Questions tagged [combat]

For questions primarily about combat, 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 to calibrate combat encounters for high level play?

The DMG contains recommendations for the XP values of encounters that are supposed to help you create engaging but survivable combat encounters (page 82). They work pretty well for low- and mid-level ...
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5 votes
1 answer
281 views

How is a creature's space defined?

What exactly counts as a creature's space, given that there are a lot of effects that care about an "unoccupied space"? Are a creature's space, its controlled space, and its occupied space ...
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

In combat, does a hidden character lose half their speed?

Last session, my bard polymorphed a fellow party member into a T-Rex to fight another T-Rex. As concentration had to be kept, I made my bard take the hide action, which succeeded. My bard had no ...
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4 votes
1 answer
172 views

Balancing a conflict resolution system favouring players picking a spread of skills and attributes in a challenge, while rewarding some over others?

Introduction I'm hoping I can draw on the Game Designer experience of this stack to help be make a decision on a dice-based conflict resolution system I'm designing for an RPG that I've been ...
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12 votes
3 answers
395 views

How to run tactical combat on the Plane of Air?

My party recently got themselves accidentally transported to the Plane of Air by way of a cursed throne that once belonged to a cloud giant. While there, I intend to run at least one combat where ...
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5 votes
2 answers
320 views

Can you use your passive perception while actively doing something else? [duplicate]

Say a player with a 16 passive perception is busy talking, fighting or even picking a lock, would they be able to passively perceive someone coming behind them or walking away from them?
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3 votes
1 answer
86 views

Can an attacker with Greater Grapple or Rapid Grapple make a full attack action?

This is specifically for Pathfinder 1e. So, I haven't been able to find the exact answer I'm looking for. I'm a Druid with two ranks in Brawler (technically, it's a home brew Brawler called Beastial ...
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1 vote
2 answers
294 views

Making decapitation work [closed]

Often it comes up where a PC has knocked a NPC (for this question, call them Random Grunt) down, and is threatening them, with decapitation or some similar threat of imminent mortal peril. Let's ...
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31 votes
9 answers
5k views

How to have enemies that use tactics while also making sure that the encounter is fun for all players?

I am currently running a 5e game for a party of 5 players (level 3). I tend to make my enemies use tactics. My encounters involving a large number of low-CR enemies tend to have roles (so a tank, some ...
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11 votes
5 answers
524 views

How can we help our DM to keep things moving?

Our DM started to master for us about two years ago, using published materials. We played Lost Mine of Phandelver, then Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and now Dungeon of the Mad Mage. All of this is good. ...
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8 votes
4 answers
871 views

What to do when the monster is too strong for the players? [closed]

Good afternoon, I'm about to start an RPG campaign where the system has very strong monsters, and it's not to reveal that to the players either. I would like to know the following situation: What to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
80 views

Does the melee attack in Retributive Strike require an action?

The text for Retributive Stike says: You protect your ally and strike your foe. The ally gains resistance to all damage against the triggering damage equal to 2 + your level. If the foe is within ...
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to communicate, in game, to a player that they are behaving sub-optimally in a specific section (that was designed for them)

So, I have a PC (Barbarian) who is having trouble hitting things. Even with advantage. They are just not rolling well, and can't hit above a 11 on the dice. The player has expressed some ...
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  • 781
4 votes
1 answer
282 views

Does an Initiative Roll imply combat?

I am wondering if a initiative roll means combat started, for the purpose of perks like the Assassin rogue's Assassinate which states You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn'...
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3 votes
1 answer
83 views

What combat implications has this proposed alternative initiative rundown?

Combat in the WoD is notoriously lengthy. The git rundown is about this: Roll initiative Sort high to low Combat Round Start Announce spending of rage for extra actions & handle "pre round&...
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15 votes
4 answers
750 views

How to speed up combat by helping players to visualize the scene?

We play D&D 5e over Discord, using voice and chat channels, and use D&D Beyond for character sheets and most die-rolling. It generally works great, but sometimes combats lag, reasons for which ...
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  • 26.1k
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Can multiple summoned creatures Help multiple allies gain Advantage through one verbal command? [duplicate]

If a player's character summons N creatures, say for example 10 Giant Centipedes using Giant Insect, and immediately uses his free action to verbally command them en masse to use their Help Action to &...
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  • 1,242
5 votes
2 answers
333 views

When a character regains consciousness mid-fight after their initiative passed, do they get a turn?

