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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3answers
373 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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6answers
3k views

In D&D 4th Edition, how numerically close should party member levels be? What happens if they aren't?

I've read a lot here (and in the official books) about balanced parties in Dungeons and Dragon's 4th edition. Parties should contain at least one each of four specific roles, a distribution of skills ...
10
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5answers
366 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
650 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
196 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 ...
13
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4answers
12k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
488 views

How can I make GUMSHOE combats more dynamic?

In GUMSHOE what can be done to make the combats more dynamic, more exciting?
18
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4answers
829 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 ...
18
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12answers
4k views

What is a good combat tracker for D&D 4th Edition?

As my players go up levels there are more and more variables in combat. I need help. What solutions exist out there and what makes them good?
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2answers
2k views

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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4answers
1k views

How can acrobatics be used to move through an enemy occupied square?

According to the AcrobaticsDDI skill you can use an Acrobatic Stunt to "somersault over an opponent", amongst other things . It gives a base DC of 15, and "the DM sets the DC based on the complexity ...
10
votes
3answers
730 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
532 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
266 views

What to do in Labyrinth Lord when both PCs and Foes are surprised?

In Labyrinth Lord, when there is a possibility of surprise for both PCs and foes, both sides roll 1d6. A 1-2 indicates that side is surprised for the first round. If both sides roll a 1-2, both ...
17
votes
5answers
432 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
169 views

Rules for delaying action?

Does Advanced Dungeons & Dragons have rules for holding/delaying action in combat?
9
votes
3answers
392 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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votes
4answers
1k views

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?
4
votes
6answers
282 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 ...
42
votes
13answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
8answers
664 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 ...
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
425 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
269 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
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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 ...
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10answers
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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
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2answers
328 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 ...
13
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8answers
484 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
1k 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
246 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
646 views

What is a 'Death Spiral'?

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

Tricks allowing continuous narration during a fight [closed]

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 ...
12
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3answers
467 views

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 ...
31
votes
23answers
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 ...