This is both an introduction and a resource for basic combat in the Dying Kingdoms system. After reading it, a new player should be equipped to enter combat in any DK game.
”’Legal Hit:”’ When you swing a melee weapon, you must draw back your elbow or shoulder so that the weapon moves through at least a 45 degree arc. If you do not make such an arc, your blow doesn‘t count as a legal hit. You cannot swing through more than a 135 degree arc, so it is illegal to pull back too far also moving only your wrist to draw your weapon back does not constitute a legal hit.
- There are five legal hit locations: arms, legs and torso. Never swing for the head or the groin. Hitting the head or groin is illegal maneuvering and a Marshal will remove you from combat (and possibly from the game) for safety violations. Additionally, hands can be struck, but for safety reasons are not valid hit locations. When you are hit in the hands just call ―Hands‖ indicating it‘s an unacceptable hit.
- A good swing should hit hard enough that you can feel it, but not so hard as to injure. If someone swings at you too hard, do not hesitate to call a Hold and ask a Marshal to intervene. Swinging too hard is unsafe combat. Just because you didn‘t feel a swing through your armor doesn‘t mean that it doesn‘t hit, though. A solid hit that lands on a breastplate still counts against the armor.
- You may only connect with one hit per second per weapon. Swinging faster constitutes an illegal hit.
- Remember, good fighting is cinematic, with lots of back-and-forth and the careful use of skills—not a quick series of taps designed to show off your speed and ability to exploit the rules.
”’Summary:”’ There are five legal hit locations: arms, legs and torso. Groin and head hits are illegal and will get you removed from the combat, potentially the game. Additionally, hand strikes are not to be taken as they are not a valid hit location. Swinging either too hard or fast is not appropriate for DK Combat and is universally frowned upon.
Hits and Wounds
”’Hits and Wounds:”’ A ”Hit” is a strike that connects; either from a weapon, effect or a spell packet. Assuming the defender doesn‘t have any defenses they can call, the hit causes a wound to the area struck.
- A ”Wound” is an injury to one of the five hit locations; legs, arms and torso. A hit location is either wounded or it isn‘t; there‘s no such thing as taking two wounds to an arm.
- A wound to the leg means that you must drop to one knee and must not remove that knee from the ground. This means no hoping, skipping, stumbling, etc, but crawling on your hands and knees would be acceptable. A second hit to a leg can‘t cause an additional wound, but it is still considered a valid hit location for spell effects or combat maneuvers.
- A wound to the arm means that you can‘t use it and must drop anything held in that arm. A second hit to the same arm causes a hit to the torso instead, allowing your torso to use defenses in response to the hit.
- A wound to the torso or to two separate limbs renders you Unconscious and puts you directly into your Death Count!
”’Summary:”’ A wound to a leg means you MUST take a knee and not remove that knee from the ground, (though you can still crawl). A wound to an arm means you MUST drop any item (like a weapon or shield) carried in that hand and cannot use that arm until it is healed. One torso wound or two separate limb wounds put you into your 300 second Death Count, after which you are Dead.
”’Death Count:”’ Once you have been dealt a torso wound or two separate limb wounds you are Unconscious and put into your Death Count. From the time you receive the wound until you are Dead is 300 seconds. You should silently count out this time to yourself. This is your Death Count.
- A character with the Heal skill can interrupt your Death Count by performing the skill (You should stop counting when someone begins the heal skill upon you); this task takes one minute to finish, and if completed without interruption, will leave you Stabilized. If it is interrupted, continue counting where you left off until someone Stabilizes/Heals you or you reach 300 seconds and are Dead.
- Other ways to stop the Death Count are alchemical or magical healing. For instance, someone could feed you a concoction that heals you, or cast a healing spell on you.
”’Summary:”’ With a Torso or two limb wounds, you have 300 seconds until you are Dead. Someone can interrupt this Death Count by successfully healing or stabilizing you.
”’Combat Skills:”’ Under the Umbrella of Combat Skills include Defensive, Attack and Maneuver Skills. Each player can only use a maximum of three from each of those sub categories (assuming they have purchased them with CP) until they take a 10 minute Rest Period to refresh them.
