units, characters, creatures, and foes

A unit in Ax is the basic building block of things in the game. If something is described in the game, it can be treated as a unit.

Special units, called characters, creatures, and foes, have special abilities or features that make them more important and significant to the game.


The primary unit you control in the game is your Player Character or PC. Other players’ characters are also referred to as PCs. Characters which are not controlled by players, but only by the DM, are called Non-Player Characters, or NPCs.

A character:

  • Contains all four elements in the form of social attributes and combat attributes
  • Can use all or most actions and at least some forms
  • Can normally move about and interact with the world around them
  • Has motivations, which help describe their moral compass and/or attitudes in life

In a fantasy setting, a character could be a human, elf, dwarf, or any number of other sentient creatures. In a modern setting, perhaps all your characters may be human. In some settings it may also be necessary or convenient to describe incorporeal fantasy creatures, such as ghosts, as characters, or technological phenomena such as AI as characters.


All characters are creatures, but not all creatures are characters. When we use the term “creature” in this documentation, we generally refer to creatures who are not characters.

A non-character creature may not have all the abilities of a character and may not have attributes (particularly social attributes) or motivations.

Creatures may include animals, plants, monsters, and other phenomena which are interactive but (generally) not sentient.

In a fantasy setting, unintelligent mythic beasts may be described as creatures, as well as things such as mindless zombies or massive, ravenous prawns.


A foe is an enemy unit. Most foes will be creatures or characters, but a mechanical trap or a falling rock could also be described as a foe.

A unit becomes a foe when:

  • It attacks you
  • You attack it
  • It attacks, or is attacked by, an allied unit (or a unit perceived to be an ally)

Some units will attack on sight, but other units, particularly characters, may not be foes right away.

When you are aware of a foe, you enter combat.