Combat Rule Modifications

The basic information for Combat may be found here. To cut down on clutter, some links to related pages have been made.

The Melee Round

-Each Melee Round or “Round” is 6 seconds long
-Each second of a Melee Round is called a “Segment”

Tabletop Scale

-Each 1" square on a tabletop combat map is no longer 5’ by 5’, but instead is now 3.3 feet by 3.3 feet (1 meter). This means three squares in a row is 10’, and 9 squares (3 X 3) equal a 10’ by 10’ area.

Note: The tabletop scale been changed because the existing systems only allowed 2 characters to stand side-by-side in a 10’ wide dungeon corridor, or 4 characters in a 10’ by 10’ area, when in reality (including medieval combat) at least 9 characters (sometimes more; think of Pikemen fighting formations) could easily fit in that area and be able to fight. As an example, game tables can often seat 6 to 8 Players (sometimes more) INCLUDING the table and the Players’ book bags; all in a 10’ by 10’ area. Players sitting in seats have a larger “footprint” in a room than people standing up, and yet so many people still fit in the area. According to the existing game scale, a rectangular table seating 6 would have to be 10 feet long and a similar table seating 8 would be 15 feet long!

Part of the problem, I feel, is in the scale and pose of the miniatures; they’re either scaled too big and/or the weapons are pointed in random directions, interfering with each other on the tabletop.



Number of Attacks Per Round

Number of Attacks Per Round Using Weapon Speed and BAB

Weapon Attacks

Weapon Rule Modifications



Attack & Defense

_-Attack & Defending: Attack Rolls are made with a d20, adding the Base Attack Bonus (BAB), Ability Score Bonuses, and Modifiers (see below). The defender also rolls a d20, adding the appropriate Base Defense Bonus (BDB), Ability Score Bonuses, and Modifiers (see below).

If the attacker’s total is higher than the defender’s Defense Class roll the defender has been struck, and damage for the attacking weapon is rolled, subtracting any Damage Reduction for the defender’s armor, if any.

_If the defender’s total is higher the attack has either missed, been dodged, or has been parried.

_If a tie has been rolled, the tie goes to the defender; or the Dungeon Master may use the Optional Rule: “Locked in Combat.”

Locked in Combat

Attack Bonuses

-Attack bonuses are computed like most of the previous editions, except the Character’s Strength AND Dexterity Bonus (Strength + Coordination) is added to Melee and Hurled Weapon Attack Bonuses, and the Dexterity Bonus is added TWICE (Coordination + Accuracy) to Missile Weapon Attack Bonus. (see below)

Damage Bonuses

-Damage Bonuses are received for BOTH Dexterity and Strength (Strength + Accuracy) for melee and thrown attacks; and Dexterity, TWICE (Accuracy + Coordination), for Projectile Missile Weapons, such as bows and crossbows. Essentially, Dexterity not only assists with quickness and precision of an attack, but also with the deadliness of each strike. With the new Damage Reduction system mitigating hit points of damage for armor and spells, the Dexterity Bonus will balance the system for the heavy mitigation that armor has.

-Armor (except shields) is no longer figured into the Defense Class, and therefore the term Armor Class is no longer used (see below). Armor will have Damage Reduction instead of a static number to roll against to see if the defender has been hit. Armor generally slows and interferes with defending, but absorbs a lot of damage. The heavier the armor; the better the Damage Reduction. This will mean heavily armored opponents will get hit more often than unarmored or lightly armored opponents, but will take less to no damage. As characters progress in levels, they will become more deadly, Mages will be putting out more damage, and Rogues may develop skills to exploit the defenses of armored opponents.

Armor Rule Modifications

Defense Bonuses (Defense Class)

Although the Armor Class system will not be used, a roll to hit an opponent will still be required; but this will be done without figuring in any bonuses for armor, except for shields; since armor will only be used to calculate how much damage is absorbed. Shields, on the otherhand, are used to parry/block to PREVENT successful hits; rather than absorb blows FROM successful hits.

Defense Class = HALF of Base Attack Bonus, rounded down (which is the Defense Class Bonus) + Dexterity Bonus (Dodge) + Dexterity Bonus (Parry) + Shield Bonus – Armor Penalty for encumbrance/non-proficiency

-In most situations where a defender does not have a weapon, shield, or some other object to Parry with, the Parry Bonus will be lost.

-In most situations where a defender cannot move their feet or is stuck in place, the Dodge Bonus will be lost.

-If a defender is prone, they may not Dodge, but may still be able to Parry if they are holding a weapon, shield, or other object to Parry with.

-If a defender is prone and attempting to stand up, they may neither Dodge, nor Parry; and as a note: subject to Attacks of Opportunity.

Note: Characters who are Prone usually require 4 segments +1 segment per point of armor penalties, to stand. If assisted the time is halved. If the Prone and/or assisting character has the Improved Initiative Feat, the time is further reduced by 1 segment per each character.

