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Engagements and Outnumbering

Original modification.

Engagements and Outnumbering

Any melee is an engagement. You’re either in it or not. There might be more than one engagement if the party is split (eg, someone climbs up to engage the archers on the battlement while their companions fight footmen on the drawbridge - two engagements).

Engagements, Engaged and Disengaged

An Engaged character is a character in an engagement who has attacked or been attacked by another character in the engagement.

An Disengaged character is a character in an engagement who has not attacked or been attacked by another character in the engagement, or who has just used the Disengaging Action (WFRP p. 165), and who is within charging the charging distance of any opponent.

A character who is neither Engaged or Disengaged is outside the engagement and is not counted as part of the engagement.

Unconscious, Stunned, and Prone characters who would normally be within the engagement are offensively outside the engagement for the purposes of assisting other members of their side in the combat and counting combatants towards outnumbering bonuses.

Outnumbering in Engagements

In each engagement, count the total combatants within the engagement to determine outnumbering. It doesn’t matter who engages with whom. It doesn’t matter if the character is Engaged or Disengaged. Characters outside the engagement are not counted.

If one engagement is four PCs versus one ungor, it's a 4-to-1 - a 4v1 engagement - and will invoke outnumbering bonuses (see below).

If one engagement is four PCs versus four ungor, it's a 4-to-4 - a 1v1 engagement that will not invoke outnumbering rules. Even if all the PCs focus on one ungor, the other three ungors are assumed to be assisting their set-upon fellow ungor in such a way that the PCs cannot gain a significant advantage.

Example: Two PCs are in an engagement versus two ungor, a 1v1 engagement that does not invoke outnumbering bonuses. However, one of the PCs is knocked Prone. While that PC is Prone, he cannot assist the standing PC (but the standing PC can assist the Prone PC). If both ungor attack the Prone PC, he still benefits from the his companion’s assistance in the engagement (the engagement remains 1v1). However, if both ungor turn their attention to the standing PC, the Prone PC is outside that engagement and the standing PC now suffers being outnumbered 2v1.

Outnumbering Bonus, Smaller vs Larger

It is harder to gain the outnumbering bonus (+20 2v1, +40 3v1) versus larger creatures because of their reach and size.

Harrying Bonus +10

Smaller creatures can gain a +10 Harrying Bonus as well at certain thresholds (half of 2v1 requirement, round-down, must be greater than 1v1).

Outnumbering and Harrying Bonuses Based on Size

When opponents are all of the same size class, determine outnumbering bonuses normally (+20 2v1, +40 3v1, No harrying bonus).

When fighting larger opponents, use the following table to look up the bonus thresholds between different size classes. For example, if a party of Average-sized characters is fighting a Large-sized troll, the size difference is 1 (Average is one size less than Large). The party would get a +10 (harrying) bonus if they outnumber the troll 2 to 1, a +20 bonus if they outnumber the troll 4 to 1, and a +40 bonus if they outnumber the troll 7 to 1.

Size Difference Outnumbering Bonus Table

Size Difference +10 Bonus +20 Bonus +40 Bonus
0 n/a 2 to 1 3 to 1
1 2 to 1 4 to 1 7 to 1
2 3 to 1 6 to 1 11 to 1
3 4 to 1 8 to 1 15 to 1
4 5 to 1 10 to 1 19 to 1
5 6 to 1 12 to 1 23 to 1
6 7 to 1 14 to 1 27 to 1

Mixed Size Groups, Effective Group Size

If you have multiple sized combatants in your engagement, base the outnumbering bonus on the smallest member. Then, count larger members as multiples of the smallest member, counting each larger member as (Size Levels Difference) members. For example, 1 average character counts as 2 small character when calculating effective group size; 1 large character counts as 2 average characters or 3 small characters.

Example: A halfling (small), his ogre bodyguard (large), and two humans (average) are fighting a giant (enormous).

The halfling is the smallest, with 3 size level differences between it and the giant. It would normally take 8 halflings to get a +20 bonus, and 15 to get a +40 bonus.

The humans count as 2 halflings each (1 size level larger). The ogre counts as 3 halflings (2 size levels larger).

Thus, the party is “equal” to 8 halflings (1+2+2+3) and can achieve the +20 bonus against the giant.


Swarms (WFRP p. 342) ignore these outnumbering rules. For simplicity, a swarm matches the size of the creature it is swarming and counts as one opponent. Multiple swarms of same type combine into a single swarm, although multiple swarms of different types count as separate opponents. Thus, a person mobbed by a swarm of bees and a swarm of ants would be outnumbered 2-to-1 by the swarms.

Under a Deadly Moon
Under a Deadly Moon

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