Anyone entering combat can attempt the following maneuvers to some degree of success. These are used either as a replacement to a standard attack (Aid Another, Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Parry, Overrun) or in conjunction with a standard attack (Feint). Specifics of each skill are listed below.
Combat Maneuvers Table:
|Combat Maneuver||Brief Description|
|Grant an ally a +2 bonus on attacks or AC|
Attack of Opportunity
|Exploit an opening with a free attack|
|Push an opponent back in 5 foot increments|
|Knock a weapon from your opponent’s hands|
|Gain additional bonuses to attack roll|
|Wrestle an opponent|
|Defend an attack with weapon or shield|
|Plow past or over an opponent as you move|
Aid Another – In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you’re in position to make a melee attack on an opponent that is engaging a friend in melee combat, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an unadjusted attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent’s next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.
Attack of Opportunity – Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets his guard down. In this case, combatants near him can take advantage of his lapse in defense to attack him for free. These free attacks are called Attacks of Opportunity. A character is still bound by the rules of weapon speed with regards to their attack.
Theoretically you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your action. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity.
Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons threaten more squares than a typical creature. In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more.
Note: Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons threaten all squares 10 feet (2 squares) away, even diagonally. (This is an exception to the rule that 2 squares of diagonal distance are measured as 15 feet.) A person cannot threaten a square 10 feet away if there is an interposing object in the adjacent square ex. another opponent or ally etc.
Provoking an Attack of Opportunity
Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing an action within a threatened square.
Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action.
Performing a Distracting Act
Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle. Actions in Combat notes many of the actions that provoke attacks of opportunity. Remember that even actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity may have exceptions to this rule.
Making an Attack of Opportunity
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and you can only make one per round. You are not required to make an attack of opportunity. An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character’s turn).
Bull Rush – You can make a Bull Rush as a standard action (an attack) or as part of a charge. When you make a Bull Rush, you attempt to push an opponent straight back instead of damaging him. You can only Bull Bush an opponent who is one size category larger than you, the same size or smaller.
Initiating a Bull Rush
First, you move into the defender’s space. Second, you and the defender make opposed Strength checks. You each add a +4 bonus for each size category you are larger than Medium or a -4 penalty for each size category you are smaller than Medium. You get a +2 bonus if you are charging. The defender gets a +4 bonus if he has more than two legs or is otherwise exceptionally stable.
Bull Rush Results
If you beat the defender’s Strength check result, you push him back 5 feet. If you wish to move with the defender, you can push him back an additional 5 feet for each 5 points by which your check result is greater than the defender’s check result. You can’t, however, exceed your normal movement limit. (Note: The defender provokes attacks of opportunity if he is moved. So do you, if you move with him. The two of you do not provoke attacks of opportunity from each other, however.)
If you fail to beat the defender’s Strength check result, you move 5 feet straight back to where you were before you moved into his space. If that space is occupied, you fall prone in that space.
Disarm – As a melee attack, you may attempt to disarm your opponent. If you do so with a weapon, you knock the opponent’s weapon out of his hands and to the ground. If you attempt to disarm while unarmed, you end up with the weapon in your hand. If you’re attempting to disarm a melee weapon, follow the steps outlined here. If the item you are attempting to disarm isn’t a melee weapon the defender may still oppose you with an attack roll, but takes a penalty and can’t attempt to disarm you in return if your attempt fails.
Attack of Opportunity: you provoke an attack of opportunity from the target you are trying to disarm. If the defender’s attack of opportunity deals any damage, your disarm attempt fails.
Opposed Rolls: you and the defender make opposing attack rolls against the higher armor class with your respective weapons to determine if the attack is successful or not. The wielder of a two-handed weapon on a disarm attempt gets a +4 bonus on this roll, and the wielder of a light weapon takes a -4 penalty. (An unarmed strike is considered a light weapon, so you always take a penalty when trying to disarm an opponent by using an unarmed strike.) If the combatants are of different sizes, the larger combatant gets a bonus on the attack roll of +4 per difference in size category. If the targeted item isn’t a melee weapon, the defender takes a -4 penalty on the roll.
