Topic: Basic Combat Questions?

I am new to LOTFP and have some questions...

Is combat always move, action or can combat be action, move or 1/2move, action, 1/2move?

Is there a mechanism for preventing movement past enemies?

Two orcs are trying to guard a 10 ft wide tunnel. What stops a party from just running past them. What about a 20 ft or a 30 ft wide tunnel? Limitations on movement through/past enemies space? Limitations  on movement through allies' space?

Can use running or charging be used in combat at any time?  ex. 5 ft charges, 10 ft charges?

When casting, Spell Casters are described as helpless. pg 57. “Casting a spell during combat is a very risky proposition because the caster leaves himself completely helpless and open to attack while doing so.”

But Spell Casters are not mentioned in the definition of helpless opponents. Pg 60 “Helpless opponents, defined as those sleeping, bound, magically frozen, etc are automatically hit for maximum damage by anyone attacking them with a mêlée weapon.” What is correct?

Re: Basic Combat Questions?

First off, it helps to think of things as more "free form" in LotFP than in some other incarnations (mainly 3rd/5th D&D, Pathfinder).

Basically, don't worry too much about moving/actions/half actions. Have players tell you what they want to do, and if it seems reasonable, allow it. If it seems risky, give a penalty to their roll, or give them a percentage chance to fail.

There is no "attack of opportunity." When moving past an enemy, you will have to communicate that enemy's willingness/ability to stop the players. Someone just standing there may not be able, or care to, stop a PC trying to run by.

In the case of the orcs, you can just say, "These orcs are clearly guarding and don't want you to run past." The players can then come up with ideas or plans to try to get past, you determine their chances, and they face the consequences of failure. Obviously, they have better chances if it's a 30' wide space than if it's a 10' wide space, depending on their plan.

There are some official rules for charging, but I can't remember them. Some weapons (lances) are especially beneficial for a charge. The easiest is to just give a bonus to attack and a penalty to AC.

When I do combat, I do it like this:

Each side rolls initiative (players go in clockwise order taking turns rolling for each round, so each gets to apply their penalties/bonus for the whole group). Then I ask who is casting spells, all players declare spells, and I let them know if they see an enemy prepping a spell. Then ranged attacks happen first (assuming they were locked and loaded), then melee attacks, then spells that were declared at the beginning of the round trigger, assuming the spellcaster was not damaged by now. (Note, of course, that each character can only do one of these things, cast a spell, ranged attack, or melee attack.)

Moving, dropping weapons, yelling things, etc., all happen within that at the appropriate time, within reason.

I didn't notice the rule about spellcasters being "helpless." I just use their normal AC and count any damage as spell failure.

Re: Basic Combat Questions?

Posby's got it! The main thing to realise is that the rules are intentionally uncomplicated, and the assumption is that you will make rulings to cover gaps in the rules as and when they appear.
LotFP also doesn't use grids or battlemats (again, by default, you can add them back in) so keep things loosey goosey. This is not a game intended to be a tactical combat simulator.

- Move and act in any order. Don't worry about it. I don't even worry about combat movement rates most of the time.
- There is no baked-in mechanism for preventing moving past enemies. This game is more loosey goosey and less combat-oriented than late edition D&D. Personally I houseruled in the 5e Opportunity Attack/Disengage stuff.
- Counting the Magic-User as helpless while casting sounds like a good ruling! I've got a spell interrupt mechanic myself.

Understand that everyone house-rules this game. It's a nice chassis to build on, so definitely feel free to build on it yourself!