During the course of the game, you can be the subject of a wide variety of attacks. Each attack will attempt to inflict an effect upon you. Some effects can benefit you, but your enemies will try to inflict unpleasant effects upon you. When we discuss attacks, we must talk about how they are delivered and what each type of attack does.
A trait is essentially a label attached to an attack, a character, or even an item. This label helps describe that feature of the game. Traits don't do anything themselves, but instead they describe what types of abilities will affect that feature of the game.
The trait of an attack would tell you which defenses could be used against it. The trait of a character or an item would be used to determine if certain special attacks worked against it. If a character had the "Undead" trait, for example, then an attack which caused "5 Damage to Undead" would be effective against that creature because it had the appropriate trait.
A character's race is always considered a trait. A character who is a human (as opposed to an elf or mutant, for example) has the trait Human.
A verbal is a short phrase that is called out before an ability is used to explain the effect of that attack. Each verbal can have an effect to be inflicted and a trait of that attack. The trait tells how the effect is inflicted upon you so you may roleplay the effects and perhaps use a defense to negate the attack if it strikes you. A verbal is an out of game phrase. You must call your verbal even if you are affected by Silence. You must suffer the effect of an attack even if you are unconscious or could not hear an in game phrase.
When calling out a verbal, you must always complete the verbal before you launch the attack. You call out a phrase which takes the form of <effect> by <trait>. For example, a poison which makes you helpless would use the verbal "Paralyze by Poison" and a bolt of fire which causes 5 points of damage would use "5 Damage by Fire" as the verbal.
If you hear a verbal, your character knows instinctively what happened. The verbal not only tells you the effect out of game, but it represents the effects of the attack in game. You never have to play it dumb. The verbal "4 Damage by Fire" might represent a roar of flame. The verbal "Maim by Lightning" might represent a flash of light. The verbal "Paralyze by Fear" might represent the hairs rising on the back of your neck. However you imagine it, the verbal tells you what happened both in and out of game.
Verbals should not be confused with incants. Incants are magical words which are used to cast a spell. These are in game magical phrases that are required for all but the most powerful mages to cast magic. Spells usually have incants, but they also end with a verbal.
Remember that there are two rules that apply to all called attacks.
Each ability must be delivered to its target in some way. These deliveries are the physical action needed to determine whether an ability has been successfully used on an opponent. There are a few different ways to deliver game effects, and these are described below.
It is always up to the defender to make the final decision whether an ability has struck or affected them, and thus whether the ability has been delivered. It is important that players do not abuse this honor system. If a player does not count legal hits, the game breaks down. Individuals that are reported for not counting hits will be reviewed and if necessary asked to leave the game.
Each character has a number of Vitality points equal to the average of the Earth attribute and the Void attribute. Vitality is always rounded down. Although Vitality is based off of two attributes, they are totally separate statistics. Exhausting Earth or Void points does not affect Vitality and taking damage does not reduce Earth or Void. Only a permanent change to Earth or Void will cause your maximum Vitality to change.
Vitality is a count of how much damage you can take before you collapse. As you take damage, your Vitality points are exhausted. These points can never drop below zero. Healing refreshes Vitality, and these points are also refreshed at the beginning of each event. If your Vitality ever reaches zero you will collapse and become unconscious. Unconscious characters who are taken down by uncalled weapon hits are stable. Characters taken down by any other kind of damage, from called weapon hits, from firearms, from traps, from packets, or from anything with a verbal become unstable. First Aid can be used to change your condition from unstable to stable if it is applied before you die.
If you fall unconscious but you are stable, you will remain unconscious for five minutes. If someone hits you with an attack for called damage you will become unstable. If an attack inflicts some other effect upon you you will be unconscious and have that effect upon you. If healing raises your Vitality above 0 then you will get up immediately. A death strike successfully delivered to your torso will kill you immediately. Otherwise you will get up at 1 point of Vitality after five minutes have elapsed.
If you are unconscious and you are unstable, you are dying from blood loss and shock. You will linger for one minute and if you are not Healed or treated by someone with First Aid you will die. If an attack inflicts some other effect upon you, you will be unconscious, unstable, and have that effect upon you. If healing raises your Vitality above 0 then you will get up immediately. A death strike successfully delivered to your torso will kill you immediately. If someone begins to use First Aid on you, your count will be suspended until they stop the First Aid. If they use the First Aid skill for a full minute then you will become stable and start your five minute count. If they do not finish the First Aid, your one minute death count will continue where it was before they started using the skill.
