In broad terms, 99% of all combat in Vampire LARP comes down to “X wants to do violence to Y and subdue or kill them, while Y wants to either escape, or do similar violence to X in turn”, and the OOC experience of playing through it is moderately tortuous process.
In the event that violence breaks out between PCs, a ref will use a ref system to compare the combat totals of the two sides, and generate a outcome as detailed below, based on the relative different between the two sides.
- Complete Failure: The stronger side has lost and the weaker side has left them Critically Injured
- Inconclusive: This proves to be an inclusive scuffle, where neither side has achieved their aims, and neither has done significant harm to the other.
- Partial Success: The stronger side have Critically Injured the losing side, at the cost of becoming Critically Injured themselves.
- Complete Success: The stronger side have Critically Injured the weaker side.
“Critical Injury” may be generally substituted for “have achieved the outcome you wanted from the altercation” as appropriate – if for example, the stronger side is trying to flee the area rather than injuring the other, then a partial or complete success would see them get away. You ref will adjudicate more complex situations are required.
The weighting of these outcomes changes based on the difference between the two sides, according to the following table:
|Difference||Complete Failure||Inconclusive||Partial Success||Complete Success|
All conditions can be applied to as many members of the losing side as the attacking side care to.
A note about Mass Combat
Other players may involve themselves as they see fit to help either side – to directly support them in their goal. (In the event that there is confusion about who the two sides are, and what they are attempting, that is the first thing a ref will determine, so other players can make decisions about who to support) In the event that a third character has a goal that is something like “take advantage of the confusion to do something else unrelated to the initial conflict to one of the people involved” this is simply discounted/not possible – combat is a swift and confusing thing, and we’d simply ask the player whose character is seeking to do something unrelated to the combat to come up with a reason why their attempt fails.
In the Crucible rules, there are four injury states, reflecting the three states it can be fun to play. No, that’s not a typo – there are two injury states that are roughly analogous, but have a distinction for Vampires.
- Broadly fine. The character is uninjured, or is lightly injured in some way it is fun to play, ranging from “a bit roughed up” to “Seriously injured, but still able to act”. Players should act and or phys-rep the various possible states of injury as appropriate, but broadly, the character is still able to activate any powers, or take part in any physical actions that the player says they can. Characters begin each session in this state.
- Critically Injured. The character is seriously injured in some way that it is fun to play, ranging from broken limbs to “beaten to within an inch of their life”. The character may not move or act except to talk (in an appropriately strained manner) and/or heal, and cannot resist any other character doing more or less as they please to them (including killing them).
- Dead. The character has expired, and the player must now generate a new character.
- In Torpor. This state is specific to Vampires and representing a character who is rendered unable to act by means of a stake through their heart, and who must have the stake removed and be fed blood by another character in order to be able to act again. This is effectively the same as “Critically Injured” except that the character cannot speak or heal without external help.
Players are responsible for tracking their own injury states and roleplaying appropriately.
All Characters have access to the “Heal” power once a session. This allows them to Heal from “Critically Injured” to “Broadly Fine” over a ten minute period, but carries with it a 60% chance of their Beast stirring. (See Humanity and The Beast.)