Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 Complete Rules 
 Combat In Detail 
 Depredation Design

Depredation Design

“When a man goes silent on his ways and plans, you must ponder!” -Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Shadow tactics, black ops, depredation… these terms are not often used or even thought about when playing a fantasy game. Ironically, a lot of fantasy players try to employ those tactics in the game. While many systems have thieves, ninjas or other stealthy styles, the rules for taking out the sentry or assassination by garrote are not really baked into the combat system. The reader may recall that Enchanted Realms was built upon the philosophy of not having specialists, classes or professions. The game ideology is that anyone, with enough investment and heart, can do nearly anything anyone else can. With that in mind, blackmail threats, attacking the unaware opponent and other such maneuvers are part of the combat system and available to everyone.

Sneak Attack

There are several opportunities for 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. The first strike from an invisible attacker could be an example, depending on many other variables. The victim must have lost track of the one attempting the sneak attack during the previous round or could have never been aware during that time, such as being asleep. The victim is usually permitted a Perception check, and if failing said save, the attack is considered a sneak attack. However, understand this is establishing whether or not the sneak attack is possible. A second Perception check might occur, as explained below.

When making a sneak attack, 2d20 is added to the attack roll. The first d20 is made for being at advantage. The second d20 is for striking a vulnerable and unaware victim. If advantage has been granted for another reason, it cannot be gained twice. Therefore, if the victim is stunned or otherwise already to be attacked at advantage, then only the second d20 is added to the attack. Nonetheless, these extra dice act cumulatively above the normal attack. In other words, if a character has a melee skill, using a dagger, 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 six or even seven total dice to be used.

If having established a sneak is possible, then range attacks can happen with the extra dice automatically. However, if closing in to strike in melee, even with reach, then the victim is allowed a second Perception check to ensure the strike is successful. If this second Perception check is made by the victim, then only 1d20 is added for advantage, but the second die (the sneak die) for a more accurate and more powerful attack is removed. Further, when closing in on the victim to perform the sneak attack in melee, movement rate must be slower than normal; thus, the total distance that can be traversed in that round is only half of one’s normal rate. Also, the GM will consider how stealth works for defining the Comp for the victim's second Perception roll in such as case. If the victim cannot be reached by the end of movement, the target will be permitted yet another Perception check the following round.

Obviously, the primary goal of a sneak attack is to deliver more damage than from an ordinary attack. However, a close second is to incapacitate the victim, especially when trying to remove guards silently. To that end, certain sneak attacks can orchestrate that result. When damage from a single sneak attack or backstab inflicts at least (equal or greater than) 50% of the victim’s total Body maximum value, then the victim must make a Resilience save due to the shock. The Comp of the save is a base of 5 plus a point per inflicted point of damage. If the victim fails the save, then the target is under the incapacitated restriction for its next d3 actions. Note this is not unconsciousness; thus, recognition of the attacker might be possible, although unlikely.

Lastly, there are restrictions when performing a sneak attack, such as the one performing the sneak attack cannot be at disadvantage either for any reason. Also, weapons used for such an attack must be made either at range or have the light or reach property or specifically noted as being usable in this way. Finally, if closing to strike, one can only move half the normal movement with making a stealthy approach.

Getting The Drop

During a sneak attack, it is possible to “get the drop” on the opponent. This action can only be taken as a sneak attack; however, it offers an option for intimidation and bluffing rather pure bloodshed. Further, for this to be effective, the victim must be intelligent enough to recognize the threat and have the free will to surrender. “Getting the drop” on a wild animal or zombie is pointless. When the victim is not a valid target, the GM will inform the player to inflict the damage for the sneak attack, barring really bizarre circumstances such as attacking a phantasmal illusion.

However, when using such a blackmail in combat, a strong target is rarely the victim. Usual victims are children, elderly parents, a seriously wounded combatant and the like. The goal is not harming the victim as much as gaining a psychological advantage to coerce the mark’s allies to surrender or lay down their weapons.

To “get the drop,” the opponent must be unaware, the attacker rolls the dice as an attack but announces that damage will not be inflicted. What this means is the bow-shot is pointed at the back of the target's head or the knife is on the throat, but the actually inflicting of damage is being held. Also, the attacker is free to speak at this point as well, since it is his or her turn. From a game mechanics standpoint, until releasing the dominant position, the character who “got the drop” on the target can inflict all the previously rolled damage automatically on the next action an available reaction; further, the reaction is basically for any reason: when anyone else moves, target resists, or even the attacker just got bored. This is one of those cases when the reaction occurs first for determining the number results. Obviously, this is a bluff, a serious one, but a bluff designed to discourage others to continue to fight, give up an item, demand parley, provide a getaway or any object of persuasion. (Do you feel lucky, punk?)

