Great Eagles


J.R.R. Tolkien



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Table of Contents

            Role Play      It's all about the Role Play
Resources      Materials that weapons and stuff can be made of
Stats      What stats mean to your character
Beasts      Policy on FIGHTER-flagged puppet
FAQ      Frequently asked questions about combat answered
Test      Information about the Combat Test
Testers      All about Combat Testers
Version      Shape of things to come

Role Play

The primary purpose of the combat system is to act as an impartial judge between a group of two or more players engaged in combat RP. The combat system is by NO means a substitute for Role-Play. In fact while combat RP does not require using the combat system, role-play is essential when using the combat system. Beleriand is not a Dungeons and Dragons simulation. The game is most fun when poses are vivid and descriptive, using the results of the combat system as a cue to guide the direction of role play. Players who fail to role play while they use the combat system will be ruled against in any arbitrating decision and may have their combat privileged taken away.

Please see the FAQ for information on becoming combat approved

Beleriand's combat policy places heavy emphasis on creative RP, realism, and descriptive poses, while the Coded System is not expected to take a predominant role in combat scenes. Despite this, players should always use their -training and stats as a measure of their character's skill and prowess in combat situations, whether the Coded Combat System is used in the scene or not. Ideally, a player's -training and stats should reflect their character's IC role in the culture, as well as their past combat experience. If two players can not agree on their relative fighting prowess while doing RP-only combat, CS -training and stats will be used as the default measure of their characters' skill. An available ARB could also be called to the RP if the players involved in the scene want an impartial judge to settle their combat, but feel that the CS would not properly accomodate their IC situation.


The list of current resources: ARROWS COINS HERBS LEATHER ORE WOOD are part of a Basic Resource System in which materials for weapons and armour are used when these things are forged. It is a unit-less system designed to facilitate trade and other IC interactions. (More to come)


A brief primer on what the individual stats mean to your character, in alphabetical order:

CONstitution - This indicates the general health and 'well being' of your character. A higher constitution value means your character will heal from wounds faster. In addition higher CON might mean battle wounds are less hindering.

DEXterity -The 'speed' of a character. This stat affects your ability to avoid being hit by a foe's weapon while increasing ability to hit the foe back.

INTelligence -Effects how quickly your character can learn and be -trained. In addition how high and in how many weapons a player may have high training in.

STRength -Quite obviously, how strong a character is. How hard they hit and how much they can carry.

MAX-HP -An indication of how much damage a character can receive. MAX-HP can only be adjusted by Admins.

n-AC -Natural-AC. An indicator of the ability of the species to resist harm from weapons.


Beasts are coded objects designed to interact with players in regards to the Combat System on Beleriand, they range from such things as Guards of all species to animals and monsters. These Beasts are available to the cultures and, if a player has a good reason, to the players themselves. This however is usually not the case as control over the Beasts is rather tight to avoid manipulation of said objects. Direct ownership will be restricted, where it is practical Culture Admins might get control over it for the sake of simplicity.

Beasts are there to fill out the IC world and make it more real to interact with, to create the illusion of the players interacting with other people then just the players themselves. Hunting a Stag, scaring up and being attacked by a Bear, running afoul of a dread Spider...In some cases, Beasts may be created as 'background' for characters. Beasts are in all just the 'supporting cast' in this play we call Beleriand and as such, will not compete with the true 'stars'. A Beast will not ever be as important as a player and will not be more then a player, unless we are speaking Dragons or something. Beasts are not there to give others a edge, they are there because it would make sense to have them there/here in the IC world of Tolkien.

In general, requests should go through the Culture Admins first, then to the ArchArb/Other Wr's with a clear definition of the purpose of the Beast/s, reasons and useages.


It's quite clear that a combat system is a degree of difficulty over the pose and @emit commands that we use to RP everyday actions and combat scenarios. With the hope that providing answers to some of the more common questions helps to make the usage of the combat system (CS) easier and more enjoyable, a few FAQ topics are provided.

Table of Contents

            Test      The What/Why/Who of the FIGHTER flag test.
Training      Weapon training fundamentals.
Healing      Healing explained.
Damage      Primer on how damage is calculated.


