Chapter Four: Rule of Combat (p.2)

Weapons

In the game of Archaea, there are no real weapons but "toy" swords, daggers, arrows, axes, clubs, and spears made from foam allowing for live-action fighting. Detailed below are ways to construct a sword, dagger, arrow, and morning star-from which the construction of other weapons can be based upon. Remember safety must be a first priority. All weapons must go through check-in and passed by a game official. In any case, the rule of thumb is if you don't think it is safe to use then don't use it. See Figure 4.2 through Figure 4.6 for details on the sizes, shapes, and construction techniques for making padded weapons.

Constructing a Weapon

The directions and figures for constructing padded weapons can be found in the full version of the Archaea Sourcebook.

General Weapon Rules

The following rules and restrictions are reminders that safety is of the utmost importance when playing:

1. Bows, Crossbows, and Arrows

--Bows and crossbows may have a maximum pull of 35 pounds. Modern compound bows are not allowed.
--Never fully draw a bow at close range (less than 20').
--Arrows are not head legal weapons and should not be aimed at the face or the head.
--Arrowheads should be made with the greatest of craftsmanship; there should be no tape on the striking surface of the head; as with all weapons, arrowheads should be cloth covered.
--Wooden arrows must have their shafts taped to prevent splintering.
--Arrows are piercing Critical weapons.
--A bow used to block a weapon attack is considered destroyed by the block (see Destroyed Weapons).
--Arrows follow most general rules listed under missile weapons.

2. Missile Weapons

--Arrows, thrown weapons, spellballs, spellrings, and spell hammers are missile weapons.
--Missile weapons are not to be used at night except for spellballs, spellrings, spell hammers, throwing hammers, and throwing axes.
--Thrown weapons must be fully padded everywhere.
--Missile weapons must be constructed so that they are safe when hitting the face or the head. Avoid striking the head or the face. Remember, arrows are not head legal weapons.
--Thrown weapons (throwing hammers, throwing axes, javelins) may be used as hand-held weapons. Arrows are not thrown weapons. Spears are not thrown weapons. Spell components should not be used as hand-held weapons.
--When using a javelin as a hand-held weapon, never stab to the face or head.
--Missile weapons may not be caught or deflected by a hand or weapon. The wound is inflicted upon the limb (regardless of armor) used to stop a missile weapon.
--Missile weapons such as throwing axes and throwing hammers do not need to hit "head-on" for the damage to count. However, arrows and javelins must strike point first for the damage to count.
--Bounced or ricocheted shots do not count.

3. Piercing Weapons

--Never use a non-thrusting weapon to thrust even to keep an opponent at bay.
--Daggers and critical-length weapons with piercing tips inflict Light damage.
--Arrows, javelins, spears, and mortal-length weapons with piercing tips inflict Critical damage.

4. Broken Weapons

--A destroyed weapon is not the same as a broken weapon. A broken weapon is actually damaged in some physical way (e.g. the core is broken or exposed, padding is loose, arrows are bent).
--A broken weapon must be removed from play; give the weapon to an Elder or return it to the check-in area for safe keeping. Alert an Elder if a weapon is unsafe or broken so the weapon can be removed.
--Never use a broken weapon.

5. Destroyed Weapons

--A destroyed weapon is one that has been rendered "unusable." A bow used to block becomes a destroyed weapon though the bow itself is not actually damaged. Give a destroyed weapon to an Elder so that it can be tagged to indicate its condition.
--Certain spells may destroy weapons.
--A destroyed weapon cannot be used until mended by the Weaponsmithing skill or by a Mend spell.

6. Other Weapon Rules

--All weapons must go through check-in and must be passed by an Elder.
--Pommels must be well padded (at least 2" in diameter) as with the striking zone of the weapon.
--Core should not be felt through the foam on the striking edge of the weapon. Core should not be felt when a weapon is used to strike with full force.
--Foam should not be splitting away or coming off of the core.
--The striking zones of a weapon must be covered in cloth.
--Only missile weapons (except arrows) and the morning star are head legal weapons.
--The only chain weapon allowed is the morning star or the chain mace. The morning star may strike to the head only on a down stroke and should never be used to strike the face or the sides of the head.
--Spears and javelins should never be swung; they are thrusting weapons only.
--Grabbing the striking zone of a blade will cause the damage type of the weapon to the grabbing arm regardless of armor.
--A two-handed Mortal sword, axe, or polearm used one-handed only does Light damage. A quarterstaff swung one-handed inflicts no damage.

Armor

Other than skill and agility, armor provides a combatant with valuable protection in battle. There are many different types of armor ranging from simple leather to versatile chain mail to the formidable durability of plate armor. Armor in the game of Archaea is constructed to be as realistic and as close to historical models as possible. As with weapons, armor must be safe. All armor must go through check-in and be passed by a game official.

Different disciplines have varied access to the type of armor they can initially wear. Refer to Chapter Two for details on armor restrictions. Additional armors can be worn if the character buys New Armor Proficiency; see Chapter Three for details.

