Combat refers to the systems used in roleplaying games to resolve conflict through violent means, often to the death of one or more characters. Combat often involves several subsystems that determine whether harm is inflicted (to-hit) and the extent of that harm (damage).

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How do you keep players involved between their turns?

I've been running D&D Encounters for the last several seasons. One of the areas I would like to improve is keeping players involved and interacting with the scene when it's not their turn. When ...
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How can I create an introductory D&D encounter intended for teaching the rules?

For my next D&D campaign, I want to introduce the players to the ruleset by having them play through a sample combat encounter. All of them have prior RPG experience, but they haven't played any ...
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4answers
354 views

When to use scarce resources in combat?

How does one choose when to use scarce resources (e.g. powers you can only use once per day or encounter) in combat? I am particularly concerned with D&D, but I believe the concept carries over ...
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776 views

How does disarming a monster affect its statistics?

The disarm maneuver has almost totally disappeared from D&D 4th edition. However, at least one Fighter power - Exorcism of Steel - allows it. Exorcism of Steel - Fighter Attack 17 You make a ...
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Does making an opportunity attack with a ranged weapon provoke an opportunity attack?

If I make an opportunity attack with a ranged weapon (e.g., a crossbow) against an adjacent enemy, does it provoke an opportunity attack as well?
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How can I give strong weapons to enemies without the players looting them?

If I give an enemy NPC a Meltagun in combat, nothing prevents the players from taking the weapon after they kill him, which leads to the inevitable snowballing: they get stronger, I need stronger ...
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8answers
484 views

How do I use the same type of creature as characters level up without using more of them?

Is there a good formula/strategy for making monsters harder as characters level up without just throwing more of them? My kids, for example, love Kobolds but I just don't want combats of 30 of them.
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7answers
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Downtuning lethality in Savage Worlds

My groups go-to system is Savage Worlds, and it works pretty well for our needs. But the system uses exploding dice, and that means that sometimes a casual encounter that should be a cakewalk for the ...
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Do weapons damage themselves?

Weapons have explicitly listed hardnesses and hit points: Damaging Objects – PFSRD Many medieval weapons were known for breaking; most notably, in jousting, breaking a lance scored points: ...
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267 views

Squad formations

I've just watched episode 1-2 of Terranova, and there is a scene in which a military squad goes to the rescue of some teenagers who are surrounded by dinosaurs in a jungle. When the squad arrives, ...
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How can Rogues maintain combat advantage?

I get that if you are hidden from an opponent, you gain combat advantage against them. I get that if you make a point of it, and you're not getting surprised by the opposition, you should be able to ...
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537 views

How can I efficiently manage Ship to Ship Tactical Combat and Boarding?

I'm planning a campaign that will involve a fair amount of ship to ship combat and boarding. My group is accustomed to using a square grid battle mat, and I'm concerned about the mechanics of the ...
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Does flanking always grant advantage, or is it up to discussion?

The rules packet does not provide any specific rules about flanking. However the rule do say that the DM has lots of leeway in deciding when to give advantage or disadvantage in combat. Should it be ...
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Does Warlock combat just equal Eldritch Blast spam?

Been looking over the warlock because I thought it would be cool to make a spellcaster that can also mix it up in melee combat. After all how awesome isn't it to conjure up a magical weapon and start ...
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6answers
802 views

How does d20 Modern handle having someone at gunpoint?

How does d20 Modern handle the common situation of having someone at gunpoint, or entering a room with your firearm in hand, cocked and ready to fire? I'm asking because I notice that to draw a ...
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6answers
246 views

Clocking the round. Tools?

Chess players use a special clock to keep timings of each move within a reasonable amount, or they lose. During fighting session, I'd like to introduce a similar technique to prevent excessive ...
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1answer
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Do players get full XP from encounter if enemies break and run?

