Appendix 1: Common Actions
The Darkrealm system was designed to be flexible, and comprehensive of any kind of actions players might wish to undertake, and to execute them in a similar way regardless of situation. But this flexibility comes at a cost - a steep learning curve for player and director alike. To help players learn to use the game, a few examples of how the more common role playing game actions a player might want to undertake would be modelled with the Darkrealm rules. It's crucial to remember that these are merely suggestions for one way to model these actions. Fundamental to the system is encouraging players to be creative with their mechanical decisions to better reflect the infinite inventiveness all role players inevitably bring to the hobby.


Physically pushing past other individuals, be it guard blocking his path, or a packed street, is a frequently encountered task for some characters.

Bluff Enemies

Lying your way through a situation, convincing a guard you're a royal page, or an enemy that a large party of warriors is just behind them, is a great way for characters to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, and for clever characters to use their best advantage against stronger, stupider enemies.

Climb on Shoulders

When characters don't have a ladder or a rope, and want to get to something otherwise out of reach, they often sit or stand on one another's shoulders.

Climb Rope/Wall

From scaling a stone wall to climbing a free rope, vertical movement allows characters to navigate the world of a role playing game in whatever way they choose.

Steep slope, braced (against a wall) knotted rope, low-limbed tree
Braced rope or unbraced knotted rope or featureless steep surface
Rough wall, barky tree, cliff face or other surface with handholds, or an unbraced rope
Heavy masonry wall, sheer cliff, woody tree or other rough surface with few handholds
Hand over hand on a ledge with no footholds
Shallow masonry like brick with almost no handholds
Featureless rough vertical surface
Featureless smooth vertical surface

Chimney climb (with two parallel surfaces close enough to both act as braces)
Wet or slippery surface
Crumbly surface such as loose rock


When a character falls from a height,

Disarm Enemy

Life might be cheap in Allornus, but that doesn't mean that characters will always cut a bloody swathe through every conflict that faces them. Occasionally disarming an opponent is enough to secure his surrender, or at least make it easier to land the killing blow. Now, the name of the action might bring to mind the hero deftly flicking a foe's sword from his hand with his own weapon, but it can as easily mean taking a defeated foe's sword off him, or kicking an unconscious enemy's weapon out of reach.

Disarm Traps

While trap laden dungeons are a cliché that Darkrealm discourages as a rule, that doesn't mean there aren't a good number of booby traps left to ensnare or pulverize the unfortunate and unobservant. And when these traps are spotted before they come into play characters might want to render them inert - either for their own safety or that of the general public. This can be done in one of two ways - by triggering the trap from a safe vantage point, or by dismantling it until it is no longer functional.

Poor quality (caltrops, trip rope, net, or snare)
Average quality (punji pit, bear trap, or falling bucket trap)
Good quality (swinging log trap or tripwire)
Excellent quality (spring loaded blade or poisoned needle trap)
Masterful quality (something outlandish or odd)


Drawing attention can be a simple task, but it often allows a character to make himself the centre of attention in order to distract attention from others. Not only could this make it easier for another character to sneak past someone, pick his pocket, stab him in the back, or slink away into the shadows, but it can also be used to lure enemies to chase the character into an ambush.


Listening from a hidden position, or even just without appearing to be listening, can be a great way to gather information, from the political situation in a new city to the movements of enemy troops.

hear a few words
hear whole sentences
hear entire conversation
Silent and echoey (a cave, alleyway, or stone chamber)
Silent and soft (a furnished room, tent, or open air)
Light noise (a quiet tavern taproom, in wind, or by a stream)
Moderate noise (a river, rain, a streetside, or busy shop)
Loud noise (a bustling marketplace, by a waterfall, or a gale)
Cacophonous (during a thunderstorm, battle, or riot)
Cacophonous ambient noise and whispering targets


Conflict is a bit part of role playing games, and swinging a sword at someone is a mainstay of the fantasy genre.


In combat,


Instead of using


Like blocking, moving your body out of the way of an incoming attack is also an option


Just like attacking, weapons like bows, slings, and crossbows can be fired, or rocks, javelins and other projectiles thrown, in order to attack an opponent at a long distance.


