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 to plan to avoid combat deaths for NPCs that aren't obvious railroads? [closed]

I am playing a Pathfinder campaign based on the Beginner Box materials. The party were relatively diplomatic in the first adventure and didn't fight and kill the goblin boss King Fatmouth in Black ...
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What is Spell DC?

My group is new to table top RPGs, and one thing we haven't figured out is Spell DC. One player was a cleric, and channel energy does force the undead monsters to make a saving throw, but I don't ...
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How do natural and weapon attacks mix?

I have a level 1 Synthesist Summoner. Since he has the Quadruped base Eidolon, when fused, my Summoner has a bite attack (Primary). In addition, I have spent evolution points on a tentacle ...
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1answer
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When should I use active defense?

When you get hit by an attack you first use parry as passive defensse and if you fail you use active defense in the same knack, correct? For active defense you use an action. But isn't an active ...
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A system that models improved threat range of critical misses?

Have you ever fumbled with a flail? It sucks, especially when you are first learning it. It can happen very often; Sometimes in such a terrible way it far surpasses the risk of swinging a staff, hands ...
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151 views

How to handle initiative while keeping the spotlight on a duel within a larger combat?

In some weeks we will play 7th Sea, an RPG with much fencing. I want to make fights more like a duel between players and minions. I think some (most?) battles will be one player duelling a minion, ...
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335 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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10answers
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Is it fair to press the players for decisions during combat?

My group tends to over-analyse during combat, which slows everything down. I press upon my players to make their decision and roll the dice quickly. My players are all experienced in the system and I ...
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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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4answers
690 views

Creating rules for jumping or climbing onto monsters?

Partly inspired by this thread's discussion about creative role-playing and one answer there referring to stunts, I wanted to adapt a similar concept to the fairly rules-strict D&D 4th Edition. ...
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385 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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3answers
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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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2answers
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Movement & attack in a Combat round question

If a player is say a Wizard and tries her best to avoid melee combat by trying to stay at a safer distance, and the enemies attacking need to attack her with melee weapons, how many feet can the enemy ...
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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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1answer
185 views

Can I make my full round multiple attacks with the same weapon?

If I am level 6 with the attack progression +6/+1, can I use the same weapon to attack twice during a full-round action? If I am level 11 and get +11/+6/+1, can I use the same weapon to attack three ...
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1answer
143 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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13answers
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How to communicate to the players that an encounter can be solved also through diplomacy?

When you play D&D, you are not supposed to chat with the enemy during encounters. The system is made for fighting. However, in some circumstances, it would be nice to make the players conscious ...
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2answers
273 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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3answers
551 views

Shame him into not shooting: multiple stress tracks in a single conflict

If you insult the hitman enough, will he stop shooting at you? It doesn't seem likely, but that brings into play a question about whether some stress tracks are "more important" than others: If you ...
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5answers
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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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4answers
345 views

Is there a system with hit locations where missing hits another location?

This is my first time asking a question. I have only ever played D&D and I am now looking for a very different type of system. My goal is to have a realistic system to use for a Zombie one-shot. ...
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3answers
1k views

Does a natural 20 initiative roll have any special rules?

I rolled a 20 for initiative in a pickup game today and I realized that I didn't know if that was supposed to be treated specially, like some other rolls treat a natural 20. Does rolling a natural 20 ...
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2answers
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Can an unconscious character use a healing surge?

Can an unconscious character use an action (like second wind or a healing power) to spend a healing surge? Can an unconscious character spend a healing surge due to some external effect?
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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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1answer
624 views

How exactly does lighting affect combat?

I understand that there are different types of lighting (dim, bright, complete darkness), but I haven't been able to find anywhere in the DMH or PHB that specifically describes how these different ...
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2answers
181 views

How can I gauge the strength of my PCs in Legend?

