House Rules: Combat

Combat Statistics


Attack Bonus

Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier

With a ranged weapon, your attack bonus is:

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

Base Attack Bonus

A base attack bonus is an attack roll bonus derived from character class and level or creature type and Hit Dice (or combinations thereof). Base attack bonuses increase at different rates for different character classes and creature types. A second attack is gained when a base attack bonus reaches +6, and an additional attack is gained for every addition +5 base attack bonus thereafter. Base attack bonuses gained from different sources, such as when a character is a multiclass character, stack. These iterative attacks are made with your full base attack bonus.

Advantage and Disadvantage

When you have advantage on a d20 roll, you may roll twice and take the highest result.

When you have disadvantage on a d20, you must roll twice and take the lowest result.

Advantage and disadvantage from different sources may stack multiple times on the same roll. Each pair of advantage and disadvantage cancel each other out. Each additional advantage/disadvantage adds another roll to choose from.

Advantage Disadvantage
Attack roll on a charge Strength and Dexterity skill checks when blind
Attack rolls against someone who did a charge Attack rolls with a broken weapon
Attack rolls against a blind target Skill checks with a broken tool
Attack rolls against a broken ship Sailing checks, saving throws, and on combat maneuver checks for a broken ship
Attack rolls against a cowering target Attack rolls and sight-based Perception checks when dazzled
Attack rolls against a flanked target Initiative checks and opposed Perception checks when deafened
Melee attack rolls against a helpless target Attack rolls when entangled
Attack rolls against sighted opponents when invisible Skill checks made as reactions when fascinated
Attack rolls against a pinned target Attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks when frightened
Melee attack rolls against a prone target Attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple, when grappled
Attack rolls and combat maneuver checks against a stunned target Combat maneuver checks to grappled a grappled invisible target
Saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks when panicked
Melee attack rolls when prone
Range attack rolls against a prone target
Attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks when shaken
Attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks when sickened

Degrees of Success and Failure

Weapon Attack Rolls
For every increment of 10 that your attack roll's result with a weapon above the target's Defense, you may roll your weapon damage an additional time and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

For example, Baroth the dwarf fighter is attacking an orc with a warhammer. The orc's Defense is 15, and Baroth's attack roll has a result of 27. His result is 1 increment above the orc's Defense, so Baroth gets to roll 2d8 for his warhammer's damage, instead of 1d8.

Spell Attack Rolls
For every increment of 10 that your attack roll's result with a spell beats the target's Defense, your spell is treated as being 1 caster level higher.

For example, Jannilus the elf wizard has a caster level of 2. He casts shocking grasp on an orc who has a touch Defense of 11. Jannilus' melee touch attack roll has a result of 22. His result is 1 increment above the orc's touch Defense, so Jannilus' shocking grasp is treated as being cast with a caster level of 3 and dealing 3d6, instead of 2d6.

Saving Throws against Spells and Spell-Like Abilities
For every increment of 5 that your saving throw fails to beat the spell or spell-like ability's DC, the spell or spell-like ability is treated as being one caster level higher. For every increment of 10 that your saving throw beats the DC, the spell or spell-like ability is treated as one caster level lower. The change in caster level does not affect the spell or spell-like ability's range or area.

For example, Baroth is attacked by a fireball cast from a 7th-level wizard. The spell DC is 17, and Baroth's reflex save result is 4. Baroth then receives 8d6 fire damage instead of 7d6. If Baroth's reflex save result was 28, then the fireball would be treated with a caster level of 6, and Baroth would receive half of 6d6 fire damage.

A spell that has both an attack roll and a saving throw DC can have its caster level affected by both. For example, Baroth is struck by a ray of enfeeblement spell from a 6th-level wizard. The spell's DC is 15 and Baroth's touch defense is 10. If Baroth's fortitude save is 4 and the wizard's ranged touch attack roll is 20, then the spell is treated with a caster level of 8 (increase of one from the failed save, and another increase of one from the superior attack roll). If Baroth's fortitude save is 25 and the wizard's ranged touch attack roll is 11, then the spell hits, but is treated with a caster level of 5 and Baroth receives a penalty to Strength equal to half of 1d6+2. If Baroth's fortitude save is 16 and the wizard's ranged touch attack roll is 11, then the spell's caster level is unchanged and it hits normally, with Baroth receiving a penalty to Strength equal to half of 1d6+3.

Aid Another
For every increment of 10 that your attack roll or skill check beats 10, you add a +1 bonus to whatever roll you are assisting. However, for every increment of 10 that you fall under, you add a -1 penalty to your assist.

