Rules

Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 
Combat Detailed

As stated previously, resolving fights can be a significant part of a role-playing game. Understand the mechanics and details for doing so is important. In the following subsections provide the rules required for characters and monsters to engage in combat.

Rounds

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

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. It is merely a game mechanic and not an accurate portrayal of the combat in a stop-action method. 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 quality, skills or magical effects. 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.

The Action

When 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. When doing so, those who intend to take the same action, assuming movement is available, enter a contest to “grab the idol” or “open/close the door” which will be decided a final determination of the round.

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, and only one reaction can be had during a single round of combat.

The reaction is processed in immediate response to the event, even if that is in the middle of another combatant’s turn. 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.

Movemment

As a base, a character or monster can move up to the number of feet listed on one’s character sheet. Of course, skills and environment can alter the exact results.

If riding a horse or other creature, then movement is based on the mount. It is possible to mount and then use the creature's movement rate or conversely ride a creature then dismount and use the remaining movement of the character. However, to mount a creature, it must be within 5 feet. Whether mounting or dismounting, doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 50 feet, you must spend 25 feet of movement to mount a horse.

Different Modes

If a character has more than one speed, such as a walking speed and a flying speed, and assuming switching modes does not require an action, then one can switch back and forth between speeds during the move. Whenever switching, subtract the distance already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther one can move under the new speed. If the result is 0 or less, the new speed cannot be used during the current move.

Terrain

Although on occasion, combat usually does not takes place in bare rooms or on paved roads. Caverns strewn with stalagmites, thicket-covered forests, or a treacherous staircase — the setting of a typical fight is often considered rough terrain. Every foot of movement in rough terrain costs 1 extra foot. Obviously, a single map could contain area of manageable footing and treacherous portions alike. This is easiest to manage by determining the terrain of any hexes on the map which are abnormal to the standard movement.

Knocked Down

Finding oneself in a prone position happens a lot in an RPG. Creatures are often knocked to the ground or fail to meet the DC required for jumping over some space.

Choosing to drop to prone can be performed at no cost of movement. However, recovering takes more effort and requires half of one’s standard movement per round to accomplish. Thus, if a human is in medium armor, his or her current speed would be 40 feet; therefore, 20 feet of that would be spent to stand up. If less than that amount is available, then standing up is not possible until the start of one’s next turn. Furthermore, if standing is not possible due to lack of movement remaining, then a reaction to do so cannot be used.

If prone and not standing, then movement is only possible by crawling. For every foot crawled, it costs an extra foot in movement. If crawling through rough terrain, then 2 extra feet are lost. Moreover, dash and other effects which increase movement through speed cannot be employed while crawling.

Obstacles in the way of movement must be gone around. Exceptions are when a magical effect dictates otherwise, such as being ethereal or the space is occupied by an ally. However, the hex belonging to another is effectively rough terrain. Thus, understanding the space used by creatures of different size categories, shown later, is important to understand.

If riding a mount and it becomes prone or unconscious, then the rider can use a reaction to dismount and land safely. Otherwise, the rider falls prone in a space within 5 feet (one hex) of the fallen mount.

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 and ensuring it is within range of the attack used. The next step is to determine modifiers from quality bonuses and other factors like magical enhancement. Counting the number of dice to use is following step. For 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. Modifiers are applied to each die roll, of course. Finally, each score is compared against the opponent’s AC to determine whether a point of damage is inflicted to the enemy’s body score.

Raw Die Scores

To ensure it is always possible for the unskilled to score a hit, despite the math – and conversely, the greatly skilled to occasionally miss, two raw numbers have special characteristics on an attack roll. If the raw die score is 20 (natural 20) or is 1 (fumble), then the math and modifiers do not matter. A “natural 20” always scores a hit, and a “fumble” is always a miss. However, that is the extent of the rule; by purely rolling one of these numbers in no way indicates a “critical” or “special” hit, nor does it imply the dropping of one’s weapon. Those things are possible, but not purely based on the raw die roll itself.

Critical Hits

As stated above, a “natural 20” does not indicate a critical hit by itself. However, under certain skill, equipment and circumstances, a hit can be considered critical. The specifics of how this occurs is usually explained in the description of the skill or effect. However, the result of a critical hit is always the same. The wielder gains an additional +1d20 for his next attack the following round, assuming the same weapon or circumstances remain the same. This additional d20 is not from skills but rather an award; therefore, it can exceed the 5d20 limit. If choosing to take a different action or to switch weapons, then the bonus die is forfeited.

