Keywords are reoccurring rules in Tavern Tales. All keywords are underlined—simply hover your mouse over an underlined word to see the tooltip. You can refer to this page to find the detailed explanation of each keyword.
Accurate: The base damage of your ranged attacks is d8 instead of d6 (does not affect melee attacks).
Authority: You are an expert on a certain topic. Whenever you encounter something that relates to that topic, you can declare a fact about it. If the GM agrees that your fact is reasonable, it becomes true. If the GM doesn’t think your fact is reasonable, they must work with you so that you can declare a different fact.
Binding: Increase your rolls to maintain grapples.
Blast: A blast affects the targeted space and all adjacent spaces.
Bleed: A bleeding creature takes one-tenth damage on each of its turns, ignoring block (refer to the Keywords section for more information on one-tenth life). This effect ends when the subject receives any healing, or after someone spends an action tending to the wound. A creature can suffer from any number of bleed effects at once, but it can’t have multiple instances of the same bleed effect. Bleed effects can have any aesthetic you like (the creature is poisoned, on fire, bleeding from an open wound, etc).
Blind: You can’t see. While blind, decrease your attack rolls and all other rolls that are rely on sight.
Buff: A buff is any temporary boost to your combat capabilities. Advantage doesn’t count as a buff.
Cleansing: When you spend advantage and bolster, remove 1 debuff from yourself or a visible ally.
Close: A close distance extends to the size to a room (relative to your size), or 5 spaces on a battlegrid.
Cone: A cone affects everything in a 90 degree arc in front of you out to a near distance (3 spaces on a battlegrid).
Creative License: You temporarily take control of the story while you exercise your creative license. Refer to Chapter 8: General Rules for a more detailed explanation.
Debuff: A debuff is any temporary penalty to your combat capabilities. Damage doesn’t count as a debuff.
Defensive: You have +2 block.
Defy: If you would be affected by something that you defy, you instead gain 1 advantage. For example, suppose that you defy terror. If something would terrify you, you aren’t terrified and you instead gain 1 advantage. If you have double immunity to something, you defy it. For example, if a trait makes you immune to slow and an item also makes you immune to slow, you now defy slow.
Disarm: You send an item that the target is holding clattering a close distance away. You or an ally along the item’s path can catch the item.
Disarming: When you spend advantage and deal damage, disarm the target.
Disease: A disease is an illness. Diseases cannot be removed by things that remove debuffs unless the effect specifically states that it removes diseases.
Ethereal: Your body and equipment is insubstantial. You can’t touch, attack, or bolster non-ethereal objects or creatures, and they can’t touch, attack, or bolster you. You can phase through most materials like a ghost, but you may be unable to pass through some magical barriers or spiritual wards.
Far: A far distance extends to the size of several buildings (relative to your size), or 20 spaces on a battlegrid.
Fly: You can fly, maneuvering about as well as a bird in flight. You have to continue moving in order to stay aloft. Your movement distance is the same while flying, so things that increase or decrease your movement similarly affect your flying speed. You fall if you lose control or consciousness.
Gigantic: A gigantic creature is larger than a two-story mansion. It occupies a 50-foot area or larger.
Glide: You can glide through the air. You gradually lose altitude while gliding (generally 1 space per turn). You can’t gain altitude from gliding unless there is a strong updraft. You have to continue moving in order to stay aloft. Your movement distance is the same while gliding, so things that increase or decrease your movement similarly affect your gliding speed. You fall if you lose control or consciousness.
Grapple: You can roll -1 damage die (possibly bringing you down to 0d8+stat damage) on a successful melee attack to grapple the target. The two of you can’t be physically separated until the grapple ends. If the two of you are about the same size, either of you can move at 1 distance step lower (half speed) and drag the other behind you. If one is significantly larger than the other, the larger creature can move normally and drag the smaller creature behind it. Unwilling participants in a grapple can make one attempt on each of their turns to break free (which doesn’t cost an action) by winning an opposed roll.