Injury and Death


Disabled (0 to Negative Constitution Score Hit Points)

You are disabled when your hit point total drops to 0 and lower down to the negative equivalent of your Constitution score.

You gain the staggered condition and can only take a single move or standard action each turn (but not both, nor can you take full-round actions). You can take move actions without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other strenuous action) you take 1 point of damage after completing the act.

When your hit point total reaches your negative Constitution score, you fall unconscious and are dying.

Healing that raises your hit points above 0 makes you fully functional again, just as if you'd never been reduced to 0 or fewer hit points.

You can also become disabled when recovering from dying. In this case, it's a step toward recovery, and you can have fewer than 0 hit points (see Stable Characters and Recovery).

Dying (Negative Constitution Score to Double Negative Constitution Score)

If your hit point total is negative and equal or lower to your Constitution score, but not equal to or greater than twice your Constitution score, you're dying.

A dying character immediately falls unconscious and can take no actions.

A dying character loses 1 hit point every round. This continues until the character dies or becomes stable.

Dead

When your character's current hit points drop to a negative amount equal to twice his Constitution score or lower, or if he succumbs to massive damage, he's dead. A character can also die from taking ability damage or suffering an ability drain that reduces his Constitution score to 0 (see Special Abilities).

Certain types of powerful magic, such as raise dead and resurrection, can restore life to a dead character.

Stable Characters and Recovery

On the character's next turn, after reaching dying status (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 0 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. An unconscious or dying character cannot use any special action that changes the initiative count on which his action occurs.

Characters taking continuous damage, such as from an acid arrow or a bleed effect, automatically fail all Constitution checks made to stabilize. Such characters lose 1 hit point per round in addition to the continuous damage.

You can keep a dying character from losing any more hit points and make him stable with a DC 15 Heal check.

If any sort of healing cures the dying character of even 1 point of damage, he becomes stable and stops losing hit points.

Healing that raises the dying character's hit points to 0 makes him conscious and disabled. Healing that raises his hit points to 1 or more makes him fully functional again, just as if he'd never been reduced to 0 or lower. A spellcaster retains the spellcasting capability she had before dropping below 0 hit points.

A stable character who has been tended by a healer or who has been magically healed eventually regains consciousness and recovers hit points naturally. If the character has no one to tend him, however, his life is still in danger, and he may yet slip away.

Standard Actions


Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action

You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a –1 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +1 bonus to Defense until the start of your next turn. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every +4 thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus increases by +1.

Critical Hits

A critical hit means that you multiply the maximum damage of your attack without any bonuses, and then add your usual bonuses. Unless otherwise specified, the threat range for a critical hit on an attack roll is 20, and the multiplier is ×2.

Precision damage (such as from a rogue's sneak attack class feature) and additional damage dice from special weapon qualities (such as flaming) or feats (such as Vital Strike) are not multiplied when you score a critical hit, but they are maximized.

If a card from the Critical Hit Deck says that the attack deals normal damage, then the attack's damage is maximized, but not multiplied.

Total Defense

You can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a +6 dodge bonus to your Defense for 1 round. Your Defense improves at the start of this action. You can't combine total defense with fighting defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise feat. You can't make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.

Coup de Grace

As a standard action, you can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace to a helpless or pinned opponent. You can also use a bow, crossbow or firearm, provided you are adjacent to the target.

You automatically hit and score a critical hit. If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die. A rogue also gets her extra sneak attack damage against a helpless or pinned opponent when delivering a coup de grace.

Delivering a coup de grace provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents.

You can't deliver a coup de grace against a creature that is immune to critical hits. You can deliver a coup de grace against a creature with total concealment, but doing this requires two consecutive full-round actions (one to "find" the creature once you've determined what square it's in, and one to deliver the coup de grace).

A coup de grace can be delivered to inflict nonlethal damage. A nonlethal coup de grace functions the same way as when dealing lethal damage, except that if the target remains conscious after receiving the nonlethal critical hit damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage) or fall unconscious.

Note, if the nonlethal damage exceeds twice the target's maximum hit points, then the excess damage is considered lethal. This damage may still render the target unconscious, or even kill him.

Stray Shot

When a range attacker misses his intended target, his projectile continues its trajectory, and may hit another creature beyond his original target. To determine which creatures may be hit by the stray shot, draw a line from the middle of the attacker's square to the middle of the intended target's square, and continue that line until it hits an obstacle. Creatures in any square that the line passes through after passing through the intended target's square may be hit by the stray shot.

