Combat

When a fight breaks out, or is about to break out, between two groups of

characters or monsters, timekeeping in the game switches to round-by-round

timekeeping and the rules in this chapter are followed.

Although in reality combat is fluid

with actions happening simultaneously, in Dark Dungeons the action is split into a number of discrete rounds during which each combatant (usually) gets one action. Within the round, the

action of each combatant is handled one at a time, in order of their

initiative.

Surprise

When two groups suddenly encounter each other, one or both sides may be surprised.

Assuming there are no special

circumstances, each group rolls 1d6. If that group rolls a 1 or 2, the group is

surprised and may not act in the first round of combat.

If both groups are surprised or neither group is surprised, then round-byround time simply starts as normal.

If one group is surprised and the other group is not, the group that is not

surprised gets a single round in which to act before the other group can act.

A group that gains the advantage of surprise in this way does not need to use it to attack the other side. They

can use it to parley or even to get a head start when fleeing.

In some circumstances, one side or the other might not need to roll for

surprise. For example, if a party just spent three rounds trying to break a door down, the monsters at the other side of the door cannot be surprised.

Similarly, if a thief has scouted ahead and the party are aware of the presence of the monsters, the party cannot be

surprised.

In some very unusual situations, it is possible that one particular member of a group may not be surprised while the rest of the group are. If that is the

case, the unsurprised member will be able to act in the first round but other

members of that group will not be able to.

The Combat Round

Each combat round is a period of ten seconds. During this time, each

combatant will normally perform a single action and possibly also move. The round is split up into three phases, which are always performed in order:

1) Statements of Intent 2) Initiative Roll 3) Actions (in initiative order)

When all phases have been performed, a new round starts with the first phase again. This continues until there is no more combat or round-by-round action (such as chasing fleeing combatants) happening.

Statement of Intent

At the start of each round, each player must announce what their characters are intending to do in the round, and the Game Master announces what the monsters will do.

The statement of intent phase is split into three segments, which proceed in order.

Firstly, players may announce what

actions their characters will be doing this round, if they wish their characters to do such actions urgently. If a player announces their character’s action at this time, their character is assumed

to be pressing on with that action

quickly, and the player will get a +1 bonus on their initiative roll this round.

However, the disadvantage of announcing at this time is that their intent is obvious to their enemies who may decide how to respond accordingly.

Secondly, the Game Master announces what actions the monsters will be doing this round, taking into account the

fact that the monsters will be aware of the intentions of the players that have

already announced such intentions.

Thirdly, players who wish their

characters to be fighting in a more cautious manner must announce what their characters will be doing this round. They have the advantage of not

declaring (or deciding) until after they know what the monsters are doing, but pay for this hesitancy by having a –1

penalty on their initiative roll this round.

When announcing their actions, people must specify whether they are going to attack (including target and whether a special attack such as a Smash will be used), run (including intended

destination), cast a spell (including which spell and which targets), or do another

action.

Initiative

Once everyone has announced their actions for the round, everyone rolls for initiative, in order to see who

manages to complete their actions first.

The basic roll for initiative is 1d6,

although there are various situations or abilities that can modify this roll:

.A player who declared a statement of intent before the monsters did gets +1. .A player who waited to see what the monsters were doing before declaring a statement of intent gets a –1. .Halflings get +1. .All characters add their Dexterity Initiative Modifier to the initiative roll. .Some spells (e.g. Statue) give bonuses or penalties to the initiative roll. .Some monsters get a bonus or penalty to their initiative roll. In some cases, an item or ability will specifically indicate that a character

or monster will either automatically win initiative or automatically lose

initiative.

If there is only one combatant using such an ability in a round, then the effect is straightforward. The

combatant does not need to roll for initiative, and instead automatically wins or

automatically loses depending on the ability.

If there is more than one combatant who “automatically wins” initiative then all those combatants will act

before everyone else, but they should roll initiative normally in order to

determine the order in which they go in relation to each other.

Similarly, if there is more than one combatant who “automatically loses” initiative then all those combatants

will act after everyone else, but they

should roll initiative normally in order to

determine the order in which they go in relation to each other.

When two or more combatants roll the same initiative total, their actions should take place simultaneously with the results of both actions being

resolved after both actions have taken place. Common sense should prevail here, although if both make attacks on each other, then it should be possible for both to kill each other

simultaneously.

When rolling for initiative, the

players should each roll individually for their characters. The Game Master should roll once per type of monster that the players are fighting, and roll

separately for leaders and/or other special

monsters.

Example: Elfstar and Aloysius are

fighting some zombies. Elfstar has already

Turned as many as she can, and Aloysius has run

out of spells, so they are both resorting to

melee attacks.

At the beginning of the round, Debbie

knows that zombies are slow and always lose

initiative. Therefore during the statement of

intent phase she waits to see what the zombies

are doing—knowing that even with the –1

penalty to initiative rolls Elfstar will still

act before they do.

Andy, on the other hand, knows that

Aloysius’s staff is a two handed weapon, and therefore also always loses initiative;

so he is going to have to roll against the

zombies. Wanting to finish off the zombie that

is attacking him before it gets another blow, he declares during the first part of the

statement of intent phase that Aloysius is hitting

that zombie with his staff. Because Andy

declared before the zombies, Aloysius will get a

+1 bonus to his initiative roll against

them.

The Game Master then gives the

statement of intent for the zombies.

The one that is attacking Aloysius will

continue to attack him, and the two that are attacking Elfstar will continue to

attack her. The other zombie—which is too far away

to attack anyone—will use its full

movement to close to melee range with Aloysius.

Debbie now gives her statement of

intent for Elfstar, which is to make a melee

attack on one of the zombies.

Initiative is rolled. Debbie doesn’t

bother rolling because everyone except for her

automatically loses initiative, so she automatically

acts first.

Andy and the Game Master both roll 1d6. Andy rolls a 4, which—with his +1 bonus for making an early statement of

intent—gives him an initiative of 5. The Game Master

rolls a 2 for the zombies.

Then everyone takes their actions:

Elfstar first, then Aloysius, then the zombies.

Actions

The following actions are commonly used by combatants during Dark Dungeons combat. The list is not exhaustive, as unusual situations may require unusual actions to be performed, such as breaking down a door.

In these cases, extrapolate from the listed actions in order to determine when the action can be done, how it affects initiative, and whether a

character can also move in the same round.

Activate Magic Item: A combatant who declares that they are activating a magic item (such as a wand or scroll) must declare which item they are

activating, which of the item’s powers they wish to use, and who the targets are

(if any).

Only some magic items need to be activated in this way. See Chapter 19: Treasure for more details about magic items.

The combatant is considered to be in the process of activating the item from the start of the round until their

action is resolved. If they take any damage before their turn (because someone who beat their initiative attacked

them, for example) the activation is

disrupted.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared an activate magic item action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing the activation to be disrupted if it is not yet complete.

If the activation is disrupted, the

item still counts as having been used.

Depending on the item and power being activated, this may result in charges

or ‘per day’ usages being used up, or even the destruction of the item if it was a single use item such as a scroll.

A combatant may abandon their

activation action entirely (for example if their chosen target is no longer valid or if

the activation got disrupted) but may not otherwise change the target, item or power during their action.

Attack: A combatant who declares that they are making an attack (whether in melee, by throwing something, or by firing a missile weapon) must declare who they are attacking during the

statement of intent phase.

A combatant who declares that they are attacking with a two handed melee weapon automatically loses initiative.

A combatant who is attacking can move their normal per-round movement distance (40’ for an unencumbered character) before making the attack, but may not move after the

attack.

Normally a combatant can make only a single attack per attack action, but some combatants are capable of making multiple attacks. These multiple attacks occur as part of the same

action and on the same initiative, and the combatant cannot move between attacks. If a combatant has multiple attacks, then they must declare the target for each attack during the statement of intent phase.

If any of the attacks are disarm

attacks, this must also be declared during the statement of intent phase.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared an attack action.

When taking their action, the combatant must move toward and attack the target(s) that they declared attacks

on. They cannot change targets during the round, although they can simply abandon either the movement or the attack or both, and simply not make one or the other if they choose.

If a combatant abandons the attack, they may not change their action.

Example: During the statement of intent phase, Marcie declares that Black Leaf

is going to stab the goblin that is

guarding the door. The Game Master declares that the goblin is going to try to run away.

When initiative is rolled, Marcie rolls

a 1 for Black Leaf and the Game Master rolls a

5 for the goblin. Even with Black Leaf’s

initiative bonuses for her high dexterity and for declaring first, the lucky goblin still

beats her initiative roll and acts before her.

On the goblin’s action, it runs away

from Black Leaf as fast as it can—which is

at three times its normal per-round

movement speed (i.e. 3 x 30’ = 90’), shouting

for reinforcements to come and help fight the adventurers.