”’Defense Skills:”’ There are a myriad of ways that you can prevent wounds. The most common are Parry, Evade, and Dodge which are all Defense Skills. A character needs to purchase these skills in order to use them in play. They can have multiple uses of each skill depending on what they have purchased, but they can only use three skills in any combination per fight.
Any Defense must be called within two seconds of taking a hit. If you don‘t make a call then, you can‘t call it later and you must accept the hit. An important note is that after a ten minute Rest Period all Defense Skills are refreshed.
- ”’Parry:”’ When a melee weapon or natural attack hits you, and you are armed with a melee weapon, call ”Parry” within two seconds of being hit. You are then assumed to have blocked the blow with your own weapon. You cannot parry a Maneuver Skill or an Effect.
- ”’Evade:”’ When a ranged attack hits you (including spell packets) call ”Evade” within two seconds. You are then assumed to have sidestepped the attack. Evade does not work against Point or Voice effects.
- ”’Dodge:”’ Dodge, like Parry and Evade, is called within two seconds of being hit. Dodge has the powers of both a Parry and an Evade, providing more protection with just one call. In addition, Dodges may be used to avoid Maneuver skill effects.
- ”’Summary:”’ You can only call a maximum of 3 Defensive Skills in a fight. Any Defense has to be called within 2 seconds of being hit.
- In Addition to Defensive Skills, Shields, Resists, Skins, Toughness, Deflection, and Armor are other forms of Defenses that you can use to protect yourself.
- ”’Shield:”’ A magical shield effect defends you from the influence of a specific type of attack. You can have three magical Shield effects active at once, but no more than one of each type (so you could have an Air Shield, Earth Shield, and Fire Shield, but not three Fire Shields).
- Remember that you cannot have effects from opposing elemental invocations up at the same time, so you cannot have an Earth Shield with an Air Shield or a Fire Shield with a Water Shield. Shields automatically defend against the first attack of its defending type.
- ”’Resist:”’ An advanced form of a magical Shield. You can have any number of Resists active at once, and you can choose when to use a Resist, even if you are Unconscious. Like Shields, you still cannot have Resist effects from opposing elemental invocations up at the same time.
- ”’Skins:”’ A Skin effect represents some sort of magic that makes the subject hardier and more difficult to wound. Skin effects have a rating and lose one point of effect for each point of damage they receive on a one-for-one basis. Skins do not stack with other skins.
- ”’Toughness:”’ A Toughness rating means that you can take extra hits of damage before you are wounded. Toughness works just like a skin effect, in that it soaks up hits of damage before you take a Wound. Unlike Skin effects, though, Toughness usually comes from innate resilience, not from a spell. Additionally, Toughness can be stacked on top of itself and with a Skin effect.
- ”’Deflection:”’ Deflection bonuses cause attacks to bounce off without any effect. A Deflection rating stops the rated amount of damage from all incoming hits. For instance, a Deflection rating of 1 removes 1 point of damage from every hit that lands, and it never goes down!
- ”’Armor:”’ Armor helps to stop damage from affecting a character. If you‘re wearing armor, it has an armor value, generally from one to five. This is the amount of damage that the armor can stop from any single hit. Any time armor is hit, it loses one (and only one) point from this value. If the armor reaches a value of zero, it is broken and must be repaired or refitted.
A strike that scores more hits of damage than the armor‘s current rating penetrates the armor with the extra hits of damage passing through to the affected hit location.
Armor only grants its bonus to parts of the body actually covered by armor, but not necessarily to the entire hit location that armor is on. If you‘re hit anywhere that isn‘t literally covered by armor, the hit connects and bypasses any armor protection you may have elsewhere on that hit location.
When damaged if your armor is valued at a rating of 3 or higher you can fix it or ”refit” it with one minute of work. Refitting restores one point of value back to any armor (not to exceed its max rating). You can refit armor while you are wearing it, or refit it on a non-resisting subject, as long as you can use both of your hands and either have the appropriate level of the Armor skill (light, medium, heavy) or the Armorsmithing skill. You can only refit a given suit of armor once after each combat. Thus, if your armor takes multiple hits in one fight, refitting will only repair one hit; for further repairs you‘ll need magic or the Armorsmithing skill.