Armor Types

There are six kinds of armor defined in Archaea: Leather, Ring Mail/Studded, Metal Scale/Brigandine, Chain Mail, Banded/Splint Armor, and Plate Armor. Each armor is given a hit-point rating; the hit-point rating is the number of points of damage the armor can sustain before becoming useless or no longer protective. The hit-point ratings for each armor are as follows:

ARMOR / HIT POINTS
Leather / 2
Ring Mail/Studded / 4
Metal Scale/Brigandine / 6
Chain Mail / 8
Banded/Splint / 10
Plate Armor / 12

Listed below are the specifications for armor:

1. Leather Armor must be made from leather or suede of at least 1/8" thick; it must feel sturdy (approximately 5 ounces per square foot).
2. Ring Mail must be made with non-flexible rings (up to 2" in diameter) and sewn or attached evenly spaced, one-half their diameter apart in alternating rows on to leather, suede, or padded cloth.
3. Studded Armor must be made with smooth metal studs at least " in size set in even rows no more than a stud's width apart.
4. Metal Scale Armor must be made of at least 18-guage steel scales (no larger than 2" x 3") with rounded edges fastened to leather, suede, or heavy material in an overlapping pattern.
5. Brigandine must be made of at least 18-guage steel plates (at least 2" x 2") placed side-by-side nearly touching (no more than " apart) or overlapped and sandwiched between two layers of heavy material.
6. Chain Mail must be made with links no larger than " rings of 12-guage steel, 3/8" rings of 14-guage steel, or " rings of 16-guage steel.
7. Banded/Splint Armor must be made of overlapping layers (bands) of 18-guage steel with rounded edges. Exposed edges may be covered in foam or tape for additional safety.
8. Plate Armor must be made of 18-guage steel with rounded edges. Exposed edges may be covered in foam or tape for additional safety.

As a rule of thumb, armor must be armor. It must be armor in design, construction, and intent. A player cannot have a two-inch square of 18-guage steel taped to his or her chest and call it armor. Generally, armor should cover over fifty-percent of a hit-location to be considered armor.

Armor, Protection, and Damage

Armor provides protection only to the location or locations it covers. Blows to where there is no armor count as hits to unprotected areas. Armor does not layer.

Armor is also ablative meaning with each strike its protective value decreases until the armor is no longer useful. Depending on the type of weapon striking the armor, the rate at which the armor ablates varies. Remember, a Light weapon does 1 point of damage, a Critical weapon does 2 points of damage, a Mortal does 4 points, and a Death weapon does 8 points of damage.

When hit, subtract the weapon's damage value from the armor's hit points. Once the armor reaches zero hit points, its protection is gone until mended.

For example, Metal Scale has 6 hit points and therefore can take 3 Critical weapon hits (at 2 points of damage per hit) to a single location (an arm, a leg, or torso) before becoming useless.

If the damage done by the weapon is greater than the hit points of the armor, then the remaining damage is inflicted upon the hit location. An easy way to calculate the damage done is to image each point of damage that gets through the armor as a Light weapon hit.

For example, Studded Leather has 4 hit points. After one Critical hit to a location, the Studded Leather has 2 hit points left. The same location is struck again by a Mortal weapon. Two points of damage is absorbed but 2 points gets through. The location is damaged as if struck by two Light hits.

General Armor Rules

The following rules and restrictions are reminders that safety is of the utmost importance when playing:

1. Armor Construction

--All armor must be made realistically and safely. All armor must go through check-in and be passed by an Elder.
--Armor cannot be made from aluminum or plastic.
--All metal edges must be filed smooth and corners rounded. Foam, leather, or tape should be placed on all exposed edges.
--If armor becomes unsafe during the course of an event, remove it from the field or give it to an Elder for safe keeping. Report all unsafe armor to an Elder.
--Never use unsafe armor.

2. Other Armor Rules

--Armor protects only where it covers.
--Armor cannot be stacked or layered for additional protection.
--Armor damaged by weapon hits or magic must be mended by the character skill Armorsmithing or the spell Mend. The damage done to armor carries from one fight to the next fight until it is repaired. Returning from the dead zone does not restore armor.

Shields

Another form of protection is the shield. A shield stops all weapon attacks except for certain special weapons (ballista bolts, catapult stones), special weapon attacks (e.g. Feat of Strength, Killing Strike), and spell effects.

Throughout Earth's history, the shield is the simplest form of armor ranging in size, shape, and material. In the game of Archaea, shields are categorized by size.

The particular style and shape of the shield is left up to the player, but it must fit into one of the size types. Depending on the character's Discipline, the size of the shield that they are permitted to use will vary; see Chapter Two for details. Characters may gain the use of additional shields by buying the skill New Shield Proficiency; see Chapter Three for details.

All shields must go through check-in and be passed by an Elder.

Shield Types

There are four general shield sizes: Target, Small, Medium, Large/Tower. The dimensions of the shield can vary, but the surface area determines the category in which it belongs. The sizes are based on surface area as follows:

SHIELD SIZE / SURFACE AREA
Target / 12" x 12 square or 14" diameter round (144 sq. in.)
Small / 16" x 16" square or 18" diameter round (256 sq. in.)
Medium / 24" x 24" square or 27" diameter round (576 sq. in.)
Large or Tower / 32" x 32" square or 36" diameter round (1,024 sq. in.) or larger

Constructing a Shield

The directions and figures for constructing padded shields can be found in the full version of the Archaea Sourcebook.

General Shield Rules

The following rules and restrictions are reminders that safety is of the utmost importance when playing:

--Shields must be made with " plywood and must be well-padded. The wood core should not be felt when hit with full force in the front or on the edges. A good test for edge padding is to drop the shield on an edge onto pavement from a few feet off the ground. If the shield bounces back without the sound of core, then the shield should be safe. All shields must go through check-in and be passed by an Elder.
--All shield must have a cloth cover.
--Broken shields must be removed from play. Alert an Elder if a shield is unsafe so it can be removed from the field.
--Never fight with a broken shield.
--Shields destroyed by a special weapon or special effect cannot be used and should be tagged as "destroyed." The character skill Armorsmithing or the spell Mend must be used to repair a destroyed shield. --Shields must be wielded to provide protection.

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