Items In Combat

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In the magical girl genre, fighting over items happens constantly. Whether people are collecting Rainbow Crystals, Heartiels, Grief Seeds or Heart Shards, contesting the possession of an item often drives the content of a scene. While it is always acceptable to simply roleplay out item possession, we have rules for adjudicating items in the combat system. After an item combat is initiated in the code, attacks with the Item Grab flag can be used to steal it. Characters can opt to flee from battle with their prize, but they have to hold onto the item long enough to escape!

Initiating an Item Contest

We use the +item system to track who is currently holding an item. We also use it to track who is involved in an item contest; since item contests necessitate a strict pose order, this allows them to go on within a larger scene without restricting the pose order of those who are not interested in contesting the possession of an item.

+item/start <Item>: Used by the original holder of an item to allow for an item contest. For example, someone holding a Grief Seed who wants to allow it to be contested would type +item/start Grief Seed. Currently, you can only start one contest at a time, but multiple contests can be going on in the same room simultaneously if necessary.

+item/join <Item Starter>: After an item contest has been started, anyone interested in contesting the possession of the item should use +item/join. You are not allowed to change your mind later on; either you're in or you're out at the beginning. If you join the scene late, or if something changes in character that would cause you to suddenly be interested in the item, you're welcome to RP accordingly, but you will not succeed at obtaining the item in this scene.

+item/leave <Item Starter>: If your character is no longer contesting the item, please use +item/leave to take yourself out of the pose order. You may not use +item/leave if you're the current holder of the item. For game balance reasons, if out of character circumstances force you to have to miss part of the scene, you must use +item/leave to take yourself out of contention.

+item/clear: Used by the original holder of the item to end the item contest.

+item <Item Starter>: Displays the initiative order of everyone contesting the item, indicates the item's current holder, and if they're trying to escape, how many turns remain until they succeed. Everyone contesting the item needs to respect this pose order. Characters who aren't contesting the item do not need to strictly follow a pose order, but if they are involved at all in the csys with anyone in the item contest (attacking them, buffing them, cleansing them), they must only take one action per round of the item contest.

+items: Displays the names of all item contests currently underway in the room, and indicates the items' current holders, and how many turns they have left to escape, if they're trying to.

+item/transfer <Item Starter>=<Target>: Usable by anyone to transfer the item to a given target. There are three reasons to use this command:

  • The current item holder has disconnected and doesn't seem to be coming back. At this point, ownership of the item is transfered to a character of the Item Starter's choice.
  • You are the current item holder, and you are using your combat action to hand a contested item to someone else. Please remember to use +round afterwards.
  • You are the current item holder, and have just been knocked out. If whoever knocked you out is part of the contest, transfer the item to them. Otherwise, you may transfer it to the character of your choice.

+item/escape <Item Starter>: Usable by the item holder on their turn; uses their combat action to run away, and announces to the room how many more turns it will be until they have escaped with the item.

Grabbing An Item

  • Attacks with the Item Grab Attack Flag may be used to attempt to grab an item from another person, after an item contest has been started with +item/start. Without +item/start, Item Grab doesn't function, but grants the attack a critical chance bonus.
  • To succeed at an Item Grab attempt, the attack itself must be successful (in the sense that it is not perfectly Dodged, Braced, or Countered). Accepting an Item Grab attack will always cause the attempt to succeed. An attack that is a Critical Hit has a better chance of success; the Magpie ability also improves the chances of grabbing an item.
  • If you succeed at an Item Grab attempt, you gain an extra 5 Morale, and are now in possession of the item in question. No one may attempt another Item Grab on you until after you take your next turn.
  • Item Grab attacks explicitly cannot be used to grab weapon or transformation Artifacts; disarming someone of their ability to fight is not the purpose of these rules.
  • Item Grab attacks may not be used as counterattacks.
  • If you succeed at an Item Grab attempt against someone who is holding multiple contested items, and you are in multiple contests for those items, you will grab only one. You cannot choose which to grab. (This probably-rare situation will eventually be improved; right now, it's a code limitation. Using +item/transfer to pass multiple items to someone in order to 'shield' one of them is using the system in bad faith -- don't.)
  • If you knock someone out who has a contested item, you automatically take the item (which should be transferred to you with +item/transfer). If your character is not in contention for the item, the knocked out character decides who gets it next.
  • You may hand a contested item to someone else with +item/transfer, but this takes your combat system action for that turn. It does not cost a combat system action to receive a contested item from the giver, however.

Leaving A Scene With An Item

  • If you want to grab an item and run away with it, you must use +item/escape on your turn. Turning to run uses your attack for that round; you may not, therefore, turn and run in the same turn as your successful Item Grab attack, because you've already used your attack for the round -- the clock can start on your next turn.
  • While you are running away, you may not make more combat system attacks. You may still pose (fleeing), of course, and must use +item/escape on your turn in lieu of other actions.
  • If two full turns pass, and you still have the item and have not been knocked out, you escape with it. This means that everyone in the scene has two chances to take it from you.
  • If, at any time during your escape attempt, you suffer from the Trap Attack Flag status effect, it takes a total of three full turns, instead of two full turns, to escape.
  • Allies are always permitted to Cover for their escaping item-holder, but they cannot 'dramatically' cover; if the covering attempt fails, it fails. Only a single ally can attempt to cover any one attack.
  • If the contested item changes hands at any point, the escape clock has to start over, with all the normal rules applying.

Tactical Notes

  • The best way to defend against Item Grab is with a fairly high-Power Level counterattack (which has the added benefit of likely doing damage back to your attacker), but, naturally, this gets expensive quickly.
  • The second best way to defend against Item Grab is with Dodge, since it's more likely to crit and prevent all damage than Brace is, thus causing the attack, and thus the grab attempt, to fail.

Pose Order

  • A scene with item contestation going on, by necessity, must respect the firm pose order defined in +item.
  • For game balance reasons, if your character is involved in an item contestation, they must participate in every round of combat. If for some reason you are unable to continuously participate OOCly, you will need to remove your character from contention of the item in that scene with +item/leave.

For more information, please see: Attack Flags, Abilities, Battle