Stray shots are resolved in the order of the closest creature to the intended target first, followed by the next closest, and so on until the shot hits a creature or reaches its range limit. Stray shots are resolved using the attacker's original attack roll against the potential target's Defense. A potential target gains a +4 cover bonus to Defense because of soft cover from the original target.

Stray shots fired from projectile weapons except for firearms, and thrown weapons except for splash weapons, continue their trajectory until the end of their current range increment. The projectile then falls to the ground after this distance if it does not strike any creature. Stray shots from firearms continue their trajectory for its current range increment, and four additional range increments after or up to the firearm's maximum range (five for early firearms, ten for advanced firearms), whichever reaches first.

Move Actions


Move

The simplest move action is moving your speed. If you take this kind of move action during your turn, you can't also take a 5-foot step, but you can break up your movement on your turn, moving before and after your standard action. For example, if you have a speed of 30 feet, you can move 10 feet, make a standard attack, and then move 20 feet.

Many nonstandard modes of movement are covered under this category, including climbing (up to one-quarter of your speed) and swimming (up to one-quarter of your speed).

Accelerated Climbing You can climb at half your speed as a move action by accepting a –5 penalty on your Climb check.

Crawling You can crawl 5 feet as a move action. Crawling incurs attacks of opportunity from any attackers who threaten you at any point of your crawl. A crawling character is considered prone and must take a move action to stand up, provoking an attack of opportunity.

Injury and Death


Crippling Injuries

If you sustain an amount of damage that would reduce your hit points to -1 or lower, you may choose to instead receive one or more crippling injuries to negate some or all of the damage. Crippling injuries are permanent and cumulative, and cannot be healed by magical effects. The restoration spell can heal one crippling injury, removing both positive and negative effects, unless the body part has been severed, in which case a regenerate spell is needed. A creature with the regeneration ability has all crippling injuries removed when healed back to full hit points.

Each type of crippling injury negates a certain amount of damage, as described on Table: Crippling Injuries. Upon receiving the damage, you may choose which crippling injuries to receive. You can select the same crippling injury multiple times up to the limit as described, except for a scar and a major scar. Those two types of crippling injuries can only be taken once per occurrence of damage. You can receive a number of injuries up to your Constitution score. After that, you can no longer take injuries instead of damage.

Creatures immune to critical hits cannot choose to take a crippling injury.

Massive Damage

If you ever sustain a single attack that deals an amount of damage equal to half your total hit points (minimum 50 points of damage) or more and it doesn't kill you outright, you must make a Fortitude save with a DC of 15 + half of the damage amount that exceeds 50. If this saving throw fails, you die regardless of your current hit points. If you take half your total hit points or more in damage from multiple attacks, no one of which dealt more than half your total hit points (minimum 50), the massive damage rule does not apply. If you survive taking massive damage, you gain a crippling injury. Crippling injuries are determined randomly by rolling a 1d20 on Table: Crippling Injuries. For every 5 points of damage received, add 1 to the roll.

Creatures immune to critical hits are not subject to massive damage.

Table: Crippling Injuries
d20 Damage Negated Effect
1—4 5 Scar (-1 penalty on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform checks; +1 bonus to Intimidate checks)
5—8 10 Major scar (-2 penalty on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform checks; +1 bonus to Intimidate checks)
9—10 10 Loss of use of one finger (-1 penalty to all Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Perform (keyboard, percussion, string, wind), Ride, and Sleight of Hand checks). If you lose the use of all fingers on one hand, you lose the use of that hand as if you had received a hand injury. If you lose use of all fingers, another finger injury results in a finger being completely severed. Reroll if all fingers have been severed.
11—12 10 Loss of use of one eye (-4 penalty on all sight-based Perception checks, blind if all eyes are gone). If you lose the use of all of your eyes, another eye injury results in one eye being destroyed. Reroll if all of your eyes have been destroyed.
13—14 15 Loss of use of one hand (-2 penalty on all Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Perform (keyboard, percussion, string, wind), Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Swim checks, cannot hold items in that hand, cannot use two-handed items if only one intact hand remaining). If you lose the use of all of your hands, you cannot cast spells with somatic components (unless you use the Still Spell feat). In addition, another hand injury results in that hand being severed, and you gain 1 bleed damage. Reroll if all of your hands have been severed.
15—16 20 Head trauma (-2 penalty to all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based skill checks). If you gain another head injury, you become permanently sickened. If you gain a third head injury, you become permanently confused. If you gain a fourth head injury, you become permanently staggered. If you gain a fifth head injury, you have a 50% chance of being dazed at the beginning of your turn for 1 round. If you gain a sixth head injury, you have a 50% chance of being stunned for 1 round at the beginning of your turn. Reroll if you already have five head injuries.
17—18 30 Loss of use of one leg or foot (-2 penalty on all Acrobatics, Climb, Perform (dance), Ride, and Stealth checks, speed reduced to half if you lose the use of half of your legs/feet, cannot charge or run). If you lose the use of all your legs/feet, your speed is reduced to 5 ft. In addition, another leg/foot injury results in a leg/foot being severed, and you gain 1 bleed damage. Reroll if all of your legs or feet have been severed.
19—20 30 Loss of arm (-2 penalty on all Acrobatics, Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Perform (keyboard, percussion, string, wind), Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Swim checks, cannot use two-handed items if only one intact arm and intact hand remaining). If you lose the use of all of your arms, another arm injury results in an arm being severed, and you gain 1 bleed damage. Reroll if all of your arms have been severed.

