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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.

Receiving Damage

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.

Types of Hits

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.

Locational Hits

  • Characters with locational hits have their hits distributed across six locations on their body - Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, Right Leg, Torso and Head.
  • When you are struck with LRP weapons, darts or ranged projectiles, the location struck loses one hit.
  • While the Head is a viable target, we ask players to avoid striking for the head if there is any other location available. This particularly concerns ranged weapons.
  • When you have 0 body hits left on a location, you can no longer use that location.
  • If your head is on 0 body hits, you fall unconscious. You cannot perform any actions and are considered to be Unresisting.
  • If your torso is on 0 body hits, you fall to the ground and must roleplay being badly injured. You cannot perform any actions other than talking or screaming in pain, and are considered to be Unresisting.
  • If your arm is on 0 body hits, you cannot use it to do anything, and it falls limply by your side. You must drop anything held in that hand.
  • If your leg is on 0 body hits, it cannot support your weight. You must fall over, and you can only move by pushing yourself along the ground with your active limbs.

Global Hits

  • Characters with global hits have a single “pool” of hits, usually representing a homogeneous or distributed physiology.
  • When you are struck with LRP weapons, darts or ranged projectiles on any location, you lose one hit from your pool.
  • When you have 0 body hits left, you fall unconscious.

Body, Armour and Field Hits

  • All characters have Body Hits, which represent the durability and resilience of their physical body. Body hits can be either Global or Locational, depending on species. Body hits are damaged after Armour and Field hits.
    • Once you have run out of Body hits, either you fall unconscious, or can no longer use the damaged limb.
    • If your Body Hits are hit by a LETHAL call, then you must begin your Death Count.
    • Body hits can only be healed by certain skills or items. Otherwise they will recover overnight.
  • Characters wearing physical armour will have one or more Armour Hits. Armour Hits are always locational, as the effect of damage on the physical armour is localised to the area struck. Armour Hits are normally lost before Body Hits - if you are struck by an attack and still have armour hits remaining on the location, then that attack is considered to have been stopped by your armour.
    • If your armour is struck by the THROUGH call, then that strike penetrates your armour and does damage directly to your body. The armour is not damaged.
    • If your armour is struck by the REND call, then all remaining Armour Hits on the struck location are destroyed, and the location now has 0 Armour Hits remaining.
    • Armour Hits can be repaired by characters with the Engineer skill. A few minutes of roleplayed action by an Engineer will restore a single Armour location to its starting value (more skilled Engineers are faster).
  • Characters can acquire Energy Fields which provide Field Hits, which represent a protective energy barrier around your whole body. Field Hits are always Global, as the power of the energy field is distributed around the whole body. Field Hits are always lost before Armour or Body Hits - the energy field is always the first layer of defences that an attack will encounter.
    • If your Field Hits are struck by the DISRUPT call, then your energy field overloads and loses all remaining Field Hits.
    • Energy fields rapidly restore themselves when out of combat. If you are not in combat for a continuous period of 5 minutes, then you regain all lost Field Hits.
    • You may be able to spend charges in your energy field device to recover Field Hits during combat.

The One-Second Rule

  • You can only take damage from a given source once per second.
  • Dart guns that shoot multiple simultaneous darts still only do 1 damage.
  • Attacks from multiple sources cause damage normally.

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.

Injury and Recovery

  • Characters recover all of their hits overnight, unless prevented from doing so in some way.

Becoming Unconscious

  • When a character with locational body hits has been reduced to 0 hits on their head, or a character with global body hits has 0 hits remaining, they are Unconscious.
  • Unconsciousness takes preference over being Badly Injured (see below).
  • When you become Unconscious, you must drop to the ground safely (you may only remove yourself from the immediate combat area if there is a risk you might be trampled) and roleplay being unconscious.
  • While unconscious, you are unable to perceive, interact with, or react to anything that is happening around you in-character.
  • While Unconscious, in the interests of OOC safety, you should remain aware of your surroundings Out Of Character. If there is combat still occurring in the immediate area, keep your eyes open and aware in case there is a risk of it moving in your direction. If a Referee asks you to move, you must do so.
    • If you feel that you are OOC unsafe and there is no referee present, you may move yourself a short distance to a clear area. You may not move into an area where you would be any more concealed than where you fell.
  • You remain unconscious for at least 5 minutes (300 seconds), after which you become Walking Wounded.

Becoming Badly Injured

  • When a character with locational body hits has been reduced to 0 hits on their torso, they are Badly Injured.
  • When you become Badly Injured, you must drop to the ground safely as above. Unless your Head is also on 0, you are awake but in extreme pain and unable to perform any actions.
  • While badly injured, you are able to perceive things that are happening around you (through a cloud of pain),
  • You are able to talk or scream in pain, but cannot move except for OOC safety reasons.
  • While Badly Injured, in the interests of OOC safety, you should remain aware of your surroundings Out Of Character. If there is combat still occurring in the immediate area, keep your eyes open and aware in case there is a risk of it moving in your direction. If a Referee asks you to move, you must do so.
    • If you feel that you are OOC unsafe and there is no referee present, you may move yourself a short distance to a clear area. You may not move into an area where you would be any more concealed than where you fell.
  • You remain unconscious or badly injured for at least 5 minutes (300 seconds), after which you become Walking Wounded.

