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Calls and Effects

Calls and Effects are the most common way of representing special powers or phenomena that cannot be physrepped directly. Calls are simple “trigger words” that characters respond to in a specific way. Other effects are generally more complex phenomena that might represent diseases, psychic surgery or similar.


  • Calls are keywords that allow characters to deliver powerful game effects.
  • Calls that are delivered by weapon, dart or projectile blow also do a single hit of damage.
  • Calls that are delivered by weapon, dart or projectile blow do damage simultaneously to their Call effect.
  • Calls are not audible or noticeable in-character except through their effects.
    • As a result of this rule, Calls that are not accompanied by a Dart or weapon strike cannot be traced to their source directly (although characters might make assumptions via closeness to the target or being at the centre of a MASS effect).
  • You can only deliver a single call at a time. Calls cannot be combined on one strike.
    • However, MASS and GLOBAL are modifiers to a call rather than calls themselves.
  • The RESIST call is used to actively ignore the special effects of a call.
  • The NO EFFECT call is used to indicate that the call has not struck a valid target.
  • If the target has clearly not taken the call and has not called RESIST or NO EFFECT in response then the call has not been used.
  • If a call is delivered verbally only, then the user can specify a location. If they do not, the call is considered to affect the torso by default.
  • Players who use a special ability or item power notify others of how to react by shouting a call - a specific keyword that tells other players how to react. All players need to know the list of calls so that they can react appropriately when affected by such an ability.

Calls can be delivered either by a weapons strike or verbally only. If you are hit by a call from a weapon strike (by a melee weapon, dart or projectile), then you also suffer a hit on the struck location. If you are affected by a call that is purely verbal, then you do not lose a hit (certain calls may have damage as their effect though). Calls occur at the same time as damage. If you have only a single hit of Field protection left and you are hit by a DISRUPT, then you do not take an additional hit to your armour or body, and the DISRUPT is considered to be blocked by the field. Similarly, a LETHAL call that hits the last point of armour on a location does not result in a lethal wound.

The RESIST call is used to ignore the effects of a call. RESIST is usually called by the target activating a defensive special ability, and they have probably spent charges or points to be able to use it. The NO EFFECT call is similar, but is a special case that is only used to indicate that a call that only has an effect when striking a particular type of Hits has not done so - for example, if a REND call (which only affects Armour Hits) strikes Field or Body Hits, then it has NO EFFECT. If the SUNDER call (which only affects items that can be broken) strikes a body location rather than an item, then it has NO EFFECT.

If it is clear that the target has not visibly taken the call, or called RESIST in response to indicate that they have not been affected, then the call has not been used. If the power used costs psi points or similar, then they are not spent. If the user has already torn charge cards, then they may use the call again within the next 30 seconds - if they do not use it within that time, then the charge cards are wasted. This rule is to mitigate the effect of players not hearing a call in the heat of combat, and does not apply to calls that affect an area or multiple targets such as a call with the MASS descriptor.

Some calls only make sense if they strike a location (eg. REND). When a call is delivered by a weapon strike, it affects the location struck. When it is delivered purely verbally, then the user may specify a location to affect (eg. STRIKE RIGHT ARM). If the user does not specify a location to target, then the effect is considered to have struck the torso.

Some calls affect a character even if the blow is blocked by a shield - shield users should be aware of which calls do this. If a blow delivered by a weapon strike is blocked by a shield, then it does not cause any associated damage.

MASS Calls

  • MASS calls affect everyone within 5 metres of the user.
  • MASS calls can be directed in an arc indicated by the user's outstretched arms.

The word MASS can be added to a call to indicate that it affects an area 5 metres around the user. MASS is always followed by another call - this indicates the effect that everyone in the area takes. When you use a MASS call, you can direct it in a circular area all around you, by just shouting the call or holding your arms above your head, or you can direct the call in an arc indicated by your outstretched arms - this means that the call only affects those within the arc who are within 5 metres of you.


  • Global calls affect all locations on a character.
  • If the call strikes Global hits, then the call is considered to have affected you only once.

The word GLOBAL can be added to a call to indicate that it affects all 6 locations on the target. GLOBAL will always be followed by another call that indicates the actual effect being delivered. For example, if you are hit by GLOBAL REND, you lose all armour hits remaining on all your locations.

If you have Global Body Hits, then a Global call that affects your body hits only affects you once. For example, if you are hit by GLOBAL THROUGH, then you lose a single Global Body hit. If you are hit by GLOBAL STRIKE on your body, then you take an additional hit on your body.

Game Calls

Summary of Calls

This is a basic reference for what all the calls below mean. The entries below this section go into more detail and list some examples and exceptions or other weirdness, so look there for more information.

