Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Running around woodlands hitting each other with fake weaponry is fun, but not without fairly obvious risk of injury. We all take serious responsibility for minimising it in the following ways:
High hits, high octane, high fantasy
Heroes and heroines is a high hit system. What this means is many blows (sometimes hundreds!) must typically be delivered to defeat an opponent. Our fights are EPIC (at the expense of just a little realism).
As a monster you are given as a bare minimum a 'damage call', a number of 'hits', and an amount of 'power' (only useful if you are also given spiritual abilities).
Not every blow is equal
The stronger, more skillful, or magical, or spiritual you are, the more damage you can inflict. Every time you strike someone you thus call out a 'damage call' which tells your opponent how hard you hit them and whether it was magical, spiritual and/or physical damage. As well as damage there are also a wide variety of magical, spiritual and physical 'effects' which can hinder or help the combatants. Characters and the NPCs they face (the creatures and people being played by the Monster group) are rarely good at delivering or defending against all three types of damage and effects. Some NPCs are even immune to one or more of them.
Within any party (group) of characters there will be those who are better suited to dealing with some threats than others, some who can take more punishment and thus form a defensive line, and others who operate on the sides or behind the fight, skirmishing, healing or otherwise supporting those in front.
There is a massive number of combat skills (e.g. disarm, knock-back, throat slit), magic spells (e.g. sleep, mage armour, weld). and spiritual invocations (e.g. bless, power drain, entangle) that can affect you. Both monsters and players are briefed about what effects are likely to be slung at them at the start of an event, but it is common to have to ask for clarification if you can't remember what to do in the heat of combat. The most important thing is to try to roleplay the effect. If blinded, for example, remember to stagger around blinking. If injured, clutch your wounds and call for help from your healer!
Player Life and Monster Hits
We use a fairly complicated system for calculating damage to players, and a much simpler one for monsters, who would otherwise never be able to remember all the stats and abilities of the various NPCs they play! Players take four-times as much 'life' from each blow as Monsters take 'hits', but if they have AC (armour class) against that damage-type they can substantially reduce or even negate this amount. Players and Monsters also have 'locations' - if you take too much damage to a single location, that location is broken (in the case of head or body blows they are knocked unconscious until healed).
Falling in battle
When a character or NPC has lost enough current life or hits to bring them down to 0 they fall to the ground unconscious. If they are brought to a negative number they are slowly dying over a period of 5 minutes. If you fall in combat there is thus a desperate chance one of your allies will find you in time and administer an 'Elixir' in order to save you.
If you are not saved in time and you die, that might well not be the end of you yet! There are ways to be ressurrected, provided you have the 'spiritual strength' and the willingness to be brought back. Characters only have the spiritual strength to be resurrected 3 times. After that you are gone for good.
Running out of resources
If you accidently use up more magical spell slots than you have or use up your spiritual power doing too many spiritual invocations (or have it all drained or stolen from you), you fall unconscious for 15 minutes.
Arrrg the maths!
In the heat of battle it is very easy and common to loose track of how much damage you have taken or resources you have used. If you realise you should have fallen some time earlier, roleplay being finally overcome (the adrenaline that had kept you up has run out), or as a monster alternatively roleplay being on your last legs and fall to the next blow you take. Likewise if you collapsed because you think you reached 0, but then realised you should still be up (nicknamed 'Scuba-ing'), roleplay regaining consciousness, struggle dizzily back to your feet and rejoin the combat with avengence!
After a fight 'timeout battleboard!' is often shouted. The slain monsters get up and share a few moments with the players before leaving to set up the next encounters, while the players take it in turns to recall what befell their characters' in the fight, what damage they took, what healing they recieved, and what skills, magic, power and other resources they used up. Often as a result of this players realise that on 'time in' (when they resume the role of their character) that their character is unconscious or dying. Sometimes fights are so deadly and drawn out that battleboards must be called mid-fight so that everyone can determine if they are still capable of fighting!