Combat

Probably one of the most involved and complex parts of the game for any player will be combat. Because of this, it is beyond imperative that you read over and know the safety measures for the game along with all the safety terminology. If there was a section in this book that would be required for you to read over twice, this, and the safety section, would be it.

All characters know how to use almost every weapon they come across, save firearms, with no skill required. To add, all players can also fight with a dagger in their offhand. The main hand of a character
is defined as the prime attack hand and the weapon in that hand must be held in an attack stance.

Unarmed combat can also be accomplished by almost anyone. To represent unarmed combat the character would use claw-like phys-reps which will be defined later on in this chapter under unarmed combat. Blocking while unarmed will still inflict the set damage upon the target.

Melee Combat
Damage must be called with each and every swing for it to count. This is called a tagline, and is an out-of-play formality to inform other player’s what is happening on an out-of-play level. Characters are not actually shouting out these taglines as they engage in combat. In melee, all combat taglines will consist of three things: damage amount, damage type, and damage effect. Damage amount is the amount of damage you deal. This will normally be the base damage for said weapon along with any bonus that might be added on. There are three different types of damage that are most commonly used. These include slashing, blunt, and piercing.

The most common effect that will be heard will be normal, but do not be surprised if you hear magic, silver, or some other effect used. With that being explained, an under-proficient human that picks up a standard ordinary short sword (base damage 2) would call “2, slashing, normal”. It is typically okay to switch around your effect and type in your tagline for what is more comfortable for you to say. So, using the example above, one could also call “2, normal, slashing”.Typically it’s easiest to call damage first.

Each tagline must be called out clearly and loud enough for the defender to hear it. If you are swinging so fast that you cannot keep up with your damage being called then that should tell you that you are swinging too fast. This is typically called “machine gunning” and is uncalled for and highly frowned upon. If you are seen doing this too many times you will be given a warning about your combat behavior and be dealt with accordingly. The defender also has the right to only count all “machine gunned” hits as just one hit.

So in melee combat, what constitutes a hit? If you swing at an enemy and the enemy parries with his own weapon, but the force of the impact is strong enough that you still connect with a leg or body does that count as a hit? No, that would be considered a block and the attack may be swinging way too hard.

What if you are using an axe to swing with and an enemy thrusts a weapon out to block it, but they only hit the hilt of the axe and not the blade, yet the blade still makes contact? Would that be a hit or block? As above, it would be considered a block but could happen more often due to the large size of an axe head.

During the course of a stab, if someone pushes the weapon out of its original course, but it strikes a legal area, does it count? Yes. For thrusts you need to 100% parry the attack for it to not count as a hit. Thrusts are by far the hardest attacks for LARPers to parry, but they also leave the attacker wide open for an attack if they do not know what they are doing. Also note that holding a weapon next to you (as in against your body) and saying it is blocking does not count. In other words you can totally call out someone for just holding a weapon against their side and doing a shield style full body block. This is called “no-effort” blocking.

“Push-through” shots are considered blocks, but if you throw a shot that
simultaneously connects with a weapon and the body, is it considered blocked? As they say in Risk: tie goes to the defender. In that case you would not take the damage. Defense, for the sake of a definable rule system, must be given a clear definition: if you block the weapon in some way (when pertaining to swinging/slashing attacks) it pretty much stops the damage. The exceptions are the above outlined “no effort” blocking which is basically putting your defensive weapon next to your body to stop hits and a few other cases. You need to actively block the blow for it to be a block and actually make the block before it hits you (in a swinging/slashing situation)

Does this count if the weapon is resting against an arm? For example, if I’m holding a sword backwards so that the blade goes down, instead of up, and the blade rests against the defender’s forearm; could that sword be used to block being supported by the arm? Your arm is part of your body; thus that maneuver would not be a block and would be considered a hit. If you wish to block weapons like that we suggest a small buckler shield or the like. They work wonderfully. If you want to hold your defensive offhand weapon upside-down and block with it, it needs to be actively blocking not held against your forearm.

