Chapter Four: Rule of Combat (p.3)

General Fighting Rules

Be sure to become well-versed in all the different weapons, armor, and shield types to be prepared for actual fighting. Of course, nothing in a book can teach what only experience can bestow. The fighting the game of Archaea is designed to be fast, realistic, and safe. Practice and patience are the key to skill.

Always keep in mind that the game is designed for enjoyment. The following are additional rules and reminders to know about combat:

1. Hits

--When making a strike, shout the weapon type used. For example, shout "LIGHT!" when striking with a Light weapon, "CRITICAL!" or "CRIT!" for a Critical weapon, "MORTAL!" for a Mortal weapon, and "DEATH!" for a Death weapon. In the same respect, when being hit, listen for the hit calls. --Glancing blows do not count for damage. (However, your opponent may choose to register it as a hit.) A solid hit generally is delivered with a full-arm swing and strikes a target squarely.
--Gauge the strength with which you swing a weapon. Stronger hits may be required to register on heavily armored foes. Know your combatant and gauge the amount of strength you should use. Do not use unnecessary force. Never purposely swing wildly or make "baseball" swings.
--At times, because weapons are made with semi-flexible cores, hits due to weapon "bending" or "snapping" around a shield or blocking weapon do not count as legal hits. (However, your opponent may choose to register it as a legal strike.) The morning star, because of its chain, is designed specifically for wrapping around shields and weapon. It is the only weapon that can make wrapping shots.

2. Non-Weapon Tactics

--Archaea is a "full-contact sport." However, safety and common sense must go hand-in-hand. Never jeopardize the well-being of yourself or another player.
--Tackling and grappling are legal non-weapon tactics. However, if in heavy armor, avoid tackling someone in no armor or someone smaller. Again, judge the amount of force used in fighting.
--Shield-bashing is a legal non-weapon tactic but must be done at a walk. The shield should remain perpendicular to the ground. Never run a full tilt and shield-bash someone. Never surprise shield- bash someone. Again, judge the amount of force used to shield-bash.
--Never punch, kick, slap, or throw players.
--Never twist a player's arms or legs.
--Never use potentially unsafe holds.
--Never grab a person's hair or choke someone by grabbing their costume.
--Never use a non-weapon tactic in a dangerous area (e.g. on pavement, near rocks, near campfires, near tents, near a ledge).

3. Other Combat Rules

--When an Elder or player calls a "HOLD!" always stop all fighting and listen. A "HOLD!" should be used for emergencies or for important game information.
--Look and listen for calls and markings that identify weapon type, armor type, magical effects, and so on.
--Never strike another player with part of weapon not a striking zone, with a shield (except with a legal shield-bash), or with other foreign objects (stick, dirt, rocks, trash).


Besides hacking and bashing, the character can be hurt or killed in more surreptitious ways. Poisons can be used to incapacitate or harm a character. Depending on the type of poison, the effects will vary. Players may gain the opportunity to find or buy poison or make poisons with the skill Poison Research.

There are six basic types of poison: Sleep, Paralysis, Insanity, Light Damage, Critical Damage, Mortal Damage, and Death.

Sleep poisons cause the victim to fall asleep for five minutes. The poison requires a minute to take full effect. The player may still act but will stumble about and act drowsy. The player may continue to move and fight but does not have the coordination to use a skill or cast.

Paralysis poisons cause the victim's muscles to tense up and become rigid. The character remains conscious but may not move, speak, or act for five minutes. The poison requires a minute to take effect. Like Sleep poisons, the player may still act but will begin to feel stiff and sore. The player cannot use a skill or cast while the poison is working.

Insanity poison cause the victim to become erratic, unstable, and violently crazed (as per the seventh level Mind spell Insanity). The poison requires a minute to take full effect as the character becomes more and more irritable and peculiar. For five minutes, the player must act confused, angry, moody, and berserk. While affected by the insanity, the character can still act, use skills, and cast.

Light Damage poisons inflict a Light hit to the location where the poison was delivered. Critical Damage poisons inflict a Critical hit to the location of delivery. Mortal Damage poisons inflict Mortal damage. And Death poisons cause Death damage or immediate death. Light, Critical, Mortal, and Death poisons inflict their damage every minute until the creature is killed, given an antidote, or purged by skill or magic. While the damage poison is working, the player may act, cast, and use skills as long as he or she is still able (until mortally wounded or killed).