”’Attack Skills:”’ These enable you to perform combat strikes that cause extra hits of damage or special effects. You can only use a maximum of 3 Attack Skills per combat (assuming you have already purchased them with character points) and you must call the Attack Skill as you are swinging.
Mighty blows are the only Attack Skill mentioned in the Players Guide. You will see the rest mentioned here in game. All attack skills are expended the moment you call them out in combat regardless of if they hit your opponent or not. For instance if you attack with a Mighty blow and the swing is parried or dodged by an opponent, or if the swing just plain misses all together it is considered expended the moment you say ―Mighty Blow‖. An important note is that after a ten minute Rest Period all attack skills are refreshed. Note: you can Parry and Dodge Attack skills, unlike Maneuver Skills that can only be Dodged.
- ”’Mighty Blow:”’ A Mighty Blow represents a particularly skillful swing that inflicts extra hits of damage on a strike. Each Mighty Blow has a rating, such as +1 or +2. This rating shows the amount of extra hits of damage that a Mighty Blow causes when it strikes. In order to use a Mighty Blow, you must call out ―Mighty Blow‖ and the total damage when you swing. For a one handed weapon, this means that a Mighty Blow +1 causes two hits of damage with the line ”Mighty Blow 2” — one for the weapon and one for the Mighty Blow. Two handed weapons have a base damage of 2 to start with, so a Mighty Blow +1 with a two handed weapon would be called as a ”Mighty Blow 3”.
- ”’Stunning Blow:”’ If you successfully strike a legal hit location (Arm, leg or torso) the target is stunned for 10 seconds (unable to act in any way).
- ”’Mortal Blow:”’ If you successfully strike a legal hit location (Arm, leg or torso) the target takes an automatic wound to their torso and immediately enters their Death Count.
- ”’Death Blow:”’ If you successfully strike a legal hit location (Arm, leg or torso) the target is instantly killed.
”’Summary:”’ You have to call out your attack skill when you swing. It is expended whether you legally strike a hit location or not.
”’Maneuver Skills:”’ Represent training in special techniques designed to perform tricks and unorthodox tactics used in combat. There are 3 listed Maneuver Skills in the Players Handbook: Disarm, Recover and Sap. There are many more Maneuver Skills that can be found out via play. An important note is that after a ten minute Rest Period all Maneuver Skills are refreshed.
- ”’Disarm:”’ Strike your opponent‘s weapon and call ―Disarm.‖ The foe must immediately drop the weapon, unless he Dodges or Recovers. Disarm has no effect on an opponent using natural weapons (denoted by the color red). Against a two-handed weapon, the Disarm only causes the subject to lose grip with one hand for a few seconds.
- ”’Sap:”’ Unlike other maneuvers, you do not need to purchase this maneuver multiple times; you can use it at any time and it never counts against the amount of combat maneuvers you can use per combat. To Sap someone, you must come to a full stop, plant both feet firmly on the ground, and strike your opponent from behind, using the butt of your weapon to tap the shoulder. This represents you knocking the enemy on the back of the head with the haft of your weapon. A successful Sap maneuver renders the foe Unconscious for 10 minutes. Some enemies may be immune to a Sap maneuver. A helmet or the Advantage ”Sharp Sense: Hearing” completely negates this maneuver. You can only Sap with a weapon with which you are proficient. Multiple Sap attacks do not stack; only the duration of the most recent one counts. Sap maneuvers follow the limitations of attack speed: You may only strike with one sap maneuver per second per weapon.
- ”’Recover:”’ You can avoid the effects of a blow that would disarm you. When you are hit with any Disarm effect, or Shatter effect (or certain other advanced maneuvers), call Recover. You remain unaffected.
”’Healing:”’ Once a hit manages to penetrate your defenses it causes a wound to that hit location. There are 5 different types of healing that a wound could receive: Stabilization, Speed Healing, Heal Minor Wound, Heal Serious Wound, and a Complete Heal.
- ”’Stabilize:”’ Immediately stops your Death Count and leaves you Incapacitated for 24 hours. You must be moved by two unwounded people or your wounds will reopen and you will restart your Death Count.