Physical Damage

Body damage can be inflicted from any of several categories: alchemical, blunt, cold, edged, fire, lightning, necrotic, piercing, poison and smite. This is noted as different effects can provide resistance, immunity or vulnerability against a specific category of damage. If something is resistant, then any damage delivered from a single attack is halved, round down. Therefore, 1-point attacks are ineffective. At the other end, if something is vulnerable, then is suffers twice the damage against that category. If something is resistant and momentarily enchanted to be vulnerable, then these cancel each other, making the damage normal. If something gains resistance or vulnerability from multiple sources, then it is the same as if it were in that state only once.

Sneak Attacks

There are several opportunities a sneak attack. The general criterion needed to perform a sneak attack is when the victim can be attacked but is not aware of the attacker, such as an ambush or just being awakened. Typically, there is a valid reason for the victim to make a Perception check and then failing said check. The first strike from an invisible attacker could be an example, depending on many other variables. A combatant at disadvantage due to a mockery cantrip would not qualify for a sneak attack. Further, the one performing the sneak attack cannot be at disadvantage either for any reason, and attacks must be made either at range or have the light or reach property.

When making a sneak attack, an additional d20 is permitted to be rolled. This is neither from advantage nor is it a skill. Therefore, it will act cumulatively above those conditions. In other words, if a character has a melee skill, using a dagger, is at advantage and performs a sneak attack, then 3d20 are rolled for the attack. Moreover, if enough skills circumstances exist to reach the 5d20 maximum, a sneak attack could still exceed that and permit 6d20 to be used.

Touch-based Effects

There are several invocations and axioms which require touch to deliver the magic against an opponent. Unless specified in the description, then touch requires one of two options to be considered a successful touch to deliver the affliction. The caster must either make a successful hit against the victim’s armor class, which does not inflict any damage. The other option is to make a successful grappling attack, see below. However, if using grappling, then the result is merely a successful touch for delivery and the victim is not held in any way. Further, if the touch is unsuccessful, the spell or priestly points are lost with no effect manifesting.

There will be times that touching an ally to produce an effect will be desired. Assuming the ally is willing, which is nearly always the case, then the person touching the other must be standing in an adjacent hex from the recipient or move there before completing the action.

Defending

Another option that can be performed during a combat round is standing in defense. This occurs on the characters at the time of the character's action and lasts until the initiative of his or her next turn. It further removes all reactions for both rounds. If a reaction has already been performed by the character's action of defense, then this is not an option for this round.

However, for that sacrifice and actively taken a defensive stance, all attacks (melee, range and even magic) are at disadvantage, provided it is possible for the character can see the incoming attacks. Further, any saves made during a defensive duration are at advantage.

At The Ready

While it was stated above that actions cannot be held until later, there is a very similar concept that can be performed called being at the ready. What this means is using one's action to prepare a self-defined reaction. This trigger must be specific and cannot be a relatively obvious condition. However, what is not valid is using this type of action as way to hold a normal action until a more opportune moment. Thus, "after the monster attacks again, I will fire my bow" is not a valid trigger. Valid triggers would be "if someone steps out of this corridor, then I will attack" or "if the creature approaches within 20 feet of me, I'll run away."

The way to distinguish a valid trigger from an invalid one is likely defined by the word "if" rather than words like "when" or "after." Therefore, "after Bob takes his attack on the monster, I'll fire my bow" is invalid -- but the trigger "if the monster drops Bob, then I'll fire my bow" would be valid. As they are very similar, the invalid one is based on known or highly expected occurrences, while the other is based on a condition that could happen but lacks a high sense of certainty. The GM will be the arbiter of a valid trigger when there is ambiguity.

The trigger remains in play until the start of the character's next initiative turn the following round. If the trigger does occur, then the action declared is taken near-immediately after the trigger - even if it is in the middle of the other entity's action. There is some gray area here the GM may interpret for timing - such as someone stepping out of the corridor; the action might happen at the end of the movement of stepping out rather than in the exact for hex. However, if the trigger never happens until the character's next turn, then that action/reaction is lost.

Grappling

There may be times when grabbing and hold a person in place is a strategic plan. There are no skills that grant extra dice for grabbing other persons or monsters. Only die is used unless advantage or disadvantage apply, but even then, the special attack works like a competition save, comparing body die-rolls from both sides using a d12. If the grappler wins the competition, then during his or her action, the victim is held by the Grappled Restriction (see below). Otherwise, the attacker could not maintain the hold. Further, on the victim’s turn, he, she, or it can initiate another competition to escape.

