Rules of Combat


A player's real world ability and their character's in game ability do not always line up. In order to use a weapon effectively in game, a character must purchase skills to increase their ability to attack and their ability to defend themselves or absorb damage.

When a successful attack is made, a player will call out a number representing the damage done to the opposing character's location (LOC), armour, or shield. The damage done varies by the type of weapon used and the skills the character has purchased.

Melee Attacks

The IA2 system is designed to simulate a heroic, cinematic style of combat and does not allow simply swinging as quickly as possible (i.e. "machine gunning"). Combat can be thought of as having a rhythm with movements to a steady beat. Each swing of a weapon is followed by a pause before it can be swung again for another attack. The speed a weapon is swung, either to attack or defend, should be appropriately slow that the rhythm of the fight is maintained.

In practice, the timing of allowed weapon swings to attack is as follows:

Weapon Type Count Between Attacks
Single Small/Single Claw 1 second
One-handed 2 seconds
Two-handed 4 seconds
Double-ended 2 seconds per end
Dual wielding +1 second to each hand
Shield (bucklers to large shields) +1 second
Shield (tower) +2 seconds

Note: For dual-wielding, apply the timing independently to each hand (i.e. swing with the off-hand while counting for the main hand). Dual-wielders cannot strike simultaneously with both weapons.

Note: A swing to attack which is blocked or misses the target must still be followed by the appropriate count for the weapon type.

Specialty Strikes

Many skills allow a character to deliver a specialized blow which does no damage to an opponent, but has other effects in lieu of damage. Other skills allow a character to add a suffix or prefix to their damage call which adds to or alters the call. Only one specialty strike, suffix, or prefix can ever be called per weapon strike. Specialty strikes can only be used with a weapon compatible with the strike and while using a compatible style mastery which meets the prerequisites for the strike.

Ranged Attacks

Fired or thrown weapons are common in the IA2 system. Ranged weapons are generally of three types: bows and arrows (including crossbows), thrown weapons, and guns.

  • Bows / Crossbows and any arrows / bolts that they fire must be safety checked before use. Only players and crew who have been cleared may use projectile weapons in game.
  • Thrown Weapons must be less than 13" long, coreless and without any hard or sharp pieces.
  • Firearms of all types are represented by single-shot cap guns. Care should be taken to avoid firing close to other players' heads. Guns may not be fired at players' faces.

For reasons of safety, no ranged weapon can be fired at point blank range; however, a ranged attack can still be made by pointing the weapon and calling Point Blank. The attack is considered to have hit the target in the torso.

Note: A point blank shot will not bypass a shield.

Also for reasons of safety, ranged weapons may not be used to parry.


Weapon strikes deal damage to the location struck and affect armour or shields (PAC) before location (LOC). Weapon strikes which are fully blocked do not deal damage. Feather blocking is not allowed and weapon strikes which are not fully blocked still deal damage. Powering through blocks is not allowed for safety reasons. Weapon must be swung the full length of the weapon and must comply with the rules for Heroic Combat in order to deal damage.

  • Standard damage is a character's normal damage call. It is not possible to call less than their Standard damage.
  • Maximum damage is the most damage a character can normally call. This can be done 1/minute for free, or more often at a cost of 10 halo per use.

Packet delivered spells deal damage to the location struck and affect armour (PAC) before location (LOC). Packet delivered spells cannot be blocked and ignore shield, dealing damage to the arm instead.

Area of effect spells deal damage to the torso location of all targets with the blast radius (friend and enemy alike). Area of effect spells affect armour (PAC) before location (LOC). Area of effect spells do not affect characters who are "down" or unconscious, but do affect characters who are simply crouching or lying down.

Special Damage Calls

The IA2 system uses some suffixed called after numerical damage which add additional damage or effects.

  • Blunt or Edge This call signals that a weapon has is either a blunt, smashing weapon, or an edged, cutting weapons. Some enemies have resistances or weaknesses to specific types of damage. This call does not need to be made on every attack, but can sometimes be helpful to add in combat so that crew are aware of the type of damage you are doing.
  • Special Materials Some weapons are made of special materials which add extra damage or effects versus certain enemies or characters. In these cases, the name of the material should be called after numerical damage.
  • Magic Some weapons have magical enchantments of one of the four types (Arcane, Divine, Natural, or Psionic) and the type should be called after numerical damage.
  • Thru: Thru attacks bypass armour (PAC), but do not ignore Dexterity (DAC) or magical defenses (MAC), and can be dodged or parried.
  • Rapid: Rapid attacks bypass Dexterity (DAC) and cannot be dodged or parried, but do not ignore armour (PAC) or magical defenses (MAC).
  • Null: Null attacks bypass magical defenses (MAC), but do not ignore armour (PAC) or Dexterity (DAC).
  • Raw or Holy: Raw or Holy attacks bypass all defenses and deal damage directly to a location.
  • Bane (Specific) Bane attacks only affect the specific subrace or type of enemy named. Bane attacks add 2 extra damage to the attack. This damage is only added from a weapon strike; however, simple contact with a Bane item is painful and should attempt to be avoided.
  • Crush Crush attacks reduce armour or shields to 0 PAC. Crush attacks against an unarmoured location reduce the location to 0 LOC.
  • Sever: Sever attacks reduce armour or shields to 0 PAC. Sever attacks against unarmoured locations reduce the location to 0 LOC.
  • Fatal: Fatal attacks reduce the target's torso location to 0 LOC. The target will die if healing is not started within 30 seconds. Once healing is received, the target is restored to the same state they were in before the Fatal attack.

