Unarmed combat system

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The Unarmed Combat System encompasses a unique combat style which features four types of attacks: Jab, Punch, Kick and Grapple. This system replaces Voln fu (Kick, Punch and Throw), which is now obsolete, as the primary unarmed attack method used against Undead creatures. Unarmed combat attacks are not, however, limited to the undead. They can be used against all creatures and characters.

This system is officially abbreviated UCS (Unarmed Combat System), however, sometimes it is still called UAC (UnArmed Combat) among players.

Effectiveness with unarmed combat depends significantly upon a character's brawling skill. Although similar to AS/DS in its functionality, unarmed combat replaces melee and ranged weapons with the hands and feet, and AS/DS mechanics with Unarmed Attack Factor (UAF)/Unarmed Defense Factor (UDF) and Multiplier Modifier (MM).

Note: Professions that can 2x train each level in brawling are Bards, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues and Warriors.

Combat Tiers

There are three attack tiers (DECENT, GOOD, EXCELLENT) available when using unarmed combat. Progressing from a lower to higher tier will depend on the preceding attack's tier, the target's current vulnerability to a particular follow-up attack and a bit of luck, plus other factors. Ordinarily, an initial attack will start at Tier I. Higher tiers have the potential for increased damage and more debilitating status effects including fatal criticals. Combat messaging will indicate the current tier and, at times, indicate an effective subsequent attack type.

A character's UCS status with a given foe has a duration of 2 minutes, which refreshes with each subsequent attack on the target, successful or not.


The initial strike is a Tier I: Jab (indicated by DECENT positioning) which leaves the target susceptible to a follow-up Punch attack. As shown in the messaging below the second attack (punch) progressed to a Tier II with GOOD positioning message. Tier III attacks will have EXCELLENT positioning in the combat messaging panel.

You attempt to jab a kobold!
You have decent positioning against a kobold.
UAF: 38 vs UDF: 24 = 1.583 * MM: 100 + d100: 39 = 197
... and hit for 10 points of damage!
Solid shot to the back.
Strike leaves foe vulnerable to a followup punch attack!
Roundtime: 3 sec.
R>pun kob
You attempt to punch a kobold!
You have good positioning against a kobold.
UAF: 38 vs UDF: 24 = 1.583 * MM: 100 + d100: 64 = 222
... and hit for 66 points of damage!
Rotating backhand cleanly snaps tibia!
The kobold crumples to a heap on the ground and dies.

These openings for a "tier-up" will persist until the character successfully connects with that UCS attack (causing the tier-up), the character intentionally attacks the foe with a UCS attack other than the one specified, or the game stops tracking the character's UCS status with the foe (after two minutes of not fighting it). Automatic and unintentional strikes of the wrong kind, such as a riposte from the Stance of the Mongoose or a jab on a secondary foe from Flurry of Blows, will not remove an existing opening but may replace it with a new opening.

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Critical Injuries

UCS attacks have the potential to cause both health point loss and wounds (commonly referred to as critical injuries).

Each unarmed attack type (kick, punch, grapple and jab) has an associated critical table (Kick critical table (UCS), Punch critical table (UCS), Grapple critical table (UCS) and Jab critical table (UCS) with descriptive messaging, hitpoint damage values, injury levels and other status effects. Each table is divided into nine primary body locations and further subdivided into twelve critical ranks ranging from 0 to 11.

Unlike the AS/DS combat system which uses a relatively simple method for determining the possible critical rank outcomes, UCS is more complex and less understood. What is known is that both endroll and positioning are the major factors. In addition to these two factors, the critical rank outcome is also affected by the defender's armor, critical weighting/padding, crit rank randomization (see randomization note below).

Maximum Critical Rank

All UCS attacks are executed from 1 of 3 positions (Decent, Good, Excellent). Each position determines the critical rank range. Higher endrolls will increase the likelihood of a higher critical rank within each range but even extraordinarily high endrolls and/or critical weighting cannot push a critical beyond the maximum for that position. The exception to this is an attack with a very low success margin which may result in rank 0 critical.

