Order of Combat Events

When characters go on adventures, they will encounter hostile enemies. To find out what happens, use the following the order:

  1. Determine Surprise: Unless one group is making a bunch of noise or calling attention to themselves, each side rolls a d6. On a 1-2 their side is surprised and does not get to act for one round. Note: If one side successfully ambushes the other, they automatically get the benefits of surprise. Thieves who are actively trying to Hide in Shadows or Move Silently may roll against these skills to gain surprise even if their group doesn’t get surprise.
  2. Determine Initiative: Each side rolls 1d6.The highest roll gets initiative. When there is a tie, both sides act simultaneously. Spellcasters desiring to cast a spell as their action must announce the spell being cast before the initiative roll.
  3. Side with Initiative Acts: Each character or creature takes one action. One action can include moving and attacking or moving and casting a spell. Other possibilities are possible with the referee’s permission. The results of all attacks and spells take effect.
  4. Side without Initiative Acts: See step 3.
  5. The Round Ends: Check monster morale if necessary. If combat continues, go to Step 2 and repeat as necessary.

Melee Attack

A melee attack is an attack with hand-held weapons such as a sword, spear, or dagger or a natural weapon such as a claw or bite. Two combatants within ten feet of each other are generally "in combat."

Missile Attack

Missile attacks are attacks with ranged weapons such as a bow or sling. When using missiles to attack into a melee, randomly determine friend or foe as your target.

Spell Attack

Spellcasters may cast a spell as their attack (see Magic Spells below) provided that they have not suffered harm during the current round (taking damage, failing a saving roll, etc.).

The Attack Roll

To attack with a weapon, the player rolls a d20 and adds any bonuses (such as Basic Hit Bonus/ BHB) to the result. The total attack roll hits if equal to or higher than the target's Armor Class shown on the table below. Monsters add their HD to attack rolls, with a minimum bonus of +1.

Target’s AC Attack Roll
-5 [24] 24
-4 [23] 23
-3 [22] 22
-2 [21] 21
-1 [20] 20
0 [19] 19
1 [18] 18
2 [17] 17
3 [16] 16
4 [15] 15
5 [14] 14
6 [13] 13
7 [12] 12
8 [11] 11
9 [10] 10

Armor Class

Armor Class represents how difficult a target is to hit. It can be represented by two numbers X [XX]. When an armor class is represented by the first number, the lower the armor class number, the harder to hit. This is called “Descending AC.” When an armor class is

represented by the second number, the higher the armor class number, the harder to hit. This number also correspond to the number needed on a d20 to hit the target. This is called “Ascending AC.” Using both numbers allows the easy use of both older (Descending AC) and more modern (Ascending AC) adventures for the world’s most popular tabletop fantasy roleplaying game.

Damage and Death

When a target is hit, damage is rolled on the weapon used in the attack. For example, a spear does 1d6 damage. The resulting damage is deducted from the opponent's HP. When HP reach zero, the target dies.


In addition to magical means of restoring hit points, a character will recover 1 hit point per day of uninterrupted rest.


A spell, trap, or other hazard may require characters to make a Save. Each class has a Save target number based on its level. Roll that number or higher to succeed on a Save. Success means the character avoids or lessens the intended effect of the hazard.

Monster Saves: A monster’s Save is calculated by subtracting their HD from 19.


A turn represents ten minutes and a round is 1 minute.