fight or flight

Flight or Flight, or F/F, is an instinct which compels you to either flee or attack wildly at your opponent. No matter how strong your character is, accruing too much F/F can compromise your character, as well as putting them at risk of death.

Simply put, it’s the one thing you generally want to avoid.

F/F may be caused by several different things:

  1. You’re injured. An injury may occur when you receive damage.
  2. You’re strained. Strain may occur when you employ a power or instinct which potentially has a negative effect on you.
  3. You’re controlled. Control occurs when you’re afraid, or when you’re up against a opponent who can influence your mind.
  4. You’re fatigued. Fatigue may occur when you’ve done quite a lot in a short time, or done something very difficult.

When you get the F/F instinct, it replaces other memories. F/F normally can’t be removed when you change your other memories.

🔧 The source of the Fight or Flight generally doesn’t make a difference to what Fight or Flight does.

🔧 F/F can’t replace itself.

📖 Fight or Flight consolidates and replaces other forms of “damage”, mental effects, and so on in other games.

Incapacity and Death

You become incapacitated in combat when your Vitality strength is equal to your F/F. You become incapacitated outside combat when your Physique strength is equal to your F/F.

If you are Incapacitated, you are unable to use any memories (even if they have not been replaced by F/F).

You have a chance to die if you are incapacitated and you receive an additional F/F effect. When this occurs, roll all your Physique or Vitality dice. If you roll a 10, you do not die.

When any creature dies, it ceases to be a creature and becomes a unit (a corpse) of the same size as that creature.

📖 The way death is handled subsequently may vary widely depending on your setting. In a modern setting with high realism, death may be permanent and irreversible. In more fantastical settings, death may be reversible in some way.

🔧 Creatures with strong Vitality may be able to sustain F/F equal or greater to their number of active memories. If this is the case, they can continue to receive F/F which doesn’t replace a memory.


Injuries occur in combat.

An injury occurs when you receive damage in a single round of turns, equal or greater to your Vitality.

How much damage an attack deals is dependent on the memory which targeted you.

Damage is cumulative. Whenever you’re hit by an attack, keep track of the total amount of damage you’ve received. If and when that damage exceeds your Vitality in a single turn, you sustain an Injury.

An injury introduces the Fight or Flight instinct at the aimline on which you were attacked. For example, if you are a human who has Prowess on Aim(2), an attack at Aim(2) which causes an Injury replaces one of your Prowess memories.

If you received damage on multiple aimlines, the Injury is sustained on the aimline of the last attack that put the total damage above your Vitality.

Damage may “carry over” – for example, if you receive 6 damage from a single attack and you have 2 Vitality, you will sustain two Injuries.

🔧 If the aimline a creature is damaged on has no memories, except for fight or flight, then fight or flight is still received, but it doesn’t replace any memories.

🔧 If a damaged aimline has two or more memories, one of them is selected at random to be replaced by fight or flight.

📖 Creatures with higher Vitality may frequently be hit with low damage attacks that don’t cause injuries. A DM may narrate this as receiving minor inconsequential cuts and bruises, which don’t slow the target down because of their adrenaline or general physical health.


Sometimes, memories which you yourself use cause fight or flight. This is known as strain.

Strain may occur for several reasons:

  • You are inexperienced in using this memory
  • The instinct or power is inherently volatile
  • A power or instinct targeted at you has made your own powers and instincts more dangerous

The exact conditions and effects of strain are always described in the text of the memory that causes it. Normally, F/F replaces the memory that caused strain in the first place.


Sometimes, the memories of a foe cause you to accrue Fight or Flight without causing damage. This is known as control.

When you receive F/F due to control, it it removed when the unit which has control is incapacitated or destroyed, or when that unit releases control.

Control attacks can be dodged, but they can’t be blocked.


You accrue fight or flight over time, by exerting yourself. This is known as fatigue. Fatigue may be accrued whenever you complete an encounter.

How much fatigue you accrue from an encounter depends on the encounter. Some encounters may not cause any fatigue at all; others may be exhausting. Circumstances such as the weather, or your overall preparedness, can also effect how fatiguing an encounter may be.

Physique helps prevent fatigue. Whenever you would accrue fight or flight from fatigue, subtract 1 F/F per Physique strength.

When you accrue F/F from fatigue, it replaces Genius memories first, followed by Passion, Insight, and Physique. Fatigue can’t be blocked or dodged.

In most settings, certain items which are particularly heavy or difficult to wear or carry, because of their size, make you accrue fight or flight from fatigue more quickly.

Size of ItemEffect per Encounter where Fatigue is accrued
> 1/2 Your Size+1 Fight or Flight, +1 additional per 2 greater than half your size *
1/2 Your Size+1 Fight or Flight
< 1/4 Your SizeNo additional Fatigue
* for example, a Size 10 creature carrying a Size 8 unit
accrues +2 Fight or Flight from Fatigue.

📖 Normally, if an encounter itself does not cause fatigue, the DM should also not apply fatigue effects for other reasons, such as carrying other units.

🔧 Table of Fight or Flight Effects
Source of F/FHow does it normally happen?Which attribute?
InjuryYou receive damage from a foe during combat.As per the aim of an attack.
StrainYou perform a power or instinct that causes strain.Depends on the relevant power or instinct.
ControlYou’re affected by a memory that causes control.As per the aim of a control attack.
FatigueAccrued over time, and from physically difficult tasks.Ascending (Genius, Insight, Passion, Physique)
All of these have the same effect.
Players don’t have to remember them!