1st edition Combat Basics.

Video Request for ReeseG.


(1d6) roll high numbers = win. Note the difference between player number and enemy and then see table for result as to whether anyone is surprised. Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 61-62


Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 62. I use 3d6 for initiative as it creates greater variation and differences in values adding value to reaction attacking adjustment.

 Time Combat Rounds

  • 1 round is 1 minute

  • 1 segment is 1/10 of a round or 6 seconds.

  • I use 1, 6 second segment per attack round.



12” standard human movement which is 120 feet in 1 minute or 12 feet in 1, 6 second segment.

Since I compress combat down to 1, 6 second segment is 1 round, I also round up movement distances in combat to 20 feet per segment. Think of basketball players actively defending. Legs bent, moving, strafing, shuffle stepping. This is similar to melee combat. You can fight, attack, and actively defend over the course of 6 seconds and move 20 feet. The UFC octagon is 30 feet across or a 15 foot radius as point of reference :)

Think of enemies and players engaged in melee range as groups. Reroll initiative when more enemies join the group or if players switch targets. This helps keep track of whose turn it is.

Combat Tables

Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 74-75

Note “To Hit AC 0” or THAC0 number. Then it’s simple math to adjust up and down. Example: Your THAC0 is 8, then to hit a AC 5 enemy, you only need a 3 or higher on a d20.  (8 – 5) = 3

Armor Class in 1st edition goes from -10 (godlike) to 10 (normal clothing)

  • Full Plate + Shield is AC 2.

  • Githyanki on a war expedition wears +4 Splint mail, so AC 0

  • The Demon, Orcus is AC -6

  • Eclavdra in The Hall of the Fire Giant King is AC -5