I was asked to provide a sample combat, along with explanations.

The situation:

**Manfred** [Human Man at Arms 5] is riding his light warhorse,

**Charger**, down a dark path. Waiting in ambush is

**Hoster** [Human Hunter 5],

**Ragnar** [Human Raider 5], and

**Roberto** [Human Rogue 5]. The highwaymen know a knight should be coming through here, but not when.

**Determine Awareness**All three ambushers roll Sneak (for Manfred's opposed roll) to remain quiet and Perception (to sense Manfred's approach). Manfred rolls Perception to sense the ambush.

Hoster: 20 +6 Sneak +5 light concealment = 31; Aware: 18 +7 Perception = 25

Ragnar: 15 +6 Sneak +5 light concealment = 26; Aware: 17 +6 Perception = 23

Roberto: 2 +8 Sneak +5 light concealment = 15; Aware: 8 + 6 Perception = 14

Manfred: 15 + 6 Perception = 21

**Outcome:** Hoster and Ragnar immediately spot the armored knight trotting up on his horse. Roberto didn't notice the armored knight coming and stepped on a twig, alerting Manfred to danger. Since Manfred made a major success (5+) against Roberto (Perception 21 vs Stealth 15), he immediately knows something is up. Roberto is the only one surprised. Everyone rolls initiative.

Hoster 21 (+2 Dexterity, +5 Quick to Arms class ability)

Manfred 19 (+1 Dexterity)

Ragnar 18 (+2 Dexterity, +2 Initiative class ability)

Roberto 16 (+2 Dexterity, +4 Improved Initiative)

**Surprise Round****Hoster** curses Roberto under his breath and lets loose an arrow at Manfred. Manfred has yet to act in the surprise round, so he is still considered flat-footed

*[Defense 10]*. Hoster declares a

**Called Shot to Weak Point**. He looses an arrow at Manfred and rolls a 15 with his longbow attack for a total of 23, hitting Manfred

*[Flat Footed Defense 10 + 8 for Called Shot = 18]*. Manfred's Armor provides only 1/2 protection versus the attack. Hoster rolls 1d8 and gets a 6, adding 1 for a Point Blank Shot, for a total of 7. Manfred's armor only absorbs 4 points of this, so he takes 3 points of damage.

**Manfred** realizes that the rogue with his pants down is not alone and draws his sword and shield as a move action. Since this is the surprise round, he can only make a move or standard action. He now has his full defense bonus (21) against all attacks. He guides Charger forward as a free action, advancing towards the rogue in the brush.

**Ragnar** wildly runs out of cover brandishing his battleaxe.

**Roberto** is unaware and remains flat-footed until his action next round.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 28/31 wounds

Charger: 55/55 wounds

Ragnar: 30/30 wounds

Roberto: 25/25 wounds

**Round 1****Hoster** readies an action, waiting for an opening in Manfred's defense.

**Manfred** sees Ragnar and slices downward with his warsword. He rolls a 2, for a total of 12 (+8 attack with warsword, +2 for advantage - mounted), not enough to strike the wily raider. Manfred makes a Ride check (DC15) to attempt to get Charger to attack, but rolls only a 2 (total of 8).

**Ragnar** strikes the mounted warrior with his trust battle axe, rolling a 4 (for a total of 9), missing the heavily armored knight.

**Roberto** fumbles with his weapon and moves to the other side of Manfred to attack. He rolls a 12 (total of 19, +5 attack, +2 flank) but cannot get past the knight's shield.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 28/31 wounds

Charger 55/55 wounds

Ragnar: 30/30 wounds

Roberto: 25/25 wounds

**Round 2****Hoster's **readied action never triggered, so he continues to wait for an opening.

**Manfred** slices down at the Raider once again, rolling an 11 (total of 21 against a defense of 18) and connecting. The warsword does 2d6 (3,3) damage along with Manfred's strength bonus (+2), a total of 8 wounds. Ragnar's Ringmail absorbs 4 points of it, and 4 points bleed through. Manfred makes his ride check (19 for a total of 25) and

**Charger** enters the fray, but misses with both hoof attacks against Ragnar and the bite against Roberto.

**Ragnar** grits his teeth and uses his

**Ferocious Attack** ability for the day. It grants him +2 to attack and damage while penalizing him -2 to defense. He rolls an 11 (+7 battleaxe, +2 ferocious attack, +2 flank) for a total of 22, barely hitting Manfred. He rolls an 8 for damage (+2 strength +2 weapon specialization +2 ferocious attack) for 14 points of damage. Manfred subtracts 9 (8 AR +1 Armor Compatibility) and takes 5 wounds. This doesn't exceed his toughness score (7) so he's OK still.

