Combat system

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For an explanation of basic combat for new players, see A beginner's guide to combat.

Attack Roll

Attack Rolls, or AS/DS Checks, are the most common form of combat resolution in GemStone IV.

AS/DS Check

A typical attack roll looks like this:

You swing with a fist-scythe at a lesser orc!
AS: +109 vs DS: +44 with AvD: +39 + d100 roll: +70 = +174
  ... and hit for 20 points of damage!
  Wild slash scratches the back of the lesser orc's hand.
Roundtime: 5 sec.

In an attack roll, the attacker's Attack Strength (AS) is compared against the defender's Defensive Strength (DS), plus an Attack versus Defense (AvD) value based on the weapon type and the defender's armor. Finally, a random number from 1 to 100 (d100) is added to the result. If the final result is greater than 100, the attack is successful. The higher the result is, the more damaging the attack will generally be.

Stance

There are six main stances which a character can employ: offensive, advance, forward, neutral, guarded, and defensive. In offensive, a character is devoting all of his or her efforts toward attacking. When in stance defensive, that character is dedicating all energy toward defending. Neutral stands in between the two, and forward and guarded allow further incrementing. Characters who are in stance defensive will generally take less damage from physical attacks, including bolt spells, than those in stance offensive.

In stance offensive, 100% of a character's weapon skill, statistics, and enhancements are applied to AS, and the character has a far reduced chance to evade, block or parry.

In stance defensive, only 50% of a character's weapon skill, statistics, and enhancements are applied to AS, and the character has the highest chance to evade, block or parry.

Attack Strength (AS)

Attack Strength is a measure of how hard a character or creature is hitting. It is a factor used when calculating the damage caused by physical attacks and bolt spells. It is increased by weapon skill (or spell aiming skill for bolt spell attacks), the weapon's bonus, stat bonuses (strength or dexterity, depending on the kind of attack), combat maneuvers skill, certain spells, and other factors.

Example: With an edged weapon skill bonus of +45, a mithril short sword with an inherent weapon bonus of +5, a strength bonus of +16, and 4 ranks of CM skill providing a bonus of +2 in an offensive stance, the total is: 45 + 5 + 16 + 2 = 68.

Defensive Strength (DS)

Defensive Strength determines how well a character or creature is defending against an attack, and is used in calculating the damage taken by physical attacks and bolt spells. It is increased by the presence of a shield and shield skill, the shield's bonus, the amount of weapon skill applied to defense via a particular stance, the armor's bonus, bonuses from evasion/blocking/parrying, Dodging skill, many different spells, and other factors.

Evade-Block-Parry

Even before a character makes a combat roll, it is still possible to avoid attack through one of three secondary means. If a character fails to evade, block, or parry an attack, the various factors involved still contributes to the character's DS when the attack is resolved.

These defenses are passive, so players do not need to enter any commands for them to activate.

You thrust with a spear at a kobold!
The kobold awkwardly scrambles to the right and blocks the attack!

Evade

The odds for an outright evasion are based on the defender's Dodging ranks compared to the attacker's level. It is affected by stats, certain spells, and stance. A character with 1x Dodging training can evade a like-level foe roughly 5% of the time in stance offensive. A character with 3x Dodging training and all other factors the same would have roughly a 15% chance to evade that same attack.

Evade Defense Strength (DS) formula vs melee attacks:

     DS = ([Base Value] × [Armor Hindrance] × [Shield Factor] - [Shield Size Penalty]) × [Stance Modifier]

where

     [Base Value] = [Dodging Ranks] + AGI + ⌊INT / 4⌋ (use Agility/Intuition bonuses, not raw stats)

     [Armor Hindrance] is 1/2 of the armor's action penalty value

     [Shield Factor] = 0.78 (small shield); 0.70 (medium shield); 0.62 (large shield); 0.54 (tower shield)

     [Shield Size Penalty] = 0 (small/medium shield vs. melee); 5 (large shield vs. melee); 10 (tower shield vs. melee)

     [Stance Modifier] = 75% + (Stance / 4)

          Example: In Stance Guarded (Stance = 80%), the Dodge DS stance modifier would be 75% + (80%/4) = 95%

Spells that improve attempts to Dodge include Mobility, Mass Blur, and Song of Mirrors.

