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Combat Mechanics

Combat Mechanics

  1. When you strike another player with a larp-safe weapon, you may make a ‘damage call’ to indicate the IC strength of the blow
  2. Damage calls indicate the number of hits the target loses from the struck location
  3. If you are struck a blow without a damage call you must treat it as a SINGLE point of damage to the struck location
  4. If a blow is struck with a weapon and an additional call made, i.e STRIKEDOWN, FLAMING, VENOM ONE, you must take the effect of the call AND a SINGLE point of damage
  5. The basic calls are SINGLE, DOUBLE, TRIPLE, etc. i.e If damage is reduced one degree from SINGLE, it becomes NOTHING, if increased one degree DOUBLE.
  6. There are multiple types of damage and protection
  7. Numerical damage, e.g. ONE, TWO, THREE, etc., hits the chest automatically
  8. You have 6 locations on your body: Head, Chest, Right arm, Left arm, Right leg and Left leg.
  9. Hits to a hand holding a weapon count as hits to the weapon.

Combat in Treasure Trap is an abstraction. To represent the varying degrees of force and damage inflicted by blows, a ‘damage call’ is used.

If you are striking “SINGLE” you do not need to call damage. If you are struck without a damage call you lose a single hit from the struck location as if hit by a “SINGLE” damage call. You should avoid calling “SINGLE” in combat in order to reduce background noise and make other calls more audible. An exception to this is if you are alternating different damage calls (e.g. when doing different damage with each hand). In this case you should call singles in order to avoid confusion.

You should not call “SINGLE” if there are additional effects on the blow. eg. Call “VENOM ONE” not “SINGLE VENOM ONE”, Call “FLAMING ” not “FLAMING SINGLE”

Damage calls must be clearly audible to the target; it is not necessary to shout them.

If for any reason you are unable to call at least “SINGLE” damage i.e your damage would be nothing, you should avoid striking blows in combat. If you do need to strike a blow you must call NOTHING, and may also do so in other circumstances where this would be appropriate, such as if your character is sparring with another. Players may also agree in advance (such as when their characters are sparring) that all blows between them do NOTHING, but this must be clearly agreed upon by all parties OOC in advance. You may choose to call lower damage than your highest damage call, e.g. if you can call DOUBLE you are able to call SINGLE or NOTHING instead. If in any case there is ambiguity, players should assume blows do a SINGLE point of damage.

Damage calls indicate the number of hits that have been inflicted. The full range of damage calls is:

Sometimes a damage call will have additional descriptors. These are detailed under ‘Types of damage’, below.

Numerical damage calls inflict their damage to the chest location automatically, regardless of where the blow lands. These calls are mainly used for ranged damage spells. Numerical damage calls consist of the number of hits lost, e.g. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, etc.

Some monsters (such as undead or elementals) use ‘Global Hits’ as opposed to standard locational hits. When such a monster is struck on any part of their body, they take the appropriate damage to their Global Hits. For instance, a zombie with 9 Global Hits that is struck with a DOUBLE on its head and a TRIPLE on its torso would be reduced to 4 Global Hits.

Global Hits monsters, unless briefed otherwise as part of their specific monster package, take double damage from numerical damage effects. Thus, a “Flaming Two” to a global hits monster deals 4 points of Flaming damage to that monster. Dispel and Mana Drain/Steal numerical calls are not treated as numerical damage calls for this purpose, despite dealing damage to elementals.

For the purposes of Damage Alteration (see below), this counts as a ‘species’ package effect.

For purposes of taking damage: Head includes head and neck, Chest includes shoulders and entire torso, Arms include arms and hands and Legs include all parts of your body from the waist down. Hits to a hand holding a weapon count as hits to that weapon rather than a hit to the hand. This only applies to hands holding weapons; it does not apply to empty hands, or hands holding other items such as shields, water bottles, rope, etc. If a character who could not parry with a specific weapon takes a hit to that weapon, or to a hand holding that weapon, the damage is transferred to the location beneath instead.

