Combats' rules

Also see Combat movements
For details about skills’ usage, check here.
For details about Campaign’s rules, check here.

Ambush and readying actions outside of combat

(RAW) A ready action can only be done once Initiative has been rolled, and a combat situation arises.

(HOM) When ambushing opponents or initiating combat in a social situation against opponents they can see, one can make their initiative check with advantage. Others can make an insight check vs deception to read the initiator if they can see them and roll initiative with advantage if they succeed at this check, or be surprised if they can’t see the initiator or fail that insight check by more than 10 points.
Note that allies that can communicate secretly with the initiator may not be surprised, and those that know the character well have advantage to their insight check.

(G&G) Even if you are outside of combat, you may declare that you are “ready to strike” at any creatures that you can see and observe their behavior for longer than 6 seconds, and you have your weapon readied to Attack at the start of your first combat turn. Any activity other than observing the creatures breaks your concentration and you lose this benefit unless you spend 6 seconds to ready again.
While Ready to Strike, you cannot be surprised by the creatures you observe. Also, if you enter combat and your Initiative result is 10 or higher you may use your reaction against the creatures before the start of your first combat turn rather than after it.

Balanced Initiative (G&G)

if the result of the initiative dice is equal or lower than their Intelligence modifier, the participant may reroll the d20 once but must take the new result even if it is lower.

Called shots- Causing lingering injury (HOM)

A called shot can be used to hit a specific thing that otherwise could not be hit per RAW.
A penalty applies and the target is hit if the attack results in a critical hit.
On opponents, one of the lingering injuries listed below may be purposefully caused by taking the indicated penalty to the attack roll, and then scoring a critical on that roll.
Major injury (-5): Eye, Hand, Foot, Internal Injury
Minor injury (-2): Limp, Broken ribs, Horrible scar


(G&G) When you make an attack that qualifies as an automatic critical hit against a defenseless target, roll a regular Attack roll. If you hit the target’s AC minus Dexterity modifier, the creature takes damage equal to its current HP and is dying.
If you miss, the creature instead takes damage equal to half its current HP.

(HOM) When this attack is done against an opponent that already has no hit points, while you are not within melee reach of any enemies, the Coup-de-grace attack is made with advantage. If the check succeeds, the victim will receive 3 failed death saves, killing the unconscious creature immediately. If the check fails, the victim will still receive 2 failed death save.

(HOM) As long as you are not in melee reach of any opponent, this Coup-de-Grace action can be held to threaten others, with a life in the balance. In that case, the attacker forfeit their remaining actions of this turn, and do not resolve the Coup-de-Grace yet. They can then use a reaction for any reason at any time (i.e. no stated trigger involved) to attempt the Coup-de-Grace, except if the unconscious creature regains consciousness on its own, which immediately cancels the Coup-de-Grace situation. The reaction can still occur, but the attack is treated as per the regular rules instead.

Cover (campaign terminologies) (RAW)

We use slightly different terminologies for cover.

Half-cover (Partial cover)
A target has half cover if an obstacle blocks at least half of its body. The obstacle might be a low wall, a large piece of furniture, a narrow tree trunk, or a creature, whether that creature is an enemy or a friend.

3/4 cover (Full cover)
A target has three-quarters cover if about three-quarters of it is covered by an obstacle. The obstacle might be a portcullis, an arrow slit, or a thick tree trunk.

Total cover (Concealment)
A target is behind a physical obstacle. It can’t be seen and can hide.
The obstacle might be a wall.

Dazed (G&G)

Dazed is a lesser variant of Stunned. Unless stated otherwise, the effect ends on the end of your next turn.

  • A Dazed creature cannot take reactions, and may use either an action or a bonus action but not both.
  • Regardless of your abilities or effects, you cannot make more than one melee or ranged attack during your turn.
  • If a Dazed creature is subjected to an effect that causes it to become Dazed again, the creature becomes Stunned

Death saves (RAW Variant)

Death save rolls are always made openly, and their result visible to everyone.
A result of 1 to 5 also causes a roll on the lingering injury table (see DMG p 272).
Any NPC (ally or enemy) that has at least one level of a class uses death saves.

Note: In any world or plane under the effect of the Death Curse, Death saves are made with a -2 penalty.

