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Questions tagged [combat]

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 to explain in a role-playing context whether you hit or miss based on proficiency and AC? [on hold]

Note: This question is coming from someone who has only ever played AD&D 2E so the only AC I know of is traditional negative AC and THAC0. One of the things that I've always been frustrated with ...
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How would an Animated Armor knocked unconscious by Dispel Magic work in combat?

I'm in the process of preparing my first one shot as a way of trying DMing in a few weeks. For one of the battles, I was thinking of having the PCs face an Animated Armor and a Flying Sword. ...
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Awarding encounter experience when enemies flee/get intimidated/are convinced to help

This is my first time DM'ing and I'm playing DnD 5e's "Lost Mine of Phandelver" campaign with 3 other players. The PCs seem to have a trend of encountering a group of enemies, start fighting and ...
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1answer
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Planned action encounters in town [closed]

I'm presently running a campaign in a custom sci-fi universe (using Chaosium's BRP system as a ruleset) and my party have just finished getting through the equivalent of what in a fantasy game would ...
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2answers
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How to balance combat with a couple of min/maxed characters in the party?

I have a party of 4 freshly minted level 7s for an upcoming game. 3 of the players have been playing for a while and one person is a relative newcomer to the group. The problem I'm having is that 2 ...
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1answer
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How can my players take on a bigger-sized ship?

A friend and I have been alternating mastering a game of Star Wars D6 by WEG. It's not really a full blown campaign, more like a series of one-shots loosely linked together. And we came across a major ...
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534 views

How do you make the final battle in Tomb of Annihilation non-trivial?

After a nine month campaign across over thirty sessions, we are finishing the final confrontation in Tomb of Annihilation - but the adventure seems to have set up the adventurers to have a unique ...
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Who attacks first in a battle of Readied Attacks? [duplicate]

This question is best illustrated in an abridged example: Combat has already begun and a goblin sees a Paladin on his noble steed. He readies an attack on this trigger: When the Paladin enters my ...
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1answer
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Can you use a shield with shield spikes to make a bludgeoning attack?

With any regular shield, typically one makes bludgeoning damage with a shield bash. If you add shield spikes, it changes the damage die and type to piercing. Would it be possible still use the altered ...
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How to add more combat into an investigation-heavy campaign?

I have experienced such an issue with a previous run of our Fate RPG campaign. The setting is somewhat influenced by the Dresden Files, which means the campaign involved lots of investigation (...
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Having goblins hide every turn in Lost Mine of Phandelver

The following contains minor spoilers for LMoP. I am preparing to DM my first-ever game, which is the published adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver. I'm looking at the very first encounter, the I ...
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1answer
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What are the rules for a hovering creature in combat?

I'm new to GM'ing and I ran into an (Pathfinder) issue that needs clarification. My group faced a flying demon and I thought it could easily hover and fight. Some of my experienced players pointed ...
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1answer
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For a basic unarmed strike, is only the proficiency bonus included in the attack roll, or is the Strength modifier also added?

The Player's Handbook, Chapter 9, states about attack rolls: The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength A bit later on it also states about melee attacks: Instead of using ...
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1answer
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How to handle player resistances as DM? [closed]

There are many threads which talk about NPC/Monster Resistances, Immunities, and Creature Tactics, but I couldn't find anything about the following: How do I, as a DM, handle PC resistances, ...
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Handing a weapon to another player during combat

The players in my game recently came across a fairly powerful magic sword as the first magic item they found. Shortly after that, they wound up in a boss fight. The players came up with the ...
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Is the combat system in Fireborn unbalanced in favor of defenders?

I was hoping someone could help me with understanding the Fireborn combat mechanics, or optionally has a better way to explain and implement it in a less confusing way. The way the system is ...
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2answers
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How do I ensure tactical combat is interesting for my large party?

I am writing a custom PbtA hack to reboot an old play-by-post-RPG that I used to run on a lightweight, but overly random original system. The party contains 8-9 players (which worked out before the ...
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3answers
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Can tiny (or smaller) creatures typically never attack in melee?

Movement: You can’t end your movement in the same square as another creature unless it is helpless. Tiny, Diminutive, and Fine Creatures Very small creatures take up less than 1 square of space....
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A PC can't do any damage in combat. How can I keep the player interested?

I’m running my first campaign as a DM. One of the players has created a cleric that has been cursed—he takes 3x the damage he deals—and is therefore for all intents and purposes a pacifist. The player ...
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4answers
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How do I avoid being and feeling useless as a player new to D&D combat?

I tried playing D&D 4th edition a few years ago. While I enjoyed it, this particular thing put me off. I didn't know about this SE at the time, so I couldn't ask this. Events in this question are ...
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3answers
321 views

Is it best practice to reveal monster information about resistances/vulnerabilities/immunities to the players?

I was recently running a game with my players, whose characters were in combat with a Scarecrow. According to the Monster Manual, Scarecrows have immunity to poison damage, but my players weren't ...
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Can you ready a ranged attack on a suspected completely concealed enemy?

Is it possible to ready a ranged weapon attack (specifically with a longbow) when you suspect there might be an enemy lurking and hidden, completely concealed from you? For example, my party and I ...
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Who benefits from flanking?

While DnD 5e no longer includes flanking as a standard rule, they have an optional rule that covers it. I've not played earlier versions, but I imagine it's very similar (if not identical) to the ...
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2answers
583 views

Combat on a spiral staircase

Are there any rules regarding combat on a spiral staircase? In real life, castle-towers had spiral staircases designed to give a definitive advantage to the defending party, always spiraling in such a ...
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2answers
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How can I keep the players tense after combat has ended and there is no longer an obvious need for initiative?