One Second Rule

You can only be damaged by an individual weapon once per second. If you are struck with a weapon more than one time in a second you only take the highest damage call that weapon struck for. If multiple people strike you with weapons, or one person strikes you with two different weapons, then you will take damage from each of those weapons up to once per second.

In addition, to facilitate more realistic combat, you should aim to pull your weapon back either the length of the weapon or two feet, whichever is shorter, between blows.

In the case of Brawling damage, you should only take one hit per caller per five seconds.

Ranged Weapons and Safety

  1. Bows, crossbows, javelins, thrown weapons and other ammunition must be specially checked
  2. You must not throw any weapon not designed for this purpose
  3. You must not aim for the face, breasts or groin
  4. If you are too close to safely shoot a bow or crossbow you may use the LOOSE call

Due to the inherent safety risks of these weapons, you must ensure that your weapons and ammunition are checked before each event in which they are used. Arrows and bolts in particular are prone to damage after each shot, so you should ensure that you check them for damage whenever possible.

Thrown weapons are specially designed without a rigid core, in order to render them safer to throw. You should not throw any weapon that you are not certain was designed for this purpose.

Arrows and bolts can impact with more force than a melee weapon blow so you should always be aware of your shots. Crossbows in particular are prone to accidental discharging, so you should keep a loaded crossbow pointed away from other people at all times when not intending to shoot it. You should not keep a crossbow string drawn back for extended periods of time.

You must not shoot a bow or crossbow if the shot would travel less than six feet to your target. If you are in a situation where you cannot safely shoot for OOC safety reasons, but could reasonably shoot your target IC, you may use the call LOOSE followed by your normal damage call. The shot is assumed to automatically hit your target in the chest location, unless they are covering themselves with a large shield in which case the attack is ineffective.

When using the LOOSE call you must roleplay all the steps involved in shooting, but you must not draw back the bowstring on a bow or pull the trigger on a primed crossbow. You cannot use LOOSE more times than you have available ammunition; but avoid dropping ammo on the ground as it presents a safety hazard and can lead to broken and unsafe ammo.

Remember that you should never parry with a bow or crossbow in melee. It is recommended that you avoid entering situations where the LOOSE call is required.

As with all ranged calls, you may find it useful to announce the target of your LOOSE call if there is any confusion, particularly if they have their back to you.

Example 1: Dimitri is an archer facing off a group of goblins. As he pulls back the string for a shot, one of the goblins steps within 6 feet of him. Instead of loosing the arrow at an unsafe distance, Dimitri’s player relaxes his draw and calls LOOSE SINGLE THROUGH while aiming at the unlucky goblin.

Example 2: Vidanya is carrying an unloaded crossbow in the bar when a group of savage demons rush in. Pinned close to the battle line, her player mimes pulling back the crossbow’s string, taking a bolt and loading it, then points the (OOC unloaded, untensioned) crossbow at one of the demons she has a clear shot to, and calls LOOSE SINGLE THROUGH.


  1.  Shields may only be used to block blows if the character has sufficient levels of ‘Street Fighter‘ or ‘Melee

Characters cannot naturally use a shield for protection. Appropriate levels of the skills ‘Street Fighter’ or ‘Melee’ are required. With these skills blows on the shield may be completely ignored.

If a blow strikes a shield held by an unskilled character, strapped to another location, or a shield which has been IC shattered, it is transferred to the location beneath instead

Throat Cut

When faced with an unresisting target, you may call THROAT CUT by using a safe melee weapon physrep and poleplaying delivering a mortal wound to the target’s head or neck. If the target is unconscious, paralysed, or choosing not to resist, their head location is immediately reduced to -1. THROAT CUT is a damage call which may be modified by the special damage types described below.

If a target’s head location is already on -1 or fewer hits, THROAT CUT instead deals a single point of damage to the head.

Injury and Disabled locations

  1. When your character has lost hit points on a location, they are injured
  2. When a location reaches 0 hits, it is disabled
  3. If either your head or chest (critical locations) reach 0 hits, you fall over but can choose to remain conscious. If these locations take any further damage, you fall unconscious.
  4. Locations on 0 bleed, losing 1 hit per minute until IC treated

Damage taken to a location is cumulative and lasts until it is healed. A location is functional so long as it has hits remaining.

