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Combat Rules

Combat at events in Tales Untold may occur in one of two places: outside Camelot while on a Quest escorted by a Knight of the Round Table, or during a Joust or Melee.

Beside these places, blows fail to injure their targets, and wounds will heal over time (unless otherwise stated by a Scroll).

Anyone fighting should familiarise themselves with the LARP Safety Rules.

Basic Combat Rules

  • Every character has a number of hits. This has a maximum of 10.
  • Every character is capable of striking with any LARP safe weapon.
  • You may only strike with a weapon or make a call once per two seconds.
  • When struck with a weapon, you lose a hit and should roleplay the injury accordingly.
  • When you strike someone successfully with a weapon, you should take a moment to adjust your stance.
  • Head hits do not count and hits on a hand holding a weapon count as if they hit the weapon.
  • Every character is capable of blocking blows with a LARP safe weapon.
  • Characters with the Shield Use skill are capable of wielding and blocking melee blows with a LARP safe shield no larger than 36“ in any dimension (any effect calls from the blow still apply, but no hits are lost)
  • When you reach 0 hits, you should fall over on the floor and begin your Death Count (3 minutes base).
  • With 10 seconds of appropriate roleplay you may call EXECUTE on a bleeding character.
  • There is no automatic healing, even on Quests.
  • With 30 seconds of appropriate roleplay you may inform an unresisting character “OC: You are tied up”.
  • Tied up characters should (if able) have their hands behind their back or crossed on front of them, and cannot move without being directed by another character.
  • Any tied up character may, with 30 seconds of appropriate roleplay uninterrupted, escape their bonds.

Dramatic Fighting

Tales Untold is all about stories and narrative. While hits and calls are mechanically important, combat is encouraged to be as dramatic as possible. Players are encouraged to overact their injuries, make a show of their fighting style, and treat combat as part of the story rather than simply a mechanism.

If a Ref tells you you it appears you're not fighting in the spirit of this, please do make effort adjust your fighting. Remember that you can only strike a blow with a weapon or make a call once per two seconds


Spells and benefits from Blessings may give you the ability to make certain calls during combat. There are 7 calls in Tales Untold that characters may call: DISARM, EXECUTE, HEAL, REND, REPEL, RESIST, and STRIKEDOWN. When you make a call you should make it loudly and clearly so that it is understood.

There are three ways you may make a call: in melee, at range, or reactively:

  • Melee calls should be made upon making a successful hit to body, two-handed weapon, or shield, and always reduce the target's hits by 1 if the hit was against a character's body.
  • Ranged calls can be made at range by either specifying a target with the prefix “YOU” (with a descriptor of the target if necessary, “YOU STRIKEDOWN”, “YOU, RED ARMOUR, STRIKEDOWN”), or with “YOU LOT”, holding your arms out in an arc for the next 5 seconds so it is clear whom the call affects. A Ranged call will specify if it should be called with YOU or YOU LOT. Ranged calls never reduce the target's hits.
  • Reactive calls can be made when struck by a weapon or upon receiving a call. Reactive calls never reduce the target's hits.


The DISARM call represents a held item that has been struck being hit with such force or skill that the holder drops it. It may then be picked up as normal by anyone.

By melee blow, you can only use this call to DISARM a weapon or shield.

If called at range, you should specify the item targeted (e.g. YOU DISARM THAT SWORD), otherwise the target may choose.

For safety, you may choose to place your item on the ground instead of dropping it. If you do so, you should stand up fully again before moving to pick it up.


The EXECUTE call represents a killing blow being made to a character who is bleeding and immediately deals them a Mortal Wound, ending their Death Count fatally.

Anyone can call EXECUTE on a character who is bleeding out after 10s of appropriate roleplay.

EXECUTE has no effect on characters who are not bleeding out.


The HEAL call represents a character receiving healing, either medical, magical or otherwise. The HEAL call restores 1 hit to the target.

If you are calling HEAL you may choose to call “HEAL ZERO”, which stops a character's Death count and from Bleeding Out, but does not restore hits to them and does not restore their ability to use skills or move unaided. You cannot call HEAL ZERO on a character who is not Bleeding Out.


