Rules

Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 
   
Combat Mechanics

Rapid Rules:
• Combat is not just hack-n-slash with numbers.
• A round is a ten-second block of combat where each player, NPC and monster are permitted a turn.
• Initiative is the numeric representation of the turn order.
• When one has a turn in combat, he, she or it takes an action.
• A reaction is an extra an optional action permitted under special circumstances caused by an outside event.
• Movement is how far one can travel on the battle map during a turn.
• When two or more people want to do the same thing, the rules of a competition resolves it.
• When attacking another on the battlefield, there are simple math rules to calculate the success of combat actions.

Resolving conflict through violence!


Let’s be honest, resolving fights can be a significant part of a role-playing game. Understanding the mechanics is significant. Therefore, this high-level overview is placed here in the manual before going into the long lists of skills a character can learn. This way, it may help one chose those skills when advancing.

No weapons or equipment are detailed here. Those are listed later, but understand they can have a impact on combat, but the purpose of this section is not to detail everything that can occur in a combat - a more detailed section for that is listed later - but rather give a general understanding of how it works.

However, one of the important factors of combat in Enchanted Realms is it has been designed to use strategy, battle locations, movement, holding ground and calculated retreats. The idea is not just too see whose stat block can wield or withstand the best numbers. “Tougher” characters and monsters always have the better odds, but the idea developed here is to permit the player to have numerous methods to customize the advancement of one’s own character and not be defined by a linear class system. Rules for swarming, weapons that effect movement, armors that are superior against the opponents’ weapons, skills that enhance the use of particular fighting techniques -- all of those variables make a difference in the outcome of the fight and define what “tougher” means. Combat strategy offers the lesser-skilled combatant to overcome the stronger one if recognizing how to take advantage of the situation. And that's the premise of combat in this system: better numbers aren't necessarily the dominant factor.

Theater of the Mind

Each opponent takes a turn, moves, performs an action, blah, blah, blah… This can easily be seen as a boring game of chess from reading that description. What is described here are the mechanics of combat for playing the game to allow for that strategy component mentioned above. However, what is really happening is far more fluid. During the ten seconds of a round where ten entities all take their turns, all of the are moving and acting virtually simultaneously. The attack isn't a single strike that happens on the sixth second of the round. Instead that fighter has swung his battle axe two maybe three times during that time, but there is really only one that lands well -- or perhaps imagine it as all of them hit but a little less effectively. That parry skill isn't blocking a single incoming swing, it is thwarting several steps and thrusts, making the character just a little harder to hit. The point is while the tokens on the battle map move in staccato, the imagining of the fantasy fight is vastly different. Thinking of it in this fashion helps to remove the potential monotony.

Rounds

The term “round” is in reference to a specific duration of time in a fight. A round represents a ten-second block of the combat. It is also the game mechanism to determine the results of each combatant’s actions in that time frame. It also is the game mechanism for resetting the combatants’ reaction availability.

Initiative

During the ten seconds of a round, everyone is acting simultaneously. As one person does something, it impacts the viability of another’s actions. If a monster is running one way, will a PC be able to catch up to attack? Who got the jump on whom? All these questions are answered by determining initiative.

Initiative is merely a word to determine whose actions are handled first and the order of effects that occur. It is merely a game mechanic and not a truly-accurate portrayal of the combat in a stop-action method. Resolving conflict by the mechanics may appear like a chess game, but in the theater of the mind, players should imagine all the efforts happening simultaneously - just some effects resolve quicker than others.

If someone acts first by initiative, making another’s intention less desirable, then that’s just the incalculable nuances of combat playing out in the game mechanic. Conversely, someone acting later in the round might gain strategic advantage from examining the changes of the battlefield. That too is just the breaks of happenstance.

To determine the order of action, every participant rolls a d10, then adds any modifiers from Agility, skills or magical effects. This initiative roll occurs every round so the exact order of results cannot be known from round to round; this helps avoid meta-gaming.

The person with the highest number takes the action for the round first. Then each lower number is processed in order. If two creatures tie, then roll of on a d20 with the highest score being the winner. If ties continue to happen, keep rolling until the result is determined.