Characters won't always want to kill an opponent. Knocking someone out is usually preferable to cutting someone's throat if they're harmless, drunk, or characters want information out of them or to take them prisoner.

Sneak Attack

Fighting in the Darkrealm system can be dangerous, often lethal, and aside from a few hero points characters don't have much but luck and strategy between them and death.


Sometimes obstacles are too overwhelming, or risks too great, and characters will just want to get out of a given situation as fast as they can.


Following, or tailing another character - usually unnoticed, or even unseen - is a good way to find hidden things or uncover valuable intelligence for those so inclined. Even a thug looking to knock his victim over the head and take his purse needs to follow him at a discreet distance until opportunity arises.

Enormous (shoulder to shoulder, a bustling festival or marketplace)
Large (lots of movement and people, but some space, a busy street or temple)
Busy (plenty of people about, but lots of space between them, a city road or village square)
Quiet or Still (a sparse crowd, or large one not moving, a quiet country road or temple service)
Small (small, scattered groups, far between, a busy overland highway)
None (no or negligible other people, follower just has to be seen and behave plausibly)

Force Door

When faced with a locked or barred door that they need to get through, most characters won't resort to the more subtle arts to pass the obstacle.

Simple wooden door
Strong wooden door
Iron reinforced door
Iron door
Stone door
Iron portcullis

Pick Lock

Locks aren't common in Allornus, and the need (not to mention the skill) to pick them is equally uncommon, but it is by no means completely absent.


Characters will often find themselves negotiating with a merchant or trader for goods, and in a medieval society, where barter is the norm amongst the lower classes, and prices are not fixed, haggling can make a substantial difference to a character's resources - for better or worse.


Going unseen, either to avoid enemies, or watch them without their knowing, is an excellent way to handle obstacles in and role playing situation.

None (not even starlight, underground)
Dark (star or moonlight, adjacent to a lit room)
Shadowy (an area of shadow in a dimly lit room)
Lit (in dim light, such as lamp or fire light)
Daylight (outdoors in sunlight)
Bright (in direct, strong light)

Hold Door Open/Closed

While wars over portals might seem more the realm of comedy, there are many situations where, severely outnumbered or heavily wounded, a character might want to brace himself against a door while another exit is found, or a better means of blocking the door.


It's important, when travelling overland, that characters eat. Most people, when planning a long trip, will buy trail rations at their last civilized stop, or pack something from their stores at home. But professional huntsmen and other wilderness dwellers, or travellers who lose their supplies, whose trips are unexpectedly lengthened, or who find themselves unexpectedly in the wild need to rely on their wits to survive.


Particularly ingenious characters may frequently try to build the tools they need out of materials at hand. A unhinged door, in the right hands, can be anything from a stretcher for a fallen comrade to a mantlet or pavise against heavy fire, and a ladder is easy to improvise from stacked furnishings. Rope and a table could make a raised platform of sorts. The ingenuity and creativity of players is near limitless.


Particularly belligerent characters might want to get their way, not by persuasion, or obfuscation, but by terrifying, brow beating, and cowing their enemies. And sometimes their friends.


Similarly, characters inevitably find themselves in situations where they want information from their enemies, and if not by guile then it can be extracted by force.


Jumping off things and trying to land well, or jumping up to grab a ledge are often essential, especially in the rough wilderness common to Allornus. Jumping characters Are either jumping up, or jumping down, and the action is quite different depending upon what they are trying to achieve. Characters jumping up want to achieve explosive force in order to elevate their bodies to the desired height, while characters jumping down want to brace or roll with the impact as they land to avoid injury.

Knock Over/Move Object

Like barging an enemy, dealt with above, characters may also want to topple objects - be it to block a doorway with a heavy piece of furniture, push over a crumbling pillar to bring a roof down, or tip a wagon to stop it being able to move.


Characters often want to leap over gaps or between purchases, or vault over obstacles on the run.