Grasp: The number indicates how many extra spaces you can reach with your melee attacks. You can grab or manipulate objects with your extended reach (grabbing a creature with a long tentacle, for example).
Halt: A halted creature is immobile and can’t move to other spaces. This doesn’t affect the creature’s ability to move its body parts (it can still swing a sword, for example.
Haste: The distance you can move goes up 1 step, which doubles the distance you can travel. For example, the distance you can move might increase from Close (5 spaces) to Midrange (10 spaces).
Hover: You can fly perfectly, maneuvering in whatever way you please (straight up, forward, hovering in place, etc). Your movement distance is the same while flying, so things that increase or decrease your movement similarly affect your flying speed. You fall if you lose control or consciousness.
Huge: A huge creature is approximately the size of a house. It occupies a 20-foot area.
Hurry: When you start your turn, you can announce that you hurry. On that turn, you decrease all rolls you make and the distance you can move goes up 1 step, which doubles the distance you can travel. For example, the distance you can move might increase from Close (5 spaces) to Midrange (10 spaces). Doesn’t stack with Haste.
Impervious: An impervious creature has infinite life and can only be truly damaged under special circumstances (it regenerates all wounds, its hide is indestructible, weapons pass through it harmlessly, etc).
Lair: A lair is an area that serves as your dwelling. You can claim an uninhabited area as your lair after living in it for about a day, which causes you to give up your claim to the old lair. A lair can be as small as a single room or as large as a fortress or cavern complex.
Large: A large creature is about 2-3 times the size of a human. It occupies a 10-foot area.
Line: A line includes every square in a straight line out to a close distance. Lines are 5 spaces long and 1 space wide.
Lumbering: Lumbering creatures are much slower than normal for some reason (they’re incredibly massive, they have awkward anatomy, their muscles are rotting, etc). They move a near distance (3 spaces) rather than the default close distance (5 spaces). They are immune to slow and they cannot hurry.
Maim: You inflict a debilitating wound (break bones, sever an arm, gouge out an eye, etc) that is permanent or semi-permanent. An effect can’t heal a maimed wound unless it specifically states that it can. The GM decides the mechanical consequences, or he may allow the attacker to choose the consequences. Options are limitless, but the most common consequences are:
Reduce a stat by 2
Can’t use an appendage
Amputated body part
Decrease a certain type of roll.
Medium: A medium creature is approximately the size of a human. It occupies a 5-foot area.
Melee: When you make a melee attack with a weapon that doesn’t have the melee keyword, roll -1 damage die (possibly bringing you down to 0d8+stat damage).
Midrange: A midrange distance extends to the size of a building (relative to your size), or 10 spaces on a battlegrid.
Minion: A minion is a non-player character who willingly obeys you. You can gain a minion through virtually any means (you hire a mercenary, you convince somebody to help you for several weeks, a soldier is required to obey your commands, etc). Anyone can gain minions; you don’t need to have a special trait to gain minions.
Mount: A mount is a creature that can carry a rider. As long as a rider and his mount are within the vicinity of each other, they share the same turn and pool of actions. Usually, a rider will give up his opportunity to move so that his mount can move. A rider can also give up his action to use one of his mount’s actions. Anything that affects the rider also affects the mount—when one takes a buff, debuff, or damage, the other does as well.
Near: A near distance extends several steps (relative to your size), or 3 spaces on a battlegrid.
One-tenth: This is one-tenth of a creature’s maximum life. To determine that value, remove the right-most number from the creature’s maximum life. For example, one-tenth of 149 maximum life is 14, and one-tenth of 55 maximum life is 5.
Piercing: When you spend advantage to attack, the attack ignores block.
Ranged: When you make a ranged attack with a weapon that doesn’t have the ranged keyword, roll -1 damage die (possibly bringing you down to 0d6+stat damage).
Reach: Your melee attacks can reach near targets. Your ranged attacks can reach targets out to a far distance.
Recharge: If you use something that has a recharge, you can’t use it again until you meet one of the recharge conditions.
