crisis Mode Actions Table

Action AP Cost

Step one square (No adjustment to Defense; may step up to 3 squares per Round at 1 AP per square).

1 per square

Run two squares (-1 to Defense per AP spent running, lasting until Reset; may run up to 6 squares per Round at 1 AP per 2 squares).

1 per 2 squares

Rushed Attack (Attack with -2 on Attack roll; -1 to Defense until Reset).


Normal Attack (No adjustments to Attack or Defense).


Aimed Attack (Attack with +1 on Attack roll; -1 to Defense until Reset.)


All-Out Attack (HTH only; attack with +2 on Attack roll; +4 on Damage roll; -3 to Defense until Reset).


Shield Block (Reflex action, requires shield; double shield Defense Adjustment vs. incoming attack).


Parry (Reflex action, requires ability; completely blocks incoming attack; -2 on all Attack rolls until Reset).


Counterattack (Reflex action, requires ability; attack your attacker before he attacks you; -2 to Attack roll).


Riposte (Response, requires ability; attack your attacker after he attacks you; -1 to Attack roll per HP of damage received).


Administer emergency first aid (stop bleeding)


Cast spell

Per spell card

Drink potion


Cast spell from scroll


Climb ladder or stairs one level (10 feet/1") up or down


Recover (Regain 1 Mana Point)


Rise from prone position


Rise from sitting or kneeling position


Combining Movement and Attacks

In most cases, a character can only take a single action in each Round. The main exception to this limitation combining movement with attack actions. Movement and attacks may be combined in a single Round in the following combinations.

Free Steps: As described in the Free Step rules, above, a character can always take his full allotment of Free Steps, and then make any attack for which he has sufficient AP. Alternately, he can take his Free Steps, and then spend AP to move additional squares. But he cannot take his Free Steps, then spend AP to move more squares, and then attack.

Step, then Normal Attack: A character may Step one square at a cost of 1 AP, and then make a Normal Attack (2 AP). A Normal Attack may not be combined with Running.

Step, then Rushed Attack: A character may Step one or two squares for 1 or 2 AP, and then make a Rushed Attack for 1 AP.

Run, then Rushed Attack: A character may Run up to 4 squares (1 AP for 1 or 2 squares, 1 SP for 3 or 4 squares) and then make a Rushed Attack for 1 AP. The Defense adjustment for any Running stacks with the Defense adjustment for the Rushed attack.

All-Out Attack: An All-Out Attack is essentially a berserker assault, so it makes sense that it can come at the end of a charge. Thus, an All-Out Attack can be combined with any amount of movement—up to 3 squares Stepping, or 6 squares Running—but the -3 Defense penalty for the All-Out Attack stacks with any penalty incurred for running. The character must also pay the full AP costs for the movement and the All-Out Attack as well. Thus, if Lunk runs 4 squares (2 AP, -2 Defense) and then makes an All-Out Attack (3 AP, -3 Defense), he pays 5 AP, and takes a -5 Adjustment to his Defense roll against any attack until the next Reset Phase.

If a character is making an All-Out Attack as an Only action, he may not combine it with any movement other than Free Steps. If he plans to Step or Run before All-Out Attacking, he must have sufficient AP to pay the full AP cost of both the movement and the attack.

Reflexes and Responses

Certain actions can be performed outside the normal, descending-AP action order of the Round. Instead, they are triggered by actions taken by enemies. Reflex Actions, or simply Reflexes, are actions taken to preempt enemy attacks, while Responses are actions which answer enemy attacks. Performing a Reflex or Response does not cost a character his opportunity to act in his usual position in the Action Order for the Round—he still gets to take his action when it’s his turn to do so. Reflexes and Responses do cost AP, though, so using them may leave a character vulnerable in later Rounds within the turn. Most Reflexes and Responses require a special ability or skill; Shield Block, a Reflex, is the only one which may be performed without such an ability.

Reflex Actions

A Reflex Action is taken in anticipation of an enemy action; if it is successful, it occurs and is resolved before the enemy action. When an attacker declares an attack against a defender with a Reflex ability, but before that attack is resolved, the defender may declare his intent to use his Reflex. In order to use his Reflex, the defender must win an Opposed Attempt against the attacker; both characters roll their Finesse Check Dice in this Attempt. If the defender wins the Opposed Attempt by tying or exceeding the attacker’s roll with his own, he may perform his Reflex Action. If he loses the Opposed Attempt, his Reflex Action is not executed, but he does pay the AP cost for it, and takes any penalties it imposes.


Responses are triggered by incoming attacks, but take place after them. There is no need to win an Opposed Attempt to perform a Response—a character with a Response ability who remains active and alert after an incoming attack, whether it hit or missed, may perform that Response if he chooses to do so, and has sufficient AP available to pay for it.