Fighting melee is one of the first sets of abilities that the main character, and the player, learns. In many situations, being vigilant and in a secure environment is a lot more effective than having the character(s) master the martial arts. The following is a more detailed explanation of the TL melee (martial arts and weapons based) framework.
The TL combat system is heavily move-focused, as in individual parries, thrusts, dodges, and spells are immensely important to the outcome of a conflict. In a ‘melee’ or ‘duel’, characters are generally equipped with weapon, potions, jewelry, and clothes. And… that’s about it. No armor other than silk, quilt, and fur (which is very bad armor-wise), and most players find that using a shield gives only marginal benefits if it isn’t actually detrimental. Hence the fights are swift, and making the right move at the right time determines whether a character kills another or is killed. In such cases, players will find that a 100% dependability rate for all moves (attained at level 10 for each move) that the player plans to use will dramatically increase the life span of a character, particularly since a 50% dependability rate for a parry could mean a 50% chance of getting killed by a simple enemy strike – definitely not good enough for wartime.
There are a variety of other means of combat in TL. Assassinations in which characters take a dagger and stab/slice at a neutral enemy, and bare-hands combat are also useful in many situations. Also evident is the use of a ranged weapon to attempt to kill an enemy at distance. Ranged weaponry is useless at close range, offers no protection, and has an incredibly slow rate of reloading compared to melee moves in TL, prompting players to toss aside their ranged weapons if their first use goes awry and gives away their position.
In other situations, horses, unicorns, fairies, and drakes have their own attacks. In sieges, caltrops, traps, pour-holes, battering rams, curtain walls/palisades, ballistae, mangonels, and trebuchets also figure. Potions, spells, and buffs can also alter the composition of warfare. There are also a variety of situations in which one or both sides is comprised of non-human units, which can dramatically change the usefulness of moves, weaponry, and spells.
Stamina, Vitality, and ManaEdit
Characters have three meters: stamina, vitality, and mana. The first two are combined into one, since stamina can go no higher than vitality. The meter is vertical at the left edge of the screen, with the area signifying stamina + vitality fully red, vitality only at a half-transparent red, and neither, transparent. The third meter is on the right edge of the screen, with the mana showing up in blue and the depleted portion transparent. These stats show for each allied character when they are selected.
It is highly important to keep the stamina and vitality meters as high as possible because a character with even slightly less stamina will be at a severe advantage against an otherwise equal opponent. As each of these two meters degrade, characters move slower, have weaker reflexes, and have reduced chances of carrying out moves successfully. At zero stamina a character is totally tired out and can do nothing to avoid an attack. At low vitality a character faints and is also rendered helpless. At zero or negative vitality a character is dead. When the percentage of vitality goes below that of stamina, the excess stamina is simply lost. This concept is known as weakening.
Characters are slowed proportionally to their percentage stamina, capped at 120%. A character with 50% stamina has half the speed as another with 100% stamina and is probably 1/8th as effective in melee. Hence, the first hits generally matter the most. This concept is known as fatigue.
The mana meter is only useful if a character is going to be using magic (which is definitely not a necessary component of a party at all).
Mana and stamina regenerate faster if they are already mostly filled up and take much longer to regenerate if they are already near the bottom. Therefore, getting "stressed out" (depleting almost all of either right away) is inadvisable. Their regeneration rates are also lower the more the vitality is reduced (and at zero vitality, neither regenerates at all and the character is dead). Vitality does not regenerate naturally.
The meters for the average civilian are 100, 100, and 0, for stamina, vitality, and mana respectively, though for any individual the first two can vary between 91 and 110 (10%). As characters gain experience, moves they have practiced use up significantly less stamina so that they can keep on fighting indefinitely, while stamina regeneration gradually increases based on the sum of all practice the character has obtained. Mana does not "come" naturally. Without the aid of magic, none of these three meters can increase in any way. Anything that boosts max vitality also boosts max stamina by the same amount, since they occupy the same meter.
An unpracticed human has little endurance, meaning that he/she takes 100% reductions to stamina and runs a high chance of suffering critical hits, while one who has maxed out the Focus discipline has better endurance, lessening losses to stamina and having low chances of suffering from critical hits.
Bare-hands and Weapon-basedEdit
Bare-hands combat moves that reduce stamina include push, impact, punch, kick, elbow, power punch, and smash. Each reduces stamina of target by a certain percentage, while not influencing vitality. Each also has a chance of critical strikes and fatal strikes. Generally, the more powerful a move is, the greater the likelihood of these events occurring. Simple, empty-handed fighting can prove incredibly inefficient, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. For able players, bare hands are useful in deflecting, grappling, and throwing objects. They can also knock enemies backward and onto the ground, even capture them to be used as human shields, among other abilities.
Armed combat involves slash (blade class), down-cut (blade class), impale (shaft class), and impact. The first three require their respective weaponry. The fourth is a glancing blow, meaning that it has little lasting impact and is a blunt attack. Armed combat also includes attacking from range and shield-bashing.
Weapon-based moves are far more threatening than bare-hands blows because they do damage to vitality instead of to stamina, which can regenerate. Vitality can't regenerate, and any losses to it also result in losses to stamina. So not only is the short-term stamina and vitality maxes decreased, but stamina and mana regeneration is decreased as well. Additionally, weapons greatly amplify damage through their acuity modifier. The acuity of a weapon is the multiplier applied to a punch attack to determine the effect of a hit with that weapon. For example, if a character made a punch, the target might lose 5% endurance. If the same effort had gone into a slash, the target might lose 70% vitality and 100% endurance.
Special Attack TermsEdit
Impale attacks are harder to "withdraw" out of, meaning the striking character can’t do something else with the weapon in the split second following impact. This is compensated by the ability to use the vicious twist move when the attempt has struck. Vicious twist often kills the impaled target outright.
Critical strikes cause an additional +200% loss of endurance. Most moves have a chance of critical strike. The chance of critical strikes dealt goes up with higher mastery of the Power discipline and the chance of critical strikes received decreases with higher mastery of the Focus discipline.
Stunning strikes completely drain endurance, preventing target from doing anything for a short while (and giving enough time to kill them). Weapon attacks and only certain non-weapon moves cause this effect.
Knockout strikes make the target faint (which can last for several minutes - clearly enough time to capture or kill them). Weapon attacks and only certain non-weapon moves cause this effect.
Mortal strikes cause gradual, continual vitality loss in addition to whatever immediate vitality loss there may be. If untreated a mortal strike may be lethal within a few seconds.
Crushing strikes have an additional +200% effect against undead and artifact targets.
Lethal strikes kill outright. Only certain weapon attacks cause this effect.