Some basic info on combat.
Attack - Make a single attack on a target. Can also use the kill verb to the same effect.
Barrage - Auto-fire until you stop or become exhausted.
Battle - Auto-attack any hostiles (or specifically-targeted characters/NPCs) until you stop or become exhausted.
Fire - Fire a ranged weapon at a target.
Guard - Guard the target, attempting to intercept any incoming attacks on that target. This will result in the attack being directed toward the guardian instead. If the character being guarded makes a melee attack, they will move out from behind their guardian and will no longer be guarded. Ranged attacks can be made while being guarded, however. A single character can be guarded by multiple people at the same time.
Hurl - Hurl a weapon such as a throwing knife at a target. You can tell which weapons can be hurled with the examine command.
Jab - This command is akin to attack in that it will do one round of brawling using only your fists. Kick - This command is akin to attack in that it will do one round of brawling using only a kick.
Position - You can change your position to avoid, ranged or engage. Avoid and ranged will have chances to outright avoid melee attacks (avoid more than ranged), while engage will have you right up there in the fray.
Press - Attempt to press a determined attack on the target, preventing the target from leaving the area or attacking anyone besides the attacker.
Shove - Attempt to knock over your opponent. Requires one or two hands free or alternatively, a shield in one hand.
Tactics - Choose from various tactics that adjust your offensive and defensive capabilities.
Trance - Auto-cast with a wand or channeled elemancy until you stop or become exhausted.
Numbers and Calculation Info
When attacking, you'll see something like the following: (M: 155 vs D: 80 B: 130 P: 60)
M = Melee offense. Mainly affected by skill in the wielded weapon type, and somewhat by the Melee skill.
R = Ranged offense. Used in calculations for firing bows/flintlocks, hurling weapons, casting magical bolt spells, etc. Hurling/bows/flintlocks are affected by Marksmanship and skill in the weapon held, casting magical bolts is affected by Marksmanship and their skill in whichever elements are utilized by the spell (for instance, a firebolt would be based on the Pyromancy skill).
D = Dodge defense. Ability to dodge any attack, mainly affected by Dodge skill.
P = Parry defense. Ability to parry melee attacks. Cannot parry ranged attacks. Mainly affected by skill in the weapon type used.
Here's what's happening in the following formula: (M: 155 vs D: 80 B: 130 P: 60)
- The attacker's melee roll is a roll of 0-155
- The defender's dodge roll is a roll of 0-80
- The defender's block roll is a roll of 0-130
- The defender's parry roll is a roll of 0-60
To reduce screen clutter, the actual roll results are not shown.
If the attackers melee roll is higher than all of the defender's rolls (individually, not combined), the attack will be successful and proceed to strike the defender. Only one of the defender's rolls need be higher than the attacker's melee roll in order to successfully defend against the attack and not be struck. Some may wish to work on all forms of defense, while others prefer to focus on one defense type and get it as high as possible.
When dealing damage, you may notice minuses (-) or pluses (+). These help to show how effective an attack is. If there are minuses, the attack is being resisted by the target, whether it be because of natural resistance (such as a stone golem being resistant to slashing attacks) or armor the target is wearing. If there are pluses, the attack is particularly effective (try using fire against snow shades, for instance).
The brawling system will use a variety of unarmed attacks such as jabs and kicks when you use attack or battle. They will be linked together to form combos. You can perform individual attacks such as jab or kick by themselves, or use the combo command to limit your maximum strikes in combat.
- +2 Max Strikes if both hands are empty
- +1 Max Strikes if your brawling skill is >= 300
- +1 Max Strikes if your brawling skill is >= 1000
Single Weapon, Free Off-Hand
You get the full offensive benefits from the weapon you're wielding, most importantly multiple strikes per attack (examine a weapon to see how many strikes it can land). This applies to both one-handed and two-handed weapons (for instance, the staff is a two-handed weapon with multiple strikes easily possible per attack). A good weapon style for weapons that 'flare' or have other special effects upon striking, since it has a chance of occurring on each additional strike. A purely offensive combat style.
Weapon and Shield
A more defensive combat style. Shields are an excellent way to add to your defense, and unlike parrying, shields can block bolt attacks (fireballs, arrows, etc.). Shield users will be the ones who live the longest, but will have trouble dishing as much damage. There will be a chance to shield bash on attacks, based on shield skill and they can also utilize the shove command to knock their foes down.
