Enchanted Realms Rulebook

Mechanics of Combat

Combat is more than just skills and numbers. Finesse, timing and strategy all play into whether or not a particular person or team is successful in combat. To allow such things, combat is calclated in a measurment of time. There is a system of game mechanics to manage all of this. First, combat is broken into time segments called “rounds.”

Each combat round is 20 seconds, which means one minute of game time covers three combat rounds. Each round, players, NPCs, monsters, entities, whomever: everyone (who is alive, conscious and capable) takes one action. That action may consist of several die-rolls, but it is a single action. It is also possible that action becomes delayed and cannot occur until the following round. In such cases, the first round action is just lost, and this becomes the only action for that character to take in the next round. Also, if an action spans across two rounds, such as starting to cast a spell in the first round but finishing in the second, this is the only action that can be taken until the third round starts.

To determine when things happen, the round is broken into its twenty one-second moments, and the precision of when things occur is controlled by a process called “initiative.”


At the start of each combat round, everyone creature involved rolls an “initiative,” which is the sum of 2d10. That number determines when the effects of an action takes place. Thus, die values of 4 and 9 on the two d10s mean the character’s actions take effect at the 13th second of the combat round. Of course, in the case of sorcery, the initiative score would be the moment the spell-caster has the opportunity to begin the axiom. As there is additional time required to cast the magic, the actual effect of the sorcery spell will not happen until the casting-duration is complete. As stated before, if the time rolls over into the next round, then the spell-casting counts as the action for each of the two rounds. Another action cannot happen until the third round.

Of course, initiative modifiers come into play. Just because a raw “13” was rolled does not mean that is the final value for initiative. There are skills to speed up one's actions. A quickness skill of 10 will reduce a character's initiative score by 1. However, weapons, combat style and other factors could speed up or slow down the initiative as well.

Fighting with fists reduces the raw initiative value by 2, but if wielding a great axe a character's score it bumped up by 2. (There is a chart in the Weapons section for more details.) Similar to spell-casting, if those delays roll over into the next combat round, then the attack is the only action taken for both rounds. Finally, no matter how much a score is reduced, the absolute lowest value for initiative is 1.

Things in combat happen fast. Reaction and instinct comprise of a lot of the details which simply are not tracked or span a significant portion of the combat round. While the players are aware of every detail that is happening, the chaos and confusion prevent any character from knowing everything that is transpiring as it happens. Talking, giving instructions and general communication cannot be heard, processed and reciprocated in an immediate way -- even though the players will have plenty of time to do so. To accommodate this, the general rules is communication is not effectively understood until the end of the round. When a character chooses to convey something to his team in the middle of a round, he or she declares “speaking,” and the GM holds that message until after “20,” and the ability to act upon the information cannot occur until the next round. However, rest assured, there are skills to overcome this limitation.

Applying all this information to the Roll20 interface, understand there is a macro to start combat. The GM highlights those in the fight, and the macro rolls initiative for all the selected combatants, examining the character sheet for adjustments. Once all the numbers have been assessed, the macro will not only launch the turn-tracker but also add a second-marker on the screen to display the current moment of combat. As the GM counts from 1 to 20, the second-marker will increment and the turn-tracker will display who gets to take their turn.

A lot of ground can be covered in 20 seconds, but the value of “hex movement” controls when to move one's token and how far it can go. It would not be reasonable to let everyone move 12 or so hexes at the start of each combat round. Thus instead, there are four separate moments throughout the round (at 1, 6, 11 and 16) when movement is permitted. The calculations on the character sheets will show how many hexes on each of these opportunities can be taken.

As an example, if a character has 12 hexes per round in the current terrain, then essentially, he or she would move 3 hexes on each of those moments in the round. However, the math is a little weighted a little heavier for earlier seconds in the round. This is basically a balancing mechanic and not too much though should be given to it; however, that 12-hex character will have movements of 4-3-3-2 rather than 3 each chance.

Sometimes two or more persons will vie for the same spot on the battlemap. When conflicts for desired location occur, the tie-breaker is who has the earlier initiative that round. If that is also a tie, then the players resolve it among themselves or the GM will select randomly.

Finally, if a character or creature is restrained, knocked down or otherwise unable to move during the moment chances of 1, 6, 11 or 16, that being loses those movement points. They are not “made up” after a delay or anything. They movement chance is simply lost. If missing it because the player wasn't paying attention, the rule is the same; the movement is simply not used. While there may be incidents that it could be argued, it is recommended to enforce the rule consitently. This is another game-balancing mechanic, and effectively evens out over time based on the law of averages. As always, the GM can override rules for unusual events and in the spirit of fairness.