Example: Boris has 3 hits on his right arm.  He is hit for a SINGLE in his arm. His arm is now on 2 hits.  If Boris was hit twice more like this, his arm would be on 0 hits and disabled.

If a location has taken a fraction of a point of damage, then this damage will heal up to the next full amount with five minutes of low activity. However, if a location takes a full point of damage then this must be healed in the normal way, even if this damage was done fractionally.

If a location reaches 0 hits, it is disabled and begins to bleed at the rate of 1 hit every minute. A disabled limb renders it useless: you must drop anything held in a disabled hand (or set it down if it is a fragile physrep) and you must fall to the ground if you suffer a disabled leg (you may get up again afterwards but may only move at a slow limp; if both legs are crippled then you may only crawl or walk with the aid of crutches/support).

If the head or chest are bleeding, you may either choose to fall unconscious or remain conscious. Either way, you must fall over. If you remain conscious, then the only actions you can take are speaking and writing. You may not drink potions, bandage yourself, use Rec or Detect calls or any similar effects.

After falling down, if your vital location takes any more damage while it is already bleeding, you must fall unconscious.

Bleeding continues until the location is brought above 0 hits or it is stabilised. If a character receives any points of healing while bleeding, all their locations become stabilised. A stabilised location remains disabled at its current hits but does not begin to bleed again until further damage is suffered. If a character’s head and chest are not bleeding then they regain consciousness, but they may not run, call damage, or use any non-innate skills until both locations are above 0 hits.

A damaged or bleeding location is not immediately obvious to outside examination. You may refer to the damage in IC terms but you must not reveal your current hits to another character unless they use the skill First Aid. This skill allows a player to use the call REC NATURE OF WOUNDS. In response to this call you must tell the player how many hits you have remaining on each location out of your normal maximum totals.

Example: Boris has three hits per location and has taken two points of damage to the left arm as well as three hits to the right leg. Vanya, the healer, uses First Aid: Vanya’s player calls REC NATURE OF WOUNDS and Boris’ player informs her that he is down to one out of three on the left arm and zero on the right leg.

If a location has taken a fractional point of damage, then this damage will heal up to the next full amount with five minutes of low activity. However, if a location takes a full point of damage then this must be healed in the normal way, even if this damage was done fractionally.

Global Hits monsters are destroyed when their Global Hits reach 0, unless briefed otherwise as part of their specific monster package.

Permanent injury and Dying

  1. A location that reaches -3 hits is disabled
  2. Locations may not be reduced below -3
  3. If your head or chest reaches -3, your character dies

If limb reaches -3 through direct damage, it is permanently disabled and may never be used again. The limb is not necessarily severed but you must make it clear that it is damaged beyond repair. Some powerful effects may restore function to a permanently disabled limb.

If a limb reaches -3 by bleeding it is disabled and cannot be used for the rest of the event. However, it recovers in the downtime period before the next event, and can then be used as normal.

If the head or chest reach -3 then your character is dead. When you die you may continue to physrep your corpse for as long as you wish. Any attempt to search your body automatically succeeds.

Your character’s soul remains in your body for a short period of time unless laid to rest. Some abilities only work on a body that contains a soul.

When you stop playing your corpse, you must go see a ref and inform them of your death.

Types of Damage

  1. Damage called simply as a value (e.g. SINGLE) with no modifier is Physical damage.
  2. Other types of damage are indicated by adding to your damage call.
  3. The common damage types include SUBDUAL, MAGIC, SPIRIT, THROUGH, VENOM, SILVER, and the six elemental damage types.
  4. Other damage types may exist.
  5. Damage types may be combined.

To represent the varied abilities of characters in the TT world, there are multiple types of damage that can be inflicted. Physical, Subdual and Through damage normally come from mundane sources. Other types of damage are clearly identifiable to characters as coming from a non-mundane source.

