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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What about “Save-or-Die” spells makes them so powerful? Are they balanced as is, or require tweaking?

On reading guides on classes, most notably caster classes, near every guide recommends that the player take the "Save-or-Die" or "Save-or-Suck" spells. Usually, these end up being status effects. I ...
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6answers
590 views

Alternatives to inapplicable critical-hit table results?

In a recent session of ours, one of the players scored a critical hit on a very scary wolf. The random critical-hit bonus rolled was "disarm opponent." Our GM was kind and clever enough to announce ...
3
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1answer
306 views

How many attacks does this dragon have per round?

I created a dragon for my group and am interested about its attacks during a fight. The detailed statblock can be found here. Am I right that the dragon has two attacks per round, since his BAB is ...
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8answers
21k views

How do I make a gunslinger with a decent damage progression?

I am considering playing a Gunslinger when next we play Pathfinder (I am currently GMing a game, and we'll be switching off afterwards), and thumbing through the Ultimate Combat Playtest v. 2, and I'm ...
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2answers
1k views

Go Coup de Grace your self

I was reading into Magic Jar. It is used to takeover someone's body and you can have all the fun you whant with that body, you have total control. If the host body is slain, you return to the ...
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2answers
215 views

How does Dominated work? Can it really make me attack allies or walk off a cliff?

In one of the games I was in a creature was able to Dominate my friend and he was getting angry that the DM forced his character to attack a NPC character that was nocked prone that we where trying to ...
4
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1answer
45 views

Elemental Touch Questions

I have 2 question about the spell Elemental Touch. I'm running a suli magus that specializes in electricity so the spells seems appealing to me, but I need to figure out some things first. The first ...
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3answers
136 views

How can keepers be optimized?

I don't know what to do with these guys. I liked their fluff enough that I put them in the campaign and now, when it's time to use them, I'm at a loss. The Keeper One of the power groups the PCs ...
7
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2answers
474 views

What is the total net bonus when attacking an unconscious creature?

I've been thinking about unconsciousness and performing a a coup de grâce lately. It came up in our game this past week and I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly. Unconscious reads: ...
8
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3answers
400 views

Can Magus change their grip on their sword during spell combat as a free action?

RAW, grabbing a 1-handed weapon in both hands is a free action, as is letting go of your weapons. I also know that it is generally accepted that you can take at least 1 free action (5 ft step) during ...
3
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3answers
545 views

What does “+6 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4)” mean in a creature's stat block?

My friends and I are very new to D&D, played like 3 times. In a monster's stats next to weapon damage it says stuff like "+11 to hit" and "Hit: 5 (1d8+1)". For the premade characters it just says ...
7
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2answers
609 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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5answers
846 views

Are there any RPGs that realistically prioritize speed and reach in melee? [closed]

I took up middle-ages reemnactment for a hobby for a little while, the sort of fighting that you do with actual steel swords and spears, not the rubber versions used for LARP. I was very surprised to ...
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1answer
99 views

Clarifications on combat in water

The rules in the DMG on water in different environments seem to contradict each other. The section on aquatic terrain claims that creatures at least chest deep in water gain improved cover from ...
7
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3answers
336 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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1answer
127 views

What tools can I use to help me calculate Damage in combat?

Whenever I am in combat I find it really hard to calculate the damage my NPCs receive, because it has a lot of small steps: account the damage the PC did, subtract any Pen the PC's weapon may have to ...
6
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4answers
263 views

How to deal with combats where the enemies cannot damage the PCs?

I recently ran a session where the enemies listed in the pre-made adventure did 2 damage with a light weapon (a dagger). The PC had 2 points of armour, so unless the player rolled a natural one on the ...
15
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12answers
910 views

How can I speed up combat with a large number of enemies?

I'm DMing for a campaign where the player characters will sometimes face small squads of creatures, most recently six ground troops and two archers helping out. In this setting, these creatures ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Do enemies have the same rules for death as PCs?

Once an enemy is lowered to 0 HP, are they dead or just knocked out? Do you have to reduce them to their negative Con score or is that mechanic strictly reserved for players?
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4answers
182 views

How to handle a Strix in combat when flying?

As a GM how do you handle a PC who is a Strix fighter and his weapon of choice is a stab weapon with reach of 10 or more ft. The Strix is hovering (or just flying) above and out of reach of the bad ...
7
votes
2answers
117 views

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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1answer
69 views

Using step up feat on moving npc

I'm playing pathfinder with the core rulebook only for my campaign. I wanted to take the step up feat for my monk, and I was wondering if it applies to every movement like a full movement/withdraw or ...
8
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6answers
334 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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2answers
370 views

Can I cast Elemental Touch and Shocking Grasp?

Can I cast Elemental Touch in one round, and then cast Shocking Grasp afterwards? Do they stack? If so, could I cast elemental touch and choose lightning for even more lightning damage?
3
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3answers
356 views

Can a white-haired witch grapple multiple targets?

