Combat rules: When adventuring, sometimes characters will run into problems that they cannot solve peacefully; combat often ensues. These rules exist to regulate that combat and make it fun and safe for all participants.
Safety and Proximity: Players should keep combat safe and keep the comfort of other combatants in mind. Physical contact without prior consent is absolutely off-limits and can result in consequences. If you are coming in fast on another combatant and they stop, it is your responsibility not to collide with them. Contact meant to harm another is never acceptable regardless of consent, and any contact which would restrain, hold, carry or move another person must have clear and prior consent between the two parties, and should never occur between opponents in combat. Indeed, any attack or action meant to physically cow or intimidate another player (not character) is absolutely disallowed (such as swinging at the head to make someone flinch so you can get in other legal attacks). Similarly, try to avoid risky attacks that might hit others in the head if they miss.
Hit Locations: The combat system is based around five separate hit locations. These locations are left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm and torso. These will matter for Powers that disable a limb, armor evaluation, or various other Effects.
Off-limit locations: Head and throat shots are off-limits and any attack which hits the head or neck should not be counted (regardless of whether it hit another hit location before or after). Hits to a hand which is grasping a melee weapon are not counted either. Hits to the groin and to the female chest are discouraged but legal and do count. Similarly, it is illegal to purposefully block with the head or neck, or attempt to use them to stop an otherwise valid shot.
Valid shots: A shot is considered to be valid as long as it is not a graze (a slash that does little more than touch the skin, and has no percussion at all), a stab (disallowed for Hollow Dawn), draw cut (after a missed attack, the weapon being pulled back strikes the person), return (a shot that is being pulled back after a swing and accidentally strikes something), or push (a shot hits only after the initial motion has been stopped or blocked, and only hits because of continual pressure). If a shot still has enough percussion that it would have been a good shot, even though some amount of the blow has been caught on a block, the shot should be counted.
Whether a hit counts or not is always the decision of the person being struck, although this can be overruled by game officials.
Shots that strike only equipment or garb are invalid unless the item blocked a strike that would normally have hit the combatant (with the exception of equipment that specifically stops shots, like weapons and shields). The shot is considered to hit the targeted location as if it had not been stopped by the equipment. For example, a shot that hits a pouch dangling in front of the target’s leg cannot block the shot, and the shot should be taken to the leg. If that cannot be determined, the damage is taken to the torso.
Shots that are begun after the attacker’s limb has been rendered useless, or after a character is made unable to attack (repelled, paralyzed, dying, slept, etc.) do not count, and it is the responsibility of the attacker to let her opponent know that the attack was late.
Flurry: A flurry is a series of melee swings delivered at an enemy in combat with little or no pause. To artificially slow down combat and reduce aggression, there is a limit of three consecutive attacks against a particular enemy per weapon wielded. This is to say that a character wielding one weapon can make three successive attacks, while a character wielding two can make six. A successive attack is where the attacker’s weapon contacts an opponent or her weapons or shield. Once this limit is reached, the attacker must reset, stepping out of weapon range and ceasing all attacks for the space of about one second. Characters pursuing enemies need not interrupt their pursuit by stepping back to reset their flurry but must still cease their attacks. As a note, in general, only attacks that hit a weapon, person, or shield count against the flurry limit.
Effects: Sometimes characters are hit by Effects instead of just straight damage. In these cases the attack cannot be blocked by weapon or shield. If an Effect hits equipment or garb it is still effective. An easy rule of thumb is that if only damage is called, it can be blocked. If an Effect is called, (e.g. “Wounding” or “Paralyze”) that attack cannot be blocked by weapons/shields. This is true of both weapon-delivered attacks and packet attacks. Some calls come with Accents (see below), such as “2 Ice”, but those are not Effects, and so a weapon attack with that call would be blockable.
Blocking Arrows: Weapons are not considered to be fast enough to block arrows and thus when a weapon is struck by an arrow the damage of the arrow should be applied to the arm holding the weapon. Shields can effectively block arrows.
Bounces and Deflections: Arrow and thrown weapons that hit a target are always counted, regardless of whether they have been deflected or bounced. Thus it is possible for two people to take damage from the same arrow (the first person blocks an arrow, taking damage to the arm, and someone else is struck by the deflection, taking the normal damage). Packets always discharge on the first thing they hit.