Initiative = d10 + AgilityMod + Other Modifiers

Actions

When it is a character’s or monster’s turn, the announcement of what to do is stated. Then the being moves on the map and takes an action. The character or monster decides whether to move and then act or the other way around. Additionally, movement can be broken up so that part of the distance is moved, then an action taken, followed by the rest of the movement. Further, not all the movement distance has to be used. It is important to note there is no “holding an action” to be used later without having special skills. If the character or monster decides to hold position (or even move some) but take no action, then that is set for the round.

Speaking and gesturing to other characters is permitted, but only on one’s turn. These should be brief utterances or expressions that can be conveyed in under 10 seconds. There are skills and magic which may override this rule.

Typically, this is move and attack, cast a spell, use some item, or render aid to a wounded ally. However, actions might include unusual deeds such as “grab the idol from the pedestal” or “crank down the drawbridge.” These non-hostile actions do offer the potential of a contest. Should any other character or monster intend to take the same action that would result in a contest, then player or GM will interrupt by stating that he or she also has the same intent. Despite a later initiative, those who intend to take the same action, assuming movement is available, will enter a contest to “grab the idol” or “open/close the door” which will be decided a final determination of the round. However, those details will be explained later.

All actions fall into one of the following categories, which will be detailed later:
 • Attack
 • Skill-Use
 • Item-Use
 • Defending
 • At-The-Ready
An action must be taken at the time of one’s turn. There is no generic method for holding an action until later; however, there are skills that permit this special delay.

As a reminder, the distance a character or monster is permitted to move on one’s turn is listed on the character sheet and possibly modified by armor. When using a map, each hex is five feet.

Reactions

Certain skills, magical effects or circumstances permit a character or monster to have a reaction. This is an instant response to an event of some sort, which can occur on someone else’s turn. However, using a reaction is not required, but only one reaction can be used during a single round of combat.

The reaction is processed as an immediate response to the event, even if that is in the middle of another combatant’s turn. In some cases, a reaction’s effect may occur before the action. The reaction is announced, calculated and handled, then play continues from where it was interrupted.

A few examples of reactions are listed below:

Counterspell: when a sorcerer in range casts an axiom, a reaction may be used to disrupt it.
Dismount: when a walking mount is incapacitated, the rider may use a reaction to land on his feet.
Dodge skill: when being struck, a reaction may be used to attempt to dodge the damage.
Flee attack: when an enemy moves through adjacent space and reaction attack may be permitted.
Impalement: a reaction maneuver used against a charging opponent, provided skills and weapons are used.
Standing up: when knocked prone and having enough movement remaining for the round, standing back up can be performed as a reaction.

Movement

Movement on the battlemap occurs on a character’s turn when their initiative order comes up. Remember, everyone is actually moving at once, but this merely allows the results of the movement to be determined and the choices made as a result of what was occuring at the time.

As a base, a character or monster can move up to the number of feet listed on one’s character sheet. Any penalties due to armor or encumberment are subjected from the racial movement. This adjusted value is called the character’s “normal movement.” While this is primarily a measure of how far a character can move on his or her turn; however, there are many conditions, skills, magical effects and environment can alter the exact results.

When using a map, each hex represents 5 feet. Therefore, if a character can move 50 feet in a round, then during his or her turn 10 hexes can be traversed. This is true when the terrain is smooth, such as wood floors, open plains and worked stone. However, movement costs more when traversing difficult terrain, like stalagmites, thicket-covered forests, or a treacherous staircase -- every foot of movement in difficult terrain costs two feet. This means each hex of difficult terrain moved into cost 10 feet instead of 5 feet.

Another condition is when someone is prone and must crawl. Crawling also adds an extra foot to movement cost as well. Thus, for each hex crawled, it also costs 10 feet of movement. However, if crawling through difficult terrain, then it is cummulative; therefore, moving one hex would cost 15 feet. There are more detail about crawling and being prone in the Knocked Down details below.

