Combat Rules

Section I: Initiative And Turn Sequencing

At the start of combat, the very first thing that each participant does is rolls for initiative, to determine who acts when during each round. Initiative is determined by rolling a d10. As with most rolls in Omen: the Foreshadowed Lands, low rolls are better than high ones, and characters act from lowest to highest initiative. Hosts may choose to group certain initiative numbers so that more than one person can type their actions simultaneously. Your event’s host will let you know how they are organizing initiative numbers in their event.

Should you be fortunate enough (and quick enough) to have a modified initiative below 1, you have gotten the jump on the enemy with your blinding speed, and you may take an immediate action before normal turn sequencing starts. Once you have taken this bonus turn, your initiative score is considered to be 1 for every round thereafter.

Section II: Actions On Your Turn

When it is your character’s turn, in addition to moving your normal movement speed, you may take one of several actions. Your available actions for the turn are:
-Attack with a weapon in hand or an unarmed strike.
-Cast a spell, prayer, or bardsong.
-Ready a weapon or shield, preparing it for combat.
-Manipulate part of the environment (unlock and open a chest, grab a goblet off of a nearby table, etc)

Actions like talking or determining if you know something about your enemy (with Creature Lore, Sense Motive, etc.) are considered “free” and do not consume your normal action. Note that, as a round is approximately 10 seconds long, giving a grandiose speech may be outside the realm of one round’s action.

Most actions can be completed in one turn. If you are taking an action that requires several turns, the host will let you know if you can abandon the action midway, and whether doing so preserves or eliminates any progress that you made in performing it.

The most notable actions that cannot be completed in a single turn are spells. A spell’s casting time tells you how many full rounds you must spend casting the spell before the spell’s effect fires. In other words, the spell’s casting time is the number of rounds that everyone else gets before your spell takes effect. Spells complete at the beginning of your turn, and you may take any action that you wish on that turn.

EXAMPLE: Michalis Swifteye wishes to rain fire on his foes, and prepares casting a Fireball, with a casting time of 2 rounds. He makes his concentration check and succeeds. Each other combatant will receive two actions, going through the normal initiative sequence, and then Michalis’ Fireball will go off at the start of his second turn after he began casting it. He may then spend that turn casting another spell, or using a Force Bolt, or performing any other action that he wishes

Section III: Action Resolution

Once you have decided on your course of action, it’s time to throw some dice down. If the action that you are performing is simple and routine (grabbing an item off of a table, drawing a weapon on your belt), it will require no roll. Otherwise, you will need to pass a check to determine if you can perform the action successfully.

Attacking, casting spells, or using skills requires a d100 roll, and you will succeed if the result of that roll is equal to or less than your hit value, concentration score, or skill rating.

Some actions require ability checks to succeed. An ability check is a d25 roll, and you will succeed if the result of that roll is equal to or less than your score in the relevant ability.

If you have succeeded at attacking a target, it will receive a chance to slip out of the way, block your strike with its shield, or otherwise prevent you from doing damage to it. This evade roll is a d100 check, just like an attack. A roll that is equal to or less than the target’s evade rating means that the target has evaded your blow, and you deal no damage.

Should you successfully strike a target, you will roll damage for your weapon. Make sure to include relevant bonuses from your core statistics (Strength for melee, Dexterity for ranged), as well as any skill and weapon bonuses. Your target will be able to soak this damage, reducing it by a percentage equal to its soak rating. The remaining damage is rounded and applied to the target’s hit points.
Example: Lauryl tears into a ghoul with her silver scimitar. Her base damage roll of 1d6 results in a 4, and her total bonuses sum to another 10 damage, for 14 total. The ghoul has 25% soak, so he reduces the damage by (14 * .25), or 3.5. The remaining 10.5 damage rounds up to 11, and the ghoul loses 11 HP.