The ranges for each position are as follows:

  • Tier 1 (Decent positioning): Rank 1 to 5
  • Tier 2 (Good positioning): Rank 4 to 8
  • Tier 3 (Excellent positioning): Rank 7 to 11

E.g., an attack from GOOD positioning (Combat Tier 2) will have a critical outcome range of rank 4 to rank 8. Attacks from this position are capped at rank 8 regardless of any other factors.

Note: UCS critical randomization is not the same as AS/DS randomization. With sufficiently high endrolls and/or critical weighting, the critical rank outcome will be very heavily weighted toward the maximum rank.

Minimum Endrolls

The table below lists the minimum endroll (ER) requirements to inflict a critical and activate weighting for each armor group. Endrolls less than these thresholds will result in Rank 0 criticals regardless of the attacker's positioning (decent, good, excellent) or the attack type (jab, grapple, punch, kick).

Armor Group Minimum Endroll
Cloth 112
Leather 115
Scale 118
Chain 121
Plate 124

Example (jab attack):

You have good positioning against a direbear.
UAF: 398 vs UDF: 335 = 1.188 * MM: 85 + d100: 20 = 120
... and hit for 1 point of damage!
Weak jab to chest doesn't faze him.

A 120 ER vs a direbear with natural chain hauberk (ASG 16) equivalent armor is insufficient to cause a rank 1 critical since the chain armor group threshold is ER 121 for critical damage.

Status Conditions

In addition to injury, each critical may also inflict specific status conditions aside from stun or knockdown:

Status Condition Message
Silenced Target chokes, momentarily unable to speak!
Dazed Target appears dazed and unsure.
Unconscious Target goes limp as it is rendered unconscious!
Slowed Target appears to be moving more slowly!
Crippled Target starts to favor its wounded arm!

Damage Factors

The table below includes the Damage Factors (DF) for the four unarmed combat attack types.

For UCS attacks the damage factor is based on the torso armor's covered areas. A target wearing light leather (AsG 5) will have the UCS (jab/punch/grapple/kick) leather DF for torso (chest/back/abdomen) areas and the cloth DF for all other body locations. These DF's are not affected by armor accessories. This also applies to creatures whose skin acts as pseudo-armor. A UCS attack, against a target in partial armor coverage, will have one of two possible DFs depending on the body location's armor coverage.


Kick DFs vs dark orc in double chain (torso/arm coverage).

A kick to the chest/back/abdomen/arms/hands will have a 0.250 DF (chain)
A kick to the head/neck/eyes/legs will have a 0.300 DF (scale)

Attack Type AG Cloth Leather Scale Chain Plate Base RT Min RT Damage Type
Jab DF .100 .075 .060 .050 .040 2 2 Jab
Punch DF .275 .250 .200 .170 .140 3 3 Punch
Grapple DF .250 .200 .160 .120 .100 3 3 Grapple
Kick DF .400 .350 .300 .250 .200 4 4 Kick
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UCS attacks have the same base and minimum roundtimes (RT). Encumbrance can increase these roundtimes. The encumbrance penalty is 1 sec. additional RT for each 5% encumbered body weight. The combined AGI/DEX bonuses will reduce the RT penalty as follows: Combined bonus 8 (-1 RT), 23 (-2 RT), 38 (-3 RT), 53 (-4 RT), 68 (-5 RT). Roundtime cannot be reduced to less than its minimum.

Attack Type RoundTime
Jab 2 seconds
Punch 3 seconds
Grapple 3 seconds
Kick 4 seconds
Kai's Smite 4 seconds

Weapons Compatible with Unarmed Combat

The following brawling weapons are suitable for use with the unarmed combat system (UCS). They DO NOT funtion as ordinary melee weapons when used with jab, punch, and grapple attacks. Their damage factors, AvDs and damage types (slash, puncture, crush) do not apply. They primarily serve as an equipment platform for enchant bonus, flares and weighting etc. However, their use does add a bonus to the attack's damage factor and a penalty to the multiplier modifier.

Brawling Weapon DF Bonuses and MM Penalties

Each of the approved-for-use brawling weapons that function with Jab, Punch and Grapple attacks have innate Damage Factor (DF) bonuses and Multiplier Modifier (MM) penalties. These special properties only activate with the Jab, Punch and Grapple commands. Kick attacks are unaffected by these held weapons.

