Chapter Four: Rule of Combat (p.1)

At times, a character may not be able to resolve a situation with his or her intelligence or guile and may have to resort to the crossing of swords. Remember, when fighting, even with foam weapons, play with safety and common sense in mind.

Weapon Types

There are four weapon types available to the character: Light, Critical, Mortal, and Death weapons. The weapon types represent in-part weapon length, damage type, and effectiveness versus armor.

Light weapons are generally short and fast and include daggers, knives, short swords, clubs, throwing hammers, throwing axes, hatchets, morning stars, bars, and quarterstaves.

Critical weapons are of medium length and weight and include long swords, bastard swords, battle axes, maces, war hammers, spears, javelins, and arrows. However, Critical-length swords with piercing tips inflict only Light damage when thrusting.

Mortal weapons are long and heavy and include great swords, great axes, polearms, great maces, and great clubs. Mortal-length swords or polearms with piercing tips inflict Critical damage when thrusting.

Death weapons are extremely rare and include siege weapons such as catapults and ballistas and certain magical weapons.

There are only a handful of weapons that can strike to the head and they are all Light weapons including the morning star or mace-and-chain, throwing hammers, and throwing axes. All head-legal weapons and all missile weapons must be made safe for striking the head and face.

Weapon Damage

The weapon classes are also assigned numeric damage values.

A Light weapon does 1 hit point of damage.

A Critical weapon does 2 hit points of damage.

A Mortal weapon does 4 hit points of damage.

A Death weapon does 8 hit points of damage.

These values are used to determine bodily damage and damage to armor.

Wounds

There are three wound levels: Light, Critical, and Mortal.

A Light wound means the damage is painful but superficial. The player may still use a limb with a Light wound. Light wounds to the head or torso means the character is in pain but can still function. However, if a Light wound is not bound (by the skill Aid) or healed, it will progress to a Critical wound (the time determined by an Elder).

A Critical wound means the damage is impairing. A Critical wound to a limb means the player cannot use the limb. A critically wounded arm cannot be used to hold anything, swing a weapon, climb a wall; it must hang limply at the player's side. A critically wounded leg cannot be used to run or jump; the player must limp along dragging the leg behind him. A Critical wound to the torso or head means the character is incapacitated but not dying; the player may speak, groan, crawl slowly, but cannot stand, fight, or exert himself or herself. A critically wounded character can still use most skills and cast magic. Finally, a Critical wound left untended will progress to a Mortal wound (time determined by an Elder, usually 5 minutes).

A Mortal wound means the character is near death. A mortally wounded player must fall to the ground immobile. The player may barely speak and groan but cannot use skills, cast magic, or even rummage through their pouches for a healing draught. A mortally wounded character will die within ten minutes if not bound or healed.

In the end, if enough damage has been inflicted, a character may die. The rules for death are discussed in following sections.

There are three strike zones of the body: the limbs, the torso and the head. Each zone is divided into hit locations: the head, the torso, the left arm, the right arm, the left leg, and the right leg. Depending on where the player is struck and by what type of weapon, the damage is applied first to any armor or special defenses. Any remaining damage is applied to the location. The wound progressions for each weapon type are listed below for an unarmored target. Each hit location, basically, can suffer 4 points of damage. The first point of damage inflicts a Light wound, the next point a Critical wound, the next point stays a Critical wound, and the fourth point a Mortal Wound.

The wound progression for all hit locations is as follows:

Light Weapons
1st Hit is a LIGHT WOUND
2nd Hit is a CRITICAL WOUND
3rd Hit is a CRITICAL WOUND
4th Hit is a MORTAL WOUND

Critical Weapons
1st Hit is a CRITICAL WOUND
2nd Hit is a MORTAL WOUND

Mortal Weapons
1st Hit is a MORTAL WOUND

Once a player has been mortally wounded, any damage thereafter is considered a killing blow regardless to which location the strike is delivered and by what type of weapon.

Death and the Dead

In the course of an adventure, a character may suffer enough damage from a fight, a spell, a poison, a trap, or some other attack to be killed. See also the section on Role-Playing and Death in Chapter Two.

Players who are "dead" must report to the dead zone or to an Elder. At the beginning of an event, the Elder of the Realm will designate the dead zone and dead zone Elders. The dead zone is considered out-of-play and cannot be perceived or affected by in-play characters. Dead players, while walking to the dead zone, should put both hands above their heads or hold their weapons above their heads to show that they are out-of-play. Out-of-play means that the dead cannot fight, talk, or affect other "living" or in-play players. Likewise, those that are in-play cannot perceive or affect the dead. The dead remain in the dead zone for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the players are restored to life and full health. Players should return to play by leaving the area of action and walking back into the adventure.

Damaged or destroyed armor, shields, and weapons are not repaired. Magic points are not restored but are at the level that the character possessed before death. Skills and abilities with a limited number of uses per day are at the level that the character possessed before dying. Unless otherwise noted by the spell's description, all magics and spells do not carry over death. Spells in effect before death are canceled when the character dies and must be recast when the character returns to play. All permanent spells carry over deaths and all spells with durations cast on others do not end when the caster is killed.

Players witnessing the death of a fellow character should react accordingly. In a game where death is not a "permanent" condition, the boundaries of reality must be stretched. When a player-character dies, he or she is considered "dead" by the Realm unless resuscitated or restored by magic.

When a character returns from the dead zone, the world "re-sets" itself and history is changed subtly so that the character never actually died. He or she may have been killed but miraculously resuscitated by someone. He or she may have been only mortally wounded and healed. He or she may have only been knocked unconscious. Regardless of the reason, the character does not remember dying nor do other players. The character will vaguely remember the moments up to his or her death but not the actual death itself.

For example, if a character were killed by another character, he or she would still remember the confrontation but not being killed. The other character would also remember the confrontation but not killing the character.

Playing Dead

Only characters with the ability Feign Death or with the first level Spirit spell Mask of Death may pretend to be dead.

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