Roll to Hit

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Describes the roll necessary to hit an opponent with a weapon, touch an opponent or — sometimes — to hit with a magically propelled force such as Melf's arrow or spiritual hammer. The success of a given roll is determined by THAC0, in which the chance to hit is determined by the attacker's experience level and the opponent's armour class (AC).

Note that rolls of 1, 2 or 20 are important as they invoke critical hit & fumble rules.

Penalties and bonuses to hit modifies the die roll, or rather the number needed to hit. Below is a list of the most common modifiers (with expectations that this list will eventually be complete):

  • Charging: the attacks of charging combatants are accomplished with bonuses to hit and damage, depending upon various circumstances.
  • Cover: defenses offered by fortifications, vegetation or terrain can offer varying attack modifiers depending on the position of the combatant.
  • Dexterity: subtracts or adds to the attack die when using missile weapons, depending on the ability stats of the attacker.
  • Grenade-like Missiles: special rules in which the target is sometimes not the defender but the combat hex. Typically the attacker need only hit AC 10 to have a direct effect.
  • Illumination: the amount of illumination and comparable darkness affects the chance of combatants to hit, particularly with missile weapons.
  • Invisibility: because of the nature of invisibility in the game, there is normally no chance of hitting an invisible creature if it is not detected. Character with heightened senses may enable a character to hear the creature breathing, however, so that attacks in such cases may be made at -4 to hit, with the skilled character being able to positively identify the invisible defender's hex. Characters that shimmer translucently are attacked at -2 to hit. [unlike AD&D specifies, no % bonus is given for leveled persons to identify invisibility according to their experience.]
  • Missile Ranges: when attacking opponents with missile weapons at a range of 2 hexes, the modifier is +1 for the attacker. Attacks at medium range are done at -2 and at long range at -5.
  • Paladin Class: paladins are continuously protected by protection from malevolence, subtracting 2 from all attacks made against them.
  • Rear & Flank Attacks: rear attacks receive a +2 bonus to attack; thieves and assassins will receive +4 against the rear, when the opponent is surprised. Flank attacks receive a +1 bonus to attack.
  • Strength Ability: subtracts or adds to the attack die when using hand-to-hand weapons, depending on the attacker's strength.

See Attacking in Combat