On Black Leaf’s turn, she can move a

normal move (40’) towards the goblin and

attack. She cannot reach the goblin with this move,

but decides to make it anyway. Since she is

not within melee range, she cannot make her

melee attack so must abandon it.

Cast Spell: A combatant who declares that they are casting a spell must

declare which spell they are casting and who the targets are (if any).

The magical special abilities of

monsters are considered spells for this purpose, even if they do not exactly match the description of a standard spell.

In order to cast a spell, a caster must

be able to speak and must have at least one hand free to gesture.

The caster is considered to be in the process of casting the spell from the start of the round until their action

is resolved. If they take any damage

before their turn (because someone who beat their initiative attacked them,

for example) the spell casting is

disrupted.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a cast spell action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing their spell to be disrupted if casting is not

yet complete.

If the spell is disrupted, the spell

slot is still used up.

A caster may abandon their spell

casting action entirely (for example if their chosen target is no longer valid or if

the spell got disrupted) but may not

otherwise change the target or spell during their action.

Charge: A character can only charge if they are using a weapon with that

ability and if they are mounted.

A combatant who declares that they are making a charge must declare the target during the statement of intent phase.

The character moves up to their mount’s normal per-round movement speed, and makes a single attack

against their target the end of the movement.

If the attack hits, it does double the normal damage.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a charge action.

Concentrate: Some spells or other effects require ongoing concentration.

A combatant who declares that they are concentrating to maintain an effect must declare what the effect is that

they are concentrating on, and if the effect

is one that can be changed or moved by concentration they must also declare how they are changing or moving it. If the combatant also wishes to move in the round that they are concentrating, they must also declare where they are moving to.

A combatant who is concentrating may move up to half their normal per-round movement speed during their action (usually 20’ for an unencumbered

character).

The concentration is assumed to last for the entire round, so if the

combatant who is concentrating takes any damage during the round they will lose their concentration and the effect that requires concentration to maintain will end.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a concentrate action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing their concentration to be disrupted.

A combatant whose concentration has been disrupted before their action may still make their declared movement.

Fighting Withdrawal: This action may only be declared if the combatant is in melee at the start of the round.

This is similar to a normal attack

action in that the character can move their normal per-round movement rate (usually 40’ for an unencumbered

character) and then make one or more attacks.

However, instead of being committed to attacking their target, and moving

if necessary to reach the target; the

combatant is instead committed to moving away from their target.

If the target acts before the character doing the fighting withdrawal, the

withdrawing character gets their full defences against any attacks the target might do.

If the target acts after the character doing the fighting withdrawal, and

follows them in order to attack them, the withdrawing character interrupts the attacking character after movement but before their attack in order to make their own attack.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a fighting withdrawal action.

Parry: The parry action is only

available to some characters who get it as a class option.

A character who is using the parry

action can move up to their normal per- round movement speed (usually 40’ for an unencumbered character), but cannot make any attacks.

During the entire round (both before and after the character’s initiative),

all melee and throwing attacks—but not missile attacks—made against the

character are made with a –4 penalty on their attack rolls.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a parry action.

Run: A combatant using the run action can move up to three times their normal per-round movement speed (usually 120’ for an unencumbered character).

The combatant must declare where they are running to during the

statement of intent phase—although this may be towards a moving target such as towards another combatant.

A character who chooses the run action may not change where they are running to, but may stop running at any time short of their intended destination.

A combatant who is running does not count their shield bonus towards their armour class.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a run action.

Set Spear: A character can only set a spear if they are using a weapon with that ability.

A combatant who declares that they are setting a spear against possible

charges does not need to specify targets.

The character braces their weapon against the ground for the whole round, and waits for incoming attacks.

If, at any point during the round, the combatant is attacked by someone using the charge action, they may interrupt the charging character’s action after movement but before their attack in order to make their own attack.

If this attack hits the charging

opponent, it does double damage, the effects of which are resolved before the

charging opponent gets their attack.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a set spear action.

Smash: The smash action is only

available to some characters who get it as a class option.

A character who declares that they are making a smash action must declare the target during the statement of intent phase.

A character performing a smash action always loses initiative.

On the character’s action, they make a single melee attack against their

target with a –5 penalty to hit. If the attack hits, the combatant may add their strength score to the damage done by the attack, as well as adding their strength bonus as normal.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a smash action.

Use Non-Activatable Item: A combatant who declares that they are using a non-activatable item (such as a ring

or potion) must declare which item they are using, which of the item’s powers they wish to use, and who the targets are (if any). If the combatant also wishes to move in the round that they are using the item, they must also

declare where they are moving to.

Only some magic items can be used without activation in this way. See Chapter 19: Treasure for more details about magic items.

A combatant who is using a

nonactivatable item can move their normal per-round movement distance (40’ for an unencumbered character) before using the item, but may not move after using it.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they use a non-activatable item.

When taking their action, the combatant cannot change targets during the round, although they can simply abandon either the movement or the usage or both, and simply not make one or the other if they choose.

If a combatant abandons the attack, they may not change their action.

Attack Rolls

When a combatant makes an attack, their base chance to hit an opponent is determined by adding the defender’s Armour Class to the attacker’s Attack Bonus. Either of these may be modified by such things as spells, magical

items, and high ability scores. The total of these is called the To-Hit Value.

If the attacker is a character, their

at- tack bonus is based on their class and level. See Chapter 4: Creating a

Character for details on level based character abilities. If the attacker is a monster, their

attack bonus is based on their hit dice. See Chapter 18: Monsters for details on

mon- ster hit dice. To determine if an attack hits, take

the to-hit value and add a roll of 1d20 to

it. If the total of the value plus roll is greater than or equal to 20, then the attack hits; otherwise it misses. Rolling a 1 on the d20 before modifiers (called a “natural 1”) is always a

miss, regardless whether the total is greater than 20 or not. Rolling a 20 on the d20 before

modifiers (called a “natural 20”) is always a hit regardless whether the total is greater than 20 or not. If the to-hit value is already greater than 20 before adding the d20 roll, the attack will do extra damage if it hits. Each two points (round odd points up) that the to-hit value exceeds 20 by means that the attack will do 1 extra point of damage. Example: A 3rd level fighter has a base

at- tack bonus of +2, and has a +3 bonus to

hit from various sources. They are

attacking a target that is armour class 6.

Therefore the fighter’s to-hit value is 2+3+6 = 11.

If the fighter rolls 8 or less on their to-hit

roll they will miss their target since 11+8 is

less than the 20 that they need. If the fighter

rolls 9 or higher on their to-hit roll they will

hit their target since 11+9=20. Example: A 1 hit dice creature has an

attack bonus of +1, and is attacking a target

that is armour class –8. The monster has no

other bonuses to hit. Therefore the monster

has a to- hit value of –7. If the monster rolls a

19 or less then it will miss its target since

–7+19 is less than 20. If the monster rolls a 20

then it will hit its target since although –

7+20 is also less than 20, a natural 20 always hits. Example: A 36th level fighter has a

base attack bonus of +23, and a +13 bonus to

hit from various sources. When attacking a

target that is armour class 1, the fighter has

a to-hit value of 23+13-1 = 35. If the fighter

rolls a 1 on their to-hit roll they will miss

their target since a natural 1 always misses. If the fighter rolls 2 or higher on

their to-hit roll they will hit their target since

2+35>20. Since the to-hit value is more than 20

even before adding the d20 roll, the fighter

will do extra damage on a hit. Specifically,

since it is 15 more, the fighter will do +8 damage

on a hit. If you find it easier to look things up on a table rather than add and subtract numbers, Table 10-2 shows the d20 roll that is needed to hit opponents with various armour classes based on the attack bonus of the attacker. Type of Cover To-Hit Modifier Soft cover up to knees -1 Soft cover up to waist -2 Looking around or through soft cover -3 Fully behind soft cover -4 Hard cover up to knees -2 Hard cover up to waist -4 Looking around or through hard cover -6 Fully behind hard cover Can’t Attack Table 10-1: Cover

Table 10-2: To-Hit Values by Attack Bonus vs Armour Class

Attack

Armour Class

Bonus

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

-1

-2

-3

-4

-5

-6

-7

-8

-9

-10

-11

-12

-13

-14

-15

-16

-17

-18

-19

-20

+ 0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

+1

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

+ 2

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

+3

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

+ 4

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

+5

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

+ 6

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

+7

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

+ 8

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

+9

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

+ 10

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

+11

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

+ 12

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

+13

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

+ 14

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

+15

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

+ 16

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

+17

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

+ 18

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

+19

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

+ 20

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

+21

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

+ 22

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

+23

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

+ 24

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Table 10-2: To-Hit Values by Attack Bonus vs Armour Class

Attack

Armour Class

Bonus

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

-1

-2

-3

-4

-5

-6

-7

-8

-9

-10

-11

-12

-13

-14

-15

-16

-17

-18

-19

-20

+ 25

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

+26

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

+ 27

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

+28

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

+ 29

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

+30

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

+ 31

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

+32

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

+ 33

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

+34

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

+ 35

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

+36

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

+ 37

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

+38

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

+ 39

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

+40

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

+ 41

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

+42

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

+ 43

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

+44

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

+ 45

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

+46

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

+ 47

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

+48

24!

