Friday, May 26, 2017

Our Order of Combat Houserules

Our group is a holdover from earlier editions, and as such, there are some things we just don't want to let go of. Take for example the order of combat. There's been a lot of talk lately about initiative and how to roll for it, but that's not what's important to us. Last I checked, D6s still worked fine for group initiatives, which we use for simplicity's sake. It should be important to note that I ask for character intentions BEFORE rolling initiative. Changing ones actions after the roll is possible, but a DC vs DEX will be determined on a case by case basis. What is important to consider is the speed of the attacks, without getting into individual speed factors.

Psionics (Yes, we use them) always goes first; beginning with the winner of initiative followed by the loser. Then Missile Weapons are loosed, in the same manner. Spells and spell like affects (including Dragon Breath) follow in kind. Finally, Melee attacks are resolved – once again - high roll initiative before low roll. Individual attacks in each category are resolved in order of marching.

  1. Psionics
  2. Missiles
  3. Magic
  4. Melee

As I have stated on Twitter, Ed Greenwood's Spellfire is my go-to book for running a great D&D session. In that book, Wizards may be foiled by the simple action of throwing a rock at them – if they fail a concentration check. I always liked that … the simplicity of it – cause let's face it, high level mages can be a pain in the ass to encounter – but they are oh-so-much fun to use as a DM. Our order of combat supports what Greenwood wrote – and besides the point, it's also D&D canon from earlier editions.

We still give AP for actions and movement a glancing nod, but in my game, role-playing in combat trumps that. I am very much a YES DM … If it's reasonably realistic (No Scooby Doo Tactics) and would be cool as shit to do, then by all means attempt it.

To sum it up, we have fun in combat, but we sorta structure the fun, y'know what I mean?

As per usual, YMMV in your group.