Rules

Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 
   
Combat Mechanics

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. 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.

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.

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 being 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. 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 mechanic for holding an action until later, unless choosing at the ready, which has limits and will be discussed later.

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. The typical attack is performed by selecting the target or targets, ensuring they are within range of the attack used. The next step is to determine modifiers from subquality bonuses and other factors like magical enhancement. Counting the number of dice to use is following step. While the different skills have not yet been discussed, the idea that multiple skills can combine for a better result has been established.

As a example, an adversary using melee fighting rolls a single d20, but if that character also has an applicable slashing skill to include, then 2d20 are rolled. The attack with a longsword would be melee and therefore the total sub-quality score of Strength would be added to each die roll. Should there be any other modifiers, from size perhaps, then they would be added to each roll as well. Finally, each score is compared against the opponent’s AC to determine whether damage is inflicted to the enemy’s body score.

When any of the d20s rolls score a successful hit, then damage must be determined. This is calculated by the sum of all the successful d20 strikes, each counting as 1 point. Next, if the attack was melee, rather than range, then the Strength modifier is added in. Finally, the weight of the weapon is factored; see Weapons. In general, if it is a light weapon, then no further damage is granted. If it is a heavy weapon, then +2 is added to the total. All other weapons (that inflict damage) add +1 to the sum. Thus, if a fighter with a 4 Strength swings a longsword with 2d20 from skills, then the damage would be 3 or 4 points, depending on the number of d20s that were successful. However, if both d20s missed, no damage would be inflicted. Lastly, ranged weapons do not have a weapon-damage component.

TAKE NOTE:

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, there are scenarios where two or more separate attacks might be made against the same or even different targets. These are refered to as “multiple attacks.” Cases like spinning moves and shield blitz are examples of these. When performing multiple attacks, it is important to calculate each attack separately becuase Strength or Agility modifiers will count into each targeted strike, as will any weapon bonuses. Also, each separate strike becomes subject to any potential resistance. However, this is getting more complicated than the scope of this general overview. More details about those complexities can be found in the Combat Detailed section.