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

+ 49

25!

24!

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

If the result of comparing the attack bonus with the armour class is a number with an exclamation mark (e.g. “5!”), then the attacker needs to roll anything other than a natural 1 on

their 1d20 roll in order to hit their

opponent, and the attack will do extra damage equal to the indicated number.

If necessary, table 10-2 can be

extended in each direction following the same pattern.

When increasing attack bonus beyond the existing table, simply shift the

columns one space to the right for each extra point of attack bonus.

Attack Modifiers

Various factors will affect the to-hit

roll of an attack. Some, such as the

attacker having weapon feats, will make it

easier for them to hit their target by giving

a bonus to the to-hit value. Some, such as the target being invisible, will

make it more difficult for the attacker to hit them.

Attribute Modifier: An attacker adds their relevant attribute modifier (whether a bonus or penalty) to attack rolls. Strength is the relevant ability

for melee attacks and attacks using hurled melee weapons. Dexterity is the

relevant ability for other thrown weapon attacks and missile weapon attacks.

Cover: If the target of a missile, thrown or hurled attack is partially or wholly hidden behind an object (e.g. a parapet or a table, or is behind an

arrow slit), the attacker gets a penalty as shown on Table 10-2: Cover. Soft cover is cover that blocks sight of the

target but will allow attacks through (such as smoke or a curtain). Hard cover is cover that will block both sight and attacks (such as a wall or an

overturned table).

Haste/Slow: An attacker gains a +2 bonus to hit for every level of speed (either because they are hasted or

their target is slowed) that they have above their target’s speed. Similarly, an

attacker gains a –2 penalty to his for every level of speed they have below their target’s speed.

Magical Weapons: Magical weapons can give an attacker a bonus (or very occasionally a penalty in the case of cursed items) on their to-hit rolls. In the case of magical missile weapons, the bonuses on the weapon and the ammunition stack.

Off Hand: If a combatant is using a weapon in their off hand and that weapon does not have the “Off Hand” ability, all attacks with that weapon have a –4 penalty on to-hit rolls, and the combatant is treated for all

purposes as having one fewer weapon feat with that weapon than they actually have.

Range: If a ranged attack is made at short range for the weapon, the

attacker has a +1 bonus to hit with the attack. If it is made at long range,

the attacker has a –1 penalty to hit with

the attack. See Chapter 6: Weapon Feats for weapon ranges.

Smash Attacks: Smash attacks get a –5 penalty on their to-hit rolls.

Sneak Attacks: When a thief attacks a target who is unaware of them gets a +4 bonus to hit. This stacks with the normal +2 bonus for the attack being unseen.

Note that the target must be completely unaware of the thief’s presence. It is not enough for the thief to be

simply behind their target, the thief must also have made a Move Silently check or otherwise be unknown to the target.

Thieves can only make sneak attacks with melee weapons or with missile, thrown or hurled weapons at short range.

If the thief makes multiple attacks in the same action, all such attacks get

the +4 bonus.

Unseen Attacks: If an attacker attacks from above or behind their target, or

is invisible, or otherwise can’t be

directly seen by the target in a combat

situation; the attacker gets a +2 bonus to hit,

and the target cannot count any shield

bonus towards their armour class.

Unseen Target: If a target is not

visible to the attacker for any reason, the attacker has a –4 penalty to hit with melee attacks, and cannot attack with ranged attacks.

Weapon Feats: The level of weapon proficiency that an attacker has with the weapon they are using will give anywhere from a +0 bonus to a +8 bonus to hit with the attack. See

Chapter

6: Weapon Feats for details about the bonuses given to different weapons at different levels of proficiency. Armour Class Modifiers

The armour class of an unarmoured character will normally be 9. That is

the default value for an average person. Monsters often have better (i.e. lower) armour classes than that because of their tough hides, better-than-human agility, or a combination of the two.

That armour class will be modified either upwards (making the character easier to hit) or downwards (making the character harder to hit) by various things.

Armour: Characters who are wearing armour will have a better armour class than 9. This ranges from AC 7 when wearing leather armour to AC 0 when wearing suit armour.

Only one set of armour may be worn at a time, and adding or removing a helmet does not change the armour class granted by armour.

Monsters who wear armour get either their normal armour class or the armour class granted by the armour they are wearing, whichever is better.

Dexterity Modifier: A character must subtract their dexterity modifier from their armour class (not add it).

Characters with high dexterity are harder to hit.

Small: Because of their small size, halflings get a –2 bonus to armour

class against attacks from creatures larger than human sized.

Shield: A character wielding a shield gets a –1 bonus to their armour class, except for attacks which come from unseen attackers or attacks made while they are running.

Weapon Feats: Some weapons give their wielders bonuses to armour class at higher proficiency levels.

These bonuses may work against all attacks or may only work against

certain types of attack.

The armour class bonuses from high proficiency with a weapon cannot be used in rounds during which the

character is performing the Run, Set Spear or Smash actions, and it can only be used in rounds during which the character is performing a Activate Magic Item, Cast Spell or Concentrate action if the

character’s action has already been disrupted or if the character is willing to

immediately disrupt their action by using the armour class bonus.

Missile Weapons & Melee

If a character is in melee with other combatants when their action occurs, they can not use a missile weapon.

Thrown and hurled weapons may still be used in this situation.

Haste & Slow

Characters can be hasted or slowed by the Haste and Slow spell, and also by other similar effects.

Multiple versions of the same hasting or slowing effect do not stack, but

different effects (e.g. a Haste spell and a Potion of Speed) do stack, to a maximum of double effect.

The effects of haste and slow on a character are as follows:

Double-Slowed: The character moves at a quarter of normal speed, and makes attacks at a quarter of their

normal rate. They also automatically lose initiative.

Slowed: The character moves at half normal speed and makes attacks at half their normal rate. They also get a –2 penalty on their initiative rolls.

Hasted: The character moves at double normal speed and makes attacks at double their normal rate. They also get a +2 bonus on their initiative rolls.

Double-Hasted: The character moves at four times normal speed, and makes attacks at four times their normal

rate. They also automatically win initiative.

Magical actions, such as using magical devices or casting spells are not

affected by haste and slow, and always take the normal time to perform.

However, the character still gets the initiative bonus or penalty; and if the magical action is one that also allows movement in the same round, that movement is affected normally by the haste or slow.

Characters may find that they a making half an attack per round or one and a half attacks per round when slowed. In these cases, the character’s “half”

attack is made every other round.

Two Weapon Fighting

When a character wields a weapon in either hand, they make one extra attack with their off hand weapon in addition to however many attacks they get with their primary weapon.

If the weapon being used in the off hand does not have the “Off Hand” ability, then the attacker is treated

as having one fewer weapon feat with the weapon for all purposes, and there is

an additional –4 penalty to hit.

The additional off hand attack is not modified by the number of attacks gained at high level and is not

affected by haste or slow conditions.

Example: Oeric is a 25th level fighter

and is fighting a creature that he only needs

to roll a 2 to hit, and so he normally gets three

attacks per round. He is wielding a normal

sword in his main hand and a dagger in his off

hand. He is a grand master with both weapons.

He is also hasted.

Each round, Oeric gets 6 attacks with

his sword (3 per round doubled for the

haste spell) plus a single attack with his dagger.

The sword attacks are done at grand master

level, and the dagger attack is done at master

level with an additional –4 penalty to hit.

Damage

When an attack hits, it will usually do damage to its target, reducing the

target’s hit points.

When player characters hit with

attacks, the amount of damage that they do is based on their level of proficiency

with the weapon that they are using (see Chapter 6: Weapon Feats for details).

When a monster attacks, the amount of damage it does with each attack will be listed in the monster’s description.

The amount of damage done by an attack may be changed by various things

Hurled Weapons: A weapon with a hurl range is one that is not normally thrown, but with great skill and effort can be hurled at an opponent. Because such weapons are not aerodynamic and do not fly well, opponents who are not surprised by the attack may make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to take half damage. However, the first time in each fight that an opponent has the weapon thrown at them, they must roll for surprise at normal chances due to the unexpected nature of the attack.

Magical Weapons: Magical weapons can give an attacker a bonus (or very occasionally a penalty in the case of cursed items) to their damage rolls. In the case of magical missile weapons, the bonuses on the weapon and the ammunition stack.

Smash Attacks: When a character makes a smash attack, they add their strength score to the amount of damage they do, in addition to adding their strength modifier as normal.

Sneak Attacks: When a thief makes an attack that is not only unseen but is against a target that does not know the location of the thief (this will

normally require a successful Move Silently

check to be made by the thief’s player), the thief does double damage with that attack.

Thieves can only make sneak attacks with melee weapons or with missile, thrown or hurled weapons at close range.