How quickly a being can move will affect combat. The quicker one is the quicker the closing time, the more opportunities for attack, and even retreating is a factor. If all combat took place in a vaccum the standard movement rates given in the race section (or for creatures in the bestiary) would have the same effect every time. However, these numbers are assumed as speeds under optimal conditions, such a stone-crafted floor or flat road.

However, when fighting on different and more difficult terrain, speed must be adjusted. There are simple calculations on the Roll20 character sheets to be used as a guideline for most circumstances. Yet how the effects of terrain are calculated is demonstrated on the chart below, as well as providing a few examples hex-movement adjustment for combat in various terrain. Even though this topic is about combat, terrain can also adjust travel time, the information for that will be displayed here as well.

 Hexes or MilesValue
Plains÷ 1.44791114
Tundra÷ 1.8367811
Desert÷ 1.9356811
Forest÷ 2.235579
Hills÷ 2.434568
Swamp÷ 2.724467
Jungle÷ 2.824457
Mountains÷ 3.223456

The chart above can also be used to calculate increased travel time on a trip. Use the same values but rather than divide by the adjustment, multiply instead. For example, if a trip would take 10 days by road, then an equal distance through a forest would take 22 days (10 days x 2.2 for forest). If the character's need 6 days by road, but have to travel the same distance through mountainous terrain, then multiply 6 times 3.2; the result would be 19 days.

Further, some character races have special movement in various terrains. Also, creatures who are native to a terrain may gain bonus movement because they are accustom to it. Examples might be side-winding snakes in the desert or monkeys in the jungle. Additionally, there is a characteristic known as sure-footedness. This applies mostly to mounts and multi-legged creatures, but the GM could choose to apply it in other cases. Arachnicians are the only playable race to have this sure-footed trait.

However, if a terrain exceeds the limits described for a sure-footed creature, then the natural terrain movement applies instead. For example, a horse can manage rough terrain up to 30° angles, but if climbing a traveling up a 45° incline in the hills, then speed must be treated as hills rather than the forest speed normally given for the condition. Additionally, the chances of falling and stumbling exist for the horse as well when exceeding its sure-footedness.

The table below shows how to treat the terrain for native and sure-footed creatures, as well as a few playable races:

ForestTundra  Tundra  
HillsDesertForestDesert Optimal 
SwampDesertHills   Plains
MountainsHillsJungleHills Hills 

What a player should grasp from all this information is that creatures who are in their native environment can be far tougher in a fight than they look on paper. For example, the elf versus a saurian in a forest: first, due to bearking, the elf will likely detect the saurian long before the crocodilian beast will get a chance to know the elf is there. Moreover, the elf will be moving at 7 hexes per round of combat compared to the saurian's 4 hexes each round. The elf will simply out-maneuver his opponent, possibly not even letting the reptilian get close enough to attack. On the flip-side, put the elf in the swamp against the saurian, at the battle looks quite different. The saurians vibrational detection through mud will allow him to find the elf almost anywhere within 60 feet. Any sneak attacks on the lizard-like combatant will become virtually moot. Also, the elf has slowed down to 4 hexes per round, while his opponent actually is quicker at 6 hexes. Move this battle to nighttime when the elf would be penalized for light conditions while the saurian would fight as if seeing invisible beings, it becomes clear where the advantage shifts.


This particular set of rules will not likely be needed often. However, it is here to prevent that one player we all know who states “Well, it's written on my character sheet, so I'm carrying it.” Most often, declaring player characters have “standard equipment” backpack (two torches, tinderbox, blanket, 20-ft rope, a mirror and some food), one or two weapons, shield, coin/gem bag and reasonable armor, this rule will not come into play. However, there are times when heavy loads need to be carried - like finding a nice treasure haul. Most often, the team will go buy or borrow a mule, horse or maybe a borgaaz to carry the weight. If that's still not enough, they find a wagon.

All that said; there will still be times when the horses ate poisonous mushroons, died and left the PCs to carry several hundred pounds of things they refuse to abandon. When this happens, the GM has to know how the additional weigh affects travel speeds as well as performance in combat. The first thing to keep in mind is there are two states of hauling a heavy load: loaded encumbrance and persistent encumbrance. The first is when a character or pack animal is currently carrying the pack weight. The other is when the excess weight is removed but penalties from weariness linger. Thus, if a gryf has been carrying a backpack half his weight all morning, then during that time he or his would be in a state of loaded encumbrance. Movement rate would be down 3 or 4 points and probably only two more hours of travel would be likely for the day. Should that gryf get ambushed carrying the load, his initiative penalties would be hefty. However, if possible (ruled by the GM or as an action), the gryf drops the heavy pack, then his current encumbrance would mathemathically be back to normal; however, persistent encumbrance states if over-encumbered for more than an accumulation of 30 minutes, then the penalties from that encumbrance level linger at half value (round to the creature's disadvantage) for four hours after the weight has been dropped. Therefore, the gryf throws down the pack, but his initiative and combat movement are still diminished by a point or two.

