Help Topic: Combat Basics
Category: A Beginner's Guide
You don't need to know a lot about combat to start. You can expect from combat that it may be gritty and consequential. Wound recovery can be an ordeal. The city guard might try to arrest you for instigating a fight. You may become permanently handicapped or suffer complications due to improper care of your injuries. However, combat can also be a great story tool and lots of fun!
When you want to fight someone, you can enter 'fight <person>'. If you'd like to be more specific, you can select a specific move, a body part to target, and even write an emote that will go with the attack.
An example is:
> punch <person> in the face emote screams, "You killed Fenny, you bastards!" and launches a fist towards $person's face.
Checking COMBAT MOVES will show you what moves might be available to you. Wielding a sword will give you basic SLASH moves, while a hammer will give you BASH. You can WHACK with anything you might have wielded, such as a frying pan or a book. Learning more skills and having abilities will give you more moves that you can do in combat.
Dealing with roundtime is different in a fight, as even actions that don't take balance outside of a fight will now need to wait or be delayed. Outside of a fight, it doesn't matter that you want to go sit at the bar, so you can go and do that without any concern. However, if you are in a fight, the bar might be a strategic location. So it will take roundtime to go from where you are to the bar.
When you attempt to do something, it will cost roundtime, and that is often dependant on your stats and skills. You will be unable to complete another action until your roundtime ends. The command will inform you that you will do that thing 'next time you get the chance'. If you change your mind, you can always input a different command and that will be done next time you get a chance, instead.
A great deal of combat strategy comes in the preparation for a fight. If you're planning to ambush your nemesis, there's a lot you can do beforehand to sway things in your favor. When it comes to the environment of an altercation, there are many things to be considered. But once you're already in a fight, there's still plenty to think about.
Different moves during a fight will have different effects on your fatigue, willpower, and poise. Getting hit or hitting others will increase your pulse, and different combat stances or move choices will help you manage your status. Sustaining injuries will affect your trauma level, and losing blood volume can eventually lead to unconsciousness. Your proximity to an opponent will help determine some of the moves you can do, as well as modifying their efficacy. You can attempt to move an opponent around, between places in a room, or between rooms themselves, in order to adjust your advantage, utilize ranged skillsets, or function as a team with your friends.
If you don't really want to think about any of this, you don't have to. Your default 'combat tendency' is 'measured' which means that no action is undertaken automatically in a battle. But you can always set it to something else, such as 'fight', in order to just automatically make available moves.
tendency < fight | freeze | flee | measured >
The 'stance' you're in is very impactful in terms of modifying your attack speed, poise, damage, and accuracy. While a weapon impacts these things as well, a defensive stance can mean the difference between getting struck a fatal blow by the aforementioned axeman or evading axe-strikes until the
axeman tires, stumbles, and falls.
You can read more about combat tendencies, stances, and status in HELP COMBAT. If you want to learn more about ranged combat, you can read HELP RANGED.
Combat ends if everyone involved either elects to 'stop', 'flee', or is rendered unconscious. When you are choosing moves automatically due to your combat tendency being fixed to something other than the 'measured' setting, you will try to stop when you no longer have any moves available. This could be because your axe-wielding arm has been damaged, or because your target has fled and nobody else is attacking you, or because you were knocked down with a broken leg and can't get back up, or for a variety of reasons.
Remember that this is a game with the principal goal of story. Whenever something momentous happens in combat, a pause will ensue that allows players to write thoughtful roleplay emotes or consider what their characters' next move might be. This pause is not time for a monologue, and you should emote as if the fight is in progress. It's only to give you time to process and contribute to the story of the fight, because that's what we hold as important.
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