Combat Basics


When you attack something, or when you are attacked, we move into the Combat phase of the game. Combat is played on a one inch grid and actions are played in rounds.

When combat starts, everyone involved makes an initiative roll, that’s a d20 plus your dexterity bonus. Your initiative is the measure of how quickly you respond to a given combat situation, high initiative means you go first, low initiative means you are slow to respond and have to go later in the round. From here on out, combat goes in order of initiative, highest to lowest.

The Combat Round

Each round of combat, every person involved in the combat gets a turn. Each turn represents 6 seconds of actual time. As part of your turn you can: move up to your speed, make an attack, and perform a free action (free actions, and actions in general, are covered more fully on the website in the combat section under “Actions in Combat” but these would include things like dropping an item, speaking or ceasing concentration on a spell.) You can also replace your attack action with another move action.


The simplest form of attack in D&D is the melee strike with a weapon. You have to make two separate rolls during the Attack action: an attack roll, to determine if you actually hit the creature you’re aiming for, and the damage roll, to determine how hard you hit them.

Your attack roll is calculated thus: Base Attack Bonus + Strength Bonus

Your damage is your weapons damage plus your strength bonus.

Spells, ranged attacks and other, more specialized attacks follow these same basic rules. See text for specifics on Range, damage and other modifiers.

Combat Basics

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