Combat

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While the basics of combat can be found in the Core Rules, this section will go over all of the in-depth details of combat and everything a combat-oriented player would need to know.

Types of Combat

Some of the first things to understand about combat are the types of combat that exist. There are three types of combat. These types are Melee combat, Ranged combat, and Firearm combat.

  • Melee: While at first thought it may not seem likely in a science fiction type of a setting, Melee Combat is a very common aspect of the game. Melee weapons don't run out of ammunition. Melee weapons don't necessarily require a power source. Superhuman powers may lend superhuman strength to characters, making them deadly hand-to-hand combatants. In order to participate in any melee combat, you are required to have an approved boffer or latex weapon and / or shield. There are basic rules which govern how melee combat works.
    • Frequency: You may only swing once per second per weapon.
    • Striking Arc: You must swing your weapon between a 45 degree and 90 degree arc.
    • Enunciation and Annunciation: You must clearly announce and pronounce all abilities, effects, damage, etc. that you are swinging for so that your opponent understands what he or she is being affected by.
    • Safety: You must always make an effort to fight as safely as possible and follow all safety rules set forth in Violations.
  • Ranged: Ranged Combat, while not necessarily as abundant as Melee Combat, is also an important part of the game. Like melee combat, the use of bows or crossbows may seem obsolete, but in a post-modern setting where renewable ammunition and quiet weapons may prove to be invaluable, these weapons are not only present, but sought after. Unless otherwise specified, Powers may not be used in conjunction with a ranged weapon.
    • Rate of Fire: You may only knock one arrow or bolt at a time. Should you physically be capable of reloading and firing an arrow or bullet in less than one second, know that it is against the rules. Only one arrow or bullet per second may be fired.
    • Minimum Distance: You may not fire an arrow or bolt at anyone who is within 10 feet of you.
    • Trajectory: You may never arc your arrows or bolts to bear down on a target or group.
    • Enunciation and Annunciation: You must clearly announce and pronounce all abilities, effects, damage, etc. that you are swinging for so that your opponent understands what he or she is being affected by.
    • Safety: You must always make an effort to fight as safely as possible and follow all safety rules set forth in Violations.
      • If a character is using a ranged weapon, that character may not fire upon a target that is within 10 feet of him or her. Instead, that character may call "Point Blank" and then state the numerical value of his or her damage and the damage type. After calling the damage, that character must drop an arrow or bolt physrep to the ground to represent the use of the ammunition. "Point Blank" may not be called offensively by purposely walking within 10 feet of a target; it may only be used if a target approaches within 10 feet of the character wielding the ranged weapon.
  • Firearms: Firearms are a type of weapon which are used to fire projectiles or energy at people. Unless otherwise specified, Powers may not be used in conjunction with a firearm.
Firearms are physrepped by nerf weapons or other weapons that can fire nerf or similar style, soft foam ammunition. Different physreps can be used for various different in-game firearms. Please consult with a marshal regarding what physreps are acceptable for what in-game firearms.
Below are some additional standard rules regarding firearms:
  • Rate of Fire: Only one bullet per second may be fired.
  • Minimum Distance: There is no minimum distance for firing nerf or other soft foam ammunition.
  • Trajectory: You may never arc your bullets to bear down on a target or group.
  • Enunciation and Annunciation: You must clearly announce and pronounce all abilities, effects, damage, etc. that you are striking for so that your opponent understands what he or she is being affected by.
  • Safety: You must always make an effort to fight as safely as possible and follow all safety rules set forth in Violations.

Damage

All weapons in the game can potentially be used to call damage. There are various abilities in the game that dictate how much potential damage can be called with a particular type of weapon. Unless otherwise specified, the amount of damage that can be dealt is dependent upon the abilities possessed by the character using the weapon, the weapon itself, any special enhancements the weapon or character has, etc.

Characters also have a maximum damage cap, unless otherwise specified by an ability. This damage cap varies depending upon the highest rank of combat path that a character has:

  • Basic: 14
  • Expert: 18
  • Master: 24

Damage Types

There are various damage types that exist in the game. Think of these as sources of damage that affect how a character can be healed when the character is damaged by them. Specific damage types cannot be healed normally unless otherwise specified or changed to normal damage first. Damage is called by saying whatever numerical damage total you swing for and then the damage type after it. (E.G. 4 damage! for normal or 4 shock! for shock damage, etc.)