- ”’Speed Healing:”’ If you are in your Death Count, a Speed Healing effect Stabilizes you. In addition, every wound, regardless of hit location Heal in one hour. A subject can only be under the effects of one speed healing at a time regardless of source. ’”Note:”’ In addition to Speed Healing, a person could be under the effects of the Chirurgery skill, or the Advantage Fast Healing and have the remaining time cut in half. If all three are in effect you chop the remaining time in half each time a new effect is applied.”’Note:”’ If you use a leg while it is under the effects of speed healing, it will become wounded again and need additional healing (this means no walking), if you use an arm under the effects of a Speed Healing to pick up anything, it will become wounded again and need additional healing. You must be carried by two unwounded individuals, or your wounds will reopen and you will completely restart your Death Count.
- ”’Heal Minor Wound:”’ This immediately heals one limb wound and provides Speed Healing to every other wound.
- ”’Heal Serious Wound:”’ This immediately heals any one wound and provides Speed Healing to every other wound. This is the first level that can actually heal a Torso wound.
- ”’Complete Heal / Renew:”’ You heal all wounds that the target suffers, neutralize all Poison, Cure all Stunning, remove all Fatigue, and remove all Disease.
Healing Skills: There are magical and non magical ways to heal and stabilize. Besides Magical spells, there are a few Skills that can also provide healing.
- ”’Heal Skill:”’ As soon as you start use of the Heal skill on someone who is in their Death Count they should pause their count in case your use of the Heal Skill becomes interrupted (if this happens, they continue counting from where they left off). If you complete the full minute it takes to perform the Heal skill, the individual becomes Stabilized but remains Unconscious for the next 24 hours. You must have at least one functional arm to use the Heal skill, and you must be conscious and not Incapacitated.
- ”’Chirurgery:”’ A subject must be Stabilized before you can perform Chirurgery. When you use Chirurgery on an injured character all of the subject‘s Wounds heal in one hour‘s time. If the subject is already under the effects of a power that speeds healing (other than Chirurgery) then the remaining healing time is halved.
- A subject who is Unconscious solely due to wounds also wakes up, but remains Incapacitated (unable to move, but able to whisper and ward off Killing Blows). You must be conscious, functional, and able to use both arms to perform Chirurgery, and you can never perform Chirurgery on yourself.
”’Summary:”’ The Heal skill only stabilizes a person that is in their Death Count, leaving them Unconscious. Using an injured limb that is under the effect of Speed Healing reopens the wound. You must have a person Stabilized before you can use Chirurgery on them. When Stabilized, you will fully Heal in 24 hours. With a Speed Healing effect or Chirurgery, you will fully heal in one hour, and with both, it will take about 30 minutes.
”’Magic:”’ Even if you are not a caster, you will run into magic and should know how it works in DK. The casting of any spell follows each of these steps in order (whether you hit with a spell packet or not); Spell Incantation, Indicate the Target, and Spend Mana.
”’Spell Incantations:”’ To indicate that a spell is being cast, the player recites at conversational speed and volume a phrase specified under each Spell‘s description. Mesmerism and Heritage powers do not have an actual in-play incantation, so they cannot be silenced, but they do require the caster to recite the appropriate verbal incantation aloud so that everyone nearby knows what is happening.
The incantations Elemental Invokers use get longer as they get higher in order:
- 1st order: ””With Air, _____ .””
- 2nd order: ””With the power of Air, _____.””
- 3rd to 5th order: Find out in play.
- Mesmerists say, ””Mesmeric _____.””
- Naturae say, ””Natural ______.”” or, ””By Nature I ____””
- Sun Acolytes say, ””Solar _____.”” or, ””By the Sun I ____.””
- Necromancers say, ””By the power of Necromancy I____.””
- All Heritage powers just say, ””Innate ____.””
”’Indicate the Target:”’ Most spells are packet delivered. You must either touch the target with the packet, or toss the packet at them striking a valid hit location. Note: Hitting someone in their clothing counts as a valid strike for Spells that have effects, but not for Spells that do straight damage like Bolts and Blasts. If your clothing is hit, the nearest hit location is considered struck.
There are also Point effect spells (usually Innate spells) that require you to point at a target ”within five feet of you”. The caster must Indicate the Target within 2 seconds of finishing their incantation.