-If a target is helpless, they are considered to have a Dexterity of 1, therefore their Defense is considered to be at a -5 for Dodge, and -5 for Parry, for a total of -10. Their Defense roll is treated as if they rolled a 1. If an attacker rolls a natural 1, the attack is a close miss; this assumes the attack is not a Coup de Grace (see Coup de Grace). Also, Prone targets still recieve penalties or bonuses for Defense Class if they are being attacked in Melee Range (+4 to hit), or Ranged Attack (-4 to hit).

Note: A strike on a helpless target is considered a Critical Strike, and damage is computed as such. If the die roll is an actual Critical Strike, then 1 is added to the Critical Multiplier.

Note: A strike on a helpless target is considered an Attack of Opportunity and a Resolved Attack; therefore it may be possible for an attacker to strike twice in a round, or more.

Coupe de Grace

-A Coup de Gras may be started at any time, and takes 3 segments to prepare, and 1 to execute (Improved Initiative will lessen this). The rules for striking helpless targets (above) apply for computing the DC, although it will still hit on a roll of 1. The act is treated otherwise as described in Pathfinder.

Critical Hits

-Scoring a Critical Hit on another, or recieving one is worth 100XP.

-Critical hits always score full damage on the first die of damage, and all dice after must be confirmed. If confirmed, roll damage per die.

-Damage Reduction for Armor is always considered the lowest possible result.

-The Dungeon Master may require a Save vs Fortitude (or whatever is appopriate) to determine if a “special effect” of the Critical Hit takes place. This may include effects such as: being stunned or dazed if hit in the head; dropping a weapon or shield; being knocked prone; losing temporary use of a limb until properly treated; sundering damage to armor or items; or whatever the Dungeon Master sees fit for the situation. Most damage in the system is abstracted, but Critical Hits may often be exceptions.

-If a Player Character scores a Critical Hit (or Spell) against an opponent, the Dungeon Master may ask the Player to role an Intelligence check (DC 20) to see if the character specifically remembers what they did to cause such devastation or effect. If successful, the Player must roll a successful Wisdom Check (DC 20) to see if they have the understanding of how to convert the knowledge into a learned experience that may be used from then on… Examples of the result of both successful checks might be a permanent +1 vs Goblins; or reduction of underwater fighting penalties by 1; or +1 hit point when using Cure Light Wounds; or +1 damage when casting Magic Missiles; etc.

Attack Bonuses

Melee Weapon and Hurled Weapon Hit Bonus

Base Attack Bonus + Strength Bonus + Dexterity (Coordination) Bonus + Miscellaneous Modifiers

Missile Weapon Hit Bonus

Dexterity Bonus (Coordination) + Dexterity Bonus (Accuracy) + Base Attack Bonus + Miscellaneous Modifiers*.

-Specially made bows which are adjusted for an archer’s Strength will allow their Strength Bonus, as well. The Accuracy Bonus only applies to weapons that may be aimed and fired (which are named Missile Weapons in this rule set), such as bows and crossbows.

Resolving Attacks

-Resolved Attacks usually take place when a combatant has used up all of their Attacks of Opportunity, and another Attack of Opportunity situation arises. This may only happen if they still have unused melee attacks left in the round. Under these conditions, the combatant may Resolve their unused attacks early.

-An attack may also be Resolved at the end of a Charge, or if Set for a Charge.

Attacks of Opportunity

-Only one Attack of Opportunity may be used per segment; two, if dual wielding.

-Usually any situation where a defender is unable to either Parry or Dodge, will provoke an Attack of Opportunity. Examples would be: being attacked by and invisible opponent; or turning one’s back to an opponent; or attacking an opponent from the rear. It’s possible for a “daisy chain” of Attacks of Opportunity to take place if one opponent turns their back to another opponent; and the “Opportunity Attacker” then in turn is being struck by someone they have turned their back to; and so on; and so forth. Oftentimes, a surrounded enemy will be bombarded by Attacks of Opportunity.

Reach Based Weapons: Attacks of Opportunity and Resolving Attacks

-An opponent with a Reach Based Weapon may use an Attack of Opportunity or Resolve an Attack when an opponent is within their Critical Distance and unable to attack at that moment; thus, allowing them to attack with relative impunity. The Attack of Opportunity may take place if the attacker with the Reach Based Weapon is not Threatened, OR has Line of Sight of the defender. Therefore, a combatant with a polearm may strike a charging attacker as soon as they reach the polearm wielder’s Critical Distance, if either of the two above conditions are met. As per normal Pathfinder rules, Attacks of Opportunity may not be taken against opponents with Cover relative to a would-be attacker (page 195); the exception is Partial Soft Cover. Allies do not count against direct Line of Sight for purposes of such attacks, yet may interfere, as even Allies may unintentionally provide full or partial soft cover for enemies, depending on circumstances.

