Rules Index | GM Screen

Pathfinder Unchained

Stamina and Combat Tricks

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 112
While magic deals with complex formulae, precise manipulation of components, and intense concentration, martial acumen often relies on seizing opportunities and pushing the body and the will to carve a path to victory on the battlefield. Those who make their way in the world by skill at arms know that the determination to test the limits of endurance often separates the living from the dead and the vanquished from the victorious.

Stamina and combat tricks can help characters better reflect this opportunistic flexibility and the give-and-take of the battlefield. This system allows a character to draw upon an internal reservoir of will and gumption to overturn the assumed limitations of combat, at least for short bursts. With luck and proper timing, a martial character using this system can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat or put a despicable villain to a stunning end.

There are several ways you can implement this system in your game.

Feat Access: The easiest way to introduce stamina and combat tricks into your game is to grant access to the Combat Stamina feat, detailed below. This allows those taking the feat to opt into the system, gain a stamina pool, and use stamina to increase the utility of combat feats and class features they already have or will gain in the future. In general, the Combat Stamina feat is quite strong for martial characters with a variety of combat feats.

Free for Fighters: If your goal is to provide an additional edge to the fighter class, you can allow fighters to gain the Combat Stamina feat as an additional bonus feat at 1st level.

Fighter Bonus Feats Only: If you want to significantly strengthen fighters compared to all other classes and keep this system as a special fighter-only perk, you can restrict the Combat Stamina feat to fighters and limit the feats a character can use with his stamina pool to those gained with the fighter’s bonus feats. A multiclass fighter can’t use stamina with bonus feats he gained from any other class, even if that class can take fighter-only feats as bonus feats (like the warpriest and the swashbuckler). In this version, if a character really wants the stamina ability of a few key feats, he will need to diversify his martial training by taking a level in fighter.

Free for Everyone: If your goal is to immediately boost all martial characters and the whole group is ready to handle the stamina and combat tricks system, you can grant Combat Stamina as an additional bonus feat for all martial characters, or even for all characters.

Combat Stamina

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 112
When you have an ability that grants you stamina points, you gain a stamina pool with a maximum number of stamina points equal to your base attack bonus + your Constitution modifier. During combat, you can spend stamina points from this pool to perform a combat trick, the specif ic effects of which are dictated by a combat feat you possess. Spending stamina points in this way is not an action, but you can't do so if you are unconscious, fatigued, or exhausted. You can use as many combat tricks on the same action or attack as you like (as long as you have the stamina points to spend), but you can't use the same combat trick twice within its scope. For instance, if you have a combat trick that affects a single attack, you can't use that combat trick more than once on the same attack.

Dropping to 0 stamina points causes you to become fatigued until you have 1 or more points in your stamina pool.

Temporary increases to your Constitution score, such as those granted by the core barbarian's rage class feature or bear's endurance, do not increase the number of stamina points in your pool or your pool's maximum number of stamina points. However, permanent increases to Constitution, such as the bonus granted by a belt of mighty constitution worn for more than 24 hours, do adjust your stamina points.

You regain stamina points by resting for short periods of time. You don't have to sleep while resting in this way, but you can't exert yourself. You stop regaining stamina points if you enter combat; take an action that requires a Strength-, Dexterity-, or Constitution-based skill check or an ability check tied to one of those ability scores; or take more than one move action or standard action in a round (you can still take free, immediate, and swift actions). This reduction in your number of actions per round also effectively halves your overland speed. For each uninterrupted minute you rest in this way, you regain 1 stamina point. If you are suffering from any of the following conditions, you can't regain stamina points: confused, cowering, dazed, dead, disabled, exhausted, fascinated, frightened, helpless, nauseated, panicked, paralyzed, petrified, shaken, sickened, staggered, or stunned.