Lifting objects or preventing them from falling varies in difficulty depending on the weight of the object, in the same way as knocking them over, but because there is often a risk of strain involved, and the action involves taking on considerably more (in fact all) of an object's weight, it is considerably more difficult.

light load
medium load
heavy load
maximum press


Listening at doors for signs of occupation, or in darkened rooms for signs of movement can be a great way to be prepared for a situation before walking into it.

Look Around

Many people forget that because a basic action round in Darkrealm is so short, their characters don't necessarily have an objective and informed awareness of their surroundings.

On Alert

Players who dislike the look around action can instead opt to announce that their character is 'on alert'.

Loosen/Tie Restraints

Characters often have cause to take prisoners, and equally they are sometimes taken as prisoners.

Make/Use Bandages

Most characters don't carry around a first aid kit. Medicine is still in its infancy in a medieval world, and medical gear and attention is rare, but almost everyone knows that a bleeding wound must be tightly bound in order to prevent the bleeding and survive it.

Make Rope

Characters don't always want to carry the bulky and heavy yards upon yards of rope wherever they go.


Characters, like real people, can walk, run, crawl, jump, ride a horse, drag themselves if things aren't going so well, and use whatever method they see fit to get around, and generally they can do these things without much in the way off effort, at least in the short term.


Walking is the basic mode of movement used in Darkrealm.





Move Cautiously

Moving Cautiously is ideal for characters searching the area around them, wanting to employ stealth, or carrying heavy loads.


It might not seem glamorous, but a major part of getting from one destination to another is making sure you're going the right way.

Play Dead

Sometimes a badly hurt character's best bet at survival isn't retreat - injuries are often too severe - but rather feigning death.


Remembering a fact, be it about a powerful figure in the neighbouring town, a historical detail, or the route to a major city, is an action in exercising a character's knowledge of the world around him rather than that of the player.

Rope Swing

A free hanging rope isn't just good for climbing up and down. Swinging on a rope can be a great way to get over a gap a character could not otherwise jump.

Search Area

Thoroughly searching an area for something takes time, but also sometimes ingenuity. Too often searchers fall into a pattern and overlook the object of their seeking when it is in plain sight, and when something is cunningly hidden it can be more difficult still.

Start Fire

Allornus is a pretty northerly continent for the most part, and often fire is the only way to survive the long, cruel nights on the road. It is also useful for signalling distant individuals, keeping away night-time predators, and a fantastic way to destroy wooden buildings.

Staunch Wounds/Set Bones

Basic first aid

Take Cover

When a character is walking down a wooded road and an arrow streaks out of the trees, his first reaction might not necessarily be to draw a weapon and charge headlong in the direction from which it came bellowing a battle cry. It might be wiser to duck into cover behind a fallen tree, rock, or other convenient obstacle, in order to appraise what's going on. He's not necessarily hidden, but the obstacle prevents direct harm from coming to him from a given direction.


Following someone at a safe distance isn't the only way to know where someone is going. From huntsmen tracking deer to a bounty hunter following his quarry, following tracks can tell a character where another has passed some time after they are gone.

The Tome of Lore: Core Rules for Darkrealm
Chapter 1 Character Creation; Concept; Core Details; Player Interaction
Chapter 2 Talents; The Fourteen Talents; Generating Character Talents; Properties
Chapter 3 Traits; Character Traits; Context Traits; Status Traits
Chapter 4 Skills; The Skill List; Purchasing Skills
Chapter 5 Gameplay; Announcing a Test; Sequence of Play; Actions and Objectives
Chapter 6 Damage; Opposed Tests; Effects of Damage; Recovery; Death
Chapter 7 Development; Awarding Hero Points; Training; Changing Character Traits
Chapter 8 Setting; Tone; Technology & Lifestyle; Religion; Magic; Other Oddities
Chapter 9 Player Races; Civilized Races; Racial Abilities
Chapter 10 Gear; Armour; Weapons; Tools; Animals and Transport; Clothing; Weight and Encumbrance
Chapter 11 Magic; Alchemy; Divination; Talismans and Relics; Fear and Superstition; Spellcasting
Chapter 12 Game Creation;
Appendices Common Actions; Damage Statuses