Combat Cheat Sheet
Greetings Players! Below you will find a handy-dandy list of most of the modifiers that you will need to be using on a frequent basis, as well as a very basic explanation of combat.
There are all sorts of ways to attack your enemies but it all boils down to two basic attacks:
- Melee – Attacks made when adjacent to your enemy, these use your Str. modifier.
- Ranged – Attacks made when you aren’t, these use you Dex. modifier.
There are two different categories for each attack listed above as well:
- (Untyped) – These attacks are made versus your opponents full AC.
- Touch – These attacks are made versus your opponents full AC without their Armor bonus (this number is called their “Touch AC”). This means that these attacks are usually significantly more likely to succeed.
All in all this means that there are four typical attack configurations and a host of modifiers that can be applied to them.
- Melee Attack: Roll 1d20 and add modifiers (Str. modifier, Attack Bonus, Other) vs. Opponents full AC. This is most weapon attacks.
- Melee Touch Attack: Roll 1d20 and add modifiers (Str. modifier, Attack Bonus, Other) vs. Opponents Touch AC. These are usually spells.
- Ranged Attack: Roll 1d20 and add modifiers (Dex. modifier, Attack Bonus, Other) vs. Opponents full AC. This is most attacks made with ranged weapons.
- Ranged Touch Attack: Roll 1d20 and add modifiers (Dex. modifier, Attack Bonus, Other) vs. Opponents full AC.
If you hit then your action was successful! Congratulations, you are well on your way to being a successful adventurer. Wait, what was that? You need to know what the definitions of “Attack Bonus” and “Other” are or else the above list isn’t exactly helpful?
Delighted to oblige!
Your “Attack Bonus” is a magical number (like most things in this game) that is a sum of many smaller parts which are listed below.
- Base Attack Bonus (BAB) – This is a number (+1 to +20) that may or may not go up each level whenever you level up. The squishier you are the lower this number tends to be.
- Weapon Bonus – Bonus that derives from using masterwork weapons (+1) or a magical weapon (ranges from +1 to +5). These two bonuses do not stack.
- Feat Bonus – Usually this is a (+1) as a result of the “Weapon Focus” feat.
Royal Mage Vier is attempting to assassinate the royal cook because he makes the morning eggs too runny. Vier has a BAB of +1 and is using a +2 magical dagger, he doesn’t have “Weapon Focus: Dagger”. His attack bonus for this attack would be +3, after you add in his +1 Str. bonus (this attack is a “Melee Attack”) and that results in a total of +4 to hit. I hope he rolled high! Looks like he didn’t though, he rolled a 6 on his d20 and adds the +4 from above for a total of 10, this is less than the cooks AC of 12. Vier missed.
Now the cook knows that murder is afoot and is trying to flee. Vier attempts to blast the cook with his “Scorching Ray” spell before the cook can get away and alert the guards. Vier has a BAB of +1 and has “Weapon Focus: Ray”, granting him an attack bonus of +1 to ray attacks. After you add his +3 Dex. bonus (this is a “Ranged Touch Attack”) that brings his bonus up to +5. He rolls a 12 this time on his d20, the end result is a 17. This definitely hits the cook, whose Touch AC was only 9. The cook was a level 1 commoner with a measly 5 hp, he’s quite dead. I hope you’re happy, he had a family you know. His name was Rick. Goodbye Rick.
Moving right along. The following is a very brief list of most of the possible modifiers that the average player is going to see during the average session, as well as some for just the Barbarians in the group.
The “Other” Bonuses:
- Flanking: +2 to your attacks
- Charging: +2 to your attacks, -2 to your AC
- Power Attack: -x to your BAB, that same amount x2 in extra damage
- Leap Attack: -x to your BAB, that amount x3 in extra damage
- Using a Lance: whatever your total damage (before counting sneak attack) x2
- Getting a Critical Hit: whatever your total damage (before counting sneak attack) multiplied by your weapons crit multiplier
Time for your DMs nightmare and the bane of all Cryo-Hydras. Let’s blow this out of proportion and do all of it at once. Assume for the sake of this example that you are a level 10 Barbarian Centaur, using a +4 lance two-handed, are leap attacking (already made that check and passed) and gave up all 10 points of your BAB, raging, charging, and flanking. Lets say that your str bonus is +10 and that you rolled a natural 20. We’ll run the math step by step.