Note: When used in unarmed combat it is more appropriate to think of these weapons as equipment that attach to the actual weapons - the adventurer's hands.

A character is not limited to single weapon use. They can be dual-wielded in any combination. For example, two razorpaws or a razorpaw and a tiger-claw can be held simultaneously. When dual-wielding, the DF and MM values of each are simply added together. The DF bonus calculation is (Weapon1 DF + Weapon2 DF) and the MM penalty is (Weapon1 MM penalty + Weapon2 MM penalty).

Example: A character holding both a razorpaw and tiger-claw will have a DF bonus of .100 (.025 + .075) and an MM penalty of -20. This is the same bonus/penalty as two knuckle-blades. The DF bonuses are added to the normal jab, punch and grapple DFs shown in the Damage Factor section of this article.

Weapon DF Bonus (Single) DF Bonus (Dual) MM Penalty (Single) MM Penalty (Dual)
Cestus .025 .050 -5 -10
Paingrip .025 .050 -5 -10
Razorpaw .025 .050 -5 -10
Knuckle-blade .050 .100 -10 -20
Knuckle-duster .050 .100 -10 -20
Yierka-spur .075 .150 -15 -30
Tiger-claw .075 .150 -15 -30
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Equipment (UCS Gloves and Boots etc)

While there is no requirement to wear any equipment, unarmed combat effectiveness can be improved by taking advantage of specially created hand (gauntlets, handwraps, gloves, etc.) and foot coverings (boots, footwraps, sandals, etc.). Valid nouns for shoes and gloves are available in the list of alternative weapon names. Messaging with the INSPECT (verb) will verify if the item is an article of clothing, or suitable for use in unarmed combat.

>inspect gaunt
You carefully inspect your leather gauntlets.

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

These items are available in various town shops. (eg., Tykel's Arms in Wehnimer's Landing, Ta'Vaalor Weaponry in Ta'Vaalor). The backroom in Tykel's Arms has 4x (+20 enchant bonus) gear, as does the stout hoarbeam cart and wide mithril-banded cart (brawling weapons) in Dwarven Circle in Icemule Trace. A complete list can be located at Town purchasable UCS gear.

Weapon users can have special properties (enchantments, flares, weighting, e-blading, blessing) added to their weapons. This is not possible for UCS practioners because the hands and feet are the actual weapons. The primary function of UCS hand/foot coverings is to serve as a platform for adding these special effects.

Enchant bonuses added to UCS hand equipment add parry DS equal to that of one-handed weapons. Enchant bonuses added to UCS foot equipment do not add to DS at all.

Hand/Foot Equipment Penalties

There are no penalties associated with UCS compatible WORN items. UCS Multiplier Modifier (MM) penalties only apply to HELD items. Any held item, including UCS compatible brawling weapons, will reduce MM values. The actual reduction depends on the particular item. Although there is no penalty for worn items, there are times when a special effect will not activate. For example, e-bladed gloves will not activate when attacking undead creatures; the enchantment bonus on gloves will not activate against undead unless the gloves are blessed.

Armor Penalty

Wearing heavy armor penalizes UCS attacks. The penalty, which is equal to 1/4 the armor's Action Penalty (AP), is applied as a reduction to the attacker's Multiplier Modifier(MM).


Unarmed Combat users with sufficient training in the Multi Opponent Combat skill may use MSTRIKE with the same training thresholds as melee multi-strike requirements for both unfocused (multi-target) and focused (same-target) versions. The type of attack should be specified, as in MSTRIKE GRAPPLE or MSTRIKE KICK [target].

The specified attack is not necessarily used on each individual strike. Instead, the following rules apply:

  1. If a tier-up strike is pending against the target, use that type of attack.
  2. If the character currently has decent ("tier one") positioning against the target, use JAB. If this is the first jab against this particular target during this MSTRIKE invocation, it does not count for the purposes of total allowed strikes.
  3. If the character has good ("tier two") positioning against a target, use the attack type that was specified at the start.
  4. If the character has excellent ("tier three") positioning against a target, use the attack type that was specified at the start, unless the specified attack type was JAB, in which case choose a random attack from PUNCH, GRAPPLE, and KICK instead.

The ASSESS verb lists ones unarmed position against all foes in the area, via ASSESS UNARMED.


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