Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Wiki
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Since a round is roughly a minute long, it should be easy for a character to move just about anywhere he wants during the course of the round. After all, Olympic-class sprinters can cover vast amounts of ground in a minute.

However, a character in an AD&D game is not an Olympic sprinter running in a straight line. He is trying to maneuver through a battle without getting killed. He is keeping his eyes open for trouble, avoiding surprise, watching his back, watching the backs of his partners, and looking for a good opening, while simultaneously planning his next move, sometimes through a haze of pain.

He may be carrying a load of equipment that slows him down significantly. Because of all these things, the distance a character can move is considerably less than players generally think.

In a combat round, a being can move up to 10 times its movement rating in feet (see the Player's Handbook for information on character movement.) Thus, if a character has a movement rating of 9, he can move up to 90 feet in a round. However, the types of moves a character can make during combat are somewhat limited.

Movement in Melee

The basic move is to get closer for combat—i.e., move close enough to an enemy to attack. This is neither a blind rush nor a casual stroll. Instead, the character approaches quickly but with caution. When closing for combat, a character can move up to half his allowed distance and still make a melee attack.

Movement and Missile Combat

Rather than slug it out toe to toe with an opponent, a character can move up to one-half his normal movement rate and engage in missile fire at half his normal rate of fire. Thus a man capable of moving 120 feet and armed with a long bow (two shots per round, under normal circumstances) could move 60 feet and still fire one shot. The same man, armed with a heavy crossbow (one shot every other round) would be able to shoot only once every four rounds while on the move.

Charging an Opponent

A character can also charge a foe. A charge increases the character's movement rate by 50% and enables the character to make an attack at the end of his movement. A charging character also gains a +2 bonus to his attack roll, mainly from momentum. Certain weapons (such as a lance) inflict double the rolled damage in a charge.

However, charging gives opponents several advantages. First, they gain a -2 bonus to their initiative rolls. Second, charging characters gain no Dexterity bonuses to Armor Class, and they suffer an AC penalty of 1. Finally, if the defender is using a spear or pole arm weapon and sets it against the charge (bracing the butt against a stone or his foot), he inflicts double damage on a successful hit.

Retreat

To get out of a combat, characters can make a careful withdrawal or they can simply flee.

Withdrawing: When making a withdrawal, a character carefully backs away from his opponent, who can choose to follow. The character moves up to 1/3 his normal movement rate.

If two characters are fighting a single opponent and one of them decides to withdraw, the remaining character can block the advance of the opponent. This is a useful method for getting a seriously injured man out of a combat.

Fleeing: To flee from combat, a character simply turns and runs up to his full movement rate. However, the fleeing character drops his defenses and turns his back to his opponent.

The enemy is allowed a free attack—or multiple attacks if the creature has several attacks per round—at the rear of the fleeing character. This attack is made the instant the character flees. It doesn't count against the number of attacks that opponent is allowed during the round, and initiative is irrelevant. The fleeing character can be pursued, unless a companion blocks the advance of the enemy.

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