FotSS Combat


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Festival of the Silver Serpent Combat

Events & Rules

Combat plays a small, but important, role at this Third Festival of the Silver Serpent. As with any gathering of Avatars, martial combat is an opportunity to test one’s skill, build friendships, and bash one another with glee. In addition to the casual sparring, three types of combat are planned and participation is optional. For those looking to hone their skills, there will be advanced training available. These follow the same AMTGARD style rules which I have borrowed from the Hearth of Britannia site, but with some additional rules.


Events (all times approximate and may change)

 Grand Tournament (Saturday 2-3PM)

All Avatars who wish to participate in a single-elimination boffer tournament. The victor is the champion of courage and will gain a special badge and access to a unique weapon.

Location: Field of Battle

Equipment: Short sword (unless alternative is agreed on by both combatants)


Ranged Combat (Saturday 4PM)

Ranged combat builds on the event at the Second Festival of the Silver Serpent. Avatars line up against static targets which represent various monsters. Three types of monsters will be present at various phases of the final battle. All fletchers become archers and may shoot at unarmored foes. Those who have fletched armor piercing arrows can shoot at armored foes (trust me, you will need a metal tip to pierce their armor). The last type, Magic Armored foes (Dragons) may appear at some point in the event. They have no known way to be defeated, so you better figure this one out.

Unarmored Foes: Headlesses, Trolls, Soldiers, Wingless Gargoyles

Armored Foes: Golems, Armored Guards, Demons

Magic Armored Foes: Dragons

Location: Guardian’s Fortress


Melee Combat (Saturday 5PM)

The event apex will be a pitched battle which takes place over several ‘phases’ against the Guardians forces with the objective being to breech the defenses of his fortress and recover the Dragon Queen’s eggs. There are several type of foes which may be encountered. Avatars who wish to participate will play one of two roles in this battle. Melee Avatars will be fighting hand-to-hand with the Guardian’s forces.  Support Avatars will be able to cast support spells, apply upgrades, as well as resurrect downed foes. In addition, there will be special roles for some Avatars to play which will play out during the event. All the combat rules below reference this event.

Wyrmguards – Extra HP, weapons do double (2hp) damage

Golems – Lots of HP, attacks kill no matter where they hit you

Dragon mounted Wyrmguards – Extra HP, weapons do trippple (3) damage, breath fire

The Guardian – You don’t want to know how many HP, shade blade insta-kills if it hits the body. When you are slain by the shade blade, the guardian may possess you.

Location: Guardian’s Fortress


Target Areas

This section explains valid target areas:

  • Torso: Valid torso area is anything on a sleeveless t-shirt plus the groin/arse area (i.e. briefs). The head and neck are not valid.
  • Arms: Anything from the shoulder seem to the wrist of a hand holding a weapon. An non-weapon hand is valid target area.
  • Legs: Below the waist, outside of the briefs area, down to the ankle. Feet are not valid.


When the above target areas are struck by a weapon or spell, the player will take damage and/or die, depending on target area and the weapon/spell.

