News:Players Guide - Combat

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"Now think real hard. You've been bird-doggin' this township a while now. They wouldn't mind a corpse of you. Now you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, but if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty flowered bonnet, I will end you."
- Malcolm Reynolds, Our Mrs. Reynolds episode, Firefly

They say never hit a man with a closed fist, and as we all know, the Good Book's got some very specific things to say about killing. But it is occasionally necessary. We know we've been going on and on about how role-play centric Serenity MUSH is. But there are certain kinds of role-playing that have a tendency to end with certain words being exchanged, as well as certain bullets. So strap on your body armor, stuff a fresh clip into your weapon of choice, sharpen that long blade and get ready for some thrillin' heroics!

A Cautionary Word

Engaging in combat on Serenity MUSH can result in your character being killed.

IC actions equal IC consequences, or to put this plain: Stupidity can kill! As funny and/or appropriate as it might seem for your character to punch out the Alliance Officer searching your boat and making snarky comments about it's condition, do keep in mind said Officer has a squad of armed Federals who aren't likely to think it near as funny as you do.

Other Rules of Thumb:

  • Before combat breaks out, request a judge.
  • Once a judge is present, accept their rulings.
  • NEVER powerplay. Only pose what you do, and not how others react.
  • Unlike MUDs, killing does not have an experience point reward.

Combat Commands

Through the miracle of DSS, combat hereabouts is largely automated with only a few simple commands for you to memorize.

Tip: Copying these commands into a word processor document can save you all manner of fumbling when the action starts. Just cut 'n paste.

Armor Commands

Before getting into a situation where a fight could occur, or just leaving the ship, it's almost always a good idea to put on whatever body armor you might happen to have. Think of it as a fashion statement.

Type: +equip <Whatever armor you happen to have>

Most players tend to put on some types of Armor, especially Armored Dusters once when they get it and just leave it on all the time. It's not especially realistic, but it does save a step for those who are more apt to get in trouble. Should you decide to have your character remove their armor, type: +unequip <whatever armor your character's wearing>

Weapon Commands

Well what were you intending to use, harsh language? For the combat system to recognize you're holding a weapon, you're going to have to draw it first. The command is: +equip <weapon of choice>

Later, when the fightin's over, or when the Doc's through stapling you back together, whichever comes first, type: +unequip <weapon you're carrying>

Doing the Job

There's three varieties of attack on Serenity MUSH, unarmed, melee and armed. It might seem self-explanatory, but in the interests of thoroughness, we'll break it down by skill group.

Unarmed Attacks can be resolved one of two ways, either by using the Martial Arts skill, if you happen to have it, or by testing another skill or attribute, depending on what you request and how a Judge or Admin rules in response.

Melee Attacks are resolved by skill tests in Melee Attack (okay, that was a hair on the obvious side), Thrown Weapon, or Dirty Pool (This skill in a little more detail further down the line.)

Armed Attacks are resolved by skill tests with, obviously, weapons skills like Archery, Demolitions or, most obviously, Firearms (specialization). Another important skill for firefights is Willpower. If you take gunshots, the judge will most likely obligate you to pass a willpower roll to not faint.

These Rules Ain't Kosher-ized

The Dirty Pool skill is two things at once. On one hand, it's an extension of the Perception Attribute, aimed at looking over a place and deciding what can be used as a weapon. On the other, it's about how to use that weapon effectively in a fight.

Imminent Violence

As we've said above, you should always call a Judge before a fight breaks out. So type: +Judge and one will be right along. Sometimes it can be a short span before one can show up, it doesn't happen often, but it can happen. But please, give it five minutes before you use the command again. Rest assured, those kind of calls get our full attention, but there's only so many of us.

When the Judge arrives, it's a good idea to pause the scene for a moment to give them a chance to find out who's shooting at who and how many folks are mixed up in it all.

