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All Rules in Combat

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Combat Statistics

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 178
This section summarizes the statistics that determine success in combat, then details how to use them.

Attack Roll

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 178
An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target’s Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

Automatic Misses and Hits: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action).

Attack Bonus

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 178
Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is the following:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier


With a ranged weapon, your attack bonus is the following:

Base attack bonus + Dexterity modifier + size modifier + range penalty

Armor Class

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 179
Your Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. It’s the attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit you. Your AC is equal to the following:

10 + armor bonus + shield bonus + Dexterity modifier + other modifiers


Note that armor limits your Dexterity bonus, so if you’re wearing armor, you might not be able to apply your whole Dexterity bonus to your AC (see Table 6–6).

Sometimes you can’t use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can’t react to a blow, you can’t use your Dexterity bonus to AC. If you don’t have a Dexterity bonus, your AC does not change.

Other Modifiers: Many other factors modify your AC.

Enhancement Bonuses: Enhancement bonuses apply to your armor to increase the armor bonus it provides.

Deflection Bonus: Magical deflection effects ward off attacks and improve your AC.

Natural Armor: If your race has a tough hide, scales, or thick skin you receive a bonus to your AC.

Dodge Bonuses: Dodge bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. Any situation that denies you your Dexterity bonus also denies you dodge bonuses. (Wearing armor, however, does not limit these bonuses the way it limits a Dexterity bonus to AC.) Unlike most sorts of bonuses, dodge bonuses stack with each other.

Size Modifier: You receive a bonus or penalty to your AC based on your size. See Table 8–1.

Touch Attacks: Some attacks completely disregard armor, including shields and natural armor—the aggressor need only touch a foe for such an attack to take full effect. In these cases, the attacker makes a touch attack roll (either ranged or melee). When you are the target of a touch attack, your AC doesn’t include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. All other modifiers, such as your size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) apply normally. Some creatures have the ability to make incorporeal touch attacks. These attacks bypass solid objects, such as armor and shields, by passing through them. Incorporeal touch attacks work similarly to normal touch attacks except that they also ignore cover bonuses. Incorporeal touch attacks do not ignore armor bonuses granted by force effects, such as mage armorbracers of armor.

Table 8-1: Size Modifiers

SizeSize Modifier
Colossal-8
Gargantuan-4
Huge-2
Large-1
Medium+0
Small+1
Tiny+2
Diminutive+4
Fine+8

Damage

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 179
If your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal. Damage reduces a target’s current hit points.

Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage (see page 191).

Strength Bonus: When you hit with a melee or thrown weapon, including a sling, add your Strength modifier to the damage result. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies on damage rolls made with a bow that is not a composite bow.

Off-Hand Weapon: When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus. If you have a Strength penalty, the entire penalty applies.

Wielding a Weapon Two-Handed: When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (Strength penalties are not multiplied). You don’t get this higher Strength bonus, however, when using a light weapon with two hands.

Multiplying Damage: Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results.

Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage.

Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon’s normal damage are never multiplied.

Ability Damage: Certain creatures and magical effects can cause temporary or permanent ability damage (a reduction to an ability score). Rules covering ability damage are found on page 554.

Hit Points

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 179
When your hit point total reaches 0, you’re disabled. When it reaches –1, you’re dying. When it gets to a negative amount equal to your Constitution score, you’re dead. See Injury and Death (page 189), for more information.

Attacks of Opportunity

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 180
Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity. See the Attacks of Opportunity diagram for an example of how they work.

Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity.

Reach Weapons: Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons threaten more squares than a typical creature. In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more.

Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing certain actions within a threatened square.

Moving: Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action. Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle. Table 8–2 notes many of the actions that provoke attacks of opportunity.

Remember that even actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity may have exceptions to this rule.

Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and most characters can only make one per round. You don’t have to make an attack of opportunity if you don’t want to. You make your attack of opportunity at your normal attack bonus, even if you’ve already attacked in the round.

An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal f low of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character’s turn).

Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity bonus to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn’t count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

Speed

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 180
Your speed tells you how far you can move in a round and still do something, such as attack or cast a spell. Your speed depends mostly on your size and your armor. Dwarves, gnomes, and half lings have a speed of 20 feet (4 squares), or 15 feet (3 squares) when wearing medium or heavy armor (except for dwarves, who move 20 feet in any armor).

Humans, elves, half-elves, half-orcs, and most humanoid monsters have a speed of 30 feet (6 squares), or 20 feet (4 squares) in medium or heavy armor.

If you use two move actions in a round (sometimes called a “double move” action), you can move up to double your speed. If you spend the entire round running, you can move up to quadruple your speed (or triple if you are in heavy armor).

Saving Throws

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 180
Generally, when you are subject to an unusual or magical attack, you get a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect. Like an attack roll, a saving throw is a d20 roll plus a bonus based on your class and level (see Chapter 3), and an associated ability score. Your saving throw modifier is:

Base save bonus + ability modifier


Saving Throw Types: The three different kinds of saving throws are Fortitude, Reflex, and Will:

Fortitude: These saves measure your ability to stand up to physical punishment or attacks against your vitality and health. Apply your Constitution modifier to your Fortitude saving throws.

Reflex: These saves test your ability to dodge area attacks and unexpected situations. Apply your Dexterity modifier to your Reflex saving throws.

Will: These saves ref lect your resistance to mental influence as well as many magical effects. Apply your Wisdom modifier to your Will saving throws.

Saving Throw Difficulty Class: The DC for a save is determined by the attack itself.

Automatic Failures and Successes: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure (and may cause damage to exposed items; see Items Surviving after a Saving Throw on page 217). A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a success.