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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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I rolled a natural 20 to sacrifice my life to kill the boss. I died, she didn’t. Is that fair? [on hold]

Okay, so I know it seems like a no-brainer, but to be fair, there is more to it than that. My character was in a dungeon that for some reason gave off magical radiation because it was made of ice with ...
4
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2answers
137 views

In this scenario, how do I determine whether the enemies are surprised?

Being new to D&D and planning to do some DM'ing in the near future, I found myself struggling with "Surprise" in combat. To educate myself on this topic, I first want to understand the surprise ...
5
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2answers
25k views

How does combat work underwater?

I've been a 5e player for the last 6 months or so and soon I'll be DMing for the first time, as short filler when our main campaign can't go ahead (for example, our paladin is on holidays). My ...
30
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14answers
28k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
47 views

Can magical intensities damage energy?

Let's say I'm fighting somebody who can only be damaged by energy, and because of either an oversight or rampant pacifism, all I have are the Create [Intensity type goes here] spells to attack with. ...
5
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1answer
48 views

What happens if an attacker and defender have exactly equal (net difference 0) final values for their attack and defense rolls?

The title somewhat says it all... What happens if an attacker and defender roll exactly equal values? This actually happened to me in a test combat. The other player and I mutually agreed nothing ...
1
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0answers
49 views

When does combat begin and end during a dungeon? [duplicate]

I am a first-timer trying to prepare to host my first D&D night as DM with a bunch of curious friends (also first-timers in roleplaying). I got the Starter Set so I'll be trying to play the Lost ...
31
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6answers
112k views

Does flanking always grant advantage, or is it up to discussion?

The rules packet does not provide any specific rules about flanking. However the rule does say that the DM has lots of leeway in deciding when to give advantage or disadvantage in combat. Should it ...
22
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6answers
11k 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 ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Do counterattacks count against your total attacks per turn?

As per title - If you achieve a counterattack result, does that counterattack require that you have attacks remaining, or just that you be able to attack/take active actions?
9
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1answer
175 views

If the DM rolls initiative once for a group of monsters, how do end-of-turn effects work?

A wizard rounds a corner to find two kobolds brandishing their weapons. Roll initiative! The DM determines that neither side is surprised. The DM then makes a single initiative roll (10) for the two ...
16
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5answers
54k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Can I drop concentration on a damaging spell before it affects an ally in combat? [duplicate]

If on my turn I cast a damage spell that requires concentration, can I keep it up on subsequent enemy turns then drop it before it damages an ally at the start of their turn? For example, this is ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Can the damage from a Talisman of Pure Good (or Ultimate Evil) be non-lethal?

This is a direct follow-up to this other question of mine and assumes that, indeed, one may wield a Talisman of Pure Good (or a Talisman of Ultimate Evil) as an improvised weapon and apply both the ...
20
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6answers
1k views

How can I determine alternatives to inapplicable critical-hit table results?

In a recent session of ours, one of the players scored a critical hit on a very scary wolf. The random critical-hit bonus rolled was "disarm opponent." Our GM was kind and clever enough to announce ...
13
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8answers
11k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
148 views

How do shotguns actually work in Cyberpunk 2020?

Everyone at my table has read the rules for shotguns in Cyberpunk 2020 and yet none of us understand how they are supposed to work. The closest I can come to understanding is that they are AoE ...
7
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3answers
134 views

When do I use the “Brace” special weapon feature?

I have a question regarding the weapon feature "Brace". Some weapons have the special weapon feature "Brace", for example a simple spear How to use it (how I understand it) On your turn, you take ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Can a magus use spellstrike on an attack of opportunity?

A magus casts Shocking Grasp, uses the arcane pool (for +1) and walks into battle. The baddie runs past the Magus, and the Magus gets an attack of opportunity, can he use Spellstrike and deliver the ...
46
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7answers
13k views

How does one handle 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 ...
4
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3answers
191 views

Spell combat in confined spaces, are there penalties?

I've got a Brute Vigilante who also enjoys taking an Enlarge Person potion now and then (we've ruled that the brute ability is not magical and can stack with the magical enlargement). I've read and ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Up Close and Deadly and Full-Attack Actions

Do you need to spend 1 grit point for each attack made as part of a full-attack action when using the Pistolero Deed up Close and Deadly? The Deed says: Up Close and Deadly (Ex): At 1st level, ...
15
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1answer
788 views

What happens if the effects of two different damage types contradict each other?

A flesh golem has the extraordinary ability immunity to magic, which says that A flesh golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells ...
20
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5answers
16k views

How does a mount from Find Steed act when unmounted?

I have read so many things already that I'm more confused than before. So decided to ask this by myself. My paladin just got his Find Steed spell, and after some tweaking and talking, he decided to ...
9
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1answer
260 views

Does 5e have a free item interaction?

Does 5e have an item interaction? I could really have some help in understanding how the item interactions work and how they are used during combat.
15
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5answers
2k views

Can you earn endless XP using a Flameskull and its self-revival feature?

Flameskulls have the following traits (Monster Manual, p. 135): Eldritch Rejuvenation. A flameskull's shattered fragments reform unless they are splashed with holy water or subjected to a dispel ...
1
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1answer
88 views

How many BAB-based grapple actions does a creature get when initiating with a natural attack?