Damage: Damage is always considered to be one point if damage is not called. Higher amounts of damage are always called out as the character swings her weapon. Thrown weapon, missile weapon and spell-ball damages should always be called. The player may always, if he or she desires, do less damage than his or her maximum with weapon attacks.
Zero Damage: A player may always call “Zero” as her damage. This will not hurt the opponents and is the equivalent of hitting with the flat of the blade, or hitting lightly, or any one of a number of ways of attempting not to actually wound or injure. Note that if a character is sparring, and forgets to call “Zero”, that is an accidental cut that will actually draw blood. Some weapons, like practice swords for example, can be limited to only doing zero damage. Once it is clear that characters are participating in an activity for which they do not intend to hurt each other, they can simply communicate that they will be doing zero damage until further notice.
Accent: Attacks can have an Accent, which is the flavor of the attack. Ideally these Accents can add to roleplay. “4 by Fire” means that the blade is causing burning or heat damage, rather than normal steel damage. “8 by Poison” means that the weapon attack is coated with a harmful poison. The accent does not need to be called with every attack, but should be clearly communicated to all potential targets. By convention, the call for an attack with no Effect and just an Accent can drop the “by”. Thus “4 by Fire” can be called as “4 Fire”.
Qualifier: Qualifiers are special signals that the attack will only affect a specific kind of individual. “4 to Dwarves” would do four damage, but only if the target were a Dwarf. “8 Radiance to Undead” would be a powerful blast of light, that would have no effect at all on a target that was not Undead.
Spikes: Each class grants “Spikes”; these are special blows that generally do more than one point of damage. When they are used, their damage and Accent (if applicable) must be called. The number of Spikes a character has available resets to their Spike number after a Short Rest. Spikes are expended when the character swings, even if the attack misses, is blocked, or is countered. The default starting number is that every character has one Spike which does one damage. Although this does no more damage than a normal hit, it can be used to fuel Powers which require the character to expend a Spike. As characters go up in level, their Spike damage (and number of Spikes) will go up. Only one Spike or Power that uses a Spike can be used during a single flurry.
Shield-Breaking: There are a number of ways that a character can get Shield-Breaking damage, including Greatweapons and spells. Whenever Shield-Breaking damage is called on a shield, it loses one Shield Point. A shield that drops to zero Shield Points is shattered and cannot be used until it is Rebuilt. After being Rebuilt the shield will have one Shield Point. See the entry on Shields later in this chapter for more details.
No Effect: Whenever a character or her equipment is hit by a spell, ability, skill, or attack that normally should affect her or her equipment, but does not for any reason, she must call out “No Effect”. Thus a character need not call it out if a normal weapon or arrow hits a shield, but would have to call it out if a spell hit a shield that had been enchanted against that spell (such as the Packet-Immunity granted to shields by the Warder spell Bless Shield). If the character uses some other protection or defense, that defense will have its own call (like “Protect” or “Parry”), so “No Effect” would not be called. This lets those using the spell or ability know that the target heard and understood that he had been hit, but that nothing happened. Players need not call out the reason for the “No Effect” call (unless required to by the source of the protection), but the “No Effect” call is mandatory. This applies to a character’s armor, shield and other equipment, too.
Unnoticed Attacks: As a general guideline, if a player makes an attack which is apparently unnoticed by the target, the player should feel free to assume that whatever Powers they used are not expended. The character, in this case, will experience this as a flub: the spell magic flickers before it hits, the blow is off somehow, etc. If the situation is not too hectic, it can be worth trying to communicate to the target that they have been struck, but in general, just try the attack again, including any spell-casting or incantation that was needed the first time.
Proficiency: Often, characters will find themselves trying to use weapons (or shields) with which they are not proficient. A character cannot do damage with a weapon with which she is not proficient. If a character blocks an attack using a weapon with which she does not have proficiency, she will take damage as if it were not blocked. It is also possible for a character to use a shield with which one is not proficient to block. In this case, any attacks blocked by the shield are effective as if there were no shield.
By default, any time a character holds more than one weapon in one hand, the character is considered non-proficient with all of them. If a character uses more than one shield at a time, she is considered non-proficient with both shields. If a character is using two weapons without the skills that would allow her to do so proficiently, she is considered non-proficient with both. If one weapon is obviously being held away and out of combat (literally just being held), then the character can still use her primary weapon proficiently. Hits that land on the held (not used) weapon do damage as if the weapon were not there. Characters may hold a weapon in the same hand that holds a shield.