Table 10-3: Simple Building/Structure Combat Ratings

Type of Structure Armour Class vs Missile Armour Class vs Melee Structure Points Simple Wooden Building -4 6 40 Simple Stone Building -4 6 60 Reinforced Wooden Stockade -4 6 300 Barred Wooden Palisade Gate -8 2 100 Reinforced Stone Castle Wall -4 6 500 Reinforced Iron Door -10 2 35 Iron Portcullis -4 6 150 Wooden Ship See Chapter 12 See Chapter

12 See Chapter 12

If a thief makes a sneak attack with a hurled weapon, the target is

automatically considered to be surprised by the attack and cannot make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to take half

damage, even if the thief has hurled a weapon at them previously in the fight.

If the thief makes multiple attacks in the same action, all such attacks have their damage doubled.

Strength Modifier: If a character makes a melee, hurled or thrown attack, they must add their strength modifier to the damage that the attack does.

Characters do not add their strength modifier to attacks made with missile weapons.

Effects of Damage

A combatant who has at least one hit point left can fight on without

penalty. When a combatant has no hit points left, they are knocked unconscious and may die.

There is no such thing as “negative”

hit points. A character either has hit

points left or has run out.

Hit points are not a direct

representation of physical toughness. They are rather an abstract representation of

the ability of a combatant to fight on.

Hit points are a mixture of pain,

fatigue, luck, and fighting skill., and losing hit points represents a wearing down of all these to the point where a combatant is in danger of being killed by the next blow. Until that point, however, characters taking damage are assumed to be using their fighting

skill and luck to avoid direct hits from

their opponents, taking only light scratches, bruises and nicks from attacks at the most; and the hit points they are

losing represent that extreme effort taking

its toll on the character.

Example: in the hands of a moderately

proficient user, a normal sword will do 1d8 damage to someone who is hit by it. That has a

better than 50% chance of incapacitating a

commoner, resulting in them being knocked

unconscious by the blow and probably starting to bleed to death. Clearly the commoner

has taken a nasty stab wound from the sword

that they are unlikely to recover from,

perhaps a chest wound resulting in a punctured

lung or something similar.

However, if a 10th level character is

“hit” by that same sword blow, the 1d8 damage

will have no chance of killing them and will

only take away a small proportion of their

total hit points.

This does not mean that the 10th level

character is somehow able to be stabbed in the

chest repeatedly and not be killed by such

wounds. That would be ridiculous. Clearly the

character managed to deflect or dodge the blow

that would have killed a lesser combatant,

and rather than the sword stabbing them in

the chest it merely scratched them as they

twisted to desperately avoid the worst of the

blow. It’s left them a little shaken and fatigued, but

they’ll be able to continue fighting for a

while yet.

If a few more sword blows hit the

fighter, taking them down to only a handful of hit

points left, then they are clearly exhausted;

so battered and worn down that they may be unable

to parry or dodge any more such blows and

the next one may hit them squarely and kill

them.

Helpless Targets

A target who is completely helpless because they are paralysed, sleeping or unconscious may be given a Coup de Grace with any edged weapon.

This will immediately knock them

unconscious (if they weren’t already) and make them start dying as if they had run out of hit points, but will not

actually cause them to lose any hit points.

Dying & Death

When a character runs out of hit points, they fall unconscious and can take no more actions.

At the end of the round in which they fell unconscious, the character must make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to stay alive.

If the saving throw fails, the

character dies.

The saving throw must be repeated at the end of each subsequent round until either the character dies or they

either have their wounds tended by a character who successfully uses the First Aid skill on them or are given magical

healing.

However, each saving throw after the first gets a cumulative –1 penalty.

Example: Gretchen and Elfstar are

fighting a giant. Unfortunately, Gretchen only has

7 hit points left, and the giant hits her for

21 damage.

Gretchen now has 0 hit points (the

extra damage is ignored) and falls

unconscious.

At the end of the round, Gretchen must

roll a saving throw vs Death Ray. She makes

the roll and survives the round.

The following round, Elfstar is stuck,

unable to tend to her friend because of the

giant. Instead she attacks the giant and hurts it

badly.

At the end of the round, Gretchen rolls

a second saving throw vs Death Ray, this

time at a –1 penalty. She makes this one

too.

In the third round, Elfstar again

attacks the giant, and manages to kill it.

At the end of this round, Gretchen

makes her third saving throw with a –2 penalty

this time. Again, she makes it.

The fight with the giant is now over,

but since Gretchen is in danger of bleeding to

death, the Game Master continues to use round-by-

round timekeeping.

In the fourth round, Elfstar doesn’t

want to risk trying to bandage Gretchen’s

wounds in case she fails the First Aid check,

Instead she casts a Cure Light Wounds spell on

Gretchen.

Debbie, Elfstar’s player, rolls 1d6+1

for the spell, and gets a 4. Gretchen is healed

back up to 4 hit points, and does not need to

make any more saving throws to avoid dying.

Now that the immediate danger is over, Gretchen and Elfstar start to bandage

their wounds.

Structures in Combat

Sometimes combat will not just involve creatures, but will also involve

structures such as buildings and/or ships taking damage.

This may be incidental to the fight, or one or both sides in the fight may be deliberately targeting structures.

While a full siege is dealt with in

Chapter

14: War! the following rules can be used when there is a simple attack;

such as a tribe of goblins using a battering ram to break down a town gate, or two ships exchanging cannon fire. Attacking a structure is just the same

as attacking a creature—the attacker rolls a to-hit roll based on their attack

bonus and the structure’s armour class.

However, damage is handled differently, since structures are much tougher than creatures but don’t get fatigued.

Normal hand held weapons (including hand held missile weapons) do no damage to structures. While it’s possible to totally destroy a wooden building with an axe, it’s simply not possible to do

it during the course of a few combat rounds.

Attacks from ogre sized or larger

creatures, siege weapons and magic spells do affect structures.

Wooden structures lose 1 structure point for each 2 hit points of damage done by such attacks, although

creatures which eat wood do full damage.

Stone structures lose 1 structure point for each 5 points of damage done by such attacks, although creatures who can burrow through rock do full damage.

Morale

Although players will always decide whether to stand and fight or to

retreat when a fight seems to be going against them, sometimes the Game Master needs to quickly determine whether an NPC or a monster will run or fight.

In the case of monsters, each monster listing in Chapter 18: Monsters has a

base morale score. In the case of hirelings employed by PCs, their base morale score will be based on the charisma of the designated party leader. See Table

31 for charisma bonuses and Chapter 8: Equipping for Adventure for more

information on employing hirelings.

When a fight appears to be going against an individual or a group, the Game Master may make a Morale Check for them.

A morale check is made by rolling 2d6 and comparing it to the base morale score of the individual or group. If

the roll is less than or equal to their

base morale score then they will continue to fight, but if it is greater than their

base morale score then they will either

flee, surrender, or attempt to halt the fight and parley.

Characters with extremely high charisma scores may provide their followers with such a high base morale score that they will never fail a morale

check even with extreme situational

penalties.

Morale checks should be made at the beginning of the Statement of Intent

phase of combat, before the monsters or NPCs decide on their action for the round.

The exact times when a morale check is needed may vary from fight to fight, but can include such times as:

.Opponents start a fight when the group does not wish to fight. .Opponents display vastly superior magic or fighting ability. .Half the group is slain or

incapacitated. .Members of the group have already fled. .The group’s leader is slain or

incapacitated. .Opponents kill a significant number of the group in a single round. .Opponents display willingness to escalate the fight (killing in a fight that was previously non-lethal). .Reinforcements arrive to shore up the opponents’ numbers. .An individual is badly wounded (less than half hit points). .Opponents make an offer to accept a surrender. Although there are many possible

situations listed above that might require morale checks, such checks should not be overused. Creatures should not be checking morale more than two or three times in a fight at the most. When a fight breaks out, or is about to break out, between two groups of

characters or monsters, timekeeping in the game switches to round-by-round

timekeeping and the rules in this chapter are followed.

Although in reality combat is fluid

with actions happening simultaneously, in Dark Dungeons the action is split into a number of discrete rounds during which each combatant (usually) gets one action. Within the round, the

action of each combatant is handled one at a time, in order of their

initiative.

Surprise

When two groups suddenly encounter each other, one or both sides may be surprised.

Assuming there are no special

circumstances, each group rolls 1d6. If that group rolls a 1 or 2, the group is

surprised and may not act in the first round of combat.

If both groups are surprised or neither group is surprised, then round-byround time simply starts as normal.

If one group is surprised and the other group is not, the group that is not

surprised gets a single round in which to act before the other group can act.

A group that gains the advantage of surprise in this way does not need to use it to attack the other side. They

can use it to parley or even to get a head start when fleeing.

In some circumstances, one side or the other might not need to roll for

surprise. For example, if a party just spent three rounds trying to break a door down, the monsters at the other side of the door cannot be surprised.