Lastly there are ”Voice Effects”, which can affect all targets within hearing range. Note that closing ears or humming loudly will not prevent a Voice Effect from working as they represent Spells with large areas of effect. Additionally, just being distracted in conversation and not hearing a call doesn‘t get you out of it, if the person next to you heard it consider yourself effected too. The spell isn‘t intended to target people that can hear it, its intent is to target a large area of affect and their voice is the mechanic in place to represent that. Listen closely as the targets for Voice effects will be stated in the incantation and you may not be one of them.
Spend the Mana: The mana spent is equal to the spell‘s level. In the case of most Innate spells, you lose one use of that spell for either that combat or the day, depending on the spell. If the spell is mana dependant and you spend more mana than you have left, the spell succeeds, but you are now Dead. Go see a Marshal or roleplay being Dead. You do not have this option for Heritage powers.
Whether you hit or miss, you must Spend the Mana. If the spell has successfully hit your target, you need to know the spell‘s duration. Most spells have immediate effects upon hit. Some have longer durations like; Day, Concentration, and Line of Sight.
”’Day:”’ The spell lasts until sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first.
”’Concentration:”’ The spell lasts as long as the caster stands still, does not use any skills (Combat or otherwise), cast any other magic – innate or otherwise, and takes no wounds. The caster may still speak. Note: Defenses already in place like Shields, Resists, Skins, Deflection and Toughness can be used to defend without breaking concentration.
”’Line of Sight:”’ The spell continues as long as the caster can see the target. The spell ends if the caster can no longer see the target for more than two seconds (so blinking or briefly turning the head away does not break line of sight). An enterprising character could use a cloak or a particularly large shield to block Line of Sight for two seconds and end the line of sight that way though.
Other spell effects that you should know about are ”Bolts” and ”Blasts”.
- ”’Bolts”’ are a one point strike to a targeted hit location.
- ”’Blasts”’ are a two point strike to a targeted hit location.
”’Note:”’ Shields block Bolts and Blasts like any other projectile that comes in contact with them. When other spells with effects hit a weapon or shield, the spell transfers its effects to the arm holding the item.
”’Casting in Combat:”’ Note specifically that a magician can cast a spell while holding other items, fighting, wearing armor, and even taking hits. While saying an incantation, a magician who is hit where the hits of damage or spell effects would either wound or disable them can only finish the spell if a valid defense is called within two seconds of finishing the incantation. Failure to finish the incantation and call the appropriate defense means that the spell fails; you lose the mana and take the hit to the effected hit location. If you are wounded during an Incantation and do not have a defense you can call, take the wound, lose the mana, and stop casting.
Additionally, if you flub your spell by saying the incantation incorrectly, the spell fails and you lose the mana it would have cost if done correctly.
”’Dominions:”’ Dominions are places of power useful by Elemental Invokers. They are marked with colored masks and veils, so a Fire Dominion has a red mask with fiery cloth. Any magician of the appropriate technique — even a character who merely has an appropriate affinity — can sense the power of the Dominion when arriving within arm‘s reach of it. Others cannot.
”’Mana:”’ There are a few different items, spells and effects in game that can refresh your mana. In addition, all of your mana refreshes at sunrise.
”’Core Traits:”’ Each character has a core trait that shows the character‘s emphasis in a given talent. Such a characteristic provides an immediate benefit and helps determine the character‘s best area of skill development.
”’Finesse:”’ A character with Finesse may immediately refresh any one Combat Skill such as a Mighty Blow, Dodge or Disarm (assuming that the character had such a Skill to begin with and have already used it). This can allow the character to use more than the usual limit of three Attack, Defense, or Maneuver Skills in a single engagement. During combat, to show your use of the trait, call out ”Finesse” and then the name of the skill being refreshed.
”’Finesse refreshes at sunrise.”’
”’Might:”’ A character with Might can exert a Strength effect. This adds an additional one hit of damage to the strike being done by a melee or thrown weapon (not spell packets, crossbows, and bows), or allows the user to perform a feat of strength like holding a door shut or breaking an unattended object. Expending Might will also allow you to carry one wounded person by yourself, without reopening their wounds.
”’Might refreshes with a rest period.”’
”’Toughness:”’ A character with Toughness can absorb one extra point of damage on any hit location per level of Toughness they possess.
”’Toughness refreshes with a rest period but only if the individual has no existing Wounds.”’