When you die, all active effects on your person end unless an Imbue or Inflict effect specifically says otherwise on the effect card. Your remains will linger for five minutes before you change to a spirit of the dead and begin to walk to the gate of death. Only effects with "to Spirit" or with "to Dead" traits will affect a spirit of the dead.
There are four ways you can die in this game. First, you can be knocked unconscious and unstable and remain that way for a full minute. This is referred to as "bleeding out" and is described above. Second, you can be killed if someone delivers a successful death strike to your torso. Third, You will be killed by an attack with a Death effect which you cannot negate. Finally, special areas might cause your death if you have a mishap.
A death strike is used to kill an unconscious or immobile victim. You must touch a weapon to the torso of the victim while saying "Death strike one, death strike two, death strike three." This verbal must be spoken clearly and at a normal speaking pace. You do not need to have skill with the weapon to inflict a death strike.
To inflict a death strike, the victim must be immobile. The victim can be unconscious or immobile because of a game effect, but you cannot inflict a death strike on a body until it comes to rest after an attack, nor can you inflict a death strike on a helpless but struggling victim. If the victim can move, the victim can prevent a death strike. First you must render the victim unconscious or immobile, and then you may inflict a death strike.
A death strike may be interrupted and thus nullified, forcing the person to begin another death strike. To interrupt a death strike, you must strike the weapon used to perform the death strike or the arm holding that weapon with a weapon of your own. You do not have to force the weapon away. Striking the weapon or the arm is sufficient. You may also interrupt a death strike by destroying or disarming the weapon. If a person performing a death strike cannot finish the death strike because they are killed or rendered unconscious then the death strike is, of course, nullified.
The "Death" Effect
Any effect which successfully inflicts a Death effect kills you immediately. Of all the various game effects, only the Death effect will kill you outright. The Death effect may be nullified by an appropriate defense.
There might be large scale traps, challenges, and mishaps in special areas which can cause you to perish if you are unfortunate enough to stumble into them. Closing walls, deep pits, and other deadly traps might kill you outright. These areas will be marked or made clear to you during the course of the game.
Spirits of the Dead
After 5 minutes of death, a dead character becomes a spirit of the dead. Because of the influence of the Realm of Death, the spirit and everything that spirit still carries is drawn to Death. The spirit will even pick up its own weapons if they are within reach unless they are possessed by another. When you rise as a spirit you must proceed directly to the gate of Death. You must walk with your head bowed and your arms at your side. You cannot interact with any other character unless they use an ability which allows you to do so. You cannot drop items. You cannot use any game ability. If someone tries to communicate with you, or tries to use a game effect on you that does not specifically work on Spirits, ignore the attempt, reply "Spirit" and continue on your way.
While you are a spirit of the dead, there are very few effects that will work on you. The only effects which will work are effects with "to Spirit" or "to Dead" in the verbal. These are Bane effects specifically designed to affect spirits. The most common is a "Speak to Dead" effect. This instance of the "Speak" effect will allow you to converse quietly with the character who used the effect. You cannot stray from your path or use any game skill. You are not compelled to communicate, but you may do so. Other effects might include "Imbue to Spirit" and "Inflict to Spirit." If the description on the effect card states that it works on a spirit of the dead then you must follow the instructions given therein. Although dying removes all active effects upon you, you may use innate defenses to protect you against effects even if you are a spirit.
If the spirit is too weak to return from the Realm of Death, then the character passes beyond this world and is said to have taken a final death. Final death means that you can no longer play the character in question, and adds an air of danger to the game by threatening your in game persona.
The effect describes what an ability actually does. The effect is the first part of any verbal. Some effects target items rather than characters. All effects used in the game are described below. Although these effects are given a duration, removing these effects will end them.
Some attacks require that you, as the attacker, be present to maintain them. This presence is determined by line of sight. So long as you are within line of sight and conscious the effect remains in place. If you move out of sight for 10 seconds or you are rendered unconscious for 10 seconds the effect ends. Moving off into darkness or smoke or brush will break line of sight. Because the defender determines line of sight, you must stay within plain sight to maintain an effect. If you hide or move somewhere in the darkness or mist where the defender cannot see you, then the effect will end, even if you can still see the defender.