There are several scenarios were movement is penalized. Below is a list of many conditions:

ConditionPenalty
Mounting/dismounting horse/lizard steed50% of Normal Movement in Feet
Mounting/dismounting gryphon-sized or larger creature100% of Normal Movement
Pick up item from ground-10 feet Movement
Ready shield without shield-use-10 feet Movement
Standing up from prone50% of Normal Movement in Feet
Unsheath/switch weapon-10 feet Movement

Further, when a magical effect or restriction is placed on a creature, unless otherwise stated, what is altered is the “normal movement.” Therefore, when quick step is used, the affected being has its “normal movement” increase by 10 feet. If under the bound restriction, the that being’s “normal movement” is halved. If struck by a ghoul, the victim has its “normal movement” reduced by 25 feet. The reason this matters is to ensure not miscalcuating the effect of armor when combined with additional conditions. Also, it might matter for determining whether that final hex can be traversed or not because there is no question about rounding. Either one has the movement remaining or the next hex cannot be entered.

Movement is also important for establishing position and controlling that space. The size category of a being determines how large of an area that falls under that being’s control. However, for these examples a human will be used, who occupies and controls one hex (or five feet).

Why this is important is answered by asking what does occupying and controlling that hex do? The short answer means this space is protected by the occupant and items in that area cannot be touched or manipulated without the space-owner’s permission. That said, there are conditions where permission is implied, and there are other cases where a challenge can supercede that permission.

Implied permission happens most of the time or people would not be able to walk down a busy street. Therefore, the general rule is permission is only assumed to be denied to hostile creatures. Allies and other non-hostiles can walk through someone’s space as if it were difficult terrain, but they may pass through it. Hostile creatures, however, can only access the space controlled by that person’s permission or by forcing a challenge of some sort. Of course, those nimble halflings are special exceptions to the norm.

Competitions

Whether it is running through someone’s occupied space or two combatants trying to hold a door closed, the way to resolve it is the same a competiton save.

To resolve the movement example above, if the human in this example were standing over a knife but didn’t have an action remaining; therefore, being unable to pick it up -- then another person who had an action available could attempt to grab the knife. However, to do so, that other person would have to enter the hex controlled by the human. This would mean the item could not be picked up freely and doing so would have to be an action itself. Now as a result of that action invading another’a controlled space and being against the occupier’s will, an explanation of how the knife would be gained would need to be given. Depending on that description, the GM would call for either competition save against either Strength or Agility. If the grabber won the d12 challenge then, he ran by, grabbed the knife and moved to wherever he chose to end his movement; albeit at the risk of a flee-attack reaction. However, if the occupier won the competition, then the invader ran by, missed the knife (perhaps covered by the occupier’s foot), and then continued on -- also at the risk of a flee attack.

In the following round, both of the persons have an action available meaning. If both still insist upon grabbing the knife, then the order of initiative will determine what happens. If the occupier of the space over the knife has the first initiative, he or she could grab the knife as an action with the movement penalty; this is because he or she is the occupier of the space over the knife. However, if the other person has the earlier initiative, then he may again declare he would be making an attempt to grab the knife. In this case, both person’s would be forced to use his action to resolve the competition, which would happen on the turn of the one occupying the space.

The Attack

As stated previously, one of the most common actions in combat is to attack. When first starting, this will seem simple: a target is selected, the d20 is rolled to determine whether or not the victim is effectively hit or not. However, breaking it down to the detailed mechanics, even when it is overly simple, will help to understand how to calculate things when skills grant many options in an attack, some of which can appear complicated.

The first thing to determine for an attack is how many die pools to be used. There can be up to three starting due pools: one for the primary hand, one for the off hand, and one for a savage die pool. One must have appropriate skills to use each die pool. If the skills have not been obtained or an inapplicable, then that die pool cannot be used. Because early characters do not yet have the skills, typically the only available die pool to use is the primary hand.

It may help to think of a “die pool” as a single strike. The words are often used interchangeably. Moreover, once getting to the mechanics of rolling the dice, that is precisely what the die pool is - a single strike against a single target. That is not to say that one will not have many die pools to roll -- and yes, it is possible to have more than just the initial three, but more on that later.

Using this concept of die pools, the combat system builds up, becoming more effective and more powerful by using multiple skills. These skills can combine to increase the number of dice to place into a strike. Further, some skills enhance the bonuses to hit for all the dice in that single die pool. Even more, some skills open up the option to use another “hand” to create a second, maybe a third, die pool that can be used simultaneously in the attack action.