The HOLD call represents a character being frozen in place by some magical force. If you are subject to the HOLD call then you must stop moving and may not move for the next 10 seconds.

You may still talk, and any blow that strikes you is still taken. You are aware of everything that transpires during this time. After the 10 seconds you may continue moving as normal.

If you are required to point at someone to use an effect given to you by a spell, that effect is delayed until you are able to move again.


The REND call represents a particularly painful wound being inflicted, often from acid, fire, or particularly vicious weaponry. If you are subject to a REND call then for the next 10 seconds, you cannot land blows in combat or make any calls, you may only fight defensively with one hand, and should roleplay being in serious pain.


The REPEL call represents being hit with such force that you are thrown backward. If you are subject to REPEL you should move directly away from the source of the call in a straight line for 10 metres, or until you reach a physical obstacle (environment, not a person).


Some abilities will enable you to ignore the effects of certain calls. The RESIST call demonstrates your resistance to the call that just hit you and when you make it you may ignore the effect of the call that just hit you (except for SLAY unless briefed otherwise). If the call was dealt by Melee you still lose a hit.

RESIST is always a reactive call.


The SLAY call represents a massive amount of damage being dealt by a powerful being or effect. When you receive a SLAY you immediately are reduced to 0 body hits and start bleeding out.

SLAY cannot be RESISTed easily.


The STRIKEDOWN call represents being hit with force enough to knock you to the floor or trip you up. When you receive a STRIKEDOWN you should fall to the floor with either your back or your torso touching it. You may then stand up.

If it is unsafe to take a STRIKEDOWN by falling over, or you are incapable of taking it for another reason, you may instead take the effect of a REND call as if it were the STRIKEDOWN call.

Bleeding Out


When you reach 0 hits, you should fall over on the floor and begin counting. This is your Death Count and will be 1 minute for every maximum hit you have (so 3 minutes by default, 6 minutes if you have the Stout skill, and 1 minute fewer for every unit of Blood you've sacrificed in the last 12 hours). When you reach the end of your Death Count, you will suffer a Mortal Wound.

You are not necessarily unconscious while bleeding out. You may make noises and call for help, you may drag yourself to safer locations along the ground or move slowly supported by someone else (who should only be making physical contact with your permission). You may not use any of your skills during this time, but may be affected by effect calls, including YOU LOT calls.

While bleeding out you may be “carried” by another character moving slowly and with appropriate roleplay with both hands but do not touch another person without their permission - telling them you are dragging them is sufficient. A “carried” character is not affected by effects that only target the person carrying them (i.e. calling REPEL on someone carrying someone else is a valid way to get them to drop them)

Staunching a Wound

It is possible to pause a bleeding character's Death Count by staunching their wound. This should be represented with appropriate roleplay using both hands but do not touch another person without their permission - hovering your hands over them to represent this is sufficient. While you are being staunched, do not advance your Death Count.


If you receive a HEAL call while bleeding out, you receive the point of healing and your Death Count stops (it will be restarted from 0 the next time you reach 0 hits).

If you receive a HEAL ZERO call while bleeding out, you stop your Death Count but do not gain back any hits. This leaves you in a weakened state but not dying - you will still need a HEAL call to be able to use your skills and move unaided.


If you are subject to the EXECUTE call while bleeding out, your Death Count immediately finishes and you will take a Mortal Wound.

Suffering a Mortal Wound

When you reach the end of your Death Count (or are EXECUTED), you will take a Mortal Wound and will die at the end of an hour from the moment you receive it.

Once you have suffered the Wound you can (and should, if you don't want to be crawling around on the floor) be brought up by healing as usual (the rules for bleeding out still apply) but will still have suffered a Mortal Wound and as such will only have 1 hit for the duration of the hour (even counting armour bonuses). You should roleplay accordingly.

Upon returning to Camelot (or immediately, if you suffered a Mortal Wound in Camelot) you will no longer be able to use any of your skills. You should use this time to finalise your affairs and say your goodbyes before you die. Your death will occur either at the end of the hour, or at a time within that hour of your choosing. You should contact a Ref at this point.

While suffering a Mortal Wound you cannot engage in a new Joust or Melee and Knights may be less inclined to take you on Quests - you may have to convince them.

combat_rules.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/12 08:32 by katie