Q: How do I get combat approved?
A: Every player is required to pass a basic combat test to prove they are familiar with the combat system, and capable of RPing combat in a realistic, thematic manner. This test is split into two portions: The written, and the Role-Played. Players can take the written portion of their combat test from the Auto-Arb machine in the Library, which is located just off the OOC Hangout. The written test answers should be -mailed, along with a copy of the questions, to the Combat Tester(s) in the player's own culture. The Combat Tester will then contact the player to arrange a time and date for the Role-Played Portion of the Combat Test. Players who have already become Combat Approved with their primary characters, but wish to approve their alts should -mail an ARBiter with the request.

Q: What is the test like?
A: The Fighter Test is consists of two sections: The written quiz, and a roleplayed combat scene. The written part is made up of questions designed to test the player's familiarity with the NEWS COMBAT and -help combat files, as well as questions regarding the basics of Beleriand theme. The second part of the combat test is usually held in one of the OOC Combat arenas, and consists of an entirely roleplayed scene involving combat. It is the Combat Testers' job to decide whether the player has the necessary RP skills to handle combat believably and thematically, and to hopefully offer suggestions on what the player can do to improve these skills.

Q: How is the test graded?
A: The player taking the Roleplayed combat test is carefully evaluated by the Tester giving it. It is the Tester's responsibility to decide whether the player is in fact ready for the FIGHTER flag by gauging their ability to RP combat thematically and realistically, and by determining if the player is familiar enough with the OOC rules and etiquette of combat RP to merit receiving the FIGHTER flag. A Tester pays attention specifically to the player's ability to visualize the RP scene, their feel for timing concerning their own actions in relation to others around them and the IC world itself, their sense of how possible it is to hit and to wound in the situation at hand, what and how much damage to take from a likely blow, and what kind of movements are possible or impossible in armour of different types and in varying conditions. It is the Tester's duty to help the player improve in these areas by offering advise and suggestions during the test, or possibly by recommending that the player take combat lessons on the subject in which they are lacking. If the Tester feels that the player is not sufficiently skilled in combat RP, or not familiar enough with basic MUX theme and combat etiquette, the FIGHTER flag will be denied and the player will be urged to take combat lessons either from any available -trainers or from other players of their own culture.


Over time, training increases your skill at using a weapon. All facets of combat: ability to hit, accuracy and even defensive skills all are improved with training. We endeavor to have training RP'd between student and trainer. This allows the trainer to not only give some tips on weapons usage, but also to display some good RP abilities and make sure the students ability to project movements with words is improving. Some FAQ's:

Q: Who can I train with?
A: Any approved trainer who has greater skill in the weapon you wish to train in. In general it should be a player in your culture, although if it happens that another culture's trainer is nearby, it is okay if s/he agrees ICly to train you. Going out of your way to find a trainer in another culture is frowned upon. Being trained by a known IC enemy is even worse and will likely result in both players losing privileges. If no trainer characters are available in a player's general IC area for an extended period of time, it may possible to hold training sessions in the OOC Combat Arena with an available -trainer, and only if permission is granted by the player's Cultural admins.

Q: How often may I train?
A: In theory, every couple of RL days a player may improve skills by training. This depends on the students INTelligence. Those with average INT (100) will benefit with -train's every few days, while those with more may train faster, and likewise, those with less will need to wait more. Overall, staying active with training sessions every six days with average intelligence will improve one word level per RL month.

Q: Word Level? Huh?
A: The -training command will show you the current 'word levels' of your skills in each weapon. These are in fact textual descriptions of a -range- that your training falls into. Each 20 training points represents another word level, and while you may not directly see the number of training points you have, each successful -train does indeed improve your skills towards the next word level. See "-Help Combat T L" for an illustration of Word Levels.

Q: How many weapons can I -train in?
A: With the same limitations on waiting a couple of days between -training sessions, you may train in any number of weapons available to you and your culture. There is a limit, however, in how skilled you may become in multiple weapons. While Expertise in Longsword and Bow is attainable over time for the average player, expertise in three or more weapons is hardly possible. This again depends on INTelligence, and the frequency of the player's -training sessions.

Q: How may I become a trainer?
A: Trainers should firstly be excellent RPers and active to the point where they can at least arrange training sessions with fellow players. It is up to each culture's admins to choose who is capable of being a trainer in each culture. It is hoped the above conditions apply of course. The game admins will only become involved if there is a problem with the trainer.


Q: Who can use the -heal command?
A: While anyone may use the -heal command, only authorized healers who represent those with IC skill will have a reasonable chance of success. Whether it is successful or not, the -heal command can only be used on a given player once per IC-day.

