Combat Rules and Powers


Safety trumps all other rules. Always make sensible decisions to avoid injuries.

Do not hit people in the head or groin with weapons or packets. When head/groin strikes inevitably accidentally occur, graciously give the recipient a chance to get their bearings. 

The environment poses the biggest safety risk. Do not fight next to things that could cause anyone to fall or bang into hard objects. If a fight drifts near a hazard, say caution and reposition yourselves. This should not ordinarily require pausing the entire fight; just the fighters near the obstacle should pause for a moment to reposition.

Keep adequate space from each other when fighting. If you are “unconscious”, move as appropriate to avoid getting underfoot. When fighting, you should remain far enough from your opponent that you cannot touch their torso with your hand. When rushing at an opponent, it is your responsibility to stop before you bowl them over, and it is your responsibility to make it obvious you will stop in time.

If someone (or a precious item) has received or is at risk of a serious injury, call emergency or hold to require every player to immediately stop combat.

This game uses lightest touch combat. This means that any strike should hit the target with the minimum force necessary for them to feel it.

"Tests of strength" and weapon entanglement are not permitted. Don't try to "push through" if someone executes a parry. Don't try to grab someone's weapon with your hand or clothing.

The Flurry Rule

The flurry rule requires that after you swing a weapon and make contact (whether damaging or blocked) 3 times, you must pause for a moment at the edge of your weapon range. This is a safety rule to give someone overwhelmed by blows a moment to step back safely. This rule does not prohibit pursuing a fleeing opponent or engaging with an opponent who is aggressively advancing on you.

Spell packets should be made from stretchy fabric filled with something like birdseed. A spell packet should be loose enough that you can pinch it and touch your fingers to each other. If you bring packets, please confirm each day they remain soft, as birdseed or other fillings can harden from water exposure.

Health, armor, and damage

PCs have 3 health and 3 armor unless your class specifies otherwise. 

You can regenerate your own armor during a fight (see Resting, below), but health recovery will only happen between fights or from healing powers. Armor represents some combination of physical armor, lucky dodging, and magical shielding.

You may, as a temporary effect from some class powers, gain protection. Any points of protection are lost between combats. Multiple effects granting protection do not stack; you may either keep any protection you previously had or lose it and gain whatever the new effect grants.

When hit by a weapon, you take one damage unless the attack was accompanied by a verbal call indicating more damage, in which case you take that much damage, or a special effect, in which case you take that effect but no damage.

When you take damage, you first lose protection, then armor, then health. If you have zero health, you immediately collapse unconscious, though you are encouraged to moan terribly as you fall. Health cannot fall negative. If you receive any healing while unconscious, you are immediately returned to consciousness and can resume fighting. If you spend five minutes unconscious, you are returned to one health.

Against an unconscious or helpless opponent, a PC or NPC may touch the opponent with a weapon and say, slowly “Death strike one, death strike two, death strike three.” At the conclusion of the death strike, the victim is dead. If you die, wait for the end of the combat and report to the game organizers.

Ordinary NPC enemies do not need to be killed. When defeated, those NPCs will arise as intangible spirits and return as new enemies shortly. Winning a combat usually requires completing objectives or surviving for a time rather than killing enemies until there are none left.


Energy is a fast-recovering resource. You might refresh your energy a handful of times during the fight.

Verve is a per-battle resource. You won’t refresh it during a fight, but will gain it back for the next encounter.

PCs have a maximum of 1 energy and 1 verve. 

Virtue and Vice

Once per battle, you can draw on your best quality for extra power. Once per day, you can do the same with your worst quality.

Pick a signature virtue and vice for your PC. A virtue can be any single-word positive attribute, such as courage, compassion, ingenuity, or honor. A vice, similarly, should be a single word negative attribute such as vanity, recklessness, jealousy, or greed. 

You can choose an unconventional virtue or vice, one that might reflect your PC's unusual moral values, but still choose words that clearly indicate a positive or negative value. For example, if your PC considers kindness to be a vice, call it "weak-heartedness" or something similar.

Once per battle, you may tap into your virtue to use an ability that normally costs energy without paying that cost. When doing so, call your ability by saying "With [virtue], ...", e.g. "With courage, 4 damage". Some energy abilities give you multiple uses of some call, in which case you must use the "With [virtue]" prefix at least for the first call.

Once per day, you may tap into your vice to use an ability that normally costs energy without paying that cost. As with using a virtue, preface your ability by saying "With [vice], ...", e.g. "With wrath, heal 2 by medicine."


You can rest during combat. Resting requires a minute, during which:

After you rest, you:

After combat

After combat ends, you can spend 5 minutes of downtime in a safe place to fully recover most resources. You don't need to meet the rigid requirements of an in-combat rest; for example, you can stroll around. It should also never be necessary to strictly count out 5 minutes. It's usually obvious when combat is over, and you'll nearly always have considerably more than 5 minutes of downtime before the next combat starts.

After 5 minutes of downtime while out of combat:

Attack and Power Delivery

The head is not a legal target. Do not aim there, and hits there do no damage. Similarly, the crotch is not a legal target. If you hit someone in either location, apologize and give them a chance to recover.

