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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29
votes
21answers
6k views

Beyond hit points: injury in D&D [closed]

I'm interested in adding a touch of realism to combat in D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder. Hit points are a very simple way of measuring injury and stamina, that contributes to the "hit things first, ask ...
6
votes
3answers
394 views

What can we do to streamline combat in Deadlands?

I'm a player in a regular Deadlands game. Sessions usually run 4-5 hours, and it seems like at least an hour gets dedicated to a single combat encounter. We have several characters with high dice ...
5
votes
5answers
261 views

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)
13
votes
7answers
1k views

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 ...
18
votes
10answers
868 views

Without a map or miniatures, how to best determine line-of-sight, etc?

I think the title says it all. Let's say you're mastering a game without the benefit of miniatures, maps, or any kind of physical representation of the environment. How would you keep track of details ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
12
votes
8answers
453 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.
18
votes
11answers
944 views

Encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in combat encounters

I'm a GM currently running D&D 3.5. I try to think of situations that present the players with a number of possible solutions. The players, however, always resort to the same pattern of killing ...
13
votes
6answers
234 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
590 views

What is a 'Death Spiral'?

And what does it mean for combat in a game?
11
votes
5answers
480 views

Tricks allowing continuous narration during a fight

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 ...
34
votes
15answers
3k views

Narrative Combat versus Use of Miniatures

When I first started playing D&D, my DM did not use battlemaps or miniatures to describe combat. Everything was described to us, and questions to the DM were part and parcel of the experience, ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
30
votes
22answers
3k views

Speeding Up Combat

I'm looking for ways to speed up the combat in my D&D 3.5 game. It seems that turns - both player and non-player - simply take too long. I have thought about giving everyone a 30 second timer, but ...