Changes to Combat

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Weapons affecting initiative

Roll initiative as normal – its then affected as below and may shift slightly turn to turn.

Using light weapons grants a +1 to initiative rolls. Prepared/Loaded Crossbows also get this benefit for the first round.

Two handed weapons (or using one handed weapons with two hands) generate a -1 initiative. Double weapons such as the Quarterstaff, Doublesword etc exempt of this penalty.
Spell casting is at a -1 initiative penalty per spell level. Casting starts on initiative and the character acts on the adjusted initiative.
When using 2 weapons or combat casting, use the worst criteria.

The fighters “Weapon Training” grants a bonus to initiative when using weapons covered by the class feature benefit.

Casting spells within Combat
Taking more than a 5ft step when casting requires a concentration check of 10 + spell level, the same as if subject to vigorous motion while casting (DC15 + spell level).

Crossbows and Longbows
When using the Deadly Aim feat, the user adds 3 damage instead of two, much like a power attack would if used with a two handed attack. Crossbows can also be bought as if composite bows, simply by adding the doubling of the base cost of the weapon for each +1 to damage to the cost. Reload times increase by a full round action for each +1 above the characters inherent strength bonus, though they can still be fired without penalty. This composite damage works the same way that strength damage would with a two handed weapon (ie x1.5 the composite bonus) for Heavy Crossbows.

Longbows are now Exotic weapons. Elves receive Longbow proficiency as a martial weapon proficiency, having the many years normally used to use the weapon properly. Classes receiving access Martial Weapons and Inquisitors no longer receive access to Longbow without the exotic weapon proficiency feat.

Composite damage maxes out at +4 for game balance purposes for all weapons.

Critical Attacks and Bleed
On a critical hit the attacker inflicts 1 bleed per round on their target. Bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or through the application of any spell that cures hit point damage (even if the bleed is ability damage).

Bleeding in this campaign stacks, each bleed effect adding to the last. In the standard rules it does not.

Free Combat Feats
Anyone with +1 Base Attack Bonus can receive access to ‘Combat Expertise’(Int 13). ‘Power Attack’ (Str 13) and ‘Precise Shot’(Dex 13) combat feats without having to purchase them. You can write them on your character sheet if you qualify. This gives players access to certain combat options without needing to buy these feats and makes it easier to buy other feats.

If you don’t qualify for the feat as free, you can buy the feat as normal without the attribute requirement.

Healing and Healing within Combat
Magical Healing (being magical) fixes wounds, bruises and broken bones without leaving behind scars, bumps or even fusions, it’s perfect healing and leaves you as if you haven’t taken any damage whatsoever. Natural healing (through rest, use of the heal skill etc) will leave behind evidence such as scars and bone fusions where appropriate.

Healing within combat is rolled as normal. All healing outside of combat is maximised, whether it be from spell, ability or potion.

Injuries and Armour
This is an important section of the house rules and has been tagged on the side menu as well. It affects how HPs and armour change. Look to the rules on Injuries and Armour here.

Maiming in lieu of Killing
Characters may use the Coup-De Grace action (with all the limitations therein) to remove or crush a limb instead of killing the opponent. The attack is treated as a critical hit, and if the opponent fails a DC15 Fort Save they die as if from Coup-De-Grace, by passing the save they lose the limb but survive. It’s not an often used option, but it does provide an alternative that can only be rectified by regeneration.

The GM may also use this option for wild beasts or to reflect combat trauma while keeping the character alive.

Reach Weapons
Reach Weapons (whip excepted) do not use the ranged weapon cover rules. Attacking from behind other people is what pole arms are designed to do. A martial shouldn’t have to invest in archery feats (improved precise shot) in order to use a pole arm the way they are designed to be used. Reach Weapons also threaten on diagonals.

These rules makes pole arms more functional.

Special Combat Maneuvers
Only failed maneuvers will provoke an attack of opportunity if the character has not bought the Improved feat for the attempted maneuver. If the attacker chooses to take a -2 to their Combat Maneuver Bonus then they avoid the attack of opportunity even on a miss. This encourages characters to try new options

Players should look at Total Defense (Full-Round Action: No attacks or attacks of opportunity, +4 Dodge AC) [Core Rules pg 186], Fighting Defensively (Full-Round Action: -4 attack, +2 Dodge AC) [Core Rules pg 187], Dirty Fighting (Standard Action: Inflict a condition upon an enemy) [APG pg 320], Drag (Standard Action: move yourself and an enemy straight back) [APG pg 321], Reposition (Standard Action: Move an enemy to another square) [APG pg 322] and the other standard maneuvers in the core rules, as well as skill use in combat.

Bull Rush and Reposition have been changed so that the caveat about not being able to move people into danger with these maneuvers is removed.

Unarmed Combat
Check out the Changes to Feats and New Feats section but remember that when in unarmed combat against an opponent without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, characters with the Improved Unarmed Strike count as being armed.

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Changes to Combat

The Carrion Crown Helaman