Combat Encounters

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A combat encounter is part of an adventure that involves physical conflict. Most adventures will include at least one combat encounter, and it is not uncommon for an adventure's encounters to be majority combat-oriented. Such encounters often have very immediate stakes and consequences to failure, be it injury, capture, or even death.

These encounters are turn-based. An initiative order is generated, and each of the actors in the encounter announce and execute their actions in turn. It is worth noting that this does not perfectly represent real life; when in doubt, simultaneous actions do not exist within a combat encounter. There may be some instances where two separate actions can be narratively described as simultaneous, but mechanically speaking, they were sequential. For example, a drawbridge is held in place by two windlasses. A faster character gets into position to unwind theirs, and readies an action to do so when a slower character unwinds the other. The slower character then reaches their windlass, and unwinds it, inviting any reactionary behaviours that they may trigger. The faster character is then permitted to unwind theirs, and does so, inviting a separate round of potentially reactionary behaviours. While each of these events happens sequentially, the two characters could be described as racing over to each of the windlasses and unwinding them in unison.

This may seem to be an issue in terms of ludo-narrative consonance, but the majority of the time, it should not present an issue as long as no one at the table thinks about it too hard.


There are a number of different types of actions you can take in combat. Normally, you can choose to take a Full Round Action, or 1 Standard, 1 Move, and 1 Minor in each of your turns. Extended actions take multiple turns to complete, and Free actions take so little time that they don't count.

Action Types

Standard Actions

Standard actions are amongst the most common action you're likely to take. Most Powers are performed as a standard action. Additionally, most in-combat non-attacking checks are considered standard actions.

You may use a Standard action to withdraw from combat. This action is used to move from a threatened area to a non-threatened area without provoking opportunity attacks.

You may also elect to devolve a standard action into either a Move or a Minor action, should you need one of those actions more urgently.

Move Actions

Move actions are also very common actions. With a move action, you may move up to your speed, in any direction. The speed that you use should be appropriate to the medium; you can't use your Fly speed to move underwater, or your Land speed to move underground. Most in-combat checks involving movement are made as a move action, and most non-standard actions that involve manipulating the world are also move actions; fetching objects from packs or saddlebags, directing a mount, etc.

You may also elect to devolve a move action into a minor action.

Minor Actions

Minor actions are small actions that require more time or consideration than none. These include things like drawing weapons, flipping obvious switches, pulling well-maintained levers, etc. Most in-combat Some in-combat checks are minor actions, such as checks involving knowledge or spotting something.

Minor actions are also used to maintain ongoing effects.

Full Round Actions

Full Round Actions take your entire round to complete. Powers that normally require a Standard action can be used as a Full Round action. If they are, you gain +2 to the Point Limit of that power.

You may Run as a full round action. If you do, you may move up to 4 times your move speed.

Extended Actions

Extended actions take multiple rounds to complete. This type of action is uncommon in combat, as most are extended move actions and are handled as separate movements.

One example of an Extended action is a ritual. A ritual will normally take at least several minutes to conclude, once started. Since they require concentration and prescribed actions, it is inadvisable to attempt them in combat, but if you do, it will be done as an extended action.

Free Actions

Free actions are actions that take such little time or effort that they're not worth considering. However, there is a reasonable limit on what you can do for free; barking an order is free, but reciting the Art of War is not.

Typical free actions are:

  • Talking
  • Dropping an item
  • Voluntarily falling prone


Reactions are free actions made in response to something. There are no prescribed reactions, except those made by Readied actions.

Readied Actions

A Readied action is a Full-Round, Standard, Move or Minor action that has a condition attached to it. You sacrifice the appropriate action in your turn, and declare the triggering condition.

If the condition is met, then you may choose to perform the action. If you do, you perform the action as normal as a reaction to the triggering action. Your initiative position changes to be after whoever triggered your readied action.

If the condition is not met, you lose the action but your initiative position doesn't change.

The trigger may be nearly anything. Some examples include:

  • A door opening
  • An ally being attacked
  • A Power being used


Delaying can also change your initiative order. On your turn, you can choose not to act at all, in order to take your turn at a later date. To do so, declare that you are delaying. You may then declare that you're taking your turn any time another entity's turn ends, but before the next entity takes an action.

Starting Combat


When you decide to attack an enemy, first decide which power you are going to use. Ensure you have enough power points to use the power, and that your targets are valid. Assuming that these check out, you must make an attack roll. An attack roll is made as follows:

[math]d20 + \text{the highest of [PApt] or [MApt]} + \text{Other Modifiers}[/math]

This roll must be made against all unwilling targets in combat, individually. The primary effect of the power you're attacking with will inform the defence opposing your attacks.


Defences are what protect you from that which would harm you. When you are attacked by another entity, they will be attacking one of your Defences. When the environment is acting against you, or an attack that affects you is not directed at you specifically, you will be asked to make a Save.

Physical Defence

Physical defence protects you from attacks against your body.

[math]10 + \text{the highest of [PApt] or [PDur]} + \text{Armour bonus} + \text{Shield bonus}[/math]

Mental Defence

Mental defence protects you from attacks against your mind.

[math]10 + \text{the highest of [MApt] or [MDur]} + \text{Armour bonus} + \text{Shield bonus}[/math]