”’Willpower:”’ A character with Willpower can resist any one Mental effect. Like the ―Resist‖ defense, Willpower can be used whenever you choose it – even while Unconscious. When an effect hits that you wish to negate, call out ―Willpower‖ to resist the effect.
”’Willpower refreshes with a Rest Period.”’
”’Shield.”’ Unlike armor, shields don‘t take damage from hits. If struck with a spell or effect, both are considered to target the limb, except for spell Bolts and Blasts that are blocked by the shield and have no effect the same way as any weapon hit on a shield would.
”’Search Skill:”’ Only with the Search skill can an object marked with an Orange ―hidden‖ tag be noticed; it is noticeable regardless of how far away it is. Without this skill, nothing that is flagged with an orange ―hidden‖ tag can be noticed or investigated.
To find the hidden item, you must play out searching the 10ft x 10ft area for a ten second count, ―Searching the area 1, searching the area 2…‖ If the item moves out of this area during this time, you fail to find it at the end of the count.
”’Note:”’ The search skill can only find items, not people that are using the Stealth skill or are Invisible.
Advantage Sharp Sense
”’Advantage Sharp Sense:”’ Sight You are aware of disturbances caused by a person using the Stealth skill and Invisible people or objects. Although you cannot actually see them, you become aware whenever someone is invisible or hidden in your range of vision. You cannot tell exactly where the person is or discern any details about the subject(s) except that it lies somewhere in the vicinity.
”’Note:”’ This advantage works on Stealthed or Invisible people and items hidden with orange ―concealed‖ tags. You cannot see items/people specifically; you just notice something is not right.
Search Skill + Advantage Sharp Sense
”’Search Skill + Advantage Sharp Sense:”’ Sight Now when a Stealthed/Invisible Person/Item is nearby, you can play out searching a 10ft x 10ft area for a ten second count. If the item/person moves out of this area during the time, you fail to find it at the end of the count. If they don‘t and are using the Stealth skill, you can call out. ―I See You‖ ending their use of the Stealth Skill. If they are invisible, you can see them, but their invisibility is not broken simply by you seeing them and no call can be made to break their invisibility.
”’Stealth:”’ If you are wearing dark clothes with no more than one limb not darkly clothed, you can vanish into the shadows. Cross your empty hands (you cannot be holding weapons) over your head and hold your special black ―Stealth‖ kerchief in hand to indicate that you are hidden. You can only vanish while you are up against an object at least as large as you (such as a boulder, large tree, or a wall) and in shadow or complete darkness. You cannot vanish while anyone is watching you; anyone who sees you attempt to use stealth may call out ―I see you‖ if they see you vanish, and your attempt fails. You do not need to use any sort of verbal indicator for the Stealth skill; in fact, it‘s recommended that you don‘t (so as to avoid people calling ―I see you‖ when they hear your Stealth call, even if they can‘t see you).
While hidden, you cannot speak (or Whisper). You may only move at a slow walk, and you must remain next to cover. If you are not near cover, the ground can be used but you must crouch low, within arm’s reach of the ground at all times. You must keep your arms crossed over your head, free of weapons and your Stealth kerchief in hand or you become visible.
”’Pain Tolerance:”’ A character with Pain Tolerance only becomes Incapacitated after suffering a torso wound, instead of going Unconscious. They even remain conscious with wounds to all four limbs. Note that they still cannot use an injured limb; limb wounds simply don‘t render them Unconscious. They can still be in their Death Count (but conscious and functional) as a result of taking two or more limb wounds.
Character States / Effects
”’Incapacitated:”’ An Incapacitated character is immobile and can‘t use any skills or powers. The character is still aware of his environment, able to whisper and ward off Killing Blows.
Unconscious: An Unconscious character is immobile, senseless and unable to communicate or interact with their surroundings. They cannot be shaken awake or woken up until the underlying reason they are Unconscious is removed.
”’Fatigued:”’ A Fatigued character cannot run, cast any spells, or use any skills except basic weapon, armor and shield skills. They can still call spell effects on their person already in place before they were Fatigued. Additionally Skins, Resists, Shields, Deflection (if it‘s from a spell) and Armor can all still be called in defense. Fatigue usually goes away for a person after a ten minute Rest Period, unless another condition such as disease is constantly fatiguing them.