Evade DS bonus is increased by 50% against any ranged attacks (arrows, hurled, bolts), and there is no shield size penalty. It is possible to evade ranged attacks completely, though the chance of a successful evasion is less than the chance against melee attacks.

There is a 1% penalty to dodge DS for each 1% encumbered body weight.

Example: A character with a body weight of 200 lbs. and a defensive stance dodge DS of +100 will sustain a penalty of -1 DS for every 2 lbs. of encumbered weight. With 200 lbs. of encumbered weight, dodge DS will be zero. There is no additional penalty (negative dodge DS) when encumbrance is greater than total body weight.

Block

Blocking is using a shield to intercept an attack. Possessing a larger shield and training significantly in the Shield Use skill can raise the chance of a shield block, along with possessing greater strength and dexterity. Compared to a medium-sized shield, small shields give a -15% chance to block an attack, while large shields give a +15% bonus. Tower shields give a +30% bonus.

The odds for an outright Block are based on the defender's Shield Use ranks compared to the attacker's level. It is affected by stats, shield size, and stance.

A character with 1x shield training and a medium shield will block a like-level foe roughly 5% of the time in stance offensive. A character with 3x shield training and all other factors the same would have roughly a 15% chance to block that same attack.

Shield Defense Strength (DS) formula vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [Base Value] × [Shield Size Modifier] × [Stance Modifier] × (2/3) + 20 + [Shield Enchant Bonus]

where

     [Base Value] = [Shield Use Ranks] + ⌊STR / 4⌋ + ⌊DEX / 4⌋ (use Strength/Dexterity bonuses, not raw stats)

     [Shield Size Modifier] = 0.85 (small shield vs. melee); 1.00 (medium shields vs. melee); 1.15 (large shield vs. melee); 1.30 (tower shield vs. melee}

     [Stance Modifier] = 50% + (Stance / 2)

          Example: In Stance Guarded (Stance = 80%), the Shield DS stance modifier would be 50% + (80%/2) = 90%

Shield Defense Strength (DS) formula vs. ranged attacks (arrows, hurled weapons, and bolt spells):

     DS = ([Base Value] × [Ranged Shield Size Modifier] + [Shield Size Bonus]) × [Stance Modifier] × (2/3) + 20 + [Shield Enchant Bonus]

where

     [Ranged Shield Size Modifier] = 1.20 (small shield vs. ranged); 1.50 (medium shield vs. ranged); 1.80 (large shield vs. ranged); 2.10 (tower shields vs. ranged)

     [Shield Size Bonus] = -8 (small shield); 0 (medium); 8 (large); 16 (tower)

Parry

Parrying an attack is generally done with a weapon, and can be encouraged through training in that weapon's associated skill or skills. Increased strength and dexterity also contribute to success. Unlike other weapons, using a two-handed weapon increases success chances by 50%. Wielding two weapons at once also increases one's chances.

The odds for an outright parry are based on the defender's weapon ranks compared to the attacker's level. It is affected by stats, certain spells, and stance. A character with 2x weapon training would parry a like-level foe roughly 5% of the time in stance offensive.

One-Handed Weapons
Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, one-handed weapon vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [1H Base Value] × [1H Stance Modifier] + [Stance Bonus]

where

     [1H Base Value] = [Weapon Ranks] + ⌊STR / 4⌋ + ⌊DEX / 4⌋ + [Weapon Enchant Bonus]/2

     [1H Stance Modifier] = 20% + (Stance/2)

     [Stance Bonus] = Stance × 50

Two-Handed Weapons
Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, two-handed weapon vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [2H Base Value] × [2H Stance Modifier] + [Stance Bonus]

where

     [2H Base Value] = [Weapon Ranks] + ⌊STR / 4⌋ + ⌊DEX / 4⌋ + [Weapon Enchant Bonus]

     [2H Stance Modifier] = 30% + (Stance × 75%)

Polearms

For polearms gripped with one hand, use the one-handed weapon formula.

Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, two-handed polearm vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [2H Base Value] × [2HPole Stance Modifier] + [Stance Bonus] + [Polearm Bonus]

where

     [2HPole Stance Modifier] = 27% + (Stance × 67%)

     [Polearm Bonus] = 15 + (Stance × 65)

Two Weapon Combat

When wielding two weapons at once, the normal one-handed parry formula applies to the main hand weapon, and the off hand weapon provides an additional bonus based on Two Weapon Combat skill.

Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, offhand vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [Base Value] × [Offhand Stance Modifier}] + [Weapon Type Bonus]

where

     [Base Value] = [TWC Ranks] + ⌊STR / 4⌋ + ⌊DEX / 4⌋

     [Offhand Stance Modifier] = 10% + Stance/4

     [Weapon Type Bonus] = 5 (general weapons); 15 (sai or main gauche)

Ranged Weapons
Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, bow vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [Base Value] × [Ranged Stance Modifier] + [Stance Bonus] + [Bow Enchant Bonus]

where

     [Base Value] = [Ranged Ranks] + [Perception Ranks]/2 + [Ambush Ranks]/2

     [Ranged Stance Modifier] = 15% + Stance × 30% (short/composite/long bows)); 12% + Stance × 25% (light/heavy crossbows)

     [Stance Bonus] = Stance × 50

Ranged weapon users receive a small amount of DS vs. ranged attacks but the exact formula is not known. There is no stance bonus and only a small fraction of the weapon's enchant bonus is included.

Runestaves
Table: Runestaff Parry Ranks Conversion
Magic Ranks
per Level
Weapon Ranks
Conversion
Magic Ranks
per Level
Weapon Ranks
Conversion
1 Level × 0.15 9 Level × 1.10
2 Level × 0.30 10 Level × 1.20
3 Level × 0.45 11 Level × 1.30
4 Level × 0.60 12 Level × 1.35
5 Level × 0.70 13 Level × 1.40
6 Level × 0.80 14 Level × 1.45
7 Level × 0.90 15 Level × 1.50
8 Level × 1.00 16 Level × 1.55

Runestaves are a special defensive weapon handled by spellcasters. They can be swung at an opponent like a quarterstaff, but are not intended for offensive purposes. Runestaves are unique not only in that they can parry magical bolts and ranged weaponry directed at the user, but also that their defensive abilities are derived from how well-trained their holder is in the mystical arts. In the hands of an average warrior or rogue, a runestaff is little more than a pretty stick; when grasped by a talented mage, it can embody formidable defenses.

Any skill in magical arts will give one access to a runestaff's defensive benefits, but a total of 8 ranks of any magic skill per level will provide a defense equivalent to that derived from 1 rank of two-handed weapons skill per level. Higher amounts of magical skill will provide even more defense. There is no theoretical limit to the amount of defense that can be generated in this way.

Skills that contribute to runestaff defense: Arcane Symbols, Harness Power, Magic Item Use, Spell Aiming, Spell Research, Mana Controls, Lores.

Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, runestaff vs. melee attacks:

     DS = [Base Value] × [Staff Stance Modifier] × 1.5 + [Stance Bonus] + [Staff Enchant Bonus]

where

     [Base Value] = [Parry Ranks] + ⌊STR / 4⌋ + ⌊DEX / 4⌋

     [Parry Ranks] =

10 + 0.15 × [Magic Ranks], if magic ranks per level < 4
10 + (1 + 0.1 × ([Magic Ranks]/Level - 8)) × Level, if 4 ≤ magic ranks per level ≤ 11
10 + (1.3 + 0.05 × ([Magic Ranks]/Level - 11)) × Level, if magic ranks per level > 11

     [Staff Stance Modifier] = 20% + Stance/2

     [Stance Bonus] = Stance × 50

Parry Defense Strength (DS) formula, runestaff vs. ranged attacks:

     DS = ([Base Value] × [Staff Stance Modifier] × 1.5)/2 + [Stance Bonus]/2 + [Staff Enchant Bonus]/2

Attack vs. Defense (AvD)

Certain weapon types are more effective against a particular piece of armor than others, and some armor offers superior protection against a certain attack over others. Each combination of weapon type and armor type has an AvD rating associated with it, which is added directly to the combat roll. The higher this number is, the more likely it is that the attack will be a success.