Below is a list of all game-specific damage types:

  • Normal (The default damage type for most things in the game, this damage type has no special properties. It is healed normally by any ability or item that states it heals normal damage.)
  • Bio (This damage type is used when the primary source of the damage is chemical or biological in nature.)
  • Cold (This damage type is used when the primary source of the damage is extremely cold temperature to the point where it would cause physical harm.)
  • Heat (This damage type is used when the primary source of the damage is extremely hot temperature to the point where it would cause physical harm.)
  • Plasma (This damage type is used when the primary source of the damage is super-heated gas.)
  • Shock (This damage type is used when the primary source of the damage is electrical, to the point where it would cause physical harm.)

Modifiers

Pro Tip!
Confusedjackie.jpg
...eyes glossing over...
All of this probably seems somewhat convoluted or complicated. While it may be a lot of information to process, we promise you'll pick it up quickly! No one expects you to memorize everything. Remember, if you ever don't understand how something works, reach out to a marshal or, at an event, just use CLARIFY!

Modifiers are special modifiers to damage types and abilities that affect how a character can defend against the source of damage or ability. These modifiers augment damage types and abilities so that they ignore protection and threshold unless otherwise specified, but also may only be defended by an effect that specifies it works against the specific modifier.

Below is a list of all modifiers:

  • Bullet (This modifier is used when damage is delivered by a firearm or weapon that specifies as such.)
  • Direct (This modifier by itself can be defended against with abilities normally, but it always ignores protection and threshold at all times. It may also be used in conjunction with any other modifier so that defending against would require a defense against the other modifier specifically and that it will also always ignore threshold and protection, even if specified otherwise for the other modifier.)
  • Ener (This modifier is used when damage is delivered by an energy-based item or weapon that specifies as such.)

Other Unique Addons

Besides Damage Types and Modifiers, there may be special addons that can be used to further augment attacks. See Keywords for more information.

Threshold

Threshold is a measurement of how much maximum damage a character takes per effect / strike. By default, Threshold only works on the Normal Damage Type without any modifiers unless otherwise specified by an ability. Threshold is only granted by abilities that state they grant Threshold for a duration. A character may never take less than 2 points of damage at minimum.

Claws and Fists

There are certain characters or monsters which may use claws or fists instead of weapons. Below are the special rules to be taken in consideration of claws and fists in combat:

  • Claws and Fists must be physrepped by melee boffers.
    • There may be special rules rules that govern the size requirements for claws and fists and such can be outlined in specific abilities relevant to claw use, but unless otherwise specified, claws and fists may not exceed 24 inches.
  • Claws and fists cannot be disarmed through normal disarming means.
  • Unlike weapons, if a Physical Power or numerical physical damage strikes a claw or fist, the character will suffer from the effects.
    • However, a Disarm Effect Power must specifically state that it works on a claw or fist in order for it to have an effect.
  • Physical Powers can be delivered to a target from a claw or fist rather than from a weapon.
  • If a claw or fist is broken or severed, they can only be repaired with any effect that normally fixes a broken or severed limb.

Combat Paths

Combat Paths are a unique way for characters to utilize weapons in order to fight. Unlike many traditional methods for character weapon or fighting style use, the approach of Combat Paths seeks to simultaneously simplify the rules for weapon use and combat effectiveness while also taking a more realistic approach.

Combat Paths are essentially categories of various different weapons or fighting styles and each category has the standard set of ranks: Basic, Expert, Master, and Super. Each rank of Combat Path corresponds to a level of aptitude with the weapons that are available for use within that Combat Path. As Combat Paths "rank up," characters may find themselves with the ability to strike for more damage, have access to more weapons within the category, or benefit from other unique bonuses.

All characters require an equal rank or higher Combat Path as well as additional Item Use Checks in order to utilize any appropriately classified items. Only items classified as belonging to a Combat Path can be used with that Combat Path. Unless otherwise specified, only one item may be wielded at a time. Look at specific items for any additional rules governing how those items function or enhance a character's combat capability.