Delaying your turn (HOM)

Anyone can delay their turn to have their initiative changed to occur after an ally that is already lower in the initiative order than they are during this round, provided they are not unconscious. The initiative value will be changed for this character for all other rounds going forward. You can’t Delay and ready an action on the same round, it is either one or the other, but you can delay your turn if you are still readying an action from a previous round. Not that delaying your action during a round of surprise will keep your surprised status until your turn this round. Delaying is not taking your turn.


(RAW) A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target’s grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.

(G&G) The attacker has advantage on their attack roll for each size if they are larger than the target. The attacker has disadvantage on their attack roll for each size they are smaller than the target.

(HOM) The defender also get advantage for each + 1 magical bonus of the weapon (so a +3 weapon uses three stacked advantages)

(HOM) Use the dropping item rule below to determine where the weapon drops. A result of “In character space” indicates the space of the attacker, instead of the space of the character dropping the weapon.

(HOM) If the weapon is dropped, and the hit and the damage of the attack result in the AC of the item also hit, and the damage superior or equal to the item hit points, the weapon is broken (note that a magical weapon can only be broken by a weapon with at least the same magical bonus)

(G&G) When you succeed at Disarming an opponent and you are also Grappling them, you may attempt to grab their weapon from their hand. Doing so breaks the Grapple and you must make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) skill check opposed by your opponent’s Strength (Athletics) skill. If you succeed, you take the weapon with the same free hand used for grappling. If you fail, the opponent is still disarmed but you fail to grab their weapon.

Dodge action (HOM)

The dodge action also grants advantage to any contested acrobatic checks against a creature smaller or the same size as yourself.


(G&G/HOM) You gain Dominance until the start of your next turn if you have high ground advantage or if you hit an opponent in melee and your target is either standing on difficult terrain while you are not, or your opponent is prone and you are not, or your opponent is in the space of a body and you are not (bodies on the ground do not count as difficult terrain).

(HOM) If you have had dominance over an opponent during your last attack, this opponent must use the fumble table if they roll a natural 1 while trying to hit you with a melee weapon, improvised or not, while you have dominance on them.
Natural weapons, unarmed attacks and armor attacks can’t be fumbled.

Drive back (G&G)

Using one of your Attacks, you attempt to force back a standing creature. The target must be no larger than you in size. Make a contested Charisma (Intimidation) check against the target’s Wisdom (Insight) check. If you have Dominance over your target, you have advantage to your Intimidation check.

If you win the contest, the target backs away from you by 5 feet. As part of this attack, you can move 5 feet in the direction of the target. If you lose the contest, you provoke an attack of opportunity from the target or it may choose to use its reaction to perform a Drive Back action.

Dropping items (HOM)

Items are dropped when a character falls, becomes prone unvoluntarily, becomes unconscious, is disarmed or when the character chooses to drop an item (unless they use a free action to carefully put the item down in their own square).

When this happens, roll a d20. A roll of 1 to 8 indicates that the item drops in one of the adjacent square from the character, 1 being the North square then going clockwise from there. An item can drop int the space of an enemy (see the reaction option below), but can’t drop in a physically impassable space (wall, for example), in that case, the item drops in the character’s space instead. A result of 9 to 20 indicates the item dropped in the character’s space.

if the item is dropped from more than 10’ high, it takes object fall damage, and only a result of 17 to 20 indicates dropping in the same space, while 1 to 8 indicates the direction and distance is an extra 5’ per 20’ of height (or becoming stuck somewhere along the fall at DM’s discretion). Result of 9 to 16 indicates the surrounding spaces from the fall, 9 being the North square.

Picking up an item on the ground in the same space as the character is a free action. Any character that is in the same space as a dropped item can use a reaction to move the dropped item 5’ from them.

Duck (G&G/HOM)

- Ducking requires using a reaction
- if reacting to an attack, and the character has not used any of its move speed the previous round, they can do a DEX save with a DC equal to the attack roll when ducking. If the save fails the attack still hit.
- Regardless of the DEX save result, the character ends prone in the same space or an adjacent empty space, and further attacks are then done accordingly.

End of combat (HOM)

A combat ends when no enemies are actively interacting visibly with the players for two rounds in a row. Any new interaction after will then be treated as a new combat, with a new initiative.

Falling on something

If you purposefully fall on something you make a drop check (See drop above). Falling is not an attack and is imprecise. If your target has a reaction and they use it to avoid you, you use the fall results on the drop check, otherwise any fall result allows you to land on target space. The target takes half the fall damage you take yourself, and both fall prone if any damage is taken.


(RAW variant) Whenever two allies combatants are on opposite side of one enemy (strictly), they gain advantage to their attack.