**Roberto** decides to do a

**Called Shot to Vitals** against the horse. The normal penalty for this is -8, but Roberto's

**Sneak Attack **reduces this to a -6. Roberto rolls an 12 for a total of 17. The mount's normal defense is 11, so this is a hit! A called shot to vitals does maximum damage and reduces the target's toughness by 2 for the blow. The horse takes 7 points of damage (-1 for padded armor) and its toughness is reduced to +10. This is not enough to stun the horse.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 23/31 wounds

Charger 49/55 wounds

Ragnar: 26/30 wounds

Roberto: 25/25 wounds

**Round 3****Hoster** clearly sees the opening he wants is not coming, so he changes tactics and aims at the horse. He fires an arrow at Charger, declaring a called shot for vitals. He rolls a 19, for a total of 28. The target defense is 23 (Base 11 +4 soft cover +8 called shot), a hit! Hoster rolls a 6, for a total of 7 (point blank shot), doing 6 more wounds to the horse.

**Manfred** slices at Ragnar again, rolling a 6 (total of 16), barely hitting the raider because of his defense penalty (18 -2 for ferocious attack). He rolls 11 on the damage dice this time, for a total of 13. Subtracting the Ringmail (AR4), Ragnar takes 9 wounds. His Toughness is only 7, so Ragnar is

**stunned**! He loses his Dodge bonus and can only take a move or standard action. Manfred does not make his Riding check, so Charger does not act.

**Ragnar**, stunned, tries to attack Manfred but rolls a 2 and misses.

**Roberto** tries to knock Manfred off his horse by initiating a trip attack. This is a touch attack (no shield bonus) and Roberto rolls a 19. Since Roberto does not have the brawl feat, he may not add his Finesse bonus to the unarmed attack. The total is 22, easily hitting the target of 13. Roberto rolls a strength check (12 +1 for strength =13) against Manfred's strength (2 +2 for strength +2 for superior position = 6). Surprisingly, Roberto dismounts the knight and sends him to the ground. Manfred takes 5 points of damage (ignoring armor) for falling off his mount and is prone.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 18/31 wounds - PRONE

Charger 43/55 wounds

Ragnar: 18/30 wounds - STUNNED

Roberto: 25/25 wounds

**Round 4****Hoster** sees his chance and fires at the prone knight. While the knight gets a +4 bonus to defense for being prone and +4 for soft cover, he is otherwise flat-footed. He declares to bypass armor (+8) and fires. He rolls a 14 (+8 attack +1 point blank) for a total of 23, 5 more than his target of 18. He rolls 7 on the die, for 8 points of damage - 4 of which slips through to wound Manfred.

**Manfred** stands up as a move action and slices at Roberto. He declares

**Called Shot to Bypass Armor** (increase defense by AR x2) and rolls an 11 (+8 attack) for a total of 19, just matching Roberto's modified defense of 19 (13 + AR3 x2). Manfred rolls 12 on the dice, for a total of 14! Since armor was bypassed, Roberto takes all of this damage. What's worse is that this exceeded Roberto's Toughness more than twice (toughness 6) so Roberto is

**Seriously Injured**. He is stunned and takes 1 wound per round of activity until he has been healed.

**Ragnar** recovers from being stunned and attacks Manfred. He rolls a 12 (+7 attack, +2 flank) for a total of 21, just enough to hit. He does 11 damage, doing 2 more wounds to Manfred.