Combat Paths may be "mixed and matched" after characters learn them, in order to produce unique fighting styles for each character. Mixing and matching Combat Paths simply requires that the character have access to each Combat Path he or she wishes to mix. When mixing Combat Paths, if more than one path would grant the same or a similar bonus, the character must choose only one of those "like bonuses" to benefit from instead while fighting with the mixed paths. Additionally, mixing Combat Paths does not allow characters to circumvent built-in Combat Path limitations (such as dual wielding weapons before Expert rank).

Different Combat Paths have different prerequisites in terms of what Classes have access to them. Please see each Class in the game to determine what Combat Paths it has access to.

For a list of all the different combat paths and what each does and grants a character, see List of Combat Paths.

Proficiencies

Beyond the rank of Combat Path a character has in general, there is a separate measurement of how skilled a character can be when fighting. Rather than a definition of how skilled the character is with a Combat Path entirely based on rank, characters can be "proficient" with specific Combat Paths as well. These Combat Proficiencies give a slight edge to combat-focused characters. This helps further diversify different character builds and fosters unique character proficiency subsets, adding another layer of realism to the game in a way that's familiar and easy to understand. Here are some basic rules regarding all proficiencies:

  • By default, a character can not have more than 4 total proficiencies entirely for a Combat Path
  • Proficiencies are learned as skills on specific character lists in the game. See specific Class Lists to determine what classes have proficiencies available for purchase at any given rank
  • Combat Proficiencies are divided into 2 types, one of which must be chosen at the time of learning and cannot be altered later:
    • Offensive Proficiencies give characters +2 physical damage when fighting via a specified Combat Path
    • Defensive Proficiencies gives -2 Threshold when fighting via a specified Combat Path

Protection

There are various ways that characters can have Protection. Protection is a form of self-defense, either natural or gained through wearing something protective. Protection, like hit points, is measured with a pool. Protection Pools are numerical representations of various defenses that characters can use to be protected against attacks. There are three types of Protection Pools: Durability, Resilience, and Agility. Specifically, Durability is a measurement of how durable a set of Protection is. Resilience is how physically resilient a character is without wearing any Protection. Agility is a measurement of how agile and quick a character is without wearing any Protection. Each of these will protect characters in different ways.

Durability-granting Protection, such as Armor, will not help defend against non-physical Powers of any kind, unless a Skill or Power states otherwise. Resilience also will not stop any non-physical Powers from having an effect unless a Skill or Power states otherwise. Also, by default, no one in the game can wear Protection, just as no one in the game can use a weapon unless the character possesses an ability that states so. Also, unless specified by a Skill or Power, characters do not have any Agility or Resilience. A skill needs to be purchased in order to allow someone to wear Durability-granting Protection, have Resilience, or have Agility.

Characters without any Durability-granting Protection, Agility, or Resilience will always take a minimum of 2 points of numerical damage per numerical damage strike from weapons or Powers, regardless of any skill or Power, unless otherwise specified. This includes any abilities that grant Threshold.

By default, unless specified otherwise, after Resilience and Agility totals are depleted for a character, the only way that character can gain his or her Agility or Resilience back is through recovery, the same way that he or she would recover his or her Power Uses. See Abilities for more information on recovery. Durability must be repaired IG by a character that can repair the protection that granted the durability.