The biggest thing to remember in combat is it’s based on the honor system; and though everyone needs to be combat marshaling each other it rarely happens. The rule of thumb at most LARPs, and I would like to think at this one as well, is just take your damn hits. The game is no fun if you are invincible, so don’t be. If you are thinking to yourself, “did that hit me” then just take the damage. Most people have no idea how much damage they soak in combat. If we were to dedicate people to full combat marshaling a field battle, I promise you we would have more than a few pissed off people agreeing that they did not get hit. This isn’t because they are trying to bend the rules or live forever, it’s just because in the heat of battle a lot of people cannot keep up with it. We don’t want conflict or on-field debates about what hit you and what didn’t, but a good sport would normally take the most obvious route and take every blow they pretty much question.

Ranged Combat
Close quarters combat is not the only way to deal with foes in Xadune. A large variety of ranged attacks are available for a character to choose from including bows, firearms, spells, throwing knives, acid vials, explosives and even science induced projectile weapons. Regardless of the origin, they all have rules that make them special to the game, and so each will be addressed here. The first major difference in ranged weapons is how you call your tagline. With a ranged weapon you only have a two part tagline which consists of the damage and type. However, if you wish to add your effect in as well you may. Despite where an arrow, bolt, or other thrown weapon hits an opponent it will deal full damage.

Blocking a ranged weapon of this type is only possible with a shield, combat ability, or similar. Using a weapon to bat the projectile out of the way will only result in the opponent still taking the damage, so it’s recommended you get out of the way rather than try to play baseball. Also along those lines, it is frowned upon to step on and break arrows, bolts, or the like. Accidents happen, but please refrain from doing it on purpose. Ranged projectiles should also be treated as all other weapons in regards to relieving a character of them: if you take them in-play, please still return the out-of-play phys-rep to the owner.

Definition: Phys-rep; Slang or short for Physical Representation. Most often referring to a weapon or item but can also extend to your character if you (the
player) are doing one thing OOP while your character is, for example, sleeping in the cabin. Weapon phys-reps are the actual real life items, not the tag. So if you are asked for the phys-rep of said item you need to produce the actual item. In the case of character phys-reps, it means what physical representation you left behind to show that your PC is there (i.e.: a roll of blankets and pillows obviously labeled as your sleeping PC with your equipment and so on with it). It should go without saying that all items on a character should be represented. If you are ever asked by a Staff member to display the items on you and their phys-rep and you are lacking said phys-reps the items will be stripped from you. Repeated violations of this will result in some type of punishment.

Firearms for the most part are treated the same as the weapons mentioned above, but with the exception that normal shields do not block the piercing damage that firearms deal. Though there are exceptions… Another difference between firearms and all other types of ranged attacks is that, when calling damage with a firearm, you must scream or yell the combat tagline. This is to represent the effect of using a firearm which, just as in real life, are loud and draw attention. Firearms are also the only weapon that require a skill to use fully. Without the Firearm combat ability one can do nothing more than pull a trigger on a firearm; no loading, cocking, or arming. If nothing happens when the trigger is pulled — nothing happens. If you do not have the appropriate skills your character will not know what to do with the firearm. The most common representation for a bullet will be a small foam projectile. A player is required to make sure that all of the bullets their character has on them are represented in a phys-rep form. If you are ever asked by a Staff member to display the items on you and their phys-rep and you are lacking said phys-reps the items will be stripped from you. Repeated violations of this will result in some type of punishment. Avoiding this unpleasantness is simple: always have all the phys-reps on you for all the bullets you are carrying tags for.

Definition: Tag; Tags are actual pieces of paper that have items, descriptions, or abilities on them. Every item that has an effect in the game should be tagged. Tags and phys-reps often work hand-in-hand: weapons have tags and phys-reps for example. In the case of items being taken, tags go with the phys-reps.

