Combat in DragonRealms is richly detailed and immersive, with many
options and a lot of tactical possibilities that might not seem
obvious at first glance. This guide should be helpful in sorting
In more simplistic roleplaying games (both tabletop and online)
combat is just an exchange of attacks every few seconds, each
determined by a simple die roll. If you can make your opponent's
hit points drop faster than your own, you win the fight. DragonRealms
While there is some luck involved, combat in DragonRealms
often requires you to outmaneuver or wear out a foe.
You decide your offensive tactics -- you can feint and jab
at your opponent, or make a daring lunge that may be very
effective but will leave you wide open.
You decide your defensive tactics -- evade attacks, parry
them with your weapon, block them with a shield, or even hang
back from your opponent while pelting him with stones, arrows
Even if you have lots of stamina
you'll need to fight wisely to conserve your energy, or you'll
find yourself slowing down and eventually collapsing from
Every maneuver you make in combat affects your balance, and
the outcome of your next maneuver. With practice, you can
develop a set of tactics that work well for your character
and your chosen weapon -- although you may have to employ
different tactics against different types of enemies.
Player vs. Player Combat
DragonRealms has been designed as a cooperative game. The
major conflict is between your character and the evil creatures
that threaten his world -- not between your character and
other players' characters.
If you and another player want to spar or duel, or otherwise
get into a competetive situation, that's acceptable. You can
type CHALLENGE HELP for a structured way to initiate
such a combat, or you can simply attack each other. (Note
that most towns in the game frown upon fighting in the streets;
even if you agree to a duel you'll have to do it in the right
However, initiating combat against an unsuspecting victim
is not acceptable behavior, and may be in violation of the
Rules of Conduct.
Simutronics reserves the right to judge which behavior is
disruptive or abusive. Generally, if you're preying on innocents
or trying to disrupt someone else's fun, you're in violation.
Green (3) is engaged at pole weapon range with Blue
(1), and is flanking him. Green will have an advantage
over Blue because he need not worry about defense; meanwhile
Blue will have to defend against two opponents.
When you walk into an area, you cannot immediately start
swinging a sword at any creatures you may find there. You
start off a little distance away. Engagement represents that
distance from, and attention toward, an opponent.
A combatant engages only one opponent at a time, but several
combatants can engage the same opponent. Multiple
Opponents Skill determines how you are affected by such
The second opponent to engage you is flanking you
(more difficult to defend against than the opponent you face),
while the third, fourth, and so on are surrounding
you (even more difficult to defend against).
There are three distinct engagement ranges: missile weapon
range (farthest), pole weapon range (middle), and melee range
(closest). At melee range, there is also the possibility of
When you first enter an outdoor or wide open area, you are
considered to be at missile weapon range from every other
person or creature you can see. Indoors or in a cramped space,
engagements begin at pole weapon range.
Missile Weapon Range
At missile weapon range, you may attack only with a missile
weapon (such as a bow or sling). Most spells also work at
missile weapon range, though some spells are more accurate
or effective at closer ranges.
Pole Weapon Range
At pole weapon range, attacks may be made with a missile
weapon or a polearm (such as a spear or pike). Pole weapon
range is approximately 8-16 feet.
If advancing toward a creature, you can attempt a
melee attack while still at pole weapon range. To do
so is considered to be rushing forward in a desparate
charge however, and will affect your balance and fatigue
more than a normal attack.
At melee range, attacks may be made unarmed or with any
weapon. Melee range is approximately 2-6 feet.
There is no penalty to attack with a
polearm or missile weapons at melee range. However,
it's more difficult to defend yourself -- and the main
advantage of such weapons is in attacking while out
of your opponent's reach in the first place.
When grappling, you are in direct physical contact with
your opponent. See the section below on Brawling
for information about grappling.
This verb starts you moving toward your intended foe, continuing
until you reach melee range.