Subdual Damage

Subdual damage represents bruising and is non-lethal. If a location is reduced to 0 hit points by subdual damage, it cannot be used for five minutes. If the head or body is reduced to 0 by subdual damage, you fall unconscious for five minutes. After five minutes, all accumulated subdual damage goes away. Subdual damage does not cause Bleeding and cannot reduce a location below -2.

You may not normally combine subdual damage with any other special kind of damage, except in the case of “Water Blast” and similar spells. This is an exception to the rule about combining damage types (see below).

Subdual damage is indicated by adding the word SUBDUE before the damage call, e.g. “SUBDUE SINGLE”

Magic and Spirit Damage

These damage types originate from spells, miracles or enhanced weapons and behave like physical damage, except that they have additional effects against certain types of creatures. Some monsters, particularly incorporeal ones, may be immune to physical damage, but not to magic or spirit. Note that, while purely elemental beings are immune to spirit damage, most mundane non-spiritual things treat Spirit as physical damage, e.g. armour, ropes, animals, etc.

Spirit damage is indicated by adding the word SPIRIT before the damage call, e.g. SPIRIT TRIPLE.

Grey magic effects will add the word MAGIC. Elemental magic effects will add that element to the damage call: RADIANT, SHADOW, LIGHTNING, EARTHEN, FLAMING, or FREEZING, depending on which element it is associated with. It should be noted that any call including any of these also counts as a MAGIC call.

Through Damage

Through damage acts as physical damage but ignores physical armour and DAC. Mechanical ranged weapons and armour-piercing attacks inflict this damage type.

Through damage is indicated by adding the word THROUGH after the damage call, e.g. SINGLE THROUGH.

Venom damage

This descriptor indicates damage caused by venoms and poisons, either natural or created through alchemy. Most venoms are delivered by weapons, and only affect the first strike made by the weapon against a target. Applying a venom to a weapon requires the appropriate skill.

Venom damage follows the damage call of the weapon used to administer the venom and is indicated by the word VENOM followed by the level of the venom e.g. SINGLE VENOM TWO. Venom deals that number of hits directly to the chest and cannot be absorbed by armour. The venom only causes damage if the attack causes the target to lose a hit after armour.

Venom damage cannot be healed normally, requiring an anti-venom to be administered first. Every point of anti-venom administered allows one point of venom damage to be healed by normal means (alchemy, miracles, etc.). An anti-venom can also be administered pro-actively, in which case it absorbs up to its level in venom damage for its duration.

If you are reduced to -3 on the chest as a result of taking VENOM damage then you are dead.

The VENOM descriptor may also apply to other poison effects aside from damage, for example VENOM SLEEP or VENOM PARALYSIS.

Silver, Elemental, and Other Damage

These damage types, as well as any type not listed above, have no special effect except against particular targets. Unless told otherwise, you may ignore these descriptors in a damage call, taking only the other effects of the call.

All these types of damage are indicated by adding their name before the damage call, as per MAGIC and SPIRIT.

See the Elementalism Rules document for a list of elemental damage calls. Should you have a lammy allowing you to call MAGIC [element], then you may call [element] instead.

Combining Damage Types

Under special circumstances, certain damage types can be combined in a single call. In these cases, simply add the descriptors at the appropriate place around the damage call.

Example: a character firing a bow enhanced by the spell Flamebow might call FLAMING TRIPLE THROUGH. A fireball does FLAMING THREE. A character with a spiritually-empowered dagger who backstabs a target with a special magical venom would call SPIRIT SINGLE THROUGH, MAGIC VENOM THREE.

Damage Immunities

If a character has immunity to MAGIC or SPIRIT damage, they are immune to such damage even if it has a physical component. If a character has a damage call enhancement (being spiritual or magical) they may suppress that whole effect at will. Suppressing the effect does not extend the duration. Unless already countermanded by a lammy description. NB Suppressing does not count as cancelling. This does not apply to blade venoms and poisons.

Area of Effect Modifiers

Modifiers exist that modify the area of effect of some calls.


The MASS call affects everyone within 30 feet of the caller. For example, a MASS STRIKEDOWN causes everyone within 30 feet to fall to the ground.


