Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Wiki

The AD&D game is an adventure game designed to give players a feeling of excitement and danger. Characters brave the unknown perils of moldering dungeons and thorn-covered wilderness, facing off against hideous monsters and evil villains. Thus, it is important for all players to know the basic rules for handling combat.

To create the proper sense of danger and excitement, the rules for combat must be thorough, but they must also be playable and exciting enough to create a vivid picture in the minds of the players. Combat in the AD&D game has to allow many different actions and outcomes—as many as the imagination can produce. Knowing that anything could happen next (because the rules allow it) creates excitement for everyone.

More Than Just Hack-and-Slash

As important as fighting is to the AD&D game, it isn't the be-all and end-all of play. It's just one way for characters to deal with situations. If characters could do nothing but fight, the game would quickly get boring—every encounter would be the same. Because there is more to the game than fighting, we'll cover much more than simple hack-and-slash combat in this chapter. In addition to explaining the basic mechanics of hitting and missing, there are rules here for turning undead, special ways to attack and defend, poison, heroic feats, and more.

Table 51: Combat Modifiers

Table 51: Combat Modifiers
Situation Attack Roll
Attacker on higher ground +1
Defender invisible -4
Defender off-balance +2
Defender sleeping or held Automatic*
Defender stunned or prone +4
Defender surprised +1
Missile fire, long range -5
Missile fire, medium range -2
Rear attack +2

*If the defender is attacked during the course of a normal melee, the attack automatically hits and causes normal damage. If no other fighting is going on (i.e., all others have been slain or driven off), the defender can be slain automatically

Chapter 9: Combat