This verb starts you moving back, away from combat. (Opponents
engaged to you may make attempt to hinder your retreat.)
If you are advancing, you can use this verb once to stop
advancing, a second time to begin retreating.
Use this verb if you want to try to automatically keep your
distance from your opponents (if you're using a bow for
With this verb, you can guard someone else if they are not
yet engaged in melee. Any attackers who attempt to engage
the person you guard will wind up facing you first. Type
GUARD STOP to stop guarding someone.
You can turn to engage an opponent who has already engaged
When you are engaged by several opponents, this verb lets
you specify which of them is flanking you (the rest are
surrounding you) -- in other words, which one to pay the
most defensive attention to. You'll probably want to BLOCK
the most dangerous of them.
This verb will give you information about your combat engagements.
is a measure of your position in combat. Every maneuver you
and your opponents make may affect your balance. In general,
good melee combat tactics involve maneuvering to increase
your balance while decreasing your foe's, and then making
a deadly strike.
Balance is also important to ranged combat and targetted
magic -- a skilled foe can throw off your aim by keeping you
The BALANCE verb (as well as messages during combat)
will tell you how well or how poorly balanced you are.
Offensive Factors Many factors affect the outcome of any attack you or your
opponent makes. These include, but are not limited to:
· Weapon Skill · Balance · Agility · Fatigue · Health · Your previous maneuver · Your opponent's previous maneuver · Magical effects · Fate (as predicted by a Moon
Roundtime Many actions in DragonRealms
require a certain amount of time to perform, or Roundtime
Attack maneuvers all incur some amount of RT, which varies
with the weapon, the maneuver you use, and your stats.
For instance, a claymore is slower than a rapier, a lunge
takes more time than a jab, and a burly Kaldar
can swing an axe faster than an anemic Elothean.
You also can't attack as quickly when you're tired.
As maneuvers play a strong role in determining your balance
and fatigue, choosing the right one is important. The combatant
who does nothing but CHOP is going to tire quickly
and be outmaneuvered by a wiser foe.
Generally, the more aggressive an attack, the more it leaves
you open and/or throws off your balance.
Standard Melee Attack Maneuvers
Not primarily intended to cause damage, but to gain a balance
advantage over your opponent.
A quick attack that does little damage, but you retain good
A strong, mostly offensive stabbing attack.
A powerful offensive attack, but it leaves you open.
A standard slashing attack.
A more aggressive slashing or bashing attack.
Step back slightly and make a less aggressive attack, retaining
your balance. (Alternate usage: DRAW <sheathed weapon>.)
A low cross slash attack, going for the legs.
Special Melee Attack Maneuvers
AMBUSH <target> <attack type>
Leap from hiding to deliver a nasty surprise to your opponent,
using the specified kind of attack (lunge, sweep, etc.).
A very special attack which only Thieves can perform. Knowledge
of this technique has leaked from the guild, but only a
Thief has proper training in it.
Ranged Attack Maneuvers
Throws the weapon in your right hand at the target. Weapons
may lodge in their victims, fall to the ground, or in a few
cases, return to the thrower's hand. Be prepared to lose anything
your throw at a creature.
LOAD or LOAD <weapon> WITH <ammo>
A ranged weapon such as a bow, crossbow, or sling must be
in your right hand. You'll need the appropriate kind of ammunition
in your left hand or in a container you're wearing.
With a loaded missile weapon at the ready, you can begin aiming
at a target. The more time you spend aiming (up to a certain
point) the more accurate your shot will be.
FIRE or SHOOT <target>
This should be self-explanatory.
When you are attacked, you have four lines of defense: Evasion,
Parrying, Shield and Armor.
Your first effort goes toward dodging the attack; if that
fails you attempt to deflect it with your weapon and/or shield
(the order depends on your skills and STANCE setting).
If all else fails, your armor reduces the amount of damage
All these means of defense happen without any input from
you, whenever you are attacked. However, you can make defensive
maneuvers as well as shifting your emphasis between different
types of defense.
