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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Can the DM choose to always attack me instead of my mount?

I've been trying to work out the whole "Combat while mounted" thing in 5e. My biggest question is this, if I am up against a monster (or a few), does the DM roll to see if the monster will attack me ...
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1answer
63 views

Are there benchmarks for the “in-game time” to “out-game time” spent in combat for different games? [on hold]

I'm currently looking at how "efficiently" different games handle combat. Like "for one minute in-game battle the group needs an average 30 min out game." Of course you can prolong a battle with good ...
10
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2answers
637 views

How does the Ready action work in D&D 5e?

So from reading the Players Handbook it seems that the Ready action is taken instead of any other action as it is an action in its own right. However can you move on the same turn that you ready an ...
5
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1answer
102 views

Can Cloak of the Night be used in combat?

I master a campaign of Vampire and one of the players used Cloak of the Night (Obfuscate) to disengage during combat. I let him do it at first but I wonder if this works this way. After his round of ...
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17answers
12k views

How do I challenge my PCs who fight every battle like Mongol horse archers?

In my last few game sessions, my players have begun adopting a strategy which is working wonders in the campaign we are playing. In this Planescape campaign, we are on the Outlands, which has a lot of ...
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1answer
54 views

Maximizing initiative [closed]

What non-magic item and non-spell options are available to characters for maximizing initiative? Things I am thinking: Race that boosts DEX Certain classes like Scout or Swordsage The Improved ...
8
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1answer
356 views

Deadly Defense/Critical Hit

When calculating damage on a successful critical hit, do you double the damage die from the feat Deadly Defense?
12
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2answers
265 views

How often should monsters act in combat?

I ran my first session of Dungeon World last night and my party of three third-level characters1 absolutely annihilated a troupe of six Hill Giants.2 I know (now) many things I could have done to ...
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9answers
5k views

How to handle modern-day weapons in D&D 5e?

My friend and I both recently started playing D&D 5e and we wanted to try out a Walking Dead apocalypse style campaign. I'm the DM so it's only him playing; I thought I'd include NPCs to help him ...
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5answers
2k views

Can a PC use a readied action to deflect a projectile?

Let's say that my party is fighting a bunch of kobolds outdoors. The kobolds are slinging a bunch of rocks at the party, and one player says, "I ready my action until a rock comes my way, and then I ...
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3answers
1k views

Will Horde Breaker apply to a thrown weapon?

The feature states "a weapon attack" in general, What if the weapon attack is a thrown one like a spear or a javelin? The full text states: Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon ...
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5answers
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How to increase difficulty in Dungeon World

I've been GMing for a couple of sessions now and I'm still struggling at making encounters or situations more difficult. I will describe dangerous situations and encounters in fiction but the ...
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3answers
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Does Monkey Grip allow wielding 2 handed weapons in 1 hand?

As typical in D&D a friend and I are having a debate, this time about whether or not Monkey Grip (3.5 complete warrior feat) allows a medium creature to wield a 2-handed medium weapon with one ...
4
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2answers
232 views

Narrating a lopsided combat vs. rolling it out

If the PCs are so overwhelmingly more powerful than their foes and it wouldn't make sense for there to be backup / higher level foes around from a story standpoint (no "deus ex machina" for the ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Do opportunity attacks end the target's movement?

Reading over chapter 9 (Combat) of the PHB, I stumbled across the following text, under the Opportunity attacks entry : The attack interrupts the provoking creature's movement, occuring right ...
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1answer
74 views

Full Turn Attacks, Two Weapon Fighting, and Path of War questions

Okay, I have a few questions about how exactly things stack and what happens. I'm new to Pathfinder and so is pretty much everyone else playing. The GM has played a little before but isn't an expert. ...
4
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1answer
69 views

Where do I find a monster's AC bonus from high dexterity?

There are a couple of ways for a creature to lose its dexterity bonus to armor class. I am used to 3rd/4th/5th monster manuals, where dexterity values are given, but in AD&D 2e I can't find those ...
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6answers
3k views

How to make combat encounters terrifying?

I'm running a 5e, self-written, horror/psychological themed adventure for a group of experienced players this weekend. Noting that many players have the mindset of "meh, if this character dies I'll ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Mechanics of how to kill a hydra

In a session where I was the DM, I made my players fight a hydra. In the end I had to end the battle by stating the hydra became unconscious. It was at 0 hitpoints for a good 4 turns before I made my ...
12
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6answers
615 views

Do people get XP for battles they weren't in?

I'm a real new DM here. If a character does not participate in a battle, do they still get the XP from the fight? My main issue is that I had a character refuse to participate in a fight due to moral ...
16
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4answers
610 views

Rules for Stranglers

Does anyone have any play-tested house rules for dealing with attempts to strangle a (not helpless) creature to death? Suffocating, per the rules As far as I see, the only guidance in the rules ...
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4answers
2k views

Can massive damage knock out rather than causing instant death?

Suppose, as happened last night, a character intends to subdue rather than kill an opponent. She made a melee attack, hit, declared her intent to knock out. The damage roll was enough to reduce the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any reason a charcter with enough movement should not always approach enemies from the rear, gaining +2 to attack rolls?

I am a little bit confused about the combat rule concerning rear attacks from the Player's handbook. If I have enough movement, why wouldn't I go straight to the rear side of an opposing creature to ...
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6answers
11k views

How does shield bashing work?

I've looked in the DMG and the PHB, but have only found ancillary uses of the shield. The Shield Master feat (PHB, p.170) gives you neat perks, but doesn't act as a weapon (beyond the bonus shove ...
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3answers
412 views

When does Fighting Defensively activate?