Dice Roll (d100)

A visible random dice roll from 1 to 100 is used in determining the outcome of most combat situations. When attacking, a high dice roll increases the chances of success, and the opposite is true when attempting to defend against an attack. Due to factors outside of the dice roll, including other portions of the combat equation or Evade/Block/Parry, it is possible for a perfect 100 dice roll to still result in a miss.

Position & Status

Characters can maneuver themselves into four positions: lying, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Some spells and maneuvers can force a character into a lying or kneeling position, significantly hindering that character's ability to defend. Of all weapon practitioners, only crossbow archers benefit by kneeling, adding +30 to their attack.

Status ailments will generally hinder your character's ability to move or defend, and can quickly end an otherwise favorable fight. There are a number of status ailments in Elanthia: stun, silence, bleeding, and bound among them.

A character that is not standing up will have his or her DS and full offensive AS reduced by 50 points (unless using a crossbow). Sitting or kneeling will reduce chances to evade, block and parry by 25%. Being stunned or prone (lying down) reduces these chances by 50%. More serious incapacities can prevent evasion, blocking, and parrying abilities altogether, in addition to their other effects.

Attack Result

End Roll

With all of the relevant statistics compiled, the GemStone IV combat system displays the numeric attack detail. The attacker's AS, the AvD and the die roll are added, and the defender's DS is subtracted. (In case of warding attacks, CS, CvA, and die roll are added, and TD is subtracted.) If the result (the "end roll") is over 100, the attack succeeds; otherwise it misses or is deflected, etc.

Example: the end roll of this attack is 174:

You swing with a fist-scythe at a lesser orc!
AS: +109 vs DS: +44 with AvD: +39 + d100 roll: +70 = +174
  ... and hit for 20 points of damage!
  Wild slash scratches the back of the lesser orc's hand.
Roundtime: 5 sec.

Location

If an attack is successful, it deals damage to a random location on the defender's body. Players can AIM or AMBUSH an attack against a specific location, increasing the chance of hitting it, but doing so consistently requires extensive training in the Combat Maneuvers and Ambush skills and is mainly useful for characters above level 20. The ability to hit a location is also dependent on relative height.

When not aiming specifically at any location, the likelihood of hitting each body part against a defender of equal height is approximately as shown in the following table:

Location Chance
arms (either) 19.7%
legs (either) 16.5%
chest 14.7%
abdomen 12.1%
back 10.1%
hands (either) 9.0%
neck 7.4%
eyes (either) 5.3%
head 5.2%

This random roll resolves before taking the body type of the target into account. If the target does not have a particular body part, then an attack that would have hit the target area will deal the same amount of HP damage as if it possessed that body part using the same critical table and can still stun, but will not cause a wound or show any critical messaging. For example, ophidians (snakes) do not have limbs, so the 45% of unaimed attacks that normally hit arms, hands, and legs would only deal HP damage to them.

Damage

Main article: Standard damage calculation explained

The system takes the result of the successful attack roll and subtracts 100, then multiplies the weapon's damage factor to obtain the raw damage. Based on the raw damage and the armor type, the system then assigns critical damage with some minor random variation. The defender takes HP damage equal to the raw damage plus the critical damage, and suffers a wound to the specific body location based only on the critical damage and its type (for example, a slashing weapon will deal different criticals than a fireball).

Redux

Main article: Redux

Characters with extensive physical training may reduce the damage taken by a successful attack roll. This effect increases with training in physical skills and decreases when learning magical spells.