Assuming a full-attack action, if a creature, especially one with improved grab, initiates a grapple with a natural attack, how many grapple actions does that creature get based on its base attack ...
71
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12answers
8k views

What is the purpose of easy combat scenarios that don't need resource expenditure?

This is something I've been thinking about as a DM in my encounter design: Why have easy/medium/etc combat encounters that don't really require resources to successfully complete? Given the limited ...
7
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5answers
833 views

How to make fighting a constantly-escaping enemy fun?

The trick here is I'm talking about something low-level, something the PCs should by all accounts be able to squash in a heartbeat...but it keeps escaping. Every time. And no matter how elaborate they ...
35
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4answers
2k views

How do I fight with Heavy Armor as a Wizard with Tenser's Transformation?

Tenser's Transformation is a rather unique, gish-y spell that lets wizards toss their spellbooks aside and take up arms like their Fighter counterparts. One aspect of this spell that disappoints me ...
11
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5answers
3k 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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7answers
298 views

what changes can be made to the combat and health mechanics which will nerf healing word [closed]

I'm currently running a campaign and I have two casters that can cast healing word. And whenever I had a big melee enemy reduce them to zero HP by pounding them into the ground, they bounce back up ...
49
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6answers
6k views

How can I make my enemies feel real and make combat more engaging?

As a newer DM, I have trouble making some of the more routine combats feel unique or urgent. I believe this is because the enemies my PCs are fighting tend to act like an AI, or just attack until they ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Can a creature with improved grab re-grapple a creature with another attack per the rules on multiple grapplers?

Let's take everyone's favorite party-killer, monstrous crab. If said creature attacks an opponent with claw #1 and initiates improved grapple, can the crab then attack the same opponent again with the ...
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1answer
8k views

Can you attack while prone? [closed]

Can you attack while prone? I'm asking for curiosity's sake mostly.
6
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5answers
146 views

How to Interpret Defending Others vs. Shoot Attacks?

A situation occurred in which the party needed to defend a 'sitting duck' in the form of a small robot against ranged enemy attacks. There was the consideration for party members to take the bullets ...
1
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0answers
72 views

Is being unseen an equivalent to being hidden? [duplicate]

For example, if I am using a longbow, and my party is ~50ft in front of me, and I have made no actions other then getting up to a high point, am I able to shoot with advantage, and if so, can I use ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Can a character take a reaction before their turn? [duplicate]

Can a character use his reaction in the first round of combat before their turn? There is no surprise involved here.
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0answers
58 views

Missing with a splash weapon II - Target against a wall / water / pit

(This is kind of a follow-up to Missing with a splash weapon) Situation There is an alchemist (or other splash weapon user) "X", throwing her splash weapon at a target "T" that is within X's weapons ...
19
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4answers
3k views

When do player characters leave turn-based action (i.e. initiative order) if they are in a hostile area?

In most circumstances, it is easy to determine when turn based combat ends: One side is completely killed, unconscious or has fled All parties declared truce But when in a hostile area, like a ...
4
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2answers
997 views

Missing with a splash weapon

RAW The Combat Rules concerning Splash Weapons go as follows: If you miss the target (whether aiming at a creature or a grid intersection), roll 1d8. This determines the misdirection of the throw, ...
27
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3answers
4k views

If a Gnome is riding a Dragonborn who is riding a horse, who can be targeted when the horse provokes an opportunity attack?

We have a gnome fighter and a dragonborn bard in our campaign. The gnome sometimes gets in a makeshift sling on the dragonborn's back to shoot arrows at enemies during combat. Thus far I've considered ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Do creatures get an attack of opportunity against targets with soft cover?

Let's say that, in completely open ground (i.e., no actual physical cover anywhere nearby), a creature with reach is immediately adjacent to a foe. That foe's ally is immediately behind the foe, ...
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
20
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6answers
4k views

How should I handle movement when one character isn't engaged in combat yet?

How should I handle movement when one character isn't engaged in combat yet? Our house rule is that if you're not in combat or if the DM isn't having you move at your character's speed (like in a ...
1
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2answers
111 views

How to differentiate various guns with adding as little mechanic as possible? [closed]

Currently I'm creating a setting which includes real firearms models (no limitations, any gun I know about or find in the internet can appear) and I aim for each gun to be different from each other, ...
6
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2answers
119 views

How do attacks with an underwater target and an attacker on land (and the reverse) work?

The Underwater Combat rules on attacking state: When making a melee weapon attack, a creature that doesn't have a swimming speed (either natural or granted by magic) has disadvantage on the attack ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Is there any mechanic for one creature taking a hit for another?

I was reading the UA Raven Queen warlock and saw that the sentinel raven gives you advantage to the killer of your raven for 24 hours. I was wondering if there is a way for the raven to take a hit ...
10
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4answers
16k views

What does carrying capacity do in combat?

Does a good carrying capacity have benefits in combat, besides how much you can carry? For example, does it give advantage on picking things up or grappling?
29
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7answers
38k views

How can I make combat more tactically interesting for me as a DM?

For me, I find it very difficult to enjoy DMing combat encounters. Combat is generally very dry and monotonous. What can I do to make combat more enjoyable for me as a DM? Some of the issues I have ...