Section IV: Combat Complications

Critical Hits: Rolling a 1, 2, or 3 to strike is known as a critical hit. Critical hits cannot be evaded by any means. Each roll also has additional effects:
-A roll of 3 Maxes the damage roll. Example: A d10+2 longsword would deal 12 damage. This damage is soakable.
-A roll of 2 maximizes the damage roll, and the total damage cannot be soaked.
-A roll of 1 maximizes the damage roll, doubles that result (triples for a x3 crit weapon), and the total damage cannot be soaked. Modifiers from Strength/Dexterity, weapon modifiers, and skill are never multiplied, and added after the base damage is multiplied. Example: A d10+2 longsword would give 20 damage (d10x2), and then +2 would be added on afterwards for a total of 22 damage.
Critical Slip: Rolling a 98, 99, or 100 to strike is known as a critical slip. Your attack has run into unforeseen complications, and none of them are good for you. The result depends on your roll and weapon type.

For melee weapons:
-A roll of 98 results in your weapon falling to the ground. You may spend your next turn picking it up by using the “Manipulate part of the environment” action.
-A roll of 99 results in your weapon flying from your grasp to land a short distance away. You must spend a total of 2 rounds doing nothing but moving to and retrieving your weapon if you wish to use it again.
-A roll of 100 results in your weapon being deflected, turning in your hand, or otherwise coming back to bite you in a soft spot in your defences. This causes you to strike yourself, the result of the damage roll is doubled, and you cannot soak this damage. As with a 1 to strike, modifiers to the roll are never doubled. The weapon’s critical hit multiplier does not apply to this self-damage.

For ranged weapons:
-A roll of 98 indicates a slipped string, small mechanical fault, or other minor mishap. You must spend one round replacing or repairing the fault before you can attack with the weapon again.
-A roll of 99 indicates a snapped string, jam, or other major mishap. If you have replacement parts (new bowstring, replacement gears, etc.), you may spend two rounds of work to fit them into place and then your weapon is usable. Otherwise, that weapon is useless until repaired.
-A roll of 100 indicates that you have managed to twist the weapon during firing, striking yourself in an awkward spot with your shot. Your mishap inflicts double rolled damage, plus normal modifiers, with no possibility of soaking.

For unarmed:
-A roll of 98 indicates a “stinger” type injury. You must spend a round tending to that limb before you can do anything with it. A “stinger” in a leg reduces movement speed by half until tended to.
-A roll of 99 indicates a minor sprain or other small injury. You must spend two rounds tending to the injured limb before you can do anything with it. A minor sprain in a leg reduces movement speed by three-quarters until tended to.
-A roll of 100 indicates that you have struck so hard that you can hear a snapping of bones and a tearing of sinew. Unfortunately for you, they’re not coming from your foe. Your brutal attack inflicts double rolled damage to yourself, plus normal modifiers. As the damage taken is internal, it cannot be soaked.

Fluid Evasion: A roll of 1, 2, or 3 while evading is known as a fluid evade. You have managed to evade so quickly, gracefully, and skillfully that you have managed to guide the target’s strike back into their own body, or ricocheted their shot back to strike them. The effects of doing so depend on your roll:
-A roll of 3 results in the target striking themselves for normal, soakable damage.
-A roll of 2 results in the target striking themselves for normal damage, but it cannot be soaked.
-A roll of 1 results in the target striking themselves for double rolled damage, plus modifiers, and the total damage cannot be soaked.

Flat-Footed: A roll of 98, 99, or 100 while evading results in being caught flat-footed. You saw your opponent’s attack coming, and could do nothing but watch it slice into you. How badly-off you are depends on the roll:
-A roll of 98 maximizes the damage roll of the attack.
-A roll of 99 maximizes the damage roll of the attack, and it cannot be soaked.
-A roll of 100 maximizes the damage roll, doubles the rolled damage without modifiers, and the total damage cannot be soaked.

Called Shot: When making an attack, you may target a specific body part by taking -20% to hit and to hit cap. Targeting a specific body part restricts the soak that the target can apply to just the armor on that body part. Called shots may have other effects, at the host’s discretion.
-Example: Auri is seething with rage and decides to bring her halberd down on the dark knight’s head. Her normal 60% chance to hit is reduced to 40%. The dark knight may evade normally, but if he fails, his soak for the attack is reduced to just what his helmet brings him.

