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Circumstance modifiers adjust the success a character or monster may have to accomplish a task. The modifiers are usually situational and may be granted due to creative role-playing or strategic moves. If a player attempts to use the same tactic on an opponent more than once, the later attempts will may grant a lesser modifier or a penalty (if the opponent decides to turn the tables).
Circumstance modifiers can grant -5 to a +5 adjustment on a roll, but the normal range is -2 to +2. If two or more similar circumstance modifiers could apply to a situation, use the highest of the two. Circumstance modifier usually do not stack, but there can be exceptions.
EX: A PC has a loaded crossbow readied to fire at a captured enemy: +4 initiative
EX: An extra round is taken to aim a bow at an unknowing target: +2 attack / +2 damage
EX: A player describes a distraction before a slight of hand is attempted: +2 on check
EX: A character is reading while someone sneaks up on them: -5 to perception