Freeform Combat

Combat summarized into the following three parts; action, movement, and holding. Actions can be non-combat speech, investigation, combat it self (inflicting dmg or healing), as well as holding your action. This concept applies to both dice rolling and free form RP/combat.

There are three ways to inflict damage or healing in combat.
Kinetic - things that are physical damage, such as swords, spears, fists, healing poultices, medicine.
Magical- conjured or created actions, such as fireballs, healing hands, etc.
Environmental- objects that are used to their advantage. Such as rocks, dirt, medicinal plants, mana springs, etc.

Guideline 1:

  • For every two attacks that you dodge, you must take a single hit. The rule quickens play and can be easily tracked simply by reading the previous posts. This also forces players to consider where they want to dodge. Is it better to avoid as many hits as possible, or to strategically take damage so you can have these dodges in case of a powerful attack that you fear your character could not survive?

  • The purpose of rolling in combat and in other scenarios is to remove confusion and expedite scenes. This is effective in scenarios where you are playing with many people, or where you have players who desire more rigid structure. However, the reason why tabletops employ statistics that augment rolls is to create a sense of depth within the random chance that rolls provide. For the purposes of this document, the purpose of rolling can be defined as ‘removing confusion’ and ‘speeding up play.’

  • This rule is reliant on the honor system, as well as an understanding of how to reasonably take damage.

Guideline 2:

  • Establish weaknesses. These are areas where your character may be weak, but they can be left to player discretion. The one thing that cannot be an explicit weakness is stamina. This is assumed to be a limiting factor on how long your character can fight for. For example, in medieval times it was not uncommon for an armored combatant to fall over due to exhaustion and not be able to stand again due to the weight of their armor and their lack of stamina. This is presumed to be a limiter, but it is not acceptable as a weakness on its own.

  • A common scenario in roleplay is to have an intense fight where one combatant throws out a series of powerful attacks. After winning the fight, they will usually collapse or claim that they could not have gone on much longer. This is a frustrating platitude, because the fight is over. The weakness never came into play despite assurances that it exists.

  • Possible weaknesses might be psychological damage from repeated fights, a sensitivity to loud noises or explosions, weaknesses to heat, weaknesses to cold, weaknesses to specific materials.

Guideline 3:

  • Communicate! Let your roleplay partners know if you are having issues understanding their posts. Avoid unnecessary details. Prolonged internal monologues might be good for character development, but it isn’t development that characters you’re interacting with can use.

  • Longer posts are not always better. Try and ensure you’ve included or even restated important information or actions being taken by characters in your posts.

  • When writing your attacks, try to clarify the following: Direction, approximate position of arms and legs, distance from your opponent, angle of attack, and means of attack.

Guideline 4:

  • When writing posts, try to only include one action that must be confirmed. If possible, list consecutive actions as conditional. This prevents confusion, and keeps combat relatively focused instead of disjointed. In this context, a ‘confirmable action’ is an action, attack, or movement that must be confirmed by another player as it relates to their character or the environment that they are in control of.

  • For example: “Bert moves to stab Ernie. If the stab against Ernie succeeds, Bert twists the knife.” A simple measure such as this helps to streamline roleplay if some actions have a natural follow up. This is also a good way of breaking up singular attacks, as that can lead to one person attacking and one person defending without providing a clear opportunity to change that.

  • As an additional example, it’s acceptable to parry or dodge and follow up with an attack: “Bert moves to stab Ernie, but Bert staggers backwards away from the knife.” Bert thrusts wildly with his own knife towards Ernie’s hand.

  • A good rule of thumb for determining whether an action is executed within a reasonable amount of time is to keep in mind the duration of a round. A round is the period of time in which each participant posts once. In many tabletops, a round takes place over the course of six seconds. This is not a hard time limit, just a tabletop standard that is easy to use as a reference.