Now to the mechanics; once determining the number of die pools, which is typically only one, and then determining the number of d20s in the die pools, the next player operation is to roll the dice. Modifiers from sub-attribute bonuses are added to each separate d20 in the die pool based on the type of attack. Further, if magic or special weapons are being used that offer bonuses, then those too would tally into the totals. The strike is not necessarily a binary hit or miss, but rather a gradient of success. Each d20 in the die pool whose total score is equal or greater than the opponent’s armor class value will inflict a point of damage. Another number that adds into the strike’s damage is the weight of the weapon, which is from 0 to 2 additional points; see Weapons. Finally, the attacker’s Strength or Agility bonus is a part of the damage. However, those sub-attribute bonuses are not cumulative per strike but rather count only once against an individual target. In a typical attack, where only one or two d20s are rolled against one target, it all seems like it simply adds together; however, that detail is import when skill reach a point where more than one target can be hit or more than one die pool is used against the same target.

Let’s apply this to an example of an adversary using melee fighting. In this case, a die pool for the primary hand would be used and only one d20 would be in that pool. The character would roll that single d20 to see if it is effective against the victim’s AC. Adjustments on the die roll would come from Strength since it is a melee attack. If the total score hits, the attack would inflict 1 point of damage, plus the weapon’s weight value and the character’s Strength modifier. Let's assume the weapon is a long sword (weight:+1) and the attacker has a Strength score of 2, which offers no bonus. The total damage inflicted would be 2 points of edged damage against the opponent’s Body score.

However, if that same character gains the style: slashing skill, then the primary hand die pool would have 2d20 in it. Still assuming the long sword is used but now the fighter has a Strength score of 4, now each d20 is roll from the die pool. These two dice act as a single strike. Based on the results, up to 2 points of damage could be inflicted. The weight of the longsword would add an additional point, plus Strength now adds +1 as well, meaning the total damage would range from 3 to 4 points. Of course, remember that if both d20s missed the target, none of the bonuses would count and the attack would be a complete miss.

A few final notes. For weight of a weapon, unless stated otherwise, range weapons do not have a weight component. As for melee, light weapon have a zero weight value; thus, no further damage is granted with them. A medium weight weapon has a value of +1. A heavy weapon adds +2 to the total damage. Again, weight-damage is listed by weapon later in the manual.

Another part of the attack formula is the size of the attacker. This will rarely matter for the player character, but it is not unreasonable that he or she might be affected by a stature axiom. Large creatures gain +1 to hit on all the dice in all their die pools. Huge creatures gain +2 to hit. Giant gain +3, and colossal gain +4.

THE MATH:

Melee:  each d20 + Strength Score + Othervs AC  if successful: (1 per die-hit) + Strength Modifier + Weapon
Range:  each d20 + Agility Score + Othervs AC  if successful: (1 per die-hit) + Agility Modifier

Most attacks will be a single strike against one opponent. However, as stated above additional skills create the options to use two or more die pools, or even divide and existing die pool into smaller, separate die pools. In these cases different targets might be struck or perhaps the same target could be struck by multiple die pools. This type of attack is referred to as “multi-strike.” Skills that grant such opportunities are spinning moves and shield blitz. When performing a “multi-strike”, it is important to calculate each attack separately because weight-damage is counted per strike, but Strength or Agility modifiers only once per target. Also, each separate strike is subject to any potential resistance. More details about those complexities can be found in the section below.

Advanced Attacks

As stated previously, most attacks will be a single strike against one opponent. For this, one just determines the number dice in the primary hand die pool, then rolls, counts the hits, adds the weapon-weight, and factors either Strength or Agility bonuses. However, when a “multi-strike” attack happens, those strikes have to be more carefully calculated.

Let’s return to those starting die pools to understand how they are used. Beginning with the basics of anatomy which apply to all playable races, a character has a primary-hand attack and an off-hand. Each of these could potentially be used as a die pool; however, the off-hand can only be used when certain skills are obtained, and even then those skill likely have specific limitations. However, that primary-hand die pool is almost always available for an attack action. Granted, if a weapon requires two hands, such as heavy weapons do, then the off-hand is employed to deliver the primary attack. While sounding self-evident, this is why a shield cannot be used with such weapons. If the primary-hand weapon only needs one hand, then the off-hand could use a shield. An example of an advanced skill that allows the off-hand to have an attack die pool would be shield-blitz. Another possibility is the two-handed fighting skill, in which each hand becomes capable of acting as a primary-hand strike separately. In the description of each combat skill, it will be designated what “hands” are applicable for that skill and how dice pools are to be calculated.

