This page is meant to give an overview of how combat may be played out in Roleplay. It also lists factors that can influence it as well as a few general rules that must be followed.
Ways of executing combat RP
There are two main ways for combat to take place. Typically, the ET in charge gets to decide which form is used, but if no ET is present, ALL participants must agree on which form is chosen. In some cases, roleplayers and ETs may even choose to switch between the two during combat or mix and match to create a hybrid form.
Combat by Roleplay
Combat by roleplay alone is the default and encouraged manner of playing out combat. It relies purely on emotes by the participants and possibly an overseeing ET. If one player believes another to be breaking RP rules (e.g. by acting in an OP manner or metagaming), an ET or (if none are available) another member of staff should be called upon to settle the matter.
Combat by Rolls
There is also a standard rolling system in order, to help resolve fights in a style similar to familiar Dungeons & Dragons games. This method is typically chosen when the roleplayers cannot come to an agreement as to whether or not a character is acting overpowered. The "/roll [sides]" command (where "[sides]" is the number of die sides) may be used to simulate the rolling of dice.
At the start of a combat session, a Hit Point value is assigned to each participant, which gets reduced for each received hit. Once this value reaches a certain threshold (typically zero), the participant is knocked unconscious, killed or otherwise incapacitated. For obvious reasons, it is recommended that both sides actively keep track of each other's HP as well as their own. The starting HP value varies for each combatant, depending on factors such as their overall physical condition, their size, any injuries they have had since prior to the fight and many others.
The bonuses or penalties a combatant gets on his offensive or defensive rolls also vary. The standard rolling value is 20, but can and should be influenced by things such as how well armed or armoured someone is. Some other factors that are likely to influence the rolling values are training (or the lack thereof), physical and mental condition and the general difficulty of an attempted action. The rolling values may also change during a fight, for example if someone receives an injury on their sword arm.
Not all of the above or below mentioned factors must or should be considered individually at all times, since that would slow down combat considerably. Generally, just using common sense is enough to determine the balance of a fight.
Not only items made to be used as weapons can count as such. Any object, however primitive or inconvenient, may be used as an improvised weapon. In most cases, even an improvised weapon will give the wielder better chances than if they were completely unarmed. There are a number of properties that may be taken into account when determining the outcome of an action by pure roleplay or by rolling. Such properties include maximum effective range, the condition of the weapon, its effectiveness against certain materials, the current environment and potential collateral (AoE) damage, just to name a few.
Contrary to weapons, not anything can be used as armour. Only equipment that can effectively protect against incoming damage is suitable. Here too, there are a number of factors to consider, such as the condition of the armour, its effectiveness against certain types of attacks, how well it protects certain body parts and the skill required to use it. Just to make it absolutely clear, shields do count as armour. However, they may also be used as weapons, usually less effective than proper ones.
Another thing that may be considered as additional protection is cover. How exactly cover works can vary greatly. In this and other similar mechanics, we tend to give ETs a lot of freedom to implement the mechanic however they like, or not at all.
Magic can have various effects on combat situations. While experienced mages can be extremely dangerous, we strive to balance the systems so that they do not become overpowered. The only time we think it is alright for a mage to be able to take on a dozen people at once is in an organized boss fight.
This is probably the most straightforward kind of magic to implement in combat. Most attacks can be handled as normal physical attacks. While teleportation can be used as an effective way to escape battle, the process is very taxing and may not work if the caster is too fatigued. Furthermore, unless an enchanted item has been prepared with such a spell, it will take a certain amount of time to cast.
This kind of magic has a wide variety of uses in combat. It can be used to summon a weapon or, for the most experienced, summon a creature to assist them in battle. Necromancers may even command souls they have planted on objects or corpses. They can use the oldest and strongest souls at their disposal to animate weapons or even suits of armour.
This is likely the most complicated school of magic for combat. Psychic spells will likely be much less effective during combat if the character lacks adept-level training. If used correctly, however, psychic magic may cloud an enemy's vision, temporarily deafen them or even reveal battle strategies. A true master may be able to assume direct control over an enemy and make them fight their own.
Fortification mages can heal allies (or maybe enemies, if the situation demands it), or make them stronger or more accurate. They may also curse their enemies to make them weaker or unable to concentrate.
Using rolls for magical combat works a lot like normal, physical combat. A defense value is established for the person being attacked, usually depending on magical training, mental fortitude, protective magics, and other factors. Then the attacker rolls with a certain bonus or penalty and, if necessary, damage or other effects are applied afterwards.
Combat Rolling Example
This is a brief example to help clarify how some factors can influence rolling stats. Please note that none of this is to be taken as precise guidelines. There may also be more or fewer stats to consider, depending on the acting ET.
For whatever reason, player A and player B decide to resolve combat by rolling. An available ET is called upon to oversee the process. They examine the characters and their equipment and determine the following:
Player A is wearing chain mail armour, so they get an armour value of 16. This means that their opponents have to roll a 16 or higher in order to deal damage to them. They are currently holding a well-made longsword, which could normally have an attack bonus of +3 and do 2d8 points of damage (that is two d8 dice added together). However, because the fight is happening in a rather cramped space, the original attack bonus of the longsword is neglected for the time being.
Player B is wearing no actual armour, so their armour value may be at 10. They are armed with a flintlock pistol, which gets a good bonus against player A, because chain mail is not particularly effective against bullets. However, player B also receives a large penalty due to the fact that they have no actual training or past experience with firearms. In this case, they may end up with something like a -2 penalty to attack rolls and 4d6 damage.
Another way to deal with the pistol vs. chain mail situation would be to simply define that player A has a reduced armour rating (e.g. only 12 instead of 16) against pistols.