Walking Wounded

  • Characters who are Walking Wounded only have partial function on all their locations. You remain Walking Wounded until both your Head and Torso locations have been healed to at least 1 hit. If you have global body hits, then you remain Walking Wounded until you have recovered at least 1 global body hit. The following restrictions apply to a Walking Wounded character.
    • You must roleplay being injured and in pain.
    • You cannot use any character skills, psionic powers, or similar.
    • You cannot move any faster than slow walking pace without assistance from another character who is not also Walking Wounded. With assistance you can move only at normal walking pace.
    • You can hold items, but cannot make attacks, defend yourself or use any item abilities. The only exceptions to this are that you may use injectors, or items that explicitly say that they can be used when Walking Wounded.
    • You can also use basic comms devices - eg. walkie-talkie style communicators.
  • If you are struck while Walking Wounded, you lapse into unconsciousness again.

Death and Dying

  • Running out of body hits does not begin your Death Count.
  • For most characters, being hit with a LETHAL call on an unprotected location will begin your Death Count.
  • An unprotected location is one with no armour or field hits remaining.
  • Any character can, after 5 seconds of uninterrupted roleplayed action within 1-2 feet of an unconscious or unresisting character, make a single strike for LETHAL against them.
    • Your roleplay must make it clear that you are attempting to administer a killing blow or shot to those who are watching.
    • This can be done with any weapon. If you are using a projectile or dart weapon to administer the LETHAL strike, you should not actually fire the projectile or dart at them (as you will be too close). You must actually have the capacity to make a shot (so you must have ammunition remaining, etc.)
  • When you are in your Death Count, begin slowly counting aloud from 1, interspersing the numbers with “dying”.
    • A count should proceed - “one - dying - two - dying - three - dying - four - dying” etc.
    • Your death count should be reasonably quiet but clearly audible to other players within 1-2 feet of you.
  • Once you reach your character's maximum Death Count, your character is dead. If they are still conscious they must drop to the ground safely.
  • Players whose characters are dead may continue to roleplay for a time as their corpse if they wish. If another character examines your corpse for 10 seconds, you should inform them that your character is dead.
  • When there is an opportunity, players whose characters are dead should inform a referee or games ops.
  • It is possible to reset or pause your Count using skills or items. If this is the case, the item lammie or character using the skill will tell you how to respond.

Dealing Damage

Weapon Use

  • All characters can use a melee weapon between 8“ and 42” in their primary hand.
  • All characters can use a Light Energy Weapon (a dart gun with a dart capacity of 10 or less, with no powered mechanism and no replaceable magazine.
  • All characters can wear Light Armour, which gives 1 Armour Hit on each location at least 50% covered by the armour physrep.
  • All characters can use a single Energy Field at a time.

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.

Weapon Calls

  • You can only make a single Call with each shot or strike.
  • Any call delivered by a weapon strike or projectile/dart hit also deals a single point of damage to the struck location.
  • Delivering a Call will usually require you to pay charges or Psi Points or similar. You must pay the cost before delivering the attack.
  • If the Call has no effect on a target and they do not call RESIST or NO EFFECT, then you may use the call again within a reasonable time period (less than 30 seconds) without paying the cost again.

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.


  • You may receive a Condition as a result of trauma in combat, or from exposure to unusual phenomena.
  • Conditions take the form of either a lammie card or a condition sheet - this details the effects and progression of the Condition.
  • 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 Card Draw Action in order to attempt a diagnosis - this will be indicated on the sheet or lammie.
  • For the full rules on Conditions, see the Conditions page

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. When you get a Condition, you should take a moment to read the outside of it as early as is convenient. Characters with certain skills or devices may be able to Diagnose the Condition to get more information and possibly the cure. See the Conditions page for more information.

Interacting With Other Characters

  • When interacting with other characters, you cannot physically touch them unless they have given you OOC permission to do so.

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.

Moving another Character

  • You can move another character who has fallen unconscious, who is dead or paralysed in some way (such as via the FREEZE call).
    • Moving an unresisting character requires both hands to be free.
    • Moving an unresisting character allows you to move no faster than a slow walking pace.
    • If two characters cooperate to move an unresisting character, then they move at a normal walking pace.
    • If more than one character wishes to move an unresisting character in different directions, then that character does not move. There is no “contest of strength”.
  • You can assist moving another character who is Walking Wounded if they allow you to.
    • Assisting a Walking Wounded character allows them to move at a normal walking pace (ordinarily they can only move at a slow walking pace).
    • Assisting a Walking Wounded character requires at least one hand to be free. You can use your other hand to do things normally.

Searching another Character

  • Searching another character takes at least 30 seconds of roleplayed action.
  • In order to steal items off another character you must search them.
  • If you successfully search another character without interruption for 30 seconds, then they must give you all IC game items that they are carrying.
  • Searching another character requires both hands to be free.
  • You must not touch another player unless they have allowed you to do so.
  • If both players prefer, then you may perform an actual search.

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.

Capturing another Character

  • You can automatically capture any unresisting character.
  • You can escape any bonds with five minutes of obvious roleplaying attempting to escape.
  • Make sure you have a referee present if you are planning to capture another character.

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.

Combat Design

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.

Slow Healing

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.

No Incidental Death

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.

Equivalent NPC Enemies

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.

combat.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/10 14:41 by conan