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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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 ...
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6answers
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D&D 5e and “Theatre of the Mind” in combat

Our target play style for combat encounters would be to use battle boards roughly half the time (when there is enough of interest in play that the tactics are fun to play out), and to skip that with ...
28
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1answer
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How does Stealth work with Sneak Attack?

So, in Pathfinder, it seems that being able to use stealth in order to gain sneak attacks only works in the surprise round, with the rules as written. So, imagine a scenario where we have a sniper ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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How does attacking someone work?

OK, I keep going around in circles. In Dresden Files RPG, how do you work out punching someone vs using a knife/sword/weapon vs using a gun?
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6answers
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Can I use a full attack and natural attacks in the same round?

I'm playing a 7th level monk variant in D&D 3.5e and I'm a werewolf. The variant has a 1 for 1 BAB. (level 1 = BAB+1) If I'm in hybrid form, Can I make my 2 standard attacks followed by 2 claws ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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2answers
953 views

What are the complete set of combat modifers for fighting in darkness?

I am slightly confused on combat in darkness. There are modifiers for blinded combatants and invisible combatants, but not specifically combatants who cannot see due to darkness. Are they all ...
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4answers
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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 ...
5
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3answers
406 views

Is there any good place on the internet that hosts monster playtests?

I've been a DM for a while for 3.5. I've run many NPC characters, however only a small fraction of monsters out of the books (comparatively). Also, I like to use templates liberally as well as advance ...
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5answers
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Can a Druid/Monk make unarmed strikes while Wild Shaped?

Can a Druid/Monk who is Wild Shaped perform Unarmed Strikes?
13
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1answer
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What are the best ways to move and full-attack in the same round?

One of the most important things for any physical fighter to accomplish is to maximize the amount of time you spend full-attacking. Once you have BAB +6, not full-attacking halves your potential ...
12
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3answers
623 views

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 ...
15
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5answers
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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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3answers
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Can a Familiar aid a Rogue's Sneak Attack?

A Rogue character with the Arcane Trickster archetype chooses Find Familiar as her non-enchantment, non-illusion, 1st level spell. How does that creature interact with the Sneack Attack feature? From ...
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15answers
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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, ...
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7answers
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Fighting boredom in combat as a player

Sometimes (as a player) I get bored during combat. At times I feel like all my turns are the same (especially when playing lower level characters) and when that is combined with no combat progress ...
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9answers
2k views

Realistic modern day combat system to model real life ambush

I came across a video (helmet camera) of an Taliban force ambushing US infantry troops in Afghanistan. This is a link to the video of ambush: Combat in the First Person, Spc.Michael Gannon guides us ...
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3answers
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How do you administer combat without an Initiative system?

So in Dungeon World, there doesn't seem to be any stat for initiative or any structure to the sequence of moves that people can make. Is the game intended to be simply played "round robin", or do ...
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8answers
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Vast and expanded realistic combat system

I am searching for a combat & damage system for an ad hoc RPG system set in Victoria era, more or less (though this part is completely unimportant). Are there any system that would bring me close ...
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4answers
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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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5answers
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How can I create an introductory D&D encounter intended for teaching the rules?

For my next D&D campaign, I want to introduce the players to the ruleset by having them play through a sample combat encounter. All of them have prior RPG experience, but they haven't played any ...
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12answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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How to reduce Whiff & Ping

In Savage World there is a problem of Whiff (I miss) and Ping (I hit but bounce off the armour). We have had several long combat encounters where the PC and NPC have basically done almost nothing for ...
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11answers
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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 ...
17
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6answers
791 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 ...
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4answers
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Are there rules for dropping on an enemy as an attack?

In our current campaign, our ninja decided to try to drop on a monster from a ledge 25 feet up, blade first. I house ruled that it would require an extra 10 to the Tumble of falling without damage, ...
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2answers
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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
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How does one dispatch a helpless opponent?

There is no coup de grace mechanic in D&D 5e like there is in previous editions. So how is a helpless opponent dispatched quickly, mechanically? Is it just a matter of giving the opponent ...
7
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3answers
765 views

How long does “Joker” initiative in Savage Worlds apply?

I'm trying to learn enough Savage Worlds to start running a little experimental game. I keep feeling like the rules are explained poorly, but it may just be that my brain is not ready to learn. The ...
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8answers
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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, ...
5
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1answer
394 views

How many iterative attacks does an epic creature with class levels get?

A naztharune rakshasa (MM3 136-7) has from its Hit Dice a Base Attack Bonus of +11, 8 levels of rogue granting a Base Attack Bonus of +6, and 6 levels of scout (CW 10-13) granting a Base Attack Bonus ...
5
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1answer
677 views

How does Beast Strike interact with a monk with natural attacks?

Let's suppose we have a monk with two claw attacks. This character can make a full attack with iterative unarmed strikes using his head, knees, elbows and feet and ears and as long as he does not use ...
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2answers
708 views

Sniping: How Does It Work?

The Player's Handbook says the following about sniping: Sniping: If you’ve already successfully hidden at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide ...
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1answer
867 views

How exactly does lighting affect combat?

I understand that there are different types of lighting (dim, bright, complete darkness), but I haven't been able to find anywhere in the DMH or PHB that specifically describes how these different ...
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2answers
155 views

Can a creature designate as the target of a charge a foe the creature can't charge?

The game seems to assume ideal battlefield conditions with perfect intelligence. However, sometimes battlefield conditions aren't ideal and intelligence isn't perfect. The special attack charge says ...
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8answers
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How do I design exciting, fun boss fights for my players?

So I've DM'd three separate games, of which one that I'm largely happy with. However, one consistent problem I run into is designing fun, exciting, and interesting boss fights. I've run into two major ...
18
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12answers
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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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3answers
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Windows application for Pathfinder combat [duplicate]

Is there any good application for Windows, where can I have combat map, something like figures and maybe some tracker (HP, initiative, etc.) where can I try out some combat situations in Pathfinder ...
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6answers
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How does one avoid a bottleneck of enemies in a doorway?

As a new DM I'm still learning how to control the monsters in a battle. A situation came up last game and although it was fine and fun, I wonder if there are better strategies for a DM to avoid a ...
16
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9answers
866 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? ...
15
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3answers
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How do I map a 15' cone to a 1" grid?

I've been playing 5e for a while now, and mercifully this hasn't come up yet, but it's definitely on it's way. When a caster casts burning hands, how is that properly mapped onto a standard 1" battle ...
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1answer
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Do creatures with inappropriately sized reach weapons threaten different areas?

Specific Examples & Questions Basic Question: Does a grig (MM 235) wielding a Tiny longspear (PH 116, 119) (2 gp 5 sp; 0.9 lbs.) threaten no squares, adjacent squares, or squares 10 ...
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9answers
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How to make combat deadlier?

I was thinking of reducing all hit points by 1/2 (pc, npc and monster) to make combat deadlier and less Hp crunching. Is this a good approach or is there a better way to do this or would it be better ...
38
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3answers
660 views

Shame him into not shooting: multiple stress tracks in a single conflict

If you insult the hitman enough, will he stop shooting at you? It doesn't seem likely, but that brings into play a question about whether some stress tracks are "more important" than others: If you ...
20
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6answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
455 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 ...
12
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1answer
609 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 ...
9
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2answers
831 views

If I am using 2 weapons, can I trip with one and attack the tripped target in the same round?

I'm playing a dual wield fighter and I was wondering is it possible to, when using a full round action to attack and you have more then one strike, can you trip with your first hit and then proceed to ...