Caps and Penalties: No matter what a character's statistics are, they cannot have more than a 75% to succeed on any attack roll, evade roll, skill roll, or spell concentration roll. This is known as the "cap" for these rolls. The caps for rolls are applied last, after all penalties and bonuses are calculated. A character's raw ability in any roll, irrespective of the cap, cannot exceed 90% in any circumstance.

All penalties to evade from armor are also penalties to the evade cap.

Maximum Range: All ranged weapons have a maximum range listed in their description. This is the maximum range that they can strike at their normal effectiveness. All ranged weapons except the Whips & Chains group may attempt to strike a target further away, but at a penalty. For each full or partial range increment further than maximum range, the attack takes a -15% hit penalty and deals 2 less damage.
Example: Tina the rogue fires a hand crossbow at a target 70 feet away. A hand crossbow’s normal range is 30 feet, so 70 feet is two range increments further, for a total of -30% to hit and -4 damage.

A thrown weapon’s range is the thrower’s Strength x3 in feet if it is made to be thrown, or the thrower’s Strength in feet if it is not.

Ranged Weapons in Melee Combat: For simplicity’s sake, there is no penalty for firing into a melee or for using a bow on a target in melee range with you.

Maintaining Concentration: A spellcaster’s concentration can be disrupted and broken by dealing damage to them. Whenever a spellcaster receives damage, after soak, in excess of ½ of their Constitution score (do not round this figure), they must make a Constitution check for each spell that they are casting or lose the spell as their concentration is broken by injury. If the damage taken exceeds double their Constitution score, the check is made with a -5 penalty.

HP's, Injury and Death: Losing your hit points does not always mean you have died. To determine the effects of your HP loss, consult the following chart:

0 to -14 = You have been fallen unconscious due to the strain your injuries have placed on your body.

-15 to -24 = You are mortally wounded. At this stage, the character is both unconscious and bleeding to death. The character will lose 1 hit point per round, until they reach -25 or are healed via magic or mundane means. Only one heal is required to stabilize the character, at which point they remain unconscious until brought above 0 hit points, but are no longer bleeding to death.

-25 to -49 = Your body could not handle the depth of your injuries and you have died. However, you can be resurrected at this point, using any spell that would bring a character back from the dead.

-50 or Higher = Your body has been obliterated, digested, or otherwise ruined to the point that it can no longer support life, even if it were thrust back into it. A direct act of a god is required at this point to return you to the land of the living.

System Shock: A player taking over 60 points of damage is instantly killed unless a Con roll is made and successful. This is due to the sheer fact that a wound so great would cause the body to lose blood quickly and the heart to fail. If a successful con roll is made then the player simply falls unconscious for a duration determined by the host.
Each class starts with a base amount of HP's, which varies depending on the class. Your hit points will steadily rise as you gain in levels, making you a more formidable opponent to many. There are several professions that can magically heal the wounds received in combat or question. If none are about in your group then it is highly recommended you purchase healing potions. Injury sustained in combat, through looting treasure or even by magical means, can be easily healed by a spell, prayer or potion.
Though bar fights do break out in the tavern from time to time, and you can certainly get knocked out in a duel or spar, the only place a player need fear death is while questing… or in a death duel of course.
Resurrection is available in case something dire happens to your character but there are other situations where resurrection is not possible, such as falling into a pool of acid, etc. Please remember that a hosts call is final. If you are declared dead by a host, then you are dead. Likewise a host may also make the call that a player cannot be resurrected for one reason or another.

Section V: Questing, Dueling, & Sparring

Quests: At scheduled times, Omen staff members who are authorized to run quests may gather the players in our questing channel. Hosts may also run "pick up" quests if nothing else is happening and people wish a quest. It is here, in the quest room, that they, as the host, will stand aside from the group and do their utmost to place you in a rich and detailed storyline, filled with drama, action, suspense and adventure, where you and your companions can immerse yourself and enjoy the quest, even if it is for a short time.

