No effect from Knockdown or Stun

Does anybody else have this issue with their PC? We have played several adventures in the campaign where the “big bad” is essentially a giant “god-like” critter whose attacks inevitably have the Qualities of Knockdown and Stun. However, right in the description of each of those, and specifically those two qualities, characters may simply ignore both, regardless of how god-like the Nemesis “big bad” is, simply by adding +1 DOOM for each effect.

Two days ago this out of the “Vultures of Shem” adventure:
The Ghoul King, Saadan, and the Unspeakable Abomination, Mordiggian, (both Nemesis) are standing against the party and they have them on the ropes (half the party fled to protect the princess, while the three fighters stood alone against the foes… very Conan!), two of the fighters are each down 2 Wounds and spent FP to ignore the negative effects. Saadan scores a massive blow against one of the fighters, rolling 7 damage dice for his Iron Club, with 3 Momentum. The damage after Soak was only 4 points of Vigor, but the roll included 3 “effects” which should result in Knockdown 3 and Stun 3 (both qualities for the Iron Club) … but the player’s response is simply "Take 6 DOOM and I ignore the effects."

So, when I spent the Momentum for another attack with Saadan’s “Clawed Hand”, the PC (still standing and not staggered due to simply adding DOOM) told me to take another 5 DOOM so he could attempt to parry that attack as well (2nd parry and +3 d20). He parried, of course, then was able to RIPOSTE (+3 DOOM @ +3 d20, +1 DOOM to RIPOSTE). Saadan parried (-1 DOOM, -3 DOOM for +3d20) and failed (got only 4 successes to PC 6 successes), and Saadan went down like a lump of clay taking his 3rd and final WOUND.

GROSS DOOM GAIN in 1 turn = 1 (1st parry) + 3 (+3d20) + 3 (avoid Knockdown) + 3 (avoid Stun) + 2 (2nd parry) + 3 (+3d20) + 1 (riposte) + 3 (+3d20) = 19 DOOM gained.
DOOM SPENT in 1 turn = -3 (+3d20) -1 (2nd attack, dual armed) - 3 (+3d20) = -7 DOOM.
NET = 12 DOOM; but NEMESIS is dead.

There is no reason why a PC would NOT add the DOOM to avoid being Knockdown and Stunned (losing Guard and the ability to defend himself) … because there is no cost to doing so at that point, nor any chance that it won’t happen (100% chance to avoid both).

I may implement this house rule instead:
“The character may ATTEMPT to avoid the results of Knockdown (or Stun). Make a D"X” Resistance Test, where X = the number of “effects” rolled. The character may spend Momentum, DOOM and/or FP within normal limits of the rules to “Create Opportunity” in the attempt. Even if the character fails to avoid the results entirely, the results are reduced by the number of successes obtained by the character." Result of Stun 5. Resistance is 3 success. Character is now Stun 2.

1 Like

Just a thought, you could always houserule a limit to the maximum amount of Doom a PC generates to avoid effects and parry to 6 per round, akin to the 6 Max in Momentum pool. It would cause them to treat those actions as being a finite resource.

Of course, you could use the Doom in the other oh so colorful ways available - bring in additional foes, increase PC difficulty, add to damage, create an advantage for the baddies, and so on.

I think you could have used all that doom to add damage for example to make the PC suffer more wonds ore use it to make the enemies tufffer by making them regine vigor for example. You could also introduce som other hazards like a pillar or big statue falling on the palyers, spawning reinforcement and so on.

My players are not so fast whit adding doom to the pool. I make them pay for it if they try to exploit it. And if I as a GM hade 19 doom at the epic final battle my players would probably almost die in that battle.


There is no limit to how much doom that the PC can give you. That much is very true. However… it only takes 5 doom to create a deadly trap. There is no reason you couldn’t utilize the doom to create a situation equally dangerous. For instance your big bad does something in his rage that causes the ceiling to begin to collapse. The ceiling collapse with 5 doom is a deadly obstacle and therefore is just as dangerous as them being knocked down/stunned. My players cringe every time they add doom because I get VERY creative about its applications. Try utilizing it in some other ways. They should not be ok with you having that much doom. Let alone giving that much to you in one round.


Doom spends to increase difficulty do wonders!


Yes! Make that clawed hand attack, but although not knocked down the PC is still off balance from the gargantuan blow of the iron club and so the parry difficulty is…lets see… 6 doom to avoid the original stun and knockdown,+5 doom you said so the PC could parry is 11 total doom. 2 doom per step…means. Oh cool. Your parry is at Difficulty 5. Bank 3 doom.

Good luck PC.

Don’t forget: All spends need a suitable narration, too… if they aren’t describing how they evade, avoid, roll with, or redirect the attack, they don’t get to spend.


Get creative with your doom spends. Your players seem to be so comfortable with their high doom spends because they do not fear the consequences.

Rouroni got it right. While yes you can use doom to beef up an NPCs attack to devastating levels, you can also create high difficulty obstacles and traps that will create dynamic challenging encounters