Acids, gases, explosives, and other similar attacks are often represented by a packet or foam phys-rep. Green packets will be the only representation for these types of attacks (all phys-reps for these attacks should be labeled to help in identifying their effects). When throwing these types of attacks, the tagline will reflect the accompanying attacks. For example, a vial of acid that deals 10 points of damage will be called out as “10 Acid”; just as a bomb of rather large size might be called out as “25 explosive”. For the most part any contact with these types of attacks will count as a hit, requiring the opponent to take full damage and effect of the attack. Use of a shield to block these effects will vary in usefulness from effect to effect, but for the most part will still constitute a hit. Refer to the shield section for more information on the effectiveness of a shield. Along those lines, unlike arrows and bolts, vials, gases, and explosives are fully in-play and as such unused ones can be stolen in-play. However, it is asked that used phys-reps be returned to the original owner just like you would an arrow or bolt. In other words: be polite, return “used” phys-reps back to their rightful owner OOP.

Bullets & alchemies rely heavily on the honor system of players to keep the balance. After the use of said items, players should pull or mark tags and sheets appropriately. Staff will also do routine checks of players that use said items, so do not be offended if you are ever asked to account for your items. If a player is reported as cheating when it comes to the use of bullets & alchemies they will be watched carefully by Staff. In short, keep on the level, and do not cheat. You will be caught in time and it will not have been worth it, trust me.

Lastly, it should be noted that most ranged weapons are fragile in comparison to their stouter melee weapon brothers. Because of this, most normal ranged weapons have a lower tolerance level than melee weapons. Firearms have a tolerance of 4, while bows and crossbows have a tolerance of 3. A Tolerance is a base amount of damage that must be exceeded in a single attack in order to affect the item in question (normally breaking it).

Magic is represented in Xadune with spell packets. Spell packets will appear in any color except green (which is used to solely represent certain alchemical
attacks). Though spell packets cannot be stolen, they can be seen in the game world and noted as some form of magical energy. Some spells will require a long incantation, others will not. Regardless of if they do or not, a incantation will be given that will name the spell and effect. All effect causing ranged spells will be considered a hit upon the opponent if it hits them in any way or form. The only exception to this are spells that deal physical damage. That said any type of invention or spell that deals any type of physical damage can possibly be blocked via shield. This also includes most ranged attacks from creatures that cause physical damage such as flaming attacks, venoms, and the sort.

Shields
Well we danced around the subject enough, let’s talk about shields. Like all weapons, save firearms, for a character to use a shield only requires them to pick it up and hold it. Shields are highly effective in combat as additional protection. But shields are not all powerful: every shield has a tolerance level. Because of this it is required that shields be made or held in a fashion that they can be removed quickly. Though there are many variables to what the tolerance level of a shield is, we will only address the common types here:

Normal Shield Tolerance Level: 9
Fine Crafted Shield Tolerance Level: 17
Master Crafted Shield Tolerance Level: 30

So, if you have a normal shield and it is hit by any type of strike that does 10 points of damage or more it is destroyed. Shields are capable of blocking the following effects. It is the responsibility of the shield bearer to know what they can block. If it is not listed here, it cannot be blocked by your typical shield.
Slashing & Blunt
Explosive*
Venoms
Magical Damages***
Acids*
Physical Elemental Damages**
Gazes
*: Though shields can protect the bearer from the effects of acid or explosions they still take the effects of the acid or explosive and are normally rendered useless after such attack as acid do x10 damage to shields and explosives utterly destroy them.
**: These are attacks such as “10 flaming”, “5 lightning”, or “50 ice”. But not elemental effect attacks such as “freezing petrifaction” or “flaming inferno”.
***: Such as the “10 magic” spell attack, or “5 body” spell attack. But not including the “mental” tagline.

The tolerance level of the shield can often be breached via these attacks making them a one-time defense. It should also be noted that shields have a maximum size they can be for a PC. The max size for a shield is varied by the user: The length of the underside of your arm (from armpit to fingertip).