  • Strike to Torso: If the player is struck in the torso by a melee weapon the player takes the damage of the weapon. If they are reduce to 0, the player dies.
  • Strike to Arm: If the player is struck by a melee weapon or ranged weapon on an arm, the player loses the ability to use that arm. The arm must be placed behind the player’s back. (You must switch your weapon to your off hand or drop your weapon if you are dual wielding) If the player is struck again on the same arm, the player dies. A player may not use a non-weapon hand to grasp or deflect another player’s weapon at any time, even if that arm is armored.
  • Strike to Leg: If the player is struck by a melee weapon or ranged weapon the player must put the knee of the “dead” leg on the ground. Unlike arms, subsequent strikes to a “dead” leg to do count. Given this, it is in your best interest to put your “dead” leg forward to protect your remaining “live” leg.
  • Loss of Any Two Limbs: If the player loses any two limbs (i.e. two arms, two legs, or one of each) the player dies.
  • Revive: A slain Avatar puts up their weapon over their heads to indicate death and carefully walks off the battlefield, returning to their side while moaning ‘oooOOooOOOooo’. They then may be revived by a support Avatar who must touch their shoulder while counting to 90 (at a reasonable speed).
  • Timing: Combat uses the “atomic clock” method of damage dealing, also known as the “lightsaber” method. This means that damage is dealt the instant the weapon makes contact with the target area. If two combatants swing at each other and Player One strikes Player Two’s arm a split second before Player Two lands a stirke on Player One’s torso, Player Two has lost their arm and Player One takes no damage. If Player Two had struck first, Player One would be dead and Player Two will still have their arm.
  • Repeated strikes: Between hits, there must be a reasonable withdrawal of the blade before a second strike can take place. In general, the elbow must return at least 90 degrees (full back being 180, out to the side 90, striking being 0).
  • Honor: Be Virtuous. It is up to players to call their hits and determining rrepeated strikes. A hit that only brushes a player’s clothing does not count but even the lightest touch on valid target area counts as hit. For safety, we do not want to encourage each other to hit harder, so please be Virtuous and own up when you’ve been hit. Remember, the goal is to have fun and not hurt anyone. Physical contact between combatants (e.g. grappling) is prohibited.

Melee Weapons

Melee combat in the final battle involves several potential hand-to-hand weapons.

  • Basic Arms: At FotSS, all Avatars weapons (short swords, daggers, bows, broad swords) do one (1) point of damage unless specifically called out in the rules
  • Magic Weapons: Magic weapons Avatars do two (2) damage per strike and will sever limbs of anything but the Guardian and Golems
  • Magebane: The Magebane acts as both a magic weapon (two damage) and any Avatar wielding this magic blade is immune to fireballs, dragon breath, and possession. They may still be healed or have revive spells cast on them.
  • Shade Blade: The shadeblade (wielded by the Guardian) does five (5) damage and can possess after killing. To posses, the Guardian calls out (after slaying an Avatar) ‘you serve me now’. That Avatar will walk off the field normally, but then go to the Guardian’s fortress to resurrect and from then on, fight by his side.

Health & Armor

For the purpose of this event, all Avatars are considered to have two (2) health on their body and one (1) health on their arms to start.

Avatars may not use shields for this event


Magic takes the form of single-use potions (vials) and scrolls both of which can be found while questing.

  • Fireballs (spell or dragon’s breath): To cast a fireball, a support Avatar must use the appropriate reagent (a bottle of re sulfur ash). To cast, the Avatar pours out the vial and then takes one fireball item. They then may throw it (not too hard) at an opponent. Anyone struck takes  4 damage to body no matter where it hits. Dragon breath works the same as a spell except it requires no reagent.
  • Healing: Healing comes in two forms: potion (self) and scroll (other). Melee Avatars use the potion (blue vial) by pouring out its contents at which point they are restored to full health. To cast a healing spell, a support Avatar must drop the (one time use) scroll and yell “IN MAY [Name of Avatar]” at which point that Avatar is restored to full health.
  • Revive spell: A support Avatar may use a revive spell by dropping the (one time use) scroll and then count to 15 while touching the shoulder of the target Avatar. That Avatar is then returned to life and may rejoin the battle.
  • Serpent revive: If a bottle of serpent venom has been recovered, a dead Avatar may take a drink (1 shot) for a ‘free’ 15 second revive. There is a limit of 1 serpent revive per phase (this is for your health and ours).


Upgrades represent permanent (versus one-time) upgrades found through questing.

  • Armor/health: Steel bars found during questing may be used to upgrade the health of a melee Avatar  (representing armor upgrades). To do so, a high-level blacksmith (badged at level 3+) may trade the bar in for a health upgrade badge. Each badge adds one point to body and one point to limbs (so the first results in 4 body, 2 limbs, the second results in 5 body, 3 limbs, etc…) A smith may only apply a total up to their smithing level and no Avatar may have more than three (3) resulting in 6 body and 4 arms.
  • Resurrection Buff: Resurrection buffs represent the group’s mastery of healing and reduce the resurrection time (default of 90 seconds). The first buff reduces it from 90 to 60, and the second from 60 to 30.