Your Attack Roll
- Roll your attack (20)
- Add your Str. bonus (12 because you are raging, remember?)
- Add your Attack bonus (4 which comes from BAB of +0 and your enchanted lance adds +4)
- Add your “Other” bonuses (4 which comes from +2 flanking and +2 charging)
Your total was: 20 + 12 + 4 + 4 = 40. We’ll assume you confirmed the crit, you’re doing fantastic by the way.
Your Damage Roll
- Roll your base weapon damage (lets say that’s 2d6 in this example and you rolled 12)
- Add bonus weapon damage that isn’t sneak attack (4 from your enchanted lance)
- Add your strength bonus in damage (18 due to using your weapon 2 handed with a +12 str bonus)
- Add your Leap Attack damage (30 due to giving up 10 points of your BAB and using your lance two handed)
- It’s a lance, so multiply that total by 2 (64 × 2 = 128)
- And you crit (x3 on a lance), so your DM can pretty much kiss his baddie goodbye in this one hit alone for a bone-jarring 384 points of damage.
- If you have Sneak Attack damage this is the step in which you would add it.
Please keep in mind that I created nearly all of this page strictly from memory so if any of it is wrong or you need more clarification just let me know and I’ll be happy to adjust it accordingly.
The Combat Glossary: Below you will find a list of most things combat related and descriptions.
PART ONE: Conditions
Ability Burn – Ability score damage that cannot be magically or psionically healed, caused by the use of certain psionic feats and powers. It recovers only through natural healing.
Ability Damage – Ability score damage which can be magically or psionically healed. Lost points return at a rate of 1 per day unless noted otherwise by the condition dealing the damage. A character with Strength 0 falls to the ground and is helpless. A character with Dexterity 0 is paralyzed. A character with Constitution 0 is dead. A character with Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma 0 is unconscious.
Ability Drain – Ability score damage which is permanent. These points can only be regained through magical means. A character with Strength 0 falls to the ground and is helpless. A character with Dexterity 0 is paralyzed. A character with Constitution 0 is dead. A character with Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma 0 is unconscious.
Blinded – The character cannot see. He takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), moves at half speed, and takes a –4 penalty on Search checks and on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.
Blown Away – Depending on its size, a creature can be blown away by winds of high velocity. A creature on the ground that is blown away is knocked down and rolls 1d4 × 10 feet, taking 1d4 points of nonlethal damage per 10 feet. A flying creature that is blown away is blown back 2d6 × 10 feet and takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage due to battering and buffering.
Checked – The character is prevented from achieving forward motion by an applied force, such as wind. Checked creatures on the ground merely stop. Checked flying creatures move back a distance specified in the description of the effect.
Confused – A confused character’s actions are determined by rolling d% at the beginning of his turn (ref below). A confused character who can’t carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble incoherently. Attackers are not at any special advantage when attacking a confused character. Any confused character who is attacked automatically attacks its attackers on its next turn, as long as it is still confused when its turn comes. A confused character does not make attacks of opportunity against any creature that it is not already devoted to attacking (either because of its most recent action or because it has just been attacked).
01–10 Attack caster with melee or ranged weapons (or close with caster if attacking is not possible)
11–20 Act normally
21–50 Do nothing but babble incoherently
51–70 Flee away from caster at top possible speed
71–100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self )._
Cowering – The character is frozen in fear and can take no actions. A cowering character takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class and loses her Dexterity bonus (if any).
Dazed – The creature is unable to act normally. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC. A dazed condition typically lasts 1 round.
Dazzled – The creature is unable to see well because of over-stimulation of the eyes. A dazzled creature takes a –1 penalty on attack rolls, Search checks, and Spot checks.
Dead – You are all dead. D E D, dead. A rotting corpse. Fairly obvious.
Deafened – Being blinded in the ears, a deafened character cannot hear. She takes a –4 penalty on initiative checks, automatically fails Listen checks, and has a 20% chance of spell failure when casting spells with verbal components. Characters who remain deafened for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.