Killing Blows
As we learned earlier, beating an opponent down will only take them to “bleeding to death” status. But, if one wishes to truly take out an opponent he must finish the job. Doing so requires a killing blow. In delivering a killing blow, the opponent is taken straight to dead status. In melee, a killing blow is delivered to an opponent by placing a weapon to alchemy is used it is expended in this use. Also of note is the point that a ranged killing blow does not have to be centered on the chest or back, but can be achieved by hitting any part of the chest or back. The final way a killing blow can be achieved is via spell. A killing spell is a simple cantrip all mages know. This spell packet delivered attack is delivered just as a ranged killing blow where it takes effect as long as it hits the target in the chest or back. The creature being Killing Spelled still needs to be either subdued or unconscious in order for it to take effect. If you just randomly throw a Killing Spell at a person walking by they have all the right to say “no effect” and then light up your world. Killing spells typically cost 1 skill point for low level casters.

Definition: Cantrip; A cantrip is a generic lower levelmagical incantation that all mages (people with at least Divine or Arcane Magic lv.1) can perform. Killing Spell cantrips are always a minimum of eight words long; no matter what level the caster.

Searching Your Kills
Most of you will want to search your kills; I mean who doesn’t like loot? There are a few ways to go about doing this. The first and easiest is to say to the player of the creature just killed or incapacitated “Searching”, and being a ten count for searching (Searching 10, Searching 9, ect.). After which, if the creature had anything on it, they will hold it in their hand, not hand it to you. It is the searcher’s responsibility to watch the creature being searched and to obtain the loot, not the creature’s to hand it to you. Sometimes (most often with PCs and NPCs) you will be asked to define your search. In these cases you are required to name the areas you would search just as if you were physically searching them (such as “right pants pocket,” or the “green pouch”).

Lastly, in some situations, when searching you will be told to “do it”. In this case you actually need to physically search the creature in question. Refusal to actually search the creature (in an appropriate manner) means you didn’t search the creature. Creatures that award XP will not hand the XP tag over to whoever searches it. Instead the tag will only be handed over to the person who delivered the killing blow. It is not the creature’ responsibility to locate or find the person who killing blowed them if said person walks away. Most often, if the tag is not collected after being killing blowed it will just be recycled for a later encounter.

So what happens when you loot another PC? How does it work when you loot their weapon? Idealistically the searched player needs to hand over their weapons. For the most part you need to give the weapon back to the player at the appropriate time (during some down time in the game but no later than the end of game call) on an out-of-play level. What this means is you give back the physical representation of the weapon, but you get to keep the tag for the weapon. Realistically, most people will not want to hand over their weapons; which is understandable and acceptable. At the time of searching the tag and safety tag for the weapon needs to be handed over to the searcher. A white headband should also then be tied around the weapon to represent it is no longer there. In-play the searcher has said weapon, but you need to be able to produce a physical representation to be able to use it. The only exception to this is “special and/or magical weapons”. This is important to note with firearms as well. It is the player’s responsibility to produce a newly acquired firearm phys-rep. It should also be noted that gunslingers may wish to have an out-of-play backup of a firearm for them to purchase or build if their primary firearm is lost. All Staff or Plot acquired weapons need to be returned to them as quickly as possible unless they are magical or special in nature. If you ever have questions about returning a phys-rep, please see a Staff member. They will be happy to return it for you if you wish to be unknown. And yes, this means player owned items that become special or magical in-play are then made property of the game in a way. If you want to be able to identify your “special and/or magical weapon” that has been stolen you need to let it go. If you want that “special and/or magical weapon” phys-rep back you are foregoing the look of said item and it will be unidentifiable to you forever; thus meaning if you meet person A with newly phys-repped “special and/or magical weapon” you have no idea, proof, or ability to ever say it was once yours.

Using Weapons: Almost every weapon (save Firearms) can be picked up by your character and used in some way or another. All characters are also able to fight with a dagger in their off fighting hand.