Warding Roll

Main article: Warding

Warding Rolls, or CS/TD Checks, are used for a subclass of magical attack spells. Unlike attack rolls, a warding roll does not depend on the attacker or defender's stance.

CS/TD Check

A typical warding roll looks like this:

You gesture at a hill troll.
A hill troll is suddenly surrounded by a circle of crystalline ice shards.
  CS: +186 - TD: +55 + CvA: +11 + d100: +19 == +161
  Warding failed!
The crystalline ice shards quickly orbit the troll, causing 24 points of damage!
   ... 15 points of damage!
   Icy blast to the head and the hill troll is reeling!
   The hill troll is stunned!

In warding roll, the attacker's Casting Strength (CS) is compared against the defender's Target Defense (TD), plus a Cast versus Armor (CvA) value based on the defender's armor. Finally, a random number from 1 to 100 (d100) is added to the result. If the final result is greater than 100, the attack is successful. The higher the result is, the more effective the attack will generally be.

Casting Strength is mainly based on the attacker's Spell Research and mental statistics. Aura is the governing statistic for Elemental spells, and Wisdom for Spiritual spells. Mental spells use a more varied system; for the currently implemented Minor Mental circle, the governing attack statistic is Logic.

Target Defense is mainly based on the defender's level, statistics, and protective magics, and can vary depending on whether the spell is Elemental, Spiritual, or Mental in nature. The defender's race may confer a bonus or penalty to specific types of spells.

Armor is the main (often the only) factor in CvA. Heavier armors are more protective (lower CvA values), making warding spells harder to land. Unlike with attack rolls, armor does not directly reduce damage taken if a warding spell successfully hits, aside from lowering the end result of the roll. However, special armor with padding or resistance to specific types of criticals may reduce damage in some cases.

Disabling Spells

If a warding spell is not intended to deal any direct damage but only inflicts a debilitating status effect, then in general the duration and magnitude of the effect depends on the end result of the warding roll. If the result only exceeds 100 by a small amount, the spell may have very little effect. For example, Sleep induces momentary drowsiness for lower results and only makes the target fully unconscious if the result is high enough.

A few spells such as Pious Trial take full effect as long as the end result is above 100.

Direct Damage Spells

Warding spells that deal direct damage work in a similar way to attack rolls: the end result, minus 100, is multiplied by a damage factor to obtain raw damage, and then separate critical damage is added to a random body location. However, there are many more modifiers specific to each spell, some of which are random, and players may see very different damage outcomes even with the same roll result.

Combat Maneuvers

Main article: Combat Maneuvers

Combat Maneuvers (CMAN) are physical utility skills that consume stamina. Players can attempt combat maneuvers with the appropriate CMAN or SHIELD training.

A typical combat maneuver looks like this:

You lunge forward at a plains orc shaman with your golvern shield and attempt a shield bash!
[Roll result: 192 (open d100: 81) Penalties: 5]
Terrific bash and a plains orc shaman flips end over end and lands on her head!
   ... 15 points of damage!
   Smack to the eye bursts blood vessels.
   The plains orc shaman is stunned!
Roundtime: 5 sec.

The roll result is obtained by adding an open d100 roll, a visible bonuses or penalties score based on transitory factors including wounds, encumbrance, and relative height difference between the attacker and defender, and a hidden skill modifier based mainly on CMAN training. If the result is greater than 100, then the maneuver is successful. The higher the result is, the more effective the maneuver will generally be.

An open roll is a random number which is likely to be between 1 and 100 but has a small chance of exceeding the bounds, with a 5% chance to be a negative number and a 5% chance to be greater than 100.

Encumbrance

Main article: Encumbrance

A factor of Strength, encumbrance is an expression of how weighed down a character is. Characters can be weighed down by carrying too much gear at once, but wearing armor that requires more advanced levels of armor training can also contribute to being encumbered. Encumbered characters will move slower and suffer from decreased resistance to enemy combat maneuvers.

Standard Maneuver Roll

Main article: Standard maneuver roll

Standard Maneuver Rolls (SMR) are used for a variety of situations. They are generally open d100 rolls with skill modifiers, but the roll result is not visible to the player.

