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This page details all you generally need to know about combat in Moonrise to be able to join in - we go through the important bits before adventures so don't worry too much if it doesn't all stick at once.

Basic Rules

  • Fighting is done with LARP-safe (foam) weapon phys-reps (props), there are no unarmed attacks.
  • When you land a hit, you make a “damage call” to indicate what your attack did. This can include an amount of damage and/or an additional effect.
  • You can call damage (and should aim to hit) only once per second.
  • Hits to the head don't count. Please don't aim for the head (or other sensitive areas!).
  • Hits to the hand count as hitting any weapon or shield that they may be holding.
  • Hits are otherwise “global” and hits that land anywhere on the body are treated the same way, there is no distinction between hits gained from wearing armour and baseline hits.


  • Calls can have a damage component which will be ZERO (no damage), SINGLE (one point of damage) DOUBLE (2 damage), TRIPLE (3 damage), QUAD (4 damage), QUINT (5 damage) or HEX (6 damage).
  • LARP-safe arrows or bolts shot from bows may exceed this limit, higher damage is expressed just as a number, eg. SEVEN
  • No other attacks may ever deal more than HEX.
  • Attacks that hit a weapon your character knows how to use (for monsters you can assume that you do!) don't deal damage, but additional effects still apply.
  • Attacks that hit a shield your character knows how to use and is actively using don't deal damage or additional effects.
  • You have a single pool of hits which is how much damage you can take. When a damage call is made against you, you lose the relevant number of hits.
  • There's no distinction between armour and body hits or such - armour is already factored into the number of hits you have.
  • Unless you are specifically playing a non-combatant monster when your hits reaches 0 you are wounded non-fatally and your morale has probably broken (non-combatants go straight to bleeding out).
  • Once per encounter when you are on 0 hits you may heal yourself to return to the fight (or more sensibly flee). For the remainder of the encounter after doing so whilst on 0 hits you have a 60 second “death count” over which your character bleeds out or discorporates.
  • If your death count expires before you are healed or stabilised in some way (see calls below), your character dies.

Effect Calls

  • Calls can have an effect component which indicates an additional effect the attack has (in addition to any damage dealt).
  • The effect comes after the damage, eg. “ZERO PUSH”
  • Calls on their own (active voice) are physical effects of some sort, prefixed by “BE” (passive voice) they are mental/spiritual and generally represent something more abstract
    • eg. PUSH may be a gust of wind knocking you back, whilst BE PUSHED may be an influence which causes you to flee in fear.
    • You may choose to roleplay receiving types of attacks differently so long as you follow the appropriate rules for the call.
    • Mechanically the difference is only relevant to the types of effect you character may be able to resist (VOID) - otherwise you don't need to worry about the difference between physical and mental calls.
  • Effects which have a negative impact on you are known as “Impairments”.
  • Almost all effects have a default duration of 10s
  • Calls may have a duration at the end, after the effect call:
    • This can be a number of seconds, eg. SINGLE STUN 3, which deals 1 point of damage and causes the STUN impairment for 3 seconds.
    • The duration can also be CONTACT, meaning the effect will last as long as the weapon that made the call maintains contact with the target. After the first few seconds, breaking contact for more than one second will end the impairment.
    • The duration can be ONGOING, in which case it lasts for the rest of the encounter or until otherwise suspended. Unless rapidly countered with a resisting call, players who take one of these should check with a GM or the person who made the call for any lasting effects.
  • All characters can focus utterly on resisting any Impairments they are suffering.
    • Whilst doing this you can ignore the effects of any Impairments you are afflicted by.
    • If you are under conflicting impairments you can't resolve (eg. both legs under LOCK, hit by PUSH) you must do this.
    • You can still defend yourself with one hand and make resisting calls you would otherwise be able to.
    • You can't make other calls, maintain a contact, move, use a shield, speak, or do anything else.
    • After doing this for one minute you may call VOID to one of the Impairments you were under for that whole minute.

