Contents

Calls

  • Calls allow characters to deliver magical effects or heroic blows
  • All calls require the user to strike the target with a weapon or implement
  • All calls also cause the target to lose one global hit
  • There are no game abilities that allow a target to resist a call
  • Some calls do not affect a target if they hit armour
  • If the target has clearly not taken the call then the call has not been used

A participant can shout a call in a fight to indicate that they have used a special ability or magical item that allows them to deliver an especially potent attack. By learning these calls, players know how to react appropriately when attacked by such an ability.

All heroic and magic calls require the user to strike the target with a suitable weapon or implement. The target loses one global hit as exactly as if they had been hit normally. Only mass calls can be used at a target at range and do not cause the loss of a hit.

If it is clear that the target has not visibly taken the call then the call has not been used. Characters with heroic skills do not lose a hero point if the target is visibly unaffected, magicians do not lose a mana point if the target has clearly not taken the spell they have cast.

All Empire players need to be familiar with the calls so that they know how to react to them if attacked, even if they don't have any way to deliver the calls themselves.

There is no way to resist an effect in Empire.

Some special calls effect a character even if the blow is blocked by a shield and it is important for a shield user to know which ones these are so they can react appropriately. A character is still repelled, entangled, or knocked off their feet if the blow strikes their shield, although they do not lose any hits.

Monstrous Creatures

  • Monstrous creatures are not affected by calls
Battle of Ikka's Tears, Autumn Equinox, 378YE
A Thule warbeast is a monstrous creature

There is no way to resist an effect in Empire, but calls never affect over-sized monstrous creatures. A monstrous creature that is phys-repped with a bulky all-encompasssing full-body costumes is not affected by calls. Player-characters (all PCs) always count as human-sized - no matter what costume they are wearing.

Large or broad-shouldered creatures like ogres - do not count as monstrous creatures and are affected by calls normally. Iconic monsters such as the Thule war beast count as monstrous as do the much smaller ice-giant and the drakes fielded by the Grendel.

Monstrous creatures cannot be healed using regular methods. It requires time or specific ritual magic to heal a monstrous creature.

Heroic Calls

  • Heroic calls usually represent physical blows of great strength or skill

Heroic calls are most commonly used to represent physical blows of great strength or skill. A highly trained warrior may strikedown an enemy with their poleaxe, while a huge ogre might shatter a shield with their club.

CLEAVE

  • Target loses all hits if the blow strikes the torso
  • Target loses the use of a limb until cured if the blow strikes a limb
  • Target loses one hit if the blow strikes the head or neck
  • Target loses one hit if the blow strikes medium or heavy armour

If you are hit with a CLEAVE then you have been hit with a blow that is heavy or precise enough to disable you with a single strike. If you are hit in the torso then you are reduced to zero global hits and are dying.

If you are hit in a limb then you lose the use of that limb. You must roleplay accordingly; you might fight on with the loss of an arm, but you must drop anything that was held in that hand. You may defend yourself from the ground with the loss of a leg, but you cannot kneel, hop or move around.

If you are hit by a CLEAVE in the head or neck or if the blow strikes the actual phys-rep of medium or heavy armour that you are wearing then you only lose one hit as if you had been hit by a normal blow.

The effects of CLEAVE and IMPALE are the same, but medium or heavy armour will protect you from a CLEAVE while only heavy armour will protect you from an IMPALE.

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IMPALE

  • Target loses all hits if the blow strikes the torso
  • Target loses the use of a limb until cured if the blow strikes a limb
  • Target loses one hit if the blow strikes the head or neck
  • Target loses one hit if the blow strikes heavy armour
  • All arrows and bolts cause IMPALE without needing to be called

If you are hit with an IMPALE then you have been hit with a blow that is heavy or precise enough to disable you with a single strike. All arrows and bolts cause IMPALE without needing to be called.

If you are hit in the torso then you are reduced to zero global hits and are dying.

If you are hit in a limb then you lose the use of that limb. You must roleplay accordingly; you might fight on with the loss of an arm, but you must drop anything that was held in that hand. You may defend yourself from the ground with the loss of a leg, but you cannot kneel, hop or move around.

If you are hit by an IMPALE in the head or neck or if the blow strikes the actual phys-rep of heavy armour that you are wearing then you only lose one hit as if you had been hit by a normal blow.

STRIKEDOWN

  • The target is knocked off their feet
  • You are struck down even if you parry the blow with a weapon or shield

If you are hit with a STRIKEDOWN then you have either been tripped or hit so hard that you have been knocked from your feet. You must roleplay this appropriately and fall to the ground, you cannot dive into a roll and leap back to your feet.

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Magic Calls

  • Magic calls usually represent magical effects that debilitate or weaken the target
  • You must strike the target with a wand, rod or staff

Magic calls are most commonly used to represent the malign effects of spells, rituals and powerful magical items. A skilled battle mage may cast a spell to repel an enemy, while a wraith might curse a target with the touch of its wicked blade.

To deliver a magic call, you must touch your target with a wand, rod or staff. If your victim parries or dodges the strike, then they are not affected by some spells.