I have a problem understanding regaining consciousness. From what I know, a creature that loses its consciousness during the battle needs to have its HP to be raised above 0 once again. But what if ...
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8 votes
0 answers
144 views

As a PC, which creatures should I attack first? [closed]

Specifically when you’re engaged in an encounter that includes some clearly larger threats and clearly weaker threats, which creatures should I attack first? Does it make the most sense to focus your ...
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3 votes
0 answers
115 views

Dungeon Mastering: How to dungeon master a game about non-heroic peasants living in a village [closed]

How would I engage the PCs? Say, I announced to them that a hurricane was going to blow over the village and destroy all the crops, kill a bunch of livestock, and ruin the whole thing. What would the ...
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6 votes
2 answers
691 views

What happens with multiple attacks with the same name?

To clarify, I am trying to understand the interaction that occurs in D&D 5e between features that all grant a similar attack. For example, if I took a Path of the Beast Barbarian that was a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
79 views

Does false life help vs. Power Word Kill? [closed]

We are playing D&D (high level wizard battles). We are going to fight a lich. Do you think False life would add to my maximum Hit Points and help vs Power Word Kill or no since the temporary hit ...
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4 votes
0 answers
58 views

How does "hold action" work in EABA?

For EABA ("End All Be All" game system), you can "hold action" (page 8 of the quickstart rules) to act preemptively to a specific trigger (e.g. shoot if they try to shoot). How ...
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6 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is a damage roll?

How do the rules define Damage Roll? Example, a Hexblade Rogue hits and rolls damage for attack with a short sword (1d6 piercing), as a sneak attack (2d6 piercing), while Hex spell is active on ...
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36 votes
7 answers
4k views

How can I use Animate Objects in combat, without slowing combat down for everyone?

My wizard has acquired the animate objects spell, and I'm discussing with my GM how I'm going to use it in combat. We are concerned that using the spell may slow down combat and make it less fun for ...
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3 votes
1 answer
167 views

How does Multiple Attack Penalty works with actions that allow multiple Strikes? [duplicate]

I was wondering how Multiple Attack Penaly works with actions like Adult Silver Dragon's Draconic Frenzy that reads: The silver dragon makes two claw Strikes and one tail Strike in any order At page ...
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44 votes
11 answers
5k views

Are there practical methods for dealing with indecisive players during combat?

Following up on How to deal with indecisive, overthinking players?. This question got closed, because it was not specific enough. I will offer a more detailed scenario from our play group. Context My ...
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9 votes
2 answers
727 views

Which conditions, if any, prevent or impede the afflicted caster from being able to attack with Spiritual Weapon?

The relevant text for Spiritual Weapon is: You create a floating, spectral weapon within range that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again. When you cast the spell, you can make a ...
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11 votes
2 answers
691 views

All-Out-Attack and All-Out-Defence against a single opponent are confusing

When a PC is up against multiple foes in Vampire: the Masquerade 5e they have the option to switch between their attack dice pool and their defence dice pool, this allows them to attack and/or defend ...
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  • 113
6 votes
3 answers
284 views

What purpose does the quickling's Fade from View ability serve?

In Pathfinder 2e the Quickling has an ability called Fade from View which, as a free action, lets the quickling become invisible until it uses an attack, manipulate, or move action. The quickling can'...
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  • 1,690
3 votes
0 answers
61 views

Does the weight of the grapplee factor into the speed the grappler can drag them? [duplicate]

Does the weight of the grapplee (the one being grappled) factor into the speed the grappler can drag them? Or conversely, is a low strength grappler limited by their dragging/listing capacity when ...
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4 votes
1 answer
101 views

Can I lead my mount/animal companion on foot during combat?

If my mount/animal companion has reins attached to them which I am holding, and I am on foot, how do I move and bring my mount with me? I can imagine it involves one or more of the following: ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Am I allowed to double-dip on my mount's turn, granting it extra dashes?

Here's a very silly situation that I'm sure would be easy to rule around, but as an exercise to understand the rules better, I'd still like to know how this works. It might even just be a variation of ...
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35 votes
8 answers
5k views

How can a single creature safely flee from a combat?

This question is really more of a tactics and plotting question than a rules question. In D&D 5e, a creature can avoid opportunity attacks when running away by using the Disengage action (although ...
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  • 5,699
7 votes
1 answer
765 views

Can you attack while using Echo Avatar?