”’Dazed:”’ A Dazed character is Fatigued for 10 seconds.
”’Diseased:”’ A Diseased character is constantly Fatigued until the disease is cured. If not cured at the next sunrise the Disease is gone and the character is Poisoned (and thus Incapacitated) instead.
”’Poisoned:”’ A Poisoned character is Incapacitated and will be Dead at the next sunrise.
”’Death Count:”’ A Torso wound or two separate limb wounds puts a character into their Death Count. From the time they receive the wound until death is 300 seconds. They should silently count out this time to themselves. If the time runs out, they are Dead.
Dead: The Death Count has expired. The person should go out of play and find a Marshal, or have someone do it for them as they role-play being Dead.
”’Fear/afraid:”’ A character that is Afraid flees from the source of fear for ten seconds by the most expeditious route.
”’Pinned:”’ A Pinned character can‘t move his right foot. It is pinned to the ground.
Stabilized: The character is no longer in their Death Count and are Incapacitated until their wound(s) heal.
”’Paralyzed:”’ A Paralyzed character is completely immobilized and cannot move, speak, attack, or use any skills or power.
”’Snared:”’ A Snared character is effectively Paralyzed, but can still speak.
”’Stunned:”’ A Stunned character spends ten seconds doubled over, reeling, possibly choking or retching from stress. The character can do nothing else during this time.
”’Killing blows and how to Interrupt:”’ You must have a weapon against the subject and declare at normal speed and conversational tone, ””Killing Blow 1, Killing Blow 2, Killing Blow 3.”” If the blow is not stopped, the subject immediately dies.
As long as you are not immobile, (example: Unconscious, Paralyzed, Sleeping, Stunned, etc.) you can ward off a killing blow. Simply call out ―interrupt‖ and the attempt is thwarted. However this does not stop the aggressor from trying again… and again… and again… until successful.
”’Note:”’ Incapacitated people can only ward off killing blows and whisper. An enterprising aggressor may find a way to reinjure you, thus making you Unconscious so you put up less of a fight for their Killing Blow.
Out of Game Calls
”’Out of game calls:”’ In addition to the various calls that represent spells and battle skills, you may hear specific calls that represent a particular condition, or that warn you of a hazard. Pay special attention when you hear these calls, as they typically exist to notify you of a specific non-game issue. ”’If you see a situation that needs an out of game call, don‘t wait for a Marshal, do it yourself!”’
‘”Hold:”’ A call of Hold indicates that something has gone wrong. In such a case, immediately cease what you are doing, drop to one knee, and place your hands and anything you‘re holding over your head, while calling Hold.
Wait for a Marshal to examine the scene. When he has seen to the problem and determined an appropriate response, he will call for the scene to resume. To end a Hold, the Marshal will call out, ””Is there any reason for this hold to continue?”” If no one responds, he will then call, ””3, 2, 1, Game on!””
”’Caution:”’ The call of ”Caution” indicates dangerous terrain in a specific area. If you hear a call of ”Caution” nearby, you should pause to examine your surroundings and possibly arrange to move combat to a different site for the sake of safety. Similarly, you can use ”Caution” to indicate to other players that you have noticed a dangerous obstacle, such as a muddy patch of ground, a sinkhole, or a particularly nasty tangle of roots. If the terrain is too dangerous to continue fighting, everyone can shift to a safe spot, keeping relative distances and positions the same, but moving the combat to a safer place.
”’Medic:”’ A call of ”Medic” indicates that someone needs actual medical attention. Do not use this term unless someone has suffered real injury. Normally this is called after or very near to a ”Hold”.
”’Clarify:”’ In situations where you encounter an effect that you don‘t understand or something is before you and you don‘t know exactly what you should be seeing, call for a ”Clarify”. This should prompt the other person and those immediately around you to stop being aggressive –similar to a caution- and explain how a particular effect, spell works or what a monster or a scene should look like, etc. Once you have understood what was clarified, signal the Clarify as over, by saying ””OK, Thanks!”” If you are blatantly using clarify to stall, a marshal can and should remove you from the combat.