As an example, a Medium sized opponent with a greatsword, fighting within the front rank of allies, could not use Attacks of Opportunity on the 2nd rank of an enemy formation of Medium sized creatures, as the 1st rank would prevent this, since they would be providing Soft Cover. They may, however, use their normal attacks against them, applying the appropriate Soft Cover modifier. That being said, any opponents in the front rank that do not Threaten the wielder of the greatsword, may have an Attack of Opportunity used against them, as long as they are in range, and as long as they are considered in Partial Soft Cover, or less.

Note that size category differences may allow Line of Sight for an attacker with a Reach Based Weapon. As an example, if a human, or other Medium sized creature, has a greatsword, and is fighting goblins: they may take an Attack of Opportunity against the second rank of goblins, as they would have direct Line of Sight, since the goblins in the front are much shorter (one size category smaller) than the human attacker. No Attack of Opportunity on the second rank could take place if the would-be second rank defender was size Tiny or smaller, as they would generally be hidden by the goblins in the front rank (providing Soft Cover). If the same Medium sized greatswordsman was facing an orc (Medium size), with an Ogre (Large size) in the second rank; the greatswordsman would have a Direct Line of Sight, but may not take an Attack of Opportunity against the Ogre, since Large creatures have Reach Attacks, and thus, would Threaten the greatswordsman. If the Ogre was not a threat: such as if it had turned it’s back to the greatswordsman, or was paralyzed by a spell; the greatswordsman would get the Attack of Opportunity.

Note: A polearm wielder (or wielder with a similar Reach Based weapon) may be able to backpeddle 1 stride while being charged. If the charger ends their move (runs out of movement for the segment) in the Critical Range of the polearm, the polearm wielder may use an Attack of Opportunity in that segment; and if a gap remains between the charging enemy and the polearm wielder; the polearm wielder may possibly be able to use another Attack of Opportunity, on the following segments. This may continue to happen if the polearm wielder continues to backpeddle, and/or if the charger does not close the gap. The above circumstances do not apply if they have weapons that have the same Critical Distance.

If an opponent with a Reach Based Weapon is standing behind an ally, they may use Attacks of Opportunity against opponents, as long as the defender remains in the Reach Weapon’s Critical Distance and is not a Threat to the attacker with the Reach Based Weapon.

Missile Weapons

Missile and Hurled Attacks

-Targets of a Missile or Hurled Weapon do not receive a Parry Bonus unless they have a Shield.

-Note that Shields essentially give double Defense Class Bonuses against Missile and Hurled Weapons.

-Fired into the ranks of the enemy, if an arrow or bolt misses its intended target, then it may strike another behind it out to the extent of short range distance or until it strikes an obstacle. The Dungeon Master must make a judgement where and how far the shot may go. If the attacker was firing toward the ground (called shot to the foot, or shooting at a tiny creature, the Dungeon Master may be able to rule that the shot stops in the same square as the intended target.

_For every target past the intended target, an attack roll is made at a cumulative -4 per target, with no bonuses added to the attack.

-Rushing and Charging defenders receive a +1 / +2 bonus to their Defense Class vs Missile and Hurled Weapons.

Moving and firing with Missile Weapons

Normal Movement & Firing

-If an attacker with a Missile Weapon moves 1 stride forward, they may fire at no penalty.

Rushing & Firing

-If an attacker with a Missile Weapon moves 2 strides forward (a Rush), they fire at a -1 penalty, in addition to the normal -1 Defense Class penalty for a Rush.

Charging & Firing
-If an attacker with a Missile Weapon moves 3 strides forward (a Charge), they attack at a -2 penalty, in addition to the normal -2 Defense Class penalty for a Charge.

Full Charge (Running) & Firing

-If an attacker with a Missile Weapon moves 4 or more strides forward, they attack at a -2 penalty, and lose their Accuracy Bonus for a high Dexterity, or take a double Accuracy penalty for a low Dexterity.

Charging and Rushing Into Combat

Charging and Rushing

Attack Wall

-For every attacking ally side-by-side with each other in that is a to threat an opponent, an attacker receives +1 to the Attack Roll, for a maximum of a +2 bonus, even if the other allies don’t actually attack the opponent.

Shield Wall

-For every defender with a Medium Shield or larger standing side-by-side to each other, they receive a +1 Shield Bonus to their Defense Class, up to a maximum of a +2 Bonus.

_-If a defender with a Shield is standing with a wall to their left or right (including Delta Formations where there is a single “point man” in the middle), they receive a +1 Shield Bonus to their Defense Class, per barrier at their side to a maximum of a +2 Bonus. So, if a defender is standing at a doorway, or have their back in a corner, they receive a +2 Shield Bonus. If three defenders with Medium Shields or larger are standing side-by-side in a 10’ corridor, they each receive a +2 Shield Bonus: The defender in the middle receives the bonus from each of the Shield bearers next to him, and the defenders to his right and left receive +1 for his Shield, and another +1 for the wall at their side. If all three were fighting at a doorway, they would receive a total of a +4 Shield Bonus for any attack that might be able to reach them.

Two Weapon Fighting

To see the rules on fighting with two weapons, click the following:

Two Weapon Fighting

Combat Rule Modifications

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