Combat Rules

Combat Rules
(and other physical play)

All weapon blows should be pulled. The aim is to injure the character, not the player.

Note, different players have different thresholds for blows. If somebody is hitting you harder than you’d like, please just tell them. If somebody tells you you’re hitting too hard, please go easier on them. Let’s not yell at each other, it’s a game, we’re here to have fun.

The head is a target of last resort. It IS a legal target, but don’t choose to aim for the head of an un-shielded character.

Melee strikes may not be “machine-gunned” – the maximum rate of strikes is 1 per second, per weapon (dual wielders will be hitting twice as fast). If anyone is hitting you faster than that, just take their damage call per second in damage.

All blows must be pulled back 45 degrees before swinging forward. Any power-strike effects must be delivered with a well role-played blow, we recommend 90 degrees. (Put your left arm straight forward, and your right arm straight out to the side. That is 90 degrees. 45 degrees is half of that angle.)

Each blow should be delivered with a damage or effect call. The basic form for this call is a number and the type of damage you are doing. Most characters will start with “1 Cut” or “1 Stab”, and some with “1 Bash”. When a special strike, skill, or item adds an effect to that strike, add the effect to the beginning or end of the call. We recommend that most effects that demand a reaction (Strikedown, Fumble, etc) are called at the end of the call, while most effects that change how a strike’s damage is applied is called first (Pinpoint, Quick-strike, etc). Any number of effects can be added to a single strike. You may omit any part of the call that you don’t wish to apply to that strike. If no number is called, assume 1 damage. If no damage type is called, the target may assume any type they wish, UNLESS the weapon’s phys-rep makes it obvious what type of damage is being done (Cut, Stab, or Bash only, never assume magical or special damage).

If a call is having no effect on the target, a call of “no effect” is recommended. It is not required if the player role-plays the effect of damage reliably enough that the lack of a reaction is sign enough. If you are using an ability to avoid the damage, then you must call it. “Avoid” or “Block” skills to avoid a single call must be called. The natural damage-total soak of Dodge and Parry do not, just as armour soak does not need to be called. If you are being hit by “Bash” damage repeatedly, and you are immune to it, you only need to call “No Effect Bash” once to satisfy this requirement, not for every blow. The same goes for resist, reduce, or other damage limiting calls.

No grappling, holding, or tripping is allowed. Shield play (pushing shield-to-shield, or hooking an opponent’s shield with a weapon) is allowed with consent. Do not push anybody hard enough to knock them over. If you accept shield play, do not resist so hard somebody has to knock you over to make you move. Remember that shields are usually attached to arms, and do not injure anyone by forcing their shield around.

If a character is blocking a door or other entrance effectively, do not force your way past. If somebody bolts through a gap while you are trying to block a door, do not grab them. As a rule, a doorway may be blocked by a single character. A Strength-based character may “force” their way past a non-Strength-based character. The call for this is “Strength 1, Strength 2” and on “Strength 3” the “blocker” should role-play being pushed back/out of the way, or counter with “Strength, Block” if they are also strength-based. No contact is necessary. A double doorway takes two, or a single Speed-based character to block. A speed-based character may rush their way past any single character attempting this. The call is “Speed”. Then the character may walk through the entry. A larger entry may not be blocked except by a physical line of characters across the entry. A Strength-based character may force their way through as above, with no counter possible.

Physical role-play may happen with the consent of both parties. It does NOT change the rules in any way. Any physical role-play must only be done after gaining consent. Consent is ONLY for that interaction, as it is also a way of making sure a player is ready for it (and currently safe for it too).

There are rules for binding characters. No PLAYER should ever be bound, for safety reasons. Bindings should still be adequately phys-repped.

Binding a character takes a ten-count (Binding 1, Binding 2, Binding 3… to 10). A rope or shackle phys-rep should be used (draped over the wrists, or placed in their hands only). A rope can be escaped after 10 minutes without anybody checking the bindings. A shackle may not be escaped.

Melee hits and ranged attacks must hit a target body part to count, or the shield if delivering an effect to the shield (Shatter, Fumble). Blows that hit clothing or armour on a body part count as hitting that body part. A blow to a cape or cloak that would pass through to hit a body part counts as hitting that body part. A blow to a cloak or cape that would pass straight through does not count as a hit.

Packet-delivered magic, on the other hand, must merely hit any part of the player, clothing, armour or a shield to count. If the call targets a body part (Crush right arm, for example) or specifically the shield (Shatter shield) the packet does NOT have to hit that body part/shield to hit, it just has to hit the player, clothing etc as defined above. If a target is not called, the target may choose one, regardless of where they were hit. The target must be legal though, shattering a broken shield, for example, is not legal.

An unconscious/dead body may be carried by any 1 character at a slow walk, or 2 (or 1 Strength-based) at a fast walk or jog. To phys-rep this, place a hand on the body’s shoulder, and tell them you are carrying them.

Combat Rules

The Westlands RichardHensman