Since the damage was not delivered, there is a bit of hope for the victim. When the aggressor does inflict the contingent damage, the victim can use a reaction however, choosing either a Strength or Agility check (Comp:20) to suffer only half damage. If the victim has foul-play, then that save is rolled at advantage. The Comp of that check lowers over time. If combat continues after the demand, then the timespan is each round, which at the end of each causes the Comp to lower by one point. If combat stops and parley beings, then the timespan is one minute for the Comp to lower one point of Comp. However, the minimum it can be lowered is to Comp:14, and the damage will always inflict at least 1 point.

This can be used with special maneuvers, such as drive or even grappling to create situations of potential damage. As an example, with drive, since the victim is unaware, he, she or it, could be pushed the edge of a precipice and held by the assailant, threatening to let go as part of this method. One could grab a victim near a pool of water or vat of acid, threatening to dunk one in. As with the damage explanation, there is no absolute guarantee the drop will work flawlessly after using it for parlay or other threat, but at times this may be more effective than inflicting points of damage. Characters are encouraged to be creative with their skills to create favorable strategies when getting the drop. As such, the GM may have to make additional rolls and considerations.

Further, “having the drop” is a little like using concentration for a magic effect. Because of this, others might be able to break “the drop” by inflicting damage against Body, Mind or Spirit, if the one with “the drop.” fails the associated Resilience/Mind/Muse check (Comp:14). This is a bit of a risk; however, as the one “having the drop” can use a reaction against anything and that reaction will apply first. Thus, attempting this will only work if choosing not to inflict damage to the drop victim. Then again, in these better-mousetrap scenarios, some magic, charms, sneak attacks could permit negate the potential to use a reaction. Hostage scenarios can be challenging, complicated and strategic.

Irregular Incidents

• An invisible ally
• Getting “the drop” on the “dropper”
• The victim can blink
• An ally uses a silent prayer to grant resistance to the victim
• Not all the allies have the reasoning power to understand
• The “dropper” is fighting an effect

Weapon Negation

When performing combat between armed combatants, a desire of both sides is to find a way to neutralize the effectiveness of the other’s weaponry. In the hand-to-hand perspective, the skills weapon lock and weapon disarm are some of the most effective ways to accomplish that goal. Weapon lock is a skill that uses a weapon in a way to lock the opponent’s weapon from being wielded effectively enough to strike. Weapon disarm is a skill that can be used in combination with the previous skill that physically removes the opponent’s weapon from his or her grip. While these are simple concepts, there are a lot of scenarios that have to be understood and considered.

With both skills, the attacker rolls a single chance to lock or remove the opponent’s weapon. It is important to note no matter how many skills complement these maneuvers, no matter what bonuses are granted for a weapon employed, the success roll is a single d20. Of course, what this means is if there is advantage or disadvantage, then two dice are thrown using the better or worse of the two, depending on the situation.

Once the feat is successful and the attacker has locked the weapon or has disarmed the opponent, there are a few items that must be resolved. First, due to the nature of this special attack, a rebuff cannot be used as a defense to block the attack. However, the victim will be allowed the option to use a reaction to prevent the effect which does not require possessing any skill. Obviously, the victim must have a reaction remaining for the round. For a weapon lock, the victim is allowed to make a Strength save competition against the attacker as a reaction to pull the weapon free by brute force. However, the attacker is at advantage on the d12 comparison. All modifiers for size and environments are otherwise normal.

The victim of a weapon disarm can use a reaction to resist the disarming maneuver. This means the torque applied continues longer, perhaps the attacker strikes part of the forearm instead of gaining an effective fulcrum to pry the weapon free, the victim slips the hilt free but the momentum pulls the attacker’s weapon into his face, or yet some other explanation results due to the resistance. The end result of the choice to resist the weapon being disarmed from a rules perspective is the victim is taken a gamble to maintain the hold on the weapon; however, it costs some minor damage and is not guaranteed to work. The inflicted damage is a base of 2 points, but the attacker’s weapon size (light, medium or heavy) adds to injury; thus, the resulting cost for resisting is 2 points against light weapons, 3 points for medium and 4 points for heavy. Of course, the damage type will be equivalent to what the weapon delivers in melee. After accepting the Body damage, the victim enters an Agility save competition with the attacker. But as with the lesser skill, the attacker is at advantage on the d12 roll. If the victim wins the competition, then the weapon remains held; if not, then the weapon is thrown some distance away.

Assuming the success of these skill, then the weapon has become pinned or has been disarmed. There are now options for all parties to consider. When a weapon is locked, whether immediately reacted to avoid or not, using future reactions to pull it free with brute force in future rounds would automatically fail and the weapon is held useless. Further, any bonuses, skills or maneuvers from the wielding that weapon in combat are lost. For example, parry and the opportunity to rebuff or riposte are not permitted.