Global Hits

Some enemies use a global pool of hits (Global) instead of location based hits (LOC). Some skills and spells grant characters global hits as well. Global hits will, in all cases, take damage before location hits and some types of global hits apply before others.

Some attacks have additional effects added on top of numerical damage. In these cases if the numerical damage is avoided entirely or is absorbed by global hits, the additional effect is also avoided.


A variety of methods for avoiding, deflecting, absorbing, or reducing damage are available to characters. Damage is dealt in the following order:

Avoid the effect (Dodge, Parry, etc.) > Global hits or Magical effects (MAC) > Dexterity (DAC) > Armour (PAC) > Location (LOC)


The primary method for reducing damage taken is to avoid it in the first place. Some players are able to dodge blows using their real world abilities. Characters also have a variety of skills available for purchase (e.g. Dodge) that allow them to avoid damage completely.

Magical Defenses (MAC)

Many characters have access to magic or abilities which grant global hit via magic. This is referred to as MAC and is the first line of defence. Global hits granted by magic is called MAC.

Dexterity (DAC)

Many characters have a natural ability to avoid blows beyond a player’s real work ability. This is obtained by purchasing ranks in the Dexterity skill. Global hits granted by the Dexterity skill is called DAC.


Many characters choose to fight with a shield in order to block weapon strikes. While considered armour, shield have some special rules:

  • A shield will not block a packet delivered spell and if struck by a packet, the spell is delivered to the arm holding the shield
  • A character must be proficient in using a shield by purchasing the Shield Proficiency (Specific) skill

Armour (PAC)

The last line of defense for a character is armour. Some characters have access to magically created armour from spells, others wear physical armour. In all cases, locational hits granted by armour is called PAC.

Armour must be represented by a physical prop appropriate to the type of armour being represented. A prop must cover the majority of a location in order to offer protection to that location. Anyone can wear armour and some skills and abilities allow for wearing multiple sets of armour.

Damage Resistance

Some characters or items possess natural or magical damage resistance (DR) to either damage in general or specific types of damage. DR is applied to any damage dealt to the item (or in the case of a character, to damage dealt to their LOC).

Special attacks Raw/Holy, Crush, Sever, and Fatal ignore DR.

Note: When hit with an attack that does no damage due to DR, the player should call “Resist.”


Some characters or items possess a natural or magical ability to absorb (Soak) some degree of damage with no effect. Attacks which deal numerical damage less than or equal to an item or character’s Soak, have no effect. Attacks which deal numerical damage greater than an item or character’s Soak, ignore Soak and deal damage as normal.

Special attacks such Raw/Holy, Crush, Sever, and Fatal ignore Soak.

Note: When hit with an attack that does no damage due to Soak, the player should call “No effect.”


Armour and shields provide solid defense, but come at the cost of decreased mobility in the form of Hindrance which applies a penalty to the use of certain skills or abilities, primarily spell casting and Agility-based skills.

A character’s total Hindrance is equal to the Hindrance on their most hindered location (e.g. Hindrance for a character with Hindrance 4 on the torso, 6 on each leg, and 8 on the left arm would be 8 as the left arm is the most hindered location). Some effects and abilities can lower Hindrance and others raise it.


Some combat skills take a physical toll on the character represented by Fatigue, Exhaustion, and finally Burnout.

  • Fatigue means you cannot cast for 10 minutes.
  • Exhaustion means you cannot cast, cannot spend Halo, and Dexterity and Strength are at half for 10 minutes
  • Burnout means you cannot cast, cannot spend Halo, and Dexterity and Strength are at half for the remainder of the game weekend.

Non Combat Players

The IA2 system allows players to participate in games even if they can't participate directly in combat. Players will generally be identified as "non-combat" in some way at games and their non-combat status will be announced. For game balance, non-combat character must follow these rules depending on the level of combat they are comfortable participating in:

  • 100% Non-combat players (those who cannot or do not want to take on any risk of injury) must raise a hand with two fingers up (i.e. "go out of character") and move out of the way of combat. They are not able to participate in any way until combat has stopped.
  • Partial combat players (those who can to participate in combat, but cannot or do not want to be struck with a weapon) are not permitted to attack crew with weapons, but can use offensive and defensive spells or other skills to aid the other characters. If attacked by a crew member and unable to reasonably escape combat, the partial combat player is immediately reduced to -1 and bleeding.