I've been trying to run Legend on and off lately, and I find myself faced with a frustration. Though I find the Mook rules easy enough to comprehend, I can't seem to create appropriate challenges for ...
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204 views

D&D 3.5 mounted movement in battle

If my gnome rider has the dodge and mobility feats does my riding dog mount gain the benifits of the feats in battle movement?
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Combat - What is the chance of hitting someone on Range? [closed]

I'm designing a game system, and am working on the combat system. I have several questions, and I'm trying to create a system that is as realistic as possible. Sadly I have no experience with guns or ...
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4answers
726 views

Making epic combat interesting and challenging but not complicated

I'm running up on the tail end of a year-and-a-half 4e campaign, and epic levels are exhausting to GM. Everyone has more weird powers than you can shake a dragon at, and that includes the NPCs ...
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3answers
325 views

Is there any good place on the internet that hosts monster playtests?

I've been a DM for a while for 3.5. I've run many NPC characters, however only a small fraction of monsters out of the books (comparatively). Also, I like to use templates liberally as well as advance ...
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2answers
308 views

What Resources are available to expand my critical hit multiplier?

I've recently developed an interest in critical hits, and I'm looking to create the largest critical multiplier possible. Note that I'm not asking about critical threat range - I'm familiar with that ...
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3answers
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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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Need clarification on 1 on 1 combat in Sword Noir

I think I understand how combat works, but I just ran it recently and I am not sure. I need a action flow for the following 2 round situations, if the PC's beat NC combat tests be less than 5 when ...
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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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Can I Coup de Grace and/or make a death attack with a touch spell?

This question has two components: firstly, can a character with Assassin levels trigger their Death Attack (after the three rounds of study, of course) by making a Coup De Grace against the helpless ...
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1answer
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Drawing a gun and shooting before combat in D20 Modern

I'm new and I just had a quick question. I'm going to be DMing a d20 modern on shot adventure for the first time. I am very new to DMing so many questions arise when making/creating the adventure. ...
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2answers
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Can terrain shape area affect spells or attacks?

I don't know if this is referenced in the rulebooks or just a matter of houserule, but what happens if someone uses a cone-shaped spell or ability in a corridor that is narrower than the width of the ...
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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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1answer
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Does undirected damage require line of sight/effect?

Certain powers cause damage without specifying any conditions about how that damage is dealt. Consider, for example, the following Barbarian Rage Daily Powers: Earthquake Dragon's Rage Effect: ...
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2answers
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Aerial combat in 3.5e

I have a player who is using a homebrew flying race to add to his heal/buff cleric's survivability. He's promising not to use it too much to his advantage, especially because none of us have any ...
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1answer
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Is there a step-by-step combat flowchart for L5R, 2e?

OK, so I played Legend of the Five Rings (2nd edition) years ago and enjoyed it. When asked what he wanted for a present he replied: "an rpg campaign! But it should be different, not one of the one's ...
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8answers
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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, ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
232 views

Moldvay D&D First Round in Encounter

I'm confused about how to DM the first round of an encounter using Moldvay's rules, specifically, when is the DM supposed to use the Monster Reaction table on page B24. Say a party encounters a group ...
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1answer
232 views

How many things can a player do on his or her round?

I'm just starting out DMing in D&D, using the Moldvay basic rules from 1981. A player encounters a monster that is 100' away. The player wins initiative and wants to do the following on round 1: ...
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2answers
372 views

Fighting Withdrawal v.s Retreat in Moldvay's Basic D&D

This pertains to Moldvay's edition of D&D Basic from 1981. I've never understood the rules behind meleed movement options. The rulebook says that a player in melee combat with a monster has only ...
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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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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
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Feint checks in Mutants and Masterminds

In the combat section, "feint" is described as a use of Bluff to confuse the opponent into leaving an opening, treating the next attack as a surprise attack. (So feint is basically Bluff vs. Sense ...
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How would a monk go about throwing a charging enemy?

Everyone's seen that scene in king-fu movies, right? Someone charges the good-guy, and he flips him tail over teakettle. Sometimes the baddy in question gets tossed a foot or two, sometimes he gets ...