(last updated: 03/28/20)
MotM is a story-driven MU*. Roleplaying is our first and foremost activity here. However, as MotM is about a world of fighters, combat is necessarily a very important aspect of RP. Because of this, MotM has a unique combat system designed to simulate the fast and fluid action of street fighting.
In order to familiarize you with our system, this tutorial has been laid out to help you through the basics of combat. It will take you through the viewpoint of Lucky Glauber in a sparring match against his teammate Brian Battler. While following this tutorial, you should gain a general understanding of how a typical fight on MotM will progress.
Lines with commands to be typed will begin with a greater-than sign, > . Output from those commands will be shown on the following lines, in
monospace on the website. And info files related to the topic will be called out in parentheses ( ).
Joining the Fight
Lucky Glauber and Brian Battler have been scening for a while, and now they're about to start a fight. So the first thing they do is enter combat. Brian types 'join', and then Lucky will see this. (See Joining)
Any message that begins with "COMBATSYS" will be shown to everyone in the room, and will be saved to the log. So now that Lucky knows that Brian is ready to throw down, it's time for him to 'join' the fight too.
Now that there's two people in the fight, let's type the 'meters' command:
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Lucky 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Brian
This shows that both their "vitality" gauges are full, and their "super" gauges are empty. (See Status)
Fight conditions can vary between scenes, so if Lucky was sneaking up on Brian, maybe he would go first. In this case, it's a training match; they're on even footing.
If Brian had higher ratio than Lucky, his player might want Lucky's player to take the first action; vice-versa if Lucky had a higher ratio. Brian and Lucky are close to the same ratio, so they each decide to 'roll' to see who gets to take the first action:
[OOC] ROLL: Brian rolls 1d10: 8
Brian won the high roll, so he gets to take the first swing.
Brian poses his attack:
shoulder-first into his partner! Boom!
And then Brian attacks!
The line beginning with "CSYS" lets Lucky know it's his turn, and that he has an attack in his reaction queue. This means he can type 'check' to see what his reaction chances are going to be.
1) Hyper Tackle - Physical - (Brian) [D:30] [B:75] [E:65]
The [D:30] shows us that Lucky has a 30% chance to dodge. [B:75] means he has a 75% chance to block, and [E:65] means he has a 65% chance to endure. Lucky will choose 'block,' which is safer but means he'll take less damage on success.
To block, type 'block' followed by the number of the attack shown in 'check.' Usually the number is 1, but there may be some cases where a character will have multiple attacks to respond to.
> block 1
COMBATSYS: Lucky blocks Brian's Hyper Tackle.
Ten points of damage! That reduces Lucky's Health to 90%.
Posing and Attacking
Now that he's successful in blocking the attack, it's time to figure out what to do next. The fight's still young, so he decides to look at his 'attacks'. (See Attacks for more info.)
(This is a demo; we don't want to show you all of Lucky's moves.) Notice that the special "Lucky Vision" and the super "Cross Court" are grayed out; Lucky doesn't have enough super to throw either of these two attacks right now. Instead, he decides to throw Cyclone Break.
Now that he's figured out which attack he'll use, it's time for Lucky to pose it using the 'spoof' or '@emit' commands. These work like on most other MUSH/MUX games. To insert a line break into a pose, type
%r ; to insert a tab, type
> @emit %tDropping his basketball for a moment, Lucky throws his hands into Brian's ramming charge, and even then he's knocked backwards a few feet.%r%tAs a counterattack, he swings his left heel high overhead, scything it downwards onto his partner's neck!
ramming charge, and even then he's knocked backwards a few feet.
As a counterattack, he swings his left heel high overhead, scything it
downwards onto his partner's neck!
Now that he's posed, it's time to execute the 'attack,' with the format 'attack < target > = < name of attack > '. In this case, the target is "Brian", and the name of the attack is "Cyclone Break."
> attack brian=Cyclone Break
It's not necessary to type the full name of the attack as long as it's clear which attack you're referring to. Since Lucky has only one attack beginning with 'Cyc', then he could have typed 'attack brian=cyc' instead.
At this point, Lucky's reacted, posed, and taken action. His turn is now over.
It is now Brian's turn to react, pose, and take action.
Brian succeeds the block; as a football quarterback with a lot of durability (Soak stat) he has a high chance to succeed.
Lucky can see how badly he's hurt by checking out 'meters'.[ `\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////////////// ]
Lucky 0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0 Brian
This is a combat tutorial, so we're gonna skip the poses Lucky and Brian would normally type. Let's just assume there are poses, and that they are awesome.
Now that Brian has blocked Lucky's attack, he tries to take Lucky down with a DDT...
This time, Lucky decides to dodge.
> dodge 1
COMBATSYS: Brian successfully hits Lucky with DDT.
Oof! Brian nailed him there. Oh well, can't win every exchange.