Characters wearing any armor they are not proficient with will gain protection equal to the most protective armor they are proficient with that has a lower armor rating than what they are wearing. Thus, if Triss is wearing Scale Mail, but is only proficient with Leather armor, he will gain protection as if each piece of Scale were actually Leather. If Nasarack, who is proficient with Plate and Leather, but not with Chain Mail, were wearing Chain, he would gain armor as if it were Leather. This will not prevent them from getting benefit from other pieces with which they are proficient.
Combat Etiquette: A few things to remember when engaged in melee combat:
1. Be generous with your shot-taking. It is better to take shots you are not sure of than to accidentally not take shots that should have been valid.
2. Do not call other people’s shots. If your opponent does not take the hit, accept that there is likely something you didn’t see or know, and keep fighting.
3. Make sure to let your opponents know if you think they should not take your shot for whatever reason.
4. If you hit someone in the head or neck, pause the fight until you are sure the opponent is alright. You don’t have to call a Safety, but do not follow that shot with additional shots.
5. If you really believe your opponent is not taking shots you think should be valid, mention it to them politely. If the problem continues, ask a game official to watch the fights.
Weapon Construction: All weapons must be padded safely, and may not have sharp edges or hard parts that are likely to strike others (such as on the guard or pommel). Spikes that could hurt eyes should be adjudicated very carefully. Any weapon that causes bruising or significant pain when used normally should be avoided.
Weapon Requirements: Great weapons must be longer than 48" in length to a maximum of 90”. Great weapons held in one hand cannot normally be used to perform Spikes. Great weapons often strike with greater force than normal weapons and should be well padded. Polearms should have padded hafts and should be safe should someone be struck with the haft.
Staves are weapons that are fully padded and have no handle or haft. These weapons must be at least 36" long, to a maximum length of 72” . These are not Great weapons (which do have a handle or haft).
Long weapons are are between 36” and 48” long from butt to tip.
Short weapons are between 22” and 36" long from butt to tip.
Flails are no longer than 36" in total, and may measure no more than 18” from the beginning of the flexible part to the tip of the weapon. Flails may have only one striking head. The chain (flexible part) of the flail is not a valid striking surface, nor is any part of the flail other than the head. The flexible part must have safe padding over the connective rope. For safety reasons it is recommended that the head be at least 2.5 inches in diameter and no more than ½ inch of rope be exposed at any given point. Flails can end up moving very quickly and will be given additional scrutiny for safety. Additionally, the top foot of the non-flexible part of the flail must be padded as if strike legal, even though it is not a valid striking surface. Although flails may diverge from these recommendations, their chances of being found safe diminish significantly.
Hand weapons are between 16” and 22" long from butt to tip.
Bows need not be padded, but sometimes padding on the very tips is advisable. Arrows for bows should constructed for safety in the following manner: They must have a fiberglass, aluminium, plastic or graphite shaft, must have been stripped of actual arrow head, and the tip of the shaft must have been built up to at least a half inch across. The head must be 2 ½ inches in diameter and must be soft from the sides as well as the front. The tip must have 2 inches of padding and must be compressible rather than stiff or hard, but not so compressible that the built up shaft can be felt. Geas bows may be of no greater than 35 pound pull. Nearly all shots should be done using a partial draw of the bow, with a full draw only allowed at extreme ranges. By default, bows and crossbows take any damaging attack as a shatter effect.
Crossbows are also allowed, but it is difficult to find or create crossbows that are safe, as one cannot half-draw a crossbow, and low-strength crossbows can be rare. Crossbows may not have a draw weight of more than 25 pounds. They may not have any sharp or dangerous protrusions. Bolts must have a fiberglass, aluminium, plastic or graphite shaft, and must have been stripped of the actual arrow head. The tip of the shaft must have been built up to at least a half inch. The head must be 2 ½ inches in diameter and padded around the outside. The tip must have 2 inches of padding and must be compressible rather than stiff or hard, but not so compressible that the built up shaft can be felt.. Crossbows may not be fired at an individual that is close enough to hit with a melee weapon.
Throwing weapons should be constructed for safety and softness. Particularly large thrown weapons maybe ruled illegal by a Safety Officer as they tend to be both hard and heavy.