As the victim, if you are checking to see if line of sight has been broken you must spend 10 full seconds trying to spot the attacker. If you can no longer spot any indication of the attacker for those 10 seconds, the effect ends.
You are wracked with pain which stops you from running or attacking or using any game skills or abilities on other characters. You may defend yourself or use abilities that affect only you. Agony lasts for 10 seconds.
This effect prevents you from using game skills on the attacker. You will also attempt to stay 10 feet away from the attacker unless doing so would endanger you. If this is the case, you may move to a safer position, even if it takes you within 10 feet, so long as you then attempt once again to stay 10 feet away from the attacker. You cannot use game skills on the attacker in any case. The Avoidance effect will last while the attacker is within line of sight.
The Cure effect removes effects on the target. A Cure <Effect> will remove all instances of that specific effect. A Cure <Trait> will remove every effect with the appropriate trait.
Travis, for example, has been affected by the following attacks: Slow by Disease, a Slow by Will, and a Drain by Will. A Cure Slow will remove both the Slow by Disease and the Slow by Will since they are both Slow effects. A Cure Will would remove both the Slow by Will and the Drain by Will since they both have the Will trait.
This effect removes Vitality points as described in the section on Vitality. Unlike typical effects, Damage is instantaneous. It removes Vitality points and then the effect ends. You cannot remove or dispel damage. Vitality points must be restored though healing.
An attack with this effect kills you. You fall down dead, as if you had been struck with a death blow. All active effects upon you end when you are killed. The effect does not linger. It is instantaneous, so it cannot be Cured. Death lasts for 5 minutes, after which you will rise as a spirit and travel to the Realm of Death. This process is described in greater detail above.
Certain special abilities can affect you while you are dead. Some strengthen your spirit so it is not weakened by the presence of Death. Some might even restore you to life. Others might cause unpleasant effects. All of these will be handled as with the Imbue or Inflict effect. In these cases you will be given an effect card which explains the results of the effect.
This effect is unique in that it is inflicted upon an item rather than a character. Because of this, the item becomes the target for the attack. Weapon attacks affect the item struck and packet attacks affect one item which will be named in the verbal. This item becomes unusable until someone with the appropriate skill spends one minute of time to fix it. The item is not destroyed, just damaged and in need of repair before it can be used. The prop must still be carried, for it represents the broken item. The skill varies with the type of item. Weapons are repaired by the Weaponsmith skill. Armor is repaired by the Armorsmith skill. Other items are repaired by various other skills. Some items, such as potions, cannot be repaired and are lost forever. Some characters with unusual forms, such as constructs, may be affected by Destroy if it is inflicted upon them directly by saying "Destroy Body." When an item with a tag is affected by a Destroy, the tag is either marked or destroyed. Items without tags or safety stickers (such as clothing, belts, pouches, and the like) cannot be affected by Destroy. If armor is destroyed all the points are exhausted until it is repaired.
This effect is used to determine if the recipient is inflicted with a specific effect, trait, or game condition. You may use Diagnose to determine the presence of any effect or trait mentioned in Chapter 2 with the exception of Imbue or Inflict effects. You may also use Diagnose to determine if the recipient is currently Stable, Unstable, Dead, or Damaged. Touch the recipient with a packet and say "Diagnose" followed by the effect, trait or game condition. The recipient says "Yes" if they are afflicted with the named effect or an effect with the named trait, or if they suffer the game condition. Otherwise they say "No."
Travis, for example, is lying on the ground unstable and has been inflicted by a Slow by Disease and a Paralyze by Magic. Another player leans over, touches him with a packet and says "Diagnose Stable." Travis says "No." She says "Diagnose Unstable" and Travis says "Yes." She uses a Heal effect on Travis but he still doesn't move. Puzzled, she says "Diagnose Stun." Travis says "No." She says "Diagnose Paralyze." Travis says "Yes." She has the ability to Cure Poison, so she says "Diagnose Poison." Travis says "No." She decides to wait until the Paralyze wears off.
You must drop everything in the hand indicated by the verbal. You can pick up items immediately after they have come to rest. In other words, when the item stops moving, you may pick it up. The verbal will contain either "Disarm right hand" or "Disarm left hand." If you are holding a fragile or breakable prop, including air guns, you may put it down rather than drop it, but in this case you cannot pick it up for a full five seconds.