Despite the similarity in name, they do not use the same resolution system as Combat Maneuvers.

A typical standard maneuver roll looks like this:

A gust of wind tugs at your sleeves. Suddenly, a fierce wind rips through the area, scattering everything in its path and making it difficult to remain standing.
The wind knocks you off your balance and you fall over.
Your arms are forced down to your sides!
Roundtime: 5 sec.

Physical Fitness is the primary factor in defending against standard maneuver rolls.

Unarmed Combat

Main article: Unarmed combat system

The Unarmed Combat (UAC) system is used for the melee moves JAB, PUNCH, KICK, and GRAPPLE. It is mainly useful for characters with extensive training in Brawling.

UAF/UDF/MM Check

A typical unarmed combat roll looks like this:

You attempt to jab a minotaur warrior!
You have good positioning against a minotaur warrior.
UAF: 540 vs UDF: 485 = 1.113 * MM: 84 + d100: 76 = 169
   ... and hit for 10 points of damage!
   Light punch to stomach makes the minotaur warrior gasp.
   Strike leaves foe vulnerable to a followup punch attack!
Roundtime: 3 sec.

The attacker's Unarmed Attack Factor (UAF) is compared against the defender's Unarmed Defense Factor (UDF). Unarmed combat computes the ratio (instead of the difference) between attack and defense. The ratio is then multiplied by a Multiplier Modifier (MM) based on the current combat situation. Finally, a random number from 1 to 100 (d100) is added to the result. If the final result is greater than 100, the attack is successful. The higher the result is, the more damaging the attack will generally be.

Unarmed Attack Factor is based primarily on the attacker's Brawling skill. It does not depend on the attacker's stance. Most effects that add to Attack Strength for AS/DS checks also add to UAF.

Unarmed Defense Factor is based primarily on defender's overall defensive ability, which does depend on their stance. Most effects that add to Defensive Strength for AS/DS checks also add to UDF.

The computed ratio between UAF and UDF is capped at 2.000.

Multiplier Modifier is based on the attacker's stance and various other transitory conditions. The average MM in offensive stance is 100.

Damage Calculation

On successful unarmed attacks, raw damage is calculated by taking the end result of the roll, subtracting 100, and multiplying by the Damage Factor of the type of attack. Additional critical damage is assigned based on positioning (decent, good, or excellent) and the defender's armor.

Equipment

While unarmed combat can be effective without any equipment, specialized gloves and boots can be used to enhance combat ability by carrying enchantment bonuses and other effects. These items can be identified with the INSPECT command:

You carefully inspect your leather gauntlets.
After a careful inspection you determine that some leather gauntlets are suitable for use in unarmed combat.

A number of brawling weapons can also be used for UAC. Holding brawling weapons in one or both hands increases the attacking damage factor but decreases MM.

Combat Commands

Ambush

Main article: AMBUSH

Ambushing an opponent can be done in several different ways. Many take advantage of the element of surprise by combining Ambush with Hiding, which can take a foe unawares and limit its ability to defend against a quick blow. Others utilize the skill in the open as a means of targeting their attacks. More training in the Ambush skill will allow a combatant to focus with ease on where his or her blows ought to land. High agility and/or dexterity will increase the speed of the ambush. More Ambushing skill relative to the target's level will result in decreased Defensive Strength (DS) for that target.

Multistrike

Main article: MSTRIKE

Multi-striking allows those skilled in Multi-Opponent Combat to unleash a flurry of blows at their enemies. At first, multi-striking is unfocused, meaning that it will attack multiple enemies in the immediate area if any are available. As one's proficiency with Multi-Opponent Combat grows, the ability to hit more opponents or to target a series of strikes against a single opponent will grow apace.

With 5 ranks of Multi-Opponent Combat skill, a character can attack two different creatures at once. Consult the chart below for additional strike thresholds.

