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COMBAT

Combat occurs often during your adventures. Combat takes place on a tactical map. This map is a detailed 3-D view of the map terrain that your character was in when combat began. This map is overlaid with an invisible square grid.

As you move characters, you notice that everything moves on the grid from square to square. Moving diagonally often costs more movement points than moving horizontally or vertically.

Each character's ability in combat is defined by his AC, THAC0, and damage.

AC: A character or monster's difficulty to be hit is represented by his armor class or AC. The lower the AC, the harder it is to hit the target. AC is based on the armor a character is wearing and any dexterity bonus. Some magic items, such as enchanted armor, help a character's AC.

THAC0: The character's THAC0 represents his ability to hit enemies in melee or with missile fire. THAC0 stands for "To Hit Armor Class 0." This is the number a character must 'roll' (equal to or greater than) to do damage on a target with an AC of 0. The lower the THAC0 the better the chance to hit the target.

NOTE: The generation of a random number is often referred to as a 'roll'. In determining if an attack is successful, the roll is a random number from 1 through 20.

An attack is successful if the random number is greater than or equal to the attacker's THAC0 minus the target's AC. THAC0 may be modified by range, attacking from the rear, magic weapons, and magic spells among other things.

Example: A fighter with a THAC0 of 15 attacking a monster with an AC of 3 would need to roll:

(THAC0 15) - (AC 3) = 12+

But to hit a monster with an AC of -2 he would need to roll:

(THAC0 15) - (AC -2) = 17+

THAC0 for the different Classes & Levels:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Fighter
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
Ranger
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
Paladin
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
Cleric
20
20
20
18
18
18
16
16
16
14
-
-
Thief
20
20
20
20
19
19
19
19
16
16
16
16
Magic User
20
20
20
20
20
19
19
19
19
19
16
-

DAMAGE: When a hit is scored, the attacker does damage. Damage is the range of HP loss the attacker inflicts when he hits an opponent in combat. Damage depends on the attacker's strength and weapon type. The damage each weapon can do is summarized in the Weapon List article, which is listed under the Armor and Weapons collection of the Adventurer's Journal.

Some monsters take only partial or no damage from certain weapon types. Giant slugs, for example, take no damage from blunt weapons (maces, etc.), while some other monsters only take damage from magical weapons.

SAVING THROWS: Whenever a character or monster is poisoned or attacked by most magic spells, such as Fireball or Lightning, the computer checks to see if the Saving Throw is made. A successful save means that the target had some innate immunity to the poison, or was not hit full-force by the spell. Generally, a successful save means that the target was unaffected or damage that would otherwise be taken is halved.

Computer Combat

The computer controls the actions of monsters and characters set to computer control with the AUTO command. You may take control of your character during any combat round by using the ESC key. If you are frightened (i.e. by a banshee), you cannot escape computer control until two rounds are over.

Combat Initiative

Each round of combat is divided into 10 segments. Which segment a character or monster acts in depends on his initiative number. This is a randomly-generated number for each character and monster. This random number is generated at the beginning of each combat round and is modified by dexterity bonuses or penalties and random factors (such as surprise) to arrive at the initiative number.

Sometimes a character acts in segment 10 of one round and segment 1 in the next, appearing to act twice in a row. This is especially common if you use the DELAY command. When the DELAY command is given, that character's action is delayed until segment 10.

Magic in Combat

Magic is integral to your success in Neverwinter Nights. Magic-users, clerics and high-level paladins and rangers can cast spells. If your character is not a spell-caster, you should team up with a player who has a spell casting character before attempting the higher-level areas.

A spell can exist in one of four forms: in a character's memory, in a character's grimoire (spell book), in a scroll, or in a wand.

Scrolls and Wands
To cast spells from magic-user scrolls, the character must cast Read Magic from camp or have the scroll identified. Magic users can then cast with the USE command after the contents of the scroll are known. The USE command can cast spells from clerical scrolls and from wands.

Thieves of 10th or greater level have a 75% chance of successfully using a magic-user scroll.

Memorized Spells
Any spell-caster with a memorized spell can cast it using the CAST command. Spells are memorized during rest while encamped. Memorizing a spell takes 15 minutes of game time per spell level, plus a minimum period of preparation. First and second level spells take a minimum preparation of four hours. Third and fourth level spells take a minimum preparation of six hours.

Example: To memorize (2) 1st level spells, (1) 2nd level spell and (1) 3rd level spell would take:

(6 hrs prep) + (2 * 15 min) +
(1 * 30 min) + (1 * 45 min) = 7 hrs 45 min

Spells do not automatically have full effect on their targets. Each target of a spell may get a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect of the spell. As a character gains levels, his saving throws improve.

