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edited September 2014
If two characters are next to each other and an enemy engages one of them, does it automatically engage the other character? I apologize if this has already been answered somewhere else.
The 13th Age FAQ (link: http://www.pelgranepress.com/site/?tag=FAQ&cat=248) has a similar question, which I've copied below:
Q: If the fighter is engaged with two kobolds and the cleric engages one of the kobolds, is the cleric automatically engaged with the other kobold?
From that, I infer that engaging one does not automatically engage the other. Clear as mud?
Not automatically, no. The enemy could engage the opponent of its choice without having to engage the other one. In that case the other opponent would have to make an extra effort if he wanted to engage the enemy, too. If the two characters are standing next to each other that just gives the enemy the oportunity to engage both of them at once. Though, I guess, one of them could decide to intercept the enemy to keep it away from his friend.
edited September 2014
That NO answer is negated by this statement. So I disagree.
"When do I become engaged?
As soon as a creature moves close enough to another creature to make a melee attack against it, they’re engaged (provided they’re hostile toward each other). Neither creature has to make an actual attack. You’re engaged until one of the creatures moves away, disengages, pops free, or dies."
With respect to the original question, my ruling is if two characters (a fighter and a cleric) are standing next to each other and the fighter is engaged, the cleric is not because the fighter could easily maneuver the fight away from the cleric with a side-step or two. They're still close-by so it's not really a move action, but there's still enough distance to keep the cleric out of harms way. Since the fighter is the kobold's primary target the kobold would have to maneuver accordingly to press his attack or disengage to focus on the cleric.
If a second kobold jumps the fighter, and the cleric engages that second kobold, without getting into the specifics of flanking the first kobold must be within reach of the cleric so the everyone is engaged with everyone else. It's what I call a furball in my sessions.
Furballs are a mess, they're dangerous for everyone involved. Even more dangerous if someone nails them with an area effect or a someone rolls a 1 with a ranged shot.
These are the rules I use. I'm consistent about them so my players know how to be strategic during their fights and there's never any guessing involved.
So that's my recommendation, whatever you decide, be consistent about it.
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