The first line of defense is not to get hit at all. The following
factors affect your chance of dodging a blow:
· Reflexes · Evasion skill · Encumbrance (how much weight you carry) · Armor hindrance · Fatigue · Health · Balance · Stance (how much emphasis you put on evasion) · Your previous maneuver · Magical effects · Fate
The next line of defense is parrying (deflecting the attack
with your weapon, if you have one in hand). These factors
· Parry skill · Weapon skill · Properties of your weapon · Type of opponent's attack (ranged attacks
are difficult to parry for example) · Reflex · Fatigue · Health · Balance · Stance (how much emphasis you put on parrying) · Your previous maneuver · Magical effects · Fate
If you have not successfully dodged or parried the attack,
your shield (if any) is your third line of defense. These
factors affect your success with a shield:
· Shield skill · Properties of your shield · Reflex · Fatigue · Health · Balance · Stance (how much emphasis you put on blocking) · Your previous maneuver · Magical effects · Fate
If the blow lands, your armor will absorb or deflect some
of the damage. Depending on the weapon (or spell) and the
type of attack used, the damage will be of varying types:
Different types of armor have different damage reduction
properties. For example, plate mail effectively deters
puncture wounds, is less effective against impact, and
is quite vulnerable to electrical shock. It also is
more difficult to maneuver in than leather.
Rather than attacking, this verb readies you to better parry
attacks. It's a good idea to use this if you're getting
fatigued and need to recover a little before your next attack.
Similar to PARRY, but readies you to evade attacks.
A good option if you're using a weapon unsuitable for parrying
(such as a bow).
Allows you to specify how much emphasis you place on parrying,
evading, blocking and attacking.
STANCE by itself will show you your current settings.
Typing STANCE EVASION, STANCE PARRY,
or STANCE SHIELD alone will set the specified type
of defense to use 100% of your skill, while the other types
will be set to 40%. You can fine-tune your defensive preferences
by specifying an amount, but the total of the three types
must not exceed 180%. For example:
You are now set to evade attacks with 60% of your skill.
>stance shield 40
You are now set to use 40% of your shield blocking skill.
>stance parry 80
You are now set to parry against attacks with 80% of
You are currently using 60% of your evasion skill.
You are currently using 80% of your weapon parry skill.
You are currently using 40% of your shield block skill.
You are attacking with 100% of your offensive skill.
STANCE ATTACK <percentage> will let you
make attacks at less than your full skill, if desired. This
does not improve your defense, it just makes you fight clumsily.
You might use it to lull an opponent, or to hold back and
let the rest of your party get some hits in.
The BRAWL verb will let you turn Brawling mode on
and off. (You'll want it off to horse around harmlessly with
verbs like PUNCH, KICK, BITE and
SHOVE, but on if you intend to use them as serious
When you have brawling turned on, you can fight unarmed or
with improvised weapons using most attack maneuvers. Not all
objects in the game make suitable weapons; you'll have to
experiment to see what works for you.
Attempts to grab your foe and get in closer than melee range.
(You'll need to be grappling in order to use some of the other
brawling maneuvers.) RETREAT will attempt to disengage
you from grappling.
Similar to GRAPPLE, but drags your opponent
to the ground. The downside is that you wind up on the
ground yourself, whether or not you succeed.
Can be used either to shove an opponent to the ground, or
to shove a grappling opponent away from you (back to melee
Circle around your opponent defensively while looking for
Weave back and forth, throwing off your opponent's balance.
Bob your head, making yourself a smaller target.
PUNCH, KICK, ELBOW, GOUGE,
With Brawling turned on, these are all effective melee attacks.
Don't forget you can still JAB, SWING,
or LUNGE with bare fists.
KNEE, BUTT, BITE
While grappling, you can use these additional attacks to
assail your foe. There's nothing quite like tackling a kobold
and biting it on the head until it dies!