Calling this effect causes everyone who is attacking you and everyone who is indicated by the gesture of your weapon to move so they are out of range of your melee weapons. You must likewise move out of melee range. No attacks can be made until this distance has been created. The distance must be large enough so that you cannot cross weapons. You cannot call a disengage and attempt to remain close to an opponent, nor can you call a disengage and continue to move towards an opponent. Although anyone actively fighting against you is automatically affected, you may also sweep or point your weapon to affect additional characters. You could even sweep your weapon around you to affect everyone near you. If a character is already out of melee weapon range they are unaffected. Once the distance has been increased the effect ends. If a character is cornered by physical obstructions or a hazardous area or pinned by a Root effect then they may keep their ground and you must move out of their weapon range.
You cannot use any game skill, including weapon skills. You can move and run. The cause determines how this is role-played. The Drain effect will last for 5 minutes.
The Expose effect is followed by one trait. If you have that trait and are subjected to this effect, you must cry out, revealing the fact that you have the trait and revealing your position. You must cry out as loudly as the Expose effect was called. Although you may cry out softly if the Expose was called softly, you still must make every effort to ensure that you are revealed to the person who called the effect. The Expose effect is audible and you must cry out even if you are unconscious or under the effects of a Stun, Paralyze, or other disabling effect. Only a Silence will prevent you from crying out, and even then you must roleplay crying out even though you make no noise. You are not affected if you are Dead or have the Spirit defense unless the Expose effect targets those specific traits. This effect is one of the few that will commonly be delivered by voice.
This effect causes you to attack the closest creature to you, regardless of recognition or consequence. You will attack with any standard skill, and you are not forced to use consumable skills in this attack. If you cannot attack the creature in question, or if you are not affecting the creature in question, you will move on to the next closest creature. The effect ends when you are rendered unconscious.
This effect restores one point of Vitality. If the effect is followed by a number, then it restores Vitality equal to the indicated number. Otherwise it restores one point. If you are unconscious with no Vitality then healing will restore one or more Vitality points and you will wake immediately unless some other effect is preventing you from doing so.
This special effect is some enhancement or extra ability that is described on an effect card which is given to you after the effect is used upon you. An Imbue will not take effect until you have read the effect card. Imbue will usually give you some ability which can be used during the current event, although the effect card might describe some longer term effect.
Imbue effects can have a wide variety of long term plot effects. Examples include granting a defense against certain types of attack, strengthening the spirit of a dead character, restoring a dead character to life, and similar exceptional abilities. Defenses can be used to negate Imbue attacks if those defenses will stop an attack with the appropriate trait.
If a player can use an Imbue effect, that ability will always have some in game action that must be accomplished before you can use the ability. You might need to gather and mix components. You might need to construct some item from strange parts. These actions earn you the effect card needed to use this effect. You can never use an Imbue ability without the appropriate effect card to represent the properly prepared components.
This special effect is some affliction or detrimental effect that is described on an effect card which is given to you after the effect is used upon you. Engaged characters are not affected immediately - they have time to retrieve the effect card and read it when it is convenient and unobtrusive to do so. Unconscious or dead characters must read the card immediately. Inflict will give you some unusual detriment which will have the effect and the duration described on the effect card.
Inflict effects can have a wide variety of long term plot effects. Examples include causing death after a certain amount of time, causing you to transform into some type of creature, inflicting you with a disease that cannot be healed by normal abilities, weakening the spirit of a dead character, and similar exceptional abilities. Defenses can be used to negate Inflict attacks if those defenses will stop an attack with the appropriate trait.
If a player can use an Inflict effect, that ability will always have some in game action that must be accomplished before you can use it. You might need to gather and mix components. You might need to construct some item from strange parts. These actions earn you the effect card needed to use the ability. A player can never use an Inflict ability without an effect card to represent the properly prepared components.
One limb becomes useless. An arm must hang at your side and cannot be used for any game ability. A leg becomes unusable. You must go down on one knee - you cannot hop. You may crawl using your other limbs. A Maim effect will last for the duration of the event. If a Maim attack is delivered by a weapon, the limb struck will be affected. If a Maim attack delivered by weapon strikes the torso then the Maim effect is ignored. If the Maim is delivered by a packet then the attacker can include the limb in the verbal. For example, a caster might call out "Maim Right Leg by Fire." If the limb is not specified, then the subject may choose one limb which is not already affected by a Maim. Maim only works on arms and legs.
