When a character is attacked in Battle Fantasia, their player can use the +queue command to examine the incoming attack. Once they have seen what's coming their way, a player can respond with a variety of coded reactions: dodging, bracing, counterattacking, or simply accepting the attack. Additionally, other characters can use +cover to transfer the attack to themselves (at which point the coverer uses a reaction instead). Each of these reactions have advantages and disadvantages, and can be boosted or penalized by various abilities and flags.
Reactions do not simply succeed or fail; they have several levels of partial success that mitigate different-sized portions of the incoming damage. Reactions can also fail completely, mitigating no damage whatsoever. The best result of a reaction is a critical success, which causes the incoming attack to fail completely. Not only does this prevent all damage, it also denies the attacker the extra morale they would have gained from hitting you. Critical reactions also prevent any flags on the attack from triggering, thus potentially protecting you from debuffs, taunts and quips, and item grabs. Partial successes, on the other hand, do not affect the chance of flags triggering.
Dodge -- Greater risk, greater reward, and notably not binary in its outcome.
Brace -- Reliable damage mitigation, but rarely spectacular.
Counter -- The potential to prevent or even do damage, but at the cost of mana.
- BEAMWAR -- Finisher vs. Finisher counters, with attacks dramatically straining against each other until one blasts through the other.
Accept -- Permits the attack to deal full damage; mostly used to accept help from allies' zero-damage attacks.
Cover -- Attempts to ensure an ally’s safety at the expense of your own.
Reaction Penalties (as seen in +status) accrue whenever a Dodge, Brace or Counter reaction is used successfully. Each point of Reaction Penalty provides a stacking decrease in a given reaction’s effectiveness, up to the extreme value of Reaction Penalty 5. Using any reaction will decrease all other reactions by 1. Reaction Penalties reset to 0 when a character uses +heal/full at the beginning of a fight.
Sailor Moon is targeted by a monster’s Gnashing Teeth. She Dodges out of the way, resulting in the following reaction penalties:
Dodge 1, Brace 0, Counter 0
Undeterred, the monster takes a swing at her with its Possessed Tire Iron. Sailor Moon Counters with her Moon Tiara, increasing her Counter penalty but decreasing all the others:
Dodge 0, Brace 0, Counter 1
If Sailor Moon had tried to Dodge, she would have had a reduced chance of success, and increased her Dodge penalty to 2. Given how pitiful her Moon Tiara attack is, however, it might have been worth the risk!
Greater risk, greater reward, and notably not binary in its outcome.
In-Game Command Syntax: +dodge <attacker>
Dodging can be graceful or not, but deliberately evading an opponent’s attack is a very common strategy on Battle Fantasia. Notably, the dodge reaction is not binary; narratively, one may succeed or fail to dodge an attack, but usually the result will be somewhere in between, as one loses Fatigue from their Fatigue pool, exerting themselves to dive out of the way.
Reaction Advantages: Whether an attack is ranged or melee, physical or magical, dodge runs on a single stat, Reflex, making it a highly efficient Character Point investment. Also, dodge has, by far, the highest chance to critically succeed on a reaction. Excellent dodgers will thus often deny their opponents successful attack morale gains.
Reaction Disadvantages: Dodge has, by far, the highest chance to entirely fail on a reaction, and on average mitigates less damage than the other reactions. And on anything less than a critically successful Dodge, all that Reflex won’t help at all when resisting debuffs.
Abilities that improve Dodge: Advanced Dodge, Fade, Flash, Supersonic
Flags that punish Dodge: Homing, Accurate
Flags that debuff Dodge: Tangle, Trap
Flags that buff Dodge: Accelerate
Reliable damage mitigation, but rarely spectacular.
In-Game Command Syntax: +brace <attacker>
Brace encompasses, narratively, a lot more than just putting one’s arms in front of their face and passively taking a hit, perhaps skidding back a little or being blown off their feet entirely if they fail. Skillfully rolling with a hit is a brace. Actively blocking, parrying, or magically shielding oneself are all brace tactics. Want to punch a beam and stop it with sheer awesomeness? Want to cut an incoming attack in half with a sword? That’s brace, generally (and counter, occasionally). The brace reaction is not binary; one may brace more or less damage, or none at all.
Reaction Advantages: Brace has the lowest chance to entirely fail on a reaction, and on average mitigates more damage than dodge in general, and, at higher levels of investment, outperforms counter as well. The Brace stats, Vitality and Spirit, also resist debuffs, so even if one is struck by an attack, odds are they’ll very possibly resist any exotic effects!
Reaction Disadvantages: Magical attacks are braced against with the Spirit stat, while physical attacks are braced against with the Vitality stat (and many of the Brace abilities are also split by incoming attack type) so for a character to be great at bracing everything, there’s a higher Character Point investment involved than for the dodge reaction. Brace has the lowest chance to critically succeed, so opponents will rarely be denied their successful attack morale gain.
Abilities that improve Brace: Advanced Brace, Block, Parry, Hollow Body, Magic Cancel
Flags that punish Brace: Penetrating, Barrier Breaking
Flags that debuff Brace: Stagger, Stun
Flags that buff Brace: Withstand
The potential to prevent or even do damage, but at the cost of mana.