Special Attacks


Combat Expertise

If your Intelligence is 13 or higher, you can choose to take a -1 penalty on melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every +4 thereafter, the penalty increases by -1 and the dodge bonus increases by +1. You can only choose to use this combat option when you declare that you are making an attack or a full-attack action with a melee weapon. The bonus and penalty last until your next turn.

Deadly Aim

If your Dexterity is 13 or higher, and your base attack bonus is +1 or higher, you can choose to take a –1 penalty on all ranged attack rolls to gain a +2 bonus on all ranged damage rolls. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every +4 thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2. You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Feint

Feinting is a move action. To feint, make a Bluff skill check. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + your opponent's base attack bonus + your opponent's Wisdom modifier. If your opponent is trained in Sense Motive, the DC is instead equal to 10 + your opponent's Sense Motive bonus, if higher. If successful, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made on or before your next turn.

When feinting against a non-humanoid you take a –4 penalty. Against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2), you take a –8 penalty. Against a creature lacking an Intelligence score, it's impossible. Feinting in combat does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Feinting as a Swift Action
With the Improved Feint feat, you can attempt a feint as a swift action.

Lunge

If your base attack bonus +6 or higher, you can increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5 feet until the end of your turn by taking a –2 penalty to your AC until your next turn. You must decide to use this ability before any attacks are made.

Martial Power

If your Constitution is 13 of higher, and you have knowledge of at least one maneuver or stance, you can choose to take a -1 penalty on attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain 2 temporary hit points. This bonus is increased by half (50%) when you are using a shield of any kind. When your base attack bonus reaches +3 and every +2 thereafter, the penalty increases by -1 and the temporary hit point bonus increases by 2. You can only choose to use this feat when you declare that you are making an attack or a full-attack action with a melee weapon, or when you are initiating a maneuver. The penalty to attack rolls and temporary hit points gained from use of this feat last until the start of your next turn.

Power Attack

If your Strength is 13 or higher, and your base attack bonus is +1 or higher, you can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2. You must choose to use this attack option before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Reckless Offense

If your base attack bonus is +1 or higher, you can take a penalty of –4 to your Armor Class and add a +2 bonus on your melee attack roll when you use the attack action or full attack action in melee. The bonus on attack rolls and penalty to Armor Class last until the beginning of your next turn.

Combat Maneuvers


Each character and creature has a Combat Maneuver Bonus (or CMB) that represents its skill at performing combat maneuvers. A creature's CMB is determined using the following formula:
CMB = Base attack bonus + Strength or Dexterity modifier + special size modifier

Grapple

Pin
You can give your opponent the pinned condition (see Conditions). Despite pinning your opponent, you still only have the grappled condition, but you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC. While attempting to pin your opponent or when maintaining the pin, you may choose to apply a chokehold to him. To do so, you must make another grapple combat maneuver without the +5 circumstance bonus. If you succeed, you have pinned your opponent and hold the opponent in a chokehold. When you maintain the grapple, you also maintain the chokehold. A creature in a chokehold cannot breathe or speak, and thus cannot cast spells that have a verbal component. An opponent you have in a chokehold has to hold his breath or begin suffocating (see Suffocation under Environmental Rules). Any creature that does not breathe, is immune to bleed damage, or is immune to critical hits is immune to the effects of your chokehold. When the grapple is ended, so is the chokehold.

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