The practice of building a character's confidence so as to be able to endure an expected attack or damage of a specific form, one that is previously known to the character.

Thus, were the character to know in advance, in the near future, that a combat would soon ensue with a dragon, the character could build confidence through affirming his or her ability to withstand or avoid expected attacks with a breath weapon. The character might also prepare for a magical attack, if the character knew for certain that a mage would use a charm spell or other specific magic. Similarly, if the character knew that a fall was unavoidable, affirmation would grant the character a benefit as well.

To prepare, the character must spend five rounds in personal appraisal and reassurance, affirming again and again an ability to survive and overcome the attack. No other action may be taken during this time. Once this affirmation has been performed, the protection will last from the beginning of one melee until the character or the enemy breaks combat, until one side or the other surrenders or until the enemy is dead. Note that once any of these things occur, the character's affirmation will evaporate as the character is relieved - in which case, a surprise attack may catch the character unprepared.

In most circumstances, the character will receive a +2 save against all attacks of the exact nature affirmed against. A character that affirmed against a fireball would not be similarly protected against any other magical attack, such as a lightning bolt or a flaming sphere. In cases where the character is not allowed a saving throw, such as certain magic (magic missile, Melf's acid arrow, etcetera) or the aforementioned drop from a height, the character receives an adjustment of -1 per die rolled to overall damage.

This die adjustment does not apply where an attack includes a saving throw.

Affirmation is of no use if the character does not possess the time or the opportunity to spend 5 rounds in preparation. Thus, if the character is surprised, already in combat, in considerable discomfort due to present circumstances, dodging missiles and so on, the ability cannot be employed.

See Empowerment