3e SRD:How Combat Works

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.

How Combat Works

Step One:

The DM determines which characters are aware of their opponents at the start of the battle. If some but not all of the characters are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. The characters that are aware of the opponents can act in the surprise round, so they roll for initiative. In initiative order (highest to lowest), characters that started the battle aware of their opponents each take a partial action during the surprise round. Characters who were unaware do not get to act in the surprise round. If no one or everyone starts the battle aware, there is no surprise round.

Step Two:

Characters who have not yet rolled initiative do so.

Step Three:

Characters act in initiative order.

Step Four:

When everyone has had a turn, the character with the highest initiative acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until combat ends.

The Combat Round

Each round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. Anything a person could reasonably do in 6 seconds, a character can do in 1 round.

When a character's turn comes up in the initiative sequence that character performs his entire round's worth of actions.

There are no simultaneous actions. All effects of a character's action fully resolve before the next character acts. A character cannot split an action to allow another character to act between portions.

Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.

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