Bell Digest vol03p10.txt

Subject:  The Path of Immanent Mastery,  Volume 3,  Number 10

First Distribution:  June 14,  1989

This issue:
	Roundless Combat			(Mark Abbott)
	Sorcery spell: (Element) Bolt		(Andrew Bell) 

Editor's note:  I'd like to solicit contributions for a list of new and
interesting chaotic features,  that I'll compile and distribute with
appropriate author credits.

My apologies to Mark;  I misplaced his article at least once.  I found it
today while cleaning out my mailbox...


From: (=Mark Abbott)
Subject: Re: Roundless combat

This is a system for roundless combat which we've been using here
for about 4 years now.  I'll give the mechanics of the system without
the actual data tables for the weapons.  If anybody is interested,
I can pass on the details.

We call the system RAR, for Repeat Attack Rate.  Instead of the RQ
SR, where attack timing is based on reach, this system uses speed.
Each PC has a RAR based on his DEX;  the higher the the DEX, the
lower the RAR.  Each weapon also has a RAR based on the speed
with which the weapon can be weilded, again the faster the weapon,
the lower the RAR.   To find the RAR of using a weapon, the player
adds the PC's RAR to the weapon RAR, much like figuring SR.
As skill in a weapon increases, the RAR decreases, ie using it
becomes quicker.

For example:
Broadsword      %               RAR
                0-30%           10
                31-65%          9
                66-100%         8
                101%+           7

        DEX     RAR
        0-9     3
        10-15   2
        16-19   1
        20+     0

So, a DEX 12 swordsman with 55% skill would have a RAR of 9+2=11.
A DEX 17 swordsman with 75% skill would have a RAR of 8+1=9.

The net result:  the speed of using a weapon (RAR) is determined from
the PC's DEX, his skill, and which weapon he is using.  The lower
the RAR, the faster the PC will be.  So far the mechanics are almost
identical to normal RQ, but the numbers differ.

In melee, the PC's RAR is used to sort of set up a "round" which is
individual for that PC.  During that "round" he can do two actions,
as long as both of the actions have RARS <= the length of the "round".
So, the player decides which actions the PC would like to have
available.  Whichever action has the longest RAR, ie is the slowest,
determines the overall RAR for that PC, ie the length of that PC's
"round".   To stop thinking in terms of rounds, let's call that the
PC's cycle time.

Example, Ferghus uses broadsword and shield.  His broadsword
attack RAR is 9, shield parry RAR is 7.  His cycle time will be 9, the
slower of the two actions.  If Ferghus wants to have the option of
kicking, in case he doesn't need to parry, he needs to figure his
RAR for kick.  This turns out to be 8, shorter than the current
length of his cycle so it fits in.  So, sword 9, shield 7, kick 8.
Ferghus may do any two of attack with sword, parry with shield,  or kick,
sometime within his cycle.  If at the end of his cycle he has
used only 1 action, the extra action is lost.

If Ferghus wants to add the option of doing a quick Search (Spot
Hidden for you RQIIers) during the fight, he has to take into
account its RAR which is 10.  As this is slower than any of the
others his cycle is slowed to 10.  However, during those 10 seconds
he can perform any two of attack with sword, parry with shield,
kick, and Search.

So, each PC and NPC will have a cycle length dependent on which
actions the N/PC wants to have available.  Actions may be taken
at any time within the cycle.  A character may change which
actions are available, and hence his RAR, at the end of a cycle only.
Once a cycle is started, the character may only abort if he has
used neither of his actions.

To actually run a melee, the GM counts through seconds.  When a
PC is ready to start a cycle, he declares which actions he would
like available and the RAR.  At any time during the cycle he may
opt to use his declared actions.  At the end of that cycle he is ready
to declare again.

Movement is concurrent with combat.  As the gm counts each second,
each N/PC is moved his movement allowance for one second (3 for
humans in RQIII).  We allow characters to temporarily double
their movement if they have a clear path but this takes one
of their actions.  IE, you can sprint to the fight but then
you have to choose whether to parry or attack when you get there.




Subject:  Sorcery spell: (Element) Bolt

Here's a possible sorcery spell:

(Element) Bolt
ranged, instant (and temporal),  passive

This spell causes a bolt composed of the given element to shoot from the
caster's hand.  Whatever target is hit takes 1 point of damage per level of
intensity of the spell,  plus possible additional effects as noted below.
Protection spells will reduce the damage by 1 point per point of protection.
Armor has no effect against this damage.  The caster must make a skill roll
to hit the target,  which is treated as a missile skill and can be increased
by experience or training.  The missile skill is the same regardless of the
     The range of this spell is how far from the caster's hand the bolt
will go.  It will stop at and cause damage to the first intervening
     The material created is like an illusion,  and thus will disappear at
the end of the duration.  Approximately 1 ENC of material is created per
point of intensity.  While it exists,  it can be manipulated by the
appropriate form/set spell.

Elemental effects:

Fire:     This may set fire to papers and other flammable materials.

Darkness: This may freeze liquids.

Earth:    This form of bolt can do knockback.

Storm:    This form (lightning bolt) is +30% to hit metal-clad targets.
	  Lightning does not stay stable enough to be manipulated
	  after the initial strike.

Water:	  Waterbolts do only half damage,  but do knockback equal to the
	  full intensity.

Chaos:    If the intensity of the spell overcomes the target's magic points,
	  the target gets a reverse chaos feature for the duration of the
	  spell.  This effect works as a spell,  and thus countermagic and
	  spell resistance work against it.

Lune:     The spell also acts as a madness spell,  where the intensity of
	  the spell is matched against the target's magic points.

Learning the Chaos Bolt spell will give the caster a Chaos taint,  and
thus it is never taught in civilized societies.  The Lune Bolt spell is
very rare except among certain sects of lunar magicians.

If you see problems with this spell,  or can think of better elemental
effects,  by all means let me know.

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