As the effects of the magic calls VENOM and WEAKNESS cannot be seen, you must assume that the target has taken the call.

CURSE

  • You are cursed; see a ref for details when it is appropriate to do so
  • The effect lasts until cured

A curse does not immediately affect your character; you are aware that you have been cursed but may continue to fight and act normally. See a referee for more details once you are able to do so without interrupting your roleplaying.

ENTANGLE

  • The target may not move their feet; they may otherwise move and fight normally
  • You are entangled even if you parry the blow with a weapon or shield
  • The effect lasts 10 seconds

Entangle makes it impossible for your character to move their feet for ten seconds. You may otherwise move and fight normally.

PARALYSE

  • The target may talk but may not make any other movement
  • The effect lasts 10 seconds

You are held in place by magical force. You cannot move at all. You may talk and drink a potion if you are fed one, but you cannot take any other actions. This effect lasts ten seconds.

If you block or parry the strike then you are not paralysed.

MASS PARALYSE will affect you normally, holding you in place for ten seconds, regardless of whether you are equipped with a shield.

REPEL

  • The target must move away from the caster at a brisk walk or faster
  • You are repelled even if you parry the blow with a weapon or shield
  • The effect lasts 10 seconds or until you have retreated for 20’

Repel represents a magical force that drives you away from the caster. You must move away from them at a brisk walk or faster. The effect lasts for ten seconds or until you have retreated more than for 20' (6m).

SHATTER

  • Any weapon, implement or shield struck is broken and useless
  • Shattered items can be repaired with the mend spell

A SHATTER represents a magical force (or mighty blow) that is powerful enough to break weapons and shatter shields. Any weapon, implement or shield struck by a SHATTER call is broken and useless. If you are using a shield that is difficult to discard, then any further blow that strikes the shattered shield counts as if it had struck you on your arm.

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VENOM

  • The target’s bleed time drops to thirty seconds
  • The effect lasts until cured
  • You must assume that the target has taken the effect

A character will normally bleed to death in three minutes if they are reduced to zero hits. A character who is affected by venom will instead bleed to death in thirty seconds if they are reduced to zero hits.

The fortitude skill lists how long it takes for a character with the skill to bleed to death when affected by venom.

The victim remains affected by venom until they are cured by the purify spell or a similar potion or magic.

WEAKNESS

  • The target may not use any heroic skills, utilise any enchantments, use any mana or activate any magic items
  • The effect lasts until cured
  • You must assume that the target has taken the effect

Weakness prevents the victim from using any heroic skills heroic skills, enchantments, or mana. Magical items that are "always on" work normally, but you cannot use any magic item that must be activated while under the effect. You may otherwise move and fight normally.

The victim remains affected by weakness until they are cured by the purify spell or a similar potion or magic.

Mass Calls

  • MASS is an area effect call that expands the effect of another call to everyone within a 20' cone in front of the caster

Mass calls represent the most potent effects in the game and they are the only calls that can be used at range. It is commonly caused by rituals, though there are powerful unnatural creatures in the world that can cause MASS effects.

MASS is always used with another call immediately. In indicates that the mass call affects everyone in a ninety-degree arc in front of the area up to 20' (6m) away from the caster.

For example, Mass Repel causes everyone within the area of effect to be affected by the Repel call.

Safety Calls

Safety calls are out-of-character calls used to indicate that there is a safety issue that needs to be immediately addressed. Everyone who hears a safety call must immediately stop whatever they are doing and follow the safety call as appropriate.

MAN DOWN

  • If you hear this call, you should stop any fighting and kneel down
  • You should call MAN DOWN if you see anyone suffer a real injury
  • Do not shout this call if you hear someone else shout it

If a participant suffers a real injury then a ref or any other participant who sees in the injury should shout MAN DOWN. This call alerts everyone to the fact that someone is genuinely hurt. You should alert the nearest member of crew, if they are not already aware of the incident.

If you hear MAN DOWN called then you should stop fighting and kneel down. Only the referees in the area should remain standing. This makes it as easy as possible for our first-aid team and crew to identify the situation and act appropriately. You should not shout the call just because you hear someone else shout it. This is to ensure the battle can continue to flow, and the appropriate crew can quickly identify the right location.

Depending on the severity of the injury, referees may keep the area timed out until it’s resolved, or move players away from the incident and resume fighting in the area by shouting TIME IN.

TIME FREEZE

  • A ref will make this call if a significant safety problem is developing
  • If you hear this call, you should stop any fighting, stop talking and listen for further instructions

If a referee identifies that a situation is becoming unsafe then they will call TIME FREEZE. All participants should stop any fighting and stop roleplaying. The referee will tell you what to do next, so you should remain alert and listen for instructions. You should not shut your eyes or make any noise. The ref will give a quick explanation of the problem and then state what remedial action everyone must take.

For example, if a fight is moving close to a deep ditch the ref may shout TIME FREEZE. A second later when everyone has stopped they will say "The ditch here is unsafe - all participants move 10 paces in that direction."

Once everyone has moved as directed the referee will indicate that the game can resume by shouting TIME IN.

Further Reading