The wielder of the pinned weapon can free his or her weapon; however, there is a cost to do so, which is equal to 2 attack dice. This means if the skills of his or her attack with that weapon add up to 2d20 for an attack, then the next action can be sacrificed in whole to free the held weapon. However, if the skills add up to 3d20, then on the next action, 2 dice are sacrificed but a 1d20 attack can still be made. Conversely, if the victim only has melee fighting or is unskilled, then this sacrifice of dice becomes spread over two rounds.

Another option to free the weapon is if a third party comes and applies a successful weapon lock against the original attacker placing the lock. Even if the reaction to prevent the pinning of that weapon is successful, the first locked weapon is freed.

Rather than trying to use brute strength, the victim could choose to use a reaction to release the pinned weapon. If this was not chosen at the moment of attack, the victim could choose to use a reaction on either the attacks turn or one’s own turn to drop the weapon. Obviously, this does not free the weapon, but it would allow switching to a different one on his or her person.

No attempt to free the weapon is required. The victim might be content to take other actions that require only one hand, such as drinking a option from a belt pouch or casting a verbal-only spell, likely at disadvantage.

Of course, when the employer of the weapon lock has his or her next turn come around, the decision to release the weapon and make a different attack or action is a choice. However, if the opponent's weapon is still pinned when the turn comes around, any action requiring the hands used to wield the weapon must me sacrificed to maintain the hold, but if not employing a two-handed weapon, then drinking a potion or casting a non-gestured spell would also be an option.

Like the victim, the entire time while maintaining the weapon lock, that combatant also loses the benefits from parry and other skills gained from active use of the primary weapon in combat. However, if the locker has shield-blitz, then a d20, of blunt damage can be inflicted - but only against the victim of the pinned weapon.

When disarming a victim, the attacker has no restriction after performing the maneuver. That said, the weapon is up for grabs. Part of luck and strategy is the timing of one’s action during the round. To pick up a weapon, there is a cost of 10 movement points, but as stated in the Saves subsection, while it doesn’t require an action, one must still have an action remaining for the round to pick up a free item. This means the attacker could not grab the weapon in the same action he or she disarmed the weapon, but if the victim still has an action, then it could be retrieved; however, understand that decision could make one susceptible to a flee attack.

Finally, those creative players are likely to combine many of these concepts. For example, a character with weapon lock and dual knifing might use two sai, locking the opponent’s weapon with one and “get the drop” with the damage of the other to negotiate a surrender. Obviously, all these methods and strategies allow for many creative options that are not built into other combat systems.


If that surrender is successfully negotiated, then the detainees will probably be tied up or placed in manacles. But what this mean? Are they completely helpless? The short answer is “mostly.” However, the more complex answer is “no.”

When a character is brought to zero Body and then revived, when a entity fails a save against the surrender incantation, when a being has been grappled and two successful manacle-touch attacks have been made, or other creative possibilities, then the victim placed in a combat restriction of “bound.” Further, if gagging the victim, then this prevents spells from being cast with the special exceptions. It is also not uncommon for a shackled prisoner to be blindfolded or have a hood placed over one's head to add the “blinded” restriction as well.

However, the “bound” restriction only reduces the combat ability and prevents certain weapon use. That said, some creatures under a “bound” restriction may not have weapons to wield anyway. However, those with martial arts or savage form do propose special cases. Further, there are options to escape the restriction, which are discussed next.

Shackling an enemy can be done in numerous ways and with different devices. A victim who is restricted as incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, stunned or unconscious can be “bound” with a single action if having ropes, manacles or the like at the ready. A charmed victim can be “bound” with a single action by the charmer - or with a coordination of efforts, using an action to instruct the victim to allow being tied or shackled, then the following action by who performs the restraints. It is possible to place someone in manacles who is actively fighting, but it is a difficult process. First, the victim must be successfully grappled. While under that restriction, an action per hand to be bound is required. The grappler does not have to be the same one to apply the manacles; however, whoever is applying the manacles must be the same person for all limbs. The exception is shackling a limb, retreating and allowing another to move in to apply subsequent shackling actions. Only after both arms are placed in manacles is the victim considered “bound”; however, the restriction only applies to those limbs. This means a jen’esse could still attack with its tail without being at disadvantage. Of course, specialized manacles have been created for various races and creatures, but it does require shackling those extra limbs as well. Lastly, binding a fighting victim with rope cannot be performed unless the one doing the tying has the knots skill, in which case, the actions are the same as manacles.

Escaping from the shackling is also possible by brute force or skills. If tied by rope, a victim with knots can attempt to untie the binding every five minutes as described in the skill. If there is something sharp available to cut the ropes, then this can be attempted every five minutes with a Agility feat (Comp:18); however, someone with the knots skill in addition gains a bonus of +4 to cut free. Also, one with lock-picking when placed in manacles could attempt to open them with a -4 penalty for being “bound,” but only if having access to picks. The GM might allow substitute objects to act as a pick in certain scenarios and with appropriate penalties.

Using brute force can be determined by the tables in the brute force subsection. However, standard manacles are iron with ¼-inch chains.