You must stand frozen. You cannot move, but you are aware of what is happening around you. If you are rendered unconscious, or if someone tries to change your pose, you will collapse to the ground. A Paralyze will last for five minutes.
You cannot move your right foot from its spot. You may pivot on that foot, and you may move your left foot. A Root effect will last so long as the attacker remains in line of sight.
You cannot talk or make any in game verbal noise. You cannot use game skills that require incantations. You must still use out of game phrases as normal. A Silence effect will last so long as the attacker remains in line of sight.
You cannot run. You may only walk at a normal pace. A Slow effect will last for the duration of the event.
You are knocked unconscious for five minutes. It will take a full minute to revive you unless this effect is removed.
This effect allows you to converse with a creature or being that cannot otherwise communicate with you. It is usually used with the Bane trait, allowing you to speak with specific types of creatures. The subject is under no obligation or compulsion to speak with you, but it may do so if it wishes. The Speak effect will last until a participant uses another game skill or until line of sight is broken.
Most attacks have a trait which describes how and why the attack affects you. This trait is given by the second part of the verbal. If an attack, for example, was "5 Damage by Fire" then the trait of the attack would be Fire. The trait of an attack determines whether certain defenses can be used to negate the attack.
Most attack traits allow you to roleplay the effect. You may step back or cry out in reaction to the attack. If you are surprised by an attack, however, you cannot add additional roleplay to the effect. For example, if you were hit by a "Stun by Force" from a visible enemy then you could add the roleplay of crying out or staggering back. But if someone sneaks up behind you and calls out "Stun" with a weapon then you should just go down. If someone sneaks up and surprises you with a spell that you honestly did not see coming, you should not cry out to warn your friends.
There are four types of traits.
These include Earth, Force, Ice, Silver, Weapon, Web. These traits indicate that the effect is caused by some physical force. Abilities which work against body effects will work against effects with any of these traits. Specific traits add flavor to the creatures using them. You may roleplay a body effect by crying out or stepping backwards before the effect is inflicted.
These include Awe, Confusion, Despair, Fear, Inspiration, Will. These traits indicate that the effect is caused by some mental or emotional reaction. Abilities which work against mind effects will work against effects with any of these traits. Specific traits add flavor to the creatures using them. You may roleplay the effect of a mind effect by crying out or stepping backwards before the effect is inflicted.
These include Acid, Air, Curse, Disease, Fire, Light, Lightning, Magic, Poison, Shadow, Water. These traits are not grouped under any more general trait, so abilities must specifically include them. Any trait not mentioned in this section is considered to be a Special trait. You may roleplay the effect of a special effect by crying out or stepping backwards before the effect is inflicted.
This is a unique attack trait that works against another specific trait, and targets only those creatures that have that trait. Instead of saying "by" you would say "to" and state the trait that is targeted. An attack that stated "10 Damage to Undead" would be an example of an attack with the Bane trait, and the attack would only affect creatures with the Undead trait. If you somehow lose the trait which a Bane effect targets while under that effect, then the effect ends immediately. So, if you had a "to Dead" effect upon you and you were brought back to life then the "to Dead" effect would end. Remember that the race of a character is always considered to be a trait of that character. There is no time to roleplay, you will suffer the effect of a successful attack immediately.
These abilities allow you to negate abilities used against you. Although there are a large number of possible defenses that can be used against specific causes and effects, all defenses can be summarized as one of four types.
You negate the first attack of the appropriate type that strikes you. You must call "Shield" when the defense is used.
Avoid, Parry, Resist
You choose one attack of the appropriate type to negate when it strikes you. You can allow an attack to affect you and negate a later attack. Although different verbals are used to indicate the nature of your defense and to add flavor to the game, all of these defenses work the same way. You must call out the defense when it is used.
You may negate an attack after it has affected you. You must spend three seconds to roleplay this defense as you shake off the effect, during which time you must remain relatively still. You cannot use game skills while roleplaying the purge. This defense cannot be used if you are unconscious or dead.
You are unaffected by the attack in question. This indicates a defense that is not consumable. The attack does not affect you, nor will it ever affect you.