Similarly, if a thief has scouted ahead and the party are aware of the presence of the monsters, the party cannot be

surprised.

In some very unusual situations, it is possible that one particular member of a group may not be surprised while the rest of the group are. If that is the

case, the unsurprised member will be able to act in the first round but other

members of that group will not be able to.

The Combat Round

Each combat round is a period of ten seconds. During this time, each

combatant will normally perform a single action and possibly also move. The round is split up into three phases, which are always performed in order:

1) Statements of Intent 2) Initiative Roll 3) Actions (in initiative order)

When all phases have been performed, a new round starts with the first phase again. This continues until there is no more combat or round-by-round action (such as chasing fleeing combatants) happening.

Statement of Intent

At the start of each round, each player must announce what their characters are intending to do in the round, and the Game Master announces what the monsters will do.

The statement of intent phase is split into three segments, which proceed in order.

Firstly, players may announce what

actions their characters will be doing this round, if they wish their characters to do such actions urgently. If a player announces their character’s action at this time, their character is assumed

to be pressing on with that action

quickly, and the player will get a +1 bonus on their initiative roll this round.

However, the disadvantage of announcing at this time is that their intent is obvious to their enemies who may decide how to respond accordingly.

Secondly, the Game Master announces what actions the monsters will be doing this round, taking into account the

fact that the monsters will be aware of the intentions of the players that have

already announced such intentions.

Thirdly, players who wish their

characters to be fighting in a more cautious manner must announce what their characters will be doing this round. They have the advantage of not

declaring (or deciding) until after they know what the monsters are doing, but pay for this hesitancy by having a –1

penalty on their initiative roll this round.

When announcing their actions, people must specify whether they are going to attack (including target and whether a special attack such as a Smash will be used), run (including intended

destination), cast a spell (including which spell and which targets), or do another

action.

Initiative

Once everyone has announced their actions for the round, everyone rolls for initiative, in order to see who

manages to complete their actions first.

The basic roll for initiative is 1d6,

although there are various situations or abilities that can modify this roll:

.A player who declared a statement of intent before the monsters did gets +1. .A player who waited to see what the monsters were doing before declaring a statement of intent gets a –1. .Halflings get +1. .All characters add their Dexterity Initiative Modifier to the initiative roll. .Some spells (e.g. Statue) give bonuses or penalties to the initiative roll. .Some monsters get a bonus or penalty to their initiative roll. In some cases, an item or ability will specifically indicate that a character

or monster will either automatically win initiative or automatically lose

initiative.

If there is only one combatant using such an ability in a round, then the effect is straightforward. The

combatant does not need to roll for initiative, and instead automatically wins or

automatically loses depending on the ability.

If there is more than one combatant who “automatically wins” initiative then all those combatants will act

before everyone else, but they should roll initiative normally in order to

determine the order in which they go in relation to each other.

Similarly, if there is more than one combatant who “automatically loses” initiative then all those combatants

will act after everyone else, but they

should roll initiative normally in order to

determine the order in which they go in relation to each other.

When two or more combatants roll the same initiative total, their actions should take place simultaneously with the results of both actions being

resolved after both actions have taken place. Common sense should prevail here, although if both make attacks on each other, then it should be possible for both to kill each other

simultaneously.

When rolling for initiative, the

players should each roll individually for their characters. The Game Master should roll once per type of monster that the players are fighting, and roll

separately for leaders and/or other special

monsters.

Example: Elfstar and Aloysius are

fighting some zombies. Elfstar has already

Turned as many as she can, and Aloysius has run

out of spells, so they are both resorting to

melee attacks.

At the beginning of the round, Debbie

knows that zombies are slow and always lose

initiative. Therefore during the statement of

intent phase she waits to see what the zombies

are doing—knowing that even with the –1

penalty to initiative rolls Elfstar will still

act before they do.

Andy, on the other hand, knows that

Aloysius’s staff is a two handed weapon, and therefore also always loses initiative;

so he is going to have to roll against the

zombies. Wanting to finish off the zombie that

is attacking him before it gets another blow, he declares during the first part of the

statement of intent phase that Aloysius is hitting

that zombie with his staff. Because Andy

declared before the zombies, Aloysius will get a

+1 bonus to his initiative roll against

them.

The Game Master then gives the

statement of intent for the zombies.

The one that is attacking Aloysius will

continue to attack him, and the two that are attacking Elfstar will continue to

attack her. The other zombie—which is too far away

to attack anyone—will use its full

movement to close to melee range with Aloysius.

Debbie now gives her statement of

intent for Elfstar, which is to make a melee

attack on one of the zombies.

Initiative is rolled. Debbie doesn’t

bother rolling because everyone except for her

automatically loses initiative, so she automatically

acts first.

Andy and the Game Master both roll 1d6. Andy rolls a 4, which—with his +1 bonus for making an early statement of

intent—gives him an initiative of 5. The Game Master

rolls a 2 for the zombies.

Then everyone takes their actions:

Elfstar first, then Aloysius, then the zombies.

Actions

The following actions are commonly used by combatants during Dark Dungeons combat. The list is not exhaustive, as unusual situations may require unusual actions to be performed, such as breaking down a door.

In these cases, extrapolate from the listed actions in order to determine when the action can be done, how it affects initiative, and whether a

character can also move in the same round.

Activate Magic Item: A combatant who declares that they are activating a magic item (such as a wand or scroll) must declare which item they are

activating, which of the item’s powers they wish to use, and who the targets are

(if any).

Only some magic items need to be activated in this way. See Chapter 19: Treasure for more details about magic items.

The combatant is considered to be in the process of activating the item from the start of the round until their

action is resolved. If they take any damage before their turn (because someone who beat their initiative attacked

them, for example) the activation is

disrupted.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared an activate magic item action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing the activation to be disrupted if it is not yet complete.

If the activation is disrupted, the

item still counts as having been used.

Depending on the item and power being activated, this may result in charges

or ‘per day’ usages being used up, or even the destruction of the item if it was a single use item such as a scroll.

A combatant may abandon their

activation action entirely (for example if their chosen target is no longer valid or if

the activation got disrupted) but may not otherwise change the target, item or power during their action.

Attack: A combatant who declares that they are making an attack (whether in melee, by throwing something, or by firing a missile weapon) must declare who they are attacking during the

statement of intent phase.

A combatant who declares that they are attacking with a two handed melee weapon automatically loses initiative.

A combatant who is attacking can move their normal per-round movement distance (40’ for an unencumbered character) before making the attack, but may not move after the

attack.

Normally a combatant can make only a single attack per attack action, but some combatants are capable of making multiple attacks. These multiple attacks occur as part of the same

action and on the same initiative, and the combatant cannot move between attacks. If a combatant has multiple attacks, then they must declare the target for each attack during the statement of intent phase.

If any of the attacks are disarm

attacks, this must also be declared during the statement of intent phase.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared an attack action.

When taking their action, the combatant must move toward and attack the target(s) that they declared attacks

on. They cannot change targets during the round, although they can simply abandon either the movement or the attack or both, and simply not make one or the other if they choose.

If a combatant abandons the attack, they may not change their action.

Example: During the statement of intent phase, Marcie declares that Black Leaf

is going to stab the goblin that is

guarding the door. The Game Master declares that the goblin is going to try to run away.

When initiative is rolled, Marcie rolls

a 1 for Black Leaf and the Game Master rolls a

5 for the goblin. Even with Black Leaf’s

initiative bonuses for her high dexterity and for declaring first, the lucky goblin still

beats her initiative roll and acts before her.

On the goblin’s action, it runs away

from Black Leaf as fast as it can—which is

at three times its normal per-round

movement speed (i.e. 3 x 30’ = 90’), shouting

for reinforcements to come and help fight the adventurers.

On Black Leaf’s turn, she can move a

normal move (40’) towards the goblin and

attack. She cannot reach the goblin with this move,

but decides to make it anyway. Since she is

not within melee range, she cannot make her

melee attack so must abandon it.

Cast Spell: A combatant who declares that they are casting a spell must

declare which spell they are casting and who the targets are (if any).

The magical special abilities of

monsters are considered spells for this purpose, even if they do not exactly match the description of a standard spell.

In order to cast a spell, a caster must

be able to speak and must have at least one hand free to gesture.

The caster is considered to be in the process of casting the spell from the start of the round until their action

is resolved. If they take any damage

before their turn (because someone who beat their initiative attacked them,

for example) the spell casting is

disrupted.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a cast spell action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing their spell to be disrupted if casting is not

yet complete.

If the spell is disrupted, the spell

slot is still used up.

A caster may abandon their spell

casting action entirely (for example if their chosen target is no longer valid or if

the spell got disrupted) but may not

otherwise change the target or spell during their action.

Charge: A character can only charge if they are using a weapon with that

ability and if they are mounted.

A combatant who declares that they are making a charge must declare the target during the statement of intent phase.