In-Game Command Syntax: +counter <attacker>=<counterattack name>
The narrative definition of counter, as opposed to brace, is centered around the potential to actually do damage. (Usually; see the note on the Interrupt flag below.) Parrying a bolt of magic is a brace; bouncing it back at its caster is a counter. Taking an incoming punch with a force field is a brace. Absorbing an incoming attack’s energy with a force field, then detonating it in the attacker’s face, is a counter. Blocking a punch with the flat of a blade is a brace. Blocking a punch with the edge of a blade is a counter.
In general, only Ranged attacks can counter Ranged attacks, and only Melee attacks can counter Melee attacks. With the Barrier flag, an attack can counter both Ranged and Melee attacks (though it need not be a literal barrier or shield to do so; an aegis of one’s swirling sword or spiraling magical bolts will do). Finisher-tier attacks may only be countered by other Finishers, and one’s Opportunity Finisher for surviving the incoming Finisher does not unlock until after the reaction is done; if you want to counter a Finisher, your own Finisher must have already been available. Counterattacking requires some investment; as such, Power Level 0 attacks can never be used as counterattacks.
When a Finisher is used to counter a Finisher, it initiates a BEAMWAR, which has special rules.
A counterattack can mitigate some or all damage; it can also deliver some or all of the damage and effects of the counterattack back at the original attacker. Note that debuffs attached to counterattacks last for one fewer round.
An attack with the Interrupt flag has altered functionality. It can only be used as a counterattack, and can never do any damage back to the original attacker. In return for these drawbacks, it has outstanding damage mitigation ability. This represents the tactical option to invest mana in an active defense (empowering one’s force field, or parrying sword, with a little extra verve, so to speak).
Reaction Advantages: What primarily drives the success odds of a counter reaction is the Power Level difference between the incoming attack and the counterattack. (Secondarily, a crit on either side helps success chance, as do a variety of attack flags). If they’re equal, counter has excellent damage mitigation, and if the counterattack has a higher Power Level than the incoming attack, counter can have the best mitigation in the game. This doesn’t run on stats at all; a sufficiently massive blast from a Rank C has solid odds at countering a Rank S. Using a low-PL attack to counter a high-PL attack has progressively lower odds. In other words, people get what they pay for; if they spend about the same amount of mana as their attacker, they’re likely to not take much damage at all, and possibly do some back.
Reaction Disadvantages: Every time one counterattacks, one is denying oneself mana they need for attacks, and having enough mana to use a Finisher-tier attack at the end of the fight tends to require fairly tight resource management. To be able to counter a wide variety of attacks effectively, a character requires a mix of Ranged and Melee attacks at a variety of PLs, or investment in the Barrier flag.
Abilities that improve Counter: Interceptor, Reverse, Tactician, Explosive Counterfire, Riposte, Barrier Warrior
Flags that punish Counter (or improve an attack when it’s used as a counterattack!): Accurate, Defense Breaking, Overpower
Flags that debuff Counter: Diversion, Blind (lowered crit chance)
Flags that buff Counter: Surge (raised crit chance)
Permits the attack to deal full damage; mostly used to accept help from allies.
In-Game Command Syntax: +accept <attacker>
Sometimes it’s time to accept one’s defeat at the hands of a glorious enemy. Other times, an incoming attack isn’t offensive in nature, but carries with it healing or buffs! Either of those times are an appropriate time to use +accept -- and in the latter case, in fact, to do otherwise is cheating.
Accepting an attack does not alter existing reaction penalties. An attack that is accepted cannot count as a successful attack for the purposes of an attacker's once-a-round successful attack morale gain; to gain that extra morale, an attack must have a chance to fail.
Attempts to ensure an ally's safety at the expense of your own.
In-Game Command Syntax: +cover <ally>=<attacker>, then, on a success, +dodge/brace/counter <attacker>
Desperate efforts to defend a friend in need are a fundamental part of the world of Battle Fantasia. The cover command exists to represent that. However, covering is not automatically successful; it is more successful when an ally has low morale, or is the target of a high-Power Level attack. If the cover attempt fails, the ally must react normally, because the coverer did not make it in time.
If the cover succeeds, the coverer must then choose a reaction to defend with, as normal. However, all of their reaction options come with a severe penalty to their success chances, because pushing a friend out of the way of a big attack, taking it right to the face, and this chain of events spurring the original friend to great deeds (or despair) is hugely typical of the setting. Someone whose investment in the protection of their allies is a fundamental part of their character might buy the Guardian ability to improve their odds of a post-cover reaction.
Covering has no effect on Reaction Penalties.
Using +cover requires the permission of the attacker. Please don’t do it without asking first, and don’t expect to be allowed to do it every round, or even most rounds. If everyone agrees that it is narratively appropriate for the cover to succeed, one may continue to attempt +cover multiple times without penalty until they do. Abuse of +cover will be taken very seriously by the staff.
For more information, please see: Battle