You are insubstantial and gain the trait Spirit. You cannot use game abilities unless specifically allowed to do so. You cannot speak or converse with other characters unless they use an ability which allows you to do so. You cannot drop any items. You are unaffected by any effect unless it targets your Spirit trait. You must call "Spirit" if this is the reason an attack fails to affect you. If someone tries to converse with you, you may say "Spirit" to inform them that you cannot speak. Characters who have died and are traveling to the Realm of Death are spirits. Some abilities allow a living character to become a spirit for a time, but these abilities will have special restrictions or will not be absolute in their protection. Effects with the trait "to Spirit" affect all spirits, while effects with the trait "to Dead" affect only spirits of the dead.
Armor provides points of protection that act as a buffer against damage effects. Armor points are removed by damage in a manner similar to Vitality. Armor points are lost before Vitality points. Exhausted armor points can be restored by a character with the Armorsmith skill. The armorsmith must roleplay for one minute at a forge to fix the suit of armor.
All characters may wear up to two points of armor. You must be skilled in the use of armor to effectively wear any more than two points. You may wear a prop worth more points without this skill, but the protection it will provide will be limited by your skill. The maximum any character can wear for armor is 4 points.
Armor is awarded points based on its type and its coverage. Armor is treated as light armor or heavy armor. Armor is evaluated by the weapon marshal. To be evaluated as heavy armor, the armor must look heavy. Thick, stiff, articulated leather, chain mail, scale mail, and plate armor are usually evaluated as heavy armor. The more the appearance of the armor adds to the atmosphere of the game, the more likely it will be evaluated in the heavy category.
Points awarded for armor are based on the type of armor and the body coverage it provides. First determine the type of armor. Then determine how much of the body is covered. The numbers awarded for various armor coverage are given below.
Armor Points for Light Coverage
Armor Points for Heavy Coverage
Weapon attacks, which use padded weapons to deliver an attack, include melee weapons, thrown weapons, and projectile weapons such as bows and crossbows. If a weapon is designed as a thrown weapon or projectile, it cannot be used in melee combat. Melee weapons cannot be thrown. These padded weapons have a strict set of creation rules and must pass a safety inspection at each and every event where you intend to use them.
To add to the atmosphere of roleplaying, we expect our players to roleplay in combat. Although we allow light weapons for safety and comfort, we ask that players keep the pace of their swings in line with what a heavier weapon might require. Weapon swings that are entirely generated by snapping or rotating the wrist or forearm are discouraged. Although you are expected to roleplay full weapon swings where the weapon moves at least 45 degrees, the actual contact cannot be too hard. A tap from a weapon is sufficient to deliver an attack. Weapon attacks which are blocked by another weapon or shield wielded by a character with the appropriate skill to do so are not counted. Attacks to the head, the hands, or the groin are illegal and are not counted. You may only throw one thrown weapon at a time, although you may fire a projectile weapon such as a crossbow from each hand if you are skilled in using that weapon in both hands.
Any strike which has no verbal causes 1 point of damage. These are known as "uncalled strikes" because they have no verbal. Uncalled strikes will cause someone to fall unconscious if they remove all Vitality, but the victim will remain stable. A character taken down by called strikes will fall unconscious and be unstable as well.
The Flurry Rule
A flurry is a series of melee blows swung at an opponent with little or no pause. You can make no more than three consecutive attempts to strike a single opponent without a pause. Only after you have taken a step back and paused for a full second will your strikes be counted once again.
The Proximity Rule
You must maintain a safe distance from any active opponent. If you can reach out and touch the torso of an opponent with your hand then you are too close and you must back away. If there is a significant difference in the reach of two opponents, the opponent with the shorter reach may approach close enough so that they can strike their opponent with their weapon so long as they cannot touch the torso of the opponent.
Many skills work only on limb hits. A limb hit is a strike to the arm or leg. A torso hit includes the chest from the belt up to the top of the chest. Any hit to the leg or buttock is a leg hit. Any hit to the arm or to the outer shoulder is an arm hit. Hits that come down on the shoulder or that come down between the shoulder and the neck are also arm hits. Neck hits are illegal.
There might be certain skills that allow someone to batter a shield hard enough to affect the person blocking with it. These skills use a technique called a Smash Shield which represents an attempt to smash right through an opponent's shield. You must strike a shield three consecutive times within 5 seconds to deliver this attack. You call "Smash Shield" before each swing and add the effect after the last verbal. If all three swings strike the shield then the effect will be delivered to the opponent. If one of the attacks misses or is parried by a weapon, then the attack is negated and the costs are paid normally. A defense which negates weapon attacks may be used to negate a Smash Shield blow as well.