How does one know how much encumbrance is too much? There are different rules for different three groups: characters, pack-animals and everything else. If a creature (listed in the bestiary) does not have a pack or carrying weight listed, then it is assumed they fall into the “everything else” category. These creatures are assumed not to be able to carry more than 20 pounds regardless of size. Even a 150-pound mastiff is simply not built to be a beast of burden. Of course, the GM can override this rule where it makes sense, using some other guidelines in its place. In fact, several monsters might be treated differently even though there is no designation in the bestiary. A wererat could easily be treated in the “character” category or a Crag Giant might be considered a “pack animal.”

The encumberance rule used for characters means one can carry 25% of one's body weight with no penalty. Therefore, a gryf can carry only around 25 pounds of equipment before trouble sets in, while an orc could carry 50 pounds without issue. For each 10-pound step over the limit, initiative and movement (both hex and daily travel) become penalized by one. Thus, carrying 26 to 35 pounds will cause the gryf to be over-encumbered and lose a point of movement and initiatve.

However, exhaustion becomes another factor where one's daily allotment of activity becomes reduced from over-encumbrance. By rule, a character can have eight hours activity in one day without exhaustion; thus, the daily miles a creature can travel is based on 8-hours of travel. Therefore, if a character can travel 16 miles per day, then 2 miles per hour is the value used for adjustments. If less than the full day is used, simply multiply the hours traveled by this rate. Over-encumbrance, however, reduces the total effective hours usable in a day. For each additional penalty step incurred (additional ten pounds for characters), 30 minutes will be removed from the daily activity allotted. Obviously this can affect more than just travel times.

Pack animals follow the same general penalties as characters; however, the distribution of weight between penalty steps is larger. The default is 25 pounds unless noted otherwise. However, some pack beasts do have noted difference. Such as the lizard steed, which can carry a lot, but once over-encumbered, it suffers quickly -- or the mule which can just keep being loaded up before penalties get bad. Of course, the GM can define special rules for pack animals, dinosaurs or whatever in his or her world.

The table below gives examples of how these rules factor for characters and beasts of burdens.

Pack WeightInitiativeHexesMiles*Activity
30 lbsNormal12208 hours
31-40+ 11119 [18]7.5 hours
41-50+ 21018 [16]7.0 hours
51-60+ 3917 [14]6.5 hours
61-70+ 4816 [12]6.0 hours
55 lbsNormal11188 hours
56-65+ 110177.5 hours
66-75+ 2916 [14]7.0 hours
76-85+ 3815 [12]6.5 hours
86-95+ 4714 [10]6.0 hours
500 lbsNormal24428 hours
501-525+ 12341 [39]7.5 hours
526-550+ 22240 [35]7.0 hours
551-575+ 32139 [32]6.5 hours
576-600+ 42038 [28]6.0 hours
 Lizard Steed
1000 lbsNormal18368 hours
1001-1010+ 11735 [34]7.5 hours
1011-1020+ 21634 [30]7.0 hours
1021-1030+ 31533 [27]6.5 hours
1031-1040+ 41432 [24]6.0 hours
600 lbsNormal12248 hours
601-660+ 11123 [22]7.5 hours
661-720+ 21022 [19]7.0 hours
721-780+ 3921 [17]6.5 hours
781-840+ 4820 [15]6.0 hours
   * [Effective daily miles] due to decreased activity time

Again, we should remind you these rules should not be used very often. However there are a few final things to consider when they are needed. When towing a wagon, cart or other wheeled container, three times the normal encumbrance is allowed, and the weight steps between penalties is tripled as well. Also, when a forced march is made and creatures are made to travel longer than 8 hours, penalties occur in 30 minute intervals. Obviously, a forced march takes one over the allotment for the day; thus, daily activity cannot count for the current march; however, all the penalties remain fully intact the next day, including the daily hours one can use. To clarify, if a sergeant forces his men to march 10 hours, then the following day, they will act with -4 on movement, +4 on initiative and only be permitted 6 hours of activity that day. If force-marched for a normal eight-hour day on that day, the men are still two-hours over their allotment; thus, the same penalties will apply yet again on the third day. Eventually, a “short day” will be required to return to normal.