In development


  • Targets: Arms, held items.
  • If this call strikes an object held in the hand, or an arm holding an object, you must drop the object held or place it on the ground.

If the object is strapped to you, or you have placed it on the ground, you cannot pick it up again for 5 seconds. The DISARM call represents a strike with finesse that flicks an object out of the hand, or a wave of energy that makes the arm muscles spasm briefly and drop what they hold. You must drop an object held in the hand, or place it on the ground if you would prefer not to risk damage to the physrep. You may not pick the object up or use it again for at least 5 seconds. If the object is strapped to your arm or hand, and you cannot drop it, then you cannot use it for at least 5 seconds.


  • Targets: Field Hits, susceptible species.
  • If this call hits an Energy Field with hits remaining, all Field Hits are lost.
  • Certain characters might be adversely affected by DISRUPT, and it may have additional effects on them if not blocked by a Field.

The DISRUPT call represents a powerful burst of energy calibrated to overload Energy Fields. If it hits an Energy Field then the field overloads and loses any hits it has remaining. If accompanied by a weapon strike, the damage is simultaneous - if you only have a single Field Hit remaining and are then hit with DISRUPT, the last Field hit absorbs the effect of the attack and you do not suffer any additional damage. If a DISRUPT call hits you and you do not have any Field Hits, then call NO EFFECT.

Certain species and characters with sensitive cybernetic implants are susceptible to the energy unleashed by DISRUPT, and may suffer adverse effects unless the DISRUPT is absorbed by a protective Energy Field. If this is the case, then the target character may react in an odd way to your DISRUPT call.


  • Targets: Any character
  • This call is used to deliver simple roleplay effects. See the section on Roleplay Effects below for more details.
  • The EFFECT call will be followed a short description of the roleplay effect.
  • This call and associated instructions are not IC sounds. You cannot perceive an EFFECT call In-Character.
  • This call may be followed by a duration in seconds. If not, the default duration is 60 seconds.
  • As this call does not always have an obvious physical response, you must assume that has landed.

The EFFECT call is used to deliver simple roleplay effects, and is one of the key tools used by telepathic psions to manipulate people. Characters will call EFFECT, followed by a quick description of how the target should react - for example; “Fear Me”; “we are friends”; “You dislike Colonel Miles”; “Feel anger”. Characters who are affected should adjust their roleplay accordingly. This call represents hidden factors and powers that influence behaviours - you cannot perceive the EFFECT call and associated instructions as In-Character speech. This call can be accompanied by a duration in seconds. Like all roleplay effects, if a time is not specified, the effect lasts for 1 minute after delivery.


  • Targets: Any character
  • A FREEZE call will always be followed by a number - this is the duration of the effect in seconds.
  • If you are affected by a FREEZE call, stop moving completely for the duration.

The FREEZE call represents energy or toxic substances that cause instant but brief paralysis. You must completely stop moving for the duration of the effect and cannot take any actions - you should count slowly up to the duration. You can still see, hear and perceive what is happening around you, but cannot move anything apart from your eyes. Some characters may have skills and abilities that may reduce the duration of the FREEZE effect. If this reduces the time down to 0, then you should call NO EFFECT.


  • Targets: Any character
  • A KNOCKOUT call will always be followed by a number - this is the duration of the effect in seconds.
  • A character affected KNOCKOUT falls unconscious for the duration. You must fall completely to the floor and feign unconsciousness. Please ensure the area that you are falling onto is safe. Once the duration expires you can act normally.

The KNOCKOUT call represents stunning energy or poisons that cause loss of consciousness. If hit with a KNOCKOUT, a character falls over and becomes unconscious until the duration expires - you should count slowly up to the duration. While unconscious you cannot see, hear and perceive what is happening around you. If you are in the middle of a battle, then you should remain aware of your surroundings out of character and ensure that you are not trampled - you may move a short distance if you are in danger OOC. Some characters may have skills and abilities that may reduce the duration of the KNOCKOUT effect. If this reduces the time down to 0, then you should call NO EFFECT.


  • Targets: Body hits.
  • If this call hits a body location unprotected by Armour or Field Hits, it causes a lethal wound, and you must begin your Death Count. See Death and Dying for more details.
  • Once your Death Count reaches you character maximum Death Count, then your character dies.

The LETHAL call represents particularly deadly attacks that will result in a quick death if left untreated. If you are hit by a LETHAL call and do not have any Armour or Field hits remaining on that location, then you must begin your Death Count. Start slowly counting aloud upward from one, saying “dying” in between each number - eg. “one - dying - two - dying - three - dying”. Your count should not very loud, but needs to be audible to other players within about a metre of you. Once you reach your maximum Death Count then your character dies, although certain skills, abilities and items may reset, pause or stop your Death Count. If you are still conscious, you may still act while in your Death Count.