It's now time to discuss Reserve. At the start of each fight, most characters start with 100% Health, 100% Reserve, and 0% Super. Nearly every Special attack costs Reserve. You can see how much Reserve and Super each attack costs by typing 'costs'.
As you can see from the RCost column, Cyclone Break costs 13% Reserve. Once Lucky runs out of Reserve he will be unable to throw any more Special attacks! Well, are there any attacks that don't cost Reserve? Why yes, there are! Lucky types 'costs2' to see his Normals.
As you can see, Normals have a negative Reserve Cost, which means that using a Normal attack actually gives back Reserve. (See Normals)
From the list of Normals, Lucky selects Strong Punch, which will restore 5% Reserve on use.
> attack brian=strong punch
Brian is meaty. He isn't afraid of Lucky! So he decides to Endure the attack, which means that he's going to take full damage in exchange for a bonus to hit Lucky back.
Okay, Brian chose to endure the attack; let's see how much damage it dealt.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////// ]
Lucky 0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0 Brian
As you can see, Brian didn't get too badly hurt from that. In his pose, he takes the punch full on, but he uses Lucky's positioning to his advantage, attempting to pull him into a Brian Tornado attack.
As you can see, there's a slight penalty for blocking. If Lucky continues blocking, this penalty will grow, making it increasingly tougher for him to block successfully. He could try dodging, but 30% isn't a high chance.
In addition to Dodge, Block, and Endure, one can also Interrupt. The Interrupt command counts as both a Reaction (Dodge/Block/Endure) and an Attack. So once Lucky uses the Interrupt, his attack is over, and he will need to pose it.
For Reactions, we have the 'check' command. But what about Interrupts? Luckily, there is a 'check < attack # > ' command that will show all the possibilities for interrupting a particular attack. Again, Brian Tornado is attack #1 in this case, so the command would be 'check 1'.
> check 1
The chance of success is shown in the % column. Notice that Lucky Vision has a much better chance (40%) than Cyclone Break (10%), due to the Priority effect. (See Effects.) A Lucky Vision interrupt is a bit more likely than his Dodge chance, so he's going to risk it.
There are multiple kinds of interrupts: counters, reflects, projectile interrupts, and pokes. If he has Counter, Reflect, or a Projectile, it would show up in the Type column. If the Type column for a given attack is empty, it counts as a Poke interrupt.
A Poke interrupt represents striking your opponent in the midst of their attack. A successful Poke interrupt means the interrupter will take less damage, but will hit their opponent full-strength, instantly. The opponent will not get an opportunity to react to it by dodging, blocking, enduring, or interrupting, unless they have the signature ability of Counter.
Regardless of whether an interrupt succeeds or fails, the character can take no more action this turn. And there is a message to note that.
> interrupt 1=lucky vision
10% reserve and 10% super.
CSYS: You take 17 points of damage.
COMBATSYS: Lucky interrupts Brian Tornado from Brian with Lucky Vision.
CSYS: An interrupt represents your Action for this round. You are not to
attack or take any other Action until your next turn, including the
use of abilities or DM.
17 points of Health isn't a bad exchange for hitting Brian immediately!
Brian won't take this lying down though. It's time for him to return fire!
> dodge 1
COMBATSYS: Brian successfully hits Lucky with Medium Kick.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Lucky 1/----===/=======|=======\-------\0 Brian
Whoops, this dodge didn't work either; Lucky's not been so lucky this fight. Vitality bars are colored green if they are 67% or higher, yellow if over 33%, and red if over 0%. The interrupt took Lucky below 67% into "yellow" health, and the dodge attempt knocked him into "red" health.
So Lucky is on the ropes... but look at that super meter! There's a "1" now instead of the "0" Brian has. The number changes to "1" at 50% and "2" at 100%; a typical super costs 50% of the Super gauge. Notice that while Brian's meter looks like he's at 50%, the digit still reads "0" so he's probably at 48% or so.
So, Lucky knows that his Cross Court super costs a bit more because of the Priority effect (10% more than the usual 50% for a super); checks to see if the attack is lit up now.
It is! And Lucky has enough super to throw it. Here goes nothing!
> attack brian=cross court
Brian tries to block it, but...
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////// ]
Lucky 0/-------/------=|=======\==-----\1 Brian
Oh no! Brian's tough -- even though he got hit by the super, he's still in yellow health!
With that last hit, Brian accumulated enough Super to throw a Super attack. So that's what he does.
> block 1
COMBATSYS: Brian successfully hits Lucky with Big Bang Tackle.
[ \\ < > ////////////// ]
Lucky 1/-------/=======|=------\-------\0 Brian
Not even blocking worked, that time. Just the luck of the roll.