(G&G) To make it more realistic, at the beginning of your turn while being flanked you may choose one of the attackers that are flanking you and deny them the benefit of flanking until the start of your next turn. You can choose a different attacker that is flanking you during each of your turns.

Give Ground (G&G)

When you are hit with a melee attack and you haven’t moved during your last turn, you can use your reaction to move 5 feet away from the creature, reducing the damage you take by your proficiency bonus, as long as your movement speed is greater than 0. This movement does not provoke an opportunity attack from the attacker, and the attacker may immediately follow you into the space you just left.
You cannot Give Ground while you are grappled by any creature, or knocked prone. You cannot Give Ground if you are already on, or would walk into difficult terrain.

Grappling & restraining

(HOM) When a creature is suffering from any effects or conditions, its Athletics grapple-related checks are affected in the same way that STR saving throws are, and its Acrobatics grapple-related checks are affected in the same way that DEX saving throws are.
The dodge action also grants advantage to any contested acrobatic checks against a creature smaller or the same size as yourself.

(HOM) If one or more opponents are already grappling the creature, another attacker attempting to grapple it gains advantage on their check to establish the grapple, provided they can reach the grappled creature and have a free hand.

(HOM) A grappler can only move a creature it grapples that is the same size or smaller than them (moving is at half speed per RAW). If the creature is two sizes smaller, the grappler has no movement penalty.

(HOM) A grappled or restrained creature one size larger can still move at half speed when grappled, and larger creatures two sizes above or more move normally, unless grappled by as many creatures as the space it occupies on the ground (so a large creature will be immobilized with 4 medium sized creatures grappling it, while a huge creature requires 9 medium sized creatures or 2 large and one medium, for example).

(G&G) Attacks made against anyone involved in a grapple are made at disadvantage unless a Light weapon, spiked armor or Natural weapon is used.

(G&G) A grappled creature has disadvantage to attack creatures that are not grappling it.

(G&G) If you have a Strength of 13 or more, you can spend one of your attacks to make a Grapple check to restrain them. If you succeed, the creature is Restrained. If you fail, the Grapple is broken and the creature can use its reaction to make an opportunity attack against you.

(HOM) The grappler feat prevents opportunity attacks against you by a grappled creature of the same size or smaller, remove the STR requirement to restrain or pin, and allows the grappler to also pin an opponent when they restrain the opponent, provided they gain the restrained condition themselves.

(G&G) If you have a Strength of 13 or more, and the grappled creature is restrained, you can spend one of your attacks to make a Grapple check to pin them. If you succeed, the creature is Pinned by you. If you fail, the Grapple is broken and the creature can use its reaction to make an opportunity attack against you.

  • You can pin down creatures of the same size or smaller than you. Creatures larger than you cannot be pinned.
  • At the start of your turn, you must spend one of your attacks to maintain the pin down. If you fail to do so, the creature is no longer pinned by you.
  • A creature remains Pinned by you as long as it is also grappled and restrained by you. If the grapple breaks, it is no longer Pinned, restrained or grappled by you.

(G&G) Escaping a Grapple – Instead of your whole action (Player’s Handbook, pg. 195), you may use any of your attacks to attempt an escape from grapple. To attempt an Escape, make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against the Athletics check of the creature grappling you. If you succeed, you lose the Grappled condition. If you roll a natural 1 or your result is an exceptional failure, you fail and can’t attempt any more Escape attempts until your next turn.
Grappled creatures with the Multiattack ability may use this ability as Multiescape instead. For each attack described as part of the Multiattack, they get one escape attempt. If the Multiattack includes more than one set of attacks, use the set with the most attacks.

(HOM) Whenever a check is made to break a grapple, larger creatures gain advantage to their athletic check for each size they are bigger (so a huge creature would have two advantage when making a contested grapple check for an attempt to either break of hold a grapple), while smaller ones gain advantage on Acrobatic checks for each size they are smaller (so a tiny creature would have two advantage when trying to escape the grapple of a medium sized opponent).
If there is more than one grappler, the check to break grapple is made with disadvantage for each extra grappler with a hold. The grappled creature makes only one check, contested by each of the grapplers’ check, and breaks grapple with all the attacker whose check they beat.

(RAW) Dropping a grapple is a no-cost action.

(G&G) See Stealth for mode details about stealth grapple options.

Heavy armors (HOM)

Heavy armors automatically prevent any “Internal Injury” lingering injury.

