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While no set of rules can cover every possible alternative, these are the basic steps for any combat with any sphere on Fulcrum.

STEP 1: DECLARATION OF COMBAT. A staffer can declare that has a combat has begun or a player can declare a combat has begun by using the +timestop command. When a player drops uses that command, the player is stating that they intend to take an action that employs supernatural or mundane force against another character.

STEP 2: ENVIRONMENT. Both players and the staffer presiding over the combat should determine the environment. This has the following parts.

  • WHO: Any player character ‘captured’ by the timestop is involved. If a player character is on the grid and idling, then the staffer can run the character by proxy after a reasonable amount of time passes after the timestop is dropped. Any non-player character controlled by the player characters to be considered present in the timestop must have been posed by the player character by whom they are controlled to be considered present. Certain situation exist when a non-player character controlled can be hidden; player characters are responsible for letting the presiding staffer know immediately about these special situations. All other non-player characters are controlled by the presiding staffer. Players should remember that most public places in an urban setting will have NPCs present that have not been posed.
  • WHAT: Players are responsible for their character’s sheets. This includes the equipment code, jnotes, and pools. A character sheet should only be changed after a timestop is called by the presiding staffer. If an XP spend has not gone through yet, it will not be considered part of the +sheet no matter how overdue it is.
  • WHEN: Unless a room is designated as a night zone, every PC involved in the combat has agreed to a different time, the presiding staffer sets a different time, the IC time is the actual IC time. This is important on many different levels.
  • WHERE: Environmental conditions such as weather, lighting, furnishings, and condition of the surroundings has bearing. Players should make sure they read the description of the room and the weather. They should also be aware of the movement rules, the pursuit rules, and where their character was placed at the beginning of the combat. For example, it is impossible to dodge firearms attacks unless there is cover that the character can get behind. The presiding staffer may ask for position poses and will resolve any discrepancies.

STEP 3: INITIATIVE. Initiative order will be declared by either code or by the staffer, listing player characters and non-player characters in order from highest initiative to lowest initiative. Sometimes, that will reveal the presence of PCs or NPCs that are not able to be sensed by the other PCs or NPCs. Players are expected to take this into account. Background NPCs in public spaces are always considered to go at the bottom of the list by default.

After the list is determined, players will declare the actions of their characters and the NPCs they control (subject to review by the presiding staffer) while the presiding staffers declare the actions of the NPCs under their control, starting at the bottom of the list and heading up. These are declarations of intent. Poses should describe the visible actions and emotions; actions that cannot be sensed must be declared to the presiding staffer. There should be no comment in these declarations on how other PCs or NPCs react to them.

No actions take place at the time of declaration. This includes spending pools, communicating via IC channels, or automatic healing. The presiding staffer may ask people to make sensory rolls in certain circumstances before declaration takes place, such as an awareness roll when someone lower in initiative than a character initiates a magical feat.

STEP 4: RESOLUTION. Starting at the top of the initiative order and heading down, the presiding staffer resolves each PC’s and NPC’s actions and ascertains results. It is at this point that the character spends pool, heals, and suffers other ongoing effects.

Characters cannot change their actions once someone higher in their initiative declares there, barring supernatural effects. A character may choose to abort to a defensive action, including full defense, after an attack roll is made but before damage is determined. They must spend a willpower or roll permanent willpower versus difficulty 6. If the roll is failed, they cannot abort.

Alternatively, a character may abort to no action without spending willpower or rolling willpower, but the character can literally do nothing but reflexive actions (such as shifter healing) that round.

STEP 5: CONSEQUENCES. Once all actions are taken, the presiding staffer determines the consequences of actions that were declared and resolved. This includes the effects of damage, psychological reactions (such as a vampire’s reaction to flame), and changes in the environment. The presiding staffer may declare the combat over. If not, return to Step 3 and repeat.

Modifiers to Combat

Basic Melee Maneuvers

Basic Ranged Maneuvers

Martial-Arts Maneuvers