Disabled – You are only mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. A character with 0 hit points, or one who has negative hit points but has become stable and conscious, is disabled. A disabled character may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can she take full-round actions). She moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn’t risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the DM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a quickened spell) deals 1 point of damage after the completion of the act. Unless the action increased the disabled character’s hit points, she is now in negative hit points and dying. A disabled character with negative hit points recovers hit points naturally if she is being helped. Otherwise, each day she has a 10% chance to start recovering hit points naturally (starting with that day); otherwise, she loses 1 hit point. Once an unaided character starts recovering hit points naturally, she is no longer in danger of losing hit points (even if her current hit points are negative).
Dying – Transitioning from mostly dead to all dead. A dying character is unconscious and near death. She has –1 to –9 current hit points. A dying character can take no actions and is unconscious. At the end of each round (starting with the round in which the character dropped below 0 hit points), the character rolls d% to see whether she becomes stable. She has a 10% chance to become stable. If she does not, she loses 1 hit point. If a dying character reaches –10 hit points, she is dead.
Energy Drain – The character gains one or more negative levels, which might permanently drain the character’s levels. If the subject has at least as many negative levels as Hit Dice, he dies. Each negative level gives a creature the following penalties: –1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks; loss of 5 hit points; and –1 to effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). In addition, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from the highest spell level castable.
Entangled – The character is ensnared. Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force. An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and a –4 penalty to Dexterity. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + the spell’s level) or lose the spell.
Exhausted – An exhausted character moves at half speed and takes a –6 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. After 1 hour of complete rest, an exhausted character becomes fatigued. A fatigued character becomes exhausted by doing something else that would normally cause fatigue.
Fascinated – A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature’s ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.
Fatigued – A fatigued character can neither run nor charge and takes a –2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue causes the fatigued character to become exhausted. After 8 hours of complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued.
Fighting Defensively – You can choose to fight defensively when taking a full attack action. If you do so, you take a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC for the same round.
Flat-Footed – A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, not yet reacting normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.
Frightened – A frightened creature flees from the source of its fear as best it can. If unable to flee, it may fight. A frightened creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. A frightened creature can use special abilities, including spells, to flee; indeed, the creature must use such means if they are the only way to escape. Frightened is like shaken, except that the creature must flee if possible. Panicked is a more extreme state of fear.
Grappling – Engaged in wrestling or some other form of hand-to-hand struggle with one or more attackers. A grappling character can undertake only a limited number of actions. He does not threaten any squares, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) against opponents he isn’t grappling.
Helpless – A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent’s mercy. A helpless target is treated as having a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier). Melee attacks against a helpless target get a +4 bonus (equivalent to attacking a prone target). Ranged attacks gets no special bonus against helpless targets. Rogues can sneak attack helpless targets. As a full-round action, an enemy can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace to a helpless foe.
Incorporeal – Having no physical body. Incorporeal creatures are immune to all nonmagical attack forms. They can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, spells, spell-like effects, or supernatural effects.
Invisible – Visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any).
Knocked Down – Depending on their size, creatures can be knocked down by winds of high velocity. Creatures on the ground are knocked prone by the force of the wind. Flying creatures are instead blown back 1d6 × 10 feet.
Nauseated – Milk was a bad choice. The character is experiencing stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn.
Panicked – A panicked creature must drop anything it holds and flee at top speed from the source of its fear, as well as any other dangers it encounters, along a random path. It can’t take any other actions. In addition, the creature takes a –2 penalty on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. If cornered, a panicked creature cowers and does not attack, typically using the total defense action in combat. A panicked creature can use special abilities, including spells, to flee; indeed, the creature must use such means if they are the only way to escape. Panicked is a more extreme state of fear than shaken or frightened.
Paralyzed – A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act. A paralyzed character has effective Dexterity and Strength scores of 0 and is helpless, but can take purely mental actions. A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls (winging down in a spiral or face-planting, depending on the race). A paralyzed swimmer can’t swim and may drown. A creature can move through a space occupied by a paralyzed creature—ally or not. Each square occupied by a paralyzed creature, however, counts as 2 squares.