If you are unskilled with a melee weapon you cannot make attacks with that weapon. If someone strikes that weapon or you try to parry with that weapon, it is ripped from your hand. Although you do not take the blow, you must drop the weapon as if you had been affected by the Disarm effect.
You may hold only one weapon or shield in your hand during combat. If you are holding more than one weapon or shield in a hand and that item is struck by a blow you will take the blow or be disarmed of both items as if you were unskilled in their use.
Claws and Natural Weaponry
Some characters have the ability to use claws or natural weaponry instead of, or in addition to, weapons. This weaponry is represented by red colored props, although some plot creatures may have props which are constructed to appear to be part of that creature. These weapons are considered to be melee weapons and cannot be affected by Disarm effects. Destroy effects delivered to such weaponry will cause a Maim effect to the limb using the weapon.
Claws and natural weaponry are not bladed weapons, and cannot be used with skills or effects that require bladed weapons. Since a claw cannot be disarmed, a hit to a claw which cannot be used to block will affect the person holding the claw. They cannot drop the claw in response to the strike as someone with another weapon might do.
Using Packet Attacks
A packet is a small bean bag filled with bird seed that represents some sort of mystical, psychic, or supernatural ranged attack form. Packets have strict construction guidelines. These attacks are inflicted by calling a verbal and throwing a packet at a target. If the packet hits the target, or any direct possession of the target, then the effect is inflicted upon the target. Packet throws cannot be too hard. Wind ups and baseball pitches are not acceptable to the game.
Packets are not solid objects and cannot be affected by Disarm or Destroy, but they are a visible, in game effect. If someone is carrying packets and you see the packets, you can assume they have some sort of aura that makes you realize they are capable of something special. Because of this, you cannot carry or throw packets unless you have the power to use them for something.
If a packet clearly strikes a target and they do not acknowledge the hit through roleplaying or by negating it with a defense, the attributes or their equivalent are not exhausted. If the packet misses, or you cannot tell whether the packet hit, then attributes or resources are exhausted normally.
To deliver a packet attack, the arm that is delivering the packet must be free and the hand empty except for the packet itself. A free arm cannot have props tucked under it or tied to it other than armor. You cannot deliver packet attacks if you cannot use game skills, or if the arm is affected by something which prevents its use such as the Maim effect or shackles. Some packet based skills have additional requirements as well.
Rule of Etiquette
In order to encourage the use of good costuming and add a little more realism, we have the Costume Rule. If a packet attack clearly misses a target and passes by the body, yet that packet hits a cloak or costuming piece after it has gone past, the defender can call out "costume." This rule cannot be used if the costuming is in front of the defender or if the packet has not already passed the body. The rule is in place to encourage cloaks, back banners, and some directed character costuming such as wings without adding an unacceptable disadvantage to the character in combat.
Traps are devices or substances set to deliver an effect to anyone who disturbs them or attempts to get past them. Anyone can avoid a trap, but no one can attempt to manipulate a trap by moving it, disarming it, or affecting the individual components unless they have a skill which allows them to do so.
Most traps will cause an effect to the person who set them off. If someone manages to trigger a trap with a thrown object, then the object will take the affect instead. If the trap affects the entire room or corridor, then this trick will not provide much help. Some traps will work multiple times, some will work once. If an item is causing a trap to go off continuously then anyone who touches the item will take the effect.
If a trap is set in a small box, chest, or other enclosed area no larger than 3 feet in any dimension then setting it off will destroy everything inside the area. Coins, items, paper, and everything else inside will be destroyed and cannot be removed from the box. If any living creature has somehow crawled into an enclosed area no more than 3 feet in any dimension with a trap and the trap goes off then that fool will be killed instantly. There are four types of traps.
These traps make a snap sound when they go off. They are represented by mousetraps, party poppers, and snaps. These traps cause 2 damage to whoever set them off.
These traps make an electronic sound of some kind when they are set off. They are represented by beepers, buzzers, and electronic sound effects like the moaning of a rigged welcome mat you might find at Halloween. These traps cause 5 damage to whoever set them off.