  • Targets: Any character
  • You must look directly at the source until they turn completely away from you, move more than 5 metres away from you, or until you are struck by an attack, searched, or someone attempts to move you directly.
  • You cannot take any other action while under the effect of MESMERIZE.

The MESMERIZE call represents abilities that affect the mind, completely capturing your attention and hypnotizing you. It is used by some psions to lock a target in place while they use more complex and subtle abilities on them. When you are MESMERIZED, you must look directly at the source of the call, and cannot take any other action. You are not aware of what is happening while MESMERIZED, and cannot perceive anything that is happening around you. The source of the call must remain nearby and facing you in order to keep the mental hold active - if they turn away from you or move more than 5 metres away then you may act normally. The hold on your mind will also be broken if you are struck by an attack that deals damage (any weapon, projectile or dart) or are searched or directly moved by another character (remember that you cannot OOC physically contact another player without their permission - see Interacting With Other Characters). Incidental contact, like bumping up against other people in a crowd, will not break a MESMERIZE. While Mesmerized, the source may use additional psi powers on you - these will take the form of laminated cards which will direct you on how to react. If you cannot read the card, ask the user to explain them to you. The source getting out their cards to show you does not count as turning away.

If the source of the MESMERIZE call is something other than a character - for example a Ref or lammie on an item you examine, then the call is not broken by the source turning completely away from you, only by distance or by being struck or contacted. A Referee making a MESMERIZE call may specify something else in the environment as the source of the call - eg “You are MESMERIZED to this tree/glowing ball/artefact”.


  • Targets: No target, this is a response call.
  • NO EFFECT indicates that the target of your ability was aware, but unaffected by it.

NO EFFECT is called when a target of a power or call is passively unaffected by it - either due to it not striking the right location, or by a defensive ability they possess. NO EFFECT is different to RESIST in that RESIST is an active ability that requires expenditure of resources in some way. NO EFFECT is the call that you use to indicate, for example, that an incoming DISRUPT shot has hit you while you are not using an Energy Field, or that DISARM hit you in the leg or similar.


  • Targets: Armour Hits
  • If a REND call strikes an armoured location, all remaining Armour Hits on that location are lost.

REND does not affect a character protected by any Field Hits.

REND represents powerful damage that shreds protective materials - energy harmonised to disintegrate metal, clouds of dissembler nanites, etc. If this call strikes a location with Armour Hits remaining, then all remaining Armour Hits on that location are lost. If the REND attack strikes an armoured character with one or more Field Hits to absorb it, then they should call NO EFFECT. Similarly, if REND strikes an unarmour location, or a location where all the Armour Hits have already been lost, you should call NO EFFECT.


  • Targets: Any character
  • You must move directly away from the source of the effect at a quick walk or faster.
  • The effect lasts for 10 seconds. If you hit a solid barrier such a wall, then stop moving until the 10 seconds elapse.
  • REPEL takes effect even if parried with a weapon or shield.

REPEL represents powerful strikes or blasts of force that push you away from something. You must move directly away from the source at a quick walk or faster, for 10 seconds. Make sure that where you are walking to is safe to traverse - don't run into a patch of brambles or stinging nettles or similar. If you run into a wall, barrier that you cannot easily step over, or area that would be unsafe to run through, then you are pinned against the boundary for the remaining duration of the REPEL effect.


  • Targets: No target, this is a response call.
  • RESIST indicates that the target of your ability has actively resisted it.

RESIST is called when a target of a power or call is actively unaffected by it thanks to a defensive ability they possess. RESIST is different to NO EFFECT in that RESIST requires active resistance. Certain skills, abilities and equipment will allow you to resist certain specific calls even when they would otherwise affect you. You must roleplay bracing against the attack and call RESIST (you may also need to tear charges or similar - which you must do at the first available opportunity).


  • Targets: Locations with hits of any type.
  • The STRIKE call deals a point of damage to the named or struck location.
  • When delivered by an attack (weapon, projectile, dart), STRIKE deals an additional point of damage after the damage from the attack.

STRIKE represents attacks that deal more damage than would be expected. If it is delivered purely verbally, the STRIKE call deals a single point of damage to the location specified (if it does not specify a location, then assume that it hits the torso). If delivered by an attack, such as a weapon blow, projectile or dart hit, then it deals a point of damage after the damage from the attack. In most cases, an attack with the STRIKE call will just deal 2 points of damage to the struck location.