Regeneration: A regenerating creature gradually heals life at a rate of about 1 life every half hour (round up to an even 50 life per day). They also gradually regrow lost limbs and repair wounds caused by the maim effect.
Rending: When you spend advantage and deal damage, inflict bleed on the target.
Resisting: When a creature is affected by something with the resisting keyword, it resists that effect for the next day or so. It essentially becomes immune to the effect for a brief time. Creatures lose their resistances after they get a full night’s sleep. Resistance applies to specific effects from specific creatures. For example, suppose the dragon Blackscale unleashes a terrifying roar to scare an adventurer. The adventurer runs away in fear and becomes resistant to Blackscale’s roar. The adventurer can’t be affected by Blackscale’s roar for the next day or so, but he can still be affected by other terror-causing effects—even the roars of other dragons. Resistance doesn’t affect pre-existing conditions.
Safe Fall: By default, you can fall 5 spaces and not take damage when you land. For every space you fall after that, you take 5 damage (ignoring block) when you land. If you have Safe Fall, add that number to the number of spaces you can fall before you take damage when you land. Multiple sources of Safe Fall stack with the default 5. For example, if you have Safe Fall 10 from one trait and Safe Fall 5 from another trait, you can fall 20 spaces and not take damage when you land. If you fall 21 spaces, you would take 5 damage when you land.
Shatter: When a creature is shattered, its block becomes 0. If a creature is shattered as part of an attack, this happens before dealing damage. Restoring shattered block is typically a slow action, and entails whatever is logical (repairing armor, recasting defensive wards, healing wounds so that protective scales reform, etc).
Staggering: When you spend advantage and deal damage, knock the target back a near distance (assuming you can logically do so).
Stuck: Something is limiting your moment. Any of your present foes can spend your stuck to end your movement (before or during your movement).
Shrine: A shrine is structure that serves as a divine conduit. Each shrine is devoted to a specific god. Shrines generally range in size from a piece of furniture to a huge building, but they can be much larger or smaller. Shrines can be destroyed like any other feature of the environment, but doing so typically invokes the wrath of the god it represents and its followers. Anyone can touch a shrine to gain its bonus as long as he is not despised by that god. You don’t need levels in the Faith theme to use a shrine.
Slow: The distance you can move goes down 1 step, which halves the distance you can travel. For example, the distance you can move might fall from Close (5 spaces) to Near (3 spaces). If you already move a Near distance and you are slowed, you can’t move at all.
Small: A small creature is approximately the size of a human child. It occupies a 3-foot area.
Soak: Soak counts as life with a few exceptions: soak can’t be healed, it wears off after about 1 minute, and you always lose soak before losing life. Soak can exceed your maximum life, but you can only have one source of soak at a time; if you gain soak from multiple sources, keep whichever one gives you the most soak.
Stun: Stunned creatures can’t act. They remain standing and can still hold onto items while stunned, but they stop doing anything that’s more complicated than that (climbing, casting a spell, holding aloft something heavy, etc).
Surprised: If you attack a creature that has no way of knowing that you are going to attack it (you strike from the shadows, you attack a sleeping creature, you attack a creature that completely trusts you, etc), that creature is considered surprised by you for 1 turn. Increase your attack rolls against creatures that you surprise.
Temporary Trait: A temporary trait is a trait that you have under special circumstances, or for a short period of time. Temporary traits do not affect your level. You do not have to distribute temporary traits evenly between combat, exploration, and interaction; you can distribute them as unevenly as you want.
Terror: When a creature becomes terrified, it immediately moves in a safe path in order to get as far away as possible from the thing that it fears. While terrified, it can’t willingly move closer to the thing that it fears or attack it.
Tiny: A tiny creature is the size of a housecat or smaller. It occupies a 1-foot area or less.
Wall: A wall is some sort of barrier. A wall can be any number of spaces long. By default, walls are 1 space high. Walls exist in the border between spaces. They don’t have to form a straight line and they can’t form a loop.