The galaxy is a dangerous place, populated by dangerous people, and violence is always a possibility during a tense encounter. Simulated LRP combat is a fundamental element of the game, and all players should be aware of the basic rules for combat. The potential for combat is always present in-game, but there are systems in place to minimise your involvement with it should combat break out around you. See the Non-Combatant section of the Calls page for more details.
All characters have a number of body hits that represent how much damage they can take. Different species have different amounts of starting body hits, and all characters can gain additional hits through experience. Over the top, character wearing armour are granted armour hits, and those rich or lucky enough to own an energy field have field hits. All of these types of hits will be either locational or global. No form of hits can go below 0.
Characters in Orion Sphere LRP can have one of two types of hits - locational or global hits. Hits are also “layered” over each other, reflecting different types of worn protection.
This is a rule of thumb, and is intended to encourage more heroic and epic combat, and prevent “drum-rolling”. It also reduces the game impact of players who can afford to purchase rapid-fire, motorized dart guns. The cinematic feel of combat is intended to be like Star Wars, which would be lessened if someone could unload 12 blaster shots into one location in the space of 3 seconds. This rule applies to blows from a single target regardless of how many weapons they have - Dual Weapons Training does not allow you to inflict more than one hit every second.
All weapons must be at least 8” (20 cm) long, but you do not need a skill to wield a weapon up to 42” long, either to attack or to parry. You do not need a skill to wear light armour or Light Energy Weapons. You must purchase character skills to use a weapon larger than 42“ or a shield. You must purchase Dual Weapons Training to be able to make attacks or parry with a weapon in your off-hand. You must purchase skills to use any Energy Weapon that has a dart capacity of more than 10, or that has a powered mechanism, replaceable dart magazines or that fires large “heavy” darts. You must purchase character skills to be able to use projectile weapons like bows and crossbows, or thrown weapons. You must purchase skills to be able to wear medium or heavy armour. You can only wear a single Energy Field at a time.
Using the power of a Call usually requires an act of volition in the user - engaging a psi power or switching fire modes on a weapon. However, in the heat of LRP combat, your target may not hear or notice your damage call, which means that your resources would be wasted - not a great outcome for you or the game. In this case, you can attempt to deliver your Call again within a short time frame - the power may have taken some time to build up before becoming active. If the opponent calls RESIST in response to your Call, that means that they have some measure (usually an active one, costing charges or points) which protects them, so that is valid.
Conditions represent severe complex injuries like broken bones, internal bleeding and the like, or the effects of strange radiation, alien viruses or exotic toxins. A Condition will either take the form of a tear-open lammie of 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. 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.
If you are interacting with another player, then you cannot physically touch them unless you have permission to do so out of character. You may represent physical interactions by holding a hand at least 8” away from their person and describing your actions.
You can search an unresisting character to attempt to find any valuable items that they are carrying. Searching a character requires at least 30 seconds of roleplayed action. after which the target must give you every IC item that they are carrying.
If you and the target agree that you both prefer to perform a real search then you may do so. You must not touch the player without OOC permission to do so. You do not have to phys-rep the search if you are not comfortable doing so. The target must give you any items that you find while searching them.
If you wish to capture another character then they must be unresisting for the entirety of the time that you are attempting to make the capture - in most cases this will mean they are Unconscious or Badly Injured. If a character is not able to participate in combat because they are a non-combatant, or need to drop OOC for a first-aid incident or emergency then you require a referee if you wish to capture them. We would prefer that you get a referee before attempting to capture any character, but acknowledge that this is not always possible. You may roleplay securing the character with ropes, manacles or similar, but these must be OOC removable by the player. You should not phys-rep any method of restraint unless the player to be restrained is comfortable with it.
If you are conscious and not Walking Wounded then you may automatically escape any bonds after a count of at least 300 seconds regardless of the method used to restrain you. You must use appropriate roleplaying in a way that is obvious to everyone who is watching that you are escaping your bonds. If your attempt to escape is interrupted then you must restart your count. Your character automatically escapes if they are taken outside the IC area without a Referee present.
If you are held prisoner at time-out at night or at the end of an event then you are assumed to be in the custody of your captors and should resume play as a captive at the next time in. If this is likely to be difficult for any reason then consult a Referee. You cannot force a captive to hand over any resources they gain between events. If you are taken captive by NPC enemies (on a mission, for example), then the Game Team will provide IC opportunities for other characters to rescue you.
The combat rules are structured to encourage a mission-based, “Strike Team” combat style, where player characters are elite troopers relative to their opponents, but will gradually succumb to attrition if things are going badly. While most individual encounters are likely to be “won” by PCs, if they do badly then it will come with a punishing cost.
Most of the combat situations that players end up in will be time-limited missions, where they cannot easily refresh their resources. Healing is deliberately slow, so players who take the time to heal up between encounters will be losing time throughout - the intent is that each mission will be an exercise in increasing risk as characters are worn down by attrition and must make the hard choice to either push forward while injured, lose precious time to heal their wounds, or abandon the mission. As characters are downed and become Walking Wounded, they are lost to the mission but not dead, and can still call for emergency evacuation. These aspects of the game are intended to encourage these hard choices about abandoning missions and losing the resources invested so far, while avoiding a total party wipe. In other systems that use resource-based rapid healing, progression through missions tends towards carrying on doggedly while resources deplete, and then a sudden tipping point of resource depletion or bad luck leading to multiple character deaths and a rout. This is something that we wish to avoid, while also encouraging players to consider the cost of a failed mission.
In order to kill another character, an opponent must deliberately target them with a LETHAL call and begin their Death Count. In heroic sci-fi, characters rarely die due to random blaster fire from enemy minions - they tend to suffer accumulated injuries that prevent them from being an active part of the fight, and perhaps an anchor to slow the rest of their party down. On the other hand, important enemies can quickly despatch a character as part of a powerful scene - like Obi-wan Kenobi is killed by Darth Vader In Star Wars Episode 4. Once the deliberate decision has been made to strike a killing blow, characters tend to die fairly quickly - most species have a base Death Count of less than 3 minutes. The intent is that character deaths are supposed to have meaning - a PC will not die due purely to the bad luck of running out of hits while the enemy line briefly passes over them, but a brutal opponent might demonstrate their cruelty by executing the fallen. This is intended to encourage Player Characters to take risks and do heroic deeds, and promote a pulp-action style of combat.
The vast majority of hostile NPCs are governed by the same game and character build rules as the PCs. They may be in possession of the occasional strange artefact or device, but will usually have roughly the same or worse amount of hits and ability to do damage as player characters. Player characters are the elite of known space, and their abilities should reflect that - most other civilisations will have inferior technology and abilities compared to PCs. The few opponents that do not follow standard build guidelines will be things like terrible beasts, rare mutants or experimentally enhanced individuals - uncommon, usually highly distinctive and unique opponents. There are no random skeletons with four times the hits of everyday PCs who all strike for REND on every blow.