Eventually any and all characters will find themselves standing toe-to-toe with some foul monster, enemy or victim. After all, how else are you going to achieve fame and fortune?
To protect someone, to fight for your ideals or simply to save your life, sooner or later your character will face the need of cross your sword in a real fight.
The GM will conduct a combat-type situation on your behalf following your turn and standing orders, a set of rules, processes and guidelines. This act of concluding the outcome of combat is not total science as the GM will be injecting a degree of judgement and some assumption on the behalf of the player.
Combat results are rarely written out in round by round detail (blow by blow). Rather the GM will summarize and highlight the key moments of the encounter.
Before swinging a sword or firing an arrow the GM needs to determine who goes first and in what order everyone else follows.
Initiative is a way to determine who goes first in combat and in what order the other adventurers and opponents take their turns.
Initiative is determined by rolling a d20 and adding your DEX Bonus to the roll result. The character or opponent with the highest Initiative acts first followed by the next highest, etc.
When the last adventurer or opponent has taken their turn then a new round begins and you start again with the highest Initiative (using the original Initiative roll not a new Initiative roll).
Combat Rounds #
Combat is made up of a series of rounds. Each round lasts for approximately 6 seconds. During this time everyone involved will perform a single action (see Actions below).
Once everyone has had a turn, a new round begins.
During combat, various factors are taken into consideration such as distance, lighting, terrain, line of sight, positioning, etc.
During a character’s turn there are three types of actions a character can take a:
- Standard action: which is generally an attack
- Move action: where the character may move into a better position, flee, etc
- Minor action: which are simple things like yelling warning
Attacking and Defending #
Attacking in combat basically comes down to rolling the d20 and adding either your character’s Melee or Missile bonus in an attempt to beat your opponent’s Armor Class (AC).
Melee Bonus #
A character’s Melee bonus will be used when they are attacking with a melee weapon, such as a sword or mace.
Read the Melee Bonus section for more details on how this bonus is calculated.
Missile Bonus #
A character’s Missile bonus will be used when they are attacking with a ranged weapon, such as a bow or crossbow.
Read the Missile Bonus section for more details on how this bonus is calculated.
Armour Class (AC) #
A character’s Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is to hit the character with a melee or missile weapon.
Read the Armour Class section for more details on how it is calculated.
It’s really comes down to just this and then to work out the damage done (if any).
On a successful hit with a melee or missile weapon damage is taken from the target’s Hit Points (HP). The damage is based primarily on the weapon type used and its associated damage die, notated as 1d6, or 1d8, etc.
Damage = Weapon type + Damage Bonus
Read the Damage Bonus section for more details on how this bonus is calculated.
See the Equipment section for weapon and armour types and their damage.
If a Natural 20 is rolled on an attack, a “20” on the d20 before Modifiers or bonuses, then the attacker scores an automatic hit doing maximum damage.
The opposite is true if a ‘1’ is rolled on the d20 before modifiers or bonuses, resulting in an automatic miss. This is known as a Fumble and could result in something negative happening to the attacker.
Read the Criticals & Fumbles section for more details on how this bonus is calculated.
Hit Points (HP) #
Hit Points are an abstract way of measuring the health of your character and how hard he or she is to defeat.
Read the Hit Points section for more details on how it is calculated.