Combat

Combat

Some encounters can only end in combat, when the adventuring party must match both wit and strength against those who would seek to defeat them. The rules presented within this page cover the basics regarding combat, greatly simplified as compared to a typical "pencil-and-paper" role-playing game.

Once combat begins, all conscious combatants receive a "turn" in which they're allowed to perform a single major action (such as swinging a sword, actively defending themselves, drinking a potion, etc.). After these combatants have had their chance to act (or have otherwise been defeated and can no longer act), the combat "round" ends and a new round begins. Combat rounds continue until one side or the other has been vanquished.

Roll for Initiative!

Each round, all combatants roll a 1d10 for initiative, adding their dexterity bonus if they possess one. Those with the highest scores act first, descending in order until all combatants have had a chance to act. Once a new round begins, new initiative scores are rolled (so a hero acting first in one round may be the last to act in the next round). In instances when a hero and his enemy have rolled the same initiative, the hero receives priority and is allowed to act first.

Combatants who are unconscious, paralyzed or otherwise incapacitated do not receive initiative scores and can no longer participate in combat.

When combat begins, the adventuring party is considered to be some distance away from its enemies and those with missile weapons (bows, crossbows, slings, etc.) can immediately seek an opponent and attack. Some hero classes (such as thieves and magic-users) will want to stay at a distance, while other classes (such as fighters and clerics) will want to engage the enemy and attack them in hand-to-hand combat. Likewise, the party will encounter some enemies that will evade their attempts to attack at close range, while others will quickly move forward to engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Consequences of Hand-to-Hand Combat

Once a combatant engages in close combat with its enemy, it cannot retreat to utilize a missile weapon again. Further, once a combatant has engaged in hand-to-hand combat, it is allowed to strike any other enemy that is also no longer at a distance. Hence, committing to close melee range can expose such combatants to other nearby enemies as well.

Primary and Secondary Ranks

Fighters and clerics will always form a "primary rank" and face in the direction of oncoming enemies, doing their best to protect any thieves or magic-users that stay behind to form a "secondary rank." Each figher and cleric within the party can "absorb" three enemy combatants; once the limit is reached, additional combatants will flood the party and begin to attack any thieves and magic-users as well.

Each round, combatants can choose to attack a single enemy (depending on its distance) or actively defend itself from all enemies (increasing its armor class by one for the duration of the round).

Attacks

When a combatant attacks, it automatically utilizes its most powerful weapon for the appropriate distance type. For example, a magic-user may possess both a sling and a staff, but if the hero is still considered a ranged combatant then he will automatically select his sling. If, however, the same magic-user were attacked at close range, he would automatically draw his staff and attack with that. Naturally, magical weapons are chosen over non-magical weapons (so if the same magic-user had a staff +1 as well, he would use that instead of his normal staff).

When attacking, a combatant rolls a 1d20 and adds appropriate strength (close combat) or dexterity (ranged combat) bonuses along with any magical bonuses that may exist. The combatant's goal is to roll a score equal to or higher than its opponent's armor class; if the roll is successful than the enemy is struck and damage is calculated (per the weapon type, strength/dexterity bonuses and other associated bonuses). Note that a roll of a 1 is always considered a miss regardless of all associated bonuses.

Defense

Combatants naturally protect themselves as much as possible. This is primary done through the use of armor, shields, magical rings and other forms of magic. Again, all things being equal, an enemy must roll the value of a defending character's armor class or higher on a 1d20 in order to successfully strike the character and cause bodily damage.

However, characters can also choose to actively defend themselves even more during combat. When the associated command is selected, the character spends the entire round doing everything in his power to evade attacks. This results in an additional bonus to the character's armor class and makes him slightly more difficult to hit but it also prohibits the character from doing anything else during the round.

If a combatant is struck during combat, appropriate damage is done to that combatant and hit points are (temporarily) lost. Damage is based on the weapon (or, for an attacking monster, the type of attack involved such as a claw, sting, bite, etc.). Attackers striking at close range add any strength bonuses they may possess while attackers at a distance add any dexterity bonuses they may have. Magical weapons, spells and other types of magic may increase the amount of damage inflicted as well.

Unconsciousness

As combatants are injured they lose hit points and once those hit points reach zero the combatant is rendered unconscious and is defeated (and no longer able to participate in combat unless at least one hit point above zero is restored). Such combatants are NOT killed but they are incapacitated and no longer receive a turn during a combat round.

Dying

Combatants can lose hit points that go beyond zero; once a combatant is at -1, he is dying and must be stabilized at once (dying combatants continue to lose one hit point per round until they are either stabilized back to zero or they bleed to death). Allies of the fallen combatant can elect to spend a turn stabilizing their comrade if desired.

Death

Should a combatant reach -10 hit points or worse, death occurs and the combatant is slain. While the dead can be resurrected, death is typically permanent and must be avoided at all costs.

Total Party Defeat

Should the entire adventuring party be rendered unconscious (or even killed), the party is defeated and the battle is lost. The online Game Master will then "reset" the game and allow the party to limp back to the last encounter area visited, returning one hit point to the player's character so that the game can resume (although dead heroes apart from the player will remain dead). Note that defeated parties will lose one point of reputation.