Calling Damage: All melee weapons require that you call a full, three part tagline in order for the damage and effects to be taken; all ranged weapons require a two part tagline. If the tagline is not clearly stated, it does not count. Taglines consist of three parts: damage, type, & effect (3, slashing, normal = standard long sword tagline; 4, PIERCE, NORMAL = standard small arm). You are allowed to switch around all three parts to find a combination you are comfortable with. Lastly remember that taglines are an out-of-play formality; you do not know in-play they exact damage or type of damage they are calling.

Swings & Hits: Melee attacks need to be pulled back 45 degrees at minimum but no more than 90 degrees for the hit to count. Additionally attacks to the hands, head, and genital areas will not count if the opponent does not wish to count the hit. Alternatively, ranged attacks count as a hit no matter where they make contact, though it is highly encouraged that players still try to not aim for illegal melee hit areas.

Weapon & Shield Tolerances: Tolerance is the bulk amount of damage an item can take before being rendered useless. All melee weapons have a fairly large tolerance (30 when used in normal means, i.e.: combat), though spells and effect can break them. For the most part, melee weapons do not worry about breaking from exceeding the tolerance level. Shields, bows and crossbows, and firearms do however have to worry about this. All items have a tolerance level, and once surpassed in a single blow, said items are destroyed.

Shields: Are useful for melee combat, but do not block damage from bullets. They also add limited protection against explosions, acids, and other special attacks but have a tolerance level so watch out for large damage attacks.

Killing Blows: Melee weapons require a slow 3 second count to deliver a killing blow, while ranged attacks require a killing blow attack or spell. Ranged, melee, and spell killing blows need to hit anywhere on the chest or back. The target must be subdued (unconscious or at dead status) for the killing blow to take effect.

Lastly Noted Important Information
There are a few last things that pertain to this section that should be noted that have not been yet:

– Spells, like all other forms of attacks, are visible in effect. Additionally, spell packets in a person’s hand are visible and seen as an energy emittance from the person’s hand. Color would vary based on the color of the packet.

– Touch-based spells can be either physically touch-based (with player permission), but are more acceptably done through an unarmed phys-rep. To represent this, a player needs to use a min length dagger phys-rep (17 inches) without the hilt. And yes, one could “punch” a touch-based spell causing “one, blunt, normal” damage plus the correct spell by using an unarmed phys-rep.

– All firearm ammunition, like all other ranged weapon ammo, should be specialized or marked so the player can distinguish their ammo from another player’s.

– Procuring Weapons: At one point or another you will have in your possession a weapon that does not belong to you. It is asked that on an out-of-play level you get these weapons back to the rightful owner and
strip it of its safety tag. Ranged weapon projectiles should be left alone or quickly returned to their owner. Do not hoard or hide ranged weapon projectiles, just like a boffer wrench is expensive, so are foam projectiles.

– To represent a weapon on you that is not in-play it should be wrapped with a white headband to denote that it is out-of-play.

– All weapons need to have a safety tag on them. No safety tag means the weapon does not exist, and is not considered a safe weapon. Do not use a weapon without a tag, doing so could be considered a violation of safety and could result in some form of punishment. Safety tags are assigned to weapons before or during game via a weapon marshal.

– Wee weapons are useable only by wee creatures. These weapons will be denoted by a green cloth tied to the hilt of the weapon or a green safety tag.

– The game can provide melee weapons to new players or players whose personal weapons might have become unsafe, but unfortunately not for ranged weapons and firearms. It should be said that it is also the player’s responsibility to provide packets for themself, not the game’s. Also, we will be happy to let you borrow a weapon for a game or two but you need to be able to provide yourself with a weapon after a few events. Same goes for borrowing a weapon due to your own becoming unsafe. We want to make sure 100% safe weapons are out there. If yours slips below standards, we will be happy to provide one for you until yours can get fixed or replaced. But, it should be done in a timely manner.