Combat Modifiers

Table 1: Attack Roll Modifiers
Attacker is… Melee Ranged
Dazzled -1 -1
Entangled -21 -21
Flanking defender +2
Invisible +22 +22
On higher ground +1 +0
Prone -4 -33
Shaken or frightened -2 -2
Squeezing through a space -4 -4

1 An entangled character also takes a –4 penalty to Dexterity, which may affect his attack roll.

2 The defender loses any Dexterity bonus to AC. This bonus doesn't apply if the target is blinded.

3 Most ranged weapons can't be used while the attacker is prone, but a character can use a crossbow or shuriken while prone at no penalty.

Table 2: Armor Class Modifiers

Defender is… Melee Ranged
Behind cover +4 +4
Blinded -21 -21
Concealed or invisible — See Concealment —
Cowering -21 -21
Entangled +02 +02
Flat-footed (such as surprised, balancing, climbing) +01 +01
Grappling (but attacker is not) +01 +01,3
Helpless (such as paralyzed, sleeping, or bound) -44 +04
Kneeling or sitting -2 +2
Pinned -44 +04
Prone -4 +4
Squeezing through a space -4 -4
Stunned -21 -21

1 The defender loses any Dexterity bonus to AC.

2 An entangled character takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity.

3 Roll randomly to see which grappling combatant the attacker strikes. That defender loses any Dexterity bonus to AC.

4 Treat the defender's Dexterity as 0 (-5 modifier). Rogues can sneak attack helpless or pinned defenders.


To determine whether a character's target has cover relative to an attacker, the DM should adjudicate exactly how much of the target is obscured:

Degree of cover Example AC Bonus
1/4 Up to the knees; a fallen log +2
1/2 Up to the waist; a low wall +4
3/4 Up to the chest; behind a tree or column +61
9/10 Only a small part of the body is visible +82
Full The target is completely hidden

1 The target also gets a +2 bonus on Reflex saves.

2 The target also gets a +4 bonus on Reflex saves and the improved evasion class feature (1/4 damage on a successful Reflex save, or 1/2 damage otherwise). It also gains a +4 bonus to Stealth checks (see below).

Cover and Hide Checks: A character can use 1/2 or better cover to make a Stealth check. Without cover, a character usually needs concealment (see below) to make a Stealth check.

Soft Cover: Creatures, even enemies, can provide a character with cover against ranged attacks, giving him a +4 bonus to AC. However, such soft cover provides no bonus on Reflex saves, nor does it allow characters to make Stealth checks.

Big and Small Creatures and Cover: A creature that is larger or smaller than Medium size may find it easier or harder to attack a target behind cover. For example, a human behind a low wall (1/2 cover) would be treated as having 3/4 cover vs. a Small opponent, or 1/4 vs. a Large one.

As with cover, the DM should adjudicate whether or not a target has concealment relative to the attacker. Concealment is generally easier to determine; spells like fog cloud, darkness, and invisibility grant concealment if the target is in the area of effect (or is affected); likewise, if the attacker is blinded, everything has concealment against it.

Concealment AC Bonus: Concealment gives the subject a +2 bonus to AC. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack, but concealment and cover do.

Concealment and Stealth Checks: A character can use concealment to make a Stealth check.

Total Concealment: If an attacker has line of effect to a target but not line of sight, the target is considered to have total concealment. It gains a +4 bonus to AC and a +4 bonus to Reflex saves from that attacker.

Ignoring Concealment: Concealment isn't always effective. A shadowy area or darkness doesn't provide any concealment against an opponent with darkvision. Characters with low-light vision can see clearly for a greater distance with the same light source than other characters. Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents can still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character. An invisible character gains a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if moving, or +40 when not moving (even though opponents can't see him, they might be able to figure out where he is from other visual clues).


When making a melee attack, a character gets a +2 flanking bonus if his opponent is threatened by a character or creature friendly to him on the opponent's opposite side.

Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus. Creatures with a reach of 0 feet can't flank an opponent.

Helpless Defenders

A helpless opponent is someone who is bound, sleeping, paralyzed, unconscious, or otherwise at the attacker's mercy.

Regular Attack: A helpless character takes a -4 penalty to AC against melee attacks, but no penalty to AC against ranged attacks.

A helpless defender can't use any Dexterity bonus to AC. In fact, his Dexterity score is treated as if it were 0 and his Dexterity modifier to AC as if it were -5 (and a rogue can sneak attack him).

Coup de Grace: As a standard action, a character can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace to a helpless opponent. He can also use a bow or crossbow, provided he is adjacent to the target.

The attack automatically hits and scores a critical hit. If the defender survives the damage, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die. A rogue also gets her extra sneak attack damage against a helpless opponent when delivering a coup de grace. If the character spends a full-round action instead of a standard action, the attack automatically kills the target (no save, and no need to roll for damage).

Delivering a coup de grace provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents.

A character can't deliver a coup de grace against a creature that is resistant or immune to critical hits. He can deliver a coup de grace against a creature with total concealment, but doing this requires a full-round action (it takes longer to find the creature and deal it a death blow); in this case, the attack hits and deals a critical hit as normal.

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