Lucky's below 0% health; his name and his health bar are both grayed out. It's still his turn, and there are many things he can do. He can take a "final action" which will be a bit slower than usual. He's got enough Super to throw another super attack, but that might be ICly overkill for a practice fight.
So what else could he do aside from attacking? The game also allows other turn-ending actions, such as 'rest', 'compose', and 'pass'. 'Rest' drops the character's guard, allowing them to regain a good chunk of Health and Reserve in exchange for severe reaction penalties. 'Compose' restores a small amount of Health and Reserve in exchange for Super. But Lucky can't use either of these, as he's below 0% health.
Lucky opts to make use of the 'pass' command, which means he's not doing anything -- and just signals Brian that it's his turn to go next.
COMBATSYS: Lucky can no longer fight.
CSYS: Your final tallies for that fight were: Health: -18%
Reserve: 79% Super: 53%. You took 6 actions total this fight.
Now that he's out of the fight, the meters only show Brian.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <|
It may not have ended up great for Lucky -- but that just means Lucky's going to need to train hard for the rematch!
When you're knocked out, or leave the fight by typing 'unjoin', your Health and Reserve reset to 100% and your Super resets to 0%. It's not necessary to have your character actually fall unconscious or anything; "knocked out" just means they're not able to fight any further.
Now you know enough to get into a fight and come out alive. It sounds like a lot to worry about -- and it is -- but you now have the basics. It's an easy system to learn, but it could take years to master!
The combat system is a wonderful supplement to RP, and is a great deal of fun besides. Just remember that it's a bad idea to rely solely upon the combat system itself; it IS only a supplement, and you should take care that your action and reaction commands accompany poses, and are not used by themselves. Have fun!
NOTE: It may be a good idea to stop here and try out some of these features before continuing! The rest of the info file will expand on the key elements shown in the preceding walkthrough.
Now that we have seen a fight from beginning to end, let's talk about some of the topics in greater detail.
Character Build Elements
At Match of the Millennium, we strive to make each character feel different and memorable. Wild and unfettered characters should have a drastically different playstyle from the cool and calculating types. We have a number of info files explaining these build elements, but it is necessary to introduce these topics in summary form before we proceed to talk about the rest of the combat system.
Stats - The "numbers" of a character's build determine how hard they hit and how durable they are. There are four Offense stats: Physical, Throw, Chi, and Psi. Each Offense stat has a complementary Defense stat; respectively, these are: Soak, Roll, Aura, and Will. And then there is Reflex, which determines how good the character is at dodging and enduring, and Ratio, which stands as an easy-to-understand metric encapsulating all nine stats. For more detail, read Stats and Fighting.
Attacks - A character's unique personality can be shown in the way in which they hit other people. Every character has a mix of Special Attacks and Super Attacks. For more detail, read Attacks.
Types and Effects - If you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Ideally, your character's toolbox should have a number of different and varied tools to address different problems. Attack Types allow your character to target your opponent's weaker Defense Stats. And Attack Effects (such as Projectile, Crush, and more) allow each attack to tip the scales in a number of fashions. For more, read Types and Effects.
Variable Attacks - Some attacks carry the Variable effect. In exchange for these attacks being  speed slower, players are able to use a free action, +vary, to add dynamic effects to their attacks. See Variable for more.
Normals and Globals - In addition to your character-specific Specials and Supers, characters also have access to shared libraries of Normal Attacks and Global Attacks. For more, read Normals and Globals.
Dramatic Moments - Heroes are forged in the heat of battle. When the situation looks most dire, heroes can tap into an inner wellspring of energy and turn the tide against their opponents. Each character can tap into one or more Dramatic Moments throughout a fight. For more, read Dramatic Moment.
Abilities - Some fighters can hit faster. Some hit harder. Some hit more often. And some are just better at taking hits. Abilities provide special commands to players, allowing them to dynamically manage the flow of combat. Each character can also elevate one of their Abilities to an evolved "Signature Ability" state for even more benefit. For more, read Abilities.
Traits - Some characters are wily, others are calculating -- and some are just friggin' crazy. Traits encapsulate some of these characteristics into a character build, providing functionality similar to Abilities in a lesser form. For more, read Traits.
Attributes - You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Attributes affect gameplay in ways that aren't "purchased" as they are with Dramatic Moments, Abilities, and Traits. For more, read Attributes.
Kinds of Commands
We played kind of fast and loose with terminology during the tutorial, but it's important to understand that there are several kinds of commands that can be used within a fight. The kind of command determines the restrictions for when it can and can't be used.
Reactions - The usual reactions to an attack are Dodge, Block, Endure, and Interrupt. It is also possible to simply Accept an attack. And in certain exceptional cases, when both attacker and defender agree, it is also possible to Cancel or Transfer an attack. See Reactions for more.