First, I don't know of any specific morale rules for NPC's/monsters, but I would say based on modern army tactics, a unit has lost its effectiveness at 33% losses, and at 50% its a rout. So if the ...
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How to kill yourself in 4e?

Warning: spoiler about P2: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens. The following explains why I want rules on killing yourself, but isn't critical to the question (with the edit), so don't read it if you will ...
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Is there a penalty for holding a two handed weapon in offhand while throwing a weapon?

I have a fighter (warforged weaponmaster, level 6). He wields a Mordenkrad (2-handed hammer, brutal 1). He has a "Dwarven Thrower" Throwing Hammer (1-handed throwing weapon) sheathed at his belt. ...
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2answers
392 views

What counts as a critical on defense?

In GURPS Campaigns p381, it states that a critical success on defense causes the attacker to suffer a "critical miss." Does a critical hit on defense count as a roll of 3 or 4? If my parry is 15, ...
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What is the significance of a Basic Attack vs. any other sort of attack?

On the one hand, this is a pretty newb question: I’m not familiar with 4e and do not actually know what a Basic Attack is. That sort of question, however, I could answer by simply opening the ...
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2answers
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How can characters with low Fighting and Shooting contribute in combat?

I've run a few rounds of Savage Worlds, and I like the quick character generation and minimal bookkeeping. I'm a little frustrated with a phenomenon which is hardly unique to the system: in combat, ...
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530 views

Non-combat objective: Delay larger enemy force

I'm re-writing the "Battle of Albridge" encounters from The DM-kit's Reavers of Harkenwold. As supplied they are mostly just a rehash of earlier fight-to-the-death skirmishes on re-used maps. Instead ...
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2answers
281 views

Does going prone stack with having cover?

Suppose I'm playing a ranged character. I am standing with an ally between me and my enemies, which grants "+2 defenses" for cover. I decide to further go prone. Do I now have a "+4 defenses", 2 ...
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Flanking and swarms in 4e

Can swarms be flanked by two PCs? What if the swarm is occupying the same square as a PC? Does a PC grant combat advantage to a swarm if a regular mob is adjacent in a flank? Does it matter if the ...
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650 views

How do you know if two monsters can move at the same time in DnD4e?

Can monsters in Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 share turns? In the first encounter of the Dungeons and Dragons 4e Redbox it states that you should make one initiative roll for the two goblins and one for ...
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AC differences between AD&D 1E and Basic D&D?

I understand that there are differences between the way Armor Class works in AD&D (first edition) and Basic D&D (the boxed sets, Rules Cyclopedia, etc.), but I don't have the books to check it ...
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1answer
159 views

Does telekinesis do Bashing or Lethal?

I'm trying to figure out what type of damage a direct physical assault with telekinesis would result in. (From NWoD) From pg. 212 of World of Darkness: Alternately, the ghost can make a direct ...
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2answers
649 views

How do I map a 15' cone to a 1" grid?

I've been playing 5e for a while now, and mercifully this hasn't come up yet, but it's definitely on it's way. When a caster casts burning hands, how is that properly mapped onto a standard 1" battle ...
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In a Mouse Guard fight, does each team target a specific other team with each move?

The Mouse Guard rules are unclear on whether -- during an extended conflict, a team's actions specifically address only a single other team on each phase of the turn. I think so, but not everyone in ...
12
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1answer
232 views

With a negative Strength value, how much damage can I do?

When skipping through the All Flesh Must Be Eaten rulebook, I noticed that you can create PCs with negative strength values (e.g., children). As hand weapons do damage based on that strength value, ...
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1answer
140 views

What happens if the effects of two different damage types contradict each other?

A flesh golem has the extraordinary ability immunity to magic, which says that A flesh golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells ...
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Is there one type of combat system considered to be more deadly than other alternatives?

I've frequently heard the Basic Role-play system and Dark Heresy described as deadly from a combat perspective. I think those are both percentile systems. Is that typical of percentile systems or is ...
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How can I GM and play a PC without spoiling the fun?