Basic Calls

These calls can be made on their own or combined with damage:


  • For the duration, a part of your body above the waist (eg. hand, elbow, back) must be in contact with the ground
  • The duration starts when you first touch the ground
  • As long as contact is maintained you can still move and fight during this time


  • For the duration, you should move briskly away from the caller
  • This ends early if the caller drops to 0 hits
  • You can still fight normally during this time
  • If the path away from the caller is blocked or unsafe you can move around them at constant distance


  • For the duration, you should move briskly towards the caller
  • You can stop moving when you're within short weapon range, although this doesn't end the impairment
  • This ends early if the caller drops to 0 hits
  • You can still fight normally during this time
  • If the path towards the caller is blocked or unsafe you can move around them at constant distance


  • For the duration, you can't use the item held by the arm closest to where the hit landed (if the call wasn't associated with a weapon hit you get to choose one)
  • Weapons can't be used to call damage and weapons and shields count as extensions of your body and so take damage when you're holding them under this impairment
  • If the item represents an in-character item which your character may drop, you can choose to drop the item for the duration
  • Non-combat items must be dropped for the duration


  • For the duration, you can't use the limb closest to where the hit landed (if the call wasn't associated with a weapon hit you get to choose one)
  • Affected arms hang down and can't be moved from a rest position
  • Affected legs can't move (but can rotate) the foot


  • For the duration you are entirely incapable of moving and speaking
  • You can still concentrate on fully resisting this and be able to defend yourself slightly
  • You can still make calls that require no physical action on your part


  • For the duration, you can't attack or voluntarily make non-resisting calls
  • You can use one hand to maintain any previous activity, including defending yourself
  • You can't move faster than a stagger


  • For the duration, your physical blows do +1 damage
  • You can only be doing at most +1 damage from BUFF
  • If you were affected by SAP, this call instead immediately ends that impairment regardless of durations


  • For the duration, your physical blows do -1 damage
  • You can only be doing at most -1 damage from SAP
  • If you were affected by BUFF, this call instead immediately ends that impairment regardless of durations

Special Calls

These calls are never combined with damage. Except for EFFECT, these calls have no physical/mental distinction and may always just be called as they are, optionally with a duration (with default 10 seconds):


  • This call is followed by a short free-text description of an effect
  • For the duration, you should do your best to respond appropriately and do anything the description tells you to
  • The results of anything the effect commands you to do persist even beyond the duration of the call
    • eg. On taking EFFECT “Call HEAL on yourself” you should call HEAL on yourself, you'll stay HEALed even when the effect ends
    • However, EFFECT “Disappear”, as an ongoing effect will cause you to reappear when it wears off, even though it is done via the GONE call, as it was just a command to disappear and not specifically to make the “GONE” call
  • Any less obvious mechanical results of the EFFECT will probably be called by the originator of the EFFECT so when using a VOID to end it ensure that the originator can hear the call being made


  • This call has no duration and may always just be called as HEAL
  • If you didn't already have a healing surge you gain one. If you did it has no effect.
  • When you fall to 0 hits and have a healing surge or are given one whilst on your death count you can get up again.
  • This heals you to full hits, restores any per-encounter VOID calls you may have had and suspends any ONGOING impairments on you.
  • At the end of the encounter if you are a player you should check with the source of any ONGOING effects this suspended for any lingering effects
  • Whilst you are getting up you have a 5 second period of invulnerability during which you can ignore any damage and effects


  • For the duration, your death count is paused


  • For the duration, your death count is paused
  • After you have been under this affliction for 10 seconds you cannot make use of a healing surge to restore yourself to full hits whilst you are still under this Impairment (you may still receive a HEAL call but cannot use it until this Impairment ends)


  • This call has no duration and may always just be called as GONE
  • You have vanished, put two fingers in the air to indicate this
  • Whilst vanished you can't attack or do anything which will help you later, eg. preparing spells
  • Whilst vanished, you do not take any new calls other than GAIN APPEARING, impairments you had continue to affect you.
  • After one minute having vanished if you do not have a way to appear again you have left the encounter, stand to one side
  • It's common for things to let you call GONE and GAIN APPEARING (with the default 10s duration) giving you a limited amount of time to reappear