The white-haired witch needs to spend a standard action to maintain the grapple at the beginning of the next round, if she succeeded in hitting (and thus grappling) a target, and the target failed to ...
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2answers
321 views

Dual Wielding Daggers with Bucklers

So I got inspired to think about a fighter or rogue character that uses Two-Weapon-Fighting with two very light weapons and using two bucklers strapped to each arm, or at least some lengthy advanced ...
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9answers
809 views

When should the DM hide a PC's hit points?

In any game with hit points (I'm thinking D&D, but any will do), is there ever a situation where the DM ought to keep track of a player character's hit points, and not reveal it to the player? ...
29
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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
201 views

Making a combat-ready familiar?

I got a really funny idea for a character after looking at the Improved Familiar feat the other day. The idea is a young feminine witch who takes Improved Familiar to get a Almiraj (it's basically a ...
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2answers
154 views

Can a Player Character create and use diseases or traps?

In several 4th edition books, I have seen traps and diseases, such as Deathsong (Book of Vile Darkness p33) or a magic crossbow turret. Is there a way for a character to learn how to create and use ...
10
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5answers
330 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 ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How can I GM and play a PC without spoiling the fun?

We're returning to D&D 4E after a long absence from it, coming back from Savage Worlds since we've really missed HP-based battles and videogame-like logic. However, as we talked about our new ...
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2answers
175 views

How can I discharge a touch spell on an attack without provoking an AoO?

Is there a way to basically hit someone in the face with a charged spell in hand, without provoking an attack of opportunity? In the core rules it says that you can perform an unarmed strike or ...
9
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3answers
290 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 ...
6
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2answers
879 views

How should I handle PCs using a humanoid creature for a living shield?

In my last game I had an interesting situation. The PCs took a Goblin captive and interrogated him. After that they decided to bind him up with rope, and use the Goblin as a living shield against ...
3
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2answers
133 views

What happens when you combine Deft Strike and Ghostwalker Style?

Deft Strike: Requirement: You must be wielding a crossbow, a light blade, or a sling. Effect: Before the attack, you can move up to 2 squares. Ghostwalker Style, from Dragon Magazine 373, adds ...
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2answers
239 views

How to create a useful bird companion?

I am playing PFS and I wonder what could make a bird companion for a human druid useful. Right now I have thought about the following: It has 10 STR, so it has 0 damage modifiers on any of his ...
6
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2answers
214 views

Is a 'double move' one action or two, for the purpose of things triggering off ending movement?

When I 'double move' in pathfinder does that count as making 1 or 2 moves? Is there any reason to go against RAW for balance/sanity (see swarm example below)? I understand that it would consume 2 ...
8
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4answers
508 views

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 ...
7
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4answers
404 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Synthesist, Combat Reflexes, Improved Grab and Bite

I have a player who want to make a "tanky" build with a Synthesist Summoner (from Pathfinder APG). The plan is as follows: The fused eidolon is a bipedal with dual claws. Evolutions are: Bite, ...
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vote
0answers
36 views

Wolf trip on hit during an attack of opportunity [duplicate]

A wolf gets a free trip attempt on a successful bite attack. However, this trip attack is a free action, and free actions must be taken on your turn. Does this mean that if a wolf gets an attack of ...
16
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4answers
2k views

D&D Next and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

My group have been using the play test material for D&D Next. Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in ...
17
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8answers
834 views

How do I make my overpowered character more fun to play?

My friend is running a modified cyberpunk campaign, where we are fighting zombies during WWII in Germany. Fun stuff. However, I made my character a Martial arts boxer, giving them a 10 in reflex, ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

When does The Drop apply to ranged attacks?

In Savage Worlds, when does a character get The Drop bonus when making a ranged attack? How does this interact with the rules for starting combat with surprise? Should the target get an extra notice ...
7
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4answers
988 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 ...
4
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1answer
116 views

Is an arrow destroyed when used successfully as an improvised melee weapon?

The SRD says about Arrows that An arrow used as a melee weapon is treated as a light improvised weapon (-4 penalty on attack rolls) and deals damage as a dagger of its size (critical multiplier ...
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2answers
277 views

How does one determine damage when using the feat Leap Attack?

Just so nobody has to find it, the Complete Adventurer errata says that in the feat Leap Attack that the second sentence of the Benefit paragraph should read as follows: If you cover at least 10 ...
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1answer
173 views

Does a dominated monster deal sneak attack (or other bonus) damage to itself?

There are a number of monsters that have attack powers or features that deal extra damage to targets under certain conditions, similar to sneak attack (extra damage with combat advantage) or other ...
6
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1answer
407 views

Can a creature choose to inflict less damage?

The Player's Handbook says in the section about Damage When your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used (see Table 7–5: Weapons, page 116) determines the amount of damage you ...