Much like pausing a computer game, when someone calls "Hold," all in-play participants in the area must stop what they're doing and wait until someone calls, "3, 2, 1, play on!" A hold essentially takes everyone in the area out of play until the situation that caused the hold is resolved.
There are two important rules to keep in mind regarding holds. First, do not call a hold without a good reason. Good reasons include participant injuries, important rules clarification, and storyteller narrative. Second, respect a hold whenever it is called. If you were in play when the hold was called, you must remain in the same spot until it is over. Likewise, because you are out of play during a hold, you cannot perform in-play actions or engage in in-play conversations.
Holding one hand over your head indicates that you are temporarily out of play. This is the same as a white headband, but is generally reserved for occasions when you're going out of play for less than a minute or two.
Holding two hands over your head indicates you are concealed. Concealed characters must generally be treated as if they aren't present unless your character has a Seek ability.
Holding both hands crossed over your chest indicates that you are phased. Phased characters are insubstantial and thus impervious to attack. They are visible and can move and speak, but cannot attack or be attacked.
Some monsters are announced as "epic" when they enter play. Like bosses in a video game, epic monsters are meant to challenge entire groups at once, so they are granted several powerful advantages:
- Epic monsters are immune to most attacks. They never need to report the result of a Hit, and cannot be interrupted while triggering a combat ability.
- Epic monsters automatically recover their Spirit once per minute. A separate, out-of-play participant counts this time and announces when the epic monster refreshes. See “Body & Spirit” for more details.
- Epic monsters only take the highest damage received each minute. They have the same Hits as ordinary monsters of their type, but only take the highest damage tagline received in the past minute whenever they refresh. Furthermore, if an epic monster goes 10 seconds or more without receiving any damage, it ignores all damage for that minute. A separate out-of-play participant monitors damage calls, applies the highest after each refresh, and calls a hold to announce when the epic monster dies.
- Epic monsters do not regain Hits through combat effects such as Drain damage, Heal, Revive, or Share. However, they may still recover Hits through rest if they are allowed to do so.