5-14 Ranks: 2 swings
15-34 Ranks: 3 swings
35-59 Ranks: 4 swings
60-99 Ranks: 5 swings
100-154 Ranks: 6 swings
155+ Ranks: 7 swings

It is also possible to attack a single opponent multiple times with a focused strike. Two swings are possible at 30 ranks; Consult the chart below for additional strike thresholds.

30-54 Ranks: 2 swings
55-89 Ranks: 3 swings
90-134 Ranks: 4 swings
135-190 Ranks: 5 swings
190+ Ranks: 6 swings

Quickstrike

Main article: QSTRIKE

Quickstrike allows physical combat actions to be performed at a reduced roundtime (RT) for a stamina cost proportional to the amount of reduction and to the equipment involved, to a minimum of 1 second.

Guild Skills

The Rogue Guild and Warrior Guild of Elanthia currently offer training programs that afford their members special martial abilities. Some of these are more effective in combat than others, and a few mimic skills available to the general populace through training in Combat Maneuvers.

Society Powers

The Great Spirit Voln imbues his chosen servants with physical prowess to aid in their goal of turning back the ever-growing tide of Undeath. Some skills, such as Symbol of Holiness, may be used as an offensive weapon against the undead. Similarly, the Guardians of Sunfist are trained to combat the orcs, trolls, and giants of Elanthia, and can use sigils to confuse and intimidate these enemies. Society powers use a standard success resolution system that takes discipline and influence into account.

Companion Creatures

Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, Empaths, and Rangers all have companions at their command, but a ranger's animal companion can bring not inconsiderable trouble to that ranger's enemies. They will fight at a ranger's command.

Environmental Factors

Environment

Environment can be an important factor in determining the outcome of combat. For example, locations that are exceptionally dark will provide a bonus to the defenses of all combatants in the area, along with allowing stealthy adventurers to hide better. Icy winds around the Icemule tundra will cause wounds and can even stun adventurers who have been exposed for too long, and can turn the tide of a close battle.

Other, more arcane, effects may be observed in special areas. The ongoing mana storm around Darkstone Castle will devour spells placed on characters one at a time, and places of seismic instability may feature tremors that can knock an unwitting person off his or her feet.

Effect Spells

Some spells are used in combat that do not directly affect an opponent, but are nonetheless integral to combat. Elemental Waves can knock an opponent off his feet, while such potent and destructive magics as Implosion and Meteor Swarm can summon localized catastrophes to complicate--or end--a foe's life. Not all effect spells are so overt. Some, like Darkness, simply make it more difficult for combatants to hit one another.

Spellburst

Spellburst is a special environmental mechanic that comes into play in some higher-end leveling areas, including Old Ta'Faendryl, Temple Wyneb, and the Ruined Temple off Teras Isle. Spellburst penalizes players under the effects of too many beneficial spells outside of their profession's spell circles, causing damage or even death.

Training in Arcane Symbols and Magic Item Use can mitigate the damage caused by Spellburst, and sufficient training can negate its effects entirely.

Force on Force

Force on Force is a system that comes into play when a single character engages multiple opponents in the same room. Each same-level foe that attacks in short succession after the first will lower the character's stance by approximately one full level. Once the character's stance is pushed all the way down to stance offensive, Force on Force will begin eroding the character's defensive strength and ability to Evade, Block, and Parry.

Training in Multi-Opponent Combat can offset the negative effects of Force on Force. 10 ranks will remove one opponent from consideration in stance reduction, followed by one more foe at 25 and 45 ranks. One foe more is ignored every 25 ranks afterward.

There is a short grace period upon entering a room, during which a character will not be affected by Force on Force.

See Also

  • Health
  • Death's Sting
    • When a character dies, he or she is unable to move. Dead characters exist as a feeble spirit still bound to the character's corpse, and are unable to communicate beyond several emotes and the ability to speak or use certain Voln abilities. Dead characters lose access to thoughts as well, and will need to be reunited with their body through the services of a Cleric or a Paladin, or they will depart and be reborn through the grace of Lorminstra, Goddess of Death. This rebirth carries a heavy price.