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 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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Firing into close combat in Pathfinder

If I am using a bow against an enemy who is in melee combat with an ally of mine, I get a -4 on my attack roll, unless I have the precise shot feat. (See page 184 in the Core Rules. Do I suffer the ...
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Can a creature immune to Immobilized walk away from a creature grabbing it?

Grabbed: While a creature is grabbed, it is immobilized. Maintaining this condition on the creature occupies whatever appendage, object, or effect the grabber used to initiate the grab. This ...
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How to manage incomparable movement speeds in combat?

I'm playing a Shadow character in a campaign which is running for 2 year. Our party has reached a great amount gnosi (27), and we are all level 13. The main features of my character is agility and ...
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How can I speed up combat with a large number of enemies?

I'm DMing for a campaign where the player characters will sometimes face small squads of creatures, most recently six ground troops and two archers helping out. In this setting, these creatures ...
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What, if any, bonuses to AC can my allies temporarily 'turn off' so I can hit them with an Alchemist's Healing Bomb?

Healing Bomb is a splash weapon, so it would be a touch attack, and therefore armor/shield/natural armor AC don't matter. I would have to overcome any of the target's touch AC bonuses: Dexterity, ...
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How to reduce Whiff & Ping

In Savage World there is a problem of Whiff (I miss) and Ping (I hit but bounce off the armour). We have had several long combat encounters where the PC and NPC have basically done almost nothing for ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Can a Familiar aid a Rogue's Sneak Attack?

A Rogue character with the Arcane Trickster archetype chooses Find Familiar as her non-enchantment, non-illusion, 1st level spell. How does that creature interact with the Sneack Attack feature? From ...
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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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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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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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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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Are Battle Master maneuvers usable once per attack, or per attack action?

It says in the PHB that you can use only one maneuver per attack. If that's per attack, not per attack action, that seems somewhat powerful, since after 5th level you get multiple attacks per attack ...
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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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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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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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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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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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What are the best ways to move and full-attack in the same round?

One of the most important things for any physical fighter to accomplish is to maximize the amount of time you spend full-attacking. Once you have BAB +6, not full-attacking halves your potential ...
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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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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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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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Can players “Ready” outside of combat?

Can players in 5e ready an action before combat begins? If so, does this impose any penalties? (I saw this, but it is written for 4e and IMO the answer left something to be desired)
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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 ...
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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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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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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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Handling many similar opponents in combat

I plan to send my players into a town of about 600 inhabitants. Overnight the town will be infested with zombies, with about 400 inhabitants turned. When my players awake, they will need to get out of ...
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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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How can I design encounters that appeal more to stealth based characters and are fun for me to run?

I'm currently running a levels 1 to 20 campaign with my friends, and one of them is a Ninja (Pathfinder's class using the Basic Rogue Template). Functionally it's pretty much the same, and the thing ...
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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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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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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 ...