  • Targets: Any character
  • If you or your shield are hit by this call, then you fall over.
  • You must fall completely to the ground, or if you are unable to do so you may crouch down so that one knee and one fist are in contact with the ground for 10 seconds instead.
  • Please ensure the spot that you fall on is safe before falling.
  • STRIKEDOWN takes effect even if parried with a weapon or shield.

STRIKEDOWN represents attacks that trip you, knock you off your feet or cause your legs to momentarily weaken and collapse. When hit by STRIKEDOWN, you must fall completely to the ground - you cannot perform a diving roll or similar and jump straight back to your feet. You should ensure that the ground you are falling onto is safe. If you cannot quickly or safely fall to the ground, then you may instead place one knee and one fist on the ground for 10 seconds.


  • Targets: Items and equipment.
  • If this call hits an object such as a weapon, device or shield, that object is broken and cannot be used until it is repaired.
  • Repairing an item requires the Engineer skill and a few minutes of roleplay.

The SUNDER call represents attacks that ruin or degrade physical objects, or break complex technology. If a SUNDER call strikes an item, such as a weapon, artefact, shield or similar, then the object is broken and cannot be used again until it is repaired. Characters with the Engineer skill can repair sundered items over a short period of roleplayed action - see the Engineer Skill description for more details. Some items may become unstable if SUNDERED - the item's lammie will note whether there are any other actions required if it is SUNDERED, usually that you should report what has happened to a Referee. SUNDER has no effect on armour or characters - if a SUNDER effect strikes your body, then you should call NO EFFECT. If you are using a shield that is difficult to discard, then any further blow that strikes a sundered shield counts as if it had struck you on your arm.


  • Targets: Armour Hits.
  • If an armoured location is struck by the THROUGH call, then the damage ignores any remaining Armour Hits.
  • If the THROUGH call is delivered verbally, then treat it as if it is accompanied by an attack.

The THROUGH call represents attacks that can penetrate physical armour and damage the body beneath - this might be extremely hard projectile tips that punch through armour, or energy that phases right through it, leaving it untouched. If you are stuck by a THROUGH attack on a location that has one or more Armour Hits remaining, then instead of losing an Armour Hit, you lose a Body Hit on that location instead. If this call is delivered purely verbally, then it is treated as being accompanied by an attack, so that it does 1 damage. Field Hits block the THROUGH call - if you have Field Hits remaining, then you just lose 1 Field hit.

Out of Game Calls

The following calls are used to control the game Out of Character. They are usually used for safety or plot reasons only. Players should not use these calls unless there is an OOC issue. All players must be aware of these calls and react to them immediately.


This call is used to stop roleplaying either at night or at the end of an event.


This call is used to resume roleplaying after other calls such as TIME FREEZE or MAN DOWN have been called. It is considered common courtesy to count down from 3 before calling TIME IN.


  • You may make this call if you are unable to participate in LRP combat due to out-of-character reasons.
  • You may call NON-COMBATANT if you are about to be attacked in a way that you feel would be OOC unsafe for you.
  • Once you call NON-COMBATANT, put your hand in the air, make your way to a nearby safe location (ideally at the edge of the fight), and lie down badly injured. Your character now has 0 Body Hits, either to their Global pool or to the Torso location. If they had any, their Armour hits to the Torso are also at 0, and their Global Field hits are also at 0.
  • If someone you are fighting calls NON-COMBATANT, immediately stop attacking them.

This call is a safety call that can be used to players who are unable to participate in LRP combat due to Out of Character reasons. Players should not abuse this call to gain IC advantage, only to avoid LRP combat. Non-Combatants are not immune to character death - you may still administer a LETHAL call (or equivalent) on an unresisting Non-Combatant as you would another character, just be sure not to strike them when you do so. It is important to stress that this rule is not designed to exclude people from all combat. Combat in OSLRP takes many forms - a dart gun battle sniping at distance is very different from a brutal close-quarters melee brawl. Participants should use this call to prevent them being attacked in a way that feels unsafe for them. If you are unable to “lie down badly injured”, then it is perfectly fine to take up a comfortable position in a safe place just outside the fight, and just let other participants know the situation when they try to interact with you.


  • If you hear this call, you should stop any fighting and kneel down. TIME OUT is in effect.
  • You should call MAN DOWN if you see anyone suffer a real injury.
  • Do not shout this call if you hear someone else shout it.

If a participant suffers a real injury then a ref or any other participant who sees in the injury should shout MAN DOWN. This call alerts everyone in the area to the fact that someone is genuinely hurt. You should alert the nearest member of crew, if they are not already aware of the incident.

