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Old September 15, 2012, 11:32   #44
Mikko Lehtinen
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Attacking and Being Attacked

Attacking is simple in Halls of Mist. If you move into a creature, you attack it. In addition, if there is another creature in melee range, you get a free attack against it! If there are many additional creatures in melee range, you make the extra attack against a random enemy.

Creatures attack in the same way. If they move into you, they attack you.

If the target of a melee attack is standing on a table or platform and the attacker is not, the attack has a 2/5 chance of missing because of bad position.

You can attack from a distance by firing a missile or by magical means (such as aiming a wand). Some creatures can also cast spells from a distance, and others can use various breath weapons (such as fire) on you from a distance.

If a table or platform is between you and the enemy, the missile or spell has a 3/5 chance of hitting the cover instead of the intended target. However, if the attacker is standing right next to the cover, he can shoot or cast spells without problems while still gaining defense bonuses from the cover.

Creatures in walls can not be attacked. (There are rare exceptions, like the Wand of Stone to Shards.) This applies to creatures which "pass through" walls: if they "bore through" walls, the wall is no longer there, and the creature can be targetted normally.

If you are wielding a weapon, the damage for the weapon is used when you hit a creature. Otherwise you will do some damage based on your strength and dexterity - but fighting empty handed is almost never really worthwhile.

You may wield both a primary weapon for melee combat, and a bow for firing arrows at the same time (along with a light, an amulet, two rings, a helmet, boots, gloves, a shield, a cloak, and body armor).

Firing an arrow (while wielding a bow) is the only way to get the full power out of the arrow. If you try to throw an arrow at a monster, it causes no damage. Note that the targeting interface tells the distance between you and the target. If the monster is out of range, the description changes from "You target" to "You see".

Hits and misses are determined by ability to hit versus armor class. A hit is a strike that does some damage; a miss may in fact reach a target, but fails to do any damage. Higher armor classes make it harder to do damage, and so lead to more misses.

You may check your melee hit chance against a monster by (l)ooking at it. If you see two percentage scores (like 92% + 4%) the first score is your hit chance and the second score your critical hit chance if you hit. Similarly, you can check your archery hit chance by targeting a monster with a bow, and your throwing hit chance by targeting it with a thrown weapon.


Your Melee Weapon

Carrying a weapon in your backpack does you no good. You must wield a weapon before it can be used in a fight. A secondary weapon (indeed, more than one) can be kept by keeping it in the backpack, and switching it with the primary weapon when needed.

Weapons have two main characteristics, their enchanted bonus to hit (if any) and their damage dice, expressed as `(+#, #d#)'.

The third major thing to know about your weapon is its weight. Your number of blows per turn is either the weapon's maximum blows (depending purely on weapon weight) or the maximum blows granted by your dexterity, whichever is lower. In addition, depending on your strength, some weapons will be too heavy for you. Wielding a weapon that is too heavy can seriously cripple your combat capabilities.

Fortunately, you don't have to do the math for each weapon you find, trying to figure out whether it is more or less effective than your current weapon. To see how many blows you will get with a weapon, how much damage it will do on average, and whether it is too heavy for you, all you need to do is 'I'nspect it.

In addition to their basic characteristics, many weapons have additional magical powers such as fire brands or extra damage vs. demons. If you have identified the weapon, you can see these effects as well when 'I'nspecting the weapon.

If you score a critical hit with a melee weapon, the effect depends on the weapon type. Swords will cause open wounds, making the enemy bleed, incurring additional wounds over time. Blunt weapons can cause concussions, stunning and occasionally confusing your opponents. Axes and polearms will simply provide a greater amount of bonus damage. Priests or Shamans will never score a critical hit with a weapon that displeases their god.


Bow and Arrows

Similarly to melee weapons, bows and arrows each have basic characteristics. Bows have three major characteristics - their to-hit bonus, their multiplier, and their range, displayed as (+#, x#, #). Arrows also have three attributes: their to-hit bonus, their damage dice, and their range modifier (+#, #d#, +#).

When shooting an arrow with a bow, the to-hit bonuses of both bow and arrow are cumulative, and can have a major effect on your chance of hitting. The damage done by an arrow is calculated by its damage die similarly to a melee weapon, but is further multiplied by the bow's multiplier. Finally, the range is the furthest, in dungeon squares, that you can reach with your current bow - the arrow's modifier may influence this, as some arrows can reach further than others.

If you are wielding a bow, all you need to do is 'I'nspect an arrow and you can see exactly how effective it is with your current bow.

Like melee weapons, you will occasionally get critical hits with bows. These can cause additional damage, and sometimes can make an enemy bleed.


Thrown Weapons

You can throw effectively any weapons that weigh less than 10 lbs. Also, your strength must be at least equal to the weapon weight in pounds. Throwing heavier weapons than this doesn't cause any damage. The range traversed depends on your strength and the weight of the object.

Magical powders can be be very effective when thrown at enemies. They create many special effects upon an enemy, and some more powerful types can injure a group of enemies. Powders have a bigger radius if you score a critical hit with them. Normally the radius increases by one. Rogues may score a great hit which increases radius by two.

Your strength determines the thrown weapon damage multiplier like this:

Code:
STR  Thrown weapon damage multiplier
13   *2
17   *3
21   *4
25   *5
29   *6
The Berserk Strength buff doubles your thrown weapon damage, and so do some rare magic items. The absolute maximum thrown damage multiplier is 6 * 2 * 2 = 24!


Critical Hits

Occasionally, for all combat types, you will score a critical hit - a hit so effective that it does extra damage. Depending on the type of weapon involved, this can have additional effects. You can't get criticals against unseen monsters.

There are two ways to score critical hits.

You can get Ambush-criticals against sleeping, scared, confused, or blind monsters. Ambush chance in percentages is 5 + character's to-hit bonus from stats, temporary magical buffs and weapon enchantments. (The combined bonus from stats & magic is shown on character sheet in parenthesis after combat skill scores.) Rogues get to add 5 + half their level. (Note that your bow's to-hit bonus has no effect here. Only the arrow's to-hit bonus matters.)

You can also get criticals if you have a truly overpowering combat skill versus your opponent. Once your hit chance reaches 91% or higher, your gain a bonus to your critical hit chance, even when the target is not distracted. The bonus is (hit chance -90) * (hit chance -90).

Rogues get double power thrown criticals, and one-and-half power melee and archery criticals. Warriors get double power melee criticals. Rangers get double power archery criticals.

(That's it. I think the combat system is slightly too complicated at the moment. Here's my latest idea on how to streamline it.)

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; September 15, 2012 at 18:16.
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