Interrupt Types - There are four types of interrupt: Poke, Projectile, Counter, and Reflect. Attacks bearing a Projectile effect can be used to interrupt other Projectiles, resulting in a projectile war like you might see between Ryu and Ken. Attacks bearing the Counter or Reflect effects can be used to interrupt attacks in safer, more interesting ways (though these both require specific Abilities). When an attack lacking any of these flags is used to interrupt, that is referred to as a Poke interrupt. See Interrupts for more.
Active Ability Actions - Abilities often provide additional commands which can be used in combat, such as Rush, Brace, or Burst. Under normal circumstances, only one Active Ability Action can be used in a given turn. See the individual Abilities entries for more on which Active Ability Actions are provided.
Dramatic Moment Actions - Some signature abilities and traits provide additional actions (such as Clarity, or Calculated) that also fall into the classification of "DM Actions." Under normal circumstances, only one Dramatic Moment OR one DM Action can be used in a given turn. Use of these DM Actions does not reduce the number of Dramatic Moment charges available. More information will be found in individual Abilities or Traits pages.
Free Actions - Many options are available for use at any time. Some may be provided by Abilities, Signature Abilities or Traits. Others, like Vary, are available to everyone.
Turn-Ending Actions - Sometimes, winning requires more than simply attacking your opponent over and over. In addition to Attack and Interrupt, characters also have the option to use passive turn-enders such as Focus, Rest, Compose, Rest, or Pass. And other Turn-Ending Actions are provided by Abilities (such as Charging and Mindset) and Traits (such as Intensity). See Actions for more.
NOTE: As a matter of OOC social interaction, it's generally recommended to avoid using more than two passive turn-enders in a fight, or two in a row.
Fight Pacing Systems
Up until now, we've only focused on things you can do within a given turn or round. The next few topics involve conditions that persist beyond a single round of combat. Managing these various systems can often spell the difference between failure and success!
Block Penalty - We mentioned block penalty in the tutorial -- it's basically intended to keep bulkier characters from blocking forever and ever. Each time you block, you build up block penalty; refrain from blocking and the block penalty reduces. See Block Penalty for more.
Fatigue - Fatigue wasn't really mentioned; basically, as your character drops lower and lower in reserve, the slower your character's attacks will be. Recover reserve, and the attacks will return to their usual speed. See Fatigue for more.
Predictable - Attacks with the Projectile, Shift, and Dash effects represent the concept of "range."
Projectile attacks imply your character is far away from the target, Shift attacks represent moving away from the target, and Dash attacks bring your character close to the target. These are all considered Predictable attacks, and using one will add two stacks of the "Predictable" penalty. When attacking, any Predictable stacks you carry will be factored into your opponent's reactions.
In short: a fighter who uses Predictable attacks sparingly will often find greater success than one who uses multiple Predictable attacks in a row. See Predictable for a detailed list of penalties.
Attack Repetition - Similarly, using the same attack more than once in a row is also predictable, though it doesn't get the name. The first time you use an attack in a fight, a colored dash will appear next to its name in your attack lists. Each time you use that same attack, its speed will be reduced by %.
TOP - When a fighter completely fills their super meter to 100%, they have reached the TOP state. There are other ways to reach TOP than super meter, such as the signature abilities of Resolve and Presence. All abilities are enhanced in this state; the fighter is just incrementally better in everything. See TOP for more.
Burnout DMs - Not all Dramatic Moments are a single point in time -- some characters ignite with rage, while others undergo physical transformations! The effects of a "Burnout DM" will last for three attack rounds, and in some cases these can leave an opponent vulnerable afterwards. It pays to know what your opponent's burnout vulnerabilities are, if any. See Dramatic Moment for more info.
Overdrive Effects - Some attacks are really far over the edge. Attacks with Overdrive effects can make a powerful Super move even more potent in ways such as debilitating the target, destroying armor or defenses, or even leeching away health or reserve. See Overdrive for more.
Whew! Now we've discussed all the "essential" topics. There's a few other things the combat system can handle for those interested.
Multi-Attacking - Fighting doesn't always involve just one person! It's also possible to attack more than one person with an attack. An attack can hit multiple people (targets), but only upon checking OOCly with each of the targets involved. If your targets do not give their consent to a multi-target "area attack", then you must attack each person individually in separate turns.
Team Ups - Individually, each fighter might be too unable to down a tough opponent, but perhaps pooling resources into one big team-up attack might do the trick! See Team Ups for more.
Items - Your fighter might pick up unique artifacts that enhance or modify their combat abilities. These items can be equipped in combat, and will show as an [E] next to their name in meters. See Items for more.
Weakening - In some cases, your fighter might not want to fight at their peak potential. Perhaps a teacher wants to give a student an easier time. For certain fights, winning isn't everything. In these cases, fighters can choose to pull their punches, slow down their strikes, or even slow their pace to give their opponents better opportunities. See Weakening for more.