Now there's two terms to keep in mind here, most of the time, the Judge or Admin that responds won't be the one running the scene. Players here run their own Tiny Plots all the time, we'll refer to those by the time-honored title GM Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to get into a tussle in real life know that just before things go wonky, there's a little moment when time seems to hold it's breath. Here on Serenity MUSH we've got something kind of similar, it's a staff command called a Timestop and it's apt to be the first thing that the Judge or Admin who comes to resolve the fight is gonna issue before the fighting commences. There's going to be an object dropped in the room called, appropriately, a Timestop that will have a Pose Order listed on it.

To see it, type: Look Timestop

The Pose Order is important, as it's about the only way a GM can run a combat scene without everything degenerating into total chaos. So please try and pose only when it's your turn.

Now, there are two different commands on Serenity MUSH that are used when things take a turn towards head breaking. The Judge or Admin running the combat session will tell you which to use based on what you want to do and what skill you're using

+taskroll <skill or attribute> at <difficulty>

This command is mostly used for checking skills or attributes not related to combat, though some Judges and Admins will refer to it to resolve unarmed attacks. They'll tell you what skill or attribute's being checked, and at what difficulty. An interesting twist to this is that using this for combat attacks is that it doesn't take into account your opponent's defensive skills (Dodge, Melee Parry, etc), so those will have to be checked separately. So if you use +taskroll to attack someone, the GM running the scene will, on their action, have the NPC who was attacked do a +taskroll of their defensive skill to see if your attack was successful.

+attack <character> at <difficulty>

This is used for, well, attacking folks. Again, the Judge or Admin will tell you the difficulty numbers. Generally speaking, if you're in a fight with a bunch of staff-run NPC's, you'll be typing the GM's name in the character spot. IE - +attack Kaylee at 30. If you're in a fight with another player, you'll type their character's name.

Unlike +taskroll, +attack does take into account your opponent's defensive skills. Also unlike +taskroll, +attack difficulty starts lower (30 rather than 50). If you hit someone with a +attack, generally speaking, they're hit. On the other hand, generally speaking the first thing a GM will do when running a combat scene is have everyone involved directly in it do a +taskroll of the Dodge or some other defensive skill and assume that any failures are hits. Saves a lot of time and confusion that way.

Now, whenever you successfully hit someone with a +attack, you'll get message that tells you how many shock points and how many wound points your attack did. It'll look like this:

<your character> successfully attacks <enemy> using <your weapon> at a <predetermined> difficulty. (<the number you scored by>) The attack should deal <x> stun points and <y> wound points.

Be advised, that if a GM uses +attack on you and scores, there's going to be a similar message. Only this one will say:

<GM> successfully attacks <your character> using <GM's weapon> at a <predetermined> difficulty. (<the number the GM scored by>) The attack should deal <x> stun points and <y> wound points.

Some GM's are equipped to add the damage directly to your sheet without to involve you in the process, some aren't. If the GM you're playing with can't, he or she will ask you to do so.

To add Shock Points

type: +addsp <your character's name> = <number>

To add Wound Points type:

+addwound <your character's name> = <number/describe>

Example: +addwound Leu=5/7.62mm to upper left arm

Now, we like to do things according to the honor system around here, but do be advised that Judges will be checking your sheet from time to time to help advise the GM with difficulty numbers, or suggesting skills for them to test you on during RP. They will know you've been hit, and they will know you haven't added it. They will not be happy.

Patching up After a Fight

You have two basic options: Medpacs or Med Beds.


A Medpac heals one damage point per wound, and you can only heal one every few hours (although if someone has 6 wounds, you can treat all six at once).

    This is a sturdy, square shaped metallic box with a thick black strap 
hanging from it. Although metallic it appears to have a muted black 
coloration and on its cover the Caduceus, an image of a snake wrapped 
around a staff a big sign on it reads: [FIRST AID].

Notice how some of the ='s in the bar are red. Those represent the used supplies. Green signs mark how many you have left. Once you run out, you will have to buy more supplies and refill.

MP SCAN <player> Displays a character's health status.
MP TREAT <player> FOR WOUND <#> Lets you tend to a player's <#>th wound.
MP REFILL WITH <supplies> Refills the supplies of the medkit.

Med Bed

Main article: +help +bed help

Med beds only work for doctors and work a great deal faster.