We're returning to D&D 4E after a long absence from it, coming back from Savage Worlds since we've really missed HP-based battles and videogame-like logic. However, as we talked about our new ...
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5answers
881 views

Spaceship Combat in Fate Core

I'm trying to run a space-opera RPG in Fate Core, and ship-to-ship combat is a central focus. I'm looking to emulate the kind of fighting we see in Star Wars, Wing Commander, FreeSpace, etc, but ...
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Awarding XP for combat encounters in Dnd 4e

I am a very inexperienced DM. I have here what must be an obvious question, but I can't seem to find any solid clarification. How is XP rewarded after a combat encounter? Is the total monsters' XP ...
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Standard attack vs full attack at low level

At a low enough level that a character only has one BAB, is there any incentive to using a full attack, or is it more advantageous to hang on to the move action and use a standard attack?
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4answers
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Can I choose not to defend against an attack?

Playing D&D4e, I have a situation in mind where a character could reasonably WANT to get hit with a normally harmful attack. Is there anything in the rules allowing the character to purposefully ...
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2answers
541 views

What is a “Melee Spell Attack” and how does it differ from a regular spell?

In 5e a lot of the spells in both the Monster Manual and PHB talk about a spell being a "melee spell attack". Is this simply to do with the range of the spell or are there additional rules to rolling? ...
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Greater Feint Clarification

I don't understand the benefits of Greater Feint feat in Pathfinder. Its Benefit states: Whenever you use feint to cause an opponent to lose his Dexterity bonus, he loses that bonus until the ...
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5answers
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Tricks allowing continuous narration during a fight [closed]

I used a lot of tricks that allowed to skip the counting of every swing and blow and dodge. I think people should share such solutions. My favourite tricks: Roll a bunch of dice and just take look at ...
11
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2answers
572 views

How do I make a physical challenge for Dawn-caste Solar Exalted?

I'm currently running an Exalted (2.5e) game (set in the West around Wavecrest, if it's relevant). The Dawn caste Solar in the party is carving through things incredibly fast - using Iron Whirlwind (6 ...
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1answer
544 views

Do underwater opponents have cover from someone in the water?

Someone under the water has total cover from someone on the land. If you are in the water but not under it you have partial cover from a land based opponent. What I'd like to know is if you are in ...
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9answers
654 views

In need of general tips for making more interesting and fun battles

I've been a Game Master for about 5 years now and I've mantained the same group of players for that long, we're all young gamers (I being the oldest with 22 years old) and since we're not from USA we ...
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8answers
664 views

What's the maximum number of minions for an encounter?

What is the maximum number of minions that can be pitted against a party 0f 5 characters of equal level without being overwhelming (as defined by the DMG)? ie: How many Kobold minions can I pit ...
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How many spears can fit in one pincushion

In The Riddle of Steel on page 77 it notes that the maximum number of combatants that can surround a single opponent is three, except "groups of spearmen and the like, who may gather tightly together ...
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How do I make headshot rules interesting?

I'm working on a unified conflict system for a lightweight setting-agnostic RPG ruleset. The beta version is available on my website, although I have changed a lot of rules since that was released. My ...
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What to do in Labyrinth Lord when both PCs and Foes are surprised?

In Labyrinth Lord, when there is a possibility of surprise for both PCs and foes, both sides roll 1d6. A 1-2 indicates that side is surprised for the first round. If both sides roll a 1-2, both ...
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How can I improve damage for a 2e rogue? (Particularly a Kender handler)

I'm roleplaying a 2nd Ed. Dragonlance Kender Handler. I had no experience in roleplaying, and kender sounded like a great opportunity to do fun stuff. In particular, my hiding / sneaking stats are ...
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Simulating grenade explosions in a stairwell

What would be a fair way to adjudicate the detonation of a grenade in an enclosed space, such as a stairwell? I have used the rules for blowback in games such as Shadowrun before, but recently ran a ...