Spell-packets and spell-balls: More can be found on their construction in the Classes, Powers, and Spells chapter.
Other weapons are always allowed. Using the rules above, game officials can determine if the weapon is legal and how it should be categorized. We recommend discussing any creative/alternative designs with game staff before investing time or money.
Shields: Shields, by default, are immune to all weapon damage and will stop any blow that hits them (see combat rules about valid blocks). Shields that are Small size or larger must be gripped in the hand to offer protection. Otherwise they give no protection, and damage that strike the shield will be taken as if there were no shield present. Bucklers will offer protection if gripped or strapped to the arm. A character cannot proficiently use more than one shield. If a second shield is used, the character is considered non-proficient with either.
Characters may hold a weapon in the same hand that holds a shield. They may even wield a weapon that is both a shield and a weapon. In these cases, the item will be affected by Powers that target shields and/or weapons, and the whole item will be affected. “Shatter shield”, for example, will affect it, destroying both weapon and shield.
The following table shows the maximum values for the different classifications of shields based on “taut-string perimeter”: the length a string would be if it were pulled taut around the outside of the shield. This will ignore voids in the shield. No shield may have a taut-string perimeter of more than 115 inches.
Shields must be well-padded and may be no smaller than 9" in any dimension (except thickness). Shields must always be safe and should have enough padding on the edges that no hard core can be felt. They should never be used for shield punches or shield rushes.
Shield-Points: Shield-points, in the table below, shows the number of times a shield can be struck by “shield-breaking” damage before being shattered. A buckler shield will be shattered after only two Shield-Breaking hits. Once a shield is shattered, Mending cannot give it Shield-Points back. It will need to be Rebuilt (with the Rebuild Effect) in order to be useful again. A shield that is affected by Rebuild will have 1 Shield-Point by default.
Shield Point Table
Up to 38”
Shields gifted and found: Whenever a shield is handed to another, the receiver should, whenever possible, be informed how many Shield-Points the item still has. If a shield is found unattended without any actual knowledge of its state, it will always have zero Shield-Points and need Rebuilding.
Armor: Armor is designed to protect a character in combat. It will do this with a number of Armor Points which will protect the character from damage.
Armor Points: If Characters have Armor Points they will lose the Armor Points first instead of Life Points when they suffer damage (and Armor Points must be lost first). The only exception to this is the Piercing Effect, which bypasses Armor Points and does damage directly to Life Points. Armor Points can be returned by the Mend Effect, which can come from Tinkering (skill), various Powers or skills, and by using a Smithing Station (usable by anyone). Natural Armor can be Mended in these ways and also by applications of Healing. Armor Points do not normally refresh during Rests.
Representing Physical Armor: The main requirement for “repping” physical armor is that it is built in such a way as to believably model the armor it is meant to be. When viewed from more than a few feet away plate mail should appear to be made of steel plates, leather armor should appear to made from boiled or tanned hides, etc. Modern riot gear, plastic armor, etc. cannot be counted as armor unless it looks like it would fit a medieval fantasy setting, or unless the specific Setting allows for these kinds of armor. Gear fabricated out of modern or alternative materials must be fully and convincingly disguised as an in-genre material, and final judgement is left up to staff on game-site. If there are any doubts or concerns, please talk with game staff ahead before you invest time or energy in something that might be disallowed at the game. The goal of the experience is to add to the immersion of all players.
Calculating Physical Armor Points: Armor covering specific locations will contribute to the total number of Armor Points the character has. Each location will contribute based on the kind of armor it predominantly appears to be (meaning it is crafted to look like that armor type, even if it uses modern or unrealistic materials). If armor is layered (such as a quilted gambeson worn over a chainmail shirt) the highest-value armor is counted (i.e., they are not added). The 10 locations are: Head, Shoulders, Chest, Belly, Back, Sides, Upper Arms, Lower Arms, Upper Legs, Lower Legs (these are listed on the Armor Point Table below).
Physical Armor Types: There are 5 categories of physical armor: Quilted, Leather, Chainmail, Brigandine/Scale/Lamellar and Plate Mail. These can all be simulated using modern or alternative materials. The basic requirement for simulated armor is always that the simulated armor should look like armor, and should look like the type of armor being simulated when viewed from more than a few feet away. More fantastic armors will need to be adjudicated by game staff, and should be gauged in terms of appearance and similarity to existing armor types. Crystal plate might be most like plate mail or like brigandine. Vine armor might be most like Leather.