Heavy weapons (HOM)

Heavy weapons without reach have disadvantage on attacks if 6 of the squares around the character are impassable (including from enemies), or when used while grappling or being grappled.

Helmets (HOM)

A helmet automatically prevent any “Eye” lingering injury.
Furthermore, wearing a helmet provides a penalty to the wearer’s perception rolls, but also reduce any critical damage received by the wearer by the same amount as the Perception’s penalty.

There are two styles of helmets available

  • Helmet (-2 penalty to Perception, cost 10gp, weight 3lbs)
  • Full helmet (-5 penalty to Perception, cost 50gp, weight 7lbs)
    Full helmet also fully obscure the face of its wearer.
    Putting on or removing a helmet is a an action.

Higher ground (HOM)

Attacking with higher ground provides dominance.

An attacker with higher ground has a +2 bonus to hit when doing melee attacks against creatures on a lower ground than themselves. This rule also applies to opponents with a smaller size than themselves.
An attacker can never gain high ground benefit over a creature larger than themselves, or against an attacker that is higher than themselves.
So a huge giant (20′×20′×20′) can not claim high ground on a flying medium sized opponent that is 25’ in the air, for example, and this flying attacker can not claim high ground on the giant either.

Note that mounted riders attacking creatures one size smaller than their mount have the high ground while they remain mounted, but may require reach to be able to hit creatures two time smaller than their mount (see Mounted combat).

Improvised weapons (HOM)

There are no RAW about improvised items mimicking existing weapons. If an improvised item closely resemble an existing weapon, it can bear its attributes, like finesse or light. So for example a kitchen knife can be assimilated to a dagger, or a baseball bat to a club, but they still need to be handled like those, as such a spike attached to an armor can’t be handled like a dagger would, so it would not be getting the dagger attributes.

(HOM) An improvised weapon suffers item damage every time it is used, using the results of the Attack hit and half the damage from the attack.

(HOM) A regular improvised weapon deals 1d4 damage, and is considered Tiny.
For each size above tiny, an improvised weapon deals an extra 1d4 of damage.
You can’t use an improvised weapon that is larger than your character’s size, regardless of strength.
Using an improvised weapon which is the same size as your character is done with disadvantage if you are encumbered while wielding it, stacking disadvantage for each further encumbrance level.

Lingering injuries (RAW Variant)

They occurs after a Death Saving roll result of 1 to 5 (without any modifiers), or whenever fall damage results in three results of 6.
Roll on the Lingering Injury table for each such occurrence (DMG p. 272)

Lowering weapons and shields stance (HOM)

This a no cost action that can be done anytime to show someone else that their intent is not overtly hostile. Someone with lowered weapon or shield get disadvantage to any rolls made as a reaction (from readied action or AO). This stance can be changed to aggressive at any time (except just before using a reaction).
A lowered shield does not provide AC bonus.

Mapless combats (G&G)

Sometime, a combat does not warrant the use of a detailed tactical map. In those cases, use the Mapless combats rules.

Mounted Charge

(G&G) When you are riding upon a creature capable of movement at a speed 40 feet or faster, you can use the momentum of your mount to deal one powerful strike at a target that is not prone or smaller than you. If the weapon also has reach, being prone or size differences doesn’t prevent your mounted strike.

You must command your mount to Dash in a straight line through the position of your target. When you enter reach, you can spend one of your attacks to make a special melee attack. If it hits, the target suffers vulnerability to the attack damage. You can then continue the movement of your mount and you do not provoke an opportunity attack if you leave the reach of your target unless your special melee attack missed.

(HOM) if the attack hits, the rider must make an Animal Handling check with a DC equal to the damage done (halved if the weapon was a lance).
If this check fails, the weapon will be dropped (a lance will be broken), and the rider must make a Dexterity check with the same DC to remain on the mount (with advantage if the weapon was a lance).

Non-Lethal damage (HOM)

Attempting to do non-lethal damage must be announced before the attack.
Non bludgeoning melee weapons damage die rolls – including extra damage dice from special abilities like sneak attack- are always treated as a result of 1 when attempting to do non-lethal damage to an enemy.
Thunder damage type is the only type of magic damage that can be used to do non-lethal damage.


  • (G&G) A pinned creature is unable to perform any actions other than Athletics checks to break the grapple, or cast spells and cantrips with verbal components only.
  • (G&G) A pinned creature does not benefit from Dexterity or Shield bonuses to AC, fails all DEX based checks and saving throws, and is a valid target for Coup-de-Grace. The Coup-de-Grace check is made with disadvantage.