We, the staff of Omen, aren't known for setting a time limit on quests. The average length of a quest is roughly 2 hours, though it can (and has) gone beyond that, if the host and players are willing and it is not cutting into the time slot of another hosts scheduled quest or event. At the end of a quest, the host will then set to awarding the characters with their earned experience points, along with any other additional rewards (treasure, items, etc.) that the players have found or earned. If the quest isn't finished by the end of the session, the host will call for a To be Continued, or TBC. The players still earn XP, but to finish up this quest storyline, sometimes called a Series Quest or Campaign, they must return the next night that the host is having their quest. The raw power of the TBC spell removes the quest from time, and until it is concluded, free role-play in the Heart cannot refer to it, as it has not happened yet.

Sparring: Characters are welcome to spar in #omen-duels whenever there is not currently a match in the Arena. Sparring is free combat, and is not worth any XP or rewards, apart from bragging rights and the respect (or shame) of your peers. In no circumstance can a character die in a spar; the worst that can happen is simple unconsciousness.

Duels: Sanctioned duels must be agreed to in advance and brought to the attention of a host. Sanctioned duels take place in #omen-duels and are worth a small XP reward for both participants. With the obvious exception of the Death Duel, neither combatant can die in a duel. There are four types of duels:

Honor Duel: A duel to settle a matter of honor, be it slander, defamation, or any other sort of personal wrongdoing. An honor duel is more than a simple clashing of blades; it is a contract, an ancient magic enforced by the will of the gods. The winner of the duel is considered to be in the right, receives 20 XP, and the loser must publically apologize to the winner, receiving 10 XP for doing so. Thereafter, the matter is considered officially closed, bound by the ancient oath of the honor duel. Anyone attempting to reopen the matter of discussion that prompted the honor duel in the first place will be levied a 100 gold fine, wrought and collected by the gods themselves. Further infractions risk jail time, or worse.

Ethic Duel: A duel to settle a difference of ethics, either between guilds, followers of gods, or matters of philosophy. An ethic duel is not binding like an honor duel, and victory represents a fleeting and temporary superiority. The winner of the ethic duel receives 20 XP, and the loser receives 10 XP.

Banishment Duel: A duel to determine which of the combatants may remain in a certain place, by right of power. The combatants may determine if the banishment is temporary (at least a week, minimum) or permanent. The winner of such a duel receives 30 XP, and the loser must leave the specified place for the specified period, receiving 15 XP for doing so. Note that if one uses a banishment duel to banish a player permanently from Sobenical, the XP reward in doing so is halved and the banished character is effectively removed from play.

Death Duel: A banishment duel from the whole world, for the world’s banishment is death. This duel cannot be entered lightly; both participants must agree, providing written notice to a High Council-level host, and then the duel must be scheduled for a date at least one week from that agreement. Either combatant may back out during that week, for no penalty except for his opponent’s scorn and derision. The winner of a Death Duel receives 50 XP, as well as all of the loser’s belongings, for the loser is completely and utterly slain, with no possibility of resurrection or reincarnation.

The challenged player is allowed to set terms, which must be agreed to by the challenger before they can be enforced. The terms of the duel may dictate what types of armor, weapons, spells, animal companions, etc. are permitted by both duelists. The terms must restrict both duelists equally, so if Bill the mage wants to restrict Ted the bard from using mind-affecting magic, he must give up his own mind-affecting spells for the duel as well.

Duels are presided over by a mediator, provided by the church. The Arena has the ability to affect the mediator with a state known as the Heart of Stone, locking away all bias and interest to become the epitome of fair, neutral balance. In an ethic duel, the clergy member provided will be from a neutral party.

Each duelist is also allowed a second, someone to help ensure that the duel is conducted fairly. The seconds may search the main duelist for weapons or other forms of treachery, overseen by the mediator. If either of the main duelists are unable to compete due to outside means, the second may take their place. In addition, if the main duelists decide, prior to or during a non-Death Duel, the seconds may duel in their stead as their champions, and that result determines the victor of the main duel.

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