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The Fallen
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Combat Guide

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 them out.

overview · engagement · balance · attack · defense · brawling


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 changes that.

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 and magic.

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 fatigue.

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 place.)

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.


Engagement Example

Blue (1) is engaged at melee range with Red (2).

Red (2) is engaged at melee range with Blue (1).

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 engagements.

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).

Engagement Ranges
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 grappling.

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.

a Croff Pothanit braced for a charge 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.

Melee Range
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.

Engagement Maneuvers

ADVANCE <opponent>
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 instance).

GUARD <player>
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.

FACE <opponent>
You can turn to engage an opponent who has already engaged you.

BLOCK <opponent>
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.


this Dark Fiend seems to be off balance...Balance 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 off balance.

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 Mage)
Many actions in DragonRealms require a certain amount of time to perform, or Roundtime (RT).

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

FEINT <target>
Not primarily intended to cause damage, but to gain a balance advantage over your opponent.

JAB <target>
A quick attack that does little damage, but you retain good defensive posture.

THRUST <target>
A strong, mostly offensive stabbing attack.

a Gelv Cyclops with his favorite weaponLUNGE <target>
A powerful offensive attack, but it leaves you open.

SLICE/SWING <target>
A standard slashing attack.

CHOP/BASH <target>
A more aggressive slashing or bashing attack.

DRAW <target>
Step back slightly and make a less aggressive attack, retaining your balance. (Alternate usage: DRAW <sheathed weapon>.)

SWEEP <target>
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.).

BACKSTAB <target>
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

THROW <target>
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.

AIM <target>
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.
Defense 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 you take.

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 affect parrying:

· 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:

Armor.  It does a bawdy swain good.
· Puncture
· Slice
· Impact
· Fire
· Cold
· Electrical

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.

Defensive Maneuvers

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:

>stance evasion 60
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 your skill.

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 attacks.)

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.

Brawling Maneuvers

GRAPPLE <opponent>
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.
TACKLE <opponent>
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.
some creatures might be too much to tackle...
SHOVE <opponent>
Can be used either to shove an opponent to the ground, or to shove a grappling opponent away from you (back to melee range).

CIRCLE <opponent>
Circle around your opponent defensively while looking for an opening.

WEAVE <opponent>
Weave back and forth, throwing off your opponent's balance.

Bob your head, making yourself a smaller target.

With Brawling turned on, these are all effective melee attacks. Don't forget you can still JAB, SWING, or LUNGE with bare fists.

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!


Rated E: Everyone Interactive -- The content of this site may change due to interactive exchanges.  Mild Violence.
Simutronics Corporation

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