(RAW) Dropping prone can be done at any time, as a no-cost action. If you become prone while flying, you drop 500 feet down.

(HOM) When falling prone unintentionally a character must make a drop check for any wielded item. If the check result in any result other than the character’s space, an acrobatic check reaction may be done to keep the grasp on it as if falling.

(G&G) Standing provokes an opportunity attack from all threatening creatures unless you make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) skill check at DC 10 + 2 for each space occupied by an enemy adjacent to you. If any opportunity attack roll beats your AC by 10 or more, you remain prone.

Reactions (HOM)

A character has one reaction between the end of his turn and the end of his next turn. When surprised, a character can only take a reaction after the end of their first turn.
Slight change from RAW, which is from the start of a character to the start of their next turn.

Rushed initiative (G&G)

At any time between your combat turns, you may announce that you want to rush your next turn. If you do so, you can raise your initiative for this round only by any amount up to
5 + your Dexterity modifier. During your rushed turn you may use only your Movement or your Action but not both, and you cannot use your reaction until the start of your next turn.

Shields and straps (HOM)

Shields can be wielded with one free action but require one action to be strapped. Once strapped, a shield can’t be disarmed or fall from your arm when you fall.
Stowing a strapped shield costs one action.
Unstrapping a shield costs one bonus action.
Regular shields weight 6 lbs. Wooden shields weights 4 lbs, but will completely break down on the receiving end of a sundering critical (instead of only losing 1 point of AC).


(RAW) Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee Attack to shove a creature, either to knock it prone or push it away 5’ from you. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this Attack replaces one of them
The target must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Instead of Making an Attack roll, you make a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you win the contest, you either knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away from you.

(HOM) When doing a contested shove check, you have advantage against smaller creatures, and disadvantage against larger creatures.

Sundering Critical

When rolling damage for a critical hit, if the damage dice result of the weapon is strictly inferior to the maximum value of one of those dice, the attacker can chose to replace the lowest dice’s result to inflict a sundering critical.
It represents that the brunt of the attack has been absorbed by the armor or the shield

The attacker chooses among the following options:

  • reduce the opponent’s armor AC bonus or shield AC bonus by 1
    Magic armors can only be affected by magic weapons with at least the same bonus
  • break the opponent’s helmet
  • Break one wooden item worn or wielded by the opponent.

If an armor or shield AC bonus is reduced to 0, the armor or shield is broken.
Reduced AC can be repaired with the “mending” spell (one per +1 lost) or proper tinkering through crafting.

Throwing (HOM)

A creature can throw an item that is at least one size smaller than them, and is either an object or willing to be thrown (the Toss property allows to throw unwilling opponents that are grappled).
The range is 20/60 and the following modifier applies.
- If the object is only one size smaller than the thrower, the check is made with disadvantage
- If the object weight by itself causes Encumbered status, -2 to the check
- If the object weight by itself causes Heavily encumbered status, -5 to the check

An improvised weapons ranged attack is used for the throw, with a DC 10. Each point above that DC allow to throw 10% of the maximum range, up to 100% with a 20+ result.
For a target with an AC, the improvised weapon attack must meet both the distance and the AC to hit the target.

The object thrown takes halved fall damage based on the distance from the throw.
Used the Dropped items to determine where the object lands in case of a missed throw (either did not cover the distance or did not hit the target)

Turtle maneuver (HOM)

A creature with a shield can protect a creature within 5’ of it by using a bonus action during its turn. The protector loses one point of AC, but grants a +1 AC bonus to the creature it is trying to protect until the start of the shield bearer’s next turn, as long as at least one other ally is protecting the same creature in the same way and the protected individual remains within 5’ of those protecting him.

Unseen opponents (HOM)

When targeting an opponent that is unseen but not hidden (See Stealth rules) and more than 5’ away from the attacker, using a melee or ranged attack (except with a net), the attacker must roll a d20 to determine the exact space the attack is going to be delivered. If the target is bigger than a medium creature, the attack targets the closest space from the shooter. If the unseen result hits one of the other space occupied by the target, the ranged attack still count as a hit.
1-8 | one space away from the target (1 is N, counting clockwise from there)
9-16 | Target’s space if the target is within audible distance or one space away otherwise (9 is N, counting clockwise from there)
17-20 Target’s space.

Combats' rules

5th Age Campaigns' home rules Grisix