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Stick Them With The Pointy End:
Combat, Armour, Death and Healing.

Hits, Damage and Death:

All characters have a certain amount of HITS – this represents the amount of punishment they can take before they fall unconscious and / or die messily in a puddle.

All hits are global – that is, you take damage from a total pool regardless of whether you are hit in the face, arm, or chest. However, while damage is global, effects are local – that is, if you are hit in the arm with a DOUBLE DISABLE, you lose 2 hits from your total pool, and cannot use that specific arm, as per the DISABLE rules.

When you have taken sufficient damage to reduce you below half your starting total, your character becomes aware IC that they are injured, even if they do not necessarily know the source. This is usually the first indicator of poisoning or other such insidious effects.

When you have taken sufficient hits to reduce you to zero, you are unconscious. You must immediately fall to the floor, and can take no further actions until healed. When you are exactly on zero hits, you are not BLEEDING.

If you take any further damage, or are reduced below zero hits before you have chance to fall, you are also BLEEDING. As per the BLEED rules, you lose one hit every 30 seconds you are unattended.

Any healing at all will stop the BLEEDING, but will not return you to consciousness unless it also brings your hit total above zero.

When you have taken over half again your total hits, you are dead. For example, Olaf the Stout has 8 hits. When he has taken a total of 13 hits (which would put him on -5) he dies.

A starting character has 8 hits.


The most common way to heal is by magical or alchemical healing – these heal a number of hits depending on the specific Skill used.

Natural healing occurs at a rate of 1 hit per day – however, as an elite member of the Order of the Gryphon, upon returning to the Chapterhouse after a mission, the Order physicians will heal you back up to full hits.


Bandages may also be used on a mission. While bandages will not heal any actual damage unless the character applying them has the First Aid skill, a bandage will immediately stop any BLEED effects. A bandage may only be used once. If it is removed before the injury is healed, the BLEEDING will immediately recommence.


Armour in the Shifting LRP is reductive – that is, the armour value is taken off the damage call. Anything left is taken as actual damage.

For example, Olaf the Stout is wearing medium armour, which provides 2AC. This means he may reduce incoming damage calls by 2 hits. He may effectively ignore SINGLES and DOUBLES; he takes one hit of damage from a TRIPLE, and so on.

There are two types of armour available to characters in The Shifting LRP:

Physical Armour:

Physical armour is manufactured and crafted, and comes in a variety of flavours, forms and materials. All physical armour comes in one of three categories:

  • Light Armour – leather armour, included Cuirbouilli, studded leather and the like. Light armour provides 1 hit of physical AC.
  • Medium armour – chainmail, ringmail and the like. Medium armour provides 2 hits of physical AC
  • Heavy armour – platemail, scale mail, brigandine and the like. Heavy armour provides 3 hits of physical AC.

To provide protection at least 75% of the body must be covered by armour. In addition, to count as a particular level of armour, at least 50% of that coverage must be of the appropriate type.

For example, Lucky Nim is wearing leather trousers, studded leather vambraces, and a long suit of leather armour. She is wearing Light Armour, and receives 1 hit of physical AC

Olaf the Stout, however, is a bit more patchwork. He has leather trousers, platemail greaves and vambraces, and a suit of chainmail covering his torso, upper arms, and upper legs. He counts as wearing Medium Armour, and receives 2 hits of physical AC.

Mad Bastard Hamish lives up to his name. He is only wearing leather trousers and a platemail helm. He does not count as wearing any armour, and so receives no physical AC, despite the shiny helmet.

Physical armour always applies, even when a character is immobilised or unconscious. THROUGH damage ignores any reduction granted by Physical AC.

Reflex Armour:

Reflex armour is granted by the Reflex suite of skills. Rather than the wearing of suits of armour, it represents a characters ability to dodge out of the way of injury and to roll with the punches.

Reflex Armour may not be utilised while wearing armour unless specifically indicated.

THROUGH damage does not ignore reflex armour – however, if the character cannot move (due to being unconscious, IMMOBILISED, etc.) then they do not gain the benefit of Reflex Armour and take full damage. Characters subject to BIND effects still enjoy the full benefits of Reflex Armour. Direct MAGIC damage (such as from BOLTS, etc.) also have full effect.

Unarmed Combat, Head hits, and other sundry matters:

A character may inflict one blow per weapon per second, and should fight realistically and, ideally, heroically. Drum-rolling, using miniscule swings and the like are not accepted and will inflict no damage.

All blows with weapons should be safely pulled, and all weapons must be checked by a Referee before being used.

Currently, the Shifting LRP does not support stab-safe spears.

Head shots:

Head shots do happen, and the Shifting LRP does allow the use of head shots. However, it is expected that these will come as a last resort rather than deliberate and persistent targeting. Any damage taken to the head does count.

For example, if you have a tower shield and hunker behind it but only leave your head exposed as a possible target area, expect to be smacked in the face.

While the Shifting LRP expects everyone to fight in a safe and mature fashion, this goes double for head shots.

Unarmed Combat:

Unarmed blows should be made with an open palm in a pushing fashion (not a pimp slap…) and should be pulled even more than blows with a weapon. Striking with a closed fist is strictly forbidden, as are head-butts. Kicking is extremely discourage unless the character has no alternative, and should be very gentle and sensible in nature.