Combat Rules and Ettiquette

The combat system on Shadow Siege is currently in the middle of development, so this guide is subject to change. At the moment, this is how things stand:


ROUNDS

Combat here is turn-based, which means that each character involved gets one turn a round. A round is completed when all characters involved in combat at the beginning of the round have taken a turn, therefore, there will be as many turns in a round as characters in combat. A round is considered to be roughly six seconds of game time.

Currently, these rounds and turns are not implemented in code; everyone must take it upon themselves to follow the rules for combat to run cleanly. Note that these are rules, and not just guidelines: they will be enforced by the staff like any other rules.

Turn order

Combat can be said to begin when one character makes any aggressive move against another. This includes beginning a spell, casting a spell, advancing aggressively, or drawing a weapon (among other possible things).

Therefore, the initiator of combat has already taken the first turn in the first round.

It is usual for characters who are involved in a session to already have some order of play running, especially when things are heating up. This order predefines the order of combat for the characters involved.

Therefore, the second turn in combat belongs to the character who naturally was posting after the first character (the one who initiated combat), even if that character is not the first character's target.

If there is no natural order (which is unusual, but it happens), then the defender claims the second turn.

Characters not involved in the combat, but in the same room, do not have to follow the order of combat as long as they do not enter it. These characters may enter combat at will. The point they inject themselves into the order of combat is the place they keep, as turns go.

When combat is happening, these things count as entering combat:

  • casting a spell
  • drawing a weapon
  • interacting physically with a character already in combat (e.g., trying to hand them an item, etc.)


THE TURN

A character's turn consists of one emote and one (optional) command attempt.

Within that emote, they may do two things:

  1. Describe the action so far (e.g., their defense, if they successfully defended the last attack, or their wounds, if they didn't, etc.)

  2. Describe the attempt of one action (for example: a single attack).

The optional command attempt might be use of the 'hit' command, or the 'cast' command, or the 'get' command, etc. Information commands, such as 'glance' or 'look' do not count, and can be used whenever you like.

These things count as one action apiece:

  • drawing a weapon
  • advancing on a character which is not yet in actual reach of the weapon
  • getting anything from anything, including the ground
    casting a spell
  • attempting to flee
  • attempting a hit
  • drinking or eating anything (like, say, a potion)
  • anything else that could be logically be considered one action

Therefore, if Character X wanted to attack character Y, who is across the room, Character X must take at least three turns to do so (drawing, advancing, then attacking).


WOUNDS

When a character's health is critical (around 30%), they will find that they are physically disabled: they will neither be able to attack or flee, and will have difficulty casting spells. This is, obviously, because they are too injured to do so. Please take this into account when you are considering your next action. Look at your health, first.


MAGIC

Many spells take more than one turn to cast. You may only type 'cast' once per turn.

Spell-casting requires both verbal and gestural components. Please consider this.


REASON, LOGIC, AND IMPROVISATION

The first rule of combat is really 'be reasonable'.

You'll notice that this game uses many descriptions instead of numbers. There is a reason for that: these descriptions are guidelines for roleplay.

If your sword skill is 'Basic' then it is just that, basic. If your agility is "Average", then it is just that.

If you are struck solidly or expertly by an enemy twice in a row, and you have yet to hit them, then you are probably way outmatched. Consider this.

Roleplay your wounds appropriately. Don't wait for your health to hit 30% before you begin to roleplay injuries.

You do not have to kill someone to win a fight. Killing someone you have obviously already beaten is murder. Murder should be extremely rare for most characters.

Think about how much your character should be talking during combat: they probably wouldn't have more than two or three seconds a round to talk. That's very few words.

Be realistic: unless your agility is god-like, or somewhere near, you will not jump off walls or over people, etc.

Keep off osay unless it is absolutely necessary. Combat takes long enough as it is.