Consequences: if you beat the defender, the defender is disarmed. If you attempted the disarm action unarmed, you now have the weapon. If you were armed, the defender’s weapon is on the ground in the defender’s square. If you fail on the disarm attempt, the defender may immediately react and attempt to disarm you with the same sort of opposed melee attack roll. His attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity from you. If he fails his disarm attempt, you do not subsequently get a free disarm attempt against him.
Feint – In order to make a feint, the attacker makes an unadjusted to hit roll vs. armour class 0. The attacker gains their Reaction Bonuses from both the Charisma table and the Dexterity table. i.e. a character with a 14 Charisma and a 14 Dexterity would gain a +2 total to their role. If the attack roll is successful the attacker adds an automatic +2 to their hit roll. If the attack roll against AC 0 fails, the attacker may strike as normal but the defender gains an attack of opportunity against the attacker at -2.
Grapple –Repeatedly in a grapple, you need to make opposed grapple checks against an opponent. A grapple check is like a melee attack roll. Your attack bonus on a grapple check is: Base attack roll + Strength modifier + special size modifier.
Special Size Modifier
The special size modifier for a grapple check is as follows: Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small -4, Tiny -8, Diminutive -12, Fine -16.
Starting a Grapple
To start a grapple, you need to grab and hold your target. Starting a grapple requires a successful melee attack roll. If you get multiple attacks, you can attempt to start a grapple multiple times (at successively lower base attack bonuses).
Attack of Opportunity: you provoke an attack of opportunity from the target you are trying to grapple. If the attack of opportunity deals damage, the grapple attempt fails.
Hold: make an opposed grapple check as a free action. If you succeed, you and your target are now grappling, and you deal damage to the target as if with an unarmed strike. If you lose, you fail to start the grapple. You automatically lose an attempt to hold if the target is two or more size categories larger than you are. In case of a tie, the combatant with the higher grapple check modifier wins. If this is a tie, roll again to break the tie.
While you’re grappling, your ability to attack others and defend yourself is limited: you don’t threaten any squares while grappling; you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if you have one) against opponents you aren’t grappling (You can still use it against opponents you are grappling.), and you can’t move normally while grappling. You may, however, make an opposed grapple check to move while grappling.
If you’re Grappling
When you are grappling (regardless of who started the grapple), you can perform any of the following actions. Some of these actions take the place of an attack (rather than being a standard action or a move action). If your base attack bonus allows you multiple attacks, you can attempt one of these actions in place of each of your attacks, but at successively lower base attack bonuses.
Activate a Magik Item
You can activate a magik item, as long as the item doesn’t require spell completion activation. You don’t need to make a grapple check to activate the item.
Attack Your Opponent
You can make an attack with an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or light weapon against another character you are grappling. You take a -4 penalty on such attacks. You can’t attack with two weapons while grappling, even if both are light weapons.
Cast a Spell
You can attempt to cast a spell while grappling or even while pinned (see below), provided its casting time is no more than 1 segment, it has no somatic component, and you have in hand any material components or focuses you might need. Any spell that requires precise and careful action is impossible to cast while grappling or being pinned. If the spell is one that you can cast while grappling you don’t have to make a successful grapple check to cast the spell.
Damage Your Opponent
While grappling, you can deal damage to your opponent equivalent to an unarmed strike. Make an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. If you win, you deal non-lethal damage as normal for your unarmed strike (1d3 points for Medium attackers or 1d2 points for Small attackers, plus Strength modifiers). If you want to deal lethal damage, you take a -4 penalty on your grapple check.
Draw a Light Weapon
You can draw a light weapon as a move action with a successful grapple check.
Escape from Grapple
You can escape a grapple by winning an opposed grapple check in place of making an attack. You can make an Escape Artist check in place of your grapple check if you so desire, but this requires a standard action. If more than one opponent is grappling you, your grapple check result has to beat all their individual check results to escape. (Opponents don’t have to try to hold you if they don’t want to.) If you escape, you finish the action by moving into any space adjacent to your opponent(s).
You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check. This requires a standard action, and you must beat all the other individual check results to move the grapple. Note: You get a +4 bonus on your grapple check to move a pinned opponent, but only if no one else is involved in the grapple.
Pin Your Opponent
You can hold your opponent immobile for 1 round by winning an opposed grapple check (made in place of an attack). Once you have an opponent pinned, you have a few options available to you (see below).
