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Melee Engagement is a state when two or more opposing combatants are locking each one's position, so they cannot move freely out of melee combat distance. This system is intended to increase tactical value of movement and positioning in combat environments.


When two opposed combatants come near each other and one of them

  • has a melee weapon equipped
  • is not moving and
  • is not currently at his or her maximum limit of engagement targets (the standard is 1),

the other character will become Engaged. When an opponent is Engaged by an attacker, moving any significant distance away from the attacker is called Disengagement and will provoke an automatic Disengagement Attack[1].

If the attacker switches to a non-melee weapon or performs a non-melee-based action, Engagement immediately ends. If the attacker moves away from their Engagement targets, is paralyzed, knocked down, or otherwise prevented from maintaining a threat, Engagement will also immediately end. If the attacker has a limited number of Engagement targets (as most do) and switches his or her attack focus to a different character, Engagement immediately ends.[1]

Engagement range is only a little more than a character width (barring special circumstances)[2] and most characters can only engage one enemy at a time. If they don't have a target, it's the first enemy who enters the radius. If they do have a target, it's them. For fighters in Defender mode, it's the first three, one of which is typically someone they are attacking.[3]

Fleeing targets can be engaged, as soon as the pursuer catch up to them and stops moving, forcing them to stop as well.[4]

Disengagement attack[]

Disengagement Attack is a "free" action with no recovery time.[5] It has an inherent Accuracy bonus, does significantly more damage than a standard attack, and will call a hit reaction animation while momentarily stopping the character's movement. When it's initiated, a Disengagement Attack automatically breaks Engagement on the target, but if the target is also the attacker's current melee target, the attacker will typically be able to re-establish Engagement before the target can move farther away.[1]

Abilities influences[]

  • Defender –(Fighter) allows them to engage two additional targets and increases the range at which they engage targets.
  • Escape – (Rogue) breaks Engagement without provoking a Disengagement Attack.
  • Rooting Pain – (Monk) creates a small area of éffect shockwave around the monk each time they gain a Wound. The Shockwave causes a short-duration Stun effect, that breaks Engagement.[6]
  • Wild Sprint – (Barbarian) ignores temporarily the movement stop and hit reactions from Engagement and Disengagement Attacks. Though they can still suffer massive damage while powering through.

Talents influences[]

  • Grimoire Slam – (Wizard) attacks an enemy in melee with their magically-charged grimoires, unleashing a concussive wave of energy on contact. If it hits, the attack knocks the target back, usually far enough to break Engagement in the process.
  • Hold the Line – (All) trains the character in new defensive strategies, increasing his or her Engagement limit by 1.


Project Eternity's melee engagement was designed as a solution to two common problems in the Infinity Engine games: melee characters' inability to control an area and ranged characters' ability to "kite" melee characters. It fills a similar role to D&D 3E/3.5/4E/Pathfinder's attack of opportunity mechanics.[1]