Let's say that I'm about to fight some monster. We both roll Initiative, and the monster wins. It can reach me and hit me on its turn. Can I declare that I'm Fighting Defensively right away (and incur ...
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1answer
49 views

Combat Expertise/Readied Action

If one readies an attack using the combat expertise feat, does one immediately get the dodge bonus to AC, or only until after the attack is actually initiated?
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0answers
82 views

Is there an official rule for minimum damage on a landing hit? [duplicate]

As discussed here, a negative modifier should always be applied to a damage roll. However, it is suggested in the answer that the minimum damage should be 1. I'd like to know if there's an official ...
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3answers
712 views

Is Two Weapon Fighting balanced or broken in WFRP 2e?

On p. 129 of the Core Rulebook, it's stated: "There are advantages and disadvantages to this style of fighting." However, unless I read between the lines, disadvantages are not easy to see. Basically,...
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8answers
3k views

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, ...
7
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1answer
105 views

Passing an item in combat

One player wants to pass a potion to another player in the middle of combat. What kind of actions are needed?
10
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1answer
615 views

Opportunity attack when moving in and out of range of a creature in the same move?

Let's say I'm 10ft away from an enemy. In my turn, I choose to move 5ft to get close enough to attack, I do attack, then I use my remaining movement to move out of range of the enemy. Does this still ...
9
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1answer
785 views

NPCs detecting (greater) invisible PC after he attacks their ally

Is there a ruling in any of the Pathfinder books (either RAW or RAI, excl 3rd party material) that would allow an NPC to target the square of an invisible foe after seeing his fellow NPC receiving ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Melee vs. short Blaster in SWEotE?

We had a situation where my blaster pistol wielding character was attacked by a opponent with a melee weapon. What ensued was that the opponent closed into melee range and attacked, then on my turn ...
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1answer
317 views

Is ranged attack broken when both attackers are in the dark? [closed]

Is ranged attack broken when both attackers are in the dark? As I read things, if both attackers are in the dark, but aware of the other ... both gain Advantage because they are Invisible to the ...
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5answers
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How does having monsters of the same type go at the same time affect balance?

I'm running a group of 6 PC's through HotDQ. All of them are new to 5e and we just started, so the combat is pretty slow, and some of them aren't all that excited about combat to begin with. I'm doing ...
5
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1answer
79 views

Can All-Out Attack be used with Combination Blow?

They both cause the character to lose their Defense for the turn. Can they be used together though?
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2answers
591 views

What happens when you roll a critical on both advantage dice?

What happens if you have an advantage on attack and you get 20 on both rolls. Does it differ from regular critical or not? For example: - on virtual table, like roll20 when you score two criticals, ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Does Aggressive Striking Iron Body stack with Berserker Adrenaline Rush?

Berserker is from Armory Reloaded, World of Darkness 1e. I feel it would be a shame if it did not.
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8answers
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How can I encourage combat as war-style play in my campaign?

I've recently begun a new D&D 5e campaign with a group of players who have all just come from a Pathfinder adventure path. I was the GM for that campaign and it was a very on-the-rails adventure ...
2
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3answers
319 views

Breaking thumbs

After a humanoid enemy falls unconscious to negative hp in combat, can I break their thumbs? I want them alive but unable to physically hurt then after the fact. How would I go about just snapping ...
6
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2answers
218 views

What effect do nonmagical burning weapons have?

If a character soaks their weapon in oil and ignites it, what kind of damage does it do? Looking at the description of how oil & torches work my guess is that it does normal damage, +1 fire ...
7
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4answers
664 views

Can a knight (noble variant) buy a guard dog and give the leash to his squire?

The Knight variant of the Noble background grants three retainers — one of whom is a squire (PHB 136): One of your commoner retainers is replaced by a noble who serves as your squire, aiding you ...
4
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3answers
83 views

Is my Dodge bonus for Total Defense applicable in this situation?

Playing a play-by-post 3.5 homebrew campaign. The gist: my Warblade (with Uncanny Dodge) wants to climb on top of the barrels and see what's in the main chamber. He doesn't know how many or how they ...
7
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4answers
311 views

How can combats in small rooms be improved to make them more enjoyable?

It's a well known fact in D&D that small rooms favour outnumbered parties, as the opposition cannot bring their full force to bear upon them. Larger rooms favour the outnumbering party, as they ...
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7answers
1k views

Readying an action before combat

Suppose the party suspects that combat is imminent, and some of the PCs ready actions (attack nearest hostile creature, attack first thing that moves). Then combat erupts. Some of the PCs are ...
10
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6answers
992 views

How far away can dropped or disarmed weapons be kicked?

When you interact with an object, kicking away a dropped or disarmed weapon should be an obvious choice, landing somewhere between 'pick up a dropped axe' and 'kick a small stone,' however, there are ...
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2answers
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How can I stop characters getting stuck in the corridor?

Imagine this situation, which has happened enough times now that I'm looking for a solution: The characters are walking down a corridor in their marching order. The corridor is only 5ft wide. ...
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3answers
545 views

Do You Need to Have Advantage Against a Surprised Opponent to Use Sneak Attack?

The definition out of rules of the sneak attack is Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. But following the rules, you can only use sneak attack ...
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2answers
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How does flight work in 13th age?

I have been looking through the rules and online for what flight does when used in combat, and can't seem the find the answer. I'm getting the impression that it is more meant to be descriptive than ...
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1answer
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What can I do in one round?

I'm still little confused about actions in Pathfinder. There are standard actions, move actions, full round actions, free actions, etc. I need to know which combinations of these actions I can use in ...