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Combat

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Starting Combat
Combat starts one of two ways.  The mostly likely way is if two groups or individuals are within 20 yards of each other, one or both can declare combat.  At that point players should move themselves to the closest good spot for fighting and begin dialog.

The other way is if one group or person outright surprises another.  In that case it is the the ambusher's prerogative to cast spells or attack with a weapon. 
If they attack with spells they can cast multiple spells in a row (making sure to give a bit of a pause between them).  They can keep this up until you run out of spells or the surprised person responds with either a swing or spell of their own. 
The same hold true with weapon blows.  You can swing away until the the person under attack draws a weapon, casts a spell or makes some other action that would disrupt the attack.  (ei:  getting a table between you or around a corner)

Declaring Combat

Ok here is how it works.

  1. If you are within 20 yards, you literally call out "COMBAT"
     

  2. You and your opponents should close and make sure the ground is safe to fight on.  This means:
             
    Fields or roads
             
    If in woods:  No steep slopes
                                       Not on rocks
                                       Avoid areas with lots of sharp dead branches
                                       Generally use common sense
     

  3. As we rarely costume the monsters, those playing monsters please tell the players what you are.  Players if monsters do not say feel free to ask.
     

  4. Exchange any Combat Modifiers - In the course of an adventure you may receive an sealed envelope label "Combat Modifier."  Some time they are good, other times bad.  You never read your own combat modifiers.  Give envelope to opponent.  The combat modifier should have a section the opponent reads to you.  What they read you may be total BS though,   ei: "You feel invulnerable  +10 to your armor" and below that the AM will have told monster it is a delusion.
    Combat modifiers are a bitch to remember.  Please try to.  Monsters PLEASE ask for them.  Might remind the players.
    At the end of combat the modifier should be signed by the monster and returned to the player.
     

  5. Hit Points are declared.   Remember to include hit points gained through armor and spells.  Don't announce several numbers.  KNOW your total Hit Points.
    Note:  Some of you, especially monsters, might not want to disclose your Hps.  For you general-run-of-the-mill-boogies,Too Bad.  We don't have armor that would show weaknesses or have such a thing as that one fatal thrust through the heart.  This is just the best way to go.  Consider it a warriors eye, the ability to size up an opponent.
    Now on the few rare cases where someone is playing a special NPC/ exceptional monster, here are some of the things you can do.
    1)  State you have "At least" X amount of hit points, giving a number no less than 3/4 of your current Hps.  That way players have an idea of what they're facing.
    2)  Tell them flat out. "You can't tell how tough I am."  Always a good way to get them nervous.
    3)
    Have a card that lists your real hit points and lie about how many Hps you have.  When they get you to zero say "this guy is tougher than you thought."  This is really something to use rarely.  Sure it lures them into the fight but it will piss players off
     

  6. Ok.  Have at it.

Escaping Combat
Once combat has begun (combat begins the moment someone yells COMBAT or surprises you), you cannot run away from it. The only way to get out of a battle is to use and Escape spell or a Combat Ender spell. 

The  Escape spells are Run, Teleport and Teleport to Safety.  There are also special abilities (like those of a Journeyman) which can be used to escape from combat.   Run and Teleport jump the caster out of combat and gives them a head start.   They do not mean that you cannot be overtaken once again

The ultimate Combat Ender spell is Calm.  Unless it is dispelled combat is over. 
Fear and Sleep can also end a combat but only if they take out all of the remaining opponents. Once the Fear or Sleep wears off don't just turn around and go after the caster.  Those Feared or Slept should deliberately seek out someone else or head in the opposite direction if there is no-one else to hunt.
Trance and Hypnotism could possibly be used to end a battle too, but if you wish to escape a traced foe then you must move.  After the spell ends the those tranced may hunt down the escapees. 

There are situations where combat is pointless but not necessarily over.  Prime example is some has Wraithform on and his or her opponent is out of magic.  In this case the either one is free to haunt the other all they wish or they can just part ways (no escape spell is needed).  Technically if they stay together, combat is still going.  What is not allowed is to run away a few yards away and come right back so as to get new spells.

  

Notes:

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