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Summary of AD&D 'Player's option: Combat & Tactics', TSR 2149

All figures have front, flank, and rear spaces. facing range

Weapons Many polearms are assigned a range, much like missile weapons. A polearm with a range of 2 can strike enemies standing in the character's front square or any adjacent square beyond the row of front squares. Some weapons are defined as range only weapons. Pikes and lances fall into this category. These weapons can be used to make normal attacks in the squares they can reach but cannot be used against targets in between the wielder and the weapon's point. Creatures wielding range 2 or larger weapons or natural attack forms cannot make melee attacks through an occupied square to another square unless as part of a spear or pike hedge (see Chapter Two).

Missile Scale Some battles may open in missile scale,

Most characters and monsters can only make one effective attack in this time; the rest of the swings are feints, parries, or just for show. Higher-level characters with multiple attacks are able to make more of these swings count. Parries are followed up with ripostes. Feints suddenly become attacks when an opening presents itself. With time and practice, a skillful swordsman can make every swing of his sword a potentially lethal attack.

Combat Status Any figure involved in combat falls into one of three categories: clear, threatened, or grappled. This represents the immediacy of an enemy threat and influences what actions the character can choose for that combat round. A character's options are extremely limited when he is caught in an owlbear's hug. In addition to governing the character's choice of combat actions for the round, threatening is also important because it determines who is subject to what are known as attacks of opportunity (see below).

Grappled creatures must get free before they can move. The only combat actions a grappled creature can take are: Respond with unarmed combat. Attack the grappling creature with a size S weapon. Attempt to escape. Each grappling method defines a means of escape. Grappling figures never threaten other squares.

A creature can't make more than one attack of opportunity against a single opponent in the course of a combat round, (make the whole thing depend on stance?) Surprised characters and monsters cannot make attacks of opportunity during the round in which they are surprised.

Characters determine their combat system movement in three steps: ?? Determine the character's base movement rate from his character race; ?? Adjust the base movement rate for exceptional ability scores; ?? Modify the character's movement due to his encumbrance.

Surprise There are situations in which one side may have to make a surprise check but their opponents don't, for example, an ambush or a nighttime encounter with enemies carrying bright lights. The surprisers get a free round of attacks, movement, or spells against the surprised members of the other group.

The Five Basic of Every Combat Round With the exception of two skilled fighters using similar weapons or styles, combat is utter chaos. It's ludicrous to believe that any set of game rules could begin to approach an accurate simulation of fights that range from barroom brawls to fantastic duels between archmages and dragons. However, there has to be some way to resolve combat. In the Player's Option combat system, battles are divided into combat rounds, and each round is divided into five basic steps. These steps are: Step One: Monster Action Determination Step Two: PC Action Declaration Step Three: Initiative Step Four: Resolution of Actions Step Five: End-of-Round Resolution

Step Five: End-of-Round Resolution Fatigue is a measure of the character's endurance over a prolonged combat. At the end of each round, the character checks to see if the combat has lasted long enough for him to become fatigued or exhausted. Retreats occur when a figure is forced to fall back by the press of the fight. This can have the effect of breaking up an enemy line or forcing the retreating character over a cliff, into quicksand, and so on. The DM makes morale checks for the monsters, if appropriate. Most creatures don't care to carry a losing battle to their own deaths and will try to break off the fight if things aren't going their way. Last but not least, characters who are suffering from spell effects, poison, or special critical hits suffer damage or fight off the effect. The exact procedure is determined by the type of condition the character is suffering from.


Combat Actions
Combat actions are basic strategies that a character can follow in a round of combat. Does Argath the Brave stand his ground and wait for the orcs to come to him, or does he charge rashly into the center of their line? Does Rowan the Mage cast a spell or spend her round moving to a better vantage point? You decide when you select your character's combat action for that round. There are several factors involved in choosing a combat action. It is dangerous to do anything but attack or parry when your character is threatened by an adjacent opponent. It's downright useless to declare a charge when your character is grappled by a giant constrictor snake.

The following choices are available as combat actions in the Player's Option combat system:
No-move actions: Attack, Cast a Spell, Cover, Fire/Throw Missiles (normal ROF), Guard, Parry, Unarmed Combat, Use a Magical Item
Half-move actions: Attack, Charge, Fire/Throw Missiles (half the normal ROF), Guard, Unarmed Combat, Withdraw
Full-move action: Run, Sprint, Charge, Move,

Overruns - When a larger creature attempts to move into a smaller, standing enemy's square, it is called an overrun. When a defender is knocked down by an overrunning creature, he may suffer a trampling attack.

his back or creating an attack of opportunity for his opponent.

-- PumaN - 11 Jan 2003

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Revision r1.2 - 10 Jan 2003 - 22:16 GMT - PumaN
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