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Combat serves two purposes: advancing the character AND advancing the plot. You're weak so you fight monsters in the forest to get stronger. The Princess has been kidnapped, so you must fight your way through and rescue her. In both scenarios combat functions as a meta-game within the larger game. It is a repetitive task that must be performed to move forward in the game, it becomes known as the grind. Too much grinding and the players get burned out and stop playing. We avoid burnout by controlling the pace of combat and keeping it varied while still interesting.

Combat Mechanics

Our combat is based on the Dungeons & Dragons D20 ruleset. We should feel free to cherry-pick the rules we want to use and those we ignore. Our goal should be to simplify the combat while maintaining as much variety as we can. A character's skills, stats, and feats should have a tangible effect on the battle. Let's begin by describing the flow of combat.

An ability modifier is often added to a dice roll to illustrate skill or natural aptitude in a certain task. To determine the modifier subtract 10, divide by 2, and then round down.

When one or more creatures are encountered we begin with a surprise round. The surprise round is used if one side of the encounter manages to surprise the other and thus gains a preemptive attack. To determine if one side or the other is surprised, we do a Perception Check which is successful on a roll greater than the Difficulty Class (DC) of noticing the opponent. I'm not sure how to determine the DC... is it always 10? This would effectively make it random, but leaves no room for the character or monster to be exceptionally sneaky or perceptive.

An elf rogue encounters a goblin in the forest. The elf has a Perception Skill level of 7 and a Wisdom Ability of 13. The wisdom ability is used to determine the Perception Modifier so we take (13 - 10)/2 = 1.5 and then round down giving a Perception Modifier of +1. We then add this score to the level of Perception which is 7 and finally, because this character is an elf they get a Racial Modifier Bonus of +2 to Perception... giving a grand total of 1 + 7 + 2 = 10. This number is then added to whatever the elf rolls for his perception check.

After the surprise round, we determine initiative. Initiative is used to determine the order of who attacks first, second, and so on. So all combatants roll an Initiative Check, which uses his or her Dexterity modifier and adds it to the roll. Now that we have an initiative score for each player and enemy, each takes his turn in order of initiative and repeats until combat is over.

What comes next is the attack roll which 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. Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is the following: Base attack bonus (determined by class level) + Strength modifier (Str - 10 / 2) With a ranged weapon, your attack bonus is the following: Base attack bonus + Dexterity modifier + range penalty.

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. When their hit points reach 0, they die.

Wilderness Encounters

Something about the 2 types of battles, random wilderness encounters and quest encounters. A limited number of random wilderness encounters can occur each day. Red dots on the map.

Scripted Encounters

Something about the 2 types of battles, random wilderness encounters and quest encounters. A limited number of random wilderness encounters can occur each day. Red dots on the map.