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Shadow Arena - Game Mechanics 
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- Game Mechanics -

This section of the Shadow Arena is not essential reading, and you can begin playing in the Arena without it. However, some of you may wish to know how the game actually works, rather than just what you need to do yourself. If you wish to know more about the game, please read on.

- Fights and Actions

Being the mod, it is up to me and my trusty dice to work out the results of actions such as those in the example listed above. There is a simple yet effective method to doing this, involving dice and luck but based upon your statline. Thus the higher a players stats are, the more likely they are to succeed in their intended actions. For non fighting situations your stats are not used, but your post quality can reflect on the success of your actions. For example, if you have written a short and badly constructed post mentioning that your character wants to try and pull the helmet off a fallen foe, you are not likely to succeed. However, someone writing a detailed and well thought out post stating they want to do the same thing is a lot more likely to succeed. Your characters movement stat also comes into play outside of fighting, when they wish to move around the arena, and also when charging another player.

As for situations involving fighting, the following method is used. Dice are rolled against stats or stats compared in the order listed here, only moving onto the next step if each step is passed successfully. Should one step be failed, the attack is failed and no damage is dealt.

Note that in a situation where it seems there is only one outcome (such as rolling to hit when firing a ranged weapon with a character with a BS stat of 6 or above), the roll of a 6/1 (in this case 6) will always fail.

1 - Who Strikes First?
If one player charged the other player, the charging player strikes first. If the players were already fighting, the player with the highest Agility strikes first. If the players have equal agility stats, the striking order is randomly determined. Certain weapons or abilities may change this order. When more than two characters are fighting together, the same technique is still used.

2 - Rolling to Hit
An attacking player must first hit his opponent before any damage is dealt. If firing a ranged weapon, the character must simply score equal to or under his or her Ballistic Skill stat on a single dice. When fighting in combat, the two players Weapon Skill stats are compared. If the attacker has the higher WS, a 3+ is needed to hit. If they have equal WS, a 4+ is needed to hit. If the defender has a higher WS, a 5+ is needed to hit. Usually only one dice is rolled, but sometimes a player may be attacking twice, such as when they carry two combat weapons.

3 - Rolling to Wound
If the attacker hits the defender with their attack, it must then be determined whether the blow is powerful enough to wound them or not. This time the attackers Strength stat is compared to the defenders Toughness stat. If the attackers S is higher, a 3+ is needed to wound. If the S and T are equal, a 4+ is needed to wound. If the defenders T is higher, a 5+ is needed to wound. Again, one dice is normally rolled, but more may be rolled if the attacker hit more than once.

4 - Armour Saves
If the attackers hits are powerful enough to wound his opponent, the other character is not necessarily damaged. Depending on the amount of armour they are wearing, they may survive the blow unharmed. Every item of armour of the player, including shields and helmets, will have a protection value. These are added up to create an armour save. So if the player had Light Armour and a Helmet (total protection 2), they would have a 5+ armour save. Thus if the dice scored a 5 or 6 they would not be damaged by the blow as their armour held out. However, if a 1, 2, 3 or 4 had been rolled, the player would suffer damage.

5 - Damage Points
Each player begins the game with 3 damage points. These are the amount of damage the player can take before being knocked out of the game. For example, a player has entered the arena and is fired upon by a nearby player with a bow. The arrow hits, wounds and overcomes the armour save of the player. The player is damaged. Rather than be removed from play, the characters damage is lowered by 1. Since they now have 2 damage remaining, they can take 2 more similar blows before finally being reduced to 0 damage. When this happens, they are dead, and are permanently removed from play.

- Winning in the Arena

The only way to win a Deathmatch in the Shadow Arena is to be the last character standing. This means killing all the other players, or letting them kill each other and stepping up at the last minute to claim victory! There is a special bonus for players that win and then return to the Shadow Arena in future games. Firstly, they can use the same character again, for all the others have been killed and theirs is still alive, meaning they do not need to go through the character creation process again. Secondly, they get +1 damage point from their winning experience. They are fully healed in between games, so this means they will begin the second game of their life with 4 damage points rather than 3 damage points. This does give them an edge in the following fights, but should they keep winning and getting more and more damage points, the others will soon gang up on them to bring them down. Such is life in the Shadow Arena!

- Additional Effects

Apart from your post quality affecting the results of your actions, and the method described above used for working out the consequences of your fighting, a number of things may have additional effects on the game. One common additional effect is an Ability, such as Chaos Curse which may temporarily lower a players stats. Another such ability is Cruel Tricks, which means a charging player will strike last rather than first. If you want an edge in the Shadow Arena, it is best to learn which abilities have effects on the game and take note of which players may be using them. Apart from abilities, there are a few things which may also effect the game.

The final thing which can have additional effects on gameplay is weapons! There are a lot of weapons to choose from and most of them have some sort of special rule, as listed here. These rules, such as always strikes last, can effect gameplay in the arena. Each special rule is also explained below.

Short Sword - no additional rules.
Long Sword - long reach.
Great Sword - high strength, long reach, always strikes last.
Hand Axe - no additional rules.
Great Axe - high strength, long reach, always strikes last.
Spear - long reach, wooden shaft.
Mace - no additional rules.
Warhammer - always strikes last, high strength.
Halberd - always strikes last, armour piercing, wooden shaft.

Short Bow - short ranged.
Long Bow - long ranged.
Crossbow - long ranged, armour piercing.
Sling - short ranged.

Always Strikes Last - except when charging, this weapon will be the last to strike.
Armour Piercing - the opponent counts as having -1 protection against hits from this weapon.
High Strength - hits from this weapon are worked out with +1S added to the attackers stat.
Long ranged - shots fired from long ranged weapons can cross the entire length of the arena.
Long reach - weapons with a long reach enable the attacker to strike first when charged.
Short ranged - shots fired from short ranged weapons can only cross half the arena length.
Wooden Shaft - if hit by a blow of strength 8 or above, these weapons may break.

- Other Effects

It is now possible to break your opponents shield, in much the same way as weapons with the Wooden Shaft special rule. As such, if a player blocks a blow of strength 8 or above, the shield may break. This is worked out first with a 50:50 chance of success, but this may increase as the strength of the attack increases also. So, a strength 8 attack will break a shield on a 4+, a strength 9 attack on a 3+, and a strength 10 attack on a 2+.

Armour Saves are modified by high strength attacks. This is worked out in the same way as in Warhammer, but starting modifiers from strength 6 attacks. A strength 6 attack will therefore lower an armour save by 1, a strength 7 attack modify the save by 2, and so on.

Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:55 pm
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