The skill Aid at level five or the second level Body spell Slow Taint will double the time required for a poison to take effect or do its damage. Aid at level ten or the fifth level Body spell Purge Taint will remove the poison but will not reverse any damage already inflicted. See Chapter Three for details on Aid. See Chapter Five for details on Slow Taint and Purge Taint.

Using Poisons

All poisons, except contact poisons and ingested poisons, must be delivered through a wound with a cutting or piercing weapon. Sleep and Paralysis poisons affect the whole body of the creature regardless of where the poison enters the bloodstream. Damage poisons affect the hit location where the poison was delivered. Insanity poisons affect the mind and mental state of the creature.

A full dose of poison must be used to poison a weapon. For weapons, a purple ribbon must be tied to the weapon. The first hit by the weapon is considered the poisoned hit. If the player misses, then the poison is still potent. However, if the character hits another weapon, armor, a shield, or a protection spell, the poison is gone. The weapon must do damage for the poison to be delivered. In combat, the player must call the weapon type plus "POISON!" and then the type of poison. Once the poison is used, the purple ribbons must be removed.

Contact poisons are potent toxins that require only a touch to the skin to be effective. Contact poisons are often used on gloves, door handles, weapon handles, and other common surfaces. A full dose must be spread on the surface to be poisoned. Contact poisons should not be used in combat. This form of delivery requires the presence of an Elder.

Any poison can be used as an ingested poison to be put into a character's food or drink. A full dose must be used to taint a portion of food or drink. The time required for the poison to take effect depends on the potency of the poison and the adjudication of an Elder. Like contact poisons, this form of delivery requires the presence of an Elder.

Spells in Combat

Spells are another way characters can be hurt or incapacitated in combat. All players, regardless whether their characters are spell casters or not, should read Chapter Five and familiarize themselves on casting, spell components, and spell effects.

Most combat spells require material components that represent the magic of the spell. Players must learn to recognize the different spell components, invocation lines, and effects.

Spell Effects Quick List

Bone Weapon / black weapon / Mortal damage, double damage to undead
Brittleice / silver spellring / freezes target solid for 10 minutes, a Mortal hit or greater will shatter the target
Cause Wounds / black glove / inflicts Light, Critical, or Mortal hit, ingores armor
Disintegrate/ red spell hammer / instantly destroys a target and accouterments
Entangle / green spellring / 5' radius, all in area are immobile and can be hurt
Fire Charm / red ribbon / fire, makes a weapon magical
Fire Touch / red glove / fire, Critical hit, ignores armor
Fireball / red spellball / fire, Mortal hit, 5' radius, ignores and destroys armor and shields and wooden weapons
Fiery Weapon / red-covered weapon / fire, Mortal damage
Fist of Stone / brown spellball / Mortal hit, ignores and destroys armor and shields
Flame Dart / orange spellball / fire, Critical hit
Flash and Burn / orange spellring / fire, Critical hit, target blinded and confused for a count of 60
Frozen Tomb / white spellring / freezes target solid for 5 minutes
Gorgon's Curse / brown glove / turns target into stone for 10 minutes
Ice Strike / white spellball / cold, Mortal hit, destroys shields
Icy Weapon / silver weapon / cold, Mortal damage
Insanity / plaid spellball / target becomes violently insane for 5 minutes, ignores armor and shields
Invisibility / plaid scarf / caster becomes invisible and inaudible
Invis. to Animals / animal-print scarf / caster becomes invisible to animals
Lightning Bolt / blue spellball / electricity, Mortal hit, destroys shields
Mist Form / blue scarf / caster becomes gaseous and unaffected by attacks
Morph / animal-print glove / transforms a target into a harmless animal
Nature's Fury / green spellball / Critical hits to all limbs, ignores armor and shields
Noxious Cloud / blue spellring / choking gases, 5' radius, incapacitates for 5 minutes
Poison / purple spellball / inflicts Death damage every minute
Quagmire / brown spellring / target sinks to knees, fight in place for 5 minutes
Rot / green spell hammer / instantly destroys plants, wood, and leather
Sleep / plaid spellring / target falls asleep for 5 minutes, ignores armor and shields
Spirit Bolt / black spellball / Critical hit to undead, Light hit to living, ignores shields
Spirit Form / black scarf / caster becomes ethereal and unaffected by most attacks
Totem / animal-print surcoat / caster is empowered with claws and beastly strength
Treeform green glove / turns target into a tree for 5 minutes
Warding Gesture / plaid glove / target must keep 10' away from caster's gesture
Winds of Disarming / blue spell hammer / drop items held in hands for a count of 10

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