Quilted: Real padded armor is far more than just cloth. It is made from heavy material, often has filler of some kind, is thick, and reinforced in various ways. Simulated quilted armor should mimic this look and should be obviously armor (not just clothing).
Leather: Real leather armor is heavy (at least 1/16th inch thick) and stiff. Simulated leather armor should look like hide/leather, and meet the Basic Simulated Armor Requirement.
Chainmail: Real chainmail uses tightly connected rings of metal. The basic pattern has each small ring (half inch diameter, or smaller) connected to four others. Simulated chainmail can be made of other materials including knitted or crocheted yarn, or aluminium rings.
Brigandine/Scale/Lamellar (“Heavy Armor”): Real brigandine armor is made from metal plates between layers of leather of cloth. Real scale armor is made up of overlapping metal scales. Real lamellar armor has overlapping plates of metal or thick leather joined to each other by cord or chain links. Simulated armor of these types can be made of other materials such as well-dressed plastic or vinyl plates.
Plate Mail: Real plate mail armor is made from rigid metal plates with complex joints to allow for movement. Simulated plate armor can be made of other materials such as heavy plastic or foam.
The following chart shows the Amor Point total a character would have if they had a "full suit" (all 10 locations) of that type of physical armor.
Physical Armor Type
Full Suit Armor Points
Determining Total Armor Value: To determine the total Armor Value for a character, use an Armor Point Table which shows the 10 locations, the armor type for each, and the full suit points for that type (example below). Each location only benefits from the highest armor type on covering that location. They are not added. For arms and legs, armor on only one limb is given half points. Armor that is exceptionally beautiful, well-crafted or otherwise immersion-building may (optionally) be submitted to the appropriate game staff who may grant one bonus Armor Point for its covered locations at their discretion. The location points are then added up and divided by 10 (i.e., averaged). Round to the nearest whole number (.5 rounds up). The player can then adjust their Armor Points if they wear only some pieces of armor, or add new ones.
Full example: Tymeria is wearing a plate mail breastplate without pauldrons, with a short-sleeved chainmail shirt underneath. Her right arm has a leather bracer that is stunningly crafted. Her upper legs are protected by tassets of plate, and she has a scale greave on one leg.
Example Armor Point Table - Tymeria
7. Upper arms
8. Lower arms
Leather-half (1 bracer)
2+1 (for well-crafted)
9. Upper legs (front)
10. Lower legs
Scale-half (1 greave)
Divide by 10 and
6.9 → 7 Armor Points
Once this table is complete the player should take note of the contributions from each piece of armor. From the example we see that If Tymeria doesn’t wear her leather bracer, she will still have 7 Armor Points (6.6 rounded to 7). But if she removes both her plate tassets and her single scale greave, she would have 6 Armor Points (5.5 rounded to 6).
Summoned Armor: Any armor that is created by spells, Powers, or other abilities is called “summoned armor”. In most ways, summoned armor works just like physical armor and can be Mended and Rebuilt in all the same ways. There are some Powers that may Dispel summoned armor, and both kinds of armor can be Shattered.
Natural Armor: Almost every creature that a character might face will have some amount of natural armor. Natural Armor is a special type of Physical Armor. It has two properties that set it apart from normal Physical Armor. First, it is not represented with a prop. The creature has a thick hide, or armor plates, or chitin, to protect itself from harm, and will not wear platemail, or chain, or worked leather. The second difference is that Natural Armor can be Healed or Mended. This means that Effects that “Heal to Full” or “Heal to Full Life Points” will fully Mend Natural Armor. It is bypassed normally by Piercing damage and can be Shattered and Rebuilt just like Physical Armor.