If you hear MAN DOWN called then you should stop fighting and kneel down. Only the referees in the area should remain standing. This makes it as easy as possible for first-aiders and crew to identify the situation and act appropriately. You should not shout the call just because you hear someone else shout it. Referees may keep the area timed out until the situation is resolved, or move players away from the incident and resume fighting in the area by shouting TIME IN.


  • A ref will make this call if a significant safety problem is developing, or if the event logistics requires roleplaying to be suspended.
  • If you hear this call, you should stop any fighting, stop talking and listen for further instructions.

If a Referee identifies that a situation is becoming unsafe then they will call TIME FREEZE. All participants should stop any fighting and stop roleplaying. The Referee will tell you what to do next, so you should remain alert and listen for instructions. The Ref will give a quick explanation of what is happening and then may issue instructions. The other situation in which this call may be used is to briefly suspend roleplaying for logistical issues. Once the situation has been resolved, then roleplaying can resume with a TIME IN call.

Other Game Effects

Some other effects that can occur in game are described below. Non-call effects are usually more complex in what they do and how you should respond to them.

Card-based Powers

Some powers and abilities are delivered via power card lammies that the user will show to the target. These cards will describe the game effect that they cause. If someone shows you a powers card and you are unable to read it (if it is too dark or similar), then you can ask the user to explain the effect to you. In order to use a card-based power, you must be within arms length of the target.


SUGGESTION: You have been implanted with a psionic compulsion with a trigger condition. The bearer will describe a condition in which the compulsion will activate, and how you must respond when that trigger occurs. Once triggered, the effect will last for 5 minutes or until you complete the response. You will have no memory of this power being used on you. This power lasts until the condition is triggered or until the end of the event.


Conditions are longer term or progressive effects that come with a lammie or Condition sheet that is given to you when you come under their sway. A Condition might represent a traumatic injury you have suffered like broken bone, or it might be a sinister alien virus that causes you to waste away unless it is cured, or a hidden mental restructuring that can be triggered with a key phrase. A Condition will either take the form of a tear-open lammie or a Condition Sheet (a piece of A5 paper). Lammies are used for more straightforward Conditions, while Sheets are used for complex or rare ones. You must keep any Condition lammies or sheets with you at all times. Other players can attempt to diagnose your Condition with the appropriate skills or devices. The lammie or sheet will say what skills are needed to diagnose the Condition. Some conditions require a Referee present in order to attempt a diagnosis - this will be indicated on the sheet or lammie.

Lammie Conditions will usually indicated the skills required to diagnose on the tear-open side - if someone with the correct skill does a diagnosis, then they may tear open the lammie to diagnose the cure. Once the cure has been determined and administered, please hand the lammie (and any resources used in the cure) over to a referee. Lammie conditions can be mostly self-refereed.

Condition Sheets are more complex, and can be more difficult to cure, have a progression of symptoms over several events, and may require a number of skills or specialised equipment to diagnose. If someone has all of the correct skills required to diagnose, you may show them the Condition Sheet - this should have an ID number which they can reference at Games Ops to give them more information about the condition and its possible progression and cures.

Roleplay Effects

Certain psy powers, narcotics, technologies or alien artefacts can induce emotional effects in sentient beings. These effects may be delivered by a referee, by another character using the EFFECT: call, indicated on a lammie or similar, and will influence how you roleplay. Unless you are able to resist them via a skill, special power or similar game effect, you must roleplay the effect. The effect may come with a duration, or may not. Unless otherwise specified, a roleplay effect will fade after 1 minute of being separated from its source. If delivered quickly, a roleplay effect may be preceded by the call “EFFECT:” to separate it from normal speech. If you RESIST a roleplay effect, you resist it for that instance only. Roleplay effects are not optional - if you are affected by one, you MUST respond to the effect.

Examples of roleplay effects;

  • An alien with psi powers stares you in the eye and calls “EFFECT: Fear me!”. You respond by fleeing from them and hiding some distance away until the fear fades 1 minute later.
  • You enter an abandoned tomb with a strange glowing artefact on a plinth in the centre. A ref tells you that you are compelled to move forward and pick it up. You reach for it until a more disciplined comrade blocks your way and forces you out of the tomb – the feeling fades after 1 minute once you have left the area.
  • You are holding an item that has the line “When holding this item you feel more aggressive”. You act more aggressive until you put down the item, after which the effect fades after 1 minute.
  • You take a curious green alien drug. When you rip open the lammie, it contains the line “You feel apathetic and react slowly for 1 hour”. After an hour of roleplaying this effect, it fades.
calls_effects.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/13 16:55 (external edit)