After having held the victim until the grappler’s following turn the next round, the aggressor may choose to drag the victim along with normal movement; however, one’s movement rate is halved when towing another. If the victim is two size categories smaller, then movement is not altered.

Lastly, there are a few modifiers when these wrestling maneuvers happen.

ConditionModifier
Grappler has size advantage+2 per Size Category Difference
Victim has faster movement rate+1 per 10-feet Difference
Environment is rainy, icy or slick+3 for the Victim
One or both sides are prone-5 for prone Competitor

To escape from being grappled, a creature uses its action to force another body save competition on a d12 with the same modifiers as above. The exception is if the one trying to escape is bigger, then the bonus is applied to him, her or it - instead of the grappler.

Pushing

Another non-damage option that may be used as an action in combat is pushing the opponent. There are two options for this: shoving or tripping. With either option, the target of the pushing must be no more than one size larger, and it must be within reach. This action is very similar to grappling in that a body save competition on d12s ensues. If succesful for a shove, then the victim is pushed away 5 feet. If successful for tripping, then the victim has fallen prone in place. There are a few modifiers for the competition.

ConditionModifier
Size advantage+2 for larger Competitor
Environment is rainy, icy or slick-3 for the Victim
One or both sides are prone-5 for prone Competitor
Flee Attack

When a combatant moves through the adjacent space around someone with a melee weapon at the ready and a reaction is available, then a special attack (as a normal attack) may be taken against the enemy. This could be due to the combatant breaking from a stance, running through to get to another location, attacking on the run and continuing or even an aerial assault and flying back out of range. However, if the fleeing combatant uses its action to defend oneself for the round to withdraw, then this strategic and methodical technique of leaving the fray will prevent the adjacent opponents to use a flee-attack as a reaction.

Another scenario to consider would be a person blocking a hallway where there is only a small space to get by. When a free space, the person moving can avoid a direct struggle by running by; however, if this is by using an adjacent space, then the blocker can still use a flee-attack reaction. However, if the one moving must run through the same space, then a strength competition will occur, using d12s and body modifiers to resolve the conflict. If the blocker wins, the the combatant could not get through, but if not, then movement can continue; however, even so, the blocker is still free to use a flee-attack reaction if available.

Impalement Maneuver

When wielding a polearm and having the polearms skill, a special impalement maneuver can be used as a reaction. One might think of it as a preemptive flee attack under precise conditions. If an opponent using a melee style, who also closes from 15 feet or farther in the same turn before making the attack and attacks the owner of the polearm, then the recipient is permitted a reaction known as impalement. To be clear, this is a reaction; the wielder of the polearm is still allowed a normal attack in the same round. To be even clearer, this could never be combined with a sneak attack, as it is a reaction.

This reaction interrupts the action prior to the attacker rolling his or her d20s for attack. It also occurs ten feet (two-hexes) away with all its results happening before the originating attack event. If the reaction damage incapacitates the attacker first, then the initiating attack is nullified.

With the base skills required to perform an impalement maneuver, a total of 3d20 are rolled in the reaction; 1d20 for a polearm attack and 2d20 for the impalement. However, if the pikeman has weapon forte in the specific polearm being used, then 4d20 are rolled. Lastly, if this pole is a glaive, then the heavy property will cause disadvantage on a natural 20.

Cover

Obstruction can play a factor against ranged attacks. There are three variations of cover: half cover, three-quarters and complete.

A target with half cover gains +2 to his or her AC as well as body preservation saves against area of effect attacks. The protection used must cover at least half of one’s body, such as a low wall, a piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or even another creature’s body.

A target with three-quarters cover has +5 added to his or her AC and a like bonus for body preservation saves against area of effect attacks. Examples might be at a building corner, a large tree trunk, or a portcullis.

Lastly, complete cover protects the target from being aimed upon from range attacks, including magical range spells. However, spells that attack the area can be used against a target with complete cover. In such a case, +5 to body preservation saves is granted to the target. Lastly, a target in complete cover cannot make an attack in any direction that the complete cover protects. An example would be around a corner.

Blind Shot

Firing at range into an area of a known target but not being able to see the target is the definition of a blind shot. Usually some degree of cover will also be involved; however, a blind effect on an archer or fighting an invisible creature could also account for this rule.