  • This call has no duration and may always just be called as APPEARING
  • You have reappeared and are no longer vanished
  • You can always make the APPEARING call if you have access to it, regardless of any impairments you're under


  • You can use the specified damage or effect call once during the duration by melee
  • Effect calls from GAIN are always of default duration, and may be combined with your standard damage call
  • Damage calls from GAIN are not affected by BUFF or SAP, and may be combined with additional effects you may also call
  • If the duration is preceded by DURING, you can, rather than once, use the specified call as many times as you like during the effect duration
    • eg. GAIN FALL DURING: for the next 10 seconds you can call FALL on every hit
  • Otherwise, you can use the specified call once at some point during the effect duration
    • eg. GAIN QUAD 20: over the next 20 seconds you may call QUAD on one hit, if not used this is wasted


  • This call has no duration and may always just be called as EXECUTE
  • If you are currently on your death count, you immediately die (if STABILISE or SUBDUE is currently pausing your death count you still count as on your death count)
  • If you are on 0 hits but have the ability to HEAL yourself you may do so and instantly take a HEX after healing instead of dying.


  • This call is intended for GM use and special conditions, player abilities should not grant it
  • This call is identical to EFFECT, but may not be resisted by any means, including fully concentrating

Call Modifiers

The following may be added to the front of any call:

  • MASS: This call affects everybody else within 5 meters of the caller, unless specified it doesn't hit them
  • ARC: This call affects everybody else within 5 meters of the caller but limited to the arc made by their outstretched arms
  • RANGED: This call is a ranged attack and doesn't require weapon contact. This is used to disambiguate where someone makes a ranged attack whilst also attacking the same person in melee.

Resisting Calls

These special calls are the only calls which may be made more than once per second.

  • VOID (formerly RESIST): Allows you to end the effects of one Impairment early with no lasting consequences. You will usually have a small pool of VOID calls in an encounter.
  • NULL: Indicates some part or all of a call never took effect, and that this is a temporary effect which will wear off with time.
  • IMMUNE: Indicates some part or all of a call never took effect, and that repeatedly attacking or just waiting it out won't help.

Physical and Spiritual

  • Moonrise has two planes on which combat can occur, the physical world and the abstract spiritual space in which Vision Quests occur
  • In the physical plane called damage affects physical hits, in the spiritual it affects spirit hits
  • Monsters will typically just have one pool of hits and not need to care about the distinction
  • Physical combat tends to involve more hits, higher damage and more physical effect calls
  • Spiritual combat tends to involve fewer hits, low damage, more mental effect calls and often more puzzle-like mechanics
  • Unless specified otherwise, skills work the same in both planes, though any damage dealt is of the appropriate type


  • CONTACT is instantly broken by DRAW or PUSH on either party (preventable with NULL/IMMUNE but never with VOID)
  • Simultaneous PUSH and DRAW from the same target is resolved by moving at a constant distance orbit around them
  • FALL body part can change (can roll, etc.)
  • DISARM on an arm not holding anything can still affect a weapon in the other hand
  • After DISAPPEARING, you can still make calls associated with things you set up earlier (eg. traps)
  • APPEARING is still subject to the 1 second rule, so after making it you need to wait a second before you start attacking someone
  • Calls from GAIN are consumed before any other sources of the same call
  • MASS calls cannot inherently be reduced to an ARC
  • If an ARC call doesn't specify a particular angle range, an ARC -can- be enlarged into a MASS
  • Other than using your own hits as a resource for some abilities, effects which cause loss of the other type of hit to the current plane you're in are very rare. Player characters will never get abilities which do this.
  • SAP on a character doing SINGLE reduces them to ZERO
  • RANGED DISARM or LOCK never get to specify an additional target beyond the person you're calling it at
  • FREEZE is a worse affliction than choosing to focus on resisting an affliction. With both it and any particularly horrifying EFFECT calls it is not in any way cheating to concentrate on resisting completely.
system/combat.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/03 15:20 by mousus6