Break Another’s Pin
If you are grappling an opponent who has another character pinned, you can make an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. If you win, you break the hold that the opponent has over the other character. The character is still grappling, but is no longer pinned.
Use Opponent’s Weapon
If your opponent is holding a light weapon, you can use it to attack him. Make an opposed grapple check (in place of an attack). If you win, make an attack roll with the weapon with a -4 penalty (doing this doesn’t require another action). You don’t gain possession of the weapon by performing this action.
If you are Pinning an Opponent
You can attempt to damage your opponent with an opposed grapple check, you can attempt to use your opponent’s weapon against him, or you can attempt to move the grapple (all described above). At your option, you can prevent a pinned opponent from speaking.
You can use a disarm action to remove or grab away a well secured object worn by a pinned opponent, but he gets a +4 bonus on his roll to resist your attempt.
You may voluntarily release a pinned character as a free action; if you do so, you are no longer considered to be grappling that character (and vice versa).
You can’t draw or use a weapon (against the pinned character or any other character), escape another’s grapple, retrieve a spell component, pin another character, or break another’s pin while you are pinning an opponent.
If you’re Pinned by an Opponent
When an opponent has pinned you, you are held immobile (but not helpless) for 1 round. While you’re pinned, you take a -4 penalty to your AC against opponents other than the one pinning you. At your opponent’s option, you may also be unable to speak. On your turn, you can try to escape the pin by making an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. You can make an Escape Artist check in place of your grapple check if you want, but this requires a standard action. If you win, you escape the pin, but you’re still grappling.
Joining a Grapple
If your target is already grappling someone else, you can use an attack to start a grapple, as above, except that the target doesn’t get an attack of opportunity against you, and your grab automatically succeeds. You still have to make a successful opposed grapple check to become part of the grapple. If there are multiple opponents involved in the grapple, you pick one to make the opposed grapple check against.
Several combatants can be in a single grapple. Up to four combatants can grapple a single opponent in a given round. Creatures that are one or more size categories smaller than you count for half, creatures that are one size category larger than you count double, and creatures two or more size categories larger count quadruple.
When you are grappling with multiple opponents, you choose one opponent to make an opposed check against. The exception is an attempt to escape from the grapple; to successfully escape, your grapple check must beat the check results of each opponent.
Parry – Parrying requires the use of a standard action (attack) and precludes the casting of any spells. In order to parry, the character states prior to initiative they intend to parry. Then they roll to hit AC 10 and if this is successful, they may add their weapon’s damage roll halved to their Armour Class; if they miss then they sacrifice an attack and the parrying attempt has been unsuccessful. The round then proceeds with the character’s opponent attempting to hit either the new or the standard armour class.
Overrun – You can attempt an overrun as an action taken during your move. With an overrun, you attempt to plow past or over your opponent (and move through his square) as you move. You can only overrun an opponent who is one size category larger than you, the same size, or smaller. You can make only one overrun attempt per round.
If you’re attempting to overrun an opponent, follow these steps.
Attack of Opportunity: since you begin the overrun by moving into the defender’s space, you provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender.
Opponent blocks or avoids the attempt based first on initiative. If you win the initiative roll then the opponent does not have the option to avoid the overrun. If the opponent wins initiative then he may attempt to either avoid the Overrun or block it. If the opponent avoids you then no effect occurs against him but you do not lost an action. If your opponent blocks you, make a Strength check opposed by the defender’s Dexterity or Strength check (whichever ability score has the higher modifier). A combatant gets a +4 bonus on the check for every size category he is larger than Medium or a -4 penalty for every size category he is smaller than Medium. The defender gets a +4 bonus on his check if he has more than two legs or is otherwise more stable than a normal humanoid. If you win, you knock the defender prone. If you lose, the defender may immediately react and make a Strength check opposed by your Dexterity or Strength check (including the size modifiers noted above, but no other modifiers) to try to knock you prone.
Consequences: if you succeed in knocking your opponent prone, you can continue your movement as normal. If you fail and are knocked prone in turn, you have to move 5 feet back the way you came and fall prone, ending your movement there. If you fail but are not knocked prone, you have to move 5 feet back the way you came, ending your movement there. If that square is occupied, you fall prone in that square.