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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Are swift actions allowed during surprise round

I know that normally you are only allowed either a standard or move action during a surprise round. Also you are allowed a free action. The book says nothing about swift actions during the surprise ...
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What action is it to switch between holding a weapon two-handed, and then wielding it one-handed

I'm planning on building a Gish for the next game I play in, and I was wondering how to best plan the build. I want power attack so I can do damage in combat, and I want to wield the weapon ...
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281 views

How to easily track combat in Feng Shui?

While incredibly fun, the Feng Shui combat system can get unwieldy when you have a large number of mooks and named characters fighting the players. Its hard to keep track of what shot each character ...
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380 views

Reducing Damage as an Interrupt

A friend of mine's assassin just got Sunspray Heritage which includes an encounter power- when hit by a radiant or fire damage, the triggering damage is reduced to 0. When he's in Shade form he's ...
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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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What do characters know about the battlefield?

The PCs generally know where all enemies are and vice versa (except those who are Hidden). They also know the effects of all zones and other buffs that are in effect. This is part of the "all the ...
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899 views

Is there a limit to how many extra attacks I can have in D&D 3.5?

I'm playing a fighter/warblade with the Lightning Maces and Power Critical feats, and the Blood in the Water stance, so every time I score a crit, I have an immediate additional strike with the same ...
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Was psionic combat removed from Pathfinder?

I have the 3.5 edition of the Psionic Handbook that covers psionic combat. But reading through the Pathfinder I have found nothing so far. If changing to Pathfinder, will I no longer need psionic ...
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What is the most rules intensive system that can be played with no prep? [closed]

Having just finished a 4e campaign, I'm interested in running something lighter. I didn't spend much time prepping combats (mainly because I downloaded all my enemies from DDI), but I still had to ...
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613 views

My starting players miss a lot against enemies

I have a fresh campaign with new characters in my campaign, but one thing that becomes increasingly clear is how poorly they do in combat, even against simple encounters. In 3.5, An attack roll is ...
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359 views

How do intelligent enemies attack based on player threat?

How do I determine how intelligent enemies attack? For beasts and plants and such, I usually roll to randomly determine a player, then attack based off that. But intelligent, even semi-intelligent ...
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508 views

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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Do two standard actions equal a full round action?

If a character was somehow able to get two extra standard actions on their round in combat, could those actions be used as an extra full attack action or full round action? Elaboration: In the first ...
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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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226 views

Can you use the pounce ability during a surprise round

I remember reading that during a surprise round you can only take a single action. A charge is usually a full round action but can be used if you are restricted to a single action, as stated in the ...
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365 views

How hard is it to stake a vampire?

For staking a vampire through the heart in Pathfinder, what type of DC value or combat method should be used in order to perform the staking?
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265 views

What happens to aquatic creatures when they're pulled onto land?

A dire piranha swarm, for obvious reasons, has only a swim speed and no other available movement modes. The warden in our party, while standing next to a lake, used Warden's Lure, which pulled all ...
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275 views

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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163 views

Rules for delaying action?

Does Advanced Dungeons & Dragons have rules for holding/delaying action in combat?
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490 views

What software tools or websites are available for running RPG, grid-based combat? [duplicate]

Are there any software tools (or websites) that support creating tactical combat maps as well as actively running them for combat? I'm looking to do away with paper and battle-mats. Here are my ...
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319 views

How to speed up 4e combat

I DM a group of four PC's and even "easy" battles take at least an hour to resolve. Normal encounters take even longer! I want to speed up combat so my players can do more in a session. I've been ...
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287 views

Does the Monk's Flurry of Blows trigger mark retribution?

Scenario: Monk is marked by Fighter. Monk attacks Fighter. Monk uses Flurry of Blows on a different creature. Does the Fighter get to use Combat Challenge to attack the Monk? UPDATE: I found this ...
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320 views

Does ranged magic that requires line-of-sight also require line-of-effect?

This came up during a combat last week. The party had barricaded themselves behind double doors and the wizard was peering through the keyholes, dropping Scorching Bursts on anything foolish enough ...
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610 views

Combat Challenge vs Opportunity Attack - which happens first?

If a fighter has marked an enemy, and the enemy does a ranged attack against someone other than the fighter, I believe the fighter can attack using Combat Challenge as the enemy is making an attack ...
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Why “roll for initiative” in Pathfinder?

Perhaps related to this other question, what is the point in rolling for initiative in Pathfinder (so far the only RPG I've played)? It would seem that certain characters would "automatically" ...
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986 views

How is an 'enemy' defined for the purpose of spell targeting?