When these traps are set off and you will hear a trap sound and a voice will call out a verbal associated with them. Whoever set the trap off must take the effect of that verbal. If no verbal is present, then the sound determines the type of trap as described above.
As a magical trap, but the verbal will end with the words "...to the Room." Everybody in the room will take the effect. This trap only works in an enclosed room with normal doorways and corridors leaving it. Anyone who is partially within the room will be affected by the trap.
This attack is represented by petroleum jelly. If you touch the jelly with bare skin, you will take an effect of "5 Damage by Poison." A character with the appropriate skill may apply such a substance directly from the vial it was created in. Once applied to a surface, the jelly cannot be scraped off onto another object. Only a character with an appropriate skill may wipe the substance off a surface with a cloth or cloth like substance, but the contact poison is destroyed in the process.
An item with contact poison is considered a Red Sticker item. The fumes and burning of the poison are overwhelming, even to a character who is immune to it. The object cannot be moved from its place or handled until the poison is removed by a character with the appropriate skill to do so.
Shackles are a prop which binds the wrists or legs of a character. An in game lock is affixed to each prop to represent the locking mechanism of that prop. The prop must be loose enough to remain comfortable and, for safety, the player must be able to easily remove the prop if an out of game need arises.
Shackles can only be placed on a helpless or willing character if the lock is open. You place the shackle prop on the helpless or willing target and close the lock. Shackles placed on the arm restrict movement and make it impossible to use any skill that requires that the arms must be free, including using weapons, using packet attacks, and using First Aid. You may use a skill which allows you to attempt to open a game lock on your own shackles. Shackles placed on the legs make it impossible to run and restrict movement to the extent of the shackles. A prop placed on the ankles must be constructed to allow the player to stand and walk slowly.
Shackles can be removed by opening the lock or by using an appropriate skill to remove them. Each game will have a skill assigned to destroy and remove shackles by taking a minute and using the appropriate props and roleplaying. Skills which allow a character to slip out of bonds are possible as well.
There are times when unusual circumstances will warrant strange attacks. These strange attacks are detailed below, but the general idea is summarized here so the player will not have to memorize the various and sundry individual details. If someone clearly gestures at you or indicates you somehow and calls out or whispers an effect, then that effect will be delivered to you unless you can use a defense to somehow negate it. The individual types are detailed below.
Someone points at you with a hand or a weapon and calls out the verbal. If the effect has a duration that is not instantaneous, then instead of the normal duration, the effect lasts so long as they point at you.
Someone who has met your gaze for a full three seconds calls out or whispers "By my gaze" followed by an effect. A vampire might whisper "By my gaze - Paralyze by Will." Other creatures might cause fear or other effects.
Someone delivers an effect to your immobile or unconscious form by touching a weapon or packet to your torso and stating "Affliction One, Affliction Two, Affliction Three" clearly and slowly followed by a verbal. This works like a Death Strike and can be interrupted in the same manner as a Death Strike. The verbal may be a standard effect, or it may deliver an Inflict effect in which case the player will give you an effect card.
Someone calls out "By your name" and states your name, part of your name, or some pseudonym that you used and calls out a verbal. The attack is delivered to you if they use a name you used to refer to yourself.
Someone calls out "By my voice" and an effect and everyone who hears it will be affected by it. You cannot defend against Voice attacks by intentionally obscuring the sound of the verbal with loud noise or by plugging your ears. This type of attack never sets off Shield defenses.
Double and Triple Attacks
One single delivery causes multiple attacks to affect the target. "Double" causes two of the specified attack to be delivered, while "Triple" causes three attacks to be delivered. Each attack requires a separate defense.
Example: A wizard calls out "Triple 10 Damage by Fire" and throws a packet which hits you. You must take three "10 Damage by Fire" attacks. "Resist Fire" would negate one of these attacks and you would still take two attacks. You may use multiple defenses against these attacks.
Two effects can be chained in one attack. The verbal should name the effects with an "and" between them. The whole attack may be negated with one defense if that defense targets the cause of the attack. If the defense targets one of the effects, then only that effect is negated.
Example: A spider calls out "Drain and Slow by Poison" and hits a player with a packet. The defense "Resist Poison" would negate the entire attack. The defense "Resist Slow" would negate the Slow effect, but the character would still be affected by the Drain effect. If the character had both "Resist Slow" and "Resist Drain" defenses then both could be used to negate the effects of the attack.
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