Using Echo Avatar, you: can temporarily transfer your consciousness to your echo. As an action, you can see through your echo's eyes and hear through its ears. During this time, you are deafened and ...
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5 votes
2 answers
557 views

How does initiative work for the giant constrictor snake from the Staff of the Python magic item? [duplicate]

The description of the Staff of the Python magic item reads: […] The staff becomes a giant constrictor snake under your control and acts on its own initiative count. […] As the DM, I’ve been making ...
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28 votes
3 answers
4k views

Should players know other creatures' HP? How do you deal with players not knowing the opponent's HP if not?

I recently started playing D&D, and I was wondering about this. I know it is up to the DM to choose whether or not players know enemies' remaining HP in combat: is it recommended to do so? ...
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  • 283
24 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to make conflicts in Fate Core less boring?

The group in my current Fate Core game tends to get into a lot of combat and conflict situations that I don't really know how to run in a dramatic way that feels narratively satisfying without getting ...
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  • 1,645
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

Experience with character utilizing Darkness

I have an idea for a character who would often use the Darkness spell in combat - with either a Warlock's Devil's Sight or a Sorcerer's Shadow Magic to remain unaffected. That way the character would ...
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  • 734
5 votes
1 answer
920 views

How does Magic Stone interact with the Two-Birds Sling?

D&D 5e's Mythic Odysseys of Theros includes a magic item called the two-birds sling. The item provides a +1 to attack and damage rolls made with it, and further provides: When you make a ranged ...
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  • 8,385
4 votes
2 answers
336 views

Does the Creature Sense ability of ulitharids grant them partial immunity to the invisibility spell and unseen attacker penalties?

According to Volo's Guide to Monsters, the elder brain and ulitharid have the following ability, with the main difference between the two being the effective range (2 miles for the ulitharid, 5 for ...
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6 votes
1 answer
799 views

How problematic is this Exhaustion Pulse ability on a ~CR 30 monster?

I'm homebrewing an aberration monster to serve as a major BBEG and endgame threat for the campaign I'm running. The monster theme is "avatar of a sealed elder God". It should be able to, at ...
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3 votes
1 answer
202 views

Exp reward vs player power

I have a set of players whose characters I think are great, unique, and powerful. I dont find it hard or impossible to balance around, but they hit way above their weight class. They are a group of 3, ...
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  • 5,774
23 votes
11 answers
5k views

If I start combat by making an attack, does a high-initiative enemy see it coming?

This is a follow-up question I had after reading the accepted answer in this related question. A player is talking to an NPC and then decides to stab the NPC. Let's assume the tension is high enough ...
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  • 2,068
11 votes
1 answer
445 views

How do asymmetric PC exhaustion levels affect the difficulty of an encounter?

As a DM, I have planned a medium encounter for my party of 5 characters. Before this encounter, as a consequence of some non optimal choices, one of them suffers from 4 exhaustion levels, and there ...
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  • 11.3k
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do the smaller Black Puddings have their reactions in the same round as the original Black Pudding split?

The Split reaction available for the Black Pudding monster goes as follows: Split. When a pudding that is Medium or larger is subjected to lightning or slashing damage, it splits into two new ...
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5 votes
1 answer
139 views

Can a mounted combatant utilize the pouncing charge maneuver from their mount's charge?

As related to this question, can a creature utilizing a mount take advantage of pouncing charge from page 88 of Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords? The relevant rules for pouncing charge are: As ...
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1 vote
1 answer
278 views

Does a lance deal double-damage for all attacks made when using the pouncing charge maneuver?

Pouncing Charge, From Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, page 88: As part of initiating this maneuver, you make a charge attack. Instead of making a single attack at the end of your charge, you ...
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1 vote
2 answers
403 views

Is there a limit to how many allies can use the help action, to help you in combat?

I have three attacks this round. Let's assume I have access to many tiny free thinking minions who obey my command, but don't require an action to do so on my part. Can each minion use the ready ...
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  • 10.5k
4 votes
1 answer
121 views

Rules for intercepting attacks and protecting others

Both the Guardian Ars Magnus and Bodyguard combat module in Dominus Exxet imply that you can intercept an attack directed at other creatures, but I simply cannot find the rules that explain it. I have ...
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