  • Durability. Durability specifically is a measure of how durable a set of Protection is. It is a measure of how many strikes a person can receive before the Protection that is being worn becomes useless or before a character will begin to take physical damage and effects. When someone is struck for physical damage, regardless of how much damage they are struck for, that damage is reduced to 0 and then they will lose 1 point of Durability each time they are physically struck. Additionally, almost any Offensive Physical Power that someone is struck for will instead reduce a person’s Durability by 1 point per strike rather than have an effect. Once someone’s Protection has zero Durability points left, the Protection becomes useless, losing all its properties. Once this happens, the Protection offers no more benefit until it can be repaired somehow. Durability will work against the following: Physical Melee Damage, Physical Ranged Damage, Physical Offensive Powers, any of the aforementioned items even if they are enhanced by Perfect Aim or Speed. Durability works regardless of where the blow is delivered from. To announce this so that an opponent is aware of the defense, the character wearing the Protection must annunciate and enunciate clearly “DURABILITY.” Once a character begins taking full affect from any strike, the character must then annunciate and enunciate clearly “AFFECTED.”
  • Resilience. Resilience is essentially Durability that is not granted by Protection, but is a measurement of the natural toughness of a character. It functions like Durability in all other aspects. It is a measure of how many strikes a person can receive before a character will begin to take physical damage and effects. When someone is struck for physical damage, regardless of how much damage they are struck for, that damage is reduced to 0 and then they will lose 1 point of Resilience each time they are physically struck. Additionally, almost any Offensive Physical Power that someone is struck for will instead reduce a person’s Resilience by 1 point per strike rather than have an effect. Once someone’s Resilience is reduced to zero, that character will begin to take any and all damage and status effects from skills that the Resilience would otherwise have stopped. Resilience will work against the following: Physical Melee Damage, Physical Ranged Damage, Physical Offensive Powers, any of the aforementioned items even if they are enhanced by Perfect Aim or Speed. Resilience works regardless of where the blow is delivered from. To announce this so that an opponent is aware of the defense, the character must annunciate and enunciate clearly “RESILIENCE.” Once a character begins taking full affect from any strike, the character must then annunciate and enunciate clearly “AFFECTED.”
  • Agility. Agility is a measurement of a character's natural alacrity. It is a way for characters to move quickly out of the way of an attack. It is a measure of how many strikes a person can receive before a character will begin to take physical damage and effects. When someone is struck for physical damage, regardless of how much damage they are struck for, that damage is reduced to 0 and then they will lose 1 point of Agility each time they are physically struck. Additionally, almost any Offensive Physical Power that someone is struck for will instead reduce a person’s Agility by 1 point per strike rather than have an effect. Once someone’s Agility is reduced to zero, that character will begin to take any and all damage and status effects from skills that the Agility would otherwise have stopped. Agility will work against the following: Physical Melee Damage, Physical Ranged Damage (excluding Perfect Aim or Point Blank), Physical Offensive Powers, any of the aforementioned items even if they are enhanced by Direct. Additionally, unlike Durability and Resilience, Agility cannot be called as a defense when a character is physically impeded in any way and the use of Agility would not be logically sound, such as having broken legs, being bound (whether physically or supernaturally), being slowed, etc. Agility can only be used when struck from the front. To announce the use of Agility when it is being used as a defense, so that an opponent is aware of the defense, the character must annunciate and enunciate clearly “AGILITY.” Once a character begins taking full affect from any strike, the character must then annunciate and enunciate clearly “AFFECTED.”

Protection Slots

In order to measure Durability and qualify what a “piece of Protection” constitutes, there are Protection slots. Each Protection slot counts as a slot that a piece of Protection, for the purposes of Durability calculation, can be worn. There are 5 total Protection slots: Head, Torso, Arms, Shoulders, Legs. More than 50% of a person’s out-of-game corresponding Protection slot must be covered by an approved piece of Protection in order for that slot to qualify as being covered by Protection, and therefore grant Durability for the slot being covered.

Mixing and Layering Protection

Characters may decide to mix different kinds of Protection. When mixing Protection, each Protection Slot must still be covered at least 50% by an appropriate physrep. Each piece of Protection will grant a separate amount of Durability which will be dependent upon the type of Protection that is being worn in that particular Protection Slot and any skills that the character has which affects Durability granted by particular Protection Types.

Protection Layering is the act of wearing one type of Protection on top of another. An example of Protection Layering would be a character who wears a Leather Chest Plate on top of a Chainmail Hauberk. To calculate Durability with Protection Layering, you add the amount of Durability each Protection piece grants in a given Protection Slot together. No more than 2 layers of artificial protection may be used at a time (E.G. armor or kevlar), but all sources of natural protection (such as Resilience and Agility) will stack together. Resilience will stack on top of up to two layers of artificial protection, but agility will only stack with resilience and / or up to 1 layer of artificial protection so long as the artificial protection does not specify otherwise due to weight / bulkiness of it.

Shields

Shields, like Protection, are a tool for mitigating attacks and damage. Shields in the game can only be a maximum of 39 inches in total diameter or 39 inches in length along an edge. All physical ranged and melee (non firearm) damage and Physical Powers delivered by melee or ranged (non firearm) that strike a shield are considered blocked and will have no effect, unless otherwise specified.