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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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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What type of action is sheathing a weapon and equipping another?

I have seen both the "What action type is switching two items between hands" question and the Master at arms feat referenced within. My question is: Suppose I have an elven cleric with both a mace ...
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359 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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How many rays can a beholder use in one full-attack action?

What it says on the tin. Beholders and beholder kin are given a number of rays that they can use. The entry for the Beholder-kin: Watcher notes that each eye can use one of its powers every round, ...
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1answer
193 views

Does the Critical Hit threshold keep rising as skill goes up?

In GURPS Campaigns (p381) it states that a skill of 15+ means that a roll of 5 counts as a critical, and 16+ means that a 6 counts as a critical. Does this threshold continue to rise? Ex: Does ...
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Does a creature lose invisibility after being hit?

Duergar Scouts can turn invisible as a standard action until the end of their next turn or until they hit or miss with an attack. One of the PCs guessed where the monster might be and attacked the ...
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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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8answers
632 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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601 views

What is a 'Death Spiral'?

And what does it mean for combat in a game?
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324 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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1answer
512 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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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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2answers
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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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4answers
760 views

How can I make combat more challenging without making it too frustrating?

My fellow DMs and I have come across a problem. It feels like the party has been doing a good job of dispatching our monsters with relative ease. We are not upset about this part, our party has done ...
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3answers
192 views

Backstabbing multiple times on the same opponent?

Can a thief backstab twice if the opponent is otherwise occupied? Scenario: Big Bob the fighter has engaged an Ogre in combat. Sneaky the thief moves silently to get behind the ogre and ...
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451 views

How can I make GUMSHOE combats more dynamic?

In GUMSHOE what can be done to make the combats more dynamic, more exciting?
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Rules for delaying action?

Does Advanced Dungeons & Dragons have rules for holding/delaying action in combat?
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6answers
239 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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3answers
707 views

Close burst from a large creature — one square origin or all of them

If a large or larger creature uses a close burst, does the burst have to emanate from a single square of the large creature's space, or does it act as if the creature is the source (all squares)? The ...
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2answers
516 views

Combat Skill Challenges

I've seen a combat run as a skill challenge before, and it worked quite well. I'm wondering, though, if anyone has made more formal rules for a combat skill challenge, beyond "pick main skills and set ...
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How do you alter the difficulty of a challenge/fight in the middle of it?

I've run a bunch of times with players that took very diverse characters. I made them use their own rolls (which often ended up giving them awesome stats for some reason). Eventually I had to ...
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3answers
384 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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4answers
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Is there a way to regain the daily power on a miss?

Missing on a daily power is a big let down and happens, frankly, a lot around our gaming table. Is there a way to introduce a rule that allows regaining the daily on a miss?
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6answers
280 views

Effective use of many close combat characters?

In systems with a square grid, it seems that melee/close combat characters are limited by their numbers. In one of my games we currently have more than five melee characters, and are now being ...
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How do I get players to use their Interrupts?

Is there a good tool to get plays to remember their immediate interrupts? (please remember I play D&D4e with kids, so kid specific answers are always appreciated)
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8answers
463 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.