Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 Complete Rules 
 Combat In Detail 
 Combat Essentials

Combat Essentials

“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” –Irene Au

The general concepts of combat have been given in the Combat Basics section; however, there are many details that may need more explanation. Therefore, this section is designed to address the specifics as well as those peculiar, less common scenarios.

This explanation was given in the mechanics above, but as this section details combat, it bears repeating. 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.

The Action Revisited

As discussed in the Combat Basics section, specifically in the Actions explanation, it was discuessed how every action of one’s turn falls into one category: an attack, skill-use, item-use, deeds, defending, or being at-the-ready. Below are the details of how each of these work.

The Attack

As stated in the Game Starter, the attack is using a weapon to inflict harm on a foe. This is performed by rolling the appropriate number of d20s and comparing the results against the opponent’s Armor Class. Damage is calculated by counting the number of successful d20s that hit. If any hit, then add in the appropriate Strength or Agility modifier and the weight of the weapon, if applicable.

Of course, when splitting the dice from an attack when performing a multiple-attack on separate targets, then calculating the results must be performed by attack. For example, when using spinning moves with 2d20, it can attack two separate targets; however, only 1d20 is used for each. In this case, if the first is hit, then 1 point of damage happens for the die, then Strength modifier and the weapon. A like amount of damage would be inflicted against the second target if it were also hit.

There are also cases where the same target is struck by two separate attacks. Shield-Blitz would be one of those cases. Here the first weapon attack would be calculated and damage doled out to the foe; then, the shield attack would be rolled and damage calculated. The same type of calculation would be used for two-handed fighting. Basically, if there are two weapons on a single target -- or more than one target, then those conditions are considered an individual attack.

However, not all attacks are weapon-based. There is a whole method of grappling that can be used. Martial arts can often be used in conjunction with those. With the proper set of skills, a martial artist can strike with his hand as a weapon, then get a separate attack as a grappling maneuver. These types of attacks and what can happen are extensive enough that the entire Grappling section is devoted to it.


Most often, casting a sorcery axiom or a priestly incantation is what happens for an action that falls into skill-use. However, other skills that apply could be used here; for example, an engineer might use his or her action to create a make-shift sword. Perhaps a field medic performs wound care during the combat.


Activating an item, usually magical, or drinking a potion is an action of item-use. The description of the item should detail the usage; however, when activating an item, this is a complete action other than movement, unless the item description states an exception to the general rule.


This is when a general action involving the setting is used, such as “Grab the idol from the pedestal” or “Crank down the drawbridge.”


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.

*The only way to hold an action is to have special skills or magical items which would allow this.

Movement In Action

Of course, movement is part of the action. It can be performed before, after or both in relationship to the action. The character can move, then use the action. Or the character can take an action and then move. The final option is to move some, use the action, the move up to the remaining amount.

Again, every creature is assigned a movement rate, which measures the distance one is permitted to cover during its turn. Of course, terrain, skills, conditions and magic can all affect that value, but the basic concept of movement is fairly straight forward.

In some cases, a character may have more than one speed, such as a walking speed and a flying speed. 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 zero or less, the new speed cannot be used during the current move.

Swing on the Run

Moving more than 15 feet on one's turn while running through an enemy's adjacent hex allows for those others to use a reaction to gain a flee attack. However, sometimes combatants break and run, perhaps using an action, perhaps not. This can potentially turn into a chase. This is different that attacking a semi-stationary target on the battlefield. Normally, targets on the battle field are not actively fleeing or being routed.

Also, while similar to be pursued, this battle chase is a bit different as well. To understand the difference, let's use two examples. First, a bunch of guards respond to the cry of "stop that thief" and see the one fleeing the scene. There are various obstacles and places to hide and lose sight. There is never quite enough closeness in contact for combat to happen. This is the basic pursuit scenario. This is when the abandonment skill would be used to explicitly determine the result. However, the second example is the footrace with combat happening at the same time, exchanging blows during rounds of combat while moving at essentially sprinting speeds.

When the second is in play, the standard action/movement does not really represent the situation well, and optionally the GM may switch the game mechanism to "chase mode." Often this method won't really be necessary, as it is cumbersome. This should only be used in important factors to the story and when all involved are comfortable with it.

For this, a map may not even be necessary as the distance between the two assailants is the real metric of the combat. Now, first and foremost, when making a melee attack while running at full speed, all d20s rolled suffer a -3 penalty. A few skills can lessen the penalty. Then penalty is lowered by one for having and capable of using any of the following skills: charging, martial arts, spinning moves or weapon forte. The penalty can be reduced to only -1 if also having one of ambidexterity, drive, footwork or grappler's shield. Further, the during chase mode reactions as well as spell-casting are unable to be performed, but certain reaction-skills can increase a point of penalty back upon the other attackers, even to a -4 penalty: dodge, treachery or takedown. Moreover, for these penalty assessments, if using mounts, mounted fighting or aerial fighting, then a -2 penalty is inflicted to the other attackers. Finally, if one has the abandonment skill, then one's movement speed should be calculated as 5-ft faster. Also, using a heavy weapon will remove movement if happening on the same second of the attack swing. The attack can be skipped to roll for movement.

Next is determining movement. There are ten seconds in a combat round, each represented by counting backwards from 10 to 1. Initiative is rolled normally. Any score higher than 10 is counted as the first second (named 10), but will still be processed in order as would any other combat. Using the participants movement rates, a hex will be moved roughly every second of the round. Thus, if 50-ft movement rate, one hex could be moved each second counted down. The chart below shows what movement would be for various speeds.

1002 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes
902 hexes2 hexes1 hex2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes2 hexes1 hex2 hexes2 hexes
802 hexes2 hexes1 hex2 hexes1 hex2 hexes2 hexes1 hex1 hex2 hexes
702 hexes1 hex1 hex2 hexes1 hex2 hexes1 hex1 hex1 hex2 hexes
602 hexes1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex2 hexes1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex
551 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex2 hexes1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex
501 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex
451 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hexnone
401 hex1 hex1 hex1 hex1 hexnone1 hex1 hex1 hexnone
351 hexnone1 hex1 hex1 hexnone1 hex1 hex1 hexnone
301 hexnone1 hexnone1 hexnone1 hex1 hex1 hexnone
251 hexnone1 hexnone1 hexnone1 hexnone1 hexnone

Finally, for every opportunity to move, each second counted where movement will advance, the character must roll a d20 and add his or her Agility bonus. If scoring an adjusted value against DC:5, then the distance is moved. If not, then no movement in the game mechanism happens for that second. Keep in mind that his is a game mechanic. Running is happening; distance is being covered, but this just represents the gain or loss of distance between the combatants. Also a "natural 1" indicates failure; a raw 20 grants an extra hex.

Thus, when it is time for one to swing with an attack, including the penalties ensued for running all out, it is only possible if the range of the melee weapon can hit the target. Otherwise, the opportunity to attack is lost. And lastly, if a distance of half (25 feet or hexes for a 50-movement speed) for the one lagging behind is established, then this mode is over. Depending on the scenario, it is possible this will start a pursuit condition.