The character moves up to their mount’s normal per-round movement speed, and makes a single attack

against their target the end of the movement.

If the attack hits, it does double the normal damage.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a charge action.

Concentrate: Some spells or other effects require ongoing concentration.

A combatant who declares that they are concentrating to maintain an effect must declare what the effect is that

they are concentrating on, and if the effect

is one that can be changed or moved by concentration they must also declare how they are changing or moving it. If the combatant also wishes to move in the round that they are concentrating, they must also declare where they are moving to.

A combatant who is concentrating may move up to half their normal per-round movement speed during their action (usually 20’ for an unencumbered

character).

The concentration is assumed to last for the entire round, so if the

combatant who is concentrating takes any damage during the round they will lose their concentration and the effect that requires concentration to maintain will end.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a concentrate action without voluntarily (and immediately) allowing their concentration to be disrupted.

A combatant whose concentration has been disrupted before their action may still make their declared movement.

Fighting Withdrawal: This action may only be declared if the combatant is in melee at the start of the round.

This is similar to a normal attack

action in that the character can move their normal per-round movement rate (usually 40’ for an unencumbered

character) and then make one or more attacks.

However, instead of being committed to attacking their target, and moving

if necessary to reach the target; the

combatant is instead committed to moving away from their target.

If the target acts before the character doing the fighting withdrawal, the

withdrawing character gets their full defences against any attacks the target might do.

If the target acts after the character doing the fighting withdrawal, and

follows them in order to attack them, the withdrawing character interrupts the attacking character after movement but before their attack in order to make their own attack.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a fighting withdrawal action.

Parry: The parry action is only

available to some characters who get it as a class option.

A character who is using the parry

action can move up to their normal per- round movement speed (usually 40’ for an unencumbered character), but cannot make any attacks.

During the entire round (both before and after the character’s initiative),

all melee and throwing attacks—but not missile attacks—made against the

character are made with a –4 penalty on their attack rolls.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they have declared a parry action.

Run: A combatant using the run action can move up to three times their normal per-round movement speed (usually 120’ for an unencumbered character).

The combatant must declare where they are running to during the

statement of intent phase—although this may be towards a moving target such as towards another combatant.

A character who chooses the run action may not change where they are running to, but may stop running at any time short of their intended destination.

A combatant who is running does not count their shield bonus towards their armour class.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a run action.

Set Spear: A character can only set a spear if they are using a weapon with that ability.

A combatant who declares that they are setting a spear against possible

charges does not need to specify targets.

The character braces their weapon against the ground for the whole round, and waits for incoming attacks.

If, at any point during the round, the combatant is attacked by someone using the charge action, they may interrupt the charging character’s action after movement but before their attack in order to make their own attack.

If this attack hits the charging

opponent, it does double damage, the effects of which are resolved before the

charging opponent gets their attack.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a set spear action.

Smash: The smash action is only

available to some characters who get it as a class option.

A character who declares that they are making a smash action must declare the target during the statement of intent phase.

A character performing a smash action always loses initiative.

On the character’s action, they make a single melee attack against their

target with a –5 penalty to hit. If the attack hits, the combatant may add their strength score to the damage done by the attack, as well as adding their strength bonus as normal.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may not use them during a round in which they have

declared a smash action.

Use Non-Activatable Item: A combatant who declares that they are using a non-activatable item (such as a ring

or potion) must declare which item they are using, which of the item’s powers they wish to use, and who the targets are (if any). If the combatant also wishes to move in the round that they are using the item, they must also

declare where they are moving to.

Only some magic items can be used without activation in this way. See Chapter 19: Treasure for more details about magic items.

A combatant who is using a

nonactivatable item can move their normal per-round movement distance (40’ for an unencumbered character) before using the item, but may not move after using it.

If the character has any deflect

abilities or armour class bonuses from their weapon feats, they may use them at any time during a round in which they use a non-activatable item.

When taking their action, the combatant cannot change targets during the round, although they can simply abandon either the movement or the usage or both, and simply not make one or the other if they choose.

If a combatant abandons the attack, they may not change their action.

Attack Rolls

When a combatant makes an attack, their base chance to hit an opponent is determined by adding the defender’s Armour Class to the attacker’s Attack Bonus. Either of these may be modified by such things as spells, magical

items, and high ability scores. The total of these is called the To-Hit Value.

If the attacker is a character, their

at- tack bonus is based on their class and level. See Chapter 4: Creating a

Character for details on level based character abilities. If the attacker is a monster, their

attack bonus is based on their hit dice. See Chapter 18: Monsters for details on

mon- ster hit dice. To determine if an attack hits, take

the to-hit value and add a roll of 1d20 to

it. If the total of the value plus roll is greater than or equal to 20, then the attack hits; otherwise it misses. Rolling a 1 on the d20 before modifiers (called a “natural 1”) is always a

miss, regardless whether the total is greater than 20 or not. Rolling a 20 on the d20 before

modifiers (called a “natural 20”) is always a hit regardless whether the total is greater than 20 or not. If the to-hit value is already greater than 20 before adding the d20 roll, the attack will do extra damage if it hits. Each two points (round odd points up) that the to-hit value exceeds 20 by means that the attack will do 1 extra point of damage. Example: A 3rd level fighter has a base

at- tack bonus of +2, and has a +3 bonus to

hit from various sources. They are

attacking a target that is armour class 6.

Therefore the fighter’s to-hit value is 2+3+6 = 11.

If the fighter rolls 8 or less on their to-hit

roll they will miss their target since 11+8 is

less than the 20 that they need. If the fighter

rolls 9 or higher on their to-hit roll they will

hit their target since 11+9=20. Example: A 1 hit dice creature has an

attack bonus of +1, and is attacking a target

that is armour class –8. The monster has no

other bonuses to hit. Therefore the monster

has a to- hit value of –7. If the monster rolls a

19 or less then it will miss its target since

–7+19 is less than 20. If the monster rolls a 20

then it will hit its target since although –

7+20 is also less than 20, a natural 20 always hits. Example: A 36th level fighter has a

base attack bonus of +23, and a +13 bonus to

hit from various sources. When attacking a

target that is armour class 1, the fighter has

a to-hit value of 23+13-1 = 35. If the fighter

rolls a 1 on their to-hit roll they will miss

their target since a natural 1 always misses. If the fighter rolls 2 or higher on

their to-hit roll they will hit their target since

2+35>20. Since the to-hit value is more than 20

even before adding the d20 roll, the fighter

will do extra damage on a hit. Specifically,

since it is 15 more, the fighter will do +8 damage

on a hit. If you find it easier to look things up on a table rather than add and subtract numbers, Table 10-2 shows the d20 roll that is needed to hit opponents with various armour classes based on the attack bonus of the attacker. Type of Cover To-Hit Modifier Soft cover up to knees -1 Soft cover up to waist -2 Looking around or through soft cover -3 Fully behind soft cover -4 Hard cover up to knees -2 Hard cover up to waist -4 Looking around or through hard cover -6 Fully behind hard cover Can’t Attack Table 10-1: Cover

Table 10-2: To-Hit Values by Attack Bonus vs Armour Class

Attack

Armour Class

Bonus

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

-1

-2

-3

-4

-5

-6

-7

-8

-9

-10

-11

-12

-13

-14

-15

-16

-17

-18

-19

-20

+ 0

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

+1

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

+ 2

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

+3

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

+ 4

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

+5

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

+ 6

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

+7

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

+ 8

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

+9

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

+ 10

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

+11

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

+ 12

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

+13

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

+ 14

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

+15

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

+ 16

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

+17

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

+ 18

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

+19

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

+ 20

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

+21

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

+ 22

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

+23

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

+ 24

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Table 10-2: To-Hit Values by Attack Bonus vs Armour Class

Attack

Armour Class

Bonus

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

-1

-2

-3

-4

-5

-6

-7

-8

-9

-10

-11

-12

-13

-14

-15

-16

-17

-18

-19

-20

+ 25

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

+26

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

+ 27

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

+28

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

+ 29

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

+30

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

+ 31

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

+32

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

+ 33

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

+34

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

+ 35

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

5

+36

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

4

+ 37

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

3

+38

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

2

+ 39

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

1

+40

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

0

+ 41

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

1!

+42

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

1!

+ 43

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

2!

+44

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

2!

+ 45

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

3!

+46

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

3!

+ 47

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

4!

+48

24!

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

4!

+ 49

25!

24!

24!

23!

23!

22!

22!

21!

21!

20!

20!

19!

19!

18!

18!

17!

17!

16!

16!

15!

15!

14!

14!

13!

13!

12!

12!

11!

11!

10!

10!

9!

9!

8!

8!

7!

7!

6!

6!

5!

5!

If the result of comparing the attack bonus with the armour class is a number with an exclamation mark (e.g. “5!”), then the attacker needs to roll anything other than a natural 1 on

their 1d20 roll in order to hit their

opponent, and the attack will do extra damage equal to the indicated number.

