Combat House Rules

This is just a list of things I do or plan to do in order to address some of the problems that I’ve seen crop up in combat.


I don’t think a little bit of forethought is too much to ask. Once we’ve determined initiative for the encounter, pay attention to what other people are doing. Plan your next move, so that when I ask what your character is going to do, you aren’t flipping through pages of a book looking for a particular spell or the fine print of a feat. If you think you want to cast a spell, look the spell up before it’s your turn. If you want to start a grapple but don’t know the exact rules of it, have the book open to the page before it’s your turn.

Special Actions

First up is called shots. The table below gives a rough approximation of the penalties and effects associated with called shots. These are based on a medium attacker making a called shot against a medium foe. When the size of the attacker or the defender changes, the relative size of the targets (and the associated penalty) changes accordingly.

Called Shots

Target Size Modifier Effect
Colossal N/A None
Gargantuan N/A None
Huge N/A None
Large (Limb) -2 Penalty to weapon attacks or movement
Medium (Head) -4 Penalty to skills or spells
Small (Hand, Foot, Weapon) -6 Penalty to weapon attacks or movement
Tiny (Nose, Mouth, Ear) -8 Penalty to skills or spells
Diminutive (Eye) -10 Blindness
Fine N/A None
  • Effects of called shots last until combat ends and the character suffering from the effects receives healing (or a DC 20 heal check).
    • Limb: -1 to attacks or -10’ to speed.
    • Head: -1 to skills or -2 to caster level.
    • Hand etc.: -2 to attacks or -20’ to speed.
    • Nose etc.: -2 to skills or -4 to caster level.

Critical Fumbles

Critical Fumbles, or a natural roll of 1 on an attack roll, requires something special. Basically, it isn’t just as simple as “you missed,” and it isn’t always as devastating as “you missed, shattered your weapon, and ripped open a hole in the fabric of reality, summoning Bob, god of BSoD.” Basically, whenever you critically fumble, you’re going to roll a d4. The results are summed up in the table below.

Critical Fumbles

Target Size Effect
1 Attack Misses
2 Randomly Strike Adjacent Square1
3 Drop Weapon
4 Attack Misses. 50% Chance Weapon Breaks

1 Roll 1d8. 1 indicates adjacent square in front of character, moving clockwise.

  • If a weapon breaks, it is unusable for the rest of combat and must be repaired. This is usually as simple as re-stringing a bow, re-affixing a spearhead, sharpening a blade, etc. In most cases, using the Craft skill or the Mending spell is sufficient.


Combat House Rules

Morgathos - Rise of Nations Morticaar