A hand on a weapon is invulnerable, including the entire fingers and palm but not the wrist. You do not have the same obligation to avoid hitting hands as you do to avoid hitting heads.

If your power gives you a special melee attack, you expend the required resource when the attack lands and is either taken by your foe or negated with a verbal call. Having your swing blocked or missing does not expend the resource. A melee attack delivering an effect does not also deal damage.


Packets are birdseed pouches that are used to represent spells and similar powers that are delivered at range.

A packet-delivered attack expends its resources when it is thrown, whether or not it hits. A packet delivers its damage or effect if it hits any part of someone’s body or carried items, including weapons and shields. To encourage people to wear cool costuming, a packet that misses the body and hits a cape or other part of costuming does not count as hitting.

You must throw a packet using a hand that is otherwise empty, though you may tuck your weapon under the other arm to free your hand to throw a packet. An arm with a shield strapped to it cannot throw a packet.

If you are hit by or block a melee weapon attack, you may not throw a packet for one second. The small gap in blows required by the flurry rule is not enough to recover the ability to throw a packet if the attacker immediately resumes melee combat.

Dart Blasters

Most Solitude characters cannot use dart blasters (Nerf or similar), but some PCs and some NPC types might use them, which means any participant might be on the receiving end of a dart-delivered attack.

Darts behave very similarly to packets. Darts may only be fired using an ability. Using a dart blaster expends resources whether or not it hits. Darts deliver damage or other effects if they hit any part of the body or carried items, including weapons and shields. Similar to packets, you may not fire a dart blaster for one second after being hit by or blocking a melee attack.

You may not block with a dart blaster. You may only operate a dart blaster using hands that are otherwise empty (and arms with no shield strapped to them). A small blaster might be comfortably carried and fired with one hand, but will generally require a second empty hand to prime. As a result, character concepts involving a combination of a dart blaster with a weapon or shield are disfavored unless the participant can show game staff they can safely operate the blaster while juggling the additional equipment.

A misfire by a dart blaster that could not have possibly hit the target (e.g. a jam or dud dart) does not expend the resources used for the ability.

"By my gesture"

A power prefaced with the call "by my gesture" is delivered automatically to whomever is pointed at. An effect with a duration (such as agony or slow) lasts as long as the gesture is maintained.

Verbal Effects

This game will likely transition to the Accelerant rule system at some point. For now, we are using rules drawn from Accelerant concepts while we playtest to ensure they are a good fit.

Damage: A call of "[number] Damage" deals that much damage. When using a power that deals damage, saying "[number] Damage" is required; it is not allowed to call just "[number]." A swing without any verbal call associated with it is exactly equivalent to "1 Damage". A call of any other effect does not deal damage: a call of "Maim" does the Maim effect but not any additional damage.

Short: This modifies any effect so that it can be cured with 10 seconds of uninterrupted rest. If you do not take the time to rest, a short effect may end up lasting quite a while!

Root: Plant your left foot. You may pivot on that foot but may not lift it. This effect is removed by 5 minutes of rest.

Slow: You may not run and must only walk. You may otherwise swing, block, etc. at normal speed. This effect is removed by 5 minutes of rest.

Agony: You may not attack, either by swinging a weapon or using a projectile. You may move and block with a weapon or shield as normal. This effect, unlike any other effect, always ends after 10 seconds of duration and does not require any rest to remove.

Disengage: You may only activate this ability after taking a step back or if you have held your current position for at least 3 seconds. When someone uses this ability, if you are close enough so that your weapon can touch theirs you must back up from them until your weapon can no longer touch theirs. As soon as you have met this condition, the effect of Disengage ends on you and you may approach again. If you are in a situation where backing away isn’t possible or safe, either due to physical barriers or other larpers in the way, you may cross your arms for three seconds instead.

Maim: You are unable to use a specific limb. 

A maimed arm cannot swing or block with a weapon or shield. A maimed arm should not be used to carry a weapon or shield, but you can wait until a safe moment to drop something you’re already carrying. If you accidentally block a strike with a weapon or shield held in a maimed arm, take the hit as though you didn’t block. You cannot swing a two-handed weapon one handed if one arm is maimed. 

A maimed leg cannot be walked on. Drop to that knee. You may not crawl or hop. The maimed leg is still “alive” and is a valid target for strikes. You may be “picked up” by another PC to be moved.

When maim is delivered by a melee strike, the affected limb is the one hit by the attack. A strike to the torso does nothing and expends the attack power. When maim is delivered by a packet attack, the verbal should include the specific limb to be affected by the attack, e.g. “maim left leg”.

Maims do not expire during combat, although can be easily cured when the PCs return home.

Purge: Called by NPCs when they cure themselves of the effect of an attack. NPCs are likely to only be affected by effects such as maim or root for a modest period.

Parry: You ignore all effects from the attack that just struck you. An ability that lets you Parry may impose other restrictions on which attacks you can negate with it.

By my voice: This modified another effect so that the effect is delivered to everyone who hears it. By my voice, by default, affects everyone who hears it, allies and enemies, although it is not unusual to further modify the effect to restrict it to a specific group, e.g. “by my voice, agony to foes.” Unless otherwise stated, you may choose the volume you speak this effect at.