If necessary, table 10-2 can be

extended in each direction following the same pattern.

When increasing attack bonus beyond the existing table, simply shift the

columns one space to the right for each extra point of attack bonus.

Attack Modifiers

Various factors will affect the to-hit

roll of an attack. Some, such as the

attacker having weapon feats, will make it

easier for them to hit their target by giving

a bonus to the to-hit value. Some, such as the target being invisible, will

make it more difficult for the attacker to hit them.

Attribute Modifier: An attacker adds their relevant attribute modifier (whether a bonus or penalty) to attack rolls. Strength is the relevant ability

for melee attacks and attacks using hurled melee weapons. Dexterity is the

relevant ability for other thrown weapon attacks and missile weapon attacks.

Cover: If the target of a missile, thrown or hurled attack is partially or wholly hidden behind an object (e.g. a parapet or a table, or is behind an

arrow slit), the attacker gets a penalty as shown on Table 10-2: Cover. Soft cover is cover that blocks sight of the

target but will allow attacks through (such as smoke or a curtain). Hard cover is cover that will block both sight and attacks (such as a wall or an

overturned table).

Haste/Slow: An attacker gains a +2 bonus to hit for every level of speed (either because they are hasted or

their target is slowed) that they have above their target’s speed. Similarly, an

attacker gains a –2 penalty to his for every level of speed they have below their target’s speed.

Magical Weapons: Magical weapons can give an attacker a bonus (or very occasionally a penalty in the case of cursed items) on their to-hit rolls. In the case of magical missile weapons, the bonuses on the weapon and the ammunition stack.

Off Hand: If a combatant is using a weapon in their off hand and that weapon does not have the “Off Hand” ability, all attacks with that weapon have a –4 penalty on to-hit rolls, and the combatant is treated for all

purposes as having one fewer weapon feat with that weapon than they actually have.

Range: If a ranged attack is made at short range for the weapon, the

attacker has a +1 bonus to hit with the attack. If it is made at long range,

the attacker has a –1 penalty to hit with

the attack. See Chapter 6: Weapon Feats for weapon ranges.

Smash Attacks: Smash attacks get a –5 penalty on their to-hit rolls.

Sneak Attacks: When a thief attacks a target who is unaware of them gets a +4 bonus to hit. This stacks with the normal +2 bonus for the attack being unseen.

Note that the target must be completely unaware of the thief’s presence. It is not enough for the thief to be

simply behind their target, the thief must also have made a Move Silently check or otherwise be unknown to the target.

Thieves can only make sneak attacks with melee weapons or with missile, thrown or hurled weapons at short range.

If the thief makes multiple attacks in the same action, all such attacks get

the +4 bonus.

Unseen Attacks: If an attacker attacks from above or behind their target, or

is invisible, or otherwise can’t be

directly seen by the target in a combat

situation; the attacker gets a +2 bonus to hit,

and the target cannot count any shield

bonus towards their armour class.

Unseen Target: If a target is not

visible to the attacker for any reason, the attacker has a –4 penalty to hit with melee attacks, and cannot attack with ranged attacks.

Weapon Feats: The level of weapon proficiency that an attacker has with the weapon they are using will give anywhere from a +0 bonus to a +8 bonus to hit with the attack. See

Chapter

6: Weapon Feats for details about the bonuses given to different weapons at different levels of proficiency. Armour Class Modifiers

The armour class of an unarmoured character will normally be 9. That is

the default value for an average person. Monsters often have better (i.e. lower) armour classes than that because of their tough hides, better-than-human agility, or a combination of the two.

That armour class will be modified either upwards (making the character easier to hit) or downwards (making the character harder to hit) by various things.

Armour: Characters who are wearing armour will have a better armour class than 9. This ranges from AC 7 when wearing leather armour to AC 0 when wearing suit armour.

Only one set of armour may be worn at a time, and adding or removing a helmet does not change the armour class granted by armour.

Monsters who wear armour get either their normal armour class or the armour class granted by the armour they are wearing, whichever is better.

Dexterity Modifier: A character must subtract their dexterity modifier from their armour class (not add it).

Characters with high dexterity are harder to hit.

Small: Because of their small size, halflings get a –2 bonus to armour

class against attacks from creatures larger than human sized.

Shield: A character wielding a shield gets a –1 bonus to their armour class, except for attacks which come from unseen attackers or attacks made while they are running.

Weapon Feats: Some weapons give their wielders bonuses to armour class at higher proficiency levels.

These bonuses may work against all attacks or may only work against

certain types of attack.

The armour class bonuses from high proficiency with a weapon cannot be used in rounds during which the

character is performing the Run, Set Spear or Smash actions, and it can only be used in rounds during which the character is performing a Activate Magic Item, Cast Spell or Concentrate action if the

character’s action has already been disrupted or if the character is willing to

immediately disrupt their action by using the armour class bonus.

Missile Weapons & Melee

If a character is in melee with other combatants when their action occurs, they can not use a missile weapon.

Thrown and hurled weapons may still be used in this situation.

Haste & Slow

Characters can be hasted or slowed by the Haste and Slow spell, and also by other similar effects.

Multiple versions of the same hasting or slowing effect do not stack, but

different effects (e.g. a Haste spell and a Potion of Speed) do stack, to a maximum of double effect.

The effects of haste and slow on a character are as follows:

Double-Slowed: The character moves at a quarter of normal speed, and makes attacks at a quarter of their

normal rate. They also automatically lose initiative.

Slowed: The character moves at half normal speed and makes attacks at half their normal rate. They also get a –2 penalty on their initiative rolls.

Hasted: The character moves at double normal speed and makes attacks at double their normal rate. They also get a +2 bonus on their initiative rolls.

Double-Hasted: The character moves at four times normal speed, and makes attacks at four times their normal

rate. They also automatically win initiative.

Magical actions, such as using magical devices or casting spells are not

affected by haste and slow, and always take the normal time to perform.

However, the character still gets the initiative bonus or penalty; and if the magical action is one that also allows movement in the same round, that movement is affected normally by the haste or slow.

Characters may find that they a making half an attack per round or one and a half attacks per round when slowed. In these cases, the character’s “half”

attack is made every other round.

Two Weapon Fighting

When a character wields a weapon in either hand, they make one extra attack with their off hand weapon in addition to however many attacks they get with their primary weapon.

If the weapon being used in the off hand does not have the “Off Hand” ability, then the attacker is treated

as having one fewer weapon feat with the weapon for all purposes, and there is

an additional –4 penalty to hit.

The additional off hand attack is not modified by the number of attacks gained at high level and is not

affected by haste or slow conditions.

Example: Oeric is a 25th level fighter

and is fighting a creature that he only needs

to roll a 2 to hit, and so he normally gets three

attacks per round. He is wielding a normal

sword in his main hand and a dagger in his off

hand. He is a grand master with both weapons.

He is also hasted.

Each round, Oeric gets 6 attacks with

his sword (3 per round doubled for the

haste spell) plus a single attack with his dagger.

The sword attacks are done at grand master

level, and the dagger attack is done at master

level with an additional –4 penalty to hit.

Damage

When an attack hits, it will usually do damage to its target, reducing the

target’s hit points.

When player characters hit with

attacks, the amount of damage that they do is based on their level of proficiency

with the weapon that they are using (see Chapter 6: Weapon Feats for details).

When a monster attacks, the amount of damage it does with each attack will be listed in the monster’s description.

The amount of damage done by an attack may be changed by various things

Hurled Weapons: A weapon with a hurl range is one that is not normally thrown, but with great skill and effort can be hurled at an opponent. Because such weapons are not aerodynamic and do not fly well, opponents who are not surprised by the attack may make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to take half damage. However, the first time in each fight that an opponent has the weapon thrown at them, they must roll for surprise at normal chances due to the unexpected nature of the attack.

Magical Weapons: Magical weapons can give an attacker a bonus (or very occasionally a penalty in the case of cursed items) to their damage rolls. In the case of magical missile weapons, the bonuses on the weapon and the ammunition stack.

Smash Attacks: When a character makes a smash attack, they add their strength score to the amount of damage they do, in addition to adding their strength modifier as normal.

Sneak Attacks: When a thief makes an attack that is not only unseen but is against a target that does not know the location of the thief (this will

normally require a successful Move Silently

check to be made by the thief’s player), the thief does double damage with that attack.

Thieves can only make sneak attacks with melee weapons or with missile, thrown or hurled weapons at close range.

Table 10-3: Simple Building/Structure Combat Ratings

Type of Structure Armour Class vs Missile Armour Class vs Melee Structure Points Simple Wooden Building -4 6 40 Simple Stone Building -4 6 60 Reinforced Wooden Stockade -4 6 300 Barred Wooden Palisade Gate -8 2 100 Reinforced Stone Castle Wall -4 6 500 Reinforced Iron Door -10 2 35 Iron Portcullis -4 6 150 Wooden Ship See Chapter 12 See Chapter

12 See Chapter 12

If a thief makes a sneak attack with a hurled weapon, the target is

automatically considered to be surprised by the attack and cannot make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to take half

damage, even if the thief has hurled a weapon at them previously in the fight.