Magic-Users
When a magic-user trains for a new level in a Training Hall, he is allowed to select a new spell to scribe into his grimoire. A magic-user can also scribe spells from identified scrolls if he is of high enough level to cast them. A magic-user must cast the Read Magic spell in order to identify the spells on the scroll. A spell disappears after it has been scribed or cast. Only magic-users (and high level thieves) can cast magic-user spells from scrolls.

Clerics
Clerical magic requires no spell books. All clerical spells of the appropriate level are always available to a cleric or high-level Paladin, the character need only memorize them. When a cleric finds a clerical scroll, he can use the spells directly from the scroll regardless of level. Paladins can never use clerical scrolls, even if they may cast the spells.

Tips on Magic Spells
Both clerics and magic-users can cast spells which assist your character in combat. Preparatory spells just before a battle can protect and strengthen characters. During battle, spells damage your opponents and help your party.

Spells should be memorized as soon as possible after they are used. This is most likely to happen after combat. Encamp, have your character memorize spells, and select REST to allow him to imprint the spells for later use.

Movement

The number of squares a character can move is affected by the weight he is carrying, his strength, and the kind of armor he has readied. A character's movement range is displayed on the view screen and when moving during combat.

Running Away:
A character may flee from the battlefield if he can move faster than all enemies. A character may not move off the battlefield if he moves slower than any enemies. A character has a 50% chance to move off the battlefield if he can move as fast as the fastest enemy monster.

Exception: If a monster or character can reach the edge of the combat map without any of his opponents being able to see him, he may then flee successfully even though he may be slower than his opponents.

A character that moves off the battlefield appears in a nearby location, or next to the entrance of that region which is closest to Neverwinter. If your character flees he does not receive any XP for monsters killed before retreating.

Strategies in Combat

Throughout Neverwinter Nights, your character engages a colorful collection of foes. At times, your character may elect to avoid a confrontation, choosing conversation or flight instead. More often, however, he must stand and fight.

To succeed in combat, when multiple players are involved, skilled players deploy their characters well, casting effective spells before and during combat, maneuvering their characters into advantageous positions, and attacking using the most powerful weapons.

Deploying your Character (Multi-player Combat) When a battle begins, your character is automatically positioned based on the order of entry into combat. Placement of a character does not occur until it is that character's turn.

When battle begins, your character may be placed in a bad position. If you wish to be defensive, move characters to anchor your flanks on an obstacle such as a wall. Keep magic-users behind the front line. Setting up behind a doorway that your enemies have to move through makes for a very strong defensive position.

Characters who are seriously injured should be moved out of the front lines if possible. Be warned, however, that if you move away from an adjacent enemy, he gets a free attack at your back. Back attacks have an improved chance to hit.

Missile weapons cannot be fired if there is an adjacent opponent. If you want to fire missiles, make sure you keep away from the enemy. Thrown weapons, such as axes, are exceptions as they may be used either as a missile weapon or a melee weapon. If you want to stop enemy missile fire, move someone next to the opponent.

Exploit your opponents' weaknesses by directing attacks against helpless enemy characters. Gang up on isolated foes. Concentrate your attacks to eliminate one opponent rather than injure many (Exception: enemy spell casters). A foe with one HP remaining attacks as powerfully as an uninjured one.

A spell caster who takes damage cannot cast a spell that round. If the spell caster had started to cast and was hit, he loses that spell from memory. Therefore, try to injure all enemy spell casters every round even if it is only for one point of damage. Conversely, if you want to cast spells, make sure your spell casters are protected.

Techniques in Combat

BACK STABBING: A thief back stabs if he attacks a target from exactly opposite the first character to attack the target. The thief may not back stab if he has readied armor heavier than leather (exception: elfin chain mail). A back stab has a better chance of hitting and does additional damage.

MISSILE ATTACKS: A character may not attack an adjacent target with a missile weapon (bow, sling, etc.). A character may attack an adjacent target with a thrown weapon (ax, club, etc.). Bows can attack twice per turn. Thrown darts can attack three times per turn.

MULTIPLE ATTACKS: Fighters, Paladins and Rangers attack more than once per combat round when they get to higher levels. The first bonus is three attacks every two rounds. Later, they attack twice each round. All of a character's attacks are aimed against the first target. If the first target goes down with the first attack, aim any remaining attack at another target.

SWEEP: Melee combat with creatures of less than one eight-sided hit die entitles a Fighter class to attack once for each of his or her experience levels.



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