Can firearms be used during close combat?

Fairly new Keeper here.

During the last session, almost all of the players used their readied small firearms (pistols) during close quarters combat. Together with firing multiple shots when it was their turn, they seemed to have a giant advantage over small weapons, like a knife or club.

So, is there a rule for using a readied firearm during a brawl? I can’t imagine that one would be able to easily gun the opponent down (as long as there are still bullets loaded), rather than being hindered to shoot (e.g., both characters struggle for weapon control).

Can players be forced to use their hand combat skill?

Spell Combat with a held charge vs casting a spell

My level 1 Magus has cast Shocking Grasp during the first round and missed his touch attack so is still holding the charge. On his second turn, can he use Spell Combat to attack with the spell in his offhand as well as taking a melee attack with his weapon?

Spellstrike (a level 2 feature) is not involved in this question at all. This is about whether Spell Combat can be used without actually casting the spell during the full round action if the spell is already being held in hand. Do I have to literally cast a spell during the full round action in order to qualify for spell combat or would holding a spell charge be enough?

I’ll need a full RAW answer to either confirm or overturn the ruling at the table (which I will not describe in order to leave the answer unaffected).

Note: I understand that at level 2, with spellstrike, I can deliver touch spells through my weapon. However, there is absolutely no interaction between that ability and this question.

When does a Taunt action take effect during starship combat?

According to Starfinder’s starship combat rules on the Captain’s Taunt action:

You can use the communications system to broadcast a taunting message to the enemy vessel. You select an enemy vessel and a phase of combat (engineering, helm, or gunnery), and then attempt a Bluff or Intimidate check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × the enemy starship’s tier). If you are successful, each enemy character acting during the selected phase takes a –2 penalty to all checks for 1d4 rounds; the penalty increases to –4 if the enemy’s check is made as part of a push action. Once used against an enemy starship, regardless of the outcome, taunt can’t be used against that starship again during the same combat.

My question is when do these penalties take effect?

Example of why this is unclear: In round 1’s helm phase, on behalf of an NPC crew, the GM rolls for the piloting check, a piloting stunt, and a science officer action. Then, after these rolls have been made but during the same helm phase, the player Captaining the PC ship successfully Taunts the NPC ship and rolls a 3 for rounds of effect.

Does the -2 penalty apply retroactively to the GM’s die rolls in round 1 and then continue for rounds 2 and 3? Does the penalty last until round 3, but the NPC crew escaped the effects for round 1 because the GM rolled before the player? Or does the -2 penalty kick in at the beginning of round 2 and last until round 4, guaranteeing the NPCs suffer three rounds of effects even though they avoided the penalty in round 1?

fabricate combat uses

If you use a feature such as Arcane Abeyance or similar to avoid the casting time on the spell fabricate, could you use it in combat, for example, turning an enemy in plate armor’s armor into an iron maiden on them or a rouges leather armor into a gag and restraints? even if you cannot build it on another creature, removing a tree from under an enemy scout. it specifies "raw materials" however that is not defined, nor is the required area for the item to be created, only for the raw materials so could you turn a bunch of wood within 120ft into a block of wood 100 miles in the air? it also doesn’t specify how the raw materials move, if an enemy is between a tree and where I place my block of wood, does the tree move around them to avoid harm or would it go through them? it also does not specifies how many resources are needed nor whathappens to extra resources, if you cast the spell targeting the 120ft cube of the ground in front of you and want to turn it into something "large" would it all be compressed, some of it left where it was, or just vanish?

PC terrified of dying in combat

Relatively new DM with a group of 5 PCs (some with ttrpg experience, some not) through a twist on the essentials kit module. One absolute first time PC is running a 3rd level rogue with low HP 13, lower even than our party wizard.

My issue occurs in combat encounters: the moment the rogue takes any damage the player becomes terrified of their PC dying and essentially flees the battlefield. This makes balancing combat difficult as now a combat balanced for 5 PCs is effectively being run against 4 PCs.

Any advice on how I can help my player engage in combat without as much anxiety? I have already discussed that death does not mean the end to their involvement in the campaign, and told them that in a few levels they will have access to resurrection magic, to no apparent avail. Advice greatly appreciated!

Monk Level Advancement Combat Competitive Advantage


Is there a fair way to give a character monk an advantage in the monk’s combat to advance a level in AD&D 1st edition? What has worked for you?


A Fair Competitive Advantage would be some inherently, built-in advantage like more hit points than the opponent. Or it could be an unarmed combat choice of skills per attack. But it does not allow a magic item which would violate the Lawful code of the Monk’s combat.


  • Unearthed Arcana (UA) describes Vanquishing as non-lethal combat on p109.
  • Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) describes Pummeling Grappling Overbearing on p72-73. It states,

"Monks: Even if grappled, pummeled, or overborne, monks are able to conduct open hand combat normally until stunned or unconscious."

  • The Player’s Handbook (PB) pages 30 to 32 PHB says
    • strictures 6)

    "The monk must find and defeat in single combat, hand-to-hand, without weapons or magic items…" "The loser of these combats loses enough experience points to place him or her at the lowest number possible to attain the level just below the new level."

    • stunning

    "the monk has a chance to stun, or even kill, an opponent. An opponent is stunned by a monk for 1-6 (d6) melee rounds if the score of the monk’s ‘to hit’ die score exceeds the minimum number required by 5 or more."