Q: What stats affect the chances of a -heal working? And how much healing will occur?
A: The skill of the healer and the CONstitution of the character who the heal is used on are the greatest factors. In addition, the healers INTelligence and some random factors play into both the chances of success and the amount (measured in HP's) the player will increase by. There's one caveat: A healer must be in at least fair health to be able to use the -heal command. Currently that number is half of the healer's total HP's.

Q: How do I become a healer?
A: Express the desire to your Culture Admins. Likely you will begin as an apprentice, both in skills and position. After some time, you'll be a full fledged healer with a good idea how to RP your important job.

Q: How does a healer improve his or her skill?
A: With each successful heal attempt, the healer gains a small amount of skill. Over time, this increase can lead to higher word levels and abilities in healing. Possibly in the future, highly skilled healers will be able to impart healing skill based on some kind of training command.

Q: Are there other ways to heal?
A: Yes. Even without the aid of a healer, a player will begin to naturally recover on the following IC day from when s/he was last attacked by anyone. In general, such a recovery occurs much more slowly than under the care of a skilled healer.


A brief primer on how the combat system works:

A numbered 'range' is calculated for each player. It is a number greater than 0 and is a function of each of the players DEXterity and training in the weapon they currently wield. The exact weighting for this number is not quite settled on, but for now training points contribute somewhat less than DEXterity in this figure. In addition a 'reach' number is calculated for the attacker. This number again is a function of the players training points and DEXterity. So that leaves us with these values:

attack_range ... f(DEX,training)
attack_reach ... f(training,DEX)
defend_range ... f(training,DEX)
Now a random number is generated for each player between 0 and *_range for each player. In the case of the attacker his/her number will be between 0 and MIN(attack_range, defense_range). If the difference in these two numbers is less than attack_reach - this attack has resulted in a hit and damage must now be calculated.

Now that we have a 'hit' number which is less than 'attack_reach', we can use this number to calculate damages. Firstly the 'brunt' of the attack is calculated as a percentage of the difference between 'attack reach' and the 'hit' number. This is multiplied by the damage of the weapon. Then the damage is further multiplied by weighted values of the attackers STRength and training. Finally it is divided by the defenders effective AC (armour class)..which is in itself the defenders AC plus possible bonuses for training.

So to try and put this in equation form:

hit = Rand(min(attack_range,defend_range) - defend_range))
damage = weapon_damage * (hit - attack_range) / attack_range
damage = damage * (f(attacker_STR) + f(attacker_training))
damage = damage / (defender_AC + f(defender_training))


Combat Testers are -trainers authorized to give the Role-Played portion of Beleriand's Combat Test to players in their own culture. It is their responsibility to test whether new players are familiar and proficient enough with the etiquette and rules of Combat RP to receive the Fighter flag. Upon applying for the RPd combat test, a new player should contact his culture's combat tester(s) and arrange a time and date for a RPd testing session.

The RPd portion of the test is played out in the OOC Combat Hangout, and is not usually considered In Character Role Play. The entire testing session, including OOC commentary from the Combat Tester and player, should be logged and saved.

Afterwards, the Combat Tester should notify Beleriand's ARBiters and the CAs of his culture to make note of whether the player passed the RPd portion of the test, and to give some indication of what areas they should practice and improve upon. Combat Testers are chosen and appointed by their Culture Wardens.


The code for the combat system was begun in November 1996. In January 1997 the code was changed and placed on Wizard level objects. After some delays, and after moving Beleriand's site, the code was opened for public use around March of 97. That was version 1.0, and like many so-called 'dot-ohs' it had its share of bugs, which at this writing are fixed. The current version is called 1.5, which is more a representation of other features which have been added than any particular event or release. A brief history of those changes and future versions follows:

  Version  DateFeatures
1.0March 97Forging, wielding, attacking, healing...
1.1March 97Bug fixes, encumbrance of weights
1.2April 97Mostly internal changes
1.3April 97Healing and training modified
1.4May 97Attack command changes
1.5May 97More weapons, resources code enhanced
1.6June 97Shoot command (bows), limited 'beta beasts'
internal changes to forge
1.7October 97Enhanced attack command hunting beasts.
1.8In Progress  Many enhancements and tweakings.
1.9PlanningMore resources, resource objects
2.0DreamingPossible introduction of attack weight estimates.

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Created and maintained by: Ulmo
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