Wielding a weapon in each hand - a good mix of offense and defense. You will only get multiple strikes from small, light weapons, but you are nearly guaranteed at least 2 strikes per attack (one for each weapon) and you also get extra parry chance for holding the second weapon in your off-hand. Note that you cannot parry bolt attacks (fireballs, arrows, etc.) and will have to rely on dodging such attacks instead. This style is good for heavier and less-well-balanced one-handed weapons such as handaxes, since it's difficult to land multiple strikes with them individually, and holding two of them almost guarantees two strikes per attack even if your parrying will suffer greatly. It is also good for smaller weapons, since you will get many strikes in a single round.
Note, you will not get extra attacks from your offhand weapon while in Parry or Dodge Tactics.
Wielding ranged weapons or casting spells has the advantage of being able to attack from the 'ranged' position, granting you a chance to outright avoid melee attacks. If you get struck by a melee attack, you will be pulled into the 'engage' position, however. Bows require being at 'ranged' position to fire, and firing will automatically attempt to move you back out to range. Another excellent advantage to ranged combat is the ability to snipe from hiding without revealing yourself (based on your stealth skill).
When you examine a weapon, you will be able to determine the following:
- which weapon skill its effectiveness is based on
- how many hands are required to wield it (in the case of 1.5-handed weapons, they can be used for more damage if you keep a free off-hand, but can also be wielded one-handed for less damage while you hold, say, a shield or secondary weapon in your other hand)
- how many strikes per attack it can land (melee weapons only)
- the weapon's balance, determining how easy it is to land multiple strikes and how effectively you can use it with dual-wielding (melee weapons only)
- whether it will grant a bonus/penalty to parrying, dodging, or blocking (melee weapons only)
- how heavy a draw a bow has (bows only - light draw = less damage, more speed, heavy draw = more damage, less speed, average draw = balanced)
Wounds and Fatigue
Being struck and taking damage will cause wounds on the struck body location and will also reduce your energy (thus causing fatigue). Becoming too severely-wounded in a vital area (head, neck, chest, abdomen, back) will result in death. Becoming too exhausted will result in unconsciousness, leaving you defenseless, and if your energy goes too far into the negative, you will die even if you haven't suffered any fatal wounds.
Scrapes and light wounds can be healed with bandages bought from Infirmaries while bandaging a worse wound will only stop it from continually bleeding while the bandage lasts. To heal worse wounds, will require player made poultices, a trip to the Infirmary, or a friendly Monk.
Armor reduces damage taken to the body location it covers. When armor is struck, the armor itself takes a percentage of the damage itself and becomes damaged according to how much damage was absorbed. Different armor types have varying effectiveness against different damage types. For instance, chain mail will render you immune to slashing attacks and protect somewhat against hacking attacks, but it will not be very effective against crushing or piercing attacks.
The heavier a piece of armor is, the more likely it is to encumber you and reduce your combat effectiveness. On each attack or defense, an Armor Use skill roll is made for each piece of armor you wear. Each failed Armor Use check results in your maximum offense or defense potential being lowered by a percentage for that roll.
Obviously, training the Armor Use skill helps reduce the chances of this penalization occurring. When doing so, it is advisable to start wearing lighter armor and build your way up instead of wearing the armor you're aiming for immediately. This will ensure you consistently manage to succeed some Armor Use checks and increase your skill.
When attacking or sniping from stealth, the target has a chance to make a perception skill check and see the attack coming. The more badly they fail this check, the lower their maximum defensive roll will be. If they fail outright to see the attack coming, their defense will be a flat 0! Thus, stealth can be an extremely effective means of offense in the form of reducing the target's defenses. You can tell how surprised a target is by the presence and color of the (!) in the attack messaging, just before the attack rolls. Example:
You throw a punch at an animated training dummy! (!) (M: 152 vs D:68)
The color of the ! determines how surprised the target was: Green = very surprised, Yellow = moderately surprised, Brown = barely surprised. If they weren't surprised at all, the ! will not be present. In the case of sniping, this means they may now know your position, and you should unhide and then hide again if you want to continue sniping at them unseen.