Combat table

The combat tables show a 15% to 25% chance of stunning from levels 8 through 17. By level 9, a monk attacks twice per round or more. A monk could stun and then attack the stunned opponent up to 12 times at level 9 . This means the winner is effectively decided by the first one to stun.


Things I thought of as a Fair Competitive Advantage so far are:

  1. The character has a 16 CON, but the NPC has <= 14 CON. The character would get 2 extra HP per level. But any NPC that made it through 2 or more combats would likely have a 16 CON anyway.
  2. Module X2 Castle Amber has encounters that reward a chance for permanent +d4 hit points or a permanent bless ( +1 hit +1 damage +1 save ). This is not enough to overcome an unlucky stun or 2 stuns.
  3. Some combination of pummel, grapple, overbear and monk hand to hand. Does a monk get multiple pummel, grapple, overbear attacks per round as the monk advances levels? For example, do you overbear once and then attack hand-to-hand the rest of the combat?
  4. Oriental Adventures (OA) The book contains differentiated martial arts styles, damage and AC. This question is about advantages or style differences not in the OA. It’s fine if that is the best solution, just wanted to know about other alternatives too.
  5. Is there some ability, module, monster, or encounter that provides a permanent Save vs Paralyzation when stunned instead of automatic stun?
  6. Can a monk self-heal (Special Ability E) while stunned?
  7. Something else you have used.


Without an advantage, the monks have the same probability of hit points, same AC, same to-hit, and same damage. The winner is a coin toss, effectively doubling the experience needed for a monk to advance beyond level 8. What have you tried that allowed you to advance a monk through the higher levels?

What are the fastest mundane ways to heal out of combat?

Let’s take an untemplated human who’s low on hit points. Let’s also say that, for whatever reason, they don’t have access to spellcasting, SLAs, supernatural abilities, magic items, psionics, or any class levels or feats that grant any of those things (so if there’s something that can help as a 10th level feature, but the class grants a Su ability at 9th level, that doesn’t count).

What’s the fastest way for them to heal an arbitrary number of hit points, only possessing/using entirely mundane (extraordinary) features and feats and not using any benefits tied to certain locations?

The standard method is to take a couple days of rest, regaining up to 2 hit points per level per day (4 with long-term care). Not bad, but we can probably do better.

The 6th-level Iron Heart maneuver Iron Heart Endurance takes a swift action and heals them for twice their level in hit points, but it only works until they have a bit over half their hit points. For a couple well-timed warblade levels, they can use this every other turn to get a bit above half health. That’s a start, but we need a way to fill in the rest.

There’s also the well-known Troll Blooded feat, but that’s Dragon Magazine. Let’s go for only WotC-published 3.5e (or unupdated 3e) material.

They could take Combat Vigor or Vital Recovery, but both of those require an actual encounter to take place. Maneuvers may be recovered after a minute of rest (ToB 40), but both those feats are explicitly once-per-encounter. They could carry around a bag of aggressive rats, but once they enter combat with one of them, they’re no longer meeting the "out of combat" criteria quite right.

And… That’s all I can think of. What other options does an entirely mundane character have for regaining lost hit points?

Mounted Combat: Ride-by attack + Overrun possible?

So the question is as follows:

Can a Cavalier declare a Ride-by attack and then use their mount to overrun the target (thus continuing the movement through the enemies square)?

  1. Is it enough for the Cavalier to have the Ride-by Attack? Would the mount need Charge Through?
  2. Who makes the overrun attempt (check)? The Cavalier (with his own stats), or the mount?
  3. What happens if the overrun attempt fails? Does movement end in front of the target, and does the target get an AoO since Ride-by failed?

Ride-by Attack states:

When you are mounted and use the charge action, you may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge). Your total movement for the round can’t exceed double your mounted speed. You and your mount do not provoke an attack of opportunity from the opponent that you attack.

Overrun states:

As a standard action, taken during your move or as part of a charge, you can attempt to overrun your target, moving through its square. You can only overrun an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Overrun feat, or a similar ability, initiating an overrun provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. If your overrun attempt fails, you stop in the space directly in front of the opponent, or the nearest open space in front of the creature if there are other creatures occupying that space.

Charge Through states:

When making a charge, you can attempt to overrun one creature in the path of the charge as a free action. If you successfully overrun that creature, you can complete the charge. If the overrun is unsuccessful, the charge ends in the space directly in front of that creature.

My interpretation so far was:

  1. Declare Ride-by attack
  2. Charge
  3. Attack when in range (10 feet with lance)
  4. Continue movement (Ride-by Attack)
  5. Attempt overrun as part of mount’s charge action (or free with Charge Through)

So as follows (C = Cavalier, T = Target, x = empty square)

Cavalier attack:

x x x x T x x x x x C x 

Overrun CMB

x x x x T x x C x  x x x  

When overrun succeeds, continue moving through enemy square as per Ride-by attack (not taking any AoO). When overrun fails, stop movement in front of enemy, and take 1 AoO (as Ride-by failed) if AoO is applicable.

As Ride-by Attack is worded, nothing stops the Cavalier from doing a Charge, attacking with a lance (reach), and then using the Ride-by Attack to continue the movement for 1 more square (thus being adjacent to the enemy). The mount is then in melee range and should be able to make an overrun attempt and thus continuing the movement through the enemy square, if successful?

Am I missing some ruling, FAQ or errata here?

Bonus question!

Am I correct in my understanding that, with Ride-by Attack, I can:

Charge -> Attack with Lance -> Move 1 more square -> Have mount make 1 attack?