Of course, not every creature is built with only two hands to apply to attacks. Lizardfolk are a perfect example, as they have a bludgeoning tail that can be used as a savage form strike. As per the description of savage form, such attacks are their own die pool and by default can be the only die pool used. Therefore, if someone or some creature were to have two different appendage-types used in savage form, then the primary hand die pool would not be allowed to be used with either the primary hand or the off-hand, unless specifically stated in the creature's description of physiology or obtaining a skill that overrides the general rule of savage form. Further, unless the appendage specifically states details about prehensile use, it could not act as an off-hand appendage. This is why a lizardfolk cannot wield a shield with its tail.

Of course, as skills increase and one’s attack abilities improve, the use of various skills working together starts to take on a bit of strategy for the enhancement of the character. As such, a clear understanding of the concept of “style” is important because die pools must be filled from skills using the same method and technique. This is why that lizardfolk who used transmogrify to gain an extra horn strike while wielding a sword in one hand and a mace in the other does not get four strikes. No, that lizardfolk has to choose how he or she will attack, either using the savage form, the sword as a primary-hand slashing strike, or bludgeon with the mace as the primary. Those are three different methods of attack; the player must choose only one.

Is it possible to put different styles in one die pool? No! However, certain skills allow additional die pools to be used at the same time in an attack action. For example, shield-blitz and whip-blitz allow an off-hand die pool to be used in the same attack action with the primary-hand strike.

Also, there is a difference between a “multi-strike” and “multiple targets.” The number of die pools used in an attack is what defines the term “multi-strike,” while “multiple targets” is a term to indicate more than one target can potentially be struck in the attack. A “multi-strike” that does not support “multiple targets” means two (or more) die pools can be used, but they will strike against only one combatant. One simple skill that demonstrates a “multiple targets” is the berserker skill, which divides the primary hand die into several die pools equal to the number of dice in the original. Then each of those new die pools, which only have 1d20 each, must used against different, non-repeated targets.

When calculating an attack, including “multi-strike” and/or “multiple targets,” here are the fundamental rules that apply:

  1.  1. Only one die pool can be used in an action unless having skills that permit otherwise.
  2.  2. Skills that allow additional die pools can only be used simultaneously if the description explicitly states it is allowed.
  3.  3. There are three starting types of die pools: primary hand, off-hand, and savage.
  4.  4. Each die pool is calculated separately and is called a “strike.”
  5.  5. Damage from the weight of a weapon is calculated for each strike.
  6.  6. Damage from either Strength or Agility bonuses is calculated per target, regardless of the number of strikes against it.
  7.  7. Skills which grant additional d20s to a die pool can only be applied if the “style” of the strike matches.
  8.  8. If a skill grants more than one d20 for a die pool, such as dual knifing, then all the dice from that skill must be applied to the same strike.
  9.  9. Skills can be applied different die pools simultaneously unless the skill that creates or extends the additional die pool explicitly prohibits it; e.g. two-handed fighting.
  10.  10. Special maneuvers, like silk sleeve, treachery, weapon lock and disarm, can only be performed by the primary hand, unless explicitly stated the other die pools can act as a primary hand.
  11.  11. No more than 5d20 from skills can be applied to a single strike. Dice for advantage and for sneak attacks do not count towards this limit.
  12.  12. Explicit descriptions can override these rules.

This is the bigger point for understanding how a strike, “multi-strike” and a different number of targets really work. Each strike is a die pool that is aimed at a target. That die pool is rolled against that specific target, which may have a different AC than the other targets in the action. That target might have a higher AC against the damage-type being used. It's even possible that target it resistant, immune or vulnerable to that damage-type. Therefore, those individual strikes (die pools) must be evaluated differently as well as understanding how to apply all the modifiers properly. It is detailed, but the base rules are consistent. Further, there is an API for Roll20 that manages all the variables for you.