When firing at an unseen target, the normal modifiers for the condition (blind, invisible, cover, etc) are calculated into the shot. If the attack is a miss, then there is a chance other targets (friendly or hostile) might be hit instead. The GM will count all the other potential targets, assigning them numbers, then add three additional “empty” slots. A random roll will be made to determine what other might be “hit.” The empty targets indicate the shot hit no other potential target. However, if another creature is subject, then the GM compares the same score used against the target, rolls the dice forward by 2 points and checks the new target’s AC. It is important to understand “rolling the dice forward” instead of just using a modifier, as an 18 or 19 on the dice will become a “natural 20” against the alternate target.

Lastly, it is important to remember what an attack indicates with range. Unless under an effect or using a skill to “split the dice” then multiple d20s are still firing only a single attack. Thus, all attacks would have to miss the target when firing blind to have a chance to hit an alternate target. However, if this occurs, all the d20s are rolled forward for the comparison and are used against only one new alternate target. If the dice are “split” for any reason, then each target uses the same rule with the set number of dice, which means more than one alternate target could be harmed.

Defense Rolls (Variant)

Some playing groups like to feel more in control of their characters’ own destinies. Members in the group like to roll dice. Sometimes a GM just has too many monsters to handle. In these cases, this variation of the rules offers some benefits.

When a monster attacks a PC, normally a GM would roll the attack for the monster as a character does. However, a mathematical option is to have the player make a defense roll to avoid the attack instead. The monster’s attack has a DC of 21 + all the monsters’ modifiers. Next, the player rolls a d20 for all the used attacks from the monster, adding his or her armor class to each of the scores. For each of the adjusted scores the meet or exceed the DC, then the PC has avoided the attack. Failures on the DC indicates a point of body damage. Raw dice scores are just as meaningful in this variant. A natural 20 indicates the PC avoids the hit regardless of the math, while a raw 1 is an absolute hit.

Restrictions in Combat

When different conditions occur in a combat, it can impact a creature’s abilities and actions. Most circumstances are impairments; however, a few might be helpful – even referred to as a restriction. If multiple restrictions exist, then adjustments are not cumulative but the strongest would be in effect.

RestrictionAdjustments
Blind   •Cannot see and automatically fails all saves involving sight
•Attacks by blinded creature are at disadvantage
•Attacks against blinded creature are at advantage
Charmed   •Cannot attack the charmer or target with harmful effects
•Charmer has advantage for any saves involving social interactions with charmed being
Deaf   •Cannot hear and automatically fails all preservation and feat saves involving hearing
Frightened   •Has disadvantage on all die rolls when source of fear is in sight or known to be present
•Cannot willingly move closer to the source of fear
Grappled   •Movement rate becomes 0
Incapacitated   •Cannot take any actions or reactions
Invisible   •An invisible being cannot be seen by natural sight
•An invisible being can be located by sound and tracks
•Attacks against an invisible creature at disadvantage and suffer -3 penalty on all remaining dice used
Paralyzed   •Cannot take any actions or reactions
•Cannot move, speak or gesture
•Automatically fails all saves involving body
•Attacks against a paralyzed being are at advantage
•If scoring a hit from an attack, it is a critical hit permitting yet another 1d20 the following round
Petrified   •A petrified creature and its non-magical items are alchemically transformed to another substance
•A petrified creature weighs ten times its original weight
•Cannot take any actions or reactions
•Cannot move, speak or gesture
•Unaware of surroundings
•Automatically fails all saves involving body
•Attacks against petrified creatures are at advantage
•Only critical hits inflict damage
•A petrified creature is immune to poison, disease, and does not age; however, any poison or disease present are not neutralized
Poisoned   •At disadvantage for all attacks and preservation saves and any feats attempted
Prone   •Movement limited to crawling
•Standing up consumes half of normal movement in feet
•Attacks by prone creature are at disadvantage
•Attacks against prone are at advantage for melee and at disadvantage for range
Restrained   •Movement rate becomes 0
•Attacks by a restrained being are at disadvantage
•Attacks against a restrained being are at advantage
•Body preservation saves are at disadvantage
•Dodge and deflection reactions are not permitted
Stunned   •Cannot take any actions or reactions
•Automatically fails all saves involving body
•Attacks against a stunned creature are at advantage
Unconscious   •Cannot take any actions or reactions
•Cannot move, speak or gesture
•Unaware of surroundings
•Drops whatever held and falls prone
•Attacks against an unconscious creature are at advantage for melee and at disadvantage for range