What constitutes as an "enemy"? Can for some reason a PC declare another PC an enemy at any point? For example, we will take this first level Warden spell which puts spikes around an enemy that will ...
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Drawing a weapon and attacking the same turn

I'm playing Pathfinder for the first time and was wondering exactly what I can do with one turn in combat. My character has a reach weapon and so I an trying to figure out what my options are once a ...
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Diceless Pathfinder Combat Mechanic

I have been working on a diceless combat mechanic for Pathfinder (it could be applied to any system in which combat involves a roll to hit and a roll for damage, but Pathfinder will be used for ...
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Combat system that is less abstract than hit points yet is not more lethal

I have a campaign based on battles with miniatures in mind, with my players controlling the standard "heroes". It should be possible for the players to keep their characters alive through the ...
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436 views

Adjusting Combat Balance

My Problem My players all seem to have +5 defenses and attacks over the monsters, in addition to the health and more deadly abilities... and they're in appropriate gear for their level (+2 gear at ...
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300 views

How do you come up with attribute values and skills for your NPCs

I have been playing PnP for some years now and also had one session GMing (my first) and I discovered that my biggest problem wasn't creating a world, inventing scenes or reacting fast if my players ...
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401 views

Ways to minimize the negative effects of miniature use on immersion

Quite a number of games recommend and support the use of miniatures for combat to provide players a tactical view and tactical options. However—besides obviously having its distinct advantages—using ...
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607 views

How long does “Joker” initiative in Savage Worlds apply?

I'm trying to learn enough Savage Worlds to start running a little experimental game. I keep feeling like the rules are explained poorly, but it may just be that my brain is not ready to learn. The ...
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721 views

Frequency of combat encounters in Pathfinder

I'm starting a new self-designed Pathfinder campaign as the DM and I'm unsure how many combat encounters I should plan each session. The characters will start at level 1. The group consists of 4 ...
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Calculating attack bonuses when fighting with two rapiers

In my current campaign the rogue has decided to take Two Weapon Fighting and Improved Two Weapon Fighting. What should the attack modifiers be during a full attack? His current attack with one rapier ...
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Does 2 handed multiplier apply to Dex mod with Weapon Finesse?

I have a rogue with Weapon Finesse. This allows me to: When making a melee attack with a light weapon or rapier, you may use your DEX Mod instead of your strength Mod on the attack roll. Since ...
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Does Full Defense assume you're also Defending?

The Full Defense action is, mechanically, somewhat unreliable compared to the Defend action: Defend gives you a straight +2 Parry, while Full Defense lets you roll Fighting+2 to set your Parry. Since ...
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How do Berzerk and Shaken interact?

If a character with the Berzerk edge takes damage and goes berzerk, they cannot perform any actions that require concentration. Is the Spirit test to recover from being Shaken considered to be a task ...
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What is, or should be, the average time length of combat in each tier in real time?

As per title, what is or should be the average time length in real time of one combat encounter in each tier of a DnD 4E game? I've noticed between heroic and paragon tier combat length starts to ...
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352 views

What are some “ideal” marching formations?

It often happens that your party is approaching an area in which you just know combat will soon ensue. Or, when a combat encounter presents itself, you may be given an opportunity to arbitrarily ...
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319 views

How to describe combat with brutes

How can I describe combat where player characters face multiple opponents? For example, in 7th Sea there are up to six brutes in a squad. I'd like to have some inspiration for how to describe the ...
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433 views

Can you deliver a Magus' spellstrike through a combat maneuver?

If you take a look at the PRD it states this about sunder, disarm, and trip maneuvers: You can attempt [this maneuver] ... as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack. Source Now, the ...
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296 views

Is there a penalty for “reaching into melee”?

When using ranged weapons, firing into melee incurs a -4 penalty. Reach weapons are considered melee weapons, but they use ranged attack rules when it comes to determining cover. Since the firing ...
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559 views

Shooting with drones

I have read the Riggers part of the core rulebook, but I am still confused about some aspects of using drones. Could someone help me? I am more or less sure the Device Rating of any drone is equal ...
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259 views

Is it still valid to zig-zag an opponent through a wall for multiple hits?

An old D&D 4e trick is to use forced movement to zig-zag your opponent through a wall effect multiple times for multiple hits. As I understand it, the Wall of Fire power specifically has been ...
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Extended conflict / bringing down the pain in hardcore dungeoncrawling

Context I am developing house rules to use Solar system for hardcore dungeoncrawling. I've thus far run one session of the game and combat represented some problems. Rules-wise The characters can ...
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From the God-Machine Chronicles, what do the different intensity stun guns do?

What do the three intensities of this weapon do? It's made clear that: • = 1 intensity •• = 2 ••• = 3 But intensity is no further mentioned.
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Weapon/Armor Ratings vs NPCs using the Teamwork/Mobs rule

I'm using Fate Core to run a game on a Sword & Sorcery world. We want to use the Weapon and Armor Rules, but I'm not sure how they interact with the Teamwork (FC174) and Mobs(FC216) rules. One ...
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Why is the Monk class considered sub-par in some games of 3.5? [duplicate]

This question is a combination of theoretical-optimization and practical-optimization. In some games, I acknowledge that the monk can be a fun and flavourful choice. Unfortunately, looking at the ...
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What do you do when there's nothing to do in combat?

There are a lot of situations in D&D combat where characters seem to be left without anything to do that round. For example, a bard out of inspires and without slashing weapons beset by zombies, ...