If the thief makes multiple attacks in the same action, all such attacks have their damage doubled.

Strength Modifier: If a character makes a melee, hurled or thrown attack, they must add their strength modifier to the damage that the attack does.

Characters do not add their strength modifier to attacks made with missile weapons.

Effects of Damage

A combatant who has at least one hit point left can fight on without

penalty. When a combatant has no hit points left, they are knocked unconscious and may die.

There is no such thing as “negative”

hit points. A character either has hit

points left or has run out.

Hit points are not a direct

representation of physical toughness. They are rather an abstract representation of

the ability of a combatant to fight on.

Hit points are a mixture of pain,

fatigue, luck, and fighting skill., and losing hit points represents a wearing down of all these to the point where a combatant is in danger of being killed by the next blow. Until that point, however, characters taking damage are assumed to be using their fighting

skill and luck to avoid direct hits from

their opponents, taking only light scratches, bruises and nicks from attacks at the most; and the hit points they are

losing represent that extreme effort taking

its toll on the character.

Example: in the hands of a moderately

proficient user, a normal sword will do 1d8 damage to someone who is hit by it. That has a

better than 50% chance of incapacitating a

commoner, resulting in them being knocked

unconscious by the blow and probably starting to bleed to death. Clearly the commoner

has taken a nasty stab wound from the sword

that they are unlikely to recover from,

perhaps a chest wound resulting in a punctured

lung or something similar.

However, if a 10th level character is

“hit” by that same sword blow, the 1d8 damage

will have no chance of killing them and will

only take away a small proportion of their

total hit points.

This does not mean that the 10th level

character is somehow able to be stabbed in the

chest repeatedly and not be killed by such

wounds. That would be ridiculous. Clearly the

character managed to deflect or dodge the blow

that would have killed a lesser combatant,

and rather than the sword stabbing them in

the chest it merely scratched them as they

twisted to desperately avoid the worst of the

blow. It’s left them a little shaken and fatigued, but

they’ll be able to continue fighting for a

while yet.

If a few more sword blows hit the

fighter, taking them down to only a handful of hit

points left, then they are clearly exhausted;

so battered and worn down that they may be unable

to parry or dodge any more such blows and

the next one may hit them squarely and kill

them.

Helpless Targets

A target who is completely helpless because they are paralysed, sleeping or unconscious may be given a Coup de Grace with any edged weapon.

This will immediately knock them

unconscious (if they weren’t already) and make them start dying as if they had run out of hit points, but will not

actually cause them to lose any hit points.

Dying & Death

When a character runs out of hit points, they fall unconscious and can take no more actions.

At the end of the round in which they fell unconscious, the character must make a saving throw vs Death Ray in order to stay alive.

If the saving throw fails, the

character dies.

The saving throw must be repeated at the end of each subsequent round until either the character dies or they

either have their wounds tended by a character who successfully uses the First Aid skill on them or are given magical

healing.

However, each saving throw after the first gets a cumulative –1 penalty.

Example: Gretchen and Elfstar are

fighting a giant. Unfortunately, Gretchen only has

7 hit points left, and the giant hits her for

21 damage.

Gretchen now has 0 hit points (the

extra damage is ignored) and falls

unconscious.

At the end of the round, Gretchen must

roll a saving throw vs Death Ray. She makes

the roll and survives the round.

The following round, Elfstar is stuck,

unable to tend to her friend because of the

giant. Instead she attacks the giant and hurts it

badly.

At the end of the round, Gretchen rolls

a second saving throw vs Death Ray, this

time at a –1 penalty. She makes this one

too.

In the third round, Elfstar again

attacks the giant, and manages to kill it.

At the end of this round, Gretchen

makes her third saving throw with a –2 penalty

this time. Again, she makes it.

The fight with the giant is now over,

but since Gretchen is in danger of bleeding to

death, the Game Master continues to use round-by-

round timekeeping.

In the fourth round, Elfstar doesn’t

want to risk trying to bandage Gretchen’s

wounds in case she fails the First Aid check,

Instead she casts a Cure Light Wounds spell on

Gretchen.

Debbie, Elfstar’s player, rolls 1d6+1

for the spell, and gets a 4. Gretchen is healed

back up to 4 hit points, and does not need to

make any more saving throws to avoid dying.

Now that the immediate danger is over, Gretchen and Elfstar start to bandage

their wounds.

Structures in Combat

Sometimes combat will not just involve creatures, but will also involve

structures such as buildings and/or ships taking damage.

This may be incidental to the fight, or one or both sides in the fight may be deliberately targeting structures.

While a full siege is dealt with in

Chapter

14: War! the following rules can be used when there is a simple attack;

such as a tribe of goblins using a battering ram to break down a town gate, or two ships exchanging cannon fire. Attacking a structure is just the same

as attacking a creature—the attacker rolls a to-hit roll based on their attack

bonus and the structure’s armour class.

However, damage is handled differently, since structures are much tougher than creatures but don’t get fatigued.

Normal hand held weapons (including hand held missile weapons) do no damage to structures. While it’s possible to totally destroy a wooden building with an axe, it’s simply not possible to do

it during the course of a few combat rounds.

Attacks from ogre sized or larger

creatures, siege weapons and magic spells do affect structures.

Wooden structures lose 1 structure point for each 2 hit points of damage done by such attacks, although

creatures which eat wood do full damage.

Stone structures lose 1 structure point for each 5 points of damage done by such attacks, although creatures who can burrow through rock do full damage.

Morale

Although players will always decide whether to stand and fight or to

retreat when a fight seems to be going against them, sometimes the Game Master needs to quickly determine whether an NPC or a monster will run or fight.

In the case of monsters, each monster listing in Chapter 18: Monsters has a

base morale score. In the case of hirelings employed by PCs, their base morale score will be based on the charisma of the designated party leader. See Table

31 for charisma bonuses and Chapter 8: Equipping for Adventure for more

information on employing hirelings.

When a fight appears to be going against an individual or a group, the Game Master may make a Morale Check for them.

A morale check is made by rolling 2d6 and comparing it to the base morale score of the individual or group. If

the roll is less than or equal to their

base morale score then they will continue to fight, but if it is greater than their

base morale score then they will either

flee, surrender, or attempt to halt the fight and parley.

Characters with extremely high charisma scores may provide their followers with such a high base morale score that they will never fail a morale

check even with extreme situational

penalties.

Morale checks should be made at the beginning of the Statement of Intent

phase of combat, before the monsters or NPCs decide on their action for the round.

The exact times when a morale check is needed may vary from fight to fight, but can include such times as:

.Opponents start a fight when the group does not wish to fight. .Opponents display vastly superior magic or fighting ability. .Half the group is slain or

incapacitated. .Members of the group have already fled. .The group’s leader is slain or

incapacitated. .Opponents kill a significant number of the group in a single round. .Opponents display willingness to escalate the fight (killing in a fight that was previously non-lethal). .Reinforcements arrive to shore up the opponents’ numbers. .An individual is badly wounded (less than half hit points). .Opponents make an offer to accept a surrender. Although there are many possible

situations listed above that might require morale checks, such checks should not be overused. Creatures should not be checking morale more than two or three times in a fight at the most.

The Game Master should also bear in mind what happens after death in their campaign setting. If the existence of

life after death or some other form of

continued consciousness is a known fact in the setting rather than a mere matter

of faith then intelligent creatures will

be more likely to fight to the death than

to surrender to possible maltreatment or torture. Similarly, intelligent

creatures who have good reason to think that they will be raised from the dead by their employers or priests will be more inclined to fight to the death.

The above factors should be taken into account and should give situational modifiers to the morale checks made by intelligent creatures. Other factors that may give situational modifiers to morale checks for

intelligent and/or unintelligent creatures include:

.Fighting with no escape route. .Fighting to defend one’s home or lair. .Fighting to defend loved ones or innocents. .The expectation that the enemy will slay incapacitated prisoners if

victorious. .The expectation that the enemy will torture prisoners if victorious. .The expectation that the enemy will be merciful if victorious. .The knowledge that if the combatant is incapacitated but their side wins

the fight they will be healed. .The fear of being executed (or worse) for cowardice if they run. .A creature is fighting for reasons of desperation (e.g. extreme hunger or maddening pain). .A previous offer to surrender has not been accepted. When an individual or group fails a morale check, it is up to the Game Master how they behave.

In the case of unintelligent creatures, this will almost always involve a

fighting retreat. Intelligent creatures may retreat or it may try to stop the fight

by either surrendering or otherwise

parleying with the attacking force.

In extreme cases where intelligent

creatures think that escape is likely to be impossible and that the consequences of losing the fight and surviving would be worse than death, it may even

include suicide.