prev | toc | next

1.7.2 Initiating Offensive Actions

NOTE: The combat system is undergoing revision. This page is outdated.

Offensive actions include overt the attack manuevers +attack, +aim, +fire, and +throw, the tactical manuever +feint, and the readiness manuevers +wait and +target. Some spells and psionic abilities are also coded as offensive actions.

Argo combat is handled by the system's `events manager', a program that runs a background process that determines what actions a player is taking, and what actions are being taken against him, and applies these each turn. This process is your `event loop'. (The events manager is discussed more fully in Combat Mechanics.) If you do not have an event loop running, any offensive action initiates one. If you do have an event loop running, an offensive action sets props to indicate what you are doing during combat. (Readying weapons and putting on armor also initiate event loops.)

As discussed below, almost all offensive actions require you to designate a target. Note that the system checks to make sure the target is valid. To be a valid target for a combat action, the target must be:

  1. Either an approved Argo player or an Argo-enabled puppet.
  2. Set `combat ok'.
  3. In the same room as you.
  4. If a player, not idle. The amount of time a player must be inactive for in order to be deemed idle by the events system is determined by the system parameter idle_time. The default value for idle_time is 300 seconds, or five minutes.

+attack (syntax +attack <target>) initiates a melee attack against <target>. If you have a readied weapon, damage is figured from that weapon's stats. If you do not have a readied weapon, damage is figured as bare-hand.

+aim (syntax +aim [at] <target>) aims a readied missle weapon at <target>. For each turn spent aiming after the first, your chance to hit increases by 1, up to a maximum of +5. Performing any offensive action other than fire (including aiming at a different target) erases any accrued bonuses. You (and no one else) will receive a notification of bonuses accrued, once per turn. If you fire without aiming, the to-hit roll is made at -3. (The need to aim is a moderately significant disadvantage for ranged weapons. However, they also have offsetting advantages. Aiming increases your chance to hit, so ranged weapons may be the most effective form of attack against well-defended opponents. And, many opponents will be using +parry as their defense mode; parrying is ineffective against many ranged weapons. Finally, a player who is being +guarded by another cannot be attacked with melee weapons until something (bad) happens to the guarding player: ranged weapons may be the only feasible method of neutralizing, say, a potent magic user who is giving you and your allies great trouble.)

+fire (syntax +fire if you are aiming, or +fire [at] <target> if you are not) fires a readied missile weapon at <target>. If you fire after aiming, any bonuses accrued by aiming are applied to the attack, regardless of your skill with the weapon. If you fire after aiming, your offensive action then reverts to aim; if you fire while not aiming, your offensive action remains fire and you will continue to fire once per turn.

+throw (syntax +throw if you already have a target, or +throw <target> if you do not) causes you to throw a readied throwing weapon at your target. Unlike +fire, you do not have to spend time aiming with thrown weapons. After you throw a weapon, it is unreadied and will be in the room, rather than in your inventory. Your readied weapon must be one which can be thrown (type +list thrown weapons for a list).

(Note: Ranged attacks are not adjusted for range, nor are distances between combatants calculated. Technically, any player can attack any other player in the room at any time, though of course it would be best if players reacted to the IC logic of the situation: if Althius declares that hes taking cover behind an overturned table and firing his bow at two players who are unable to reach the table, his opponents should not be able to attack him with swords and maces.

+feint (syntax +feint) changes your attack mode to feinting. Feinting is a tactical manuever that can increase your chance to hit a well-defended opponent. Instead of attacking, you fake an attack in attempt to draw your oppenent off guard. If the feint succeeds (rolled as a contest of skills of your weapon skill vs your opponent's weapon skill, shield skill, or Physical skill — whichever is highest), the amount by which you made your feint is applied as a modifier to your next attack roll. Upon executing a successful feint, your attack mode automatically switches to attack. Your next attack is made with the feint modifier, and then your attack mode automatically switches back to feint.

Feinting is usuful against an opponent whom you are having great difficulty hitting. If your normal chance to hit is reasonable, feinting is counter-productive: turns are spent feinting which otherwise would be used for attacks.

+wait (syntax +wait) and +target (syntax +target <target>) are readiness manuevers. Wait initiates an event loop with no designated target and with your offensive action set to 'wait'. You are not doing anything, but you are ready. +target does the same thing, but also designates a target. Section 1.7.10 below, Responding to Combat Events, discusses the reasons why you might want to use these commands.

prev | toc | top | next