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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How can I speed up D&D 3.5e 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 ...
30
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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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2answers
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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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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 ...
13
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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 ...
7
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3answers
447 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 ...
14
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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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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?
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1answer
661 views

Can I cast a spell and attack in the same turn?

Specifically I am asking as a level 1 Half-elf Bard. As far as I know he doesn't have any dual wielding capabilities yet, or anything that states he has a bonus action to attack. So I'm wondering if ...
14
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
12
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3answers
750 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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5answers
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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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9answers
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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 ...
35
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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
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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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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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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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10answers
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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? ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
19
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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 ...
16
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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 ...
12
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3answers
376 views

Can any creature elect to make touch attacks or ranged touch attacks?

Can a creature lacking a special ability to make either touch attacks or ranged touch attacks nonetheless make against his foes—without provoking attacks of opportunity—touch attacks or ranged touch ...
10
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2answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
414 views

What ways exist to consistently and reliably grant my allies advantage on the attack roll? [closed]

I'm looking for ways to build and/or play a proper Tank/supporter, with the focus of my support lying on helping my friends getting advantage, for example by: Creatively using Feats or core ...
18
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6answers
973 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 ...
13
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3answers
602 views

Does an Evocation shield have a reactive utility to it?

Say that Player X is 2nd in the initiative. 1st is the Black Court vampire that is in a rage and taking a swing at Player X. Player X gets a built in defense [Athletics/Fists + 4dF] but can Player X ...
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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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2answers
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Can one PC grab another PC and drag them?

While DMing my session today, I encountered a situation I wasn't sure how to answer. The PCs were attacked by a werewolf and decided to flee onto their nearby horses. Two of them were already mounted ...
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1answer
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Are you still two-weapon fighting if you've thrown one of your two weapons and are no longer holding it?

In this question we see that two-weapon fighting with darts is not possible because they are not melee weapons. Let's replace the darts in that scenario with daggers, which are valid light melee ...
12
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4answers
754 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 ...
11
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4answers
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Firing into a melee combat

While running a session recently, one of the players chose to "assist" his companion who was in melee with a goblin, by firing an arrow at the pair of them. I couldn't find any particular rules for ...
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2answers
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Was psionic combat removed from Pathfinder?

I have the 3.5 edition of the Psionic Handbook that covers psionic combat. But reading through the Pathfinder I have found nothing so far. If changing to Pathfinder, will I no longer need psionic ...
8
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3answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
607 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
552 views

Does Dual Wielder let an Eldritch Knight summon two bonded weapons?

Background I'm trying to make a master thrower character, and the fighter class seems to be the best option. However, since thrown weapons don't follow the same rules as ammo-based weapons, I've been ...
6
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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, ...
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1answer
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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 ...