The CONE call affects everyone within the 120-degree cone indicated by the caller’s arms, as long as they are also within the distance range of the effect (typically 30 feet). The caller’s arms are raised IC as part of the creation of the cone effect. A character may only use the CONE call while they have two functional arms, unless stated otherwise in the rules for that specific effect.


The AURA call affects everyone within 6 feet of the caller, measured from the chest.

As a rough guideline, if you are in safe striking distance with a 42’ weapon you should probably take the call. If you have an ability that uses AURA, please be mindful that getting too close in combat can pose an OC danger

Types of Armour

  1. There are 4 types of armour: Physical, Magic, Spirit and DAC.
  2. Physical armour is worn on the body and only protects where the physrep covers unless more than approximately 40% of the location is covered. You should check with the ref team whether your armour phys-rep covers a suitable amount of a location.
  3. Magic, Spirit and DAC provide global armour points.
  4. Armour of different types may stack.

All types of armour protect your character by absorbing the damage you would otherwise take. Armour is ablative: for each hit you take, reduce your armour by the damage called. Armour is ineffective once reduced to zero.

Global armour provides protection that is independent of location.

Example: Boris has 3 points of Spirit armour. The first 3 points of damage he takes, regardless of location, will be stopped by the Spirit armour.

Physical Armour

Armour that is worn by a character, such as a leather breastplate, provides physical armour. Physical armour protects against all damage except THROUGH.

Blows that physically strike the armour physrep are absorbed by the armour; blows hitting unarmoured parts of a location are taken to the location directly provided that the armour physreps used cover approximately less than 40% of the location. Physical armour is locational: a character has an armour value for each location covered by a lammied armour physrep. The sum of the values of the highest value armour on each location (even if that armour has been damaged) is your Armour Total. You may only be protected by as much armour as you have the skills for (A starting character has a Maximum Armour Total of 6). If your character’s Armour Total is higher than their Maximum Armour Total, one (or more) locations of armour will behave as if dross (offering 0 points of protection but taking no damage themselves) until your Armour Total is reduced to less than, or equal to your maximum Armour Total. Any character can repair Physical armour at the rate of 1 point per 1 minute of role-played repair.

Magic Armour

Magic armour is granted by spells and some magic items. It provides Global armour points. Magic armour protects against all damage except SPIRIT and COLD IRON. Magic armour may not be repaired – when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Spirit Armour

Spirit Armour is granted by miracles and some spiritual items. It provides Global armour points. Spirit armour protects against all types of damage. Spirit armour may not be repaired – when it’s gone, it’s gone.

If you are granted Spirit Armour from multiple sources, you gain only the highest amount of this armour. If an effect would grant you spirit armour and you have that much or more already, you do not gain more; if you have less you gain only so much as to take you to the amount the new effect grants. The Spirit armour granted by Bless and Sanctuary is an exception. Sanctuary will stack with other spirit armour, including Bless. Bless will stack with other spirit armour and other Blesses by the same person, but not with Blesses by different people, as described in the Bless rules.

DAC (Dexterity Armour Class)

DAC is granted by skills and some magic items. It provides Global armour points. DAC protects against all damage except THROUGH. You must be able to see the blow coming and be in a position to dodge for DAC to function. You cannot use DAC against surprise attacks or while unconscious or otherwise unable to move.

You may use DAC against touch and ranged attacks (e.g. Shock; Fireball; Harm (touch)) so long as you can see the caster and are aware that they are attacking. You may not use DAC against stationary damage-causing effects such as Minor Ward of Power or Wall of Fire.

DAC armour regenerates at the rate of 1 point per minute of IC rest.

A table of incoming damage vs. armour type. Green indicates that the armour blocks the damage; red indicates that the damage ignores the armour.

Types of Physical Armour and Layering

  1. Physical armour must be physrepped by items of the appropriate material
  2. You can stack physical armour on the same location but you only receive the benefits of the highest armour points
  3. Damage is taken to all armour on the same location

Physical armour comes in different types depending on its effectiveness. All armour must both have a lammy and an appropriate physrep to confer its protection.