Petrified – I kept thinking I could never live without you by my side. A petrified character has been turned to stone and is considered unconscious. If a petrified character cracks or breaks, but the broken pieces are joined with the body as he returns to flesh, he is unharmed. If the character’s petrified body is incomplete when it returns to flesh, the body is likewise incomplete and there is some amount of permanent hit point loss and/or debilitation.
Pinned – Held immobile (but not helpless) in a grapple, ergo no Coup de Grace.
Prone – The character is laying on the ground. An attacker who is prone has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A defender who is prone gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks. Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Shaken – A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Shaken is a less severe state of fear than frightened or panicked.
Sickened – The character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.
Stable – No longer transitioning from mostly dead to all dead.A character who was dying but who has stopped losing hit points and still has negative hit points is stable. The character is no longer dying, but is still unconscious. If the character has become stable because of aid from another character (such as a Heal check or magical healing), then the character no longer loses hit points. He has a 10% chance each hour of becoming conscious and disabled (even though his hit points are still negative). If the character became stable on his own and hasn’t had help, he is still at risk of losing hit points. Each hour, he has a 10% chance of becoming conscious and disabled. Otherwise he loses 1 hit point.
Staggered – A character whose nonlethal damage exactly equals his current hit points is staggered. A staggered character may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can she take full-round actions). A character whose current hit points exceed his nonlethal damage is no longer staggered; a character whose nonlethal damage exceeds his hit points becomes unconscious.
Stunned – A stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).
Turned – Affected by a turn undead attempt. Turned undead flee for 10 rounds (1 minute) by the best and fastest means available to them. If they cannot flee, they cower.
Unconscious – Knocked out and helpless. Unconsciousness can result from having current hit points between –1 and –9, or from nonlethal damage in excess of current hit points.
PART TWO: Combat Actions
Full Attack – If you get more than one attack per round because your base attack bonus is high enough, because you fight with two weapons or a double weapon or for some special reason you must use a full-round action to get your additional attacks. You do not need to specify the targets of your attacks ahead of time. You can see how the earlier attacks turn out before assigning the later ones. The only movement you can take during a full attack is a 5-foot step. You may take the step before, after, or between your attacks. You must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If you are using two weapons, you can strike with either weapon first. If you are using a double weapon, you can strike with either part of the weapon first. After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out. If you’ve already taken a 5-foot step, you can’t use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action.
Coup de Grace – As a full-round action, you can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace to a helpless opponent. You can also use a bow or crossbow, provided you are adjacent to the target. You automatically hit and score a critical hit. If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die. A rogue also gets her extra sneak attack damage against a helpless opponent when delivering a coup de grace. Delivering a coup de grace provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents. You can’t deliver a coup de grace against a creature that is immune to critical hits. You can deliver a coup de grace against a creature with total concealment, but doing this requires two consecutive full-round actions (one to “find” the creature once you’ve determined what square it’s in, and one to deliver the coup de grace).
Withdraw – Withdrawing from melee combat is a full-round action. When you withdraw, you can move up to double your speed. The square you start out in is not considered threatened by any opponent you can see, and therefore visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against you when you move from that square. (Invisible enemies still get attacks of opportunity against you, and you can’t withdraw from combat if you’re blinded.) You can’t take a 5-foot step during the same round in which you withdraw. If, during the process of withdrawing, you move out of a threatened square (other than the one you started in), enemies get attacks of opportunity as normal. You may not withdraw using a form of movement for which you don’t have a listed speed. Note that despite the name of this action, you don’t actually have to leave combat entirely.
Restricted Withdraw – If you are limited to taking only a standard action each round you can withdraw as a standard action. In this case, you may move up to your speed (rather than up to double your speed).
Run – You can run as a full-round action. (If you do, you do not also get a 5-foot step.) When you run, you can move up to four times your speed in a straight line (or three times your speed if you’re in heavy armor). You lose any Dexterity bonus to AC unless you have the Run feat. You can run for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution score, but after that you must make a DC 10 Constitution check to continue running. You must check again each round in which you continue to run, and the DC of this check increases by 1 for each check you have made. When you fail this check, you must stop running. A character who has run to his limit must rest for 1 minute (10 rounds) before running again. During a rest period, a character can move no faster than a normal move action. You can’t run across difficult terrain or if you can’t see where you’re going.