Stacking Armor: Especially when summoned armor from Powers becomes available, characters will often find themselves both wearing physical armor and being affected by summoned armor, or having natural armor and wearing physical armor over it. As soon as the character gains two different types of armor they must choose which type of armor will be used. This is not on a piece-by-piece basis: the character can gain benefit from either Physical, Summoned, or Natural armor, just as if that were the only type they had. All other armor is immediately exhausted and will grant no Armor Points. Once this choice has been made, it cannot be changed until a Short Rest, or until one is removed, at which point the exhausted armor would need to be Mended in order to function. For example, Triss is wearing some pieces of leather armor, giving him 3 Armor Points. He is the recipient of “Armor of the Ancestors”, a summoned armor which would give him 6 Armor Points. He chooses Armor of the Ancestors, and his leather armor becomes exhausted (losing 3 Armor Points). During the battle, he loses his Armor of the Ancestors. He immediately asks his Warder to give him Mending spells to bring his leather armor back up to its full value. Similarly, Nasarack, wearing a combination of plate mail and chainmail that give him 6 Armor Points, gets “Greater Darkshroud” which gives him 8 Armor Points of summoned armor. He chooses to keep the physical armor and fights the next battle with 6 Armor Points. During a Short Rest he learns that he will be fighting some Paladins and decides Greater Darkshroud will be better, so during the rest he switches (note that Greater Darkshroud has a duration of Long Rest so it is still in effect). The Greater Darkshroud is currently exhausted, so he gets Mending to bring it back up to 8 Armor Points.
Mending and Rebuild Armor: All armor can be Mended (armor points restored) or Rebuilt (made useful again after being shattered). There are a number of ways of doing this. Tinkers can make Patch Kits of various kinds that can Mend armor, and there are a variety of Powers that will Mend armor as well (especially spells from Warders). Often, games will have a Forge where Tinkers work their trade, and as long as someone with the Tinker skill is there to supervise, anyone can Mend their own armor to full Armor Points at a Forge. Rebuilding shattered armor is a little more rare. Tinkers can do it with the proper resources, and there are a few Powers that will do it as well.
Healing: Those who have lost Life Points will likely want to be healed. There are a number of ways that a character can regain Life Points. Alchemists can make potions that will restore Life Points, but most healing will come from the Powers of various classes, especially ones like Warders. Warrior-types often have a limited ability to heal themselves as well. No Life Points are restored during Rests.
Self-Diagnosis: Characters always know how many Life Points (and Armor Points) they have and how many they are missing, although they will not be thinking of it in terms of points. In addition, characters know what Conditions they have, with the exception of Charm which causes the target to be unwilling to believe she has been charmed.
Damage Types (Accents): In GEAS there are a number of different Accents for damage. These are just the type of damage being done. Most damage is of the “weapon” type, which is the only Accent that doesn’t need to be called. Regular weapon attacks only call a number, and even then only if the damage is higher than one. Here is a list of the most common Accents, but this list is in no way exhaustive; anything that isn’t used as another game-term is a viable Accent (Laser, Hope, Wood):
Accent Shorthand With Weapons: When weapon damage has an Accent but no Effect, it is generally acceptable to leave the “by” off of the damage. Thus, although the call should really be “5 by Stone” from the fists of a rock elemental, calling “5 Stone” is totally acceptable. “By weapon” is always assumed to be the damage Accent if nothing is called and “by weapon” need not be called.
Weapon Rule of One: To limit confusion, no weapon attack can have more than one Effect. No Effect can have more than one Accent. Packets and other deliveries can have multiple Effects, but each of those Effects will still only have one Accent each. If an ability allows adding an Accent, then if the Effect doesn’t already have an Accent, that Accent can be added. If an ability allows changing an Accent, then the Accent can be substituted or it can be added if there is no Accent originally. Thus, if Triss is carrying his Relic Blade, which can do add Flame damage, change and Accent to WoodRadiance damage, or do a Weakening Strike by Radiance once per Short Rest, he would have to choose which he would use on any one swing. He could not swing 8 Flame and WoodRadiance, nor could he do 8 Flame with Weakening Strike by Radiance. He could do Weaken by Wood.
Cautions and Safety Holds: The first goal of Geas combat is that it remain safe. Do not fight on unsafe ground and try to avoid fighting near hazards such as drop-offs, trip-hazards or sharp rocks. Anyone may call a "Caution" at any time if he or she sees someone else in a dangerous situation or if someone gets hurt in a mild way. Calling “Caution” is an out-of-game message, and usually includes a pause in the actions of the immediate participants. A safety hold is used to stop the entire game and is called by yelling "Safety!" which is often repeated by other participants until all game-action stops. No in-game action should ever take place during a safety hold, including in-character talking, retrieving weapons, casting or moving. With few exceptions, safety holds should be called by the person who they affect. Once the safety concern has been addressed, PCs and NPCs should retake (or retain) their original positions before the safety hold. An official or NPC will then count down to game-in so that no one is taken by surprise when the action resumes. Blows or spells that happen right as a Caution or Safety is called are not counted, spent or lost.