1-point and 2-point armour is physrepped by leather, fur or padded clothing.

3-point and 4-point armour is physrepped by chain, scalemail, plate or an equivalent non-metal physrep of chain, scalemail or plate.

If two or more items of physical armour overlap on the same part of a location, only the item with the highest armour points counts.

Example: Piotr is wearing a chain bracer (3 points) under a leather coat (1 point). He benefits from 3 armour points where the bracer covers, not 4.

All armour on a given location takes damage if any of the armour on that location is struck.

Example: Misha is wearing a chain shirt (3 points) with plate gauntlets (4 points). If the arm of the shirt is struck for a SINGLE, the gauntlets also take damage.

If a blow lands on an unarmoured part of a location, including parts covered by armour reduced to zero hits, then the damage is taken straight to the body, and does not further damage any remaining armour.

Example: the sleeve of Misha’s chain shirt has taken three points of damage and no longer provides protection. Her gauntlet still has 1 armour point remaining. If she is hit on the sleeve of the shirt, the damage will affect her body hits directly, and not damage the gauntlet.

Note: some lammies state that they provide armour to multiple locations. These locations still count separately for purposes of taking  damage, so for instance a leather jerkin (chest and two arms armour) is functionally identical to a leather vest and two bracers.

Resisting Effects

  1. If you are the target of an effect which does not work on you, you should call NO EFFECT
  2. If you counter an effect through IC means you should call NOTED

Some situations cause a character to become immune to certain calls or spells. To indicate that a call has not affected you at all, you must call NO EFFECT.  It is IC obvious that you are immune. You should repeat this every time you are the target of such an effect to make it clear that it is still ineffective.

Example: the high-level spell ‘Ice Body’ causes a character to become immune to physical damage for the duration of its effect. If you are hit by physical damage you should call NO EFFECT to indicate that the blows are not affecting you at all.

Some abilities allow a character to ignore part or all of an effect called against them. To indicate that you have heard the call and that the effect has depleted some of your IC resources, you should call NOTED.

Example: the miracle ‘Spirit Defence’ counteracts the first damaging call against its user. If you are hit by ‘Fireball’ and your Spirit Defence counteracts it, you should call NOTED.

It is not necessary to call NOTED when a blow is absorbed by your armour, even non-physical armour.

Damage Alteration

When damage-alteration effects are stacked, they are applied in the following order unless otherwise stated in the specific effect:

  1. Damage alteration other than any provided by a species/supernatural package is applied. (E.g. a Quad is reduced by 1 to a Triple.)
  2. Effect multiplication other than any provided by a species/supernatural package is applied. (E.g. the Triple is doubled [Hex] or halved [1.5 points of damage].)
  3. Points of damage reduced to fractional amounts in this fashion round up. (E.g. the 1.5 becomes a Double.) It is not possible to reduce incoming damage to below Half via stacked damage reduction effects.
  4. The character’s species/supernatural package effects, if applicable, are then applied.

Non-Combatant Players

It may be that there are players who are unable to take part in combat due to a variety of reasons, notably including disability or injury. Should this occur, the player in question must communicate this to the Head Ref or Armourer (or an appointed representative of either) as early as possible during an event.

The Head Ref or Armourer will then announce to the rest of the society that this person is non-combatant.

The normal rules for a non-combatant shall be as follows:

Effort should be made to not hit this person with a weapon under any circumstances, and it should be understood that they may not be able to drop to the floor, or move quickly, during the event. The non-combatant should try to avoid getting into the middle of fights.

Ranged attacks such as magic and spirit can be used on the non-combatant as usual. Bow and crossbow users should use the “Loose“ call.

For melee (and thrown weapon) attacks, a player within three feet of the non-combatant may use their normal damage call once per second on a location they can see, using the call “[OC or IC name], [damage call], [location]” – e.g. “Fred, Spirit Single, Head“.

The ref team may alter these rules for an individual player following discussion with that player. If this is done, then the variations to the rules will be announced at the start of every event along with the announcement of non-combat status.