**Roberto**, injured and desperate, attempts to grapple the bigger man. He makes a

**touch melee attack** and rolls an 11 for a total of 16 (+3 attack, +2 flank), just enough to initiate. Roberto and Manfred now make an opposed grapple check. Manfred gets a +7 bonus while Roberto only has a +4. Roberto rolls a 9, for a total of 13, while Manfred rolls a 17, for a total of 24. Manfred shrugs off the smaller man. Since Roberto was active this round, he takes a wound from his serious injury.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 12/31 wounds

Charger 43/55 wounds

Ragnar: 18/30 wounds

Roberto: 10/25 wounds - STUNNED, 1 SERIOUS INJURY

**Round 5****Hoster** abandons his bow and moves forward, drawing his shortsword as he charges the knight. He rolls a 19 (+5 attack +2 charge +2 flank) for a total of 28, beating the Manfred's Defense by 7. This normally would not be enough for a critical, but a short sword has an improved threat range (+1) of 7. It's a critical hit and Hoster rolls 8 on two dice for a total of 10 damage. The armor absorbs most of it, but some gets through.

**Manfred** improves his defense by 3 with combat expertise and attacks the stunned rogue in an attempt to finish him off. He declares a called shot to vitals (-8) and rolls a 15 (+8 attack -8 called shot -3 combat expertise) for a total of 12, hitting the defenseless rogue (defense 10 stunned). The attack does maximum damage (14) and reduces Roberto's toughness by 2 (6-2 = 4). Roberto takes an additional serious wound and is at -4 hit points. Roberto's wounds (-4) equal is current negative toughness, so he passes out.

**Ragnar** attacks the knight and rolls a 16 (+7 axe +2 flank) for a total of 23. Normally this would hit, but Manfred's increased defense is 24 with Combat Expertise.

**Roberto** is considered active this round because he was in combat, so he suffers 2 additional wounds for his serious injuries. Next round he will be considered inactive and will only take wounds every minute.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 11/31 wounds

Charger 43/55 wounds

Ragnar: 18/30 wounds

Roberto: -6/25 wounds - DISABLED, 2 SERIOUS INJURIES

**Round 6****Hoster **realizes his sword is not strong enough to pierce Manfred's armor, so he initiates a grapple and rolls an 18 to hit (+5 attack +2 flank) for a 25. Manfred's defense is only a 16 against this, without his shield counting. They make an opposed grapple check, but again Manfred throws his attacker off. (Hoster 15+1 vs Manfred 20+2)

**Manfred** maintains his Combat Expertise at +3 and strikes Ragnar. He rolls a 13 (+8 attack -3 combat expertise) for a total of 18, just enough to hit. He does 7 points of damage (3 after armor) to Ragnar.

**Ragnar**, at this point, has had enough and makes a withdraw action - running at full speed in the opposite direction.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 11/31 wounds

Charger 43/55 wounds

Ragnar: 15/30 wounds

Roberto: -6/25 wounds - DISABLED, 2 SERIOUS INJURIES

**Round 7****Hoster** comes to the same conclusion as Ragnar and makes a withdraw of his own. He turns tail and runs into the trees.

**Manfred** attempts a Fast Mount (Ride DC20) and rolls an 18, for a total of 24! He successfully mounts Charger with a free action and spurs her forward, drawing his lance as part of the charge. He charges Ragnar on horseback and rolls a 17 (+7 attack +2 charge) for a total of 26, 8 more than Ragnar's defense. A critical while charging does 4d8 points of damage and other modifiers are multipled by 4. Manfred rolls 17 on the dice and adds 8 for strength, totally 25. Subtracting Ragnar's ringmail (AR 4), he takes 21 points of damage. Ragnar is seriously injured and rapidly dying.

**Ragnar** takes an additional point of damage for the serious injury, is completely disabled and bleeding on the ground.

Hoster: 30/30 wounds

Manfred: 11/31 wounds

Charger 43/55 wounds

Ragnar: -7/30 wounds - DISABLED, 1 SERIOUS INJURY

Roberto: -6/25 wounds - DISABLED, 2 SERIOUS INJURIES

**Aftermath**Manfred dispatched Ragnar and Roberto, but lost Hoster in the forest. Manfred ended the combat with 12 wounds left (out of 31), Hoster was unhurt (30/30), while Roberto and Ragnar died. There are a few things I liked and a few I disliked. The heavy armor (while rare) is very, very effective in combat as are shields. I think,perhaps, there should be some armor modifiers for critical hits and perhaps a lessened impact of shields.