Except where express and detailed consent has been negotiated ahead of time, Geas combat should never entail physical blows or tackling, overbearing, etc. that are intended to harm. By default, all contact should be made with safe, foam-padded weapons. Shield rushes and punches are also strictly illegal although shield contact is acceptable.
Death and Dying: A character that drops to 0 Life Points is Dying and should begin their “death count” which is a slow count of 180. During the death count the character drops all held objects including packets and spell balls and can do nothing other than roleplay their anguish and call for help. No other information can be imparted. When healed, a Dying character starts at 0 Life Points and gains from there, so she will have however many Life Points she was healed for (and will no longer be Dying). A Dying character can also be stabilized, meaning that she stops her death count but is still at 0 Life Points and is still considered Dying in all other ways. Taking any damage will end the stabilization and re-start the death-count, giving the character another 180 seconds. A character who dies immediately loses all conditions and the durations of all Powers expire. Similarly, a character who comes back to life loses all conditions and the durations of all Powers expire.
Deathblows: Any character can perform a “Deathblow” on a Dying or otherwise helpless target. This will take her 3-5 seconds and she should role-play an obvious killing maneuver, such as snapping the neck, chopping off a head, twisting a blade in the heart, etc. A simple tap or negligent blow will not be enough to get the job done. Once this has been done, the target’s death-count drops to a slow count of 10. A target that is feigning unconsciousness or helplessness and takes no action to stop the deathblow will still be affected and will immediately be Dying with a death-count of 10. Deathblows can be done with weapons, equipment, or even bare hands or damaging magical bolts, but have no called damage (the damage is assumed to be of a special, mortal kind that is not represented by a number). In addition, the person performing the Deathblow needs to take care not to actually hit, hurt, or touch the target without consent.
Death: A character who is Dead begins her “discorporation count”. During this time she can be brought back to life with various Powers and Spells. However, once she has been Dead for a slow count of 180, she discorporates, becoming a Spirit, and gains the Spirit Type. As a Spirit, she can pick up any of her equipment that is not held/wielded/possessed by another person. She should then proceed immediately to a Spirit Well, an area that will be designated by the game-staff. She should walk slowly and make eye contact with no one. She cannot drop any items she has picked up nor interact with anyone who does not use an ability or power that allows for that (those that have the specific qualifier “to Spirit”). She will act as an unaware spirit, with no ability to see or interact with the living in any way. The portrayer should take care not to convey any information to the living through her actions on the way to the Spirit Well. If attacked or otherwise targeted by Powers that do not affect her, she should call “No Effect, Spirit.” Once a character reaches the Well, the last hour before she died will become hazy and hard to remember, to the point where she will not remember who or what killed her or how she died, although she may have residual feelings about people or places who were involved in her death. A character who dies immediately loses all Conditions and the durations of all Powers expire. Similarly, a character who comes back to life loses all Conditions and the durations of all Powers expire.
Passing through the Well: When the Spirit arrives at the Spirit Well, she should check in with game staff. Game staff will address a variety of issues, depending on the setting-specific rules around death, spirits and resurrection.. Spirits may have to complete challenges, complete quests, or make things right with other Spirits. In some settings, or in some circumstances, there may be no coming back. In other circumstances, the character may not suffer any kind of death-penalty at all.
Resurrection Sickness: If a character has been cleared to resurrect they should head to a sanctified area which may include circles of power or other specially designated sites. Once there, the character must Focus for a slow count of 300 in order to return to life. This period will be a time of reflection, of the character remembering her life, her triumphs and her mistakes. Staff may have other instructions for the character at this time too. At the end of the count, the character loses the Spirit Type, and generally becomes alive with 1 current Life Point, and her maximum Life Points drops by 1.
Mercy Resurrections: If a character dies for the first time while third level or lower, her maximum Life Points do not drop when she resurrects.
Divine Intervention: If a character dies and game staff believe that the death was as a result of a mistake (a monster had incorrect powers and stats, there was bad information from an NPC, etc.) that death can be ruled Divine Intervention. In this case, there is no loss of permanent Life Points.