”’Forsooth:”’ From time to time, you may notice a particular prop or character that does not have an immediately obvious representation or function. Typically, a Marshal or Supporting Cast character will explain the function of such an item with a call of ”Forsooth” followed by a description, such as, ””Forsooth! A river!”” or, ””Forsooth, yon demon is wreathed in flames!”” These calls allow you to learn the specifics of what your character sees when a prop or costume would be insufficient for the job, without stopping play and damaging immersion via a Hold.
”’Rest Period:”’ This consists of 10 uninterrupted minutes of calm. No skills or powers can be used, you cannot be in combat, run or engage in any activity that would increase your heart rate, like shouting or arguing, or the rest period starts over.
”’Illegal Maneuvering:”’ If you find someone performing illegal maneuvering, call a Hold so a Marshal can intervene to deal with the problem. Illegal Maneuvering can result in a warning, ejection from combat, or banning from the game.
”’Turtling:”’ This is the practice of hiding behind a large shield or other object so that only the head is exposed, is illegal. Try to keep your shield moving so that you minimize your exposure but don‘t force the opponent to swing at your head.
”’Leading with your face:”’ Don‘t fight by craning your head out in front with your body in back, in hopes that your opponent won‘t be able to hit you because your head is the only viable target. This constitutes unsafe fighting.
”’Charging:”’ Do not charge your enemies—slow to a walk before you reach weapon engagement reach.
Using your Hands
”’Using your Hands:”’ Never grab the body or limbs of your opponent. There is too much risk of causing an uncontrolled fall or breaking a joint.
”’Weapon Pinning:”’ Don‘t pin a weapon by holding it against the opponent‘s body or another object, even the ground (either with your own body, a weapon, or a shield). There is too much risk of forcing the opponent to stumble, or of spraining or breaking a joint. (or damaging their likely very expensive weapon).
”’Swinging at or trying to catch Arrows:”’ No matter how cool you may think this looks, it‘s just not safe. Note: an Arrow that hits a weapon disarms the weapon.
Head / Groin
”’Head and Groin Hits:”’ They hurt. Be cautious of smashing a girls chest too hard as well.
”’Machine Gunning:”’ This is the act of striking an opponent more than once per second. Its, not a good representation of an effective hit and the person struck should point out that you were striking too many times. If you are attacked this way, call ―Machine gunning‖ take just one strike per weapon, per second and ignore the rest.
Tapping / Swinging for the Fences
”’Over or Under Swinging:”’ less than a 45 degree pull back is something you will commonly see with Machine Gunning and is not a valid strike. Over swinging can be dangerous as a lot of momentum can be brought to bear with a single strike.
Some special rules are in place to protect both the archer and his target.
”’Engage:”’ If you find yourself within melee range of a person who is using a bow, before swinging at them, call ―Engage‖. This is essentially a mini-Hold where both people should stop what they were doing until either the Archer says ―Accepted‖ or ―Denied‖. If the archer ―Accepted‖, allow the archer to put their bow somewhere safe just outside of combat so no one (or the bow) gets hurt. In addition, if the Archer had an arrow drawn and nocked, you as the Engager, take an auto hit (not auto wound) to your torso from an arrow with whatever special tags the archer can legally put on it. If they ―Denied‖ feel free to attack them with impunity. You may now resume the action before the mini hold.
”’Ranged Disarm:”’ When an arrow hits an opponent‘s weapon, instead of that limb taking a wound like with spell packets, that weapon is considered disarmed (as per the Disarm skill). Thus, if an arrow hits your sword, you drop the sword. This is intended to dissuade you from swinging at arrows mid-flight (which is an Illegal Maneuver).
Auto Wound Spells or Effects
”’Auto Wound Spells or effects:”’ that cause an automatic wound bypass things that would normally absorb hits, such as Armor, Toughness, Skins and Deflection, but they can usually still be Dodged, Evaded, or Parried (as appropriate).
”’Shatter:”’ The item you strike shatters and breaks, becoming useless. A creature hit by a Shatter spell or effect (that doesn‘t hit functioning armor, a shield, or a weapon) suffers one hit of damage and is knocked prone.
There are lots of things that you will find out about in play that may break these rules; if you see someone doing something you think is against the rules, don’t be afraid to ask for them for a Clarify – they may just have a power that allows them to break the normal rule.