I'm currently running Curse of Strahd and due to the "horror" nature of the setting, I'd love for there to be after battle tension especially when it comes to undead and such. For example, maybe he ...
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1answer
144 views

Chaining up a creature in combat

Can you use chains to chain up a creature in the middle of combat? (What if it becomes stunned or paralyzed for a round? - Would this be enough time?). What would the creatures condition be afterwards?...
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1answer
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Does Eldritch Strike apply to a spell cast before the attack?

Consider the following scenario: A level 10 Fighter with the Eldritch Knight (EK) archetype (PHB, p. 74-75) is facing a single opponent, and has hold person as a spell available. EK attacks with ...
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2answers
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Are there ways other than Kensei Weapons or Hex Warrior to use an ability other than STR for non-finesse melee weapons?

Usually melee weapons (without the finesse property) use the character's STR modifier exclusively for attack rolls and damage. I am aware of two exceptions: The Monk (Path of the Kensei) gains the ...
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1answer
224 views

Should a DM disclose Armor Class or other NPC/monster information during encounters? [closed]

A neighbor and I are trying to get our kids (3 children, ages 10-13) into playing D&D. We started the Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign, which was OK for a certain amount of time, but it became ...
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4answers
161 views

How do stealth and surprise interact for full-round actions?

This is something of a clarification question off of Is it really impossible to surprise someone with a full-round action? Suppose we have the following situation: A sorcerer is stalking an unaware ...
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7answers
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Is this alternative initiative house-rule balanced?

As a fairly new DM, one thing that has commonly occurred in my sessions so far is my PC's starting combat outside of initiative. For example after a telepathic conversation with a Nothic was going ...
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2answers
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Is it really impossible to surprise someone with a full-round action?

Is it true that not even the person/creature/thing doing the initial action that starts a combat is able to use a full-round action? According to all sources I can find, the initial attack already is ...
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If an attack alerts someone to your presence, can their initiative save them from being surprised in time?

In D&D 5e "Surprise" is a condition that can affect a creature during the first round of combat, only until the end of their turn: [... T]he GM compares the Dexterity (Stealth) checks of anyone ...
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4answers
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Do ability checks in combat require an action?

I was under the impression that using skills, and therefore making an ability check in combat required an action. Note: I'm obviously not talking about passive perception, it's definitely passive, it'...
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2answers
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Maximizing Assassin damage

I have a plan on how to get a lot of damage out with the assassin from Dnd 5e but I wanted to run the order of actions by you guys to see if it is correct or not. Assassin 17/warlock 3 Apply serpent ...
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4answers
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If Witch Bolt initially hits a target that has cast Mirror Image, does the ongoing damage hit the actual target automatically?

In my campaign, a character used witch bolt against an illusionist and hit, dealing 12 damage. The illusionist proceeded to cast mirror image. Witch bolt states: On a hit, the target takes 1d12 ...
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Can a creature attack another creature's shield or weapon? [duplicate]

Can a creature (a PC or an NPC) attack another creature's shield or weapon?
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1answer
256 views

Is there a melee equivalent for Clustered Shots?

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/clustered-shots-combat/ Is there a Paizo feat that does the same thing except for melee attacks instead of ranged?
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What is “Force” Damage?

From what I can find in answers like this and this, force damage is a nebulous concept of "pure magical energy", which isn't very helpful in answering the question of "what effect does this attack ...
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Controlling Spiritual Weapon while hidden

If my multi-classed Rogue(4)/Warlock(5) casts Spiritual Weapon, and then Hides... Can he continue to control the Spiritual Weapon on his subsequent turns and remain Hidden? Or does attacking the ...
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1answer
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If a PC summons creatures to help fight does it lower your party’s XP?

Do summoned creatures take a share of the XP of an encounter? Let’s say a PC in a party of 3 uses a spell like Conjure Animals. He uses it to summon all 8 creatures. If they contribute to the combat, ...
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In combat, do creatures have complete knowledge of the locations of all other non-Hidden creatures in the combat?

In my question about Hiding I realised in the comments that I was resting on the following assumption: In combat, every creature knows exactly (to the square) where every other creature in the ...
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Interaction between line of sight, enemy reach and opportunity attacks [duplicate]

The basic rules state for opportunity attacks: You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. RAW seems to imply that by circling around the ...
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5answers
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How can I speed up 5e combat?

Combat at my table (5 players plus me, the GM) takes a long time. Even only moderately-complex combats usually take about an hour. I find myself wanting to end the session early if the group is about ...
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When exactly does combat start and surprise take effect?

So say I'm going to ambush an orc. I successfully sneak up on him and I attack. The DM determines that the orc is surprised. The orc happens to get an initiative roll of 19, while I get a 10. How ...
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How does combat start when one PC is not seen as a threat?

Imagine a party of four - three honest characters standing face to face against three evil bandits, one sly, backstabbing type some 30 ft behind the bandits' backs; the bandits may know he's there, ...
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1answer
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Can you dual wield two hand crossbows? [duplicate]

I have a player (who is a Bard/Rogue) who wants to fire both weapons but while I'm not seeing any rules against it I'm consulting for additional opinions. Is there anything to consider when doing ...
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1answer
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How many CR 1/4 does it take to challenge a level 3 party?

I'm running my first campaign and I'm confused about the CR of monsters. I started out with five level 2 characters. I have a few encounters that work so far, but theres one I'm confused about. If the ...
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How do I adjudicate a player trying to sweep kick an enemy's legs to knock them down?

I'm new to D&D. I already read both the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide (I'm mastering) and I would like to know how I could handle this situation: A player wants to do a sweep kick ...
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1answer
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Can creatures use Grab on a Charge attack?

My reefclaws are attacking the players underwater. They charge the oracle/monk. Reefclaws have Grab and 2 Claw attacks. If I charged, am I correct in thinking that: The reefclaw would get one claw ...