Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 Complete Rules 
 Features of Combat 
 The Encounter

The Encounter

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

The general concepts of combat were given in the Combat Basics section of the Game Starter manual; 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.

Considering that a fight begins before the actual first swing, it is important to discuss the events which lead up to combat -- things like Perception checks, surprise, how to handle advantage/disadvantage.


Hey, what’s that?

Determining whether something is noticed or not is the mechanism of Perception. Yes, the sub-attribute. This is used for non-obvious circumstances. If a boulder is in the road, no one has to make a Perception check to know it is there. However, if a stealthy follower is trailing the group, then it would be needed.

Also, most Perception checks are performed in secret by the GM when it becomes pertinent. However, a player might ask to actively scan the area for anything unusual. The roll again should be made in secret by the GM, but a +4 bonus would be used on the roll. Also, keep in mind, there are skills which train up a character’s awareness.

As a game mechanic, this is nothing more than a Perception check against the Comp of the thing to be noticed. For things that do not generate their own Comp from skills or magic, a base Comp used is 14. Conditions only apply if they are applicable. For example, mist would not be a factor for the friends cantrip.

The modifiers are sometimes applied to the one making the check. At other times, the Comp is modified. So long as the appropriate +/- is used, it does not really matter; however, it may be easier to think about it like this: if the effect is on the perceiver, modify the die roll; if the condition external, modify the Comp.

EventBase Comp
Natural Creature CamouflagePer Description
Magical ConcealmentPer Description
Naturally Obscured14
Skilled Stealth Hiding4d6 + Agility
Unskilled Hiding2d6 + Judgment Mod
ConditionComp Modifier
Dim Light+2
Deafness (Mostly Auditory Target)Disadvantage
Flying Target+2
Invisible TargetDisadvantage
Magical DarknessDisadvantage
Mist/Fog Obscurement+2
Slow-paced target(s)+2
Three or more Targets-2
Ten or more Targets-5
Twenty or more Targets-10
Tiny Target (Size: 1)+2

Putting all this in context of pre-battle, there will be times where an encounter is noticed long before there is a chance to start a battle. However, there will be scenarios where a street corner is turned to view a small group of thugs mugging victims. This is where a Perception check would be needed. The thugs might not notice your party closing in. The bookworm of your party might recognize the rest turned down the alley.


“The surprise is that you continue to be surprised.” ―Jill A. Davis

Not every encounter gives an equal opportunity to respond. This would be in cases of sleeping persons, being caught in an ambush or someone breaks parlay to attack. When the GM determines that surprise is involved, then there is an opportunity of a “surprise” round; however, how this works is not purely one side against the other but rather all individuals on the battlefield.

When an event or an entity’s action that creates combat, that episode occurs prior to any round. This could be an act of passion that no one expects or it could be a planned part of an ambush; however, that cast axiom or shot fired is resolved and calculated separate before starting the initial round of battle. Obviously, the one took the action is automatically aware. All others must make a Perception check to have an action in the immediate round. Depending on one's state and restrictions will impact the difficulty, which is by default Comp:14.

Those who had foreknowledge the trigger would happen are allowed to roll the Perception at advantage with the base being only Comp:10. While rare, even those prepared can be caught off guard or distracted at the wrong moment. All others who have no restrictions use the Comp:14 default, with of course only one d20. Finally, there are special circumstances that must be managed. These are usually detailed by the restriction type. For example, for someone who is asleep, he or she would suffer -3 (or Comp:17) on the check but would only be allowed a die roll if the event had noise, heat or smell.

Those who are aware, can take an action that first round; while those who failed the Perception check are considered surprised. This restriction does not mean the combatant is at disadvantage as no action can occur, but it merely means that combatant is not prepared to take an action quite yet. This could be one knows something is happening but cannot spot the threat to make an offensive action. This could mean one’s sword is unexpectedly stuck in its scabbard. Perhaps the combatant runs to do something, then gets distracted, changes his mind, goes to do a different action and becomes ineffective for the first round. In game terms, surprised beings do not take an action and cannot use movement during the first round.

While surprised targets are not at advantage to be attacked; however, they are potential targets for a sneak attack. The failed Perception check for surprise does not act as the first check of the sneak attack; when attempting to sneak attack a surprised victim, another check is made to see whether they are aware of that specific individual, which can vary greatly based on skills and magic. If aware, no sneak attack. If unaware, then see the details in the combat detailed subsection.

The following round (the second round), those who were in surprise can now interact normally. Of course, those who remained asleep would still be asleep but allowed another Perception check to wake. Of course, those wakened must make a second check to determine the state of surprise.

Part of plan10 at advantage
Asleepinitial roll:17 to wake
second roll: 14 for surprise
Asphyxiating14 at disadvantage
Poisoned14 at disadvantage
Underwater14 at disadvantage


“Tactics flow from a superior position” - Bobby Fischer

There are skills, magical effects and environmental circumstances which gives a character or monster a superior position or tactical dominance, which in game terms is called “advantage.” Likewise, the converse can occur where one is at “disadvantage.” When this happens for skill actions, unless stated otherwise, a being with advantage is granted an extra die for the roll. The default for disadvantage removes a die.

For example, if a character has melee fighting, granting the PC 1d20 for an attack, but circumstances are such that he or she has advantage, then that attack would be made with 1d20. Contrarily, if that same PC were at disadvantage, then the loss of a die would drop his or her attack to 0d20; so, how would that work? When the applicable dice fall to zero, then two dice are rolled using the worse score of the two.

However, in cases of physical combat, melee or range attacks, then there is another bonus or penalty to advantage/disadvantage. If at advantage when successfully striking an opponent, then an additional advantage crit is added, which means an additional 1 to 3 points of damage. This bonus or penalty of damage applies only to the primary attack. This crit is “non-exploding” so it cannot generate another crit. When at disadvantage, a “negative crit” applies, meaning 1 to 3 points are removed from the damage. If zero or a negative number occurs, then the attack acts as a miss, not allowing any other special powers or properties to transfer to the victim, such as infusion of ice. These special crits can only apply if one of the attack dice from one of the die pools successfully hit the target. Finally, on the damage component, it is applied by target, not by strike, meaning if multiple targets can be attacked at advantage, then those separate targets could each be inflicted with bonus damage. These details will become more clear in later.

For other scenarios, where damage is not a component and an extra die for advantage has no meaning, such as on a save, then two d20s are rolled, taking the better of the two scores. Two dice are also used for disadvantage, again using the worst of the two scores. Of course, remember competitions use d12s rather than d20s.

Advantages and disadvantages do not stack. If a creature has gained two advantages from multiple effects, the general rule is that creature is still only “at advantage” and rolls one extra die. The same is true for multiple disadvantages. However, if the circumstances and effects are such that a creature gains both advantage and disadvantage, then neither apply and the normal amount of dice are rolled. This is true even if multiple disadvantages apply while only one advantage occurs – and vice versa.

When having advantage or disadvantage along with another circumstance, such as a nhoblit’s chance trait, which allows a re-roll, then only one-die may be re-rolled. Even if both d20s score natural 1s, the player chooses only one dice to re-roll.

Final note: when at disadvantage, the character can only move half of his or her normal rate for the round.

Action Adjustment
CombatAdvantageextra d20 and +d3 damage
 Disadvantagelose d20; -d3 damage; and half movement
Save or CheckAdvantageuse two d20s, taking better score
 Disadvantageuse two d20s, taking lower score; and half movement
CompetitionAdvantageuse two d12s, taking better score
 Disadvantageuse two d12s, taking lower score; and half movement

Types of Damage

Another factor to consider before the fight begins is how the opponent can harm the player characters. Those three attributes, Body, Mind and Spirit, all can be harmed to be less efficient. In game terms, this is merely lowering the current point value. Most often when discussing about inflicted damage in a fantasy RPG, people tend to think about physical damage, but it is important to realized that corporeal injuries are not the only type of harm that can occur.

When it comes to damage against Body, it will often be some sort of weapon damage; however, those weapons might have poison on them; or acids might used; some undead inflict a life-withering damage; and so on. To separate these various methods, the types of physical damage are as follows: alchemical, blunt, cold, edged, fire, lightning, necrotic, piercing, poison and smite. One might recall there are traits that alter the amount of damage received by these different types. Armor is also an example of how damage protection works; e.g. studded leather has a PP base 5 but is 6 against blunt damage. Resistance halves the amount of damage received against a specific damage type. Immunity means that damage type cannot hurt the target. There is one further category called absorption, where damage that is inflicted actually heals the recipient. Also, at the other end, if something is vulnerable, then it will suffer twice the damage against that type.

Thus, there are some odd scenarios that might be considered. For example, if something is resistant and momentarily enchanted to be vulnerable, then these cancel each other, making the damage normal. Also, if multiple effects of the same type, such as being magically made resistant to fire and then given a ring that grants resistance to fire, these effects do not enhance the overall effect -- only resistance is gained. Remember the rule of internal combination.

All of this said, the broader point here is that there are various different ways in which damage is inflicted. Along with this plethera of damage types, there are many ways to alter those effects.