The Five Kingdoms
Breakdown of a Combat Round
1. Surprise: Anytime combat starts and someone may be unaware of it, they may be surprised. When this happens; for example, a monster sneaks up to you and attacks, the D.M. will have you roll to see if you hear or see the attackers coming before they actually attack. The D.M. will tell you what you need to roll.
a. If you are successful in your roll, then you are not surprised, and you may roll initiative at the beginning of combat.
b. If you fail your roll, then you are surprised. This means that you do not get to act in the first round (the surprise round) of combat. If you are surprised you are considered “Flat-footed.” This means you do not get to apply your Dexterity modifiers to your Armor Class.
2. Initiative: Initiative is a term for determining what order people go in during a combat round. Initiative is determined by rolling 1d20 and adding your modifier from Dexterity, Feats and Magical Abilities (if you have Feats and Abilities that affect initiative rolls). Order goes from the person with the highest result of this roll, to the lowest.
a. During the first round of combat everyone is “Flat-Footed” until they get to act. After you get your first action, in the first round of combat you will no longer be “Flat-Footed” during the rest of the combat. Note: Some spells and abilities can put you, temporarily, in a Flat-Footed state. You will be informed when this occurs, and when it ends.
b. This means that if you fail a surprise check you will be Flat-Footed until you get to act in the following round.
3. Actions: Moving, attacking, casting spells, and anything else you may want to do during combat.
a. Standard Actions: A standard action allows you to do something and move your speed during your turn in a round (Move Action). You may move before or after a standard action (your choice). Standard Actions are:
i. Melee Attack: One attack. (No A.o.O.)
ii. Ranged Attack: One Attack (Yes A.o.O.)
iii. Move Action: Move your listed speed (plus the Move Action you get with all standard actions, essentially you get to move double your speed). (A.o.O. conditional)
iv. Cast a Spell: Spells with casting times of a standard action. Some spells have casting times that are longer than a standard action; either will be listed in the spell description. (Yes A.o.O.)
v. Total Defense: Focusing on defending yourself. You get +4 to your A.C. until you act next in the following round. (No A.o.O.)
b. Full-Round Actions: These actions consume all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take is a “5-Foot Step” before, during or after the action (your choice). Some Full-Round Actions prohibit the 5-Foot Step as well, but unless the action specifically states that, you get the 5-Foot Step.
i. Full Attack: If you are capable of making multiple attacks in a round, you must make a Full Attack to use them. (No A.o.O. if melee, yes if ranged)
ii. Run or Sprint: Move at x3 or x4 your Speed (your choice). (A.o.O. conditional)
iii. Load a Heavy or Repeating Crossbow (Yes A.o.O.)
iv. Refocus: By forfeiting doing anything this round (except a 5-Foot Step), you will enter the next round with an initiative of 20 + initiative modifiers you have. (No A.o.O.)
c. Move-Equivalent Actions: These actions are interchangeable with standard actions or the move action during a round you are making a standard action. For example: If you are next to a door in combat and the door is unlocked, you may: Attack, then open the door. Open the door, then attack. Open the door, and move up to your speed (Move Action) through the door. Examples:
i. Draw or sheathe a weapon (Draw = No, Sheathe = Yes A.o.O.)
ii. Open a door (No A.o.O.)
iii. Pick up an item (Yes A.o.O.)
iv. Retrieve a stored item (Yes A.o.O.)
v. Stand up from prone (No A.o.O.)
vi. Load a light or hand crossbow (Yes A.o.O.)
vii. Mount or Dismount (No A.o.O.)
d. Free Actions: consume a very small amount of time and effort, and over the span of the round, their impact is so minor that they are considered free. You can perform one or more free actions while taking other actions normally. The D.M. will regulate how many free actions you get per round, depending on the specific action or actions. Free Actions do not provoke “Attacks of Opportunity.” Examples of free actions include:
i. Cast a “quickened” spell
ii. Cease concentration on a spell
iii. Prepare spell components
iv. Direct some spells that you have already cast
v. Change form
vi. Drop an item
vii. Drop to the floor
ix. Make Spellcraft checks
4. Attacks of Opportunity: Melee rules assume that combatants are actively avoiding attacks. A player doesn’t have to declare anything special for her character to be on the defensive. Sometimes, however, a combatant in a melee lets her guard down, and she is not on the defensive as usual. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free.
a. Threatened Area: You threaten the area into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your action. Generally, that is everything within 5’ of you in any direction. An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity from you.
b. Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: If you move within or out of a threatened area, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. If all you do is move (not run) during your turn, the space that you start out in is not considered threatened, and therefore enemies do not get attacks of opportunity for you leaving the space. In addition, if your entire move for the round is 5’ (or a 5-Foot Step), enemies do not get attacks of opportunity for your moving. Previously listed actions are denoted with (Yes A.o.O) or (No A.o.O) to show if those actions provoke an attack of opportunity.
c. Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single attack, and you can only make one per round. You do not have to make an attack of opportunity if you don’t want to. Attacks of opportunity are made with your first attack bonus.
5. Multiple Attacks: Whenever your base attack bonus, without modifiers, is high enough that you can -5 and still have a number higher than zero, you get a second attack using the result as the attack bonus. For example, if your base attack bonus is 7/+2. That’s 3 attacks. You may them add any modifiers to these attack numbers, but only